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Starting a novel? Now is the time to set your course for the new year. Writing a novel is a lot of work requiring dedication to producing scene after scene to create a coherent whole.

The amount of work can catch a new novelist off guard if you are not prepared. And once your novel is finished, there’s more work editing, getting a cover designer, publishing, and marketing your book.

Mindset and action are the two keys to beginning your career as a novelist.

Your mindset guides your planning, how you think about your work, and how to think of yourself as a professional before publishing your novel.

Action is the way to manifest your novel and all the corollary activities that go along with being a published author.

Contents:

  1. How Mindset Helps You Grow as an Author
  2. Action Creates Your Writer’s Life
  3. The Business of Writing
  4. Becoming A Novelist Is More Than Writing The Story

How Mindset Helps You Grow as an Author

Becoming a published novelist takes time. Throughout the time you write and edit your novel, a positive mindset keeps you motivated to get the work done. It’s the starting point from which everything else comes. You’ll know what decision to make. Make it your way of thinking.

Mindset gives you the motivation and discipline to tackle the business side of being an author.

And, you need that motivation because every writer has down moments. They come in a variety of forms.

  • Self-doubt
  • Fear of failure
  • Perfectionism
  • Comparing yourself to other writers
  • Feeling overwhelmed

A positive attitude with a long-term view about your novel and yourself as a writer helps you conquer these feelings and get on with the job of being a writer. You are already a professional if you are competent or skilled and in the middle of writing a book. Keep thinking of yourself as a professional.

Action Creates Your Writer’s Life

You can make your novel become a success by taking action steps to complete your novel. That first action is to keep writing until the novel is finished.

While you are working on your novel is the best time to start creating your professional self. By the time you finish your novel people will have a way to connect with you.

Step 1

Create a website. It can be simple to start. A page about you and your writing journey and a page about your novel.

Step 2

Create a mailing list. Use a mailing list service like MailChimp to get started.

Step 3

Link your mailing list signup to your website.

Step 4

Set a schedule to send out a newsletter to everyone on your mailing list.

Step 5

Create an Author Page on Facebook. Be specific about your genre so the right readers can find you. Invite people to join you there.

Taking first steps to set up your author platform gets you in training to manage your platform once the book is published. You’ll have the start of a mailing list and a way to connect with your fans. Plus, you develop the habit of organizing your time between writing and marketing.

Are you getting a tinge of that overwhelm feeling? Just as you add to your novel by writing regularly, you take steps to create your author platform. By the time your novel is finished, you’ll have the basics of your author platform in place and be comfortable using the parts. It doesn’t have to be perfect (oh, yes, perfectionism is on the list, too). You’ll find yourself tweaking your website, your emails, your author page. All of these actions are ongoing.

The Business of Writing

In the year ahead, you’ll be working on completing your new novel. And once that’s done, you have editing and revision tasks. Professional authors get help from editors to create a polished manuscript.

When you think of money you spend getting professional editors, cover designers or formatting software, consider that as an investment in your professional writer’s life. Always think of it as a business.

Then, become a business.

  • Start by creating a DBA ("doing business as"), which will either be your author name or the name of your publishing entity. As your career grows, you can consider other options like a Limited Liability Company (LLC) or a Corporation. For now, keep it simple.
  • Get a business tax identification number. In the United States, that is a TIN (tax identification number) from the Internal Revenue Service. Use it for your bank account now and reporting your royalties once you publish.
  • Open a bank account for your business. Eventually the royalties from your book will go into the account. For now, you’ve taken one more step toward a becoming a professional writer.
  • Pay for editing software like ProWritingAid, writing software, professional editing, cover design, formatting software or any other tools of your business from that account.

Becoming A Novelist Is More Than Writing The Story

Start the year of your new novel with the mindset that gets your novel not just done but gets you on the way to becoming a professional author.

Believe in yourself. Believe in your story. You’re creating the mindset that gets you through tough times like a blank page. Your mindset is key to finishing your story and starting the marketing platform that will lead readers to your novel.

Pro Tip: Mindset is a way of life for professional writers. These two books from successful authors can help you develop a positive mindset:

Developing your author mindset is the basis for taking the action steps you need to become a successful writer.

Before you send your new novel off to the editor, use ProWritingAid to reduce your editing fees to create a clean copy of your manuscript. You’ll be off on the journey from manuscript to published book.

Happy writing in 2019!

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Zara Altair
Author and Professional Semantic Writer

Zara Altair writes traditional mysteries set in ancient Italy under Ostrogoths rule in The Argolicus Mysteries. She coaches mystery screenwriters and novelists with story creation. She creates semantic web content for a select clientele.