1. Combat carpal tunnel syndrome and other
writing-related health risks. Invest in a wrist pad, a posture chair and a
good desk lamp. Get up every thirty minutes to stretch and breathe deeply.
Drinking 6 to 8 glasses of water per day and consuming vitamin B6 (which is
found in chicken, beef, wheat germ, fish, sunflower seeds, peas, spinach and
eggs) will keep your tendons "lubricated." This will reduce irritation and
2. Don't wallow in self-pity. Most writers,
sooner or later, will suffer from rejection letter blues. Unfortunately, many
beginners allow this job-related malady to hamper their productivity. Cope,
don't mope! Establish a battle plan for combating the blues. Meet a fellow
writer for lunch and commiserate with one another. Explore a new market for
your material. Read a good book.
3. Resist the TV temptation. This is a
distracting time waster for most writers working at home. Leave the television
off while you're writing. Resolve to go TV-less for two or three evenings per
week, and you will discover more time for writing. Increased productivity will
eventually lead to increased sales.
4. Avoid postage piddling. For accurate
record-keeping, buy your stamps by the hundred, and pay for them with a check.
Do the same with other necessary supplies such as pens, writing tablets,
envelopes and printer paper. If you don't, you'll end up losing track of how
much you've actually spent and may lose out when tax time rolls
5. Don't delay deadlines. Set both weekly and
monthly goals for yourself. Write them down and work diligently toward
achieving them. Buy an appointment book and schedule time for writing,
rewriting and research. Your "great expectations" will be easier to achieve
when you have established in writing what they are.
6. Clean up sloppy copy. Imperfect diction,
grammar, punctuation and manuscript preparation is a clear indicator to an
editor that he or she is dealing with an amateur. If your queries are
continually rejected, but you're convinced that your ideas are marketable, it
may be the quality of your work that is the problem.
7. Don't resent revision. Lean to enjoy
polishing your prose. This is the activity, which separates the winners from
the losers. Use a timer, if necessary, to view your completed manuscript with
a fresh, but critical eye until the buzzer goes off. The sense of power you
will acquire when you learn to control and edit your prose is an exhilarating
8. Conquer isolationism. If you don't, it will
lead to feelings of restlessness, futility and self-defeat. Find a writing
buddy. Join a critique group or take a weekly writing course-anything that
will keep you in social circulation. You'll find a new sense of purpose,
revitalized vigor and new sources of inspiration from your fellow wordsmiths.
Remember that enthusiastic success can be contagious. Expose yourself to