I once published a blog (which I later turned into an article for Quill) titled “Small Increments, Big Results”. This is exactly what I had in mind for The Power of Five, and it’s clearly working. If I don’t get my quota of sending out five things a day, on top of everything else, I feel guilty. Guilty in a productive way!
About six weeks ago I made this commitment to sent out five things every day during the week, whether I’m submitting short stories to literary markets in the US, or pitching article ideas, or sending revised/overhauled articles as spec, as I did this week to The Writer for that very same article. I also, finally, wrote to some agents, something I had been procrastinating on for months; I wrote to them about various projects, novels, screenplays, and even children books!
After another revised blog-cum-article this week, “Are You Writing or Creating Assets?” I got to thinking, what other writing assets do I have? Then I remembered, didn’t a write a couple children stories seven or eight years ago that never got sent out? So I dug them out and dusted them off inside my computer. Even test-marketed one by reading it to my children. The fact that it lacked illustrations didn’t exactly help. Seeing that they weren’t really paying attention, I overhauled the story and sent them both out.
Without The Power of Five, another seven or eight years might have gone by. The point is, The Power of Five is making me see marketing possibilities. Each day I’m thinking, OK, what can I send out? What unfinished articles or stories can I resuscitate from the dead? Sometimes, as it did this week, it made me do a lot of unplanned rewriting and editing, but then, I had been meaning to get around to these for quite some time. Before, there was never an urgency—other than to pay the mortgage on our house. But now it’s like, oh my god, what am I going to send out today to meet my quota? The cool thing is I don’t often stop at five, as I did those last two weeks of September. I look at the time and think, can I squeeze in another?
Six weeks might be too soon for some to call this a habit, but if I keep this up, week after week, month after month, I’ll surely see the results in both my self-esteem (it feels great to keep your own commitments!) and my bank account. I'm also finally, slowly, catching up on a lot of work that I had been letting slide, and that feels good too!
-- Borneo Expat Writer
-- Borneo Expat Writer
Here are links to some of my author-to-author interviews of first novelists:
Ivy Ngeow author of Cry of the Flying Rhino, winner of the 2016 Proverse Prize.
Golda Mowe author of Iban Dream and Iban Journey.
Preeta Samarasan author of Evening is the Whole Day.
Chuah Guat Eng, author of Echoes of Silence and Days of Change.
Five part Maugham and Me series
Beheaded on Road to Nationhood: Sarawak Reclaimed—Part I.