Jamaica Gleaner
Published: Sunday | December 30, 2012
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Pointers on Publishing Your Next Chapter

Corine La Font, Contributor

We are at that point in the year where everyone starts reflecting on the past year and thinking of the future. We reminisce, we see where we went wrong, what we could have done better, where we had regrets, where we wasted time and money and a whole bunch of other stuff. The thing about doing this type of introspection and hindsight evaluation is to, hopefully, learn from all that and NOT make those mistakes again in the coming year. So what would your next chapter be titled?

Could it be:

Write that book I always wanted to write or exhume the half-written manuscript I started and never finished. Set a date and just do it like Nike says in their ad. Dust off that half-written manuscript and breathe some life back into it again. Starting a new book? Just go with the feeling and start writing. My suggestion: start with some headings or chapter titles and then fill in the body. Oh sure, it may not be the best seller at first go, but it is a work in progress. Keep at it. You will know within yourself when it is ready. Then show your friends and family members and ask them for their honest feedback. Tweak as necessary and start the feedback process again until they say it is OK and you feel it is right.

Start budgeting

Well here is a big one we ALL need to do. We tend to spend and a common statement we hear is: "I don't know where the money went". To know, you need to budget and don't spend more than your means. Keep track of what you are spending and remember everything must be justified. This is important for once marketing and promoting you and your book, you need to have a marketing budget and each item on that plan must be attached to a figure which must be justified or else I suggest finding an alternative approach.

I want more work-life balance

Oh yeah! The biggest of them all. Who doesn't cry out for this everyday?! My suggestion: Find some way to make time for yourself. You're working hard and you're spending the money, no doubt! But when you look at the list, you are either last on that list or NOT there at all! Hmm. Make the decision to do the stuff you want to do. If it is to feel good about yourself and exercising will do that - then just do it! If it is a spa treatment once a month, then do it! If it is to spend time with your family or friends at a movie or dinner, then do it. If writing and reading is your pleasure then set aside time for it.

Decide and put it into action and be accountable to someone that you trust who will make sure it happens!

I want to start my own business

Remember, being an author is a business. I recently listened to a presentation done by Robert Kiyosaki that he did many years ago. At that time, he maintained his position six years in a row on the New York Times Best Seller list and sold 12 million copies. He made it clear that he is not a best selling writer, he is a best selling author because he still does not know how to write or even punctuate. He failed English at school and if he was given the exam again, he would still fail. He wanted the audience to know that he is an entrepreneur and that's it! His books help sell his business. So people, whatever business you decide to do, make sure you are the best, knowledgeable, unique offering business person out there and use your books as a way to sell your business or make sure you have a business behind the book.

I follow success, why reinvent the wheel. Go for it! Start with doing an inventory of your skills. List them under categories and determine if there is a demand for such skills by doing your research. This doesn't have to cost you a cent. Use the Internet, ask friends and family and go with your gut feeling! Robert Kiyosaki was turned down many times and ignored when he was pitching his idea of Rich Dad, Poor Dad. Start with the mindset that you will succeed and keep pushing until you do. You may have to make changes along the way but that's business, it is dynamic. Roll with the punches, dust off and get back in that ring!

A nice way to be reminded of the goals you set for yourself in the coming year is to use a visualisation board. I found a great tool that comes with some inspirational thoughts and other cool stuff from none other than Oprah to keep you motivated and targeted. Here's the link: http://www.freecatcher.com/Software/Oprahs-Free-Virtual-Vision-Board-Application.

If you use this tool right, that is, keep it in your sight and mind everywhere you go, you will start seeing results because it will constantly be in your head, that inner voice reminding you to 'Just do it'.

Don't make fear or embarrassment hold you back from achieving your dreams. Paste those images and write those goals you want for 2013 and beyond! I recently read an article in one of Oprah's O magazines and it was an ah-ha moment for me. I will share it with you. This was her January 2011 issue, Vol 12, No.1 at the time when she was fearful of starting her OWN company.

Oprah stated, "Fear comes from uncertainty. Once you clarify your purpose for doing something, the way to do it becomes clear." She further went on to state, "Let this be your year (to) release your fears about what you can achieve. Know for sure what you want and be willing to give yourself what you need to get it."

I wish for each and every one of you a blessed and achievable New Year when it comes!

Corine La Font is an author, certified author assistant and online book marketing specialist. Get a copy of her book at http://amzn.to/TFHQka. Tune in to her radio programme at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/helpdeskja. She can be reached at corine@helpdeskja.com or visit her website at www.helpdeskja.com.

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