December Sell-a-bration #19: Steady Progress Has Lead to a Surprise Offer

By Donna McDine

What a perfect time of the year for reflection. At the beginning of 2008 I took the advice of a writing mentor and wrote down my goals for the year.  And to my pure delight I have had great satisfaction checking many of them off.

The following consistent positive steps I have taken throughout 2008 have been instrumental in my success:

Maintaining and updating my website at least four times per month and blogging two to three times a week. Both my website and blog offer writer’s of all levels an opportunity to learn from veteran authors with personal interviews, book reviews and valuable writing information links to writer’s resources. Up-to-date information will keep readers informed on  upcoming events at the Metro NY SCBWI, Eastern NY SCBWI, and Musing Our Children.

I consistently obtain and study sample issues from the children and parenting magazine markets to get a feel for their slant. My submission goal per month is a combination of three to four queries, articles, and short stories.

My ongoing participation in two critique groups has been critical to my success as a writer. The critique of each member’s manuscript not only benefits the person that submits, but the person that critiques. A wealth of information is exchanged and helps all involved in developing a stronger writing voice. It is a true give and take opportunity to learn and grow as a writer…resulting in a camaraderie that develops over time.

Attending children writer’s conferences has given me the opportunity to reach beyond the computer and network face-to-face with fellow writer’s and have manuscripts critiqued by seasoned professionals.

My marketing (hmmm…I wonder where I learned about getting known before the book deal…LOL) efforts include the development of my December debut free newsletter, “Write What Inspires You!”  Momentum continues to build and I’m already at 85 opt-in subscribers.

Giving support and asking support through my weekly interaction and commenting on fellow writer’s blogs, and the Institute of Children’s Literature and SCBWI boards has also become another instrumental marketing tool for my writing career.

These consistent positive steps rewarded me with publishing success in over 15 print and online e-zines.

To top off the year, a surprise offer was made to me at the Muse Online Writer’s Conference in direct relation to my marketing efforts of my writing career.  My official announcement will be made on January 1, 2009.  Until then, mums the word.  You can check back weekly at my blog – http://www.donna-mcdine.blogspot for teasers and hints to this unexpected offer that will take my writing career down a path I had not even thought of.


6 Responses to “December Sell-a-bration #19: Steady Progress Has Lead to a Surprise Offer”

  1. 1 Erin Goodman December 19, 2008 at 7:07 am

    Donna ~ Congratulations!!! Thanks for sharing such tangible (and manageable) action steps — along with such wonderful inspiration!!


    PS ~ I had to add “.com” to the link in the story be able to view your blog.

  2. 2 Dorothy Massey December 19, 2008 at 9:03 am

    Hi Donna, It’s great to see how much you’ve achieved. I think this is a really worthwhile excercise and goes well with the goal setting for 2009 exercise I completed recently.I’ll try to write down my achievements before the end of the year and post them to my blog and this one. May 2009 see you keep acheiving, Dorothy

  3. 3 writerinspired December 19, 2008 at 10:13 am


    What an inspiring list of accomplishments! I signed up for the Muse Online conference too, but unfortunately did not participate as much as I would have liked. I’m curious, where you a “student” or “teacher” in the conference? I’m going to check out your blog and newsletter now!
    Mary Jo

  4. 4 Donna McDine December 19, 2008 at 11:44 am

    Erin and Dorothy…thanks for visiting and leaving such lovely comments. Erin…thanks for the adjustment on my blog address. Typos do have a way of sneaking their way in.

    Here’s to inspiration in 2009!

  5. 5 writethejourney December 19, 2008 at 1:33 pm

    Congrats on taking such concrete steps and seeing results! Manageable goals are key and you are a living example. Keep up the good work! Jenni

  6. 6 Donna McDine December 21, 2008 at 10:06 am

    Mary Jo…thanks for stopping by. I attended the Muse Conference as a student. Participated in many workshops and lectures. Next year I am going to take the whole week off to have more time.

    Jenni…thanks for your lovely words of support…it is appreciated.

    Here’s to a successful 2009 for all!

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