Friday, April 15, 2011

Guest Post: Shelby Patrick

Today I would like to welcome a guest blogger, Shelby Patrick.  Shelby grew up in Michigan watching classic horror movies. That early love of horror movies has manifested itself in her love of writing thrillers and Fantasy/Science Fiction. Just to round things out, Shelby also enjoys martial arts, animals and astronomy. Welcome Shelby!!!

Stick to Your Guns
 By Shelby Patrick

Shelby Patrick, Author Writing is hard work, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. One of the things that make it so hard is your independence to the job. You don’t necessarily have a boss looking over your shoulder or pushing you to get the next few words out and most often, just finding time to write can be daunting. It helps if you set goals and share those goals with others, then stick to those goals as if your life depended on it (which, to the aspiring writer who wants to make a full-time living at it, it just might!)

When sitting down to make a list of goals, try to be realistic and only use attainable goals. For example, if you have never put pen to paper, it’s not very realistic to expect to become a best-selling novelist in a year. Instead, your goal should be to take writing classes or attend workshops. If you have never made a penny from your writing, fat chance that you’ll be making a six-figure income from your writing in six months.

It’s okay to set forth both short-term and long-term goals. A long-term goal could be to someday write a novel. A short-term goal might be to locate five publishable markets today. It helps to mix it up with both short-term and long-term goals. For instance, my long-term goal is to publish my next thriller novel. To do that, I have made some short-term goals such as: Locating five markets per week, sending out five manuscripts each week, networking online in preparation for the sale, etc.

To make sure you are on schedule, regularly review your goals and see if they have been met. Assessing where you are will help you better regulate those goals and make any changes, if necessary. Remember: Goals are not carved in stone. A demon from the fiery underground will not appear behind you and drag you down for some long, torturous punishment if you missed one of your goals. They can be broken and changed to suit your lifestyle. Things come up that may prohibit you from reaching the goal for the day. It’s okay. It’s not the end of the world.

Don’t make excuses or procrastinate. Just do it. Schedule some time each day to get into your writing. Avoid distractions while “in the zone”. Stick with it and before you know it, you’ll achieve those goals and the next time someone asks what you do, you can proudly say, “I’m a published author.”


Shelby has self-published two creative writing exercise books, Dark Recesses of the Mind and Forbidden Knowledge, a short horror and science fiction collection entitled The Fear Within, and a supernatural thriller, When Angels Sing.

When Angels Sing Cover Art WHEN ANGELS SING came out in December 2010. The main male character, Blaze Kerrigan, is a typical young guy (with sex on the mind most days), but with one peculiar problem – he has a psychic link to a serial killer. So when Jenna Michaels shows up at his door unannounced and bears an uncanny resemblance to his dead fianc√©e, it’s Blaze’s job to keep her safe, especially when the body count starts to rise.

To see the trailer for WHEN ANGELS SING, please visit:

All of Shelby’s titles can be purchased at

Shelby Patrick

 ** Find Shelby Patrick on Twitter (@shelbypatrick) or Facebook **

Be sure to stop by Robert Medak's blog  tomorrow to meet another great author, Margaret Fieland. 


Karen Cioffi said...

Shelby, great advice. Every writing coach and market expert I've read or listened to has the same advice: make sure you have a plan and actually write down your goals. Some advise to prepare a weekly goal list and have at least 3 long term goals to strive toward.

And, following through is essential.

I'm terrible at the goal setting, and I know I really need to buckle down and do a weekly plan.

Thanks for sharing, and the reminder!

Mari said...

Shelby, so glad to have you on the blog today! Looking forward to reader feedback!

Nancy Famolari said...

I agree, Shelby, writing is hard work. Your advice about goal setting is excellent. Having goals lets you know where you're going. Nice interview!

Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

Ahhh, yes. Perserverance! I've seen so many writers give up on writing or give up on promotion just before things started getting good. Now they'll never feel the joy!
Carolyn Howard-Johnson
Blogging writers' resources at Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites pick

SP said...

Hi Mari,

Thanks for hosting me today. Hi everyone! :-)

Magdalena Ball said...

Good post Shelby. I think a lot of people dream about writing and forget about the discipline (the 99% perspiration) of it. As you rightly point out, goals (and being your own taskmaster) are critical.

Donna M. McDine said...

Sound advice! Thank you for your words of wisdom. The road to publication success is long, but oh so worth it!

Heidiwriter said...

Yes, writing IS hard work! Anyone who says it isn't, hasn't tried it! But, it's also rewarding. Congrats on your book.

kathy stemke said...

Thanks for the nudge. I neede it. Consistency is an important key to producing great writing.