The anti-ick guide to building your brand as a writer

What I really, really want this year is admittedly huge and will have the longest-lasting impact on my writing life: I want to define my writing brand and orient my work toward that end.

Before you ick out over the word "brand" when it's applied to a creative craft, let me share how I'm defining this: I want to figure out who I am as a writer, what my voice sounds like, the type of stories I want to tell, the messages I want to impart. Phew, that's a big one. But I think it's time.

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No more stalling: Plan your next quarter's projects this week

The end of a year is full of actions you're meant to take, from setting earnest health goals to making amends with friends. December is a grand rush to tie up loose ends and skate into the new year fresh and apple-cheeked.

What we have in common, my friends, is that we want to write well, and we want to do it year-round, not just in January. So let's talk about the self-care work you'll want to do before you even start writing that outline.

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What is the unknown territory of your writing?

There were many, many years in your favorite writer's life when she didn't have any books published. She just had a collection of ideas, like you. Like all of us who want to become better at our vocation.

What feels like the biggest hurdle for you right now? Are you too busy trying to survive it with the tools you already have to put a name to it, break it down and tackle it?

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