1. Get clear on your purpose. What value are you uniquely qualified to provide to the world?
2. Know how you want your story to end. Without vision, you’re just rambling.
3. Create an outline. Give some structure to your plan by splitting up and prioritizing your work into smaller tasks.
4. Know your audience. Appeal to your ideal customer.
5. Put it all on paper. Give it all you’ve got. The best stories are risky.
6. Expect writer’s block. Accept your limitations but don’t let them stop you for long. Tap into resources to push through obstacles.
7. Check your tone. Attitude is everything.
8. Create margins. Give yourself a little breathing room to rest, exercise, and have a little fun.
9. Expect mistakes. The first draft is usually rough.
10. Seek feedback. Surround yourself with people you trust who are wiling to say the hard things.
11. Reflect. Give yourself time to take another look tomorrow with fresh eyes.
12. Edit. Prune out the clutter that distracts you from your purpose.
13. Meet your deadline. Stay accountable. Honor your commitment to yourself and others.
14. Sign your name. Own your brand. Share the successes and take responsibility for the failures.
15. Get published. Accept that you’ll never reach perfection. Put yourself out there and be vulnerable.
16. Keep reading. Learn from others’ style and techniques. Stay humble.
17. Celebrate each step of the process. You’re never totally done, so recognize your milestones along the way!
Ella Ritchie is the owner of Stellar Communications, a Houston-based editing and writing company that delivers quality content on time to business leaders, publishers, nonprofit organizations, and federal government agencies. Connect with her on LinkedIn or check out her website for more information.