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When I agreed to write these monthly posts I promised to be honest. And I feel confessional, but I declare that this will be the last post explaining how I didn’t get any writing done. However, until next month, I need to face something. I’m scared. Scared, I’m not good enough. Scared, I’ll never have anything completed. Scared, I’m a fraud. Scared, writing isn’t what I was meant to do. I understand that all writers have these thoughts, but honestly, until recently I was void of these.
A lot of us use beta readers to help us make sure we’ve hit all the right tropes. Find any slow, confusing or clunky bits and for general constructive feedback. They’re a failsafe, a link between author and reader to ensure what we’ve written will be well received by the reader. But on some rare occasions you might find your beta reader isn’t as shiny as you thought…
April already? Really? Well, the first quarter has come and gone and not many words or anything published to show. My overall plan was to have 2016 take off like a rocket ship, but as of today we are still stuck on the launch pad. However, there are some takeaways from these first three months that I believe will help propel me to success. And I share them with you in hopes you can learn faster than I did.
Honoree Corder provides straightforward advice about overcoming the obstacles holding back writers from achieving financial and personal freedom in her book Prosperity for Writers. It is a self-help book that can apply to not only writers, but also any general business endeavor.
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This post isn’t intended to be a braggery kind of post, but hopefully offer up some helpful tips for any writer who wants to write faster and get a ton of words down on the page. The way I do this isn’t for the faint of heart and isn’t something I just woke up one morning and said “I’m going to be a crazy ass writing fool today.” I write fast- and this just tells you how fast and how much I can write when I’m properly motivated.
Even if you have no desire to ever try any of this kind of lunacy (much like I enjoy running well enough to do a 5K, but I have no desire to run a marathon), you might find a tip or trick here in any case.
Prior to this particular 2-day writing marathon, my personal best for 2 solid days of writing was in the 20-22K word range. I had done that several times, and I honestly thought this marathon was going to be the same. Turns out, because I needed to get to “THE END” no matter what- I needed to go longer than I anticipated. Luckily, I had set myself up to do it and out popped the necessary 6,000 more words.
Let’s dig in…
Whenever you look at your sales you often wonder what you’re going to get. It’s a mixed bag of squee and WTF? Will you have oodles of sales and page reads or will there be no change or something worse. This comic illustrates what goes through our minds when that something worse appears…
Author Jim Johnson has decided to set himself a challenge. He’s going to write three novels in three months. For some that is a very bold challenge. In order to achieve this Jim has decided on a plan. One part of that plan is to carefully outline his three books and to do that he is enlisting Scrivener’s help.
I feel so far behind. My brain says why bother? I open the computer and stare. I tell myself a million times a day, “you should be writing.” I pace around my dining room table with my Mac mocking me. I lie awake at night thinking about story ideas. Yet, I don’t write.
There are huge numbers of indie writers out there that have multiple books under their belt. Some are making great money, some are not, but all of them have written more than me. And I feel inferior. The angrier I get about this fact, the less I feel like writing. My gut tells me there isn’t enough time to get anything completed. I end up feeling frustrated about my lack of progress. I don’t write. It is a vicious circle.
This is advice that all authors receive at one point or another and that is: to never read the reviews.
Sometimes we do. We can’t help it. We authors are a curious lot. I’m sure we’ve all sneaked a peak and found something that irked our authorly minds. So I’m sure you can totally relate to the below stick figure comic about being an author…
We recently interviewed Mina Carter on the SPRT podcast (episode #119) and I asked her about about mindset and amongst the great answers, she said she writes even when she doesn’t want to, when she thinks she is out of ideas. She ended her sentence saying that she just shook her head whenever she heard people say that they could only write when they are “inspired” (she used the verbal version of the quotes I just used there).
I shuddered and may or may not have gone on a mini diatribe (ok, I totally did). I hear this very specific type of fallacy often from writers that are better than me but are not doing the work. It usually sounds like this:
I really do want to write, but I sit down and I can’t get inspired to write . I can even write a few things, but then I can’t get into it or I read what I have written and start over.
Writing a novel is an immense undertaking, and before you finish it you think it’s the most daunting thing you’ll ever do. Then you DO finish it, and suddenly you need to figure out how to get people to read it.
Before long you realize you need to learn this strange sorcery called marketing, so you start asking around, reading blog posts, and digesting anything else you think will help. Then you start posting ‘look I wrote a book’ to Facebook, Twitter, and anywhere else you think people might see it.
People throw rotten tomatoes, and you quickly retreat back into your introvert shell. You realize that all the Facebook groups you joined are full of other people like you who are also yelling BUY MY BOOK as loudly as possible.
The method described above is the hunting approach. Your prey are readers, and you are stalking them through the internet wilds. The sad reality is that isn’t very effective. Readers are canny prey. You must get them to come to you. How? You’ll have to
Well, there it goes. Turn, wave and smile at the beauty that slipped through your grasp. It was meant to be grand affair. A new relationship with your writer self and what you are to become. Of course, I’m referring to January. The month where you get to start over and make everything right. Did it happen for you? For me?
You probably already know that you can select up to two categories and up to seven keywords when publishing your book on Amazon’s KDP. But what you might not know is how to best utilise them to make your book more visible and stand out among the masses of other books in your genre.
– keyword stuffing
– special keywords
– ninja keywords (title and blurb)
– additional notes
The round up is a wee bit late this week. But better late than never, right? And it’s packed tight with even more news and helpful tidbits than usual!
This round up includes: Amazon tech that’ll help attract more readers and listeners, helpful resources to keep you running on time, Diana Gabaldon’s suggestions on writing sex scenes, catfishing book bloggers, the Authors Guild finally picking the right fight (I know, right?) and the late, great David Bowie (RIP).
A quick round up of indie publishing related news and stuff up until 4 January 2016. Includes: Kobo, Apple, audiobooks, scrivener template, advertising and much much more!
Urban fantasy author Domino Finn decided he wanted to write and release a bestseller. In order to do this he had to sit down and come up with a plan. One that required some research and brutal self-assessment.
Not much to report at this time of the year but we’ve found a few things to tickle your fancy 🙂
As always we have: helpful resources (Joss Whedon is the best resource), something about B&N, Australian Kobo readers, why you should write a guest post for the SPRT blog and other stuff!