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Don’t Sabotage Your Writing Career Before It Takes Off

Sabotaging Your Writing Career Before It Takes Off

Writing, Learn Rules, Writing Career, Mistakes, Memoir

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Yes, we all learn from our mistakes, however, we don’t have to make all the mistakes before we learn. We can equally learn from the mistakes of others.

In the pursuit of our writing careers, there are mistakes that have the potential to truncate it even before it begins. I am not excited to say that I have made a good number of them and still working to dig myself out of my errors.

I am equally ashamed to say that I fall into the category of writers with piles of half-finished stories and essays yet to be polished and sent to potential publishers.

The great thing is that though these mistakes might derail your quest for a while, with the right approach, you can get back on track.

Writing ‘A Pipe Dream.’

I’ve met a lot of would-be writers who are either ‘working on a book,’ or planning ‘to start working’ on one – when they can find the time – and most of them have worked on that elusive book of theirs for years and years that they’ve even forgotten what the story was about in the first place.

Interestingly, they don’t share their attempts with anyone. They also hardly bother to read guides, blogs or articles that could help to improve their writing career. If you are such a closet writer who fails to show your work to anybody and unable to compare it to what’s obtainable out there, you are living in that highly deceptive fantasy land that your work is fabulous.

For some reason, lots of nonfiction writers think that writing a how-to book, a memoir or an autobiography is easier to write than fiction and this is far from the truth.

Writing nonfiction requires careful structuring — especially a memoir. Read More...

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Make The Blank Page Your Theatre Of Dreams

Writing, Tips, Pencil and Sharpener

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Any writer that tells you that they don’t suffer from ‘writer’s block’ is lying. They may have discovered a few tips and tricks to help them shoot this problem down with a draw quicker than The Outlaw Jose Wales, but they still have moments where they stare at the blank page like a prison cell. It is only natural. It is sometimes inevitable. But, as the great Charles Bukowski so aptly said, writing about writer’s block is better than not writing at all. Amen.

 

With this thought treading water in our frontal lobes recently, we went and spoke to a handful of writers and asked them how they get themselves back on track and get the creative juices flowing once more.

Creativity, Painting, Paint Bowls

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Do Something Else Creative

Pick up a paintbrush and start splashing color around. Take on some poetry. Try your hand at graphic design. Go and dig out your old photos and make a gorgeous collage out of them. Go and build something in your shed or whittle something out of wood. Whatever takes your fancy, so long as it stirs your imagination. Just step away from the page for a bit and find a well of inspiration to get you going again. It could be a few minutes break or an hour, maybe a few days or a week. It doesn’t matter. Just step away and refill.

Writer, Free write, scribbling

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The Art of Freewriting

Writer’s block tends to creep into our being when we are writing something that has a purpose. So why not write without a purpose and start writing whatever comes into your mind. Start a sentence with the word ‘camembert’ or the name ‘Isaac’ and see where the pen takes you, see where you go. Don’t even concern yourself with grammar or punctuation, just write anything that comes to your head, and write as freely as possible. You’ll find that this freewriting exercise will inspire new ideas. Don’t ask us how just know that it will.

Exercise, Body Movement, Fluidity, Movement, Art

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Your Body Was Made To Move

That is a fact of life, so why not allow yourself the chance to let it move. Go for a walk, climb the stairs, do ten minutes of yoga or take on a thirty-minute bike ride. Put on some music and dance. Even a simple stretch will do. Just make sure you move once in awhile. When your body starts moving and flowing so will you mind, and that is where words follow suit. It is to do with the endorphins that get released. They make you creative, and that’s what you need to beat back the blank page.

love-pen-bed-drinking-writing-reading

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The Early Bird And All That

The mind can do amazing things when it is still half asleep. It latches onto the pattern of your dreams and that encourages you to be more creative and in touch with the subconscious, from which some of the most astounding results will fall onto the paper. Try it. Try getting up at 4 o’clock, or 5 or 6 o’clock, and see what your brain churns up while still unsure as to why you are awake at this hour. You’ll be surprised at how quickly any notion of writer’s block disappears.

Ready To Get Your Book Out Into The World

There’s nothing better than being a writer, other than a writer who has actually managed to finish writing a book! That’s an achievement in itself. But as you’re probably already aware, this is only the beginning of the journey of your book (and hopefully your writing career!).

If you want your book to be read by people other than your close friends and family, you’re going to have to do more than type ‘The End’ in your novel.

Writing, Typewriter, Notepad, Notebook, Workspace, Glasses, Writer

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First Thing’s First

You think you’ve finished your book, but you haven’t. Even if it’s been through several rounds of drafts already, there’s at least one edit you can do! There always is.

Go through it and be as critical as you can be; even if you end up trimming fifty pages, it’ll be worth it if your book is as strong as possible. But remember: there is such a thing as spending too long on a book. Being thorough is fine, but being obsessed is not!

Building an Audience

Unless your novel has a title and cover that instantly draws people in (they’re rare but do happen!), you’re going to have to build an audience for your book before it’s launched. This will involve being an active social media user, following like-minded people, and try to become part of a community interested in the genre of books you’re planning to publish.

As well as social media, you should also have your own website and blog, where you’ll be posting snippets from your book, as well as giving ‘behind the scenes’ insights into the process of writing and publishing. The more people who read your blog, the more chance you’ll have of selling copies to as many people as possible.

Finalizing the Book

When it comes to finalizing the book, you’ll need to think about which avenues you want to sell it through. There are many good websites out there that allow self-published authors offer their book to an audience.

You’ll also want to have your book printer, regardless of whether you plan to sell it in a hard copy form or only digital; book printing is inexpensive, gives your book a professional look, and is useful for sending out to websites in exchange for a review. Also, it just looks pretty darn cool to have a copy of your own book just sitting there on your bookshelf!

Promoting the Book

When the book is out there, don’t sit back and hope for a surprise runaway success; be proactive. Send books out in exchange for an honest review, try to arrange interviews for websites (and local media if you think they’d be responsive), and make sure you’re making regular social media posts about it.

And onto the Next One

You won’t have gotten into the self-publishing game just for this one book. You’re in it for the long haul. While you’re promoting your present book, keep an eye out for ideas about your next book, and start writing as soon as you can.

APPLY THE MINI-SKIRT RULE – ESSENTIAL WRITERS TIPS

USING THE MINI-SKIRT RULE

Mini skirt rule, writing tips, keep short, cover everything, writers, Golden rule

One of the golden rules of writing is the ‘mini-skirt rule.’ Using the mini-skirt rule can certainly make your prose sexier and vibrant; if you get my drift.

The rule indicates that you should ‘keep your prose long enough to cover everything, but short enough to keep it interesting for your readers.’

Don’t have your writing dressed up like a Victorian lady trussed up in a ball gown with girdles and multi-layered petticoats, topped off with a jacket and a bountiful hat of peacock feathers and flowers. Phew! That is literally exhausting to think of.

It’s a fine art to write in a strategic manner and to create a balance between keeping the bare necessities with some flesh to the bones and over spilling the prose with excesses.

For writers of fiction, don’t waste your words and bore your readers to such tears that your story or your book ends up in the dust gathering pile of books that went unread.

When it comes to length, follow this rule in keeping your story short and engrossing and work at making your book ‘unputdownable.’

‘Cut. Cut. Cut.’

  • Cut words, like those unnecessary adverbs.
  • Cut sentences
  • Cut pages
  • Cut paragraphs
  • Keep it short and simple

Things to consider when editing. READ More…

20 TIPS TO OVERCOME YOUR WRITER CUM BLOGGERS’ BLOCK

Argh! The Writers’ Block

There are days that you would find yourself scribbling and tapping away with much zeal and then the following day you wake up to a blank mind that stretches from one day to the other, then weeks…months…and you are waiting for the inspiration to ignite. You’ve just been visited by the gremlin that blocks creativity aka writers’ block.

Writers Block, Writing, Tips, Solutions, Writers, Avoid Editing

Writers’ block can last for as long as it chooses if you let it. It’s a common malaise that every writer struggles with now and again, but the most important thing is what you do when faced with it.

Writing is an art that takes a lot of brain power, creative energy, focus and mental acuity each time. It’s not a science that has a ‘Eureka formula fix’ as such, we have to approach its solution with that in mind.

Igniting that inspiration is not going to happen unless you take it in hand and having been writing for a while, here are some of the prescribed methods I use to doctor my creative constipation to enable easier passage of inspiration. Read More…

Write on The Toilet – Essential Writers Tips

Write on the toilet

Write till you get that book done.Toilet writing, writers tips, book writing, writing habits, best practice, unconventional approach

Writing till you get that book done may involve some quirky habits like writing on the toilet. As unconventional and as shitty as this approach might sound, have you ever observed that loads of inspiration flood into your mind when you are on the potty or taking a shower?

Surprisingly, the onslaught of inspiration has a way of dwindling down or completely evaporating like a mist when you now settle down to get the writing done.

Here’s a tip…