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Don’t Sabotage Your Writing Career Before It Takes Off – Part 4

Sticking To One Genre Of Writing

Be open to writing other things besides novels. It’s interesting to read and listen to some writers whose basis for measuring other writers’ writing career depends on published novels while leaving novellas, short stories and poetry behind for those whom they term ‘amateur writers.’

Writing, Writing Career, Short Stories, Stories, Novels, Poetry

 

A ‘writing career’ is first and foremost all about writing and earning a living through your writing. Then the second aspect of your writing career is choosing to specialize. Focusing on one area narrows your reach. Some writers struggle to acknowledge themselves as one because they have don’t have published novels in their catalogue thereby underrating their creative channels. Read more…

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Writers Blood…

I Am A Writer, Writing Humour, Writing Quotes, Writers Life, Make-Believe

Words are not cheap

‘cos writer’s spill their blood with ink

and commit lots of murder.

For pity’s sake

help us raise funds for bail.

©

Jacqueline

Do check out my latest book in town ‘Unbridled,’ now available on Amazon. 

Book cover, Unbridled, Poetry book, Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha, Bold Must-read

Available in paperback on Amazon. Check This Link

Don’t Sabotage Your Writing Career Before It Takes Off – Part 3

Read The Bestsellers With A Critical Eye

sabotaging writing career - reading best-sellers, cultivate reading habits,

Cultivate Excellent Reading Skills

To become an excellent writer, it doesn’t go without saying that you also have to cultivate excellent reading habits.

No, it’s not enough to read only blog posts and the current rags, but make time for more than the cursory reading of best sellers.

Reading is like an apprenticeship and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with learning from the high achievers of the literary world.

Many people want to become the next big or upcoming author, yet it will amaze you how many of these people don’t bother to read the authors that are successful. I’ve had a number of closet writers tell me that they don’t read best sellers because most of them are rip offs and crap.

Some time ago, I mentioned in a blog post that I was reading A Prisoner of Birth: by Jeffrey Archer, and another blogger went full frontal attack on J. Archer and how he hires a team of writers to do his writing. How he has probably never written a full novel blah, blah.

To say the least, that was a put-off that left a negative impression.

The Quirky Excuses For Not Reading Bestsellers

  • The notion that best sellers are rip-off’s and crap

If the idea of hiring a team of writers to hash out an idea into a book is a crime, then I’ll probably become guilty of such crime myself – hopefully, sometime in the future.

We all know that writing series of best-selling novels is not an easy feat. I’ve not written one yet, but from my writing experience, I can imagine how mentally draining and flat ass working hours are spent constructing such engaging novels.

If a writers life could be made easier by engaging others to help out with a project, then I say ‘good for them,’ besides, they are providing some income to these ghost writers as well as providing grounds for the background writer to hone his/her skills.

When someone takes the pain to describe a best seller as crap, they usually offer lame statements like:

“Oh, I read classics.” There’s absolutely nothing wrong with reading Dickens, Charlotte Bronte, Virginia Woolf, Fitzgerald and the host of dead writers out there, but the problem with this argument is that you can’t enter the huge ever-changing marketplace of books if you don’t know what the trend is and what buyers are looking out for. Read more…

DON’T SABOTAGE YOUR WRITING CAREER BEFORE IT TAKES OFF – PART 2

That Single Title Won’t Make You Rich

Here’s the thing, very few authors make money on their first book. In the writing life, a year is nothing. Writing, writing career, published, books, titles

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You did it. Finally, you’ve published that book. Your sweat, blood, and gore went into it. Now it’s time to sit before the fireplace with a glass of wine and rub your palm in anticipation of counting all the dough that will roll in.

This is somewhat embarrassing, but most times our first book and I daresay several titles after hardly causes the Richters scale to shift in our bank balance.1

I have to admit that after I published my first poetry book I had high expectations in my bubbly dream world, but soon enough, reality slapped me awake.1 Quitting one’s hustle and day job was not going to happen quickly.

Anticipating that you’ll be paying bills with your book advance and ROI from your book may not happen by the end of the year or even many years to come.

You might even strike gold and have an agent sign you on, but the challenge of successfully shopping it around and selling it is still a huge probability.

In some cases, when the agent is unsuccessful, they drop you, which is devastating to any writer. As a matter of fact after such unpalatable news, some writers hibernate from writing another word for several years.

Slogging away on a book and revising it for months on end is hard work and the rejections simply make the process discouraging and leaves you with the feeling that you are just wasting your time.

Here’s the thing…read more

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

image credit – pexels

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...

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

Source: Pexels.com

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.