That Single Title Won’t Make You Rich
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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
Sabotaging Your Writing Career Before It Takes Off
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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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.