For my 2016 wrap-up, I’ve sorted through all my blogs and pulled out the best advice for writers, from setting yourself up to write with the correct mindset to mitigating writer’s block to editing like a pro. Here are the best juicy tidbits, as well as links to the full blog post for more details.
Enjoy! And make the most of the last few days of 2016 by thinking about your writing!
Mindset is everything when you start writing. Writers have to be confident and poised (overall, not every minute of the day). We have to be focused and brave (again, it’s not a constant). And we have to write, write, write, even if we delete the bulk of the text. (Remember that time spent being creative is never wasted.) We all have some insecurities with writing. Some people may feel like everyone is succeeding but them. Others hate writing about themselves because they feel arrogant. Still others lack the confidence to really shine through their words. The point is that we all feel that way. You aren’t alone! Step up and give your writing a chance! You will be fine. Really.
So here are a couple of my favorite mindset blogs to boost your confidence and help you feel like the rock star that you are!
- What I Learned at my First Book Festival as an Author
- Why You Feel Arrogant Writing About Yourself & How to Dispel that Guilt
- Stop Feeling Like a Fraud so You Can Share Your Story
My blogs about writer’s block have been incredibly popular this year, whether I’m approaching the mitigation or how to encourage creativity from the start. Setting up a writing ritual (place, time, and steps taking before writing) can help get your brain and body used to what comes next: writing. And knowing what sparks your creativity from rereading older work in the same genre or taking five minutes to do yoga can encourage brilliance when you do have the time to write. Of course, we aren’t always perfect, so knowing how to get unstuck is useful, too. My favorite way is to make myself feel successful by finishing a piece that I actually feel like writing. Once I regain that confidence, I can move on to the piece where I previously felt trapped. Here are the tips:
- Why You Should Develop a Writing Ritual and How
- Quick Tips to Spark a Creative Mindset
- Tricks for Overcoming Writer’s Block
When you want to start a book, either fiction or non, you have to think about your audience, purpose, style, and tone. I encourage my coaching clients to write down details about each and refer back to that information periodically. This helps you keep focused on your ideal audience so you don’t stray and aim for too broad of readership. Here are my posts about identifying those things for your specific book!
- How to Pinpoint the Perfect Audience for Your Writing
- How to Ensure that Your Writing Focuses on Your Purpose
- How to Refine Your Tone and Style to Connect with Readers
Before you get into the meat of your book, you will need to consider the best way to develop a rich text. Knowing how to interview others about their stories is one way to create a book, especially if you are positioning yourself as an expert. Adding questions, developing a workbook, or listing exercises that accompany the text can also benefit the readers and strengthen your position. For fiction writers, developing relatable characters by showing, not telling, or by patterning their relationships and conversations to appear realistic can help keep readers connected with your story. One of my favorite tips (which I didn’t come up with) deals with looking at Myers-Briggs personalities to help make your characters’ seem like real people. Pure genius!
- The Secret Scoop on Effective Interviewing
- Sweeten the Experience: Develop a Richer Connection with Readers of Inspiring Non-fiction
- 5 Stellar Ways to Write Relatable Characters
Editing is, well, my favorite activity. Honestly. And though it may feel like an extra layer of work to an already long process, editing a book before working with an editor is so worth it. You can polish it to the best of your ability, cutting unnecessary words, clearing up ambiguity, etc. so your editor can perform a higher-level edit, which gives you the best book you can put out. Just pulling out “very” can trim your word count and provide you with more interesting words. So here are my best pieces for your editing journey.
- What to Cut to Tighten Your Writing
- Essential Questions for Editing Your Non-Fiction Book
- How to Review Your Writing Like a Professional Editor
We can’t forget all my free downloads to help keep you on the right track with your writing.
2016 has been a wild ride for me. I started my blog in April, and I’ve consistently posted every Wednesday, ever since! I never imagined that I would have so much to say about writing and editing, but ten years as a professional, as well as being a published author, has given me an endless supply of topics. Really!
Did I cover everything you want to know? Probably not. So what did I leave out? Let me know in the comments! Help me keep providing valuable content so you can rock your writing and editing! And thanks for reading in 2016!
And if you need a little extra help writing that book, check out my upcoming eCourse Put Your Passion to Paper! It’s for experts, coaches, and those with inspiring stories to learn how to write and edit their books. Woohoo!
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