Have you ever gotten a brilliant idea for a book and started writing right away before the idea disappears? Then you get about a dozen pages in and suddenly stop.
That sounds familiar.
You don’t know who’s going to read it. You don’t know why they want to read it. You don’t know what point you want to make. You don’t know if you want to educate them or help them change their lives or exactly what.
There is an awful lot that you don’t know!
What you DO know, though, is that pushing yourself to write anything more in this book is not going to be productive. So you stop. And you wait. And the book ends up in your file of “Brilliant Book Ideas that are Going Nowhere.” Ugh.
Have you ever heard the phrase “Many a false step is made by standing still”? I got that in a fortune cookie recently, and it really made me think. Inaction is just as bad as action in the wrong direction. Why? Because neither is leading us toward our purpose. Even worse, sometimes this inaction can take us so far away from the writing project that we lose interest altogether and simply deem it a failure. Continue reading
We have been living in our house for about six years now, and I have never seen grasshoppers on our porch until the past couple weeks. It started with one a few days ago that my daughter noticed on the bottom of my shoe (my legs were crossed, so my foot was in the air).
The girls were curious about the grasshopper and wanted to touch it and watch it. They wanted to know what he was doing, where he was going, and what he eats. Then my oldest wanted to put him in a jar with some food so he could hang out with us inside. She got an absolute “no” on that one.
He eventually hopped onto the patio sofa and then the wall behind me. The girls pulled up chairs and watched him hopping up the wall, pausing, and then hopping again. They got bored and played a little longer. An hour later, he was on the ceiling. Continue reading
Of all the different things that cause writer’s block, fear can be the most difficult one to hurdle. It’s not something you can get over in an afternoon. It’s not something that passes with a mood. It can be very real and paralyzing, and it can prevent you from ever starting your book, let alone finishing it.
Sometimes we freeze when we start thinking about what happens next. What will people think of me? Will anyone read this? How can I let myself be judged?
Being authentic is scary, and opening your soul to the world—whether you write fiction or non—requires some degree of bravery. Unless you are a narcissist, you likely care about what people think of you and your writing.
So how do you get over this seemingly insurmountable hurdle? Continue reading
Have you ever noticed that when you have a rough day, you just don’t feel like writing? Maybe you sit down at your desk and push yourself anyway. If you actually type anything though and don’t end up tossing your laptop against the wall, when you go back later and read it, is it any good?
There is a good reason for this. You are in the wrong energy for writing.
When you aren’t in the flow of your best energy, then you aren’t going to write like you. It can feel forced, frustrated, angry. And worst of all, when you read it later, that energy shines through. You don’t want to read it, and no one else will either.
The best thing you can do is to actually put yourself in the mood for writing. Continue reading
Do you ever look around and think, “Only famous people get their books published?” or “No one is going to buy my books. Why bother?”
Or maybe you’ve been thinking about stepping outside of your comfort zone to tell your personal story or share your expertise. But then you recall that another expert might put you in your place. What if your ideas are wrong?
Every writer has thoughts like these from time to time. But are they completely true?
Fear of failure can keep people from writing their books. No one likes to look stupid, so we hesitate when confronted with thoughts about being unable to publish, unable to sell, or unable to compete with others in our industry.
So what’s the truth? Continue reading
If you have ever been asked about your book or your business, then you know you only have a short time to deliver the most important information before the person you’re talking to tunes out or changes the subject. But how do you craft the perfect pitch?
Let’s start with a funny story. Continue reading
“What are you talking about, crazy lady? My book is my total focus! I eat, breathe, and sleep this story!”
Sure you do. Now. But what happens when writer’s block creeps in? Or you start smelling funny? Keeping your nose to the grindstone isn’t a practical long-term work method, is it?
Our inspiration may ebb and flow, but that doesn’t mean that our time devoted to our craft should. Especially when you work from home, your personal life can become a problematic distraction from your work, and that is never a good thing. Continue reading
This past weekend, I went to a three-day women’s retreat for leadership and business. Each of the five women who went spoke on a topic that would resonate with the group, all of us being entrepreneurs. I talked about how to write about yourself, for bios or about pages, because so many people have confessed to being stressed by just thinking about it. One of the other women talked about a book called The One Thing, and ideas from that book have permeated my thoughts since.
Watering it down (a lot): the author states that we should focus on one thing and do it well. Naturally, I was conflicted. Part of my job is to advise people on how to write books, and most of those people are doing multiple things, not just one. Stolen moments away from work, housework, friends, and family are usually how we cobble together a novel.
How can we expect to write to the best of our ability if we should truly focus on “one thing”? Continue reading
I’m part of a business coaching mastermind group run by Kimberly Adams, and participating in a discussion about my our money mindset during our sessions made me think about how this applies to other areas of our lives, aside from business. So I wanted to dive into how your money mindset could be holding you back from writing a book.
Many people have told me that writing a book is too expensive, and yes, there are a lot of things you can invest in. You might need software, coaching, cover art, interior drawings if you’re doing a children’s book, and editing, and that doesn’t even get into the cost of publication. Depending on the publishing company you decide on, you could have set up fees, and if you don’t use print on demand, you may have to order a specific amount of books upfront. And after you have the book? Marketing, website, etc.
I don’t want to tell you that it’s not expensive. “Expensive” depends on your perspective, your job, or who you choose to work with on the various aspects of the book and the business to follow.
However, what I do want to address is how you look at the money that you’re spending on a book. It’s an investment. It’s just like anything else you want to spend your money on. You have to think about how you will feel when you actually publish your book. You have to consider if it’s worth what you will spend on it. Continue reading
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! Continue reading