Tag Archives: writer

7 Lies Writers Believe (and the Truths You Need to Know Instead)

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The writing world is filled with land mines—lies that, when you step on them, blow you right off your creative feet.

I’ve stepped on all of these in my writing career, and every author-friend I know has set them off, too. That tells me they’re pretty common.

Lies Writers Struggle With

I want to help arm you against these painful, dangerous explosions, so I present to you seven lies that writers believe—and the truths that can help you get back on your feet.

Fair warning: this will be a very quote-heavy article. Why? Because I don’t want you to just take my word for it. I want you to see that all creative minds have to navigate these mines—including the best authors in the world.

Lie #1: If you haven’t made it/gotten an agent/become famous by now, you never will.

This is a rough one. When we finally get the courage to start writing (and *gasp* tell people that we are), a funny thing happens: for some reason, others forget everything they know about how skill training works, and they insist we should have “arrived” already.

Baloney. Does anything work that way? Even people with genius taste buds need to learn how to cook. Being “discovered overnight” is an enchanting fantasy, but it’s a dangerous myth.

Here’s the truth: just like getting in shape, climbing a mountain, or memorizing a symphony, writing takes time to master. 

Sam Sykes said once that no matter who you are as an author, you pay your dues at one end or another. To put it another way: it takes many years to be an overnight success. Maybe you haven’t “made it” yet. That doesn’t mean you never will.

“An overnight success is ten years in the making.”
― Tom Clancy, Dead or Alive

“Timing, perseverance, and ten years of trying will eventually make you look like an overnight success.”
― Biz Stone

“It takes 20 years to make an overnight success.”
—Eddie Cantor

“Actually, I’m an overnight success, but it took twenty years.”
—Monty Hall

If you haven’t made it/gotten an agent/become famous by now, you aren’t out of time yet. Keep writing. Keep reading. Don’t quit.

Read the rest of the truth at The Write Practice

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5 Ways your Online Review Screams You’re a Writer and not an Ordinary Reader

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From The Seekers at Seekerville, with guest Melissa Jagears.

 

I know I’m not the only one who has her eyes glaze over when reading influencers-who-also-happen-to-be-writers’ Amazon reviews. I’ll totally skip reviews that look like a writer (or a friend of the author) wrote them because that’s not what I’m looking for as a reader (or even as an author, frankly). So I’d like to share some things that make me bypass a writer’s review.

 

Fellow writers are necessary influencers, don’t get me wrong. But writers need to write their Amazon reviews so readers connect with them. When writing reviews, you need to remember what it was like when you used to be just a reader sharing your favorite book with another reader. Because when my eyes begin glazing over, or your review makes me think you’re the author’s friend, well . . . . that isn’t exactly conducive to persuading me to purchase the book. [A book review on a writer’s blog is different from a store product review which is what I’m addressing.]

 

The reason readers check out reviews before they purchase is to find the opinions of other readers. If I think a writer wrote it, I don’t trust them—even if you don’t know the author from Adam, I’m going to think you do. Because all authors know each other, right? Amazon sure believes we do, hence taking down reviews on other authors because we’re either sabotaging our competition or we’re BFFs working the system, of course! How I can spot a review written by a writer (Besides recognizing the name).

 

1) Writer-reviewers use story craft jargon.

 

Do you remember how lost you were when you joined your first group of writers and they casually chatted about GMCs, interior monologue, and backstory dumps? How many of you had to sheepishly ask, “What does Deep POV mean?”  NIX THE STORY CRAFT JARGON IN YOUR REVIEWS.

 

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Writing My Mother’s Memoir: So Who Is She Really?

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From the folks over at  Color Your Life Published

Today’s guest blogger is Denis Ledoux sharing his experience with writing his mother’s memoir. He’s the author of Should I Write My Memoir?: How to Start (The Memoir Network Writing Series Book 1) Learn more at his website.

Denis' mom is the one standing in center back.

If you are like me, you know many details of your mother’s—or father’s—life. But there may be many vague relationships between this event and that event, between causes and effects. In other words, your parent’s life may end up seeming a mishmash of dates and facts and impressions and none of them blending very well together.

Being a person who has always been interested in family history, I considered myself aware of my mother’s and my father’s lives. Having worked with people to write memoirs, I wanted to be sure that I was not caught, as so many people have been, with not getting my parents’ story while the story was still available—which it wasn’t in my father’s case as he was deceased.

I begin to write

In 2009, I began to focus on interviewing my mother. Every few weeks (she lived in a different city), I would visit with her and get in a half hour interview. Since my mother was not primarily interested in preserving her life story (it was my interest), she was not committed to a beginning-to-end interview process. What I ended up doing was simply asking her questions—often in a conversation. Once back home, I would write down her answers to my questions.

Read the rest at  Color Your Life Published

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Creative Nonfiction Is Not All About Make-Believe

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Posted on Wednesday, April 29, 2015 at 4:46 PM at Editors Only

A publication that offers lessons about writing and process and depth of coverage.

By Peter P. Jacobi

“The time I remember is when I’m about 8 years old,” writes Victoria Blake in a recent issue of Creative Nonfiction. “My mother is serving pork chops 1950s style — bone in, with a little bit of applesauce. In my family, I’m known as a ‘picky eater.’ For example, I eat only the very outside of the meat because the bone terrifies me. There’s a chalky spot in the center which — I know now but didn’t know then — is marrow.

“The bone is unyielding and hard,” Blake continues, “under the tines of my fork — a hardness that, in an instant, conjures the image of a whole skeleton, then an animal walking, an animal eating, an animal living. And that’s when my mother says it: “You should know where your food comes from, Tory. If you don’t eat it, you won’t get any dessert.”

Read the rest at Editors Only

 

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Six Things I Learned While Writing My First Book

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From the good people at LifeHacker

thorinklosowski

Thorin Klosowski

Six Things I Learned While Writing My First Book

Writing a book will almost kill you. By the end, you’ll be exhausted, brain dead, and filled with a bubbling sense of anxiety. I recently finished up my first book, and here are a few takeaways from the ordeal that can be applied to pretty much any large scale project.

Read more at LifeHacker

Reader Question: When Should Indie Authors Publish a Second Book?

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From  on February 26, 2015 in Book Marketing & PR

Don't wait to release your second book.

Last week, a question from Sunayna Prasad came in about building a fan base and how it affects series publishing. Basically, she wanted to know if she should publish the second book in her new series right away, or if she should wait until she has more fans or readers of the first.

Here’s her question:

“I am writing a sequel to my published book. It didn’t sell a lot, but it got a lot of positive reviews, all from strangers. How many fans should I have (whether they bought the book or I gave it away for free) before I publish my sequel. I sold somewhere around 53 copies since a year and a half ago. My goal is to have at least 800 fans before publishing my sequel. The title includes the phrase, book 1, so readers already know that there will be another installment. But is 800 too many for the number of books I have sold?”

 

Read the rest  at All IndieWriters.com

 

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Do writers have to “write what they know?” by Suzanne Chazin

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Writers are often advised to “write what you know.” The thinking goes that only by experiencing something yourself can you portray it
authentically. Here’s what I know:

1. A child’s need for a bathroom is inversely proportional to the distance from one.

2. If you want to discuss something really important with a man, hide the remote.

3. Never enter a swimming pool after a bunch of preschoolers have used it. The same goes for teenagers and your car.

If I had to write solely from personal experience, my novels would have all the excitement of a C-span budget hearing. I’m no Hemingway. I don’t run with the bulls. I type with my hand wrapped around one. Most writers I know are the same. We don’t write what we know so much as what we want to know. In my four published books, I’ve collectively written through the eyes of New York City firefighters, small town detectives, arsonists, high school students and undocumented day laborers. They’ve been of different faiths, nationalities and ethnic backgrounds. Some are men; some are women. Some don’t even speak English.

Don’t get me wrong—writing from personal experience can make a book feel richer, more nuanced and more self-assured. When you’ve walked a terrain, you instinctively know how the ground feels beneath your feet. You have the rock-hard assurance of truth to grab onto when you find yourself lost in the depths of a manuscript. But not every writer has a personal story to tell. And some stories would never find their way onto the page if they had to rely on an eyewitness to set them down. That’s where imagination comes in. And curiosity.

If you want to write outside your own experience, you shouldn’t feel intimidated about doing so. Still, there are some key things to consider:

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What Kind of Self-Pub Are You? A Questionnaire and Tips for Maximizing Your Self-Pub Style

 

 

 

 

 

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4 of a kindby Carla Douglas and Corina Koch MacLeod
@CarlaJDouglas     @ckmacleodwriter

What’s your self-pub personality type? That’s right—there’s more than one!

Maybe you see yourself as one of a kind, and therefore you won’t be thrilled to be lumped into a category with others. On the other hand, you might see yourself as a member of a tribe. Your common traits and goals help establish your identity, and you won’t like the idea of being placed in a sub-group.

As editors, we’ve had the opportunity to work and interact with a variety of self-pubs. And over time, we’ve identified some distinct self-publishing styles and approaches. Below, we’ve narrowed our findings to four self-pub personality types.

Take our quiz to find out what kind of self-pub you are.

Note: Results may vary! You may discover that you don’t fit neatly into one category. That’s okay. This questionnaire is designed to get you to begin thinking about how you approach self-publishing and where editing fits into the scheme. We’ll summarize the characteristics of your type, and add some tips and resources that will help you get the most from the editing and production process.

– See more at: http://www.dontpanicbooks.com/beyondpaperediting/what-kind-of-self-pub-are-you/#sthash.yAwnk9hL.dpuf

 

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The 4 Most Effective Book Marketing Strategies That Work

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desk with toysI’m constantly amazed by the sheer number of writers who are about to release their first book, or have already released their first book, and have zero marketing in place. Nothing, nada, oftentimes less than zero. They remind me of the college kid who walks into a final with a hangover and a broken pencil, hoping to pull the answers out of their you know where.

Unless you are a genius and your work is the best book ever in the history of the entire world (and if you think it is, you need a lesson in humility), you need to market your work. Trouble is, most writers have absolutely no idea where to start. Here’s just a quick smattering of the questions I receive in a given week:

  • Isn’t marketing just a ‘buzzword’ that doesn’t really apply to me?
  • Do I really need a blog? I’m too busy writing real books.
  • Social media is stupid. It doesn’t sell books. Why bother?
  • When should I start my marketing? I don’t even have a book yet!

I could write a book on these few topics alone (and I’m starting my marketing book for authors now,Tough Love for Whiny Writers, out by summer with Booktrope), but I’ll address these issues here now and give you some tips where to start.

Let’s deconstruct!

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE @ BADREDHEADMEDIA

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Write Books You Love. Think Global. Consider Multiple Streams Of Income

uphill climb

There’s been much teeth-gnashing in the indie community in the last month with lots of posts about quitting, about income dropping with Kindle Unlimited and the new EU Tax Law, about this or that changing.

There’s also been a rash of super blog posts, and in this article, I want to round a few things up and add my perspective to the mix.

On the end of the gold rush and the year of the quitter

Kris Rusch has restarted her excellent Business Rusch posts, so immediately go and read them and subscribe. In her musings on what indie authors learned in 2014, Kris names 2014 as the ‘year of the quitter,’ when many authors discovered that writing is hard, publishing is hard and making a living with your writing is hard.Achieving real success is also difficult, the gold rush has ended and that there is definitely a mid-list indie.

My take on this is to nod my head in agreement.

I never thought writing was easy, and after 6 years of blogging and creating online, and 3 years of doing this full-time, I know that success is hard. I still haven’t met my initial goal of matching my income from the day job. But then I was 13 years as a business consultant, and the first 5 years of any new business aren’t exactly boom years!

Read the rest at Joanna’ blog

 

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