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Break Out of that Writing Rut: Tell–Don’t Show–Write More of What You Love!

Keep a goal in mind as you write. What is your purpose?

Writing is Hard Work. You are Faced with a Blank Sheet of Paper

Writing is hard work. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Anyone who says it is easy—is delusional—and probably not writing.

“I just sit down at the typewriter and bleed.” – Ernest Hemingway

Let me tell you a story.

I’ve been writing fairly consistently since 2006. Before that time, I wrote strictly in my journal. Nothing fancy. It was one of those marbled composition notebooks you can buy at Walmart for 10 cents around the start of the school year. I wrote to make sense of all the mixed up thoughts in my head and to try to combat the depression that threatened to overtake me. It didn’t go any further than that. I never thought of myself as a ‘true writer’ until probably about a year ago.

What set me on the path of thinking this way?

The Kindle I received for Christmas.

I began searching out all the books I could find to load up my Kindle. Free and not so free. Books on fiction and non-fiction. I realized some of them were pure junk, and I knew I could do better.

I began writing with a goal in mind.

Self-publish to Amazon.

I now had a goal.

A goal to achieve.

A target to hit.

I began with non-fiction, and just this year I’m making the switch to fiction. There is quite a learning curve. Instead of learning everything there was to know about publishing an e-book to Amazon, I made the switch to learning everything there was to know about writing.

This is not a post about learning all the ins and outs of self-publishing. Suffice it to say, that it took about two years of dedicated study before I felt that I knew enough to publish my first book on Amazon. If you are interested in learning self-publishing, promotion and cutting down on the learning curve of writing fiction, these are the courses I recommend:

Kindling Membership Forum

This course is a clearinghouse of practically anything and everything there is to know about writing and publishing to Kindle. Geoff Shaw continues to improve and consistently add more into the course for his members. 

Good Fiction Fast

This course will teach you how to write fiction, and write it fast! I’d been slogging through book after book on writing, and getting more and more confused. This book will cut through the confusion to get you published quickly. You can start with non-fiction, but when you are ready to make the switch–check out Michelle Spiva’s course.

Two Books That Boosted my Writing

After I had learned about publishing to Kindle, then I set a goal to learn how to write better–and faster. There were two books that really stood out, from the crowd of writing books that jammed my Kindle.

These two transformed my writing.

This book, 2K to 10K, by Rachel Aaron was a book about how to write faster. What I gleaned from this book was this: Plan out what you are going to write about BEFORE you set down to type it up on the computer. I went back to my morning pages. I love the free flow of the pen to paper. It seems to help my thought processes to break it down that way first. I tried it. Voila!

Ideas began flowing again.

 

2K to 10K by Rachel Aaron

 

Then as I’ve been writing my first romance novel, I found myself stuck at 24,000 words. I was stuck and had to analyze what was happening with my writing.

I stopped writing on this story for a couple of months.

I saw a recommendation from a fellow writer on Facebook for Show, Don’t Tell by James Lofquist. This is a short little book that can be read in one sitting. What did I glean from this one?

Just write!

Just as I have been doing in the morning.

Write, let the ideas come, don’t stop them, and if you don’t know what to write, then make a list! (Tweet)

How freeing was this?

Very.

 

Tell, Don't Show, by James Lofquist

 

I gained the confidence to begin writing again.

I had to learn to stop being a perfectionist while writing. The time to correct and fix and polish is after a first draft is written. You must first get the story out in whatever means possible.

To make it easy to remember, I’ve summed up what I’ve learned in 11 simple tips:

  1. Don’t let the blank page intimidate you
  2. Write morning pages
  3. Plan out what you’re going to write BEFORE you head to the computer
  4. Make up a quick outline
  5. Show, Don’t Tell
  6. Don’t self-edit as you write
  7. Write everything you know about a scene
  8. List it if you’re not sure what to write
  9. Revise later
  10. Write consistently
  11. Write daily

Remember, it only takes an ant picking up and placing one grain of sand to build an anthill.

To write an entire book, it only takes the first word, then the next, and the next. (Tweet)

Be obedient and set an appointment with yourself to show up with pen in hand to write on the page or the computer. Make your appointment to write consistently, one word at a time, starting with the first one.

What helps you to write faster? What writing goals have you set for yourself?

Leave me a comment and let me know!

PenelopeBTR2tiny

Penelope Silvers is founder of PhilosBooks.com,
where “Independent Authors are introduced to the World!”
She is a freelance writer, publisher, and radio host of
Penelope’s Book Chat on Blog Talk Radio.

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LinkedIn: Promoting Your Book With LinkedIn

See on Scoop.itEBook Promotion and Marketing

There are many things you can do to attract attention to your publication, but promoting effectively with LinkedIn requires specific techniques that are professional without being overly self-promotional.

Penelope‘s insight:

 

OK. Everyone wants to talk about Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+ for promotion of your ebooks; but what about forgotten step-child Linked in?

I admit, I was slow to embrace Linked In as a place to promote myself as an author, but I am slowly coming around. 101 Members Worldwide isn’t shabby!

You can not only set up a (FREE) and powerful profile to showcase you and your talents, but you can also list your publications, links, and descriptions to said books in the same location.

There are a myriad of groups to join that will allow you  to promote a link to your newest work. Here’s a sampling of a few: Books and Writers, Writer’s Cafe, Linking and Forwarding on B&N and Facebook. Do a search and find several to join–just don’t spam the group.

This beautiful infographic shows the stats on users of Linked In. LI is used by 69 of the top 100 Fortune 500 companies, and there is a higher trust factor. I think of Linked In in terms of lots of professional business people hanging around the worldwide water cooler.

 

*****This review was written by Penelope Silvers for her curated content on “Ebook Promotion and Marketing”*****

Link to the original article: http://amyharrop.com/linkedin-promoting-your-book-with-linkedin/#

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Clive West, Author Interview Jan. 4, 2013!

 

Author Profile: Clive West

Clive West was born in the West Country of England in the early 60’s. He was educated at a traditional English public school before going on to university to study civil engineering. Over the years, he has worked as a civil engineer, tutor of maths and science, schools quiz-master, employment agency boss, and writer.

His work includes a collection of short stories with twists called Hobson’s Choice (also available in print), a full-length novel called ‘The Road’ about the consequences of corruption on ordinary people and an accessible job hunting interview guide (based on his years of experience as the boss of an employment agency).

He has also written a book about lymphedema. This is a disfiguring, life-threatening and incurable disease he now suffers from and which his experience shows that most fellow patients have (like him) been abandoned by their respective health services.

Clive now lives in a rebuilt farmhouse in the Umbrian region of Italy along with Damaris, his writer wife of 22 years and their three rescue dogs. Apart from his fictional work, Clive also writes commercial non-fiction on a variety of topics but especially relating to business and employment. He and Damaris run an indie publishers called Any Subject Books Ltd – www.anysubject.com

You can also follow Any Subject Books on Facebook – www.facebook.com/anysubject

Clive is now disabled but, aside from his writing, he also enjoys playing the keyboard, listening to music and reading.

Contact details: books@anysubject.com

Facebook site: www.facebook.com/anysubjectbooks

Genre: Crime

Every crime has its victim.

  • The Giddings family – enjoying their rural idyll until events start to spiral out of their control turning paradise into hell.
  • Henry – trapped in a loveless marriage who sees a chance to climb on board the gravy train for a one-way ticket out of misery but doesn’t want to know about the consequences of his actions.
  • Sandra – frustrated by a system where the rich get richer and the poor pay to get a ringside seat.
  • John – a shrewd developer who knows all the tricks and is the guy flicking the switch when the smelly stuff hits the fan.
  • The parasites and hangers on, too numerous to mention, who abuse their positions of trust to feather their own nests but who are outraged when those lower down the pecking order try to do the same.

Excerpt

The noise from the diggers, mixers and other machinery was driving Caroline to distraction. It would start when she was waking the children for school and persist the whole day until just after she returned home with Athelstan. It provided a constant background track of banging, roaring, scraping and shouting that only marginally quietened for a brief period at lunchtime.

It wasn’t as if she could find some way of escaping from it. Work at the hairdressers had been slack with many of the regulars choosing to save money and perm their own hair because of the downturn in the economy. As a result, Sandy had told Caroline that she would only be needed on an ad hoc basis and that she would fully understand if Caroline found another job.

In reality, there were few other positions that Caroline was either suited to or inclined to take up. She just couldn’t see herself working in a supermarket – as an ex farm girl, she would feel like it was a form of imprisonment. Not that sitting at home was especially enjoyable any more because of the hubbub.

She had tried shutting all the windows but the noise had somehow penetrated along with the omnipresent dust which got in no matter how hard she endeavoured to keep it at bay. She tried watching the television but its largely mindless daytime babble was somehow eclipsed by the activities taking place on the adjacent land. She felt irresistibly drawn to watching the desecration of her beloved countryside and the television was a poor distraction.

Even when there was little or no noise, which wasn’t often, she still felt confined to her house. On one occasion she had tried tending the little vegetable garden that she was so proud of but had then been confronted by a burly workman clad in dirty jeans and a torn shirt taking a pee against the fence that bounded her garden with the site. It wasn’t the act in itself, goodness knows she had been taken short enough times, nor was it the sight of a man’s penis (and he wasn’t deliberately exposing himself to her), it was the fact that he had smiled and carried on as if he hadn’t a care in the world. This simple act seemed to limit her space still further. Up till then, the back garden had been hers. Historically, anyone within her range of view would be subject to her code of behaviour. Now the garden had been lost and even her presence there seemed only to be tolerated. As long as she accepted what went on immediately outside of her frontier, she would be permitted to access the territory her side of the border, but it could only be on those terms.

While in the back garden, she also felt the leers of the workmen on her and would catch odd snippets of conversation when they came within earshot. One of them she was sure was commenting on her behind when she had bent over to pick up some toy that one of the children had abandoned in the garden. She could have sworn she heard another one commenting on the underwear she had pinned up on the washing line and she knew for certain that one of them had laughingly warned her that one of his mates wasn’t called the ‘knicker pincher’ for nothing.

She resolved henceforth to dry her smalls inside the house – she certainly couldn’t leave the house with washing out in case the labourer who had spoken was right. For weeks afterwards, when she couldn’t find something in her bedroom chest of drawers, she would immediately become convinced that the missing bra or pair of panties had been stolen. Invariably the offending garment would be discovered folded inside another or mistakenly placed inside the dirty linen basket, but it rattled her nevertheless.

It wasn’t that the workmen were particularly close by. Most of the time they were just dots in the distant background and not near enough to have either faces or identities. Logical thinking didn’t stop her from feeling that there would be at least one of them peering over the garden fence to see what she was up to. She always made a point of pulling the curtains in both the bedroom and the bathroom if she went in there.

There was a loop in the housing estate road that came to within about forty metres of their fenceline where it ended in two intersecting circles which she assumed would be turning heads. It didn’t seem too bad – forty metres was quite a long way off, she told herself. At that distance, she needn’t be too disturbed by cars starting up in the morning. It could be a lot worse, she supposed.

Stuart had by this time moved on with his thoughts and didn’t seem particularly bothered or affected by the changes to their environment. Caroline considered that he was lucky, although he admitted that it vexed him that he could no longer take the children for a walk in the woods armed with his I-SPYbooks. The truth was that by the time he got home from work, the gangs were packing up and, besides, the children were now getting older and making friends that took them away from the house. Apart from what the estate agent had told Stuart about the loss in value of their property, he seemed both unaffected and unbothered by the work going on.

In any case, there was less and less of a reason to go for a walk where the fields used to be. Lucian was getting on and he didn’t need as much exercise nowadays and it was also true that the children were no longer particularly interested in playing there. Perhaps they had all been lucky enough to be permitted the enjoyment of the countryside at a time when they were able to appreciate it the most. For the rest of her family its absence no longer seemed relevant. Caroline deeply lamented losing the principal thing, other than her family, of course, that made her life worthwhile.

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