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11 Simple Tips to Increase Writing – Keep Your Eyes on Your Own Paper!

PhilosBooks.com

Keep Your Eyes on Your Own Paper!

When I was a six-year-old in kindergarten, I was easily distracted and had a problem keeping my eyes to myself. When we were supposed to be working on an art project, the little boy next to me started talking and I got caught up in the fun of the conversation. The teacher noticed, and she came over and whacked me hard on the head with a big book (she was kinda mean).

While still in school, did you find yourself peeking at a classmate’s paper, only to be chastised by teacher? She would peer over her bifocals directly into your eyes, and you felt the fear of being caught. If you learned your lesson, you immediately turned back to your own test, refocused on blackening in those circles, and tried to guess the correct answers.

This current electronic social media age lends itself to turning people into modern day voyeurs. Like moths instinctively drawn to a flame, we are drawn to spy on others’ Facebook pages, You Tube videos, or websites. This creates a feeling of discontent. We ask ourselves, “What are THEY doing that I’m not? Why are they so much better than me? What’s wrong with me?”

Nothing is wrong with you. Just as keeping up with the Joneses and buying a bigger house or car will keep you forever in a destructive cycle, the same applies to writing. We have our own styles, our own methods of working, and our own distinctive subjects that push our hot buttons. Our neighbor has theirs. We are all different, and we work differently as well. As soon as we come to this realization, we will be happier, contented, and at peace. Our focus now back on our own work–we will accomplish more.

There are 11 simple steps that I strive to follow that help me increase my writing output, which cannot be accomplished when I’m looking over my shoulder at everyone else. Follow these steps, and I believe you will be on your way to more books, more blog posts, more articles, and a much happier you!

1)  Meditate. Spend some quiet time first thing in the morning blocking out the world. My chosen path is prayer and Bible reading. If you like to just spend it just clearing your mind in a quiet atmosphere, that is fine. Just clear the cobwebs out of your mind to make room for the things that really matter. This will give you more clarity and focus than anything else you do.

2)  Have a plan. Make a list, preferably the night before, of your top three items that will move you forward towards publishing that book, article or blog post. Use a planner (Paper or electronic) Plan out your month and then break the steps down by week, day, hour, etc.. I like using a Weekly or Monthly Planner from the dollar store that I can lay open to glance at, or a web-based planner can be found at http://Wunderlist.com. If you like mind maps, you can create those with a free one such Freemind. Try a couple different methods to see which one works the best for you.

3)  Prioritize. What is your top #1 item  to do that day? If you get through all three on your list–fantastic! I have found that writing any more than three down on any given day, is a recipe for feeling overwhelmed and torn, and usually not much gets accomplished.

4) Research or Study. If you need to get some research done–before you start writing–do this first. Organize all the research all in one place, such as a document or on a legal pad. Have it right in front of you before you begin writing.

5)  Environment. Figure out what type of environment allows you to do your best work. Do you need perfect quiet? Noises of a café? Music?

6)  Forget perfection –dive in! I am a recovering perfectionist, and I can truly say this keeps you from making progress on your goals. As the Nike slogan says, “Just do it!” and worry about fine tuning, i.e., editing, later.

7)  Social Media off limits! At least until you tackle the most important thing on your list first. Give yourself a time limit, and reward yourself by quickly scanning Facebook and Twitter, respond if necessary, and then return to your work.

8) Time yourself. Would you like more hours to magically appear in your day? Try timing yourself. I tend to do my best work when under the gun of a timer. Here’s a site that will allow you to plug in your to-do items and then set the timer when you are ready to work! You can listen to the ticking countdown, or turn off the sound. It will ding when the time is up. Try it at ActionEnforcer.com

9) Tackle one item at a time – Multitasking does not work! As human beings, we are made to only work on one thing at a time. Pick one item on your list, work on it for the amount of time you have set before you move on. Finish what you start.

10)  Exercise. Our bodies are meant to move. Complete one item, close down that screen of your laptop, push your chair away from the computer, and go take a walk, do some yoga, or lift some weights. Try to take a break from sitting about every hour. Finally, last but certainly not least:

11)  Be Flexible! Realize that life will interfere, and you will sometimes not be able to adhere to your schedule. If I can’t follow my plan I’ve laid out for myself, I realize the best laid plans…Give yourself grace and realize there is a new day waiting for you tomorrow.

 I’m always open for learning new tips. Leave a comment and let me know what tips have helped your writing output!

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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YOU can write for Kindle!

Did you know you can write a book for Kindle?

If you think this seems too far-fetched and you don’t believe in yourself, let me be your encourager. Start by answering these simple questions:

Have you written an essay or term paper in high school or college?
Do you know to research on the internet or in the library?
Have you written a poem?
Have you written a letter to a loved one?
Have you written a sentiment on a birthday card?
Have you sent e-mails, or texts, or tweets?
Do you regularly post on Facebook?

If you answer YES to any of these, then you can write a book.

This will be the first in a series of posts that will give you your own ideas for your very own book that you can begin to craft for Amazon Kindle–and share with the world.

It does not have to be a huge book. You can publish short stories (fiction or non-fiction) from 15-30 pages to start. Remember, you can always do a small test book just to get the hang of what it involves. It doesn’t have to be a best seller right out of the gate. Sometimes it is easier to start with a non-fiction book.

Start brainstorming. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • What are your PASSIONS (think: hobbies or ANY life experiences)

Do you sew? Write computer code? Bike? Play Warcraft? Raise children? Raise goats? Live on a farm? Grow flowers? Collect toy trains? Cook? Bake? Entertain? Belong to a book club? Retired? Professional? You get the picture.

Start making a list. Get a notebook just for this pursuit.

I’ve got a spiral bound, 5-subject notebook that has 5 colored dividers. In the first section goes all the brainstorms of all the ideas I have for writing. Start your Kindle journey by brainstorming everything you like or know something about. You don’t even have to be an expert at it. Make a list. It doesn’t matter if you think it is stupid, or that you think nobody would want to read what you write about. Just write it down. This is just for you. The list might look like this:

  1. Mother (or father) to two children
  2. Speak a foreign language
  3. Grow flowers from seed
  4. Run my own farm
  5. Race dirtbikes
  6. Love motorcycles
  7. Grow my own organic vegetables
  8. Exercise daily (biking, running, soccer, basketball, football)
  9. Great organizer
  10. Know how to budget
  11. Spiritual
  12. Love to travel to new places
  13. Have a dog (or cat)
  14. Married (or single)
  15. Love to sing
  16. Play Piano (guitar, sitar, ukelele, banjo)
  17. Great at cutting hair
  18. Woman of a certain age
  19. Man of a certain age
  20. Divorced and dating

If you have more, keep adding to the list. See how many you can come up with. This is going to be your springboard for your first small book. In the next post, we’ll go into narrowing down the list to #1, and how to expand the material into a book. Have fun!

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Kindle FIRE is Hot!

I just had an opportunity today to view the New Kindle Fire for myself, and I will have to say that it is fabulous! Not only can I get my reading books online, but also movies, news, and articles with colored pictures that come alive. I would recommend you take a look at the new options the Fire provides. You may, like myself, get so hot you’ll burn up your fingers using it.

Chuck Garfield, field editor

http://www.amazon.com/Kindle-Fire-Amazon-Tablet/dp/B0051VVOB2/ref=sr_tr_sr_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1340925661&sr=1-1&keywords=kindle+fire

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Kindle and Me

I love BOOKS and I LOVE Kindle!

I fought getting a Kindle for the longest time, but since I received one for Christmas 2 years ago, I have never looked back!

Now I just have the super simple one, with the basic grey screen and black letters, but that’s fine with me. I may upgrade to the Kindle Fire one of these days if I want to add more color into my life.

I loved my Kindle so much that I wanted to publish and my first book is up and going on the Kindle store:

http://www.amazon.com/Sweepstakes-Contests-Confessions-Admitted-ebook/dp/B007ZJGOTK/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1336694784&sr=1-2

If you would be so kind, please take a look and give the book a “Like” for me. I would really appreciate it. If you decide to purchase, please leave me a review! I am currently working on several others that will be published soon.

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