How Writing in a Journal Can Help You Get Your Book Done: Part Two

pencilsWriting in a journal can provide practice and consistency to your daily habits of writing as you progress towards the completion of your book.

This is Part Two about the five steps towards a journal writing program in 28 days.

Step Four:

On the fifteenth day, increase the length of time you are writing to at least twenty minutes each day, and continue with one sentence at the end to express your feelings. Remember, the content is not as important as the action of writing every day FOR YOU ONLY. No one else will be reading this unless YOU choose to share it. I recommend keeping it private for now as others may judge you and attempt to analyze your personal thoughts, which may discourage you from continuing.

Step Five:

On the twenty-second day, write for fifteen minutes continuing your life experiences. After the fifteen minutes, spend the next five minutes writing about your feelings, thoughts, challenges and dreams. This is important as it will start your process of building your comfort level of sharing with others eventually. At this point, the habit of writing is your goal – the content will evolve as you become comfortable exploring and recording your past, your present and your future. Keeping this up for twenty eight days will be an excellent beginning to becoming more confident in your writing abilities.

CONCLUSION

Awesome! At this point you now have the tools to continue to journal every day. I highly recommend reviewing your past entries from time to time as you will notice that as the entries change, you will change and your writing style will improve and evolve. Reviewing is also an excellent way to assist you if you get stuck for ideas at any time.

Once you are in the habit of writing daily, try to focus on a topic that you are interested in and write about it for five or ten minutes each day. Once you have done this for a few weeks, you will have the beginnings of a book that you can work on and refine for future publication.

This post was contributed by Rick Fess. To learn more about Rick, visit his website: Spiritual Fiction Books. You may also connect with him on Facebook.

How Writing in a Journal Can Help You Get Your Book Done: Part One

Writing in a journal can help you get your book moving forward and onto being published.

If you are interested in becoming a writer and an author, where do you begin? Many people find the most difficult part of writing is in knowing where to start.  As you begin your journey as a writer, it may be helpful to start by writing down your thoughts and feelings in a daily journal.

Self-PublishingEven if you have never written in a journal before and don’t consider yourself a skilled writer, a journal is an excellent way to write freely and discover things about yourself in an easy, stress free manner.

Here are some simple steps to get you started:

Step One:

The most important thing to do to begin is to remember that this journal is FOR YOU ONLY! Find a quiet area where you won’t be disturbed and choose a method for recording your thoughts. It could be on your computer, in a notebook or on loose leaf paper, however the action is more important than the medium. As this journal is FOR YOU ONLY, keep it password protected on your computer, hide it or store it in a locked box if you feel others may read it. You may wish to write at work on your lunch if you are unable to write undisturbed at home. Again, the most important thing to remember is that this is FOR YOU ONLY.

Step Two:

Start to write for at least ten minutes on the first day. Enter your thoughts, feelings, things you have done today or recently, plans you have for the future or any goals or dreams you have.

If you find you are frustrated, start by writing an autobiography of your life to date, beginning with your earliest memories as a child. I recommend that you write about the happy times you experienced as this makes the process easier to start and continue the habit. Writing about past, painful episodes will discourage you from continuing. Remember this is FOR YOU ONLY and you are only writing for ten minutes each day initially. Do this exercise for 7 consecutive days.

Step Three:

As you are writing FOR YOU ONLY, on the eighth day add one sentence at the end of each session and express TO YOURSELF in your journal how you are feeling that day. You may have already been doing this, however if you are continuing your life story, this will add insight into your writing and will begin your journey of conveying these thoughts and feelings to others. Add this sentence each day for 7 consecutive days.

Join us for Part Two of this post in two days! Writing in a journal is a powerful way to get into the writing habit and routine.

This post was contributed by Rick Fess. To learn more about Rick, visit his website: Spiritual Fiction Books. You may also connect with him on Facebook.

Who is Your Audience? What is the Significance of your Book?

Mom and daughter reading a bookI recently wrote an article about understanding who is reading your book and what significance you hope your book will have to the reader.

Often we are focused on ourselves and what we like when we write our book, but it is wise to contemplate our readership and purpose while writing our book to ensure it reaches the success we envision for it.

Enjoy the complete article on eZine Articles.

Feel free to comment and share below with your thoughts.

Are you an online stalker? I bet you are.

Online stalkerAs a writer, you are also a marketer. It’s just like any business; marketing must be an essential piece of getting your work out into the world. We’d all like to be discovered while sitting in a coffee shop writing our next book, but the reality is that we need to put ourselves out there to get the attention we crave and deserve.

When I hear what people are doing to create more business for themselves, I question – are you an online stalker?

What I mean by this, is that you spend the majority of your time online, yet you leave no trail left behind. If you are hanging out in social media, you aren’t posting. If you are reading blogs, you aren’t commenting on blogs. If you see something that is good and worth sharing, you aren’t sharing it.

This is my definition of an online stalker. A person who rarely interacts, yet is constantly watching and observing all that is going on.

While I’m sure you aren’t looking to get a peep show, or have some other voyeuristic tendencies – being an online stalker is simply a waste of time.

The only way to drive traffic back to yourself, get noticed with your work and your writing – or whatever else you offer – is to be engaged.
From now on – think about how you can participate more, instead of being a stalker – be an instigator. A person who initiates a course of action (according to good ole’ Webster Dictionary).

That means…

Actively post in your social media accounts

Comment on the blogs you read

Share information and resources of what you like

Share yourself in a video (not an opportunity to present a peep show 🙂 )

Write reviews on people you’ve worked with and places you’ve been

Send out endorsements in LinkedIn

Now go out and half fun, be yourself, share your services and your work, and start instigating.

Writing Unedited: At Least the First Time Through

book editingHave you ever heard it said that an editor’s job is to edit while a writer’s job is to write?

For the most part, this is true. As writers, it’s important to let our creative juices flow freely without the presence of what author Julia Cameron refers to as our inner critic, that critical perfectionist voice that can get in the way of our progress, and when allowed to run rampant, will stop us dead in our tracks.

The question is, when do we need to bring our own self-editing into play?


Not in the beginning. Not while writing your first draft when you only want to do one thing: write, write, write! Let it pour forth. No judgment, no second guessing, no censorship. No organizing or reorganizing. Even if something doesn’t fit with your original outline, write what wants to be said. Whether you’re working on a memoir or the next great American novel, it’s important to allow your story to flow out of you in its entirety and in whatever way, shape, or form it presents itself.

During that first draft, turn off the part of your mind that wants to examine your technique. In the beginning, it doesn’t matter whether your parallelism is working or if you’ve generated a great submerged metaphor or even what parts should go or stay. Your goal is to create a first draft. There will be plenty of time for self-editing–starting with your second draft.

In a September 2011 Huffington Post article, author Arielle Ford stated, Let it flow. When my sister, bestselling author Debbie Ford, was starting her first book, Peter Guzzardi, an editor at Random House, told her to write ten pages per day–without editing a single word of it. Just write, he told her. Follow Guzzardi’s advice, and try not to judge what comes out on the page. Just keep going. With practice, you’ll learn to let the words flow through you. Some authors describe it as an out-of-body experience that allows them to do their best writing.”

But what about our fear, which often shows up as the “editor”? It’s simply another way our inner critic tries to get into the act. Arielle Ford recommends that we befriend our fear. “The act of writing, particularly writing unedited, can be scary. Most writers, bestselling authors included, feel this fear at times. The best way I know to overcome it is to accept it–and then get back to writing.”

Julia Cameron recommends that we get to know our fear through morning pages, a daily practice of checking in with ourselves. Each day, when we rise and before we speak to anyone, she prescribes that we write three handwritten pages. We never know what might show up on those pages–our fears, our recounting of the previous day’s events, our anticipation of the current day’s schedule, or even statements such as, “I’m too tired today.” Whatever shows up is released on to those pages, freeing us to do what we really want–to write!

So, give it a try. Let go and let it flow. Write a little or a lot each day. Remember, this is your first draft, so no editors or inner critics allowed! Let yourself be what you want to be–the writer!

This blog post was written by Donna Mazzitelli, who is the editor on our Self-Publishing Experts Team. Visit her website: The Word Heartiste.

Writing Tools: Prompt Jar

Prompt JarsThis article was originally posted by Melissa Kline, on her blog. She’s a contributing author of Speaking Your Truth and has published several novels.

Besides being a writer, I am a super crafty person. I combined these skills to create a “prompt jar” which holds an assortment of creative writing prompts. These jars make great gifts and are always handy to have on your desk. You can also bring them along to your writing group or make a practice of using one everyday. I’ve included simple step-by-step instructions to make your own prompt jar. You can customize the prompts and overall design however you choose.
Things you will need:

~Mason jar or washed spaghetti sauce, pickle, misc. food item jar

~Paper – white or colored

~Scissors

~Double sided tape and /or clear packing tape

~Colored string, yarn, raffia or ribbon for decoration

Directions:
1. Collect or create an assortment of writing prompts, (you can find lots of prompts online creative-writing-solutions.com or iteslj.org/questions/whatif.html are my favorites), and print or handwrite at least five full pages on white or colored paper. I like to use five different colors – one color per page. You may have to play with font size and spacing – I use size 12 font, double spaced between each prompt.

2. Cut prompts into strips, preferably about the same size in length and width (approx. 4-5″ in length and the width of your thumbnail). Fold each one in half twice and drop into jar until full.

3. Create a name and label for your jar by hand or with a computer program. Some label ideas are, “Seeds of Creativity”, “The Cure to Writers Block”, “Brain Food.” Tape the label onto the jar with double sided or clear packing tape. Tip: I cover the entire label with clear packing tape before taping it onto the jar. This makes it sturdy, shiny and waterproof.

4. Tie string, yarn, raffia or ribbon around the neck of the jar for decoration. You can also add beads, charms or tags.

Voila! You’ve got yourself a nifty little jar full of fun. Write to your heart’s content!

 

 

The Power of Accountability for your Writing Goals

Woman Sitting to WriteI wrote an article for eZine Articles recently about the power of accountability for your writing goals. Accountability has made all the difference in the world for my prolific writing. As a result, I wanted to share some tips with you.

Click here to read the full article.

Here at Self-Publishing Experts, we love to help you be accountable to your writing goals. Whether you want to be in one of our coaching groups or work with us individually one to one, we love to find ways for you to find accountability and see your book become a reality.

Please comment and share about what accountability technique works best for you!

Marketing Your Book Begins Early!

Book MarketingAuthors are in charge of their own book marketing whether they self-publish or traditionally publish. It is prudent to start early before your book is done and be ready for consistent marketing ramping up to the book launch and for years afterwards.

As an author, we are hopefully talking about our books everywhere we go at events and with networking. Enjoy an Ezine Article entitled “Start Marketing Your Book Even Before It Is Done” for seven tips to ensure your book marketing success.

Will You Get Rich From Writing A Book?

Money and booksIf you think that your book will skyrocket you to fame and fortune, you may want to become a bit more realistic. It is possible to become famous from your book and make a lot of money, but the majority of people do not become rich from the book itself.

However, you can make multiple income streams from the platform around your book. Your book also gives you credibility and you can establish a level of expertise or public view that opens many doors and opportunities.

For a more in depth view of how you can build a platform around your book, read a recent article written by Lisa Shultz and published in Ezine articles.