Sunday, October 28, 2018

An Important Truth to Remember

Here's an important truth for every writer to keep in mind. Are you ready for it? Here it is: Much of the world is outside of your control.  I know pretty obvious? Yet when your chaotic world falls apart (and everyone has things which happen), it is important to remember that you can't control everything. In fact, some days you feel like you can't control anything.

Let me give you a couple of examples from my life in publishing. I recently promoted through my email list and social media, one of my long-term friends. I was using an affiliate link and going to earn money (eventually) from my promotion activities. Then the friend's computer crashed and the event is now going to be rescheduled. The potential earnings and promotion are now delayed but completely outside of anything I could have controlled or foreseen.

Here's another one. Recently I was looking forward to traveling to a live event. The event looked to have a great crowd and the people would be good potential authors for my work with Morgan James Publishing. Then the organizer got laryngitis and cancelled the event. She told me it was her first time to have to cancel an event in the 20 or so she had held before. It will be rescheduled in the spring but again the details were outside of my control.

When you have these types of things happen to your writing life, here's several things to do:

1. Don't let it make you depressed or ineffective. Yes the emotions are real and play into our work but shrug off what you can't control.

2. Change course and keep going in new directions. Our writing world has endless possibilities. If you need a list of possibilities, then download this free chapter from my Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams book (no optin).

3. Determine again to control what you can and let the rest go. Sometimes this is easier said than done. Maybe get outside and walk around the block. The fresh air will help you clear your head and return with new enthusiasm.

4. When you went in a new direction (#2), now dig into your new work. Because you are working on a different area, hope can increase and you can move forward.

As a writer, there are dozens of directions that you can go. Your consistent action and moving forward in the chaos is one of the keys from my experience. Yes there is much in our world that we can't control but we can take control of our own writing. As you faithfully meet your own deadlines and writing projects, you will be able to touch and help many people. If I can help you in this process, let me know. In the meantime, I will be cheering you forward.

When your writing spins out of control, what steps to you take? Are they different than the ones I wrote about here? Let me know in the comments.


A prolific writer and editor reminds us of an important truth with some practical action steps. (ClickToTweet)

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Sunday, October 21, 2018

Distribute Selected Targeted Content

One of the blogs I read consistently is from the Steve Laube Agency. I've known the various writers for years and they write solid valuable content. If you haven't subscribed to their email version of their articles, I recommend it. Recently literary agent Dan Balow wrote about Eternal Words. It's a concept that I keep in mind with every social media post and blog article—my words are around online forever. If you feel a rant coming on or want to post something strange—think twice before you send it out to the world.
I've written over 1400 articles for The Writing Life and I've posted thousands of tweets and other social media posts. With each one I've thought about the eternal nature of our words. A few weeks ago I wrote about developing writing routines.

One of my routines is to use Hootsuite to schedule my social media posts. I post numerous times throughout a day (12–15 times) yet each post is crafted and includes an image along with often a link to additional insights. As I write each one I'm asking:

1) Is this information right for my target audience?

2) Is the article that I'm highlighting timeless? For example, this time of year, a number of articles are about Halloween but I'm scheduling the posts in the future. It is not appropriate to post an article about Halloween in December.

If you study my tweets, it doesn't take much to see they are in patterns. I begin each day with an inspirational quotation. Then I follow with a couple of posts which include my writing (either on my blog or a free ebook or teleseminar). The bulk of my posts are targeted content for people interested in publishing or writing with links to additional articles and insights. Finally I end my social media posts with another article or free ebook or teleseminar or product. The next day, I begin the process again.

My encouragement is that you create your own pattern for your posts. This routine will help you be consistent and yet not have to invent something new each time. I am constantly reading blogs and articles about publishing and writing. When I find something that fits my audience, I will often schedule it right away. My social media feed can be a remarkable education for the reader about the world of publishing. Your audience and your material will be different. My intention with this article is to give you some ideas and help your planning and social media posts.

How are you distributing targeted content for your audience? Let me know in the comments below.


Are you posting targeted content for your readers? Get some ideas here. (ClickToTweet)

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Sunday, October 14, 2018

Are Your Book Chapters Like Pringles?

For many years, I've admired and read the books from New York Times bestselling author Joel C. Rosenberg. We follow each other on Twitter and have exchanged emails. I've reviewed and promoted his books but never met face to face. His parents live nearby and attend Calvary Chapel South Denver. When Joel's father retired after four decades as an architect, they created Ministry Architecture. I learned about their annual fund raiser at their church, bought a ticket and attended the event. As a writer, be aware of these types of events (which may be in your city) then make plans and attend them. In my local Denver Post newspaper, the Tattered Cover announces author events each week in the Sunday newspaper. Attending these types of events can give you some unique opportunities—if you are aware and seize them.

His first novel was The Last Jihad (Forge Books) published in 2003. This political thriller was a page turner with an opening that I still recall 15 years after reading it (yes that good and memorable). The book caught on and reached the New York Times bestseller list. A committed Christian, Rosenberg moved this book and his future books to Tyndale House Publishers.He has written several nonfiction books but the majority of his books are fast-paced political thrillers.

Rosenberg spoke to a packed crowd for over two hours. The majority of his talk was about flash points and current geo-political events where he has first hand knowledge. I found it educational and fascinating. Woven into his speaking were several keys for writers that I want to emphasize in this article.

1. Joel C. Rosenberg is a brilliant storyteller and writer. I suspect some of it is his natural ability but other skills he learned and perfected. Every writer needs to learn how to spin a solid story whether in print or orally.

2. As a writer, Joel Rosenberg is plugged into the world geo-politics, traveling and meeting with world leaders. He mentioned meeting with the President of Egypt, the U.S. Secretary of State and other officials—and these meetings were recent with a current and fresh perspective. Formerly he lived in Washington, D.C. and now he lives in Israel. His lifestyle plays into his writing. If you want to know more details and keep up on Rosenberg's insights, one of the ways he suggested was subscribing to his blog updates (follow this link).

3. He pours his personal insights about the world into his novels. He talked about writing chapters that were like eating Pringles. He dares his readers to just read one chapter without continuing to the next chapter. The ongoing action and short chapters compel readers to keep going. Rosenberg told about getting regular emails from readers who have stayed up all night reading his novels. Now that is amazing storytelling and something each of us should aspire with our writing. Are you making your book chapters to be consumed like Pringles?

Each of us can be learning and growing from our world around us. I encourage you to take action in this area in the days ahead.

When a bestselling author comes near you, do you attend the event and what do you learn or gain? Let me know in the comments below.


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Sunday, October 07, 2018

Create Writing Routines

I have a number of writing habits including writing each week for the Writing Life. Every morning I use Refollow to follow 800 new people in my target market.  I've been doing this habit for years and yes clicking my mouse 800 times is a bit boring and routine. Why do it? Because consistent use of this tool is one of the reasons that I have a large following on Twitter. This fact combined with the other habits I've created have gathered a large following or platform. Follow this link to learn the details of my every day actions on Twitter.

Every day I read and/or listen to audiobooks. As I read, I'm learning new things but also feeding into my writing life and habits. As I've mentioned before, for every book that I read or hear (good or bad). I take a few minutes and write a review. I've reviewed over 900 books and products on Amazon and over 500 books on Goodreads. This volume has happened because I've created a writing habit which I execute over and over.

Currently I am listening to an audiobook from historian Doris Kearn Goodwin called Leadership. It's a book on the current bestseller list and I got the book from my local library through Overdrive. Goodwin compares the leadership style of four different U.S. Presidents. In my listening so far, she has included Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Lyndon Johnson. The background and style of each man and how they tackled the leadership issue has been insightful. Eventually when I complete the book, I will write and post a review. Listening to audiobooks is a habit I've cultivated which feeds into my writing.

Whether you write a lot of a little, consistency is one of the keys. If you begin a blog, then I encourage you to grow that blog and consitently write or post on it. Some people use guest bloggers to fill their blog. There are many different ways to do it—just be consistent as a basic principle. You can also reuse this material or a book or in a newsletter or any number of places. I have a free teleseminar about reusing your content. Also I have a 31 Day course on making money from your blog which is risk-free during the guarantee period.

Your writing routines will be different from my routines. Create patterns in your life for your writing. If you do, I believe you will be more consistent, prolific and productive. In some cases, a routine can become boring but change it up to keep it interesting—yet continue doing the action. Each of us as writers needs to be continually building our email list, completing magazine writing deadlines, getting to events and meeting new people.

In my view, the payoff for having a writing routine is completing and getting done what others just dream of doing. Many people want to write a book but if you get that book published you enter a smaller circle of people. And if your book sells (and not just a few but in a large number), then you enter even a smaller number of people who succeed in writing a bestselling book.

One of the basics is creating writing routines then sticking with those routines. What sort of writing routines do you have? Let me know in the comments below.


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