Showing posts with label writing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label writing. Show all posts

Honoring Your Voice



As a writer, your voice is one of your most powerful assets. Whether you write fiction, non-fiction, novels, screenplays, marketing copy, you must accept, harness, and amplify that power to make the most impact with your words.

On a recent GoalChatLive, I discussed Honoring Your Voice with Stacia Crawford, David H Lawrence XVII, and Richard Walter. Stacia is a media strategist and founder of Stay Ready Media; David, who is an actor, voiceover artist, and educator, is founder of Narrate Your Own Book; and Richard, a long-time (now retired) screenwriting professor at UCLA, is a screenwriter and author, whose latest book is called Deadpan. The trio, who work in various aspects of storytelling (PR, voiceover, and writing), talked about the power of words, owning your voice, and more.

How to Honor Your Voice 

  • David: Your voice is far better than you think it is; realize the value of being human
  • Richard: Stop striving for perfection 
  • Stacia: Make sure you have something worth saying

Watch Our Conversation:


Goals

  • David: Reframe how you look at your voice 
  • Richard: Allow yourself to get distracted 
  • Stacia: Stop worrying about what other people think; your voice, your message, is unique to you
You have something to share - to write - say it loud and proud. That is the best way to honor your voice!

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For more inspiration and motivation, follow @TheDEBMethod on Facebook, Instagram, and Linkedin! 

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How do you honor your voice? Please share in the comments. 

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Debra Eckerling is the award-winning author of Your Goal Guide: A Roadmap for Setting, Planning and Achieving Your Goals and founder of the D*E*B METHOD, which is her system for goal-setting simplified. A goal-strategist, corporate consultant, and project catalyst, Debra offers personal and professional planning, event strategy, and team building for individuals, businesses, and teams. She is also the author of Write On Blogging and Purple Pencil Adventures; founder of Write On Online; host of  #GoalChatLive aka The DEB Show podcast and Taste Buds with Deb. She speaks on the subjects of writing, networking, goal-setting, and social media.


Writing & Publishing Goals



Do you have writing and publishing goals? If you landed on this blog, I am guessing the answer is "Yes."

On today's GoalChat, I spoke with authors/educators Amy Friedman, Marita Golden, and Susan Shapiro about the topic. Amy Friedman is author of Desperado's Wife and publisher at Out of the Woods Press, Marita's fiction and non-fiction titles include The Strong Black Woman and A Woman's Place, and Susan's books include The Book Bible and The Byline Bible.

If You Want to Get Published

  • Susan: Research potential publications first. Read what they publish, before you pitch
  • Amy: Decide what you want, writing-wise, and then figure out what that means
  • Marita: You need to know how hard it is and how good you have to be

Watch Our Conversation:


Writing Goals

  • Susan: Write three pages about your most humiliating secret ... that you can put your name on 
  • Amy: Write three pages in a style or genre you haven't tried 
  • Marita: Write three pages from a point of view of doing something out of character
  • Marita's Bonus Goal: Write a letter to yourself, congratulating yourself for being a badass
Whether you write long form or articles - whether your specialty is fiction, non-fiction, or memoir - being a writer starts with a decision to write. It continues with education, research, revision ... and putting yourself out there. 

Go for it! We know you can do it! 

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For more inspiration and motivation, follow @TheDEBMethod on Facebook, Instagram, and Linkedin! 

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What is your best writing tip? Please share in the comments. 

* * *
Debra Eckerling is the award-winning author of Your Goal Guide: A Roadmap for Setting, Planning and Achieving Your Goals and founder of the D*E*B METHOD, which is her system for goal-setting simplified. A goal-strategist, corporate consultant, and project catalyst, Debra offers personal and professional planning, event strategy, and team building for individuals, businesses, and teams. She is also the author of Write On Blogging and Purple Pencil Adventures; founder of Write On Online; host of  #GoalChatLive aka The DEB Show podcast and Taste Buds with Deb. She speaks on the subjects of writing, networking, goal-setting, and social media.


Writing, Reading & Learning



As writers, we are always looking for inspiration, whether we want to revitalize old writing projects or start on new ones.

Last month, on GoalChatLive, I discussed about writing, reading, and learning - and how all three work together - with authors Judy Baker, Guy Morris, and Lisa Niver. Judy Baker is the Book Marketing Mentor, Guy Morris specializes in intelligent action thrillers, and Lisa Niver is author of Brave-ish. The panel shares their writing journey and projects, thoughts on reading, advice for writing, and so much more.

Their Writing Proceses

  • Guy: Begins with the premise, does 2 to 3 years of research, then outlines, writes first draft, edits, edits, edits, does more research, more edits. 
  • Judy: Starts by dictating to get the ideas out, since she edits too much when writing. Also, she uses music and aromas to get in the zone, since the more senses you can involve, the deeper your writing.
  • Lisa: Uses her teaching background and gives herself homework. She seeks inspiration - music, notes, videos - and uses that as resource.     

Writing Goals 

  • Judy: Find something you are grateful for and write about it. It sets you up for a positive mindset … you will be far more productive 
  • Guy: Learn to love to learn. Find out what you want to know and then learn it. 
  • Lisa: Get a book out of the library and start reading it. 
  • Summary: Write for 5 minutes a day, learn for 5 minutes a day, read (or listen to an audiobook) for 5 minutes a day

Watch our conversation.

Final Thoughts 

  • Lisa: Take advantage of the change of season to set goals and make new plans. 
  • Guy: Never let your past define your future. Keep moving forward. You and your writing will get where you want to go. 
  • Judy: Your book marketing is like growing a garden. Plant new seeds every day.
Whether your focus is on fiction or non-fiction writing, look at things differently, so you can breathe new life into your work  

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For more inspiration and motivation, follow @TheDEBMethod on Facebook, Instagram, and Linkedin! 

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How do you reinvigorate your writing? Please share in the comments. 

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Debra Eckerling is the award-winning author of Your Goal Guide: A Roadmap for Setting, Planning and Achieving Your Goals and founder of the D*E*B METHOD, which is her system for goal-setting simplified. A goal-strategist, corporate consultant, and project catalyst, Debra offers personal and professional planning, event strategy, and team building for individuals, businesses, and teams. She is also the author of Write On Blogging and Purple Pencil Adventures; founder of Write On Online; host of  #GoalChatLive aka The DEB Show podcast and Taste Buds with Deb. She speaks on the subjects of writing, networking, goal-setting, and social media.


Should You Write for Magazines or Books?


By Terry Whalin (@terrywhalin

Every writer faces this question: which do I write first—a magazine article or a book?  It’s almost like asking which comes first: the chicken or the egg? As a former magazine editor who has published in more than 50 magazines (gave up counting them a while back), the quick answer is to write both. As writers, our skill is not limited to one type of writing. In the first chapter of Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams, I detail the variety of writing possibilities (follow this link to get this chapter free). 

When editors and literary agents search for authors, they read magazines, blogs, books, and any other type of writing. There are many ways for you to make new connections to these gatekeepers and magazine writing can be a key entry point. Whether you write books or magazine articles, each type of writing has a set of challenges. 

The Challenges with Book Writing

Many writers begin with a book and write a manuscript. Often, they will write something tied to their reading habits. If they read nonfiction, then they will write a nonfiction manuscript. If they read novels, then they will write fiction. Somewhere along the process, they will learn editors and literary agents are looking for a book proposal. This mysterious document contains information that will never show in your manuscript, yet these professionals use this document to decide if they will publish your book.

Everyone can learn to write a book proposal or your business plan for your book. I’ve written two proposals which received six-figure advances and teach these details in my Book Proposals That $ell. I originally wrote this book as a frustrated editor looking for better submissions. My book has helped many writers land a literary agent and a book deal. Every type of book needs a proposal or business plan and this process can present a challenge to getting it published.

It may sound simple, but books are long—100,000 words for a novel and at least 50,000 words for a nonfiction book. Crafting these books take a great deal of time and energy. What people outside of publishing don’t understand is most book sales are modest. If your book sells 5,000 copies that can be a success (depending on the publisher). In addition, the competition for limited spots at traditional houses is intense. Publishers and literary agents are looking for authors with “platforms” or connections to readers who buy books. Each of these factors make publishing books a challenge.

Advantages to Magazine Writing

Magazine articles are much shorter (800 to 1500 words depending on the type of writing and publication). As you write for magazines, you will develop some important skills such as the ability to create an interesting title or a moving opening paragraph or how to write to a particular word count and for a particular audience. Print magazines are looking for quality writing and have a high standard of excellence (another skill you develop in the process). You learn to write a query or pitch to the editor, get assignments or submit complete articles on speculation (depends on the publication).

Here’s the real payoff for magazine writing: you can reach more people. It is a huge success if a book sells 5,000 copies and in the magazine world it is fairly easy for your article to appear in a publication with a circulation of over 100,000. 

As a writer, don’t get locked into a particular type of writing—books or magazine or online or whatever. There are a world of possibilities and opportunities if you are open to explore it, then write it and get it into the market.

Tweetable: 

Should you write books or magazine articles? This prolific writer and editor explains why you should be doing both. Learn the details here. (ClickToTweet)

________________________________________

W. Terry Whalin, a writer and acquisitions editor lives in Colorado. A former magazine editor and former literary agent, Terry is an acquisitions editor at Morgan James Publishing. He has written more than 60 nonfiction books including Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams and Billy Graham. Get Terry’s newest book, 10 Publishing Myths for only $10, free shipping and bonuses worth over $200. To help writers catch the attention of editors and agents, Terry wrote his bestselling Book Proposals That $ell, 21 Secrets To Speed Your Success. Jim Cox, Editor-in-Chief of Midwest Book Review wrote, If you only have time to read one how to guide to getting published, whether it be traditional publishing or self-publishing, Book Proposals That Sell  is that one DIY instructional book.  Check out his free Ebook, Platform Building Ideas for Every Author. His website is located at: www.terrywhalin.com. Connect with Terry on TwitterFacebook and LinkedIn.

Featured Productivity Tool: Break the Rules




What does breaking the rules have to do with writing and productivity? Everything!

Thinking out of the box - and getting creative with your ideas, solutions, etc. - gets you inspired. Inspiration leads to motivation which results in productivity! 
 
In August, I invited John Chen of Engaging Virtual Meetings, Jennie Mustafa-Julock aka Coach Jennie, and Deanna Seymour, host of the “Eff That: Breaking the Rules of Online Business Podcast,” to talk about breaking the rules on #GoalChatLive. 

John believes that when you break stuff, you learn more than everyone else. "A lot of the time the world breaks you; there’s something empowering about choosing to break."
 
Jennie suggests breaking the mold of being around like-minded people. "It’s better to be around diverse-minded people." 

Deanna says breaking the rules is all about innovation. 

Watch our conversation: 


Goals for Breaking the Rules

  • Jennie: Don't wait for things to be perfect. Do the things!
  • Deanna: Be brave. Ask for something every day this week
  • John: Give something away. Share your gifts and talents

Final Thoughts 

If you think about it, writing is not just about breaking the rules, it's about creating your own rules: worlds, processes, characters - and then sharing them with the world.


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For more inspiration and motivation, follow @TheDEBMethod on Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin! 

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How do you break the rules? Please share in the comments. 

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Debra Eckerling is the award-winning author of Your Goal Guide: A Roadmap for Setting, Planning and Achieving Your Goals and founder of the D*E*B METHOD, which is her system for goal-setting simplified. A goal-strategist, corporate consultant, and project catalyst, Debra offers personal and professional planning, event strategy, and team building for individuals, businesses, and teams. She is also the author of Write On Blogging and Purple Pencil Adventures; founder of Write On Online; host of the #GoalChat Twitter Chat, #GoalChatLive on Facebook and LinkedIn, and The DEB Show podcast. She speaks on the subjects of writing, networking, goal-setting, and social media.


Featured Productivity Tool: Go Out on an Adventure




As writers, we are always on the lookout for new material for our non-fiction projects and fictional stories. One of the best things we can do to stay productive is to go out on adventures. That way, we always have material to share with our readers and fans.

To kick off August, I talked about Adventure with Christopher Cherian, Founder & CEO, Gatherly; Rob DeCou, CEO, Lux Virtual; and Kate Paine, Standing Out Online. All three are adventurous, driven, entrepreneurs, which made for a fun and engaging conversation.

 

What Adventure Means to Them

Adventure is:
  • Rob: Getting outside of your comfort zone
  • Chris: About the unknown
  • Kate: Energy; purpose, joy, and playfulness

Goals for Adventure

  • Rob: Set and achieve a goal per month; also make a goal to do something for others
  • Chris: Look back, meditate, and reflect on a recent adventure; write down the takeaways
  • Kate: Take a risk. Try something new this month, personal of professional, that’s fun, and see it through a different lens
  • Bonus goal from me: Keep a win list
Whether your business is actually a business or consultancy and/or the business of writing, having adventures keeps you creatively fueled and on alert for your next great article or story idea! 

Read the complete recap.


* * * 

For more inspiration and motivation, follow @TheDEBMethod on Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin! 

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What adventures do you have planned for the summer? Please share in the comments. 

* * *

Debra Eckerling is the award-winning author of Your Goal Guide: A Roadmap for Setting, Planning and Achieving Your Goals and founder of the D*E*B METHOD, which is her system for goal-setting simplified. A goal-strategist, corporate consultant, and project catalyst, Debra offers personal and professional planning, event strategy, and team building for individuals, businesses, and teams. She is also the author of Write On Blogging and Purple Pencil Adventures; founder of Write On Online; Vice President of the Los Angeles Chapter of the Women's National Book Association; host of the #GoalChat Twitter Chat, #GoalChatLive on Facebook and LinkedIn, and The DEB Show podcast. She speaks on the subjects of writing, networking, goal-setting, and social media.


Why I’m Still Blogging (and You Should too)


By Terry Whalin @terrywhalin

“As an acquisitions editor, you should not be blogging,” one of my long-term writer friends told me in 2008. I worked inside a well-known publisher and she believed a blog was a complete waste of my time.  I was an early adapter to the blogging trend.  I ignored her advice and I’m still blogging for many different reasons. Isn’t blogging out of step? Many writers are still blogging regularly including my long-term friend, Jerry B. Jenkins, who has been on the New York Times list 21 times. We talk about blogging some in this Master Class interview (follow the link). In this article I will help you understand why you should be blogging too.

Pick Your Audience and Focus for Every Entry

Before you post your first blog article, you need to determine your audience or readers. Just like no book is for everyone, no blog is for every reader. You can’t be all things to all readers and the focus of your blog will be critical to drawing returning readers. For example, my blog is called The Writing Life because each entry (now over 1,600 of them) are focused on various aspects of my life in publishing. I tell personal stories, point out resources and things that I’m learning. It is not just books but magazine and other aspects of the publishing business. My focus is broad enough to allow a great deal of variety. It never grows old to me (so I abandon my blog—which many people do) and I have an endless supply of material. These aspects are foundational and critical when you start blogging. Also determine how frequently you can post. If you post once a month, that pace is too infrequent for drawing readers. If you post daily, the pace may be too consuming—and you will possibly give up. I decided to blog once a week and I post on the same day every week.  Throughout each week, I have numerous ideas and I keep track of these ideas (develop your own system to capture them) and they become articles.

Some people organize a team of contributors on a topic and rotate article. Others (like me) post my own blog articles. 

Multiple Reasons to Blog 

From my view, there are multiple reasons to regularly blog:

Consistency. Blogging is an easy way to build a consistent writing habit. You can also mentor and help many others with your blog entries.

Platform and influence. Literary agents and publishers are looking for writers (despite their form rejection letters). Your blog is part of your platform, a way to show your writing skills and influence others.

A place to store your various ideas. Articles for my blog are made quickly and random topics. A number of years ago, I took those random entries and organized them into a book. Within publishing we call this process a Blook. My Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams originally started as blog entries.

A place to repurpose my ideas. When I need a blog article for someone else, I often turn to my blog with a wealth of material. In a short amount of time I can repurpose and rewrite a blog entry for these needs.

A way to make money. It’s not my first reason to blog but I make money from my blog. Through blogging, I’ve found authors that publish through Morgan James. I’ve made affiliate income from my blog and much more. I’ve even got a risk-free eBook called The 31 Day Guide to Blogging for Bucks (follow the link) for more insights on this topic.

Practical Lessons for Your Blog

Here are several practical lessons I’ve learned for your blog

--Get a header or look to your blog which people will recognize when they go to it. It doesn’t have to be complicated but should be distinctly your look. You can use a template or get help from someone at Fiverr.com but do invest this energy into the appearance.

--Add a search tool into your blog. I picked up mine from google but look for a simple HTML addition that you can add to help your readers. For The Writing Life, my search tool is in the right hand column (scroll down to find it). I use this search tool often when I’m looking for something among my many entries.

--Always include a royalty-free image with each blog entry. You can’t use just any image you find but should get it from a royalty-free source (check this link for some resources). The image gives others an easy way to pass on your articles and give you additional readers.

--Add a subscription tool to your blog. I use Feedblitz and have about 500 people who receive any update to my blog through their email. Use this link to subscribe to my blog.

--Add a ClickToTweet for every entry. There are other tools but I use ClickToTweet and from monitoring my social media, I know a number of people use this tool. Follow this link to learn how to install it.  Make it easy for people to share your articles.

A key part of the writing life is a word I don’t really like but actively do: discipline or the discipline of consistently writing. A blog is an important part of this process for me.

Tweetable:  

Are blogs still relevant? This prolific writer and editor tells why he is stillblogging (and you should too). Get the details here. (ClickToTweet)

________________________________________

W. Terry Whalin, a writer and acquisitions editor lives in Colorado. A former magazine editor and former literary agent, Terry is an acquisitions editor at Morgan James Publishing. He has written more than 60 nonfiction books including Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams and Billy Graham. Get Terry’s newest book, 10 Publishing Myths for only $10, free shipping and bonuses worth over $200. To help writers catch the attention of editors and agents, Terry wrote his bestselling Book Proposals That $ell, 21 Secrets To Speed Your Success. Check out his free Ebook, Platform Building Ideas for Every Author. His website is located at: www.terrywhalin.com. Connect with Terry on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Featured Productivity Tool: The 5 of 7 Rule


A lot of productivity experts say, "Don't break the chain. Work on your projects every day. 

I say: Think about your projects every day. And only schedule time you can commit to for working on them. Granted, if all you are doing is thinking, that's cheating, so you do need to put in some time. The goal is to set you and your projects up for success. 

My 5 of 7 Rule serves to help you take the pressure off yourself, as you work toward achieving your goals, while continuing to juggle everything else going on in your life. As a result, you will be less stressed and more productive. 

The 5 of 7 Rule is exactly how it sounds: 
• Work toward your goals 5 out of every 7 days each week. (Or however many days you can commit to.)  
 • This enables you to keep your objective top-of-mind, while giving you ample downtime. 
• It eliminates the fluster you feel when life happens and you need to skip a day or two.
 

For Example

Let’s say you’re going to work 15 minutes a day on your project, which is a reasonable amount of time. 

If you miss a day, you decide to do 30 minutes the next day. You miss that one too, and you’re up to 45. Well, if you can’t manage 15 minutes, you’ll really have challenges finding 30 or 45. 

My point is this: If you miss a day, just skip it and do 15 minutes the following day. 

Final Thoughts 

Don’t get me wrong. If working toward your goals every day is feasible, go right ahead. However, when you really need it, allow yourself a day or two off, guilt-free.  

* * * 

For more inspiration and motivation, follow @TheDEBMethod on Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin! 

* * *

What's your favorite productivity tip or tool? Please share in the comments. 

* * *

Debra Eckerling is the award-winning author of Your Goal Guide: A Roadmap for Setting, Planning and Achieving Your Goals and founder of the D*E*B METHOD, which is her system for goal-setting simplified. A goal-strategist, corporate consultant, and project catalyst, Debra offers personal and professional planning, event strategy, and team building for individuals, businesses, and teams. She is also the author of Write On Blogging and Purple Pencil Adventures; founder of Write On Online; Vice President of the Los Angeles Chapter of the Women's National Book Association; host of the #GoalChat Twitter Chat, #GoalChatLive on Facebook and LinkedIn, and The DEB Show podcast. She speaks on the subjects of writing, networking, goal-setting, and social media.


Featured Productivity Tool: Write Your Win List


Want a sure-fire to stay motivated ... and productive? Start tracking your wins.  

As writers, we constantly have multiple projects at various stages of development. Things take a long time to go from idea to published work. It's easy to lose steam ... and lose faith. 

Stop waiting to write "The End" before noting an accomplishment. Track all of your wins. And start celebrating ALL of your accomplishments. 

How and Where to Track Wins

One easy way to track your wins is via your electronic calendar. Whenever you have a writing appointment, include the time - and the activity - in your calendar. Then, at the end of the month, if you don't feel like you've done enough, you can easily prove yourself wrong. All your progress at a glance. 

You can also track progress by creating a Win List. You can do this in an actual notebook, on a Google or Word doc - whatever makes the most sense for you. Then, at the end of every day, put the date at the top and write out one to three wins. At the end of the week, review your list and celebrate your wins. You can also do this whenever you need a pick me up!

Win Starters

Are you having trouble claiming wins? Here is a fill-in-the-blank list to get you started. Hint: Anything and everything can be considered a win. It just needs to be meaningful to you.
  • I journaled ## days/week 
  • I wrote/created/published /launched/released [this] 
  • I queried X agents/magazines/publishers
  • I did [this nice thing] that helped [this person/community] 
  • I did not complain about my neighbors
  • I learned [this] 
  • I read [that] 
  • I reconnected with [this person] 
  • I worked out ## days most weeks 
  • I cooked/baked/gardened 
  • I filled someone's expired parking meter
  • I pursued information on [something] that has always interested me 
  • I tried eating/drinking/watching something new
  • I survived 

Final Thoughts 

Motivation and productivity go hand in hand. The more productive you are, the more motivated you are to keep going. Keep an eye on your goals, and celebrate every step along the way. Remember, you can do it!

* * * 
For more inspiration and motivation, follow @TheDEBMethod on Twitter and Linkedin! 

* * *

What's your biggest win this week? This month? Please share in the comments, so we can help celebrate you. 

* * *

Debra Eckerling is the award-winning author of Your Goal Guide: A Roadmap for Setting, Planning and Achieving Your Goals and founder of the D*E*B METHOD, which is her system for goal-setting simplified. A writer, editor, and project catalyst, Deb works with entrepreneurs, executives, and creatives to set goals and manage their projects through one-on-one coaching, workshops, and online support. She is also the author of Write On Blogging and Purple Pencil Adventures; founder of Write On Online; Vice President of the Los Angeles Chapter of the Women's National Book Association; host of the #GoalChat Twitter Chat, #GoalChatLive on Facebook and LinkedIn, and The DEB Show podcast. She speaks on the subjects of writing, networking, goal-setting, and social media.


Don't Avoid This Writer Responsibility

 


By Terry Whalin @terrywhalin

It was a life-changing moment and a revelation to my writing life. In 2007, I was a literary agent with, the Whalin Literary Agency, a small Arizona-based agency. Mark Victor Hansen, co-author for Chicken Soup for the Soul, invited me to Mega-Book Marketing University in Los Angeles. About 400 people attended this event with well-known speakers over several days. At that point in my writing life, I had written over 50 books for traditional publishers. Two of my proposals received six-figure advances and publishers made beautiful books and got them into bookstores. Yet my books were not selling and I had the negative royalty statements from my publishers to prove it. 

Throughout the conference, I listened carefully and took notes. One of the speakers was Jack Canfield who had just published The Success Principles. For years he has studied what it takes to be successful and I certainly wanted to be successful as an author. The first of his 64 principles is: “Take 100% Responsibility for Your Life.”

I didn’t want to take 100% responsibility.  I wanted to write the books and then have my publisher sell the books. Wasn’t marketing their responsibility? Didn’t they sell the books into the bookstore? I was writing excellent books and delivering them on deadline and working through each editorial process. But I was doing very little to market the books. I had a single website with my name but no email list, no social media, no blog or other type of writer’s platform. At Mega-Book Marketing University, I learned publishers make books and distribute them to bookstores. Here’s what I was missing and I learned: the author drives readers into the bookstore (brick and mortar or online) to buy those books. Ultimately, the author sells the books to the readers.

Like many writers that I meet, my expectations were unrealistic and I was not taking my responsibility as a writer. I made a decision to change. I started to blog and today my blog has over 1500 searchable entries in it. I began an email list (which continues to be a unique way to reach my readers).  Also I’m active on social media with over 190,000 Twitter followers and over 19,400 LinkedIn connections. For years, I post on these platforms 12-15 times a day.

If I’m honest, I don’t want 100% responsibility for my own success as a writer. Yet from my decades in publishing, I’ve watched many things go wrong in the publishing process. Good books don’t get marketed and go out of print. Editors change while you are working with a publisher. Those situations are just two of a myriad of things which can push your book off the rails in the wrong direction. I can’t control my publisher, my editor, my agent, my marketing person or ____. But I can control myself and my own efforts.

My acceptance of this responsibility means I have to continually grow and learn as a writer. It means I often take courses or read books and I’m always looking for new ways to build my audience and reach more people.  Thankfully as writers we are not alone. Others have shown us how they have achieved success. This path may work for me or it may not. There is no success formula used for every book to make it sell into the hands of readers. Instead there are basic principles others are using to build their audience and find readers. I have one certainty: it will not fly if you don’t try. I continue to take action—and encourage you to do the same. It’s the writer’s journey.

Tweetable: 

Are you looking for someone else to sell your books? This prolific writer andeditor has taken an unusual responsibility. Learn the details here. (ClickToTweet)

________________________________________

W. Terry Whalin, a writer and acquisitions editor lives in Colorado. A former magazine editor and former literary agent, Terry is an acquisitions editor at Morgan James Publishing. He has written more than 60 nonfiction books including Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams and Billy Graham. Get one of Terry’s recent books, 10 Publishing Myths for only $10, free shipping and bonuses worth over $200. To help writers catch the attention of editors and agents, Terry wrote his bestselling Book Proposals That $ell, 21 Secrets ToSpeed Your Success (The Revised Edition). Check out his free Ebook, Platform Building Ideas for Every Author. His website is located at: www.terrywhalin.com. Connect with Terry on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Different Types of Writing

 

by Mindy Lawrence

When someone discovers you’re a writer, the first thing they ask is what books you’ve published. Novels are one form of writer but not the only type by any means. All forms of writing are valid. A journalist is not less important than a novelist. Neither is a business writer less important than an essayist. Each type of writing has its reasons to be. Each type of writing has its goal.

Here are five types of writing with an example for each:

Narrative Writing
James Baldwin reflects on his life as a Black man in early- to mid-twentieth-century America with his narrative essays. He tells about the way he was brought up, where, and what it looked and felt like.

“Notes of a Native Son” by James Baldwin
“Harlem, physically at least, has changed very little in my parents’ lifetime or in mine. Now as then the buildings are old and in desperate need of repair, the streets are crowded and dirty, there are too many human beings per square block.”
https://www.skillshare.com/blog/5-examples-of-narrative-writing/

Immediately there is the visualization of a place that is crowded and untended. In just a few words, Baldwin shows us the whole of Harlem at that time.

Descriptive Writing
In descriptive writing, a writer tries to paint a word picture of an event or a place. In this piece, Joyce Carol Oates describes an upper New York classroom.

"Inside District School #7, Niagara County, New York"
by Joyce Carol Oates
"Inside, the school smelled smartly of varnish and wood smoke from the potbellied stove. On gloomy days, not unknown in upstate New York in this region south of Lake Ontario and east of Lake Erie, the windows emitted a vague, gauzy light, not much reinforced by ceiling lights. We squinted at the blackboard, that seemed far away since it was on a small platform, where Mrs. Dietz's desk was also positioned, at the front, left of the room. We sat in rows of seats, smallest at the front, largest at the rear, attached at their bases by metal runners, like a toboggan; the wood of these desks seemed beautiful to me, smooth and of the red-burnished hue of horse chestnuts. The floor was bare wooden planks. An American flag hung limply at the far left of the blackboard and above the blackboard, running across the front of the room, designed to draw our eyes to it avidly, worshipfully, were paper squares showing that beautifully shaped script known as Parker Penmanship."
https://www.thoughtco.com/model-descriptive-paragraphs-1690573

Persuasive Writing
Persuasive writing shares information or attempts to entertain or persuade. They are closely related to argumentative essays. It attempts to persuade a person to a certain point of view. Click the link for a sample.
https://youtu.be/O2dEuMFR8kw

Expository Writing
Expository writing Is nonfiction. It explains a topic logically without emotion or opinion. The writer assumes that the reader has little or no information on the topic so must make the reader aware. Types of expository essays include: Cause and Effect Essay, Problem and Solution Essay, Comparison and Contrast Essay, Definition Essay, Classification Essay and Process Essay.

Sample Expository Essay on the Silk Road:  https://academichelp.net/samples/academics/essays/expository/the-silk-road.html

Creative Writing
Creative writing includes fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. Here’s an example from The Hobbit.

The Hobbit
J.R.R Tolkien
“Do you wish me a good morning, or mean that it is a good morning whether I want it or not; or that you feel good this morning; or that it is a morning to be good on?”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, or There and Back Again
https://www.quotes.net/mquote/1096347

Review Writing
Aside from these forms of writing, there is also Review Writing. It’s a combination of descriptive, objective, and subjective writing designed to let readers know if they are interested in a particular book, author. It also can be the review of a product to interest an individual to buy or not buy it.

In book reviews, A review will offer a concise plot summary of the book. It will offer an evaluation of the  work. It will also offer a recommendation for the audience.

Kirkus Reviews: The Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison (Excerpt)

“An extremely powerful story of a young Southern Negro, from his late high school days through three years of college to his life in Harlem.

His early training prepared him for a life of humility before white men, but through injustices- large and small, he came to realize that he was an "invisible man". People saw in him only a reflection of their preconceived ideas of what he was, denied his individuality, and ultimately did not see him at all. This theme, which has implications far beyond the obvious racial parallel, is skillfully handled…”
https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/ralph-ellison/invisible-man/

Read the type of writing you are interested in and learn from it. Keep on writing!


LINKS to helpful information:
5 Types of Writing Styles, Skillshare.com
https://www.skillshare.com/blog/the-5-types-of-writing-styles-with-examples/

Different Types of Writing, Different Types.net
https://www.differenttypes.net/types-of-writing/

10 Different Types of Writing styles: Which One Do You Enjoy, Software Testing Help.com
https://www.softwaretestinghelp.com/different-types-of-writing-styles/

6 Persuasive Writing Strategies, Grammarly
https://www.grammarly.com/blog/persuasive-writing/

What Aristotle and Joshua Bell can Teach Us About Persuasion, YouTube
https://youtu.be/O2dEuMFR8kw

17 Review Example to Help you Write the Perfect Review. Reedsy Discovery
https://reedsy.com/discovery/blog/book-review-examples?gclid=CjwKCAiAg6yRBhBNEiwAeVyL0PnD6vrNVVPYFogNFgFyvRycANklwyd5tZZ7jRMKiIGsVvDrLJNhchoC60QQAvD_BwE

Mindy Lawrence is a writer, ghost blogger, and artist based in Farmington, Missouri. She worked for the State of Missouri for over 24 years and moved to Farmington in 2020.

She proofread the Sharing with Writers newsletter by Carolyn Howard-Johnson and wrote “An Itty-Bitty Column on Writing” there for ten years. She has been published in Writers' Digest magazine and interviewed by NPR’s All Things Considered.





Are You Building a Body of Work?


By Terry Whalin @terrywhalin

Are you writing consistently? Are you continuing to work at building relationships with the gatekeepers (magazine editors, online editors, book editors, literary agents and other professional writers). I know it is basic but consistent writing and working at this business is critical. It rarely comes easy or quickly to any of us. In fact, we often fight the discipline and consistency of writing.

Occasionally someone will look at the volume of my own writing and exclaim, “How do you do it?” As writers, we write one sentence then one page at a time. Some days I’m amazed that I’ve written over 60 books and the first one. When I Grow Up was published in 1992. In these years, I’ve been able to build a body of work. The concept of consistency and building a body of work may be new to you.

Years ago on the way to a writer’s conference, I chatted with a literary agent. I was just beginning to be published and he encouraged me to continue building a body of work. It’s not a single book or a single magazine article but the sum of your work in publishing that eventually makes an impact. Are you growing in your understanding of the publishing business? On a consistent basis, I learn new terms and new aspects.

Some days I don’t feel like cranking out some words but I do it. As I’ve traveled the country and worked with different writers. I know some writers are inspirational writers. They only write when they feel the story in their fingers and put it on paper. Others are journeymen and professional writers. They pound the keys day in and day out—whether they feel like it or not. I fall into that latter category (most of the time). It’s helped my consistent writing.

As a young journalist training in news editorial, one summer, I interned on the Peru Tribune, a small town newspaper in Peru, Indiana. We had no computers and the typesetting was done with a Linotype machine in the back of the building. We had our story meetings at 7:30 a.m where the managing editor talked with the reporters about the stories to be written that day. In that short meeting we received our particular assigned stories, then hit it with the full knowledge of our 11 a.m. copy deadline. Our stories went quickly through the editor and appeared in the printed afternoon paper at 3 p.m. We had no time to sharpen our pencils or hem and haw about writer’s block. We had a deadline to meet—which we met day after day.

Whatever you write (children's books, fiction books, nonfiction books, magazine articles, online publications or anything else) what steps are you taking to build a body of work? It will not happen overnight but can certainly happen if you are consistent. I’m committed to writing consistently. I want to keep my fingers on the keyboard and keep them moving to write articles, chapters for books and book proposals. I’m committed to building a body of work. It might not pay off immediately but in the long run, I know consistency counts.

How are you building a body of writing work? Tell me in the comments below.

W. Terry Whalin is an acquisitions editor at Morgan James Publishing. 
He has written for over 50 magazines and more than 60 books with traditional publishers.  His latest book for writers is  Book Proposals That $ell (the revised edition) released to online and brick and mortar bookstores. 
Jim Cox, Editor-in-Chief at Midwest Book Review wrote, If you only have time to read one 'how to' guide to getting published, whether it be traditional publishing or self-publishing, Book Proposals That Sell is that one DIY instructional book. You can get a free Book Proposal Checklist on the site. He lives in Colorado and has over 190,000 twitter followers

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