A Call for Writers to Find Balance


By Terry Whalin 
@terrywhalin

Within the publishing world, I’ve often heard it is harder to sign with a literary agent than to locate a publisher. Because publishers have been inundated with poor and inappropriate submissions, many of them have created policies of only accepting submissions from literary agents.  This practice created pressure on the agents to find the right authors, shape the right pitches and send to the right publisher. Also, agents have become gatekeepers in the publishing process. 

For over 30 years, I’ve worked with multiple agents on proposals and pitches. For several years I ran my own literary agency and I’m currently an acquisitions editor at my third publishing house. I’ve read thousands of submissions. Every writer needs to learn the skill of producing an excellent manuscript, book proposal and query letter or pitch.  You can learn each of these skills. Now you have created each of these tools and you are looking for the right literary agent. Here’s some basics (rarely verbalized facts you need to know):

1. The literary agent works for you. When you sign an agency agreement, you become one of their clients or the authors they represent. 

2. Some agents are former editors and will work back and forth with you to perfect your proposal and/or pitch. Other agents will take your proposal, add a cover letter and get it out to various publishers. Before you sign, I encourage you to ask about how they work with their authors and make sure it is the right fit for what you need.

3. How frequently does the agent communicate with you? Do they send you the rejections? Years ago, a well-known agent represented me and he never sent me the rejections. Instead, he would tell me, “Everyone passed, Terry.” When I asked who, he never gave me the specifics but repeated “everyone.”  When I was an agent, I sent each rejection to the specific author. Maybe you don’t want your rejections but ask about this practice ahead of signing.

4. Does the agent work with you on a list of possible publishers or do they create the list and handle it? Does the agent guide your future projects and bring you writing opportunities they have discovered from speaking with publishers? 

Some additional areas to examine include years in the industry, their list of other clients and ask if you can speak with a few of their clients. Also use google and see what you can learn. Also ask about their negotiation skills with contracts and some of their results. The business of publishing is filled with complexity. These are just a few of the questions to ask and make sure you have the right fit before you sign with a particular agent or agency. The agent or agency you select is an important decision. My encouragement is for you to ask questions before you sign their agreement and make sure it is the right fit for you and your writing goals.  I know many excellent literary agents. Writers have multiple choices in this area—whether you are aware of it or not. Good and clear communication is a critical part of the process.

Tweetable: 

As writers look for a literary agent, this prolific writer and editor has seen an imbalance in publishing. He calls writers into a balanced approach. Learn the details here. (ClickToTweet)


W. Terry Whalin, a writer and acquisitions editor lives in California. 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 recent 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 TwitterFacebook and LinkedIn.

Confessions of a Dyslexic Writer

 

Contributed by Margot Conor

I’ve always had an active imagination. As a child the adults in my life were unstable, dealing with their own problems and it left me adrift. No one noticed I was having trouble at school. I escaped by creating worlds where life didn’t hurt.

From a young age, I loved creating stories and I even tried to write them, but they were a mess of misspellings and reversed letters. Because of this difficulty with writing letters and numbers, my teachers accused me of being inattentive and lazy. Rather than recognizing I had a learning disorder and offering to give me additional attention, they would showcase my problems in front of the other students to shame me. My issues went undiagnosed and the damage to my self-esteem stuck.

I always wanted to be an author. I continued to write stories and attempted longer projects at various times over the years. I have many unfinished manuscripts and unpublished short stories. However, I didn't attempt to be a professional writer until technology provided a path forward for people like me.

As a child, I was not aware that there were other people who suffered from the same issues. It wasn’t until high school that I was tested. By that point, I had gotten very good at hiding it. But a teacher at a new school finally noticed and helped. These tests informed me that I had dyslexia, dysgraphia, and dyscalculia.

Dysgraphia: issues with spelling, grammar, numbers. Writing letters in reverse, struggling to form written sentences with correct grammar and punctuation. Using verbs and pronouns incorrectly.

Dyscalculia: is a learning disorder that affects a person's ability to understand number-based information and math. People who have dyscalculia struggle with numbers and math because their brains don't process math-related concepts like others do.

As a generalization, these all get put under the umbrella of dyslexia. It is important to understand that no person’s brain exhibits the same form of dyslexia, we are all unique. I have also experienced changes; it is not a fixed problem. For example, when very young I saw everything in a mirror image, and I wrote everything backward.

I can still easily write and read in this way, but somehow, I made it turn around. Words now change places or morph into words they shouldn’t be. Letters and numbers get mixed up. With words I can cope, but with numbers, there is no place they should be. No order or rule for placement.

While we can’t change how our brains work, we can learn how to better work with the brain we’ve got. I began by enrolling myself in a reading course for dyslexic people. It taught me to glance at groups of words at a time, rather than trying to puzzle out each word individually. I had trouble with both Anagrams and Anadromes.

Anagram is a word or phrase formed by rearranging the letters to form another word. The original letters are used only once. (Fried - fired, bare - bear, reed - deer, calm - clam, listen - silent, secure - rescue).
Anadrome is a word or phrase with the same letters which form a different word when spelled backward. (Parts - strap, evil - live, stressed - desserts, deliver - reviled, drawer - reward, nametag - gateman).

People with dyslexia experience the wrong order of letters or words while reading. Glancing at a group of words I could determine what each word in a sentence was by context. It took practice but eventually, it sped my reading and comprehension significantly. I now read at a normal rate, and I read a lot!

Dyslexics have advantages over other many neurotypicals. We read patterns, body language, and facial expressions. Our verbal communication skills are strong. Because we have experience as outsiders we develop empathy for others. We have sensitive auditory processing, creative problem-solving, and increased 3-D spatial perception. We love to think outside the box and solve puzzles. We develop critical thinking and analysis skills, and the ability to problem-solve with creative concepts.

So, what happens when a person with this mix of limitations and gifts decides to take writing seriously and become an author? As a writer, I am what they call a Panster. This term came from the idiom “Fly by the seat of your pants.”

Many writers prefer to do outlines and have various ways to organize their story arcs by planning out each stage of their novel ensuring they hit every plot point. I have tried to do this; I would like to be a plotter! But it just doesn’t work for me. Nor can I write in a linear fashion, from the opening chapter to the end.

I begin with a rather cinematic view of a story; it comes to me visually. The characters form personalities and even live in my dreams. I write whatever they are doing, and whatever they tell me. The characters come alive in my imagination, I get involved in their dramas and troubles. I feel their needs and their desires. I start to see the possibilities and then I move with them on a journey that ultimately becomes a novel.

Finished for me begins with a folder full of chapters that are out of order. I only know in my mind that they will fit together to form a whole. Then I start to organize the chapters. It is like fitting together a puzzle. Sometimes I have to add a chapter here or there to tie the pieces together. Other times I must exclude chapters or whole subplots that don’t move the main story forward. I save those unused parts and they become novellas or short stories set in the same world as my novel.

It is only because of the modern age of access and the wonderful tools created for authors that I am now able to share my writing with the world. Previously I would have had to have someone retype my manuscripts to correct my misspellings, punctuation, and grammar. This sort of assistance was costly, and I didn’t have the income to support it. All my stories languished in boxes and later in computer files, waiting for me to get back to them.

Now, I first create a Word document. I like the Find-Replace feature. This allows me to type a word in the search box and every place it appears in the document will be highlighted. For example, if a misspelling is found in a character name or a made-up place, spellcheck might not catch it. I can type the various alternate spellings in the search box and find where I have reversed letters.

I use Grammarly and Autocrit to polish and edit my stories and manuscripts. Writing is a complex task, and several areas of our brains are involved in the process. There is no reason why someone with a brain like mine can’t be a successful author. There have been others before me. For example: F. Scott Fitzgerald, Agatha Christie, Richard Ford, George Bernard Shaw, Octavia Butler, WB Yeats, Gustave Flaubert, and Jules Verne to name a few.

I will follow in their esteemed footsteps and do the best I can with the way my mind sees the world. I hope you will enjoy my stories.

References:
NeuroHealth: https://neurohealthah.com/blog/types-of-dyslexia/
Thinking in 3-D
Visual-Spatial Abilities in Dyslexia: National Library of Medicine

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Margot Conor has been writing for as long as she can remember, but it wasn't until the COVID lock-down that she had enough time to dedicate to the craft and bring something to completion. Having finished her first novel, she went through the grueling two-year process of editing. Now she has jumped into the author's world with both feet. She's preparing to debut her first novel, which means learning how to promote it. The last year has been spent attending many writing retreats, seminars, and writers' events. She also listened to presentations specifically on the topic of publishing and book marketing. She will be sharing what she learns with the reader.
Learn more about Margot at https://margotconor.com/



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!

* * * 

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

* * *

How do you honor your voice? 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.


Why Authors Should Learn to Love Amazon’s Freebies



Learning to Love Amazon’s Freebies

 

By Carolyn Howard-Johnson

Award-winning writer of fiction and poetry and
author of the multi award-winning 
#HowToDoItFrugally Series of books for writers



 

 

Even with a publicity background, I stepped in lots of mucky publicity potholes when my first novel was published. Here on the four phases of my disillusionment:

 

  • I thought that hiring a professional was the only way to go—after all I had once been a New York publicist! so it was only natural to suppose that, right?
  • When I realized that book promotion not only offered but that it pretty much demanded processes that were different from the PR I had done professionally, I thought I had to hire one. And due to my frugality, I hated that, but I did it anyway.
  • When I realized I didn’t have to spend money and reclaimed my independence, I fell into shooting publicity bullets at…well, if not really the wrong audience, then certainly not the audience that would buy the most books.
  • I was new at the self-publishing part of my writing life, so I believed the misinformation I was hearing from authors who were determined to avoid Amazon.

 

Of course, I was dead wrong on all accounts. Primarily because when we learn new rules, they always seem so didactic. They leave no middle ground. I had to learn the hard way from each of first three phases. Luckily, I learned quite quickly that if Amazon sells 60% of the world’s books, they couldn’t be all bad even though my author friends loved to hate it.

 

So, I am now an Amazon fan who chooses to skirt the parts that seem antagonistic to a writer’s goals or research them to find why Amazon does those things. Most often, I learn something new (and positive) from that search. It is worth the effort. It is, after all, a great place to find people who read.

 

My favorite Amazon tool is a free KDP feature that lets authors (or publishers) dress up their book’s buy pages with quotes and images. Find the one my publisher did for the third edition of the winningest book in my series for writers, The Frugal Editor from Modern History Press. Self-publishers can do it, too, directly from their magical KDP bookshelf.

 

My second favorite is the profile page Amazon does for authors. It is w-a-ay underused by authors. When your readers use the “follow” icon on your profile page, Amazon pings all of those who followed with announcements of your newest book. The thing is, your readers need to know about the page even if they prefer not to be pestered with frequent emails. They will want to know about each of your new books! It’s free and it works. One of my mottoes is, “For a promotion to work you gotta promote the promotion.” So, here are some reasons to love profile pages and to get one for yourself:

 

  • If you’re self-published, you’re in charge of your own profile page. If you’re under contract to a publisher, you might have to ask them to do it, or give Amazon permission for you to do it for yourself.
  • It’s a great way to reach some of the readers you would otherwise never know about. Amazon never shares the names of people who have looked at your page or purchased your book, but they will share your book with those readers.
  • Amazon is a huge search engine where your book gets more exposure with the key words you or your publisher supplied when they installed your book on this wondrous online bookstore.
  • Every time you participate in one of Amazon’s features—that might be a review you post for your favorite books—your name links back to that page.
  • If you have a series, Amazon now offers a free series page where your new readers can order all the e-book versions of your books with one click. Amazon’s logarithms love that, too, and it helps with Amazon’s searches. (See the next bullet for more on their logarithms!) To see an example, go to mine at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0BTXQL27T
  • Every time you participate in any Amazon feature—like your profile page—Amazon’s logarithms get a little nudge. With enough nudges, you might be amazed at how much free promotion you’ll get—some of which you’ll never know about until the logarithm is so happy it makes it happen and a friend or reader tells you about it.

 

So take a look at how I installed and fancied my profile page up with a biography. I also importing all my self-published titles from my bookshelf at AuthorCentral bookshelf in addition to traditionally published ones. I made a short, memorable link (no gibberish or codes!) for it. Real words are more memorable—and better marketing—than a string of html. To get people to come (and help ping that logarithm), I put an invitation to follow me there in most of my email signatures. If you haven’t seen one, check mine at https://bit.ly/CarolynsAmznProfile.

            

            One thing you should know: Rumor has it that Amazon claims to “own” any writing you post. In my The Frugal Book Promoter I explain that this is misinformation using a quotation directly from Amazon as proof. Authors still maintain rights to use the reviews or anything else they write and put on Amazon. (Amazon may use it, too, but they have never used anything of mine. If they ever should, I will cheer rather than gripe. And, yes, even try to find the person responsible to thank them for the great exposure!

 

MORE ABOUT THE BLOG CONTRIBUTOR


Carolyn Howard-Johnson tries to share something she hopes might save some author from embarrassment (or make the task of writing more fun or creative) with the subscribers and visitors to Karen Cioffi’s Writers on the Move blog each month.

She is the author of the multi award-winning #HowToDoItFrugally. Series of books for writers including the third edition of its flagship book The Frugal Book Promoter and, more recently, the third edition of The Frugal Editor from Modern History Press. Find both (among her others in that series) on the new Amazon Series page. The new edition of The Frugal Editor book has been fully updated including a new chapter on how backmatter can be extended to help readers and nudge book sales.

 

 

Green Eggs and Ham and a Bet

 

Contributed by Karen Cioffi, Children's Ghostwriter, Rewriter

This is a short post, but I found it fascinating and wanted to share.

Who would think that a random bet and constraints could lead to a book that sold 8 million copies as of 2019, and would become the best-selling book of the Dr. Seuss series?

When most people think of the word ‘constraint,’ it invokes a negative feeling or idea.

According to the Cambridge Dictionary, the definition of constraint is “something that controls what you do by keeping you within particular limits.”

This is where the negative idea comes from.

It makes sense that something that limits you, controls you, isn’t a good thing.

Well, according to James Clear, constraints are our friend. Constraints foster creativity and motivate us to work within those limits to accomplish what we need to.

What I found exceptionally interesting is that “Green Eggs and Ham” by Dr. Seuss came about through a bet and constraints.

In 1960, Bennett Cerf, the founder of Random House, bet Theo Geisel that he couldn’t write a children’s book with only 50 words or less.

The bet was for $50.

Imagine if Dr. Seuss balked at the idea of writing a story of only 50 words for a bet of a measly $50.

I’m sure you’ll find the rest of Clear’s article as interesting as I did:
The Weird Strategy Dr. Seuss Used to Create His Greatest Work

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Karen Cioffi is an award-winning children’s author, ghostwriter, rewriter, and coach. If you need help with your story, visit Writing for Children with Karen Cioffi.

Karen also offers authors:

HOW TO WRITE A CHILDREN'S FICTION BOOK
A DIY book to help you write your own children’s book.

WRITERS ON THE MOVE PRESS
Self-publishing help for children’s authors.


Self-Editing: Will it Ever Get Done?


Meet Abi Wunder. She is the star of the
Abi Wunder mystery trilogy. Book 1, Secret in the Stars,
is available on Amazon. Book 2, Secret in the Mist,
will be available soon. The outline for Book 3,
 Secrets of the Heart, is done.
Writing will begin soon.

By Linda Wilson     @LinWilsonauthor

Since publication of my last two articles about self-editing on  the Writers On the Move blog—please refer to the links at the end of this article—I continue to read and re-read my current work in progress, Secret in the Mist: An Abi Wunder Mystery. As has been said, you want to be absolutely sure that your manuscript is ready before you send it to your beta readers and professional editors, then on to publication. After all the editing work I’ve done on this book, it’s still not ready. How do I know? My re-thinking is still going on. 

During one of the passes I made through the manuscript, I found a surprising edit I hadn’t yet caught. In some cases, I wrote in generalities rather than being more specific. I’d been aware of this “rule” for as long as I’ve been writing; have heard it stated by many editors and fellow writers. 

Advice from “The Discovering Ideas Handbook”, written by John Tagg, 2003, from Palomar College, San Marcos, California, states this rule clearly:

Use Concrete, Specific Language 

Whenever possible, use concrete, specific language. The best way to do this is to write about individuals wherever possible, and concrete things rather than abstract concepts. Write about teachers, students, and schools rather than education and learning. Or say what you want to get across about education or learning by showing us what teachers and students do in schools or what apprentices do in learning plumbing. Specifics are almost always clearer than generalizations--it's easier to tell exactly what you are saying. And the concrete is almost always easier to follow that the abstract. It may not be easier to write specifically and concretely, but it produces writing that is easier to read.  

Use Examples

The easiest, and usually the best, way to keep your writing specific and concrete, as illustrated in the previous paragraph, is to use specific examples whenever possible. An example, of course, is simply a case or instance of something. A specific example is a particular instance. So to give a specific example of technology would be to write about particular people using a particular machine. To give a specific example of any human activity would require that you write about individual people. To give a specific example of teaching history, as in the example above, would be to describe what a particular teacher or students do. An easy rule of thumb to test the specificity of your writing is to ask whether you write about individual people in each paragraph. If you don't, you are generalizing too much. Give examples of every point you make, in most if not all of your paragraphs, and make your examples clear and forceful by making them specific. Write about people and what people actually do, not just about ideas or concepts.

Specific Language in Fiction

So, imagine my surprise when I found these glitches in my book and strove to improve them:

Original sentence: 

The marsh went back to normal, and the marsh sounds—insect buzzes and clicks and frog croaks—started up again.

Edited version:

“The marsh has a life of its own. Can you tell?” Jess said.

Cattails and tall grasses shot out of the water. Leafy green plants grew wild around the edge. Dragonflies skimmed the surface. Cicadas and crickets buzzed and clicked, and every now and then a bull frog croaked.

Original:

Jess tried the door. Locked. “Let’s look around. Maybe she [the ghost] went outside."

They shined their lights around the front of the building, but found nothing.

They headed out back, past the barn. The moon shone bright over the open field, but there was no ghost in sight.

Edited:

Jess moved to the door and jiggled the doorknob. “Of course. The door is locked.” 

“Hurry. Let's look around back.” Abi got to her feet. “She couldn’t have gone far.” 

They raced along the path, overgrown with weeds and grass, shining their lights at the bushes and trees, past the barn. Knee-high weeds scraped against Abi’s legs, leaving scratches that stung, but she kept going. The path gave way to an open field about the size of a football field, surrounded by a split-rail fence that had seen better days. 

Quickly, Abi scanned the field, lit by the moon, full and high in the sky by now, forgetting all about her stinging legs. But the field was empty. There was no ghost. 

What Will You Find in Your Search?

These are a few examples of how I’ve added texture, immediacy, and a picture for my readers’ minds, in place of generalities.

A search for specifics in place of generalities I think deserves a pass through your manuscript. As you can see, I’m happy I discovered these what I consider lackluster passages and worked to improve them before it was too late.

For more self-editing tips, please visit:

https://www.writersonthemove.com/2024/01/keep-your-self-editing-on-track.html

https://www.writersonthemove.com/2022/09/one-last-edit-re-think-before-submitting.html

Source: https://www.palomar.edu/users/jtagg/handbook/specific.htm 

One day soon, Secret in the Mist,
An Abi Wunder Mystery

will be published!
Linda Wilson is the author of the Abi Wunder Mystery series and other books for children. Her two new releases are Waddles the Duck: Hey, Wait for Me! (2022) and Cradle in the Wild: A Book for Nature Lovers Everywhere (2023). You’ll find Linda on her Amazon author page, on her website at LindaWilsonAuthor.com, and on Facebook.





10 Common Challenges Many New Novelists Face

by Suzanne Lieurance


New novelists often encounter a range of challenges as they begin writing their book. 



Here are 10 of the most common problems you may face if you’re a new novelist, PLUS what to do about each one:


Challenge #1. Writer's Block. 

 

This is perhaps one of the most notorious obstacles. 

 

It's when a writer finds themselves unable to produce new work or experiences a creative slowdown.

 

Try these strategies if you experience writer’s block:

 

°        Take breaks and engage in activities that inspire creativity, such as reading, going for walks or listening to music.

 

°        Try freewriting or brainstorming to generate new ideas without judgment.

 

 °       Set realistic writing goals and deadlines to maintain momentum.

 

Challenge #2. Lack of Direction.

 

Many new novelists struggle with not having a clear outline or plan for their story, leading to confusion and a lack of coherence in the plot.

 

If you lack direction in your novel, try these actions:

 

°        Create a detailed outline or story structure before diving into writing.

 

°        Develop character profiles and plot summaries to guide your writing process.

 

 °       Consider using writing prompts or exercises to explore different narrative   

          possibilities.

 

Challenge #3. Character Development.

 

Creating compelling and believable characters can be difficult. 

 

Writers may find it challenging to flesh out characters with depth, motivations, and unique personalities.

 

To develop your characters, try these strategies:

 

°        Conduct character interviews to delve into their backgrounds, motivations, and goals.

 

°        Allow characters to evolve naturally as you write, paying attention to how they respond to events and challenges.

   

°        Give characters distinct voices, mannerisms, and flaws to make them memorable and relatable.

 

Challenge #4. Plot Holes and Inconsistencies.

 

Keeping track of plot details, timelines, and ensuring consistency throughout the narrative can be challenging for new writers.

 

Try these methods for avoiding plot holes and inconsistencies:

 

°        Keep a story bible or timeline to track important plot details, character arcs, and world-building elements.

 

°        Conduct regular revisions and edits to address inconsistencies and tighten the narrative.

 

°        Seek feedback from beta readers or critique partners to identify areas where the plot may be unclear or inconsistent.

 

Challenge #5. Overwriting or Underwriting. 

 

Finding the right balance between providing enough detail to engage readers without overwhelming them or leaving the story underdeveloped can be tricky.

 

To avoid overwriting or underwriting:

 

°        Practice self-editing techniques to identify areas where you can trim unnecessary details or expand on important scenes.

 

°        Strive for balance by focusing on essential descriptions and dialogue that move the story forward.

   

°        Experiment with different writing styles and techniques to find your unique voice and rhythm.

 

Challenge #6. Fear of Criticism or Failure. 

 

New writers may struggle with self-doubt and fear of judgment from others, which can hinder their creativity and confidence in their work.

 

When you fear criticism or failure:

 

°        Remind yourself that all writers face rejection and criticism, and it's a natural part of the creative process.

 

°        Surround yourself with supportive peers or mentors who can provide constructive feedback and encouragement.

 

°        Focus on improving your craft and telling the story you want to tell, rather than worrying about others' opinions.

 

Challenge #7. Procrastination. 

 

It's easy to put off writing tasks, especially when faced with challenges or uncertainties. 

 

Overcoming procrastination is a common hurdle for many writers.

 

When you notice you are starting to procrastinate:

 

°        Break down writing tasks into smaller, manageable steps to make them less daunting.

 

°        Establish a consistent writing routine and set aside dedicated time for your creative work.

 

°        Use productivity tools or techniques, such as the Pomodoro Technique, to stay focused and motivated.

 

Challenge #8. Revision and Editing Difficulties. 

 

Knowing how to revise and edit effectively is a skill that takes time to develop. 

 

New writers may struggle with self-editing or knowing when to seek external feedback.

 

Try these revising and editing strategies:

 

°        Take a break between writing and revising to gain fresh perspective on your work.

   

°        Utilize self-editing checklists or techniques, such as reading your work aloud or changing the font, to catch errors and improve clarity.

   

°        Consider hiring a professional editor for a comprehensive critique and feedback.

 

Challenge #9. Finding Time to Write.

 

Balancing writing with other responsibilities and commitments can be tough. 

 

Many new writers struggle to carve out dedicated time for their craft with their busy schedules.

 

These tips should help when you’re having trouble finding time to write:

 

°        Prioritize writing by scheduling it into your daily or weekly routine.

  

°        Identify and eliminate time-wasting activities or distractions that prevent you from writing.

   

°        Set specific goals and deadlines to hold yourself accountable and track your progress.

 

Challenge #10. Finishing the Manuscript. 

 

Starting a novel is one thing, but completing it is another challenge altogether. 

 

Many new writers struggle to see their projects through to the end.

 

Try these tips to make sure you complete your novel:

 

°        Break the writing process into smaller milestones and celebrate each accomplishment.

 

°        Stay motivated by focusing on the sense of achievement and satisfaction you'll feel upon completing your manuscript.

 

°        Consider participating in writing challenges or accountability groups to stay on track and connect with other writers who share similar goals.

 

Navigating these challenges often requires perseverance, patience, and a willingness to learn from mistakes. 

 

Joining writing groups, seeking feedback from peers or mentors, and studying the craft of writing can all help you overcome these obstacles and grow as a novelist.


And, for more writing tips and helpful resources, be sure to get your free subscription to The Morning Nudge and join our Law of Attraction for Writers Facebook group



Suzanne Lieurance is an award-winning author, with over 40 published books, and a Law of Attraction coach for writers at writebythesea.com.



Authors Need to be Realistic

By Terry Whalin  @terrywhalin Over the years, I’ve met many passionate writers. One brand new writer told me, “My book is going to be a best...