A Twitter follower asked me the above question the other day, and her inquiry sparked a blog post. What do you write about when you haven’t endured some sort of crisis? Is disaster a prerequisite for a good story?
I remember sitting in a conference and getting a little ticked off as I listened to a publishing house editor promote the idea that the best and only way to write is from one’s pain—not discomfort or struggle but tragic, devastating pain. Without that kind of pain, she suggested, it wasn’t possible to be an excellent writer.
Baloney. Continue reading
Are you holding back because you think your ideas aren’t unique or good enough? Here’s the thing to remember: What is obvious to you, may be exactly what someone else needs to hear.
If you need help putting your ideas together, check out my 8 Weeks to Authorship course. It outlines the same process I used to ghostwrite a book for a major publishing house this summer. Don’t wait to write your book. The the world needs for you to tell your story and share your message.
It takes a certain amount of bravery to be a professional writer or book author. It isn’t the act of writing itself that feels dangerous. You can write in your journal all day and end up feeling refreshed and lighter for having been so honest with yourself. The security of knowing no one will ever read those words liberates your fingers to fly.
Danger isn’t inherent with the penning, but the publishing.
“How do you get over the fear of putting yourself out there?” I’ve lost count of the times clients and fellow writers have asked me this question. Continue reading
You want the world—or at least your niche—to know about your book, but how do you get the message out? Interviews, particularly radio shows and podcasts, can be an extremely effective medium for spreading the word.
I get that. I know that interviews are important, but they also make me a little nervous. As a writer, I’m generally on the other side of the conversation—the side asking the questions. I want to get better at being interviewed, and I know I’m not alone in that desire. That’s why I asked Tim Knox, host of Interviewing Authors, to share his advice on how to give a great interview. Continue reading
The book was fantastic, but no one was going to read it. Not, at least, in its current state. The author had packed his* manuscript with helpful information and practical advice. The content and his message had real potential to help his audience. But only the most dedicated readers would push past the stale opening line.
Most chapters either dove right into the content with no introduction or started with a statement detailing what the chapter contained. “In this chapter we’re going to learn about….” A line like that makes a great note as you’re planning your writing. In fact, I encourage writers to identify what they’re going to include in each chapter when they outline their books. But when it comes to your hook—the words that will draw readers in and keep their noses in your book—“In this chapter,” isn’t effective; it’s boring.
Other common issues muddied what could have been a great reading experience but, since this is a blog post, let’s stick with one topic at a time. Here are three powerful ways you can get your readers’ attention. Continue reading
I love hearing great speakers present a well-crafted message. I especially love presentations when the speaker is an author whose books I’ve read. Even if we’ve never met, it feels as if we have a connection. I’m eager to hear my favorite authors speak because their message has already intrigued, entertained, or inspired me.
So when I learned that Lysa TerKeurst was scheduled to speak at an event about an hour down the road, I knew I would be there. TerKeurst is the president of Proverbs 31 Ministries and the author of three New York Times bestsellers—and 16 others books. Of all 19 of her books, I’ve read one. And I only read that one last fall when Proverbs 31 did an online Bible study using The Best Yes as a study guide. She’d written 19 books in a genre that I enjoy reading and I had never even heard of her until last fall. Continue reading
Have you ever read a book or heard a story that just had too many themes to follow? For example, I have a hard time with novels that have multiple families—each with people who have their own issues. It’s a challenge for me to keep the characters straight in my head, especially if the names are at all similar or difficult to remember. Continue reading
We live in a world overflowing with opportunity and choice. With so many options, sometimes it’s difficult to choose. Rather than settling on one thing, be it a career, brand of coffee, hobby or target market, we either decide not to choose or we dabble in lots of different things.
I began this year with really excellent plans. Really excellent. I planned to blog weekly and post a weekly guest article on MyWritersConnection.com. I planned to connect with speakers, authors and coaches on 48 Days Ultimate Advantage Cruise with Dan Miller, Michael Hyatt, Rory Vaden, Sue Detweiler, Chris McCluskey and slew of other fabulous people. I planned to launch new programs and host another amazing MWC Retreat and Workshop. And I planned to connect with you weekly.
But life didn’t go as planned. My family and I returned to the States from Ireland in early February when a monthly contract abruptly ended. In less than 30 days, we packed up and moved back across the Atlantic. Another four weeks later, we rented a house on Florida’s Emerald Coast, got my son enrolled in a new school, and bought a couple of beds so we’d have somewhere to sleep. And in the middle of all the crying, packing and wondering about what’s next, I helped a fabulous, first-time author get published, edited a soon-to-be-released book, and went on that cruise—and it was an absolutely fantastic place to connect. Continue reading
Prolific. What else would you call an author who publishes four to six novels annually?
I suppose you could also call Nora Roberts wealthy since her books consistently and almost instantly hit the New York Times bestsellers lists.
I got to meet Nora (she called me Erin, so I guess we’re on a first-name basis) at Ashford Castle in Cong, Ireland, and was oddly star-struck. Odd because, although I’ve met quite a few celebrity-status authors, I felt absolutely giddy to have the opportunity to have afternoon tea with Nora…and a couple hundred other people. I was so excited, in fact, that my friend and I arrived early and snagged a seat at the front table. (Early is a big deal for me; just ask my husband.)
Afterwards, when her UK editor at Little Brown told me that Nora (aka J.D. Robb) publishes at least four books a year (she’s releasing a total of five in 2014), I almost choked. That’s a LOT of writing and a massive amount of discipline. There’s another descriptor to attribute to this impressive and totally approachable author. Continue reading