How Ants Can Help You Win at Writing

How does an ant move a mountain?

Image courtesy of SweetCrisis at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

When I read Dan Miller’s workbook, Write to the Bank, I thought he was grossly exaggerating when he said writing was 5% of the job. The first draft of my first book was almost finished. It had been no quick feat. Surely the bulk of the work would be done when it was complete.

While Dan was emphasizing the importance of promotion, I discovered writing and publishing a book involve many steps. For me, that included a lot of learning.

Learning by Doing Continue reading

One Thing I Learned from a Successful Year of Blogging

If you’re anything like me, writing about ideas comes easily, but coming up with topics or angles can be difficult. It always seems to start out well, but after several days, weeks, or even months after launching out into the world of writing regularly, coming up with new topics can become mentally draining.

I struggled with constantly coming up with blogging topics for several years. Far too often, the early mornings of my scheduled post day would find me pecking away at my keyboard, writing whatever was on my mind, primarily because I had no idea what to write about, what angle to take, or what problem to solve. I procrastinated on writing, and the blog suffered as a result. It was this way for me in 2011, 2012, and in 2013 I stopped writing the blog altogether—at least for that year.

At the beginning of 2014, I set an audacious goal to write two posts per week. Continue reading

Tea and Takeaways from Bestselling Author Nora Roberts

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.

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Tea at Ashford Castle in Cong is as beautiful as it is tasty.

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

What Writing a Book Taught Me About Myself

Sometimes you write because you’ve been changed, and sometimes you’re changed in the process of writing. In this guest post, Jenny Hester shares how crafting a book opened her life in unexpected ways.

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I never thought I would write a book. I’m still having trouble saying, “I am an author.” I started blogging more than a year ago as a way to share my new found love of discovering what it takes to be one’s best self. Not long after that, I decided to write my book… what a journey of self-discovery!

I used to have walls built up and you only got to see what I wanted you to see. You only saw what was on the outside, as I typically shared no emotional depth. I look back over this time in my life and I relate it to a tightly wound rose bud. My friend, I was very tightly wound. Continue reading

Writing from the Road

Thanks to Tim Bishop, for sharing his thoughts on writing from the road in this guest post. Tim and his wife, Debbie, will be touring through mid-September, writing as they go. Read on to learn about how and why they write.

When writing creeps into your bloodstream, it becomes an innate expression of your life experiences, whether or not it covers your bills. You write because you love it…and because you must. When those inflicted with this “bug” embark on one of life’s adventures, they have no choice but to write about it. Continue reading

A Journey to Publication

Plumb-Crazy-800x1200Thanks to Molly Blaisdell for this guest post and candid story about writing, rejection and publication. After a many queries, reviews, revisions and a persistent belief in a good idea, her new YA book, Plumb Crazy, released June 4.

It’s not belief in an idea that leads to publication. A solid idea is necessary first step, but you will need to take many more steps to see a book published. It took me years to see my book Plumb Crazy come to publication. I hope that my journey will help you on yours.

I absolutely love reading, and I know that readers want heartfelt books. I’m always haunting bookstores, blogs and websites in search of my next great read. I wanted to write a book that would be picked up again and again. I hoped to create an old friend to journey with readers through their lives. I know that a good book has an irresistible core idea. I put much effort into this core idea. Continue reading

9 Ways to Make More Money as a Writer, Coach and Speaker

Writers, coaches and speakers want to add more moola to their businesses. If not, they don’t have a business. They have a hobby. Here are 9 ideas for how to make more money as a writer, coach and speaker.

 1. Book more live events and/or speaking engagements. Duh! But do you know what the fastest way is to book more live opportunities for yourself? It’s to give more and serve more. The better you become at serving people who plan meetings with no strings attached before they decide to book you, the more opportunities will open up for you. Continue reading

Blog Tour: Why I Write

Do you remember chain letters? A letter arrived in the mail promising fortune, recipes or good luck. (I even received a few that promised free undies. Really!) The catch: You had to copy the letter (by hand because computers weren’t personal yet) and send it to seven friends (in the mail). If you failed to do so within 48 hours, the letter predicted loss, heartbreak… even death.

This writer’s blog tour reminds me a bit of a chain letter—without the dire warnings. And the tour doesn’t promise fame, fortune or underwear, but the chance to be encouraged and inspired to write, as well as the opportunity to meet a few new writers. That’s even better. Continue reading

6 Tips to Help You Get Unstuck

Thanks to Joanne Miller, co-author of Be Your Finest Art: Awaken Your Creative Selffor this guest post. 

Be Your Finest Art by Joanne Miller and Dorsey McHughEver sit down in front of your computer, place your fingers on the keyboard and wait for the right words to drop from brain to fingertips, but you can’t get the juices flowing? Any writer, if truly honest, will admit to having moments—sometimes days (or more)—of blocked creativity. It happens to the best of us. This happens for a number of reasons, but there are ways to push through to renewed creativity that really aren’t that complicated or illusive. Perhaps these six tips will help you the next time you are staring at a blank screen and your fingers refuse to move. Continue reading

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