Practical tips to overcome the ickiness of self-promoting and progress your writing career
I get it. Some people are ok with talking about themselves. They could do it all day. They seem to thrive on it.
Then there are others, like you and I. We’d rather listen instead of speak. Self-promoting feels icky. It’s not really our thing.
You hate pushy salespeople. They invade your space without permission. They tell you what you should buy. Yet even if you need the thing they’re selling, there’s no way you’ll buy it from them. Or even hear them out. Your automatic response is to race away. Or slam the phone. You don’t want to be one of those people.
It’s much better to be recognized naturally. I mean, if your writing is good, people will notice. If your writing is great, editors will knock on your door. If your writing is brilliant, you’ll get invitations for interviews and book publishers begging you to write for them. Won’t they?
Maybe. Sometimes. And that is the problem. Will you risk your writing career to maybes and sometimes?
Where do you reckon your career will take you if you keep feeling icky about sales, let your self-doubts hold you back, and wait for people to notice you?
Louise Harnby published a blog post that provides us with tips for writing about physical pain in fiction. I find this a very helpful post and decided to share it. Thank you, Louise!
Writing about pain is hard, but there’s no shame in that struggle; it’s difficult to articulate even when we’re experiencing it.
This post featured in Joel Friedlander’s
Self-Publishing: The Carnival of the Indies #85
‘Pain is […] the kind of subjective and poorly delineated experience that is difficult to express satisfactorily in language […] Indeed, pain shares some of the characteristics of target domains that have received considerable attention in the cognitive linguistic literature. Like LOVE, for example, it is private, subjective […] cannot be directly observed,’ says linguist Elena Semino.
When researching this article, I was surprised by how little has been written about the art of depicting physical pain in fiction. And, yet, the act of hurting is prevalent in most genres; it deserves as much attention as emotional distress.
Charles Yallowitz, over at ‘Legends of Windemere’ published a blog post about cliffhangers in a series. Thank you very much for your great post, Charles.
This came up in conversation and I thought about while coming to the end of War of Nytefall: Eradication. When writing a series, you tend to have 3 types of books.
The opener, which introduces at least some characters, begins world building, and may hint at the main plot.
The finale, which closes up all or most of the plot lines.
Everything in the middle, which I tend to call ‘Bridge Books’. They have their own internal adventure while carrying what was established in the previous books into the next one. You don’t always bring all of the subplots and characters through a bridge book, but you do enough that the main plot can continue.
I found this great post on how to pick our audio book voice on Nicholas Rossis blog. Thanks for sharing your experience, Nicholas. I’m convinced I’m not the only grateful writer!
As audiobooks are the fastest-growing segment in publishing, I have been researching that market. One thing I realized is that choosing a narrator is probably the most important decision you make when you turn your book into an Audiobook. People who love audiobooks may buy your audiobook because they like your work, your genre, your cover, or your price. When they actually start listening to your audiobook however, one of the most important factors to decide whether they’ll continue listening to the end, is the quality of the reading.
So, how do you choose the right voice? Leaving out the financial aspects (if you can afford to pay the narrator the fee he is asking for or if you choose a royalty scheme), there are a few issues to take into consideration, from “demographics” to acting performance. Here are a few tips.
So. Man or Woman? Younger or Older?
These questions are mostly answered through the characteristics of your book. Obviously, if your book is written in the first person, you need to match the voice to your own narrator. If your narrator is a young woman, so should be your voice. If he is a middle-aged southern cop, you obviously need an older man, possibly with an accent (we will discuss accents in a moment).
The choice is less obvious if your book is not a first-person tale. In this case, there is no rule of thumb, but there are several issues you can take into consideration to form a preference.
Don Massenzio blogged about his personal experience with creating Audio Books in different blog posts. I thought it would be a good idea to publish all his posts together here on ‘Writer’s Treasure Chest’. Thank you for sharing your Audio Book creation adventure, Don!
Life has become extremely hectic during the past decades. With the current development of technology, which, by the way, can be extremely helpful, in particular to us writers, it can as well be an enormous distraction. I caught myself so many times surfing through the internet, checking this or that social media account before writing, that, at the end of the day I had updated my accounts but haven’t written one single word.
According to scientists, the current average human attention span is around 8 seconds, which means, we are in fact, almost as low as a goldfish.
I was reading myself through psychological essays, meditation websites and a few other interesting pages for support on how to focus until I finally decided I needed my list of tips and tricks.
I am a writer, and besides being distracted by household things, health issues, cat stuff and social media, I love spending time outside… which, I finally realized, was one of the ways to focus on writing.
1. Spend time outside
Spend time outside. Maybe by going for a nice walk or enjoying the sunshine or taking a swim and thinking about your story, it will give you ideas you need to write down as soon as your back on your computer.
2. Work offline
Work offline. It will help you not to go on ‘checking’ on social media, and you can concentrate on your writing.
3. To-Do lists
Make two to-do lists. One for your regular day-by-day things and one for writing (and blogging). Make sure you don’t mix them up, but you need to block some time on your daily to-do list to keep some time for your writing.
4. Work spot
Look for your own silent work spot. Make sure you have a clean desk that doesn’t distract you and start your work. Enjoy and embrace the silence and, if necessary, keep the door closed.
Help to focus on your work by listening to music you like. It will also help you to tune out the background noise that might distract you from your writing goal.
6. Big and small goals
Break down big goals into smaller ones. They’re easier to reach, and if you feel you are prepared and ready for the next goal, after a break you still can sit down and start to work on your next goal.
Breaks! Allow yourself breaks in between your goals. Nothing is as relaxing as a break. It will refresh and reboot your brain. Just don’t forget to close the door again after you return to work.
Caffeine helps to support your focus. It will wake you up, and while enjoying the warm, dark and spicy liquid in your cup your head is already on its way to your story. (You might ask, why does the coffee only make number eight? Well, I figure since we writers usually start our day with coffee, oral or by injection, I thought it doesn’t need to top this list.)
9. A Good Night’s Sleep
Live a healthy life with plenty of sleep. From what I read over the past few hours, many people are satisfied with only a few hours of sleep each night. Unfortunately being tired and confused in the morning after a lack of sleep, this might interfere with your ability to focus. Make sure you got plenty of sleep, with an average of 7 – 8 hours a night.
10. Keep your moods out
Keep work at work, frustration, and anger outside your work spot. Many writers do have a day job and don’t live off writing. To keep the focus on what you like to do, make sure you are relaxed and calm and left work at the office (or wherever) and blend out anger and frustration. It interferes with your writing.
Extra-tip: Certain food types might support the ability to focus. I figure to find out if that’s helpful, you will need to try: Blueberries, green tea, avocados, leafy green vegetables, fatty fish, water, dark chocolate, flax seeds, and nuts.
When I started my Indie career, I realized one of my most useful skills was my experience with Internet marketing. But I constantly wished I was experienced in legal matters, too. Which is why I was so excited to meet Lucy Taylor, a legal expert at LY Lawyers. Luckily for us, Lucy is also an avid blogger who enjoys sharing her tips and suggestions with her online readers. Lucy often helps people dealing with legal problems, addictions, and crime. Today, Lucy will share with us some useful tips for writers.
7 Most Useful Legal Tips for Writers
Whether you’re writing a blog post or the next great novel, there’s a responsibility that comes with publishing any creative work. Many people don’t realize it, but there’s quite a bit of legal navigation that comes with being a writer, both in protecting your own work and respecting the rights of others. Here are…
There are two types of content that I usually post on my blog:
Daily Experiences – things I see and do, journal-type notes, general thoughts etc. These posts are generally just for fun – I write them for enjoyment and they keep within the original purpose that the blog was intended for: therapy. I don’t pay much attention to SEO, keywords or images as I know that these sorts of posts will be seen over a period of about a month and then will be considered to be out of date. Essentially, non-evergreen content that has an expiration date.
Evergreen Content – posts that will be generally relevant over long periods of time and aren’t necessarily specific to my own life. Within these I am much more focused on keywords and SEO techniques, I spend a much longer period of time crafting beautiful and pinnable images and I make sure…
This is the second part of a 3-part series dealing with alternative ways of making a living through writing. Victoria Sawtelle is a community manager at Uptowork – a career blog with +1.5 million monthly readers. I agreed to share this guest post because they have created an amazingly detailed guide on how to make a writer’s resume, with over 30 examples and detailed, step-by-step instructions. Uptowork has kindly agreed to offer my readers free access to their resume builder, so if anyone’s interested, use the free trial code ZgyI50xW.
How to Tailor Your Resume — Tips for Writers
You’re a writer.
You’ve written copy for newsletters, popular guides for blogs, and insightful articles for news outlets.
You’ve rewritten more buzzword-loving execs you care to count.