Showing posts with label General. Show all posts
Showing posts with label General. Show all posts

Thursday, 16 November 2017

My Problem With Jessica Fletcher

One of my favourite TV shows is Murder She Wrote.

It’s an old show that keeps getting repeated and I often watch it while I’m doing the things because it’s easy to watch (or just listen to) and takes no great thought on my part.

Murder She Wrote is all about the novelist, Jessica Fletcher, who is a best-selling crime writer who travels the world and gets caught up in murders and uses her crime-solving skills to figure out 'who-dunnit.'

My only peeve with this show is how Jessica writes her novels.

It often shows her sitting at her kitchen table typing her latest book manuscript.

My problem with that is two-fold.

First, her house is huge and she lives alone,  yet she still sits in her kitchen to write, and strangely enough, prefers writing on an old, manual typewriter to using a computer.

Secondly, and this is the big one; she writes straight to final draft.

I mean, who even DOES that?

She often says things like, “I really have to get my book finished. I still have three chapters to write and it’s due at my publisher’s in less than a week, and I don’t even know how it’s going to end yet.”

Really? Idea to final draft in one go?

Unbelievable.

AND, if all that isn’t enough, her novels are all best sellers, without even so much as a rewrite.

Real writing means doing at least 4 stages of a manuscript - first draft, edit, second draft, proof, final draft.

Naturally, it is possible to write a book quickly if you have a great writing system (unlike old Jessy Fletcher who seems to have none).

But getting fast at writing, even with a system that you follow, still takes practice.

But the more you write, the easier it seems and the quicker you get.

So write, write, write, and then write some more.

Because when it comes to writing, practice really does make perfect.

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Thursday, 3 August 2017

My Latest Writing and Publishing Exertions

“Jumping 3d Character Showing Excitement And Joy” by Stuart Miles
If you're a subscriber of mine, then you probably already know that I have recently reinstated my monthly newsletter for subscribers.

I used to do a monthly writing newsletter for many years but for reasons that I cannot remember, I stopped doing it a few years ago.

But now it's back so if you haven't already subscribed to my emails for writers, then now would be a good time.

I am also currently working on a new free ebook for all subscribers. It will be available to anyone who subscribes as well as to existing subscribers.

The ebook is called "Writing For Cash" and will be filled with lots of opportunities for earning money as a freelance writer, from small projects that are only a sentence or two and pay up to $100, all the way to writing feature-length articles that can earn you several hundred dollars.

I'm still working on this ebook, so please be patient.




Also, I'm currently adding a newsletter archive to my website over at http://ruthiswriting.com/newsletters. At the moment there are only a couple listed, but I plan to add more real soon. It is a huge task.

I also still have my website over at http://selfpublishworldwide.com. Until now it has only been a sales page to sell my book/ebook about self-publishing.

But I'm about to change it into a huge website full of free information about self-publishing books and ebooks. I'll let you know once it progresses.

And, of course, I have several new books, ebooks and a new writing course in the pipeline as well.

Phew!

A writer's work is never done.

I hope you're getting plenty of writing done too.



The Wealthy Writer: How To Make $100K+ A Year Writing For The Internet








Friday, 26 May 2017

Why I Got Rid of My Facebook "Friends"

“Social Media” by jscreationzs
I've been a bit slack lately at blogging and emailing but the reason for this is because I was spending time looking at my daily routine, particularly with a view to eliminating things that are a waste of time.

And what I realised was that it's all to easy to waste a lot of time on Facebook.

I also realised the reason that Facebook is a waste of time is because I really don't care what other people are doing or saying. The only reason I joined a few years ago is because I thought I SHOULD. People told me it could help me sell more books and earn more money, but so far it hasn't

Among my so-called Facebook "friends" were family members, friends, neighbours and other people who I've never actually met, but they requested to "friend" me so I did.

And what it all added up to was wasting time every day looking at what they were doing and saying and most of it was garbage that I didn't want/need to know.

Also, whenever I posted my opinion about something or said what I was doing, I got so many hateful comments about whether or not people agreed with my view. I posted  a lot about animals (because I can't stand animal cruelty) and the backlash was not only instant, but it was from people who clearly had no idea what they were talking about but certainly had a lot of negative opinions.

I even thought I was safe joining a couple of vegan groups, but it seemed they were worse than anyone else in their efforts to "out vegan" each other. Someone would post about what they ate and others would immediately tell them they were wrong. "You eat chocolate? I never eat that I prefer only organic health food." "You wear leather shoes???? Vegans NEVER do that." "You put dressing on your salad???? How unhealthy!" Blah, blah, blah...on and on it went.

Even a local group were really scornful of each other: "My child had money stolen from them at school." "Well you shouldn't allow them to carry a lot of cash." "It's not the child's fault, blame the thieves." "It's hard to blame the thieves when your kid made it so easy for them." Honestly! I couldn't believe the negativity coming from everywhere.

Then I had an epiphany a few days ago. It suddenly hit me that I don't really care about what others are saying. I don't care one bit what they think so why was I wasting my time checking my Facebook feed every day?

So I un-friended everyone (which it turns out you have to do one person at a time - what a drag), even my family members, and then I set my account to not allow anyone else to "friend" me. I did that by setting it so that only friends of friends can request to "friend" me. It seems you can't just set it to let no one "friend" you.

I also unjoined most of the groups I was a part of except a Buddhist group and a couple of writing groups, and I joined more writing groups that offered daily prompts, writing news, etc. In other words, I'm only interested in groups that can help me by offering something I need, not just a load of people voicing their opinions.

There were some writing groups that offered to critique each other's work, and I thought "Nope. No way." I just need information not more opinions from people who know nothing or very little.

And once I sorted out my account I could check it every day and only see useful things. Plus it has freed up a lot of my time every week.

The most amazing thing is that not only has it given me more time, but I feel so much happier. I didn't realise it before, but everyday, logging into Facebook made me cringe. I didn't want to see what others were complaining about.

Facebook is full of trolls. Completely full. But I've found a way to avoid them and at the same time, use Facebook to help my writing career. I've also started posting lots of things about writing, so others can follow me if they want to learn more, but they can't be my Facebook "friend."

I know that they call it social media, but there is really not much "social" about it.

It's probably why I'm a writer. It means I work alone.

And currently I'm working on some more writing courses to help others make more money from their writing than ever before.

So stay tuned.

:) :) :)


Thursday, 12 January 2017

The Perfect Pet For A Writer

Banjo sitting on bean bagsWhile it’s nice to have a pet, being a writer is boring for animals as you sit and write for hours. 

And there are enough distractions in life so having a pet to distract you as well is something that will also help kill your productivity.

But fortunately I have the perfect pet.

His name is Banjo and he is an ex-racing greyhound.

People usually think that greyhounds are not only active dogs but they are also aggressive.

This idea comes from seeing them at the race track, running while wearing a wire muzzle over their face.

But this idea of energetic, angry dogs is the complete opposite of their real nature.

And Banjo is completely compatible with my writing life.

Home - At home he sits quietly for hours. Greyhounds are one of the most inactive breeds of dog and are complete couch potatoes. Banjo quietly sits by my side every day while I write.

Out - Although he sit quietly, he also loves his daily walk. When he knows it’s getting near his walk time he paces up and down wagging his tail so I know I have to go out. And the exercise does us both good and helps me clear my head and get even better ideas for my writing.

Quiet - Greyhounds are well-known for their lack of barking and rarely make a noise. Even if someone knocks at the door, Banjo won’t make a sound, so no one knows I’m at home which is the way I like it.

This is why I love having a greyhound. He sits quietly all day, he makes sure I get a walk every day and he’s well trained to walk calmly on a leash. Plus he doesn’t bark, no matter what noise he hears or who comes to the door.

He is so quiet and still most of the time that I can get plenty of writing done.

He’s also cute and affectionate.

What more could I ask from my four-legged companion.

We adopted Banjo from Friends of the Hound. https://www.friendsofthehound.org.au

If you're looking for a quiet, un-disruptive pet, a greyhound could be just what you're looking for.

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Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Many Distractions = No Writing

Half-completed ceiling plus builders' rubbish on the deck and ugly scaffolding around the house
The last 3 weeks has been full of distractions so I’ve haven’t done much writing.

Usually I have no time for weak excuses like this for not writing, but these distractions were huge.

You see, our house is having a new roof put on. And not only is the roof being replaced over the house, but it’s being extended out to cover our huge deck too, because previously only part of it was covered.

But this has meant putting in extra supporting posts in the ground and more roof trusses over the deck, plus installing insulation and an outdoor ceiling.

So much work.

So much noise.

So many builders.

So much filth.

This also meant that me, my husband, and our greyhound, have had to leave the house all day every day.

Last week we even went the whole hog and moved out and stayed at Coroy Country Cottages, which was a superb place to stay on 97 acres with miles of walking tracks. Poor Banjo’s paws have been worn down a lot. :)

Anyway, it didn’t leave me with much time to write.

This week is better because although they’re still here, the builders are outside on the deck and not on the roof so no dirt is raining down inside the house (did I mention how sick & tired I am of cleaning up the mess every night?)

But my time wasn’t completely wasted because I used some of it to make a few writing plans. It’s amazing what you can do with time to think.

At first I kept trying to get some writing done every day, but with two others in tow it wasn’t possible.

Nor was I really in the mood.

So if you find yourself in a non-writing mood, don’t fight it. It’s not worth it.

Instead do what I did.

Get out your journal and start writing about what’s happening, what you wish was happening, and what you’ll do once you’re able to write again.

And hopefully, like me, you’ll be so happy to be back sitting at your writing desk, and that it feels like you’re on holiday because writing is such fun, especially when you haven’t done it for a while.

Now all I need is to get a proper writing desk


Thursday, 15 September 2016

Thrown Out Of My Own Home Office


My temporary home office
I write mostly at home.

I also write mostly in my home office.

But now my husband has given up his job and has taken over the office.

He trades on the stock market and now runs the financial side of my business for me so that I can get on with more writing.

It's great that he's helping me, but I have had to find somewhere else to sit and write on cold days (It's only just turned Spring where I live but the temperatures aren't great yet).

So I've set up camp in the annex room at home.

This is a big room that sits separately behind the house.

I don't have a desk in here and instead sit on a small pink chair at a small folding table.

And I sit in front of the patio door to get as much light as I can because the walls are dark in here.

Eventually this room will be renovated and get freshly painted walls, built in desks and a comfortable, big, office chair.

But for now I have to make do.

I will also go out and write at the library and in the park when it gets warmer and less windy.

I just have to keep telling myself that I am a professional and so I can write anywhere.

But I find that once I start writing I forget where I am anyway.

Lucky for me.










Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Why I Fire My Email Subscribers

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net
I love having a list of subscribers that I can keep in touch with.

But sometimes I have to fire them and unsubscribe them from my list. And if they're really persistent and try to re-subscribe, I block them too.

But why would I do this? Isn't having thousands of subscribers the way that writers make money?

Yes...but...

Using an email marketing service isn't cheap. And I get charged for how many subscribers I have.

So to protect myself and keep costs down, I sometimes (regrettably) have to fire subscribers.

And below are 3 types of subscribers that I fire.

1. Bad Customers. These are people who buy my products but don't even know how to download them, so they repeatedly email me about it, and not in a polite way either. Sometimes they send several abusive emails in less than an hour, while I'm asleep (different time zones). 

2. Too Friendly. Sometimes I get subscribers who think they're my friend and every time they receive an email or blog post, they reply to it as though I sent them a personal message, and they tell me all their private family business. They also get annoyed if I don't become email buddies with them.

3. Clickless. Now and again I check my email stats and look at anyone who hasn't clicked on a link in one of my emails in over a year. This usually happens because the someone is deleting all my emails unread, or they're not interested in anything I provide a link to, not even the free ebooks, audios and other freebies. Either way, they don't want my emails so I unsubscribe them.

But like I said earlier, I love having subscribers that I can keep in touch with, but it comes at a high price and I don't want to pay for verbal abuse, email pen pals I don't want or those who have no interest in hearing from me.

Thankfully, 99.9% of my subscribers are decent intelligent, hard-working writers.

And THEY are why I don't mind paying a yearly fee to my email service provider.

And if you have an email list and some of the people on it don't really want to hear from you, but for whatever reason they don't unsubscribe, don't be afraid to remove them from your list. Because not doing so is costly.

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Thursday, 25 August 2016

Someone Stole My Entire Website - And What I Did About It

“Criminal In Online Business” by bplanet
The best thing about the internet is that whatever you publish online can go viral.

The worst thing about the internet is also that whatever you publish on the internet can go viral.

That’s why it’s important to be an ethical writer, because people won’t always remember the great things you did, but they will ALWAYS remember (and share online) all the lousy or unethical things you did.

I had a great “for instance” about this subject when I recently sold the domain name of my old website, writeaholics.net, along with the rights of the new owner to keep my writing articles (for SEO reasons, they said).

But they not only published my writing articles, but they stole all my website content AND they stole my website design too.

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

How Much I'm Enjoying Writing Fiction & What I've Been Doing

Our beautiful old greyhound, Daisy
A couple of weeks ago I told you about my epiphany when I realised that I wanted to start writing fiction more than non fiction.

I've always enjoyed fiction writing but I've spent most of my career writing non-fiction.

When I realised that my writing output (and enthusiasm) had slowed a lot, I eventually realised that it was because I was no longer enjoying what I was writing and that I'd rather write fiction.

So I stopped writing to my other sites and instead concentrated on what I'd rather be doing.

My Fiction Writing Progress

I thought that I'd be able to jump straight into writing fiction, but first I had to figure out what I was going to write and how I was going to earn money from my writing.

So I got out all my fiction writing ideas notebooks, some of which I hadn't looked at in years.

I sat for 2 full days reading through it all and taking notes about what I was going to start work on first.

In the end I decided to start with short fiction and submit it to magazines.

So I wrote up three short story ideas (the longest of them was 4,000 words) and submitted them to three different magazines.

And I still have dozens of story ideas left.

I've also started work on my next novel which is currently in the outlining stages.

I had hoped to have more done by now but unfortunately I came down with a virus (or maybe a bit of flu?) just after my epiphany and then last week one of our dogs got sick and after 3 trips to the vet it seems that her kidneys are failing.

She is an old-ish dog, nine years, and has been ill since we got her 2 years ago (she's an ex-racing, ex-breeding greyhound), but it's still breaking my heart. For now though, it's a 'wait & see' situation with her.

And in the meantime, now that I'm feeling well again, I'll sit and write every day with my dogs by my side which is where they always want to be.

If you have goals for your writing I'd love to hear about them as well as your successes.







Thursday, 21 January 2016

Why Your Writing Time Is Worth More Than Cash

“A Cartoon Guy Laughing” by Mister GC
Today I have something that I thought might amuse you, plus you can use it as a reason not to use article spinning software.

This is software that takes an article and literally swaps one word or phrase for one with (supposedly) the same meaning. So it's quite like a giant thesaurus.

Anyway, this type of software never works properly but some unscrupulous bloggers think they can steal articles, 'spin' them and no one will notice the difference.

And below is one such stolen article of mine that I found online a few weeks ago, but it's a really old article.

I put in a DMCA complaint and the article has been removed, in fact, the whole blog has been shut down because all the articles on it were stolen.

And while I don't like people doing this to my articles, it does make for some quite hilarious reading.

Below is the spun article and the original together. I've put each original paragraph in bold, followed by the spun paragraph.

Have a read and a laugh.

Even the title was spun, but below is the original title:

Why Your Writing Time Is Worth More Than Money


I used to think that everything in my life was geared around saving money. Even when it came to my writing I would rather waste time doing things the long way rather than spend money that would help speed my career along. But then something happened that made me realize that my writing time is worth far more than money and now my time is much more profitable.

I did previously think that everything in my life was targeted around saving money. Even when this found my personal writing I'd rather spend your time doing issues the actual long distance instead of spend some money that would assist pace my personal career together. Srrz konusu then some thing happened which helped me realise which my composing period is worth far more than cash and today my time is much more lucrative.

The thing that happened was Nick Daw's Quick Cash Writing course. I'd been receiving Nick Daw's E-writer Newsletter for a few months when he started mentioning his Quick Cash Writing course. I took a look at his sales page for this product and saw that it came with a 60-day money back guarantee and that the course promised that I could earn 30-times the cost of the course by the time I'd finished it.

The thing that happened had been Nick Daws Fast Money Writing program. Id already been receiving Nick Daws Ewriter E-newsletter for some several weeks as he began Cheap guild wars 2 gold mentioning their Quick Money Writing program. I required a look at their web page with this product and noticed it included a 60-day cash back guarantee which the actual course promised which i could generate 30-times the cost of the actual program by the time Id finished  this.

So I reluctantly parted with my cash and downloaded the ebook. Once I started reading it I couldn't wait to get started and began the course with great gusto.

So I reluctantly separated along with my cash as well as down loaded it. Once I started buy gw2 gold studying this I couldnt wait to get going as well as began the program with excellent passion.

By the time I was halfway through the course I realised that the initial promise of earning 30-times the cost by the time I'd completed the course was wrong - because I'd already done it. I was totally hooked on this course because it made me start writing, told me where to submit my work and kept me writing more. The checks were rolling in and I was extremely happy.

When I had been midway through the program We realised that the initial GW2 Gold commitment of generating 30-times the price by the time Identification finished the course was incorrect D simply because Identification already done it. I was totally hooked on this course because it helped me start writing, told me where to publish my personal work as well as kept me writing more. The actual cheques were rolling in and I was very happy.

So then I decided to try Nick Daw's other course, Write Any Book in 28 Days or Less. Again I began the course with the same amount of gusto and 4 weeks later I sat looking at my manuscript which was pretty amazing considering I didn't even know what I was going to write about when I started. Since then my manuscript has been edited, finalized and has now been published.

So then I decided to try Nick Daws additional program, Write Any Book in 28 Days or even Less. Again I began the actual course with the same quantity of gusto and Four weeks later I sat taking a look at my personal manuscript that was incredible considering I didnt even know what I would write about when I began. Since then my manuscript has been modified, finalised and has right now already been delivered to my personal broker.

But I was now an addict to downloadable products because now I knew how much time I could save (I'd never had written a book in 4 weeks without the course) and how much money I could earn (I'd never been so motivated to write so much without the Quick Cash Writing course, which I've done several times now). So then I spent more money and bought Jim Edwards' and Joe Vitale's, Write and Publish Your Own eBook in as Little as 7 Days, which I also did and the eBook has been very profitable indeed and I've since written others as well. (Update: This ebook has now been rewritten and published only by Jim Edwards, and although I used to promote it I no longer do because I don't think it's as good as the original.)

However i had been right now a drug addict with regard to online items because right now I understood how much time I could conserve (Identification didn't have written a book in Four weeks without the course) and how much money I could generate (Id never already been therefore motivated to create so much with no Quick Cash Writing course, which I have carried out many times now). Therefore i quickly invested more money and purchased Jim Edwards Create as well as Submit Your personal e-book within 7 Days, that we additionally did and the e-book continues to be very lucrative indeed as well as Im now writing my 2nd.

I also bought Jim Edwards' Affiliate Link Cloaker (which is no longer available) so that none of the visitors to my website could tell which links contained my affiliate code which stopped my website looking like a sales pitch and which increased my sales. I then also bought Article Submitter software which helps me submit all my articles to article directories in minutes - which was a job that used to take hours. (Update: Article Submitter software is no longer available to buy. I used to sell it but it's old software now and only runs on Windows OS. If you'd like to download it anyway - but I provide no guarantees with it - you can do so using this link.)

I additionally purchased Rick Edwards Affiliate marketer Hyperlink Cloaker so that none of the visitors to my personal website could tell that hyperlinks contained my personal affiliate code that ceased my website looking like a sales hype as well as that elevated my personal product sales. Then i also purchased Post Submitter which will help me personally submit my articles to article directories in minutes C which was employment that used to consider hours.

But then I made the ultimate and most expensive purchase - and it wasn't even downloadable or related to writing in any way. I bought an iRobot called "Roomba" and it runs round my house on its own and vacuums the carpets, rugs and floors while I write.

But then I created the best and many expensive purchase C also it was not even swtor credits online or associated with writing in any way. I bought an iRobot called Roomba and it operates spherical the house by itself as well as vacuum cleaners the actual carpets, rugs and flooring as i create.

Does "Roomba" make me lazy? No, I don't think so. Vacuuming in our house takes a long time because with 3 pets there are a lot of animal hairs around that can be difficult to pick up, but "Roomba" is built to be especially good with picking up pet hairs - and so it is. I've now gained extra hours to write each week.

Does Roomba cause me to feel laid back? Absolutely no, I dont believe therefore. Vacuuming within our home requires a long time since with 3 domestic pets there are plenty of animal fur about that may be difficult to pick up, however Roomba should end up being particularly good along with picking up pet fur C and so it is. Ive now acquired additional hrs to create each week.

But the whole point I'm trying to make here is that in my opinion, my writing time is more important than money. In fact I've discovered that, through careful selection of products, the more money I've spent the more I've earned.

But the whole point Im attempting to make here's which in my opinion, my personal writing time is more essential compared to cash. Actually Ive discovered that, through careful selection of products, the more money I have invested the greater Ive earned.

Thanks Nick. Thanks Jim.  Thanks "Roomba".

Many thanks Nick. Thanks Rick. Thanks Roomba.

:)


Friday, 8 January 2016

A List of Useful Articles for Writers

Today I have a list information I've gathered from around the WWW that is useful for writers.

I put up the links on Twitter and then I thought it would be helpful to readers of my writing blog too.

So here is the list and the links to find it.

And if you've already seen them on Twitter, then here they are again...

4 Tips for Reaching Productivity Nirvana in 2016 - Tim Ferris
http://www.inc.com/tim-ferriss/4-tips-for-reaching-productivity-nirvana-in-2016.html

BEHIND THE SCENES: COPY EDITING What Does a Copy Editor Do?
http://www.brittonmdg.com/the-britton-blog/tools-and-tips-to-master-copy-editing

4 Reasons Freelance Writing Rates Will Rise in 2016
http://inkwelleditorial.com/4-reasons-freelance-writing-rates-will-rise-in-2016

The Complete Guide to Query Letters: Nonfiction Books
https://janefriedman.com/the-complete-guide-to-query-letters-nonfiction/

Make It Shine: 5 Features That Can Make a Good Website Great
http://www.business.com/online-marketing/5-features-that-can-make-a-good-website-great

Email Marketing Continues To Grow, But Slowly
http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/265886/email-marketing-continues-to-grow-but-slowly.html

The Top 10 Stats from 2015 that Show the Importance of Video Marketing
http://www.skyword.com/contentstandard/news/the-top-10-stats-from-2015-that-show-the-importance-of-video-marketing/

The Truth About Blogging Income
http://www.business2community.com/infographics/truth-blogging-income-tipographic-01417953#zSj18UByVUu4ax5F.97

Content Strategy: Thinking About Content with SEO
http://www.business2community.com/content-marketing/content-strategy-thinking-content-seo-01418170#wBA9mzAiLLXm0ZiG.97

6 Super Useful Steps To Improve Your Online Presence
http://www.business2community.com/online-marketing/6-super-useful-steps-improve-online-presence-01415544#imGB3AM1Qq3vXOAF.97

Review: Buried Is An iPhone Game You Mostly Read, Not Play
http://time.com/4166044/buried-ios-iphone-game-review/?xid=homepage


Monday, 7 December 2015

How to Start Writing When You Don't Know How



“Man Writing In Notepad” by tiramisustudio FreeDigitalPhotos.net
What if you want to be a writer but you don't know how?

What can you do if you want o be a novelist or a copywriter or blogger but you've never done it before and you don't know what to write?

Or perhaps you're already a writer, but you're not selling  many books and your marketing lets you down. How can you improve things?

There are two things you need to do.

Firstly, be sure of the type of writer you want to be because it's no good writing  mediocre blog posts if you'd really rather be a romance novelist, but you think that blogging brings in faster money. So be sure of what it is you want to write.

Next, get a few copies of great writing in the field you want to work in.

If you want to write comedy, find a few great comedy scripts. If you want to be a copywriter, find a few great sales letters. And if  you want to be a horror wrier, find a few great short stores or novels.

By "great" I mean things that inspire you. The type of writing you aspire to do. And make sure you collect work by several different authors.

And then simply start copying it out by hand. Grab a pad and pencil and start writing.

DO NOT underestimate how powerful this is in improving your writing. It gives you a real feeling for structure, words, phrases, and the pace of that kind of writing.

Not only that, but it will also help you to know for sure if it's the kind of writing you want to do.

It can also assist in sparking ideas of your own and help you to create your own writing style.

So find what you need, get quiet for a day or two and start writing.

It really is eye-opening and definitely worthwhile.

And most importantly, it makes you start writing.


Tuesday, 3 November 2015

What My Hospital Stay Taught Me About Being a Writer

Image “3d Doctor And Patient” by jscreationzs freedigitalphotos.net
Last weekend wasn't one of my best.

It began normally but ended up with me screaming in agony and being admitted to hospital.

Turns out, I have a large gall stone (1.9cm in diameter no less) that got stuck and hence the screaming and pain-killing injections that followed.

In the not too distant future, I'll need an operation, but last weekend I had to stay in hospital overnight until Monday afternoon (yesterday).

Naturally, like most hospital patients, I didn't get much sleep because of all the noise all night with buzzers going off, staff shouting and sounds of snoring coming from everywhere.

And by Monday morning I was bored.

So I had a lot of time to think.

And do you know what I thought about the whole time?

Writing.

I sat around (and laid around) making plans for my writing.

I couldn't seem to stop.

I laid in bed staring out the window and thought about writing.

I sat in the chair next to my bed and thought about writing.

I also sat outside on the back verandah to drink my black coffee (clear fluids only for 24 hours so I was really hungry the whole time - and I lost 1kg) and thought about writing.

And this taught me 2 things.

Firstly, I'm completely obsessed with writing. I don't think I realised it until now.

Secondly, as a writer, there's no such thing as not working.

I often think about writing and make plans of what I'll write next but I didn't realise how much I do it.

And now I know that even when I have absolutely nothing to do, I'm still working. Still thinking. Still planning.

So if you have a lot of waiting around to do, don't waste it.

It's a great brain storming opportunity.


P.S. Before I went to the hospital, I was having a day out with my family, which was sadly cut short. We were at Chenrezig Institute which is a Buddhist monastery and retreat on top of a mountain. It's a beautiful and tranquil place to visit if you're ever in the area. It's set over 100 acres of bushland and accepts day visitors who are free to explore the property.




Friday, 16 October 2015

I Can't Believe I've Actually Done It

This has been a long time in the making.

But I've finally done it.

Yay!

What have I done?

I've finished my new website design for my publishing company.

I've been working on it for 4 weeks.

At first I tried to use a website template.

But it kept going all wrong.

Then I came down with bronchitis for a couple of weeks. I tried to soldier on, but it was hard, especially with so much coughing.

Finally I gave up on the template and created my own. A responsive design, of course (don't want to get on the wrong side of the almighty Google).

You see, Cheriton House Publishing was the only website of mine that I hadn't updated with a responsive web design.

Why?

Because I knew it would be hard to do. There was a lot that needed changing.

But I finally I had to give in, grit my teeth, and get it done.

So I've been sat in front of the computer for days, working a lot more hours than I usually do. That's because I'm not really "tech" minded so web page design takes me ages to do.

Then this week, my portable hard drive broke down so I couldn't back up my work every day. It took a couple of trips to the local Apple store to figure out the problem which turned out to be partly the fault of my computer as well (I really AM going to have to upgrade soon).

But finally HERE I AM. FINISHED!

I removed several books from the website because I'm no longer selling them so there is now only a meagre amount left, but I intend to now rectify that now that I have time to write once more.

In the meantime, you can check out my handy work at http://cheritonhousepublishing.com.

If you find any errors or broken links, please PLEASE let me know and I'll put it right.

But you may be deafened by the sobbing.

Enjoy yourself and keep writing.


Monday, 20 July 2015

My First Practice Screencast

A few days ago I downloaded a free 30 trial of Camtasia screen-recording software.

I wanted to try it out because I am venturing into doing online courses and to do it, I need to be able to do video screen capture and then edit it to make it more watchable.

So, I downloaded the software and, in between working on other things, I recorded a short (less than 3 minutes) screencast and then set about editing it.

And while editing was time consuming to learn and to do, it was also quite fun as I experimented with all the things I could do.

It's take me a while but finally I created a video screen recording that is really bad but at least I got to experiment with a lot of things.

The recording is me showing you how I've set up this blog. It actually went on for a while but I cut down to just a few minutes.

I added in a short video of a tree being felled part-way through it, which had nothing to do with the recording but I was just practicing inserting another recording.

I experimented with having things fly in and out, outlining areas I was demonstrating, zooming in and out, having text display on screen and even having the screencast slide to one side.

It's all a big batch of things happening on the screen for no random reason at all most of the time, but it's a demonstration of what the software can do and whether I could do it.

Some of the things I realised, once I started editing, was that I should have used a microphone. In the background you can hear a clock ticking all the time and at one point a crow started making a noise outside. I'll have to use a microphone next time.

Also I need to slow down. When I work on screen on my own, everything seems to happen at normal pace, but when it's filmed it all looks too fast.

I and need to practice not mumbling so much when I talk. When did I get so lazy with my speech? Or have I always been that way?

I also should make sure the area I'm recording is cropped so that it doesn't show my whole screen which, in this video, includes my dock at the bottom and the menu bar at the top. You'll also see my desktop wallpaper which is a young buddhist monk praying at the foot of a huge statue of the Buddha.

Well, for better or worse, below is the eventual MP4 recording if you want to see it.

But be warned that it is nearly 3 minutes of nonsense.

Let me know what you think in the comments. But please (please) be kind. I am a novice after all and I only posted it to give you a laugh.


You can also view it on YouTube at http://youtu.be/iIFqXC3D7m4

Friday, 29 May 2015

The Weekly Newsletter is Dead

A few weeks ago I started republishing my weekly newsletter for writers to see if it was useful.

Last week I checked the online stats and saw that every time I send it out, very few people click on anything in it (in fact there were very few clicks), which means that I’m not providing information that anyone needs.

And it takes me a couple of hours every week to research the contents and put the newsletter together.

So If I’m wasting my time, then it’s time that would be better spent doing my own writing.

If you still want writing news, it can be found in the writers’ news feed at the bottom of this blog.

If you need writing markets you can find thousands of places to submit your work at http://writeaholics.net/writingmarkets.html.

And I’l still be writing articles for Writeaholics.net which I’ll link to in this blog.

Speaking of which, I wrote and uploaded an article this week called “Stock Your Online Writing Store and Ship Goods Daily” which will really inspire you to write and publish more books.

So now my weekly newsletter for writers is dead and will not rise again, which is good news for you because you should be writing, not wasting time reading emails.

So get to work.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Struggling With My Writing Routine

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net by Ambro
This week I'm struggling with keeping up with my usual writing and publishing routine.

I'm quite the creature of habit (which I'll be talking about in a future article) and I like to get certain writing tasks completed on certain days. That way I never have think about it. I never suddenly have to think "Did I write that article for Writeaholics.net?" Nope. I just know it's been done because I have a set day to do it.

Anyway, this week my usual routine has been monumentally disrupted because...my computer has had to go into the repair shop so I don't have access to my usual files and my usual software.

I know that something is wrong with my computer because it's slowing down and having a few issues, but it is 4 years old and I usually replace my computer every 3 years, but my current Mac Book Pro has been such a great computer that I hate to part with it.

The problem began when I started having issues downloading some of my emails. I phoned my hosting company, Netregistry.com.au, and they discovered that some horrible person has created fake email accounts on my website and is trying to download them every time I try and download my legitimate emails.

The fake email accounts are attempting to download to several different IP addresses, none of which are mine.

Now you'd think, wouldn't you, or at least I would, that with such a hacking attempt going on with my account that my hosting company would do something about it immediately.

But no. It's now been several days - today is Wednesday and they discovered this hacking attempt last Thursday while I was on the phone with the so-called tech support department - and still not one damn thing has been done to put things right despite my making 3 phone calls and sending 2 emails to them.

And in the meantime I cannot download my emails for that particular website (my cheritonhousepublishing.com site) because every time I do, the hackers automatically try to download their emails too and all the IP addresses get immediately blocked from the account, including mine.

So then I can't access anything and I have to ring up NetRegistry.com.au and ask them to unblock my IP address so that I can at least log into my website control panel. But first of all they go through loads of rubbish asking me to send them screenshots of my failed login attempts, etc and I have to keep explaining that it's not a fault on my computer, it's their system automatically blocking me out. It usually takes me about 20 minutes to get them to understand this.

I-Yi-Yi!

In the meantime I wondered if all this is what is affecting my computer. Have the hackers got into it somehow? I'm not sure how online hacking works so I don't know what people have the capability to do.

The computer store rang me today and said that my computer hard drive is corrupt and had some adware on it. They've removed the adware and are cloning my files so that they can install a new hard drive and put all my clean files and software back onto the new hard drive. I should get it back today, at a hefty price, but it will be worth it.

I'm currently using my Mac Book Air which is the computer I use if I want to work away from home.

I do sometimes like to work in the park or at the library, or sometimes at a really nice lookout (that has toilets and a drinking fountain) that's not too far away from here. That's one of the good things about living in the mountains. The views are fantastic.

I don't keep anything on this computer just in case it gets damaged or stolen. I don't have my emails on it and I don't store personal or business files on it. Only files that don't matter if others see them.

And it's password protected which means that once the lid is closed, a password is required to use the computer again. I really use it as nothing more than a glorified Word Processor.

And it doesn't have any of my software on it or passwords to my internet accounts.

I like to stay safe. Yet still there is adware on my main computer which I'm usually really careful with too.

On the upside of all this, I've managed to get plenty of writing done because I don't have much else to do while my other computer is AWOL.

I can't do a lot with my writing because I can't upload anything without my passwords and I don't want to use them even once on this computer just in case it remembers them. I can however, log into this blog and make a new post. It's one place I am auto-logged into on this computer.

So I'll keep waiting till my Mac Book Pro returns and in the meantime I'll just keep writing and writing.

My usual routine may have been disrupted but at least I'm getting plenty done.

There really is no excuse not to write.






Tuesday, 6 January 2015

What? No Happily Ever After?

I recently received a review of my romance novel, Stand By Me.

The reviewer said they were "confused" because my novel doesn't end with a happily ever after.

My romance novel does have an ending.

It has a surprise ending.

It's a great ending.

But it's not a happily ever after ending.

And I think it makes my romance novel better than the rest.

It rolls along as if it's just like any other romance story (only better than most).

And then the end comes.

Boom!

Not what you expect at all.

I could, if I'd wanted to, written an airy-fairy "girl gets guy in the end" type of ending. But that would have been just too boring.

Instead, I provided a surprise at the end that really gets you thinking and makes you look back at their whole relationship in a different way.

It makes you realise that not everything was as it seemed.

The ending really makes you think.

But I guess not everyone wants to think.

You can download Stand By Me (and the free reading app) right now, straight onto your Kindle or your computer, laptop, smart phone or just about any device.

Enjoy reading it today.

And let me know what you think of the ending in an Amazon Review.

:)

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Do You Have Great Writing Plans for the New Year?

Today is the 31st of December. New Year's Eve.

It's a time when most of us reflect on what we did throughout the year and make plans for things we'll do better next year.

And this is especially true for writers. If you're anything like me you already have a whole list of writing projects for the coming year.

I've also made a list of things I want to stop doing too. Things that didn't work out quite as well as expected or that I found I didn't enjoy. But nothing was a failure. It was all a learning experience because we need to learn what we don't want to do as well as what we do want to do.

I've spent quite a bit of time over the Xmas break going through my past and ongoing writing projects and also catching up on a bit of reading that I wanted to do but didn't always find the time for.

And it's been a really interesting time reading about new things and having a good look at what I've achieved and how much my writing business is moving on.

And to wrap up this year I've compiled a short reading list of articles that might help you to review  your past 12 months of writing and make new plans for the coming year.


The Best Way to Make a Living as a Writer
http://www.writersdigest.com/awai-copywriting/the-best-way-to-make-a-living-as-a-writer

The Simple Shift That Lets You Earn More from Your Writing
http://writetodone.com/earn-more-from-your-writing/

Why You Should Do a Year-End Review for Your Writing
http://thewritepractice.com/year-end-review

Here’s How Daniel Pink Writes
http://www.copyblogger.com/how-daniel-pink-writes/

Amazon SEO – Understand Amazon Keywords & Categories
http://thewriteoneblog.com/amazon-seo

50 Articles on Writing to Help You in 2015
http://www.writersdigest.com/online-editor/50-articles-on-writing-to-help-you-in-2015


Have a great New Year.

:)