Showing posts with label Productivity. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Productivity. Show all posts

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

3 Simple Ways to Beat Writers' Block

Although writers' block isn't something that I suffer from myself, I know that many writers do.

So I thought that it would be helpful to provide a short list of 3 things that you can do to beat it.

But these 3 things must be done together. They can help if you do them separately but if done all at the same time they can really help you to blast through your writing.

So here they are:

1. Only set out to do one small task.  It's said that if you tell yourself that you have a whole 'to-do' list to get through, you'll put off starting it. However, if you tell yourself that you just have one small task to complete, then it's easier to sit down and do it.

It's like knowing that you have to brush your teeth but not wanting to do it. So you tell yourself that you'll only brush one tooth, but you end up brushing them all. And it works the same with other jobs you have to do.

Don't tell yourself that you have to do a whole project. Break it down into individual tasks and then attempt the first one, and chances are, you'll end up accomplishing more than you think.

2. Keep a regular writing time. This may sound hard at first, especially if you're already trying to juggle kids and a job. But we all have some quiet time in our day that we can use for our writing.

I once saw an ad for online shopping, it said, "It's 1 a.m., the kids are in bed...let's shop." I thought "Wow! 1 a.m. is late to start online shopping, but if it's all the time you have..."

I've even known some writers who get up at 4am to get their writing done before the kids get up and their day starts.

3. Use a timer. You can't concentrate if you're always watching the clock. So use a timer and then lose yourself in your work. I also find that when I know the timer is running I'm less likely to get distracted. My timer is often my best friend when I'm trying to get some work done. And also I'm often surprised at how much I can get done once I start.

And that's it. That's the 3 things that, when used together, can really help you blast through any writing project, or at least, it really helps me.

I always keep a regular writing time, divide my projects into tasks and list them in the order they need to be done and I use a timer to keep me on track and to stop me wasting time.

I also use brain entrainment audios to block out other noises and help me to concentrate.  My favourite one is Brain Salon which is something I use nearly every day and it's more than paid for itself over time.

Try a free demo for yourself at http://www.brainsalon.com/demo/?a=writelady.

And read my latest article The 33-Minute Way to Beat Writers’ Block at:
https://ruthiswriting.com/articles/2018/33-minute-writers-block.html


Thursday, 24 May 2018

The Two Important Writing Perfections

In a recent article, I wrote about The Buddhist Six Perfections of Writing.

It's about how the Six Buddhist Perfections for life and spiritual practice can also be attributed to writing.

And I thought that two of these perfections were most pertinent:

Patience

Concentration

Patience - because writing takes time (so does everything). Not only that but it usually takes much longer to do than I think it will. Or sometimes writing seems to be slow but I'm actually working at a good pace so when I finally look at the clock I see that I haven't been writing for as long as I think. But I still need to keep my head down and work while I'm doing it. So patience is always required.

Concentration - because writing can often require 'deep work' in order to organise research, outline and stay on track of what I'm trying to say. Writing is not something that I can do while watching a movie or singing a song. It takes complete attention so that I can concentrate.

No doubt you've noticed yourself that you need a lot of patience, especially when working on a large writing project, and concentration to stick to what you're doing and to go deep into your own thoughts.

I know that makes writing sound difficult to do, but it's not.

Not if you have enough patience and the ability to concentrate.

You can read my complete article at
https://ruthiswriting.com/articles/2018/6-perfections.html

(Did you notice my new https in the URL? Still so pleased with my new website security update.)


Tuesday, 3 April 2018

How I Edit My Manuscripts

Books are the bread and butter of my writing income.

And as you know I'm currently working on my latest romance novel.

The manuscript is written and now I'm going through the second draft.

And it got me to thinking about how many people say that second draft is first draft minus 10%. In other words, the second draft should be a tightening up of the first draft and so take out whatever is unnecessary, which they always say is about 10% of what you've written.

And I used to believe that and so my second draft was always me looking for ways to cut words out.

Yet as the years progress I find more and more that my second draft equals my first drafts PLUS 30%. (my percentage may be wrong but I definitely add to my second draft, not take from it.)

That's because I find it easier to get the first draft written rather than getting it right. That has always been a favourite saying of mine (which I made up myself), "Don't get it right, get it written."

This is because my creativity flows better and my focus is razor-sharp if I'm writing without thinking about if it's right or not. I just need to get my book written. And most of the time, I find that even in parts of it where I think I've gone wrong, I haven't. On reading it through at second draft stage, I find it's fine.

And then comes the first edit which is where I read through my manuscript and, if it's fiction, I add more bits of detail such as what people are wearing or what they're eating, or I write more about their environment or I add more dialogue to conversations.

If I'm writing  non-fiction I go deeper into explanations of how or why to do things or talk more about how things came to be. Whatever it is, I always find more to add in the second draft.

That's not to say that I don't remove unnecessary things, because I do. But I still find more to add than to subtract.

And that's not a bad thing if it helps in the flow of creativity.

So ignore what anyone says about how to edit a book. Just do whatever makes your book the best it can be.

And enjoy writing that first draft because that's always the fun part.

-------------------------------

Write Any Book in 28 Days or Less.
Laid out in an easy to follow style and suitable for writing fiction and non-fiction. Just follow the course, working just one hour a day, and in less than a month, you’ll have your manuscript written.
http://ruthiswriting.com/links/writequickly.html


Monday, 26 March 2018

How I'm Planning to Make More Income From My Writing

Last week I took some time out to look at where I'm going with my writing this year.

I've been busily working away for weeks when I suddenly realised that I forgot where I was headed with everything.

You see, I always like to have a plan so that I know what I'm doing because if I don't stay on track, I'll get lost and forget my goals.

So one evening a couple of weeks ago, I sat down for a few hours and went through and updated my writing plans for the year.

It took longer than I thought and also took much more thinking too.

And below are 5 things that I looked at and made a few changes to make sure that I'm always working towards my writing goals and my income goals.

1. Revised my earning rate. I took a look at how much I'm earning compared to how much I want to earn this year. That helped me to look more closely at what I could do to make sure I reached my income target. One of the things was to only write for higher-paying freelance markets and not waste time on lower-paying gigs. I want to earn a minimum of $50/hour from any freelance work I do.

2. Worked on my editorial calendar. I also looked at what I've been doing so far this year and what I still needed to do as well as what I have to do to make sure I stay on track of everything I want to write and publish. If you don't have an editorial calendar, my advice would be to not only get one but make sure you stick to it.

3. Revised my weekly marketing plan. We all know that marketing can be more important than writing, that's why I always market my websites, books and affiliate products. Marketing has to be not only weekly but consistent for it to work.

4. Do more training. As you probably already know, I'm trying to learn more about being a marketer and studying books, audios and DVDs. It's a lot to work through and I realised that I needed to set aside time every week so that I can do it more often, instead of whenever I can find the time.

5. Take more chill time. Sometimes, well all the time actually, I find it hard to just sit and do nothing. But taking more downtime is necessary because of all work and no play, etc. So I sorted through all my books and put some that I want to read first, in a drawer, and I've started taking time out to sit and read every week. And it actually feels really good to do it.

So far it's working for me and I believe it can work for you too.

If you're having trouble staying on track with your writing goals, or you don't have any goals or you want to earn more money from your writing, try doing what I did and take some time out to look at the bigger picture of what you want to achieve.

Know how much money you want to make this year, decide how you're going to do it, design your editorial calendar, have a rigid marketing plan, learn whatever it is you need to know but you don't already know, and take some well-earned chill out time.

Then get back to writing.


Friday, 23 March 2018

Why is Writing Always Harder Than It Looks?

"Easy reading is damned hard writing." ~ R L Stevenson

Sometimes I have a brilliant idea about something I want to write.

In my head I see it as amazing and writing it is going to be a dream.

Yet the reality is far from the dream.

I find that even though the idea seemed simple in my head, it's a lot harder to write about it.

The reason for this is because it's much more difficult to write out a description clearly, to really go into the detail of describing what it looks like or how to do something.

That's why instruction books for new appliances are so big. There probably isn't much to know, and to use the appliance isn't hard, but the description in the manual of how to use it seems convoluted.

Recently I bought a new toaster oven. It's simple to operate but the instruction book had such detailed information about what each setting was for and how to set it, that it took a lot of reading.

Yet to use the oven is simple. Just turn it to the correct setting (grill, bake, pizza, toast, etc), adjust the time and oven temperature if needed, press 'start' and voilĂ .

But the written instructions of how to do it went on for page after page.

And it can also seem like this when you're writing.

The thing you want to write about is simple, but the actual writing is not as easy.

You might be able to see the expression on the face of your character, but describing it to your reader is difficult.

Or you might want to describe how to use a piece of software or a website, but it takes much more writing to describe it, especially when you can't point to the bit you're talking about or use hand gestures to help you to explain something. When all you've got is written words, it can seem daunting.

But never get discouraged when writing about something turns out to be much harder than the idea you could see in your head.

I always find that a detailed outline/blueprint of what I want to write about helps to keep my writing flowing.

It's far better than the dreaded blank page.

---------------

Write Any Book in 28 Days or Less.
 Laid out in an easy to follow style and suitable for writing fiction and non-fiction.
Just follow the advice as you go through the course and by the end you’ll have your manuscript written.
http://ruthiswriting.com/links/writequickly.html


Friday, 16 March 2018

How to Write 30,000 Words/Month When You Don't Have Time To Write


It's hard to find time to write every day, especially when some days, you just don't feel like writing at all.

We've all been there.

You wake up with good intentions and then other things come up and then you're just too tired to write.

Well, there's a thing that I do that, if I do it consistently, helps me to write at least thirty thousand words a month, even when I don't feel like I have time to write every day.

And that thing is that I always spend the first hour of the day writing.

As soon as I sit down to write, I make sure that the first thing I do is work on my latest book or writing project.

That way, no matter what else happens in the day, I've got my most important writing done.

Some days, I do it when I sit down to write, and other days I get up early and do it before I do anything else.

And the great thing about it is that, done consistently, that one hour of writing every day can end up being 30,000 words a month.

The math is simple. I can write at an average of 1,500 words an hour, which isn't difficult at all because it's only 25 words a minute.

So that 1,500 words an hour multiplied by 5 days a week is 7,500 words. And 4 weeks a month is 30,000.

It really is that simple.

And that hard.

The hard part is making sure you commit to doing it.

So even if you don't think you have time to write, dedicate your first hour of the day to writing and you can write a book a month, even if you have to get up an hour earlier every day.

----------------

Write Any Book in 28 Days or Less. 
Laid out in an easy to follow style and suitable for writing fiction and non-fiction. Just follow the advice as you go through the course and by the end, you’ll have your manuscript written. And it only takes an hour a day.
http://ruthiswriting.com/links/writequickly.html


Thursday, 15 March 2018

Finding Time to Write

Being a writer isn't hard.

But being a working writer who earns all their income from their writing is hard.

And one of the reasons it's hard is because it requires a lot of uninterrupted hours of work.

Unlike other careers, writing requires 100% focus and concentration. I can do other jobs while being somewhat distracted, but when I write, I need to give it my full attention.

Every day I feel like I'm bombarded with the desire to do anything but write and this is because of the deep attention I have to give my writing, so it can feel much easier to do other things.

So I have to make sure that I sit down and write every day, even though I don't always feel like doing it.

One of the ways to find time to write every day is to figure out what approach is the best way for me.

Different people work in different ways, depending on their life, job and other life commitments.

But the 5 best known ways of finding time to write are:

Monastic. This means totally cutting yourself off from everything while you write, including no phone calls, no texts, no internet and not even allowing others to speak to you at all while you're working. And if necessary, go away from home to write like Maya Angelou did. She always rented a hotel room for a few weeks and would go there every day to do nothing but lay on the bed and write. Many other writers have also hidden themselves away at hotels so that they can write including Tennessee Williams, Charles Dickens and Stephen King.

Split times. This means having some times when you write and the rest of the time for more shallow (or other) jobs. This works well for those who have family and other commitments who can't shut themselves off completely like a monastic. So you might carve out one part of the day, or the week or the month, that you use only for writing.

Set times. This means that you set aside a certain amount of time for writing and never waiver from it, like say, you write from 5am to 7am before you go to work every day.

Journalistic. This is how many writers work and it means grabbing whatever time you can for writing whenever you find a free slot in your day/evening. It's a moment to moment approach but sometimes it's all you can do if, for instance, you have young children.

So what this all means is that you need to find out which approach to writing works best for you rather than try and live your ideal.

In other words,  you may want to shut yourself off like a monastic and go to a luxury hotel and write every day, but your job, your kids and your spouse, means you can't do it and so the journalistic approach to writing is all that you can do.

But whatever your situation, make sure it works and that you get your writing done.

----------------------------

Write Any Book in 28 Days or Less.
Laid out in an easy to follow style and suitable for writing fiction and non-fiction. Just follow the advice as you go through the course, just one hour a day, and by the end, you’ll have your manuscript written.
http://ruthiswriting.com/links/writequickly.html


Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Do You Need a Dedicated Writing Place

I'm currently reading a book called Deep Work, by Cal Newport.

In it, he discusses the need for having a place where you go to do your deep work.

The argument for having such a space is that going to it puts you into the 'zone' for the work you have to do.

Many writers are the same. They have a space or a room where they work and they find that it instantly puts them into work-mode.

And it got me to thinking about whether it really is necessary to have a dedicated writing space.

From my own experience, I do tend to start the day sitting at my writing desk.

And I do indeed find it helps to get me instantly into writing mode.

I sit down, check my emails, then open my diary to see what I have on the writing agenda for the day.

But the thing is that I don't always stay at my desk.

Sometimes, it gets really hot inside so if there's a breeze (and there often is because I live on a mountain), I go and sit outside on the veranda.

Or if I want to get immersed in some offline work, then I'll sometimes venture out to the park or the library because I find that I have fewer distractions when I'm not at home. And because I have nothing else to do, I get plenty of writing done.

So while I find it really useful to have a dedicated writing space, I also like to move around, depending on what I'm working on and other factors (like the hot weather).

I think the answer then, is that it all depends on how your mind is wired as to whether you can work anywhere or only in one place.

Everyone is different, as is every day when you want to write but other things keep coming up and getting in the way.

So I'd say, have a dedicated writing space, but at the same time, be flexible.

Today I'm at my desk because it's a bit cooler outside due to recent heavy rains and a looming cyclone off the coast. Fingers crossed that it doesn't hit land.

And in the meantime, I'll stay inside at my dedicated place, and get more writing done.


Wednesday, 7 March 2018

What I Learned From Writing My Latest Book Manuscript

Two Weeks in Corfu-my latest 1st draft manuscript
Yesterday I finished my latest manuscript.

It's a romance novel and the first draft has come in a little shy of 50,000 words.

It's been an on-going project for some time now because I kept letting other things get in my way.

Eventually, I had to stop letting myself be distracted and get down to some serious writing and I learned quite a few things along the way about how to apply myself when I have a large project to complete.

And here are three of them:

1. Always do my book writing first. It's all too easy to put book writing as the last thing to do every day, and it's also too easy to let other things use up all my time so that there is no time left to write my book. Luckily I had a detailed outline to follow so I never lost where I was up to in the story, but it was still hard sometimes to pick up the story where I left off because I couldn't remember every detail that I'd previously written, like what did I say the weather was like or whether my characters had already discussed a certain detail.

2. Ignore procrastination and it will go away. It's all too easy to procrastinate and not get my writing done. The reason we procrastinate is that it's easy. It's much easier to do nothing than to work on a big writing project. But once I got over the feeling of wanting to procrastinate and got stuck into my work, I soon got lost in my writing and time just flew by. And because I'd done my book writing first, no matter what else happened for the rest of the day, my most important writing was done.

3. I need to do Deep Work. That is a phrase used by the author, Cal Newport in his book by the same name. Deep Work means to totally immerse yourself in what you're doing and not let little things distract you. It helps you to do more work in less time and to do better quality work. It's also called Deliberate Practice by some experts and is said to help neurons in the brain fire faster and cleaner thus cementing the skill you are working on which makes it easier and faster to do next time, which is how you get great at what you do.

So all I had to do was make sure I did my book writing first every day, ignore the feeling of wanting to procrastinate, and work deeply and not let anything distract me.

At first it wasn't easy, but after I'd done it a few times it no longer seemed hard.

I guess doing my deep work of book writing first, meant that every day I started how I wanted to go on.

And it worked.

And you can see from the picture at the top of the page, that I've printed out my manuscript ready for the first edit, which I'll start in a couple of days once I've put in some time distance so that I can read it with 'fresh' eyes.

If you're currently working on your own manuscript, I hope you can work deeply and distraction-free too.




Monday, 26 February 2018

Don’t Feel Guilty About Writing

One of the problems that I find with working from home as a writer, is that others equate it with not having a job.

So they come round, or ring up and expect me to be always available.

Over the years I’ve trained them all to respect the fact that I do work for a living and that I do need time to do it, so I banned them with disturbing me during office hours.

And for a while it worked but now I find myself backsliding and letting them interrupt me again.

The problem is that I often feel guilty about putting my writing before everything and everyone else.

And it’s this unnecessary guilt that I need to lose.

I mean where would JK Rowling be today if she’d given in to her co-workers’ demands to have lunch with them instead of using her lunch hour to write her second Harry Potter novel?

And where would Stephen King be if he hadn’t put his kids to bed early every night so that he could write his next great horror novel while his wife was out at her night job?

These writers put their work before demands from others, especially unimportant demands.

So that’s what I have been doing too.

And do you know what?

It feels good to be back in control of how I use my time and being able to get more writing done.

So if you have others who insist on interrupting your writing time, don’t feel guilty

Just write and make them wait.

And if you need more motivation to write more and spend less time on other less important things, take a read through the Villains' book.

It’s all about being a true villain and explains how to put your mission (your writing) first.

It’s a quick yet insightful read.

I’ve read it a dozen times already and I might just read it again.

http://viewbook.at/villains



Friday, 23 February 2018

A Time To Write That I Didn't See Coming

“Write a short story every week. It's not possible to write 52 bad short stories in a row.” ― Ray Bradbury

Even though I live in what is called 'The Sunshine State' it has been raining for 3 days now.

I don't like the rain. I know we need it, but I don't like it when it rains heavily for days on end like this.

And today is forecast to be another day of rain.

It's not even 9am and it's already been raining steadily since I got out of bed this morning. In fact, I could hear it on the roof a soon as I woke up.

This weather doesn't exactly inspire me to get up and do anything.

And speaking of which, did you see the image I've included of the guy trying unsuccessfully to get up and function? Hilarious. I actually 'borrowed' it from someone I follow on facebook called Meanwhile in Australia. https://www.facebook.com/MeanwhileInAustralia/.

The image is exactly how I felt yesterday when I saw it was raining AGAIN.

But guess what?

Once I got up and had a couple of cups of coffee to get me going, I figured why not see how much writing I could get done because there was nothing else to do. It was raining hard so I definitely wasn't going anywhere and everything outside was wet and everything inside was damp. It's still summer here so the weather is wet and hot.

So I sat down yesterday morning and started writing. I have a new project that I'm working on so I had plenty lined up to do.

And surprisingly, I got a lot done, and by the time I'd finished for the day I was pumped with my progress.

So the humid, rainy day that I thought wasn't good for anything, turned out to be one of my best writing days ever.

And it made me wonder how many other great windows of writing opportunity I've missed, just because I didn't feel like I could write.

So today I'm going to rinse and repeat what I did yesterday, even though, when I heard the heavy rain when I woke up, I felt like the image above again, but I got up, showered off the sweat (boy is it humid) and now I'm ready for another non-stop day of writing, despite (or maybe because of) the constantly pounding rain on the roof.

Can't wait.

---------------

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Thursday, 22 February 2018

How Much Writing Time Have You Wasted?

It happens every day.

You set out with the best intentions of getting plenty of writing done.

You set your alarm clock, get up on time, have breakfast, do the dishes and are sitting down at your desk bright and early.

But then you check your emails, or start reading online articles, or check your rss feed, take a not-so-quick peek at Facebook and BAM! The morning is almost over.

Or there might be other days when you just simply can't get going and so many other things get in the way.

So how much writing time have you been wasting lately on things like TV, gossiping, coffee mornings, drinking, and other time wasting activities?

Recently, when I was listening to an audio of a talk given by one of the giants in marketing, Gary Bencivenga, he said that how he stays productive is that whenever he's doing something he always asks himself, "Is this the best use of my time?" (paraphrased)

And if it isn't, he stops what he's doing and does something useful instead (or what he should be doing).

I thought that this was a really clever way to stop wasting time on things that don't matter so that I can spend more time on things that do.

And so far it's not only working, but it's made me realise how many things I waste my time on every day.

Like this morning, for instance. I made a couple of changes to one of my website pages and a couple of words at the bottom of it weren't formatting correctly. I kept trying to find out why so I could fix the problem and then I asked myself, "Is this the best use of my time?"

I realised that it wasn't and that a couple of incorrectly formatted words didn't matter. So I uploaded the webpage and got on with my writing.

See how simply that works?

Try it for the rest of today and see what a difference it makes.

-----------------

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Tuesday, 20 February 2018

This is Why You're Not Earning Enough Money From Writing

Do you ever sit and wonder why you're not earning as much money from your writing as you want to?

I know I do.

And the thing that I've realised is that when I'm not earning as much money as I want to from my writing, it's because I'm not writing enough.

Whenever I look back over times when I was making sales and earning more money from my books, websites and blog, it was always when I was sitting down and writing every day.

And the times when I wasn't earning enough money, were the times when I wasn't writing as much so I had time to sit and ponder my lack of income.

This is also true of any writer that you look at.

All the successful writers are those that write a lot, or write regularly every day no matter what.

The problem is that it's too easy to let other things get in the way of our writing.

Other people think that becasue I don't go out to work every day means I'm not busy. But that is far from the truth.

I'm either writing or getting on with other things I have to do. Even if I'm sat watching a movie and doing some sewing, I'm busy. (Why don't people get that?)

But it seems that people think that if I'm sitting down I'm not busy.

Sometimes I might even be sitting out in the garden having a cup of tea and thinking about my next writing project. I may not look busy but if they could look inside my brain they'd be amazed by all the activity in there.

So if you're not earning enough money from your writing, look at it this way...

It's possible to write a book in a week. My own 7 Day Ebook Writing and Publishing System proves this (http://cheritonhousepublishing.com/books/7day.html).

So if you followed a system such as this you could write and publish an ebook every week.

This means you could write and publish 50 ebooks a year, if you're really disciplined.

My friend and co-author Yuwanda Black did it.
https://inkwelleditorial.com/an-ebook-publishing-failure-story-my-quest-to-publish-50-ebooks-on-amazon-this-year

And how much would that improve your writing income?

Now you may not want to write 50 ebooks a year. But it does demonstrate how more writing means more writing income.

It simply comes down to a mathematical equation. Writing = Money.

Well, all right, it's not as simple as that (except that it is).

But if you want to increase your writing income, you first need to increase your writing output.

So stop reading this and get to work.





Friday, 16 February 2018

The Simple Way to Write More That I Learned From a Top Copywriter

Years ago I downloaded an audio interview with top copywriter, Bob Bly.

If you haven't heard of him before, he is one of the highest-paid copywriters in the industry and has worked freelance for many years.

He works out of his rented office where he writes every day.

In the interview (http://www.hardtofindseminars.com/Bob_Bly_Copywriting.htm) Bob talked about one of the problems with being a busy writer, is getting bored with what he's writing.

This is a problem for many writers. Including me. If I get bored with what I'm writing, then I quickly lose interest in it.

And when I listened to the Bobl Bly interview he talked about how he has the same problem and how he handles it.

He said that he always makes sure he has several different projects he's working on at the same time, so if that if he gets bored with one, he puts it away and starts on another one.

He said he works as a copywriter full time and he needs to keep working every day if he wants to earn money so he can't afford to get bored. But as long as he has different things to work on, he can simply switch from one to another.

And I found this information to be gold, so I do the same.

If I'm tired of writing blog posts, or I'm simply not in the mood, I write a marketing article instead or write a promotion for an affiliate product or work on my book.

Every week, I start by listing the writing I have to do and it's always a list of different things. So if I get bored with one, I just work on another. And if I get tired of writing, I'll start researching for another project or I'll outline my next book, or look through my ideas book or proof-read something I've already written.

I find that as long as I have something to switch to, I can keep working, and then get back to what I was stuck on the next day or whenever I'm ready.

I just have to keep going and that helps me to write more instead of stopping.

And more writing always equals more money.

---------

Goodbye Writer's Block: How To Be A Creative Genius And Have An Abundance Of Ideas Plus The Inspiration And Motivation To Write
http://cheritonhousepublishing.com/books/WB.html





Wednesday, 14 February 2018

The 'Secret' To Writing and Earning More Every Day

I love to read about how other writers work, but only those who are good at what they do and have earned millions.

One of these is the late, great copywriter, Eugene Schwartz.

He is the author of the well-known, yet hard to get hold of, copywriting classic called Breakthrough Advertising. I'm one of the fortunate people who have a copy of this amazing book. It's currently selling on Amazon for $400 and up to $2,000.

https://www.amazon.com/Breakthrough-Advertising-Eugene-M-Schwartz/dp/0887232981

Eugene Schwartz is famous not for just doing great work and earning millions of dollars, but also for teaching others how he did it.

One of the 'secrets' he taught was using a timer whenever he was working.

He always set it to 33.33 minutes.

Why he used this exact amount of time of 33 minutes and 33 seconds, he never said, but he does attribute it to making him a millionaire several times over.

The way he did it was that he would start his timer and then start working.

When the timer sounded, he would stop work for exactly 5 mintues. It didn't matter what he was working on, even if he was halfway through writing a sentence, when the timer sounded, he would stop.

Not only that, but the 5 minutes had to be spent away from his desk. He would make a cup of tea, or pat his dog or walk around. But he would be physical for 5 minutes.

He would then return to his desk, set his timer for another 33.33 minutes and get straight to work.

He would do this 6 or sometimes 7 times and then stop working for the day.

So he was, in fact, only working 3 to 4 hours a day.

But he did say it was intensely focused work and he already knew what he'd be working on before he sat down. He also worked 7 days a week.

And this is what he said helped to keep him at his desk working and earning him millions of dollars.

It's also helped his followers, many of whom work the same way.

And on days when I use it, it works for me too.

It's amazing how well it helps with focus and gives you no time for writer's block or other time-wasting activities.

My aim is to get into a habit of working this way every day.

---------

Goodbye Writer's Block: How To Be A Creative Genius And Have An Abundance Of Ideas Plus The Inspiration And Motivation To Write
http://cheritonhousepublishing.com/books/WB.html






Wednesday, 7 February 2018

The One Basic Secret For Earning Money From Writing

I use Grammarly when I write on my computer.

It's a free app and is really useful for picking up on spelling and grammatical errors.

Sadly though, it doesn't work with Pages for Mac (although it does work on Microsoft Word) which is what I use for doing nearly all my writing, so it never counts my book manuscript word count.

But it does work for my blog, my emails and for plain text documents I write using programs such as Text Edit.

Every week it also emails me my stats and tells me how I'm doing and compares it to other Grammarly users.

This past week I've hardly written at all because it was my father's funeral yesterday and he is the second family member to pass away this year. So I was a bit off my writing game.

This morning I received an email from Grammarly telling me that I'd only written 2,283 words this past week, which is not much at all.

But...and this is the surprising thing, it said that I was 80% more productive than other Grammarly users.

80%????

Wow! If I wrote so little every week I'd be out of business.

Yet I still out-wrote 80% of other users.

But why am I telling you this?

Because it's proof that being a successful writer means actually sitting down and writing.

There is no perceived "secret" to earning money from writing. It's simply doing the writing.

You have to sit down and do it every day.

And write at least 10 times more than 2,283 words every week.

This is why I earn money from my writing, and others don't.

It's a 'secret' called writing.

Have you tried it lately?


Grammarly. The free writing app.
http://ruthiswriting.com/links/grammarly.html



Wednesday, 31 January 2018

How to be a Writing Villain

I've recently read the book "Persuasion Secrets of the World's Most Charismatic & Influential Villains" several times. It's written by copywriter and email specialist, Ben Settle.

It's essentially written for men, but the advice is priceless for writers.

Basically, it tells you to have a mission (your writing) and to always put your mission first, no matter what.

The advice it gives is:

Don't be needy and at everyone's beck and call and don't always be available.

Be a dictator about your mission and make others back off if they try to persuade you to drop it.

Always have money so you're not financially dependant on anyone or any job (and it tells you how to do this, even if you're broke).

This little book is not about writing per se but it IS really useful about how to put your writing (mission) at the top of your agenda AND how to keep it there.

It's a short book and I've read it over several times, and even though it gets straight to the point on every issue about being a "villain" and putting your mission first, I keep finding more pieces of gold every time I read it.


Persuasion Secrets of the World's Most Charismatic & Influential Villains
http://viewbook.at/villains




Saturday, 20 January 2018

Yes, It is Your Fault


"It doesn't' matter what others are doing. It matters what you are doing." 
~ Buddhist Quote

Although I have a Facebook account, I have never liked Facebook or the whole social media scene because I find that people say really terrible things when they're hiding behind their keyboards.

I only use FB for marketing but I have tried joining a few groups but every one I join turns out to be nothing like what it's supposed to be and there is always a ton of bitching and arguing going on.

So over time, I've dropped out of them all. But a few weeks ago I came across a group all about clean food and eating a plant-based diet, which is something I'm very interested in and it advertised itself as being all about empowering yourself and feeling good by eating clean food.

So I joined.

And guess what?

It wasn't about that at all. It seemed to be about people saying that they wanted to eat well, but then complaining about all the junk food they ate, while others would add comments that basically said, "There, there, it's not your fault." All of them blamed their bad eating habits on having "stressful" days.

Then one person said we cannot control what happens to us, but we are responsible for our response to what happens. Sage words. Or so I thought.

But then she went on to say that after she'd recently had a "stressful" day ( I use quotes because it sounded like just a normal day to me) she sat on her kitchen floor, crying while eating a whole packet of Oreo cookies (apparently she was crying because she didn't want to eat the cookies), but it wasn't her fault that she ate all the cookies because all the "stress" she'd suffered forced her to eat them.

So, stupidly, I responded by saying, "But you said that we are all responsible for how we respond to situations so doesn't that mean that it IS your fault that you ate them?"

And then I found out how painful lynching must be because I got so many hate comments all telling me how wrong I was and that they all weren't responsible for all their binge eating because it was out of their control.

What I found surprising (or not) was that they seemed to be of the collective opinion, that because they were all doing the same bad behaviour, it somehow made it not wrong to do. It was as though they thought that if others were doing it too, then it was justified.

And you might be wondering by now, what this all has to do with writing?

Well, I see this same attitude when it comes to negative behaviours about writing, like blaming procrastination or writer's block. It seems people go to forums and do Google searches and find a ton of information about how others waste time procrastinating or saying that they can't write because they have writer's block.

And that's enough to justify their own lack of writing. "I'm not the only one who can't write because I've got writer's block, so it's normal to not write at all. It's not me. Blame writer's block. We all have it. So it's not my fault. Not writing is clearly out of my control."

Well, I'm here to tell you that it is your fault. It doesn't matter what others are or aren't doing.

If you're not getting your writing done, it is completely your fault.

Can you imagine trying this same excuse in a courtroom? 

The prosecution barrister would say, "So why did you rob the bank?" And you say, "Well I looked online and others were doing it too, so it's not my fault!" And the barrister responds with, "Oh, I had no idea others were robbing banks too. Your Honour, we can't possibly jail this person for robbery if others are doing the same thing. Clearly, it's not their fault. They cannot be held responsible for their actions."

It wouldn't work in court, or anywhere else.

We are all responsible for our actions (or inactions).

No matter how you feel, you always have a choice.

Blaming something else (writer's block, procrastination) is just weakness and laziness.

And weakness and laziness are not virtues.

 But they are things that are within our control.

Writers write.

Whiners whine.

I'm not saying it's easy to write when you don't feel like it.

But you are a writer. 

So if you're not writing every day, it's your fault.

Take back control.



Write your next ebook in 10 days or less and earn at least $1,000/month from it. 
Guaranteed or your money back.




Friday, 5 January 2018

We'd All Make Changes If We Could

Ask any top writer, and they'll tell you that there are things they'd change in their block buster novels if they could.

And it's the same for any writer, including you.

The more you go over your work, the more you see things that you want to change.

This is why I say that the perfect piece of writing doesn't exist.

Because there's no such thing as perfect.

Perfect is subjective, meaning it's influenced by personal tastes, feelings or opinions .

That's why it's impossible to please all of the people all of the time.

And why you should never try to.

And when you're editing your work, there is a time to say good enough is good enough, otherwise you'll go on making changes forever.

I was listening to an audio recording a few days ago of email specialist and top copywriter, Ben Settle, analysing some of his old sales pages that he'd writtten for other people. He was going through them and saying why he included things and how it helped to make sales.

But all the way through the kept saying things like "I could have written that better."

Yet these sales pages had generated tens of millions of dollars in sales. And the clients he'd written them for had been running them for years and earning even more millions from them.

Yet Ben was looking at them and talking about what he'd change about them if he could.

So you see?

We always want to change what we've written.

It never seems good enough.

So once you've written something, especially something as big as an ebook, don't over edit it.

You'll never feel 100% satisfied. But if you feel at least 80% happy with it, then it's probably time to ship it and let it go.


The 10 Day Ebook
Write your next ebook in 10 days or less and earn $1,000 a month from it. Guaranteed or your money back.
http://ruthiswriting.com/links/10dayebook.html



Thursday, 4 January 2018

Riddle Me This...

I find that there are two types of writers.

First there are the perfectionists.

Then there are those who think that good enough is good enough, and once they've written something they ship it. They put it out there for everyone to buy and enjoy.

The perfectionists take a long time to ship their work, and sometimes they don't ship at all. They put their writing away and ignore it.

The good enough writers, write and polish their work until it's good enough to ship, and then they ship it.

They also write and ship often because they aren't waiting for perfection.

There is no such thing as perfection.

Whatever you publish there are going to be those that love it and those that hate it.

But you're not writing for those that hate your work, so ignore them.

And even if you think your work is perfect, there will still be those that hate it.

But that doesn't mean your work is bad.

It's just different strokes for different folks.

So tell me this...

Who do you think is going to make the most money?

The writer who doesn't ship because they're waiting for the fictitious perfection?

Or the writer who writes and edits till good enough is good enough and then ships and writes and ships some more?

Don't wait for perfection.

It aint coming.


The 10 Day Ebook.
Write your next ebook in 10 days or less and earn at least $1,000/month from it. Guaranteed or your money back.
http://ruthiswriting.com/links/10dayebook.html