Showing posts with label Writing Tips. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Writing Tips. Show all posts

Wednesday, 11 November 2020

Stop Trying To Be Like Other Writers

It's easy to fall into the trap of thinking that in order to be as successful as another writer, all you have to do is copy what they do (their daily routine, their style of writing...) and VOILA, you'll be just as good as they are.

That kind of thinking is just so wrong. I know because I used to think the same and I was always reading up on other writers and how they spent their writing days and what they wrote, where they wrote and how they became so successful. I was desperate to be just like them.

But it never worked. It took me a while to figure out why, but eventually I got it.

I discovered the same thing was happening in the movie, The Karate Kid.

He wanted to emulate others who were great at self defence. For ages he was trained in the right moves ('wax on, wax off') but it never seemed to work. No matter how much he practiced the right moves he just couldn't put it all together effectively.

It wasn't until that memorable scene on the beach where he stood on a wooden post practicing the 'crane' pose amongst other things.

But that was where it all mentally came together for him. He needed to not only know the right moves, but also be in the right mindset, which, as it turned out, was his own mind.

You see, he couldn't do great things by trying to copy others or practice the same moves over and over again.

Instead he had to discover his own way of doing things so he went to the beach on his own to practice in his own way, and in his own head.

And that is what it takes to be a writer; to be yourself so that you can have fun with your writing instead of thinking that you have to do things a certain way or copy what others are doing.

Writing is a creative process, and you can only create your own things.

So give it a try. 

Write for the fun of writing. Enjoy doing it. And before you know it, you'll be better than the rest.

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Wednesday, 7 October 2020

Stay On Topic

If you've been following me for a few years you'll know that I've been learning about marketing for quite a while now. 

And to this end, not long ago, I subscribed to a famous marketer's copywriting emails. But after a few weeks I unsubscribed because all the emails spoke too much about health and fitness, or at least what he thought that health and fitness was, and how he linked it all to copywriting was tenuous at the very least.

Not only was this a subject I have no interest in, but also all his information was incorrect so even if I wanted information about exercise and diet, following his advice would have led me to having health issues that I'd never had before, plus my health is fine and I don't suffer from anything (except maybe crazy monkey mind issues) so I never read articles about it.

I suffered through these emails for a short while and deleted them all within minutes of reading them, thinking that he was just on a current health obsession of some kind and that he'd soon get back to talking about copywriting.

Anyway, the last straw came when I received an email all about the typical US (he's American) fear of eating carbohydrates. He talked about a woman who improved her health and fitness by eating only cheese, soup and salad and how great her body looked. I laughed at that because no matter what someone's body looks like, you can't see their clogged arteries, diabetes or heart issues, and these are the things that are important.

And then he said how he himself always eats like a lion by eating lots of meat and not much of anything else. I thought this was a strange thing to do because he's not a lion so why would he want to eat like one? Also lions only eat about once every three days and I'm betting he didn't do that.

He likened his heavy meat-based diet to making his copywriting roar. Hmmm... Such a thin connection from one thing to the other. More like a 'Dad Joke.' He then provided links to his copywriting products. And that was it. No other mention of copywriting in his copywriting email.

It was this email that made me unsubscribe immediately.

You see, I didn't want dietary advice. I wanted advice about copywriting. But I didn't get anything except a a few links to his products that he wanted me to buy. So instead of being intrigued to take a look, I just thought that if his products were anything like his emails, they were of no use to me.

So how is telling you this helpful to you?

Because what I'm trying to show you is that if you're writing about something you need to stay on topic and not talk about unrelated things.

I mean, if you're talking about writing,  it's OK to talk about getting enough sleep so that you feel more awake to write, or how to keep up your motivation or productivity, or  talk about a great computer for writers, or a great book that can be helpful, but waffling on about how you stay fit isn't going to be interesting to people who want to find out about being a writer (or copywriter).

This is why it's important to stay on topic when you're writing, and whenever you talk about something else, explain how it ties into what you're saying and how it can help.

This is writing and marketing 101.

How to Write An Article in 15 Minutes or Less
- Including Research, Writing and Proof Reading

Tuesday, 3 March 2020

The Audience for My Writing Is Me

I not only write a lot, but I also read a lot. And, unsurprisingly, I read a lot about writing.

There is just SO MUCH information online and in books, about how to write and what to write. And for years I lapped up all this information and tried just about every piece of advice to see if it worked.

What I discovered was that some of it worked and some of it didn't. But that's not to say that the advice was wrong. It was just wrong for me.

You see all writers are different and we all want to write different things, so not all writing advice will be useful to everyone, so it's just a matter of taking what works for you and letting the rest go.

For example, I read that the best way to write is to make-believe you're writing to just one person. The usual advice about this is to picture in your mind the person you are writing to and just write for them.

This advice can be useful if you're writing non-fiction or online articles because you want to make sure that what you're saying is useful to the right person (or people).

But for me, it doesn't have to be that way. In fact, I've noticed that over the years, my most popular online articles, are the ones I wrote without anyone in mind. I was just writing about what I knew or imparting what I thought was useful information. I didn't have any particular avatar in mind, which is what they tell you to do to make sure you're writing to the right audience.

So eventually, I went back to writing just for me and not for anyone else and now more people than ever read my online articles and my books. They also share my marketing articles online more too.

And what I've learned from this is that I can write better, and more freely, if I don't try and write for some other person and instead I just write. And it works whether I'm writing fiction or non-fiction.

For instance, I was once writing about seaweed. I wrote about its culinary uses, medicinal uses and the different oceans that seaweed can be found in, amongst other things And I knew that each of the topics wouldn't be of interest to the same person, but they would perhaps appeal to a chef, a herbalist or a student, depending what they wanted the information for.

Another thing that I've noticed over time is that my writing always finds readers, even if not now, it becomes popular at some point.

And what I've learned most of all is that writing just for me is so much more enjoyable. I just write, hit publish and write some more. Not only that but because I enjoy it more I also write more.

So it's a win-win.

If you find that you don't enjoy writing, maybe writing just for you will work too.

Thursday, 26 December 2019

My Grinch-Like Christmas Writing and Planning

Today is 26th December. The day after Christmas (if you do that sort of thing).

And because it was Christmas Day yesterday, everything is closed so there is nowhere to go, plus it rained all day, which is unusual for this part of Australia, but the rain did break a 6-month drought for which we are all thankful. And today the sun is shining again.

I don't do the Christmas thing and our plans to spend time picnicking and swimming with friends who also don't follow the flock when it comes to this time of year, was scuppered by the bad weather, not that I would have stayed there all day.

I would have left early anyway because I had plans, and I find it emotionally draining to socialize for too long.

The 25th of December is always my day to plan my writing projects for the next 12 months.

So I locked myself in my writing room at the back of the house and looked through all my notebooks, and plotted and planned what I'm going to be working on for the next 12 months. And I'm going to start work on it all today. Not New Years Day. Why wait?

And strangely, locking myself away from the rest of the world in my Grinch-like way is something I always enjoy. I just close the door, listen to an audio that helps me concentrate, and get to work.

I would tell you what my plans are, but I won't because no matter how good the plans and how well I've mapped it all out, things happen. Every year things happen that take me away from my writing so I always spend time trying to catch up. Sometimes it's things that have to take priority and I don't get to choose what happens. But I do get to choose how I deal with it.

But this all impacts on my writing time in a negative way.

And to be honest, losing writing time and having to lock myself away in my Grinch-like style so that I can try and catch up, isn't such a bad thing. I don't mind doing that. I often come into my writing room at night and work for a few hours too. I used to call it my office, but that sounds, well, just too officious. Calling it a writing room makes it sound much more like the creative space that it is.

So, for now, I'm going to keep my writing plans to myself.

But one thing I will tell you is that my latest book will be published next month (January 2020).

I've already had the book cover put up on the sales page (which isn't finished yet) just so you can take a sneak peek.

It's called, Mission Critical For Life: Start Living Life On Your Terms By Pursuing Your True Life Mission.

This book will help you to write more than you ever have done before once you make writing your mission and prioritize it. And I'll tell you EXACTLY how to do it.

I'll give you more updates about it soon.

In the meantime, what are your writing plans? If you don't know, it's time to start planning.

Monday, 28 October 2019

How Not To Sound Like a Phoney When You Write

I sometimes smile at how easy some people find it to sound like a fake person when they write.

The problem is that we learn to write at school and college and university. But the problem is that our style of writing for our teachers and lecturers is not the same for any other kind of writing, especially if you’re writing online or writing books.

When you write, you need to sound authentic rather than sounding like a robot spewing out facts or sounding phony like you’re trying to hide something.

And the way to do this is to find your writing ‘voice.’

But what does that mean and how can you do it?

Your writing voice means sounding like yourself when you write. It means giving the reader a glimpse at the writer behind the words.

And you do it with practice.

That is the only way that you’ll ever find your writing voice. The more you write, the more authentic you’ll sound because you can only keep a veil up for so long before you start writing more like you speak and coming across as genuine.

Another thing to remember is, don’t write what you think others want to read. Instead write about what YOU want to tell them, rather than what you think they want to hear.

And write quickly. Don’t give yourself too much thinking time about which words to use or how to be perfect. Just write. You can pick up mistakes later on in the edit. Just write fast and authentically.

It doesn’t actually take too much practice to find your writing voice.

But you do need to practice. Just make sure you’re practicing being yourself, which, when it comes down to it, should be pretty easy.

You know yourself better than anyone.

So be that genuine person when you write.

Goodbye Writers’ Block
How to Be a Creative Genius and Have an Abundance of Ideas
Plus the Inspiration and Motivation to Write

Thursday, 12 September 2019

Should You Or Could You Be a Writer?

We’ve all heard of the expression “Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda.” It’s what we say to people who have lame excuses for not doing something.

And this is also appropriate for you if you’re not writing.

Shoulda - This is when you’ve wasted time when you shoulda been writing. It can be when you let yourself get distracted by other things instead of getting your writing done. Or when you wasted time by prioritising other things/people.

Coulda - You coulda got your writing done but you didn’t think you were good enough or motivated enough or dedicated enough. Sound familiar?

Woulda - Well, you woulda done your writing if only other things hadn’t happened or something else hadn’t come up, or if you had the time, or if you weren’t so busy…

All these things are weak excuses. They’re not reasons why you aren’t writing every day, they’re just a bunch of Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda.

What it all comes down to is whether or not you really want to be a writer.

And if you do, then the time to start writing is now.

Dream Life Mastery
How to Achieve Exceptional Wealth
A Step-by-Step, Done-For-You System

Wednesday, 11 September 2019

3 Steps to Living Your Dream Life as a Writer

It’s so easy to dream about becoming a successful writer. You imagine yourself gliding into your home office, dashing off another bestseller, and still have time to go out for dinner in the evening.

Wouldn’t it be great if it really happened that way?

The reality, of course, is really different and there are so many things that can stop your writing dream coming true and here are just 3 of them.

1. Time To Write. No matter what you do, you never seem to be able to find the time to actually sit down and write. You may even begin every day with good intentions, yet time eludes you and before you know it, the day’s over and you haven’t written a thing.

2. Others Not Supportive. If there’s one thing that I learned early on, it’s that others won’t support you when you want to be a writer. And the closer you are to them the more resentful they seem. My family and friends are the worst and none of them will even discuss my writing, even though I’ve been earning my income from writing for years.

3. Guilt. It’s all too easy to feel guilty about wanting to write because you always feel that you should be doing other things. It’s probably because writing seems selfish because it’s something that you need to do alone, without anyone even speaking to you. And it doesn’t help when others are unsupportive because it can make you feel like you have to write in secret.

  But you really shouldn’t let any of these things stop you because we all have time to write if we prioritise it instead of trying to fit it into our spare time.

We can also ignore everyone who doesn’t support what we want to do. In fact, I’d even go as far as saying to spend less time with them and more time writing.

And stop feeling guilty about writing because it IS important to you. Knitters don’t feel guilty about knitting, gardeners don’t feel guilty about spending time gardening, and artists don’t feel guilty about wanting to paint or draw. So why should you feel guilty about wanting to write?

The time to turn your life around and live your dream life of being a writer is now.

Thursday, 11 April 2019

How to Put Suspense in Your Novel to Keep Your Readers Reading

I don't know if you've noticed or not, but I've changed the information at the bottom of this blog.

It used to be a 50/50 page split between advertisements for writing products and  RSS feeds to other writing blogs.

But now I've removed the list of writing products and replaced it with more RSS feeds to other writing blogs that I believe have really useful and useable information to help you to keep writing and earning money.

For example, one of the RSS feeds is from the Harlequin website for romance writers.

And their latest blog post is a list of tips to maintain suspense in a story or novel.

These tips include using the 'man in the closet' technique, and the better-known modus operandi of littering your story with red herrings.

This is great advice not just for romance writers, but for any fiction writer of long or short stories, because if there is no suspense, no reason for the reader to wonder what is going to happen next, then they'll probably stop reading.

So if you haven't had a look at all the useful writing links on my blog, you can go and have a look now.

Or preferably, have a look every day to keep up with all the latest writing news, tips and current events.