7 Fast Fix It Solutions for Writer’s Block

Use these templates to spark your next blog post.

Blogging is hard work. You put in the time, you write good content, but there are those days when you stare at a blinking cursor. How often do you suffer from writer’s block?

Used under Creative Commons Drew Coffman | Writer’s Block, Flickr.com

Think about the hours you spend on your writing. Now, multiply that by the hours you scratch your head on what to write for Monday’s blog post.

3 Secrets Editors Know That You Don’t.

How I Improved my Message by Spending a Little Money.

Writers, write and Editors, edit. It’s the necessary cycle of every book, blog post, and article. But one thing is certain if you don’t edit your work, your readers will.

We get so excited to write our stories down that we forget one of the most important parts of writing is hiring an editor. This one person can take your manuscript and help you massage your message.

A Peek Inside My Book Writing Process.

3 ways to finding your why in writing a book.

Writing a book is one of the most satisfying and time-consuming things one can do. But if you’re going to write your book, you have to know where to begin.

For weeks, months or perhaps years, you’ve been planning, thinking and dreaming of having your book officially written. You’ve poured your heart and soul into the ideas and things you want to include in your book. Now, the work begins, because it’s time to sit down and begin your first chapter.

5 Ways To Power Up Your Story.

Connecting with readers on a personal level.

Why do we tell stories? I suppose it’s to fulfill some need to entertain or enlighten someone. Maybe it’s about broadening someone’s ideas or changing their ideas and belief system. But one thing is certain, as writers, our job is to tell stories.

Life is filled with adventure and romance. It has its ups and downs like a rollercoaster. But I often wonder, why do so many people write and yet not say anything that will change the course of someone’s life? Isn’t that the purpose of story–to change a life one word at a time?

085: The Amazon KDP Way To Faster Publishing!

What if you could publish your book today?

Everyone wants to publish their book. People often view an author as the quintessential expert on a particular subject. It doesn’t matter what that subject is. And having a published book can give that you.

In today’s episode, I want to walk you through my journey of using Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing, KDP as it were. I want to give you several reasons why I believe it is still the very best way to publish your book today. So, if you’ve been wanting to publish your book, now is your chance.

Listen to the Audio:

4 Evernote Hacks Every Writer Needs.

Why Evernote is my #1 go-to app!

We all need to find the perfect solution for all our paper and writing needs. Well, look no further than one of the best programs I’ve found, Evernote. This program has helped me go nearly paperless at home and at the office.

As a writer, I am looking for ways to write faster, and more efficiently. But the problem most encounter, they can’t access their work anywhere else than their computer. Enter Evernote.

084: Making the Most with your Words.

3 reasons to keep writing every week.

I believe God has given you something special to share with the world. That something is your words. It doesn’t matter if you’re a blogger, author or freelance writer, your words can change someone’s life.

In today’s episode, we’ll discuss how we can change the world of one person by the words we write. Also, I have some fun changes coming to the blog and we’ll dive back into the ABC’s of blogging glossary with the letter D.

Listen to the Audio:

How To Take The Headache Out Of Writing a Novel.

Winning Tactics For Starting your Book

I love to write. It’s fun to sit down and watch the cursor put words onto the screen. However, if you’ve ever sat down to write a book, after a few pages you wonder if you’ll ever get your book written.

Writing a novel is a daunting task, but with the right tools and gumption, you can accomplish this monumental task.

I began working on a novel in college. It didn’t take me long to realize I fulfilled my entire plot by page 10. What was I doing wrong, and why couldn’t I finish my story?

Flash-forward to 2008 and I was knee deep into writing a novel that I was proud of–albiet a different story altogether. I carefully finished the last chapter, did a self-edit and had the book bound. That Christmas, I gave out copies of them to my family and a few close friends.

That first draft was nowhere complete, and it certainly needed work. But the principles I put in place have guided me on writing any book. Now, with two books under my belt–with a third in the works–and a few short ebooks, I know what it takes to see success and finish my novel’s first draft.

So how do you write a novel without all the headache that goes along with it? Four ways.

1. Begin with an idea.

No great book just happens. I’ve been reading Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee. It’s the much-awaited sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird. What I learned, Go Set a Watchman was written before the famous latter. Her editor found To Kill a Mockingbird hidden away as a flashback scene, and told her to write that instead.

Your novel is not too dissimilar. Every story needs a beginning. Every book is birthed out a portion of that story.

When you’re beginning to flesh out the idea, write down anything and everything that comes to mind. I use Workflowy.

2. Write a simple outline.

Once you have your idea, it’s time to begin fleshing out the details. This is where the rubber meets the road. Every great book needs to know where it’s going before you begin.

This is where outlining comes in handy. Now, if you’re a pantser (someone who writes by the seat of their pants) pay attention. I’m not saying you need to be detailed, but I am saying you need to know where your story is headed, what the major plot is before you begin.

Without this, your book will fail. I know this because I have several failed manuscripts on my computer right now.

Be as detailed as you need to be to begin. But here’s my caution, don’t let outlining keep you from beginning to write your first chapter. I’ve met several people who are forever in the outlining stage, they never start writing.

A simple outline could entail writing your chapters and giving them titles with a simple paragraph description. The goal is to begin fleshing out your idea.

3. Write your last chapter.

This is probably the most critical part of writing. Planning your novel. If you don’t know where you’ll end up, you’ll never arrive at your intended destination.

Think of Google Maps. When you’re planning your trip, you enter your final destination, then your starting point. Writing a novel is very similar. If you begin writing your end result, when you begin, you know how you’re going to end the story.

If you’ve not tried this approach to writing a novel, I recommend giving it a try. Beginning your writing adventure with the final destination will help you stay on target and finish your story strong, instead of falling into your ending.

No one likes a cobbled together ending.

4. Write your first 3 chapters.

As with writing your last chapter, you need to know how you’re going to begin writing your story. My suggestion is to begin writing your first three chapters. This step will enable you to start with a strong beginning.

When I’m working on a novel, the first few chapters gives me a sense of where the story is headed and where my first major conflict will happen. Without these key chapters, I cannot verify where I want my story to begin.

These first few chapters will not, typically be, the start of your novel, but are used as a catapult to finding your beginning. I will typically delete most of what I write in these first chapters. But what I look for is a golden nugget that I will use as my first chapter.

My rule–and there are a lot of people who will agree or disagree with me–is to begin a book with some kind of mystery or conflict. Use a heightened moment of action or suspense to pull your readers into the narrative of your story. Once you find that, delete the rest and begin your book.

These four areas; idea forming, outlining, writing an ending and beginning gives new writers a lot of headaches. Don’t let fear hold you back from writing your novel. But if you can use these headache crushing steps, you can begin writing a novel you and your readers will be proud of.

Question: Where have you struggled in getting your book off the ground? What other steps have you tried? Leave a comment by clicking here!

079: Why Blogging Isn’t About Money.

Tis the season to be giving.

Christmas is around the corner. People are wrapping gifts, lighting the Christmas tree and decorating cookies for Christmas Day. But what happens when the reason for Christmas dissipates?

We find the same when it comes to blogs. People build their site, get content ready and when it’s time to continue week after week giving, they give up and stop. In today’s episode, I want to walk you through the reason for blogging, why it’s not about the money and why we should be giving more and more content for free.

Design a Winning eBook Without Hiring a Designer.

3 Types of Software that Make Beautiful eBooks.

So, you’ve written your book and it’s time to get it out into the world. But, wait, isn’t it expensive to have an ebook designed? Not anymore!

In the past, once you’ve written your book, you hire a designer and graphic artist to put it all together in a neat package. At the end of the day, you’ll spend nearly $1,000 on having your project typeset and designed. I know, because that’s what I charge.