Nothing Any Good

By Indie Authors for Indie Authors.

Page 4 of 74

Foster Habits of a Successful Writer

 

If you want to write, start fostering the habits of a successful writer. Get rid of the ineffective patterns that prevent you from exploring your craft the way you want to. Turn off your screens from time to time.

This may be obvious to some of you, but it’s probably counterintuitive to others. After all, how are you supposed to finish writing that great novel if you aren’t disciplined enough to sit down at your laptop and write? But I firmly believe this is an absolute must. If you don’t turn off your screens, you won’t be the best writer you can be. We all struggle to find time in the day to do all the things we need to do. We have to be diligent. Don’t waste time in front of screens you’re not writing on.


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I know that keeping up with emails and social media is necessary, especially for us indie authors. This is our avenue for creating a community around our books. Without it, the few sales we do get, quickly turn into that one copy that your family bought.

 

You have very limited time that you can dedicate to your writing each day. Do yourself a favor, be a serious writer. Don’t waste time online. Click To Tweet

 

But how often do you check your email? How many times do you flip through your Twitter feed or Facebook updates? Did you really need to know that Linda’s dog ate a cookie today? I don’t know Linda or her dog, but I’m guessing it’s not that interesting. Most of us can safely remove a dozen times we absent-mindedly check email and social media every day, at least. I know I can. Remove that mindless urge to check now!

After you’ve taken out some of the senseless internet scrolling, think long and hard about the blogs you visit. (I’m obviously not talking about www.Nothinganygood.com. This little website I’ve created to help support authors is a necessary part of your day, right!?) How many of those blogs that you read are nonsense reads that feed the beast of time-wasting?


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In 2012, Digital Buzz put out an Infographic depicting the number of new blogs that are posted every day—two million. Two Million blog posts were going up every day back in 2012! Every. Single. Day.

Daily blog posts have more than doubled since then. We waste far too much time skimming blogs that we don’t even really want to read. Was it necessary to learn about the 5 Celebrities That Secretly Wish They Were Authors? (Number 3 will shock you!) Stop wasting your time on them. Focus on the posts that will inform your writing, not the ones that will distract you from it.

Finally, turn off the TV! Stop watching YouTube! Shut down Netflix!

I love television and movies as much as the next person. I’m not here to tell you that TV is trash and you’re rotting your brain. You’re not. Television can be fantastic. Movies are wonderful. But stop watching so much. Spend more time exploring and developing your writing skills.

 

Don’t close your laptop just to pick up your phone. Don’t shut off your phone just to turn on the TV.Click To Tweet

 

Successful writers foster effective writing habits. The most ineffective habit of an author is failing to write. The second is failing to budget time. If you can’t manage thirty minutes a day to start, schedule in at least a couple blocks of time each week for writing, and when you sit down for that scheduled time, actually write. Don’t waste it on other things.


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There’s budgeting the time to write and then there’s actually writing. All too often we sit down to write and we don’t utilize that time for writing. We fiddle with previous chapters we’ve written. We spend far too much time trying to write that perfect sentence. We hop on the internet to do research for our writing. There will be time for all of that, either while doing research or later on in the editing process. Your writing time is for writing. If you’ve set that time aside, then write. The first draft is never good. Don’t worry about it. Keep writing.

Cultivate the habits of successful writers if you want to become a better writer. Turn off your screens and begin the muscle-building of becoming the writer you want to be.

 

 

Find more writing and publishing tips at Nothing Any Good.

 

Adjust Your Mindset

There are times when the thoughts and ideas that we want to write are right there in our mind’s eye, but when we sit down, the words don’t come. We’re not at a loss of what to write, instead we find it painstakingly difficult to get the brilliant concepts in our heads onto the paper. We sit down with great ideas and then nothing comes out, or what does come out pales in comparison to what we wanted to write, so we delete it immediately.

If you’re anything like me, you may be inclined to beat yourself up about poor writing or feel guilty about being unable to execute your ideas. If you’re like me, you’ll think it’s a failure that you can’t find the right words. Don’t be like me though. Let’s be better.


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Instead of thinking in terms of failures and successes, think in terms of results. Why did I produce this result? How can I produce a different one?  This will allow you to remove your emotion, stress and disappointment of the situation, and be able to think more clearly.

 

“There is no such thing as failure. There are only results.” -Tony Robbins. Click To Tweet

 

When I adjust my mindset, and think in terms of results instead of failure, I think more clearly and make more rational decisions.


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Once you’re in an adjusted mindset of focusing on results, take a different approach. If the right words aren’t flowing from your brain onto the paper, one tried and true method to try is writing-prompts. You can find plenty of prompts online, or maybe just randomly pull a book off your shelf and write about the first sentence you read. How about taking a line from a song you like or a conversation you overheard? Or maybe just use the writing the prompt “I have nothing to write about” and write that line over and over until eventually, something will stream out of you. The idea is to keep the pen moving no matter what. And don’t worry if nonsense comes out. Sometimes we need to empty the crammed thoughts that are pent up in our heads to make way for something else to pour out.

Let’s try it:

I have nothing to write about.

I have nothing to write about.

I have nothing to write about.

I have nothing to write about

And neither do you,

But if we sit here long enough

The words will come through

That was unplanned and just using the writing prompt “I have nothing to write about.” Words started to come through my head and find their way onto the paper. Try it on for size the next time the right words aren’t flowing.


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Find more writing and publishing tips at Nothing Any Good.

 

Learn To Love Your Characters

 

All writers, myself included, need to learn to love our characters more. We need to implement this love into two aspects of our writing.


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First, always remember what initially inspired you to start writing. What motivated you to pick up the proverbial pen to put words down on paper? Maybe there were visions of grandeur and fame, but there are plenty of ways to chase that without sweating over a book, essay or poem. Our culture seems to always be looking for the next new reality star; you can probably chase fame easier that way, than by writing.


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More than likely, you didn’t start writing for the purpose of a foolish get-rich-quick scheme. You had a passion for it. You had a story bubbling up inside you that could no longer be contained. You had a love for writing. Always go back to that love. Especially on the days when you’re scrambling for the motivation to sit down and do it. Always remember to love the process, then dip your pen into the ink of your love of writing.

 

Learn to love your characters deeply and your writing will jump off the page. Readers will take notice.Click To Tweet

 

Second, if you are writing a story where you are developing characters, apply this tip to each character you want to bring to life. Love your characters more. I mean literally. Have passion for them. Have hopes, dreams, fears, hate, anger, jealousy, excitement, and compassion. Love your characters as if they are your family and friends. Your readers will feel it when you have passion for your characters. Love them more each time you write about them. It will come through on the page.


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If you’re sitting there thinking that your writing doesn’t have characters because you’re not writing fiction, think again. All writing has characters that need to be loved. If you’re writing a memoir, you need to learn to love the younger self you’re writing about. If you’re writing an essay or article about the state of the world, love the people affected, love the state or country impacted, love the planet that needs changing. If you’re writing a self-help book, focus on each person you’re writing the book for and lean in and love them.

 

 

Find more writing and publishing tips at Nothing Any Good.

The Quandary of the Indie Author

Write with a timer

by Robert Barry

 

The art of writing is oftentimes misunderstood and the writer’s ability understated. The craft of writing requires skill, clarity and persistence. It is commonly agreed among aspiring and established authors that the greatest hurdle in a writer’s journey is writer’s block which is caused when clarity becomes temporarily obscured. Although this may be true regarding the art of writing, when a self-published author has completed his manuscript he has to embark on an entirely new journey requiring a completely different skill set.


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I am a first time self-published author. After having finished my manuscript I didn’t know where to turn and I found myself in quite a quandary. Naturally, it was a daunting time for me and would be for any first time author. I had so many hurdles to overcome – where would I find an editor, a designer, a marketing agent and someone to negotiate the often times complex procedure of uploading text and design to Amazon and Ingram Spark. I had so many questions but I didn’t know where to turn for the answers. I approached a number of publishers, many of whom didn’t return to me and those that did had taken so long that I had forgotten I had approached them in the first place. After all the time I had spent writing, it occurred to me on occasion that my dream of publishing my first book was never going to be realised. Despite the feeling of dread that this thought instilled in me, I persisted to seek the help I needed.


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I am a firm believer in the concept that if you can imagine it, it either already exists or will in the near future. Given the ever expanding size of the self-publishing market, I imagined that there must exist publishing services specifically designed for the indie author. With this in mind I began searching the internet for such services. During my searches I came across many helpful sites for indie authors. The best among these was https://www.writing.ie/ which answered all my questions and provided exactly what I was looking for – someone who provided the full array of self-publishing services. This allowed me to embark on this entirely new journey without having to acquire a completely new skill set!


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About the Author: Robert Barry was born and raised in Kilkenny City, in the south east of Ireland. He has spent over two decades working in both the engineering and legal fields. Robert’s first published book documents his stories of working and living in London, when he found the Holy Grail, the most sought after artifact of the last two millennia. More about his experiences and life can be found on his website. His book “The Truth” can be found on amazon and at Barnes & Noble.

 

 

Find more writing and publishing tips at Nothing Any Good.

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