By Indie Authors for Indie Authors.

Tag: writer tips (Page 1 of 2)

Writer’s Block? Get Inspired with These Techniques

 

If you’re a writer, you know that pain of writer’s block. Sometimes you know what you want to write about, but the right words won’t come. On other occasions, you have no idea where to start. If you need some inspiration, there are lots of fun ways to get your imagination going.

 

See Some Art

Other types of art are fantastic to inspire you to write something new. Visiting a gallery can give you lots of inspiration, as well as a quiet place for reflection. But if you would rather stay home, you can just as easily look at images of paintings, sculptures and other art online.

 

Eavesdrop or People Watch

Some people might say that eavesdropping on conversations or people watching is rude. But if you’re out in public, you can’t help but hear other people talking or see them walking by. It can be a good way to observe some real human behavior.

 

News and History

Some of the best fictional stories can be inspired by the truth. If you need inspiration, try checking the news or maybe learning about a period in history. Watch a documentary or read a history book to get you thinking.

 

Visit a Library

Libraries are obviously wonderful places to find inspiration for your writing. You can leaf through hundreds and even thousands of books. But if you’re looking for some unique inspiration, you can visit a slightly more unusual library collection. If you want to write something different, you need something different to inspire you.

 


Infographic Design By University of Southern California

Time to Kickstart Your Writing Into Full Gear

We all need someone to push us toward the things we want to accomplish from time to time. We all need weekly and daily opportunities to recenter ourselves to what’s important in life. Always revisit and rely on those people and things that help you remember who you are and what you want for your life.

Posts on Nothing Any Good have been a little sporadic recently. I apologize for that. Trying to finish and publish 40 Tips on Creative Writing last year took a lot of time and creative energy. Once that was done, the holidays and new year hit and I feel like I haven’t been able to come up for air. But these are just excuses, and you know what they say about excuses?

Yea, me neither.

Anyway, the point is, we’re back, friends! You can expect to see more regular articles, updates, and advice on NAG now.

Image result for gif, cheering

 

Many of you have already read 40 Tips on Creative WritingSome of you have even reviewed it. (Thank you!) The rest of you, well, let’s just say I’m watching you. I never forget a face, even faces I’ve never seen. I’ll remember you decided not to get my new book. Trust me, I’ll remember.

For those that read it, I’ve been told readers have found it to be inspirational and a perfect pick-me-up to get their writing mojo going again. That’s exactly the point of it. The book is a way to keep us inspired, healthy, happy, and productive writers. I’m glad it’s doing the trick for many of you! Honestly, it does the trick for me too. I refer to it early and often. There are plenty of days I’m struggling to get the creative mojo going. This book helps me.

For those of you that are thinking, “I’m not really a writer, so it doesn’t make sense for me.” Think again. It’s written with the focus of providing inspiration and tips to all walks of life. Parts are honed toward the writer in all of us, but the ideas can be applied to any creative endeavor, whether that’s writing, painting, building a business, or even starting a family. There are tips in there for everyone.

To whet your appetite, here are five truncated tips from the book free of charge. Consider it a gift. You’re welcome.

 

1) Life’s too short to not seize the opportunities with which we are presented. Always take the chance to do what you love when it comes along. Write that book! Start now! Do you have thirty minutes today? Sit down and start writing.

 

2) Be quick to show compassion and empathy. When you find yourself suffering from the clichéd writer’s block, take this advice to heart. Put yourself into your character’s shoes. Show compassion and empathy. What is your lead character feeling? Get yourself into the state mind of your character. As much as you can, put yourself in a place where you can understand and feel everything that your character is going through. It’s the skill of the great writer.

 

3) Don’t dress like a bum all day long. Some people do perfectly well rolling out of bed and doing great things in their underwear all day. I’m not one of those people. If I want to be productive, I prepare for it. Production doesn’t just magically happen. There has to be a plan. Wake up early. Shower. Wear respectable clothes. Eat breakfast. Get your mind right for writing. Then, when you’re good and ready, sit down and write.

 

4) Don’t be afraid to see dinosaurs even when everyone else around you doesn’t. Anyone who has ever tried to write anything of worth, and for that matter any creative type who has ever tried to make something out of nothing, knows how exciting and scary that can be at the same time. Take that excitement and fear and use it. Don’t worry about how others say you’re supposed to write. Write the way that you want to write. Sure, soak in all the advice and feedback from writing experts and amateurs alike. Take it all to heart. Let it wash over you. Then filter it through that beautiful brain of yours and write the way you feel called to write.

 

5) Have a routine, but avoid being routine. Having a routine is good. We just finished agreeing not to dress like a bum all day long. This is part of planning to be productive. Having a routine and a schedule can ensure that you are actually writing and not just dreaming about it. But don’t let that routine control you. Follow it as far as it will lead on the road of utility, but the moment you hit a dead end and it’s no longer useful, break away from it. Avoid being routine.

 

Now’s your chance to get the book. Don’t miss the perfect opportunity to kickstart your writing into full gear in 2018!

 

 

 

Find more writing and publishing tips at Nothing Any Good.

 

3 Solutions to Problems All Authors Face

Writers problems and solutions

 

by Dave Chesson

Kindle Marketing Jedi, Kindlepreneur.com

 

Sometimes, it feels like the trouble we face as writers is unique.

After all, everyone’s writing situation is different. Some people struggle with making time to write, others struggle with creativity. Some writers are under pressure to meet a deadline for a book deal they have, others are desperately trying to publish their first indie work and get a foothold on the literary ladder.

Over the course of my writing career, I’ve faced a number of challenges, as well as helping other writers through their own. I’ve noticed a few helpful principles which can be applied to almost any writing situation in one way or another.

If you feel like the current problems you experience in your work are unique and hopeless, I hope you find solace in the following three ideas. They have helped myself, and countless others, and I hope they help you too.

 

Adjust Your Mindset

 

“There is no such thing as failure, only results.” – Tony Robbins

When it comes to writing, we are often our own worst enemy. If you’re anything like me, there are times you put pressure on yourself to an unhelpful extent. This can result in writer’s block or other creative challenges which need to be overcome.

If you ever find you’re beating yourself up and feeling guilty that things aren’t going as intended, take a step back. If you try and take your emotion out of the situation, and think in terms of results, not in terms of failure, you’ll often be able to break through barriers.

For example, if you notice you are making slow progress on a project, try to avoid adding the emotional weight of the word ‘failure’ to your thinking. Instead, think in terms of ‘Why have I produced this result? How can I produce a different result?’. Often, when we take a calm, analytical approach, we are able to perceive our writing challenges in a more logical light and find an effective solution. You can draw inspiration from the solutions famous writers use and see if one is a good fit for your own situation.

 

 

Improve Your Tools

 

Sometimes, the problem we are experiencing isn’t so much an issue of mentality or outlook, as much as it is a technical problem.

I’ve seen writers sabotage themselves by using less than optimal tools for their work on countless occasions, and I’ve been guilty of this myself.

For example, once upon a time, I used to email documents and versions of documents back and forth with an editor. This often became confusing and messy in terms of always knowing which version of a document was current and which wasn’t. By switching to collaboration via Google Docs, the problem was solved.

Similarly, I knew a friend who really wanted to try writing a screenplay. They had a good basic idea, but weren’t sure exactly how to structure their work. They struggled to make progress for a long time. Eventually, they heard of a piece of software called Scrivener, which allows for easy use of different templates. By using a Scrivener template designed for screenplays, they had the technical structure in place to let their ideas flow, and made much better progress.

The tools you are using won’t always be the cause of, or solution to, your problem, but it’s always worth exploring if there is something out there which will help you get through your struggle at the time.

 

Seek Support

 

It’s almost a cliche, but there really is no need to suffer in silence.

Often, we try and deal with our writing problem purely on our own, thinking this is the best way forward. In actuality, reaching out to others is often the best move we can make.

While it’s possible to find solutions from articles such as this, or the impersonal advice found in books, talking things through with someone is often the best way forward.

You can find a wealth of options by searching for groups focused on your genre or niche on Facebook, consider browsing the well-established Writer’s Digest, or even join the reassuringly named Insecure Writer’s Support Group.

Talking your trouble through with other writers online has a number of advantages. You can get a range of opinions from people who have been in similar situations to yours. You are likely to receive honest advice as the people don’t know you in real life, so will feel enabled to speak freely. You can also become an active participant in a group to help others when they need it.

 

My 3 Power Questions

 

Hopefully, some of the above ideas will help you get through the writing challenge you are currently facing.

I can boil the three above principles down to three questions which myself and others have found immensely powerful in a wide range of situations:

  1. Is there a different way I can think about this challenge to make it better?
  2. Is there a tool I could change or use differently to help me through this?
  3. Are there people who I can lean on for advice and support at this time?

Having this toolkit of questions is a reassuring resource for the toughest of times.

Facing problems as a writer comes with the territory and is inevitable. It’s not a question of if we will deal with them. It’s a question of how.

No matter what you are facing, you can find a way through it. Keep calm, and write on.

 

 

 

About the Author

Dave Chesson teaches advanced book marketing tactics at Kindlepreneur.com. He is passionate about finding effective ways for authors to get their books in front of the right readers.

 

 

 

Find more writing and publishing tips at Nothing Any Good.

The Courage to Create

Courage to Create

Image Courtesy of liveyourmark.com

 

How Writing More Will Lead to Writing Better

by Daniel Bates

 

Creativity is not about formulating the perfect idea. It’s about formulating enough ideas until you find a winner.

I can understand skepticism regarding this idea. It makes sense that in order to come up with a really great idea you have to put a great deal of work into it. But this is where common sense may fail you. Creativity is counterintuitive.

There is more trial and error in creativity than you may realize. I once heard an analogy that may shed light onto this point.

In a college pottery class a professor split the class into two groups. Each group was given the same assignment: to make the best vase over the course of 1 month. However, each group was given different conditions. Group 1 could use as much time as they wanted on each vase they created. Group 2 could only spend a limited amount of time on each vase they made.

After the month elapsed the professor had the two groups present their final work. Each group, after a lot of hard work, unveiled their final work. Before the unveiling, there was an assumption made by the class that Group 1 was going to win. Given the limitations of Group 2 and the advantages presented to Group 1, you can see why they thought this. However, to everyone’s shock, the two vases unveiled could not have been more different regarding quality, aesthetics, and sturdiness.

Group 2’s vase was unparalleled in every way. Group 2’s vase was superior to Group 1. But how could this be? Group 1 didn’t have any constraints. At best, Group 2 was slated to produce more, but no one thought their product would be better because Group 1 was granted the time to make a masterwork.

The class demanded an answer from the professor. The professor smiled. He said because Group 2 was forced to produce more, they were given greater opportunity to learn from their mistakes. This allowed them to reflect, make modifications and ultimately create a beautiful final product. Whereas Group 1 put an inordinate amount of time into only a few vases, effectively limiting their mistakes and limiting their learning.

 

My challenge to you: Embrace the process of failure. Trust that your mistakes will lead to success.

Therefore, more vases lead to more mistakes which lead to more learning and eventually to a better product.

The lesson for writers— and anyone really—write a lot and make a lot of mistakes. Don’t get hung up on making your work perfect. And don’t give up. The first book I wrote was an abysmal failure. The writing wasn’t good. The structure of the book was nonexistent. My sentences were clunky and unclear. I didn’t know who my target audience was. I probably made every writing mistake you could make. And sadly, I spent 2 ½ years on the thing.

I could have looked at all those failures and given up on my dream of becoming a writer. But, instead I learned from my mistakes and kept writing. I realized the first book was exactly that, my first. It wasn’t my one and only shot at writing a book I could be proud of. And the book wasn’t my one and only good idea. It was, in fact, the floodgate to a host of future ideas and books. After making this realization, I found that I was more excited to write. I had more ideas. I was more passionate and better equipped to execute my new ideas.

I now see my past writing failures as essential to my current writing successes. I recently finished and published my latest book on thinking errors that render parents ineffective. When writing my latest book–When Parenting BackfiresI utilized all the lessons I previously learned. Not only did I write the book in half the time it took me to write the first one, I also enjoyed the writing process more. The writing is clearer, more focused and purposeful.

Again, this progress is the product of learning from failure.

My challenge to you: Embrace the process of failure. Trust that your mistakes will lead to success. Trust that your current idea that feels like a dud will lead a stroke of genius. It will be a stepping stone to your magnum opus. And keep in mind it is an act of courage to create. Don’t think for a second that it’s trivial. No one else can articulate your vision with your voice and your passion. Only you can breathe life into your idea.

 

 

Find more writing and publishing tips at Nothing Any Good.

 

 

UntitledAbout the Author

Daniel Bates is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor who works with families dealing with violence, substance abuse, and legal issues. He loves to write and think critically. He’s passionate about writing and reading poetry, discussing philosophy/theology, spending time with his wife and daughters, connecting with friends, and getting lost in a good book.

Daniel has written several books of poetry and non-fiction books on mental health issues and spirituality which are available on Amazon in both kindle and paperback. Daniel also writes for two online magazines: mum.info and FamilyShare.com, in addition to his own blog. You can find links to Daniel’s books, read his blog, and view and purchase his paintings at his website.

Follow Daniel on twitter @HdShrnkInc.

 

 

Preview “When Parenting Backfires”

 

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