Yes, it’s true. I will finally admit the one secret that no author wants to admit. Is everyone ready? Here we go.
There are some days when even the best of us don’t feel like writing. Perhaps this is because we are working through a difficult point in our book. Perhaps this is because we are intensely working on some other project in our lives. For whatever the reason, a day comes when we sit down to write, and the words don’t come onto the paper.
How do we build morale? How do we regain interest in the point we are at in our writing?
The answer is that we have other gathered material that can help us to springboard our creativity. We know ahead of time that we will get stuck at some points in the tunnel. Therefore, we prepare for it. Writing preparation is essential to writing. Before you write a story, you must gain reference material: Photos, paintings, real places you visit, stories you read, people you talk to. . .You must gain research: Fact checking for whatever subject matter you are writing about (whether fiction or non-fiction). . .You must write an outline that becomes the schematic and road map of your story. You must compile other lists of the elements of your story.
All this is essential to your writing capability. When your morale is down for the story you are writing, all you have to do is turn to the inspired images and imagined scenes you have created for your story. Remember the vision. Remember why you wanted to write the story in the first place. Lastly, remember that that vision will not be entirely clear until your final edit. Be encouraged with where you’re at in the process of creating the story.
As in everything, a good writer must learn insight in writing. An author must be able to look at his/her writing and pretty much instinctively be able to know what is wrong with it and how to change it.
Yet, how do authors learn this skill? Are we superhuman? Is there a learning curve?
If you are a new author, then understand this: We have all been where you are at right now. No one can write a perfect first book. What’s more: Not even a professional can write a perfect first draft. However, over time, we learn how to identify our mistakes. We approach writing as a process. Just as an athlete doesn’t do a high dive or a marathon without first warming up his muscles, so also an author doesn’t plunge through a book without warming up his “pen”. We gain inspiration and research. We compile reference material. And, we work through an outline. We recognize that each stage in the writing process is building our final work, yet none of it will be our final vision until the final draft is edited. And even then, we learn to release our work to the public even though we know there is more that could be done with it. Any project can always have more done to it.
Gaining insight is more than just practicing writing. It’s doing something over and over again that we have a love for. Every writer loves to write. Every storyteller (like myself) loves to create a new story and work through all the stages to complete it as we originally envisioned it to be.
In order to be effective in your marketing, you have to learn what marketing techniques will be most effective. If you try to dedicate the same amount of time for each marketing action, one of two things will result.
You will spend 100% of your time marketing and still not have enough time to get everything done.
You will not be able to do any marketing task completely because you have not concentrated your efforts for the proper completion of a marketing task.
In order to avoid these mistakes when you market your books, think about what actions will be most effective and which will be least effective. If you don’t know what marketing steps are less effective, then trial and error to find out. Think about long term projections, and research what yields the best increase. For example, YouTube marketing is big now and there are a lot of long term benefits that may result if you stick at it for a long period. Podcasts may generally yield quicker benefits, yet it isn’t as effective as YouTube can be long term.
Once you have determined what marketing techniques are more and less effective, prioritize your time accordingly. Keep on top of the highest priorities every single day. Do middle priorities a few times a week. And, do the least priorities once or at most twice in a week.
So. . .most people who begin writing think that they can just write their books, get them published, and watch the cash flow in. However, for most of us, the story is vastly different.
We don’t watch the cash flow in. Our books are difficult to publish. And, if we don’t promote and market our books, then they will not sell.
Therefore, you are going to have to balance the time you spend writing with the time you spend marketing. Here are a couple tips that I’ve learned along the way.
Do something to market every day.
Even if you are in the middle of writing your book, take half an hour to market your books – whether this is a blog post, podcast, YouTube video, telemarketing, emailing, you decide. Yet, make certain you do something to market.
Dedicate 1 day a week to just marketing.
In addition to step one, set a whole day aside to promote your books. If you are writing a first draft to a book, then you will need to spend some time that day writing your book, but only spend 10 minutes or so writing your book. Spend the rest of the time marketing. In this day, plan out the marketing for the coming week. Don’t “pepper spray” your marketing. Create a strategy, and stick to it.
Every now and then, spend a whole week just marketing.
You cannot do this if you are writing the first draft of your book. Spend your time completing that draft. Yet, maybe once every other month, or sometimes once a month, it is best to spend a whole week just concentrating on marketing your books.
Welcome to the relaunched website of Conservative Cornerstones! I have decided to give an entire video training course away for free. My Writing Imagination Course, which takes a writer from first conceptualizing a story to having a finished manuscript ready for publication, consists of five modules that you have access to right now on YouTube!