Authors & Speakers Network Blog with Larry James

Friday, January 3, 2014

3 Things That Make the Biggest Difference in Moving Your Writing Forward

Filed under: Author Tips — Larry James @ 7:30 am
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Dawn Goldberg, Guest Author

As writers, we all want to continuously be moving along in our goals. Think of it as a river. A river constantly flows. There may be places where it looks very calm and barely moving, but if you look close enough, you’ll see a current.

At times, your project feels like it’s a rushing river; other times, it’s trickling along like a small stream.

3ThingsWe have to manage our energy, time, and resources in both places – and everything in between – along the project spectrum. It’s easy to get caught up in your own writing and let it pull you along. The problem with that, though, is that when the torrent is done, you may feel as if you’ve been deserted. And that can lead to self-doubt. “What’s wrong with me? Yesterday, I cranked out 5000 words! Why can’t I write anything today?” And that leads further to “Oh, maybe this is an awful idea, and I should stop.” Or “No one is going to read this. Who the heck do I think I am?”

If we find ourselves in the slow and steady part of the meandering writing river, we may question if we’re ever going to get there. It seems as if everyone else you know is passing you by, full steam ahead.

Here’s the thing… life, business, writing, you name it… is a cycle. We have our high energy states, and that’s followed by a low energy state. We have our low energy states, and that’s followed by a high energy state. What can confuse it even further is when our creative energy doesn’t match our physical energy. Then we’re even more frustrated because we have all these ideas without the physical ability to put them into play. Or, worse in my opinion, plenty of energy and not one creative idea in sight.

What’s the key to managing your writing project, without getting caught up in the negative mind chatter, and keep it sailing along? Three things… Kindness, small steps, and celebrations.

First, recognize that there are cycles. BE in those cycles. Feel the gift that they bring. If you’re moaning that you have all these ideas, but you’re exhausted from a 10-day business trip and can’t possibly write a word, understand that you need rest and rejuvenation. The physical energy will come later. Capture the ideas so that you don’t lose them, and know you’ll come back to them when your physical energy is more in alignment with your creative energy.

Part of that recognition means being kind and understanding – to yourself. Most of us fall down in that area. We have such high expectations of ourselves, and we think we should be writing books, running businesses, raising kids, cooking healthy, gorgeous meals, training for a marathon, going to spinning class, volunteering in the PTA… Um, no.

Imagine that you’re talking to a friend who’s being awfully hard on herself. What would you say to her? Now turn that kindness and compassion inward.

Next, nobody ever writes “Write my book” on their to-do list on Monday and then crosses it off on Friday. It just doesn’t happen. Break down your writing project into as many small steps as you can think of. Your steps should be as concrete as find two competing books, research statistics on fuel usage in New York City from 1950 – 1990, brainstorm chapter titles, write the introduction. Put each step on an index card. Then put the cards in order. Take the top three, and that becomes your current to-do list for this project.

Finally, and this is the important part that almost everyone misses… When you complete one of those action steps, celebrate it. Give yourself a pat on the back. Call your staunchest supporter and crow!!! Cross it off the list with glee. Put a gold star on that index card. Truly let it sink in that you’re making strides in this project.

Following these three steps will keep you moving, and eventually, you’ll get to your destination.

Dawn_pic_chin_diagonalCopyright © 2014 – Dawn Goldberg. – Reprinted with permission. Dawn Goldberg brings life to words and writing – and helps others through their writing and publishing journey. Sign up for “Fuel For Your Writing Journey” at www.WriteWellU.com.

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Authors & Speakers Network Blog

Larry James is a professional speaker and the author of three relationship books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” His newest book is “Ten Commitments of Networking.” Larry James also offers “Author & Speaker” coaching. Contact: AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. CelebrateLove@cox.net – More than 110 articles especially for Authors & Speakers at: www.AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

commentNOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationships” BLOG at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Networking” BLOG at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Weddings” BLOG at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com

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Monday, November 4, 2013

10 Tips for Writing Your Book

Filed under: Author Tips — Larry James @ 7:30 am
Tags: ,

Dawn Goldberg, Guest Author

I say over and over about how beginning, and even experienced writers can get bogged down by the idea that a “real” writer lets the words flow, a beautiful, uninterrupted, constant flow of words.

We all get stuck. The flow stops. And if we don’t have the experience of writing several books under our belts, just the thought of trying to get started overwhelms us.

Write-Your-Book-TodayIt’s a bit like that saying, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” When we think of an entire, unwritten book ahead of us, we’re almost paralyzed by the idea of starting. “How in the heck can I write an entire book? One step at a time, or perhaps 10.

1. Do as much research and brainstorming ahead of time that you can. Fill up the pantry, and you’ll find plenty of ingredients to cook a meal with. It does count as writing. It’s gathering details, descriptions, stories, illustrations, statistics all the things you’ll use to build your book.

2. Honor each part of the writing process. When you’re creating, create; don’t try to edit at the same time. I’ve talked about this before, ad nauseum for some of you, I’m sure. You don’t just sit down and write the whole thing in one sitting. There’s creating, writing, revision, editing, more creating, more writing, more revision. And each of those stages is its own. Respect that.

3. Write on a regular basis (at least 3-4 times a week). You get into a rhythm, and the writing flows. You don’t want to spend time figuring out where you were the last time you sat down and wrote a week (or two, or three) ago. The best thing about this is that you build momentum with regular activity.

4. Just write. Don’t worry about making it perfect. Perfect can come in the editing and revision phase. Right now, you just want to get your ideas down and start putting them in some sort of order and structure. If you try to make it perfect from the get-go, you’ll be frustrated.

5. Along the same lines as #4, tell your inner critic to shut up. He’s never going to be objective, and his main goal is to keep you right where you arewith no book. Find ways to shut him up: tell him to go to Cleveland (as long as you don’t live there), promise him he can come back later, thank him for his thoughts and tell him you’re going in a different direction.

6. There are very few brand-new ideas (even Post-It notes were based on paper and tape). They’re just presented in a different way. Find out what differentiates your message and what makes it uniquely you. It may be that your target market will get your message when they couldn’t get it from someone else because of the way you, and only you, have presented it.

7. Find a writing support group. Share with them your work in progress. Get feedback. Even Tiger Woods has a coach. Since you’ll have readers reading your book, get reader feedback througout the process. They’ll tell you what makes sense, what doesn’t, what sticks out for them in a powerful way, and what lands flat.

8. Know that you’ll be revising and editing. You may eventually write four (or more) drafts of your book. And that’s okay. Once again, you don’t have to be perfect right out the gate.

9. Give yourself time and space between writing and the editing process. Don’t turn around and start editing and revising right after you finish writing. You need fresh eyes. Some writers take at least a month off after they’ve written a draft. That way they can approach the book a little closer to how a new reader would.

10. Take care of yourself. What you’re doing is hard, whether you’re writing a book on the current financial crisis or a fiction novel about a dysfunctional family. Be gentle on yourself. Treat yourself as something precious. Surround yourself with supportive champions, not naysayers. Get lots of sleep. Let the dishes sit dirty in the sink for a day or two. Get out and exercise. A healthy, happy you makes for a better book.

And here’s a bonus tip #11. Celebrate what you’ve done. Each step along the way. Take some time to look back at how far you’ve come. Give yourself a pat on the back. Reward yourself.

After a while, that elephant doesn’t look so big because you’re not really looking at the whole elephant. One day, one step, at a time. And you’ll write your book.

Dawn_pic_chin_diagonalCopyright © 2013 – Dawn Goldberg. – Reprinted with permission. Dawn Goldberg brings life to words and writing – and helps others through their writing and publishing journey. Sign up for “Fuel For Your Writing Journey” at www.WriteWellU.com.

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Authors & Speakers Network Blog

Larry James is a professional speaker and the author of three relationship books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” His newest book is “Ten Commitments of Networking.” Larry James also offers “Author & Speaker” coaching. Contact: AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. CelebrateLove@cox.net – More than 110 articles especially for Authors & Speakers at: www.AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

letsbefriends2

Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationships” BLOG at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Networking” BLOG at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Weddings” BLOG at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com

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