Authors & Speakers Network Blog with Larry James

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

The Ultimate Writer’s Guide to Success (Infographic)

Filed under: Author Tips — Larry James @ 7:30 am
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Writers Resources

Copyright: 2016 by On Blast Blog.

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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

the-archives2Click for Archives! ~ 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
Follow Larry’s Pinterest page for authors and speakers at: https://www.pinterest.com/larryjames2012/authors-speakers-blog/

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Saturday, November 14, 2015

The 3 Biggest Mistakes That Prevent People From Finishing Their Book

Filed under: Author Tips — Larry James @ 8:30 am
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Brian Tracy, Guest Author

Are one of these mistakes holding you back from writing your book?

I want you to have all the confidence in the world so that you can write your book and become a bestselling author.

A&S-FinishBook1The truth is that many people want to write a book, but they are held back by self-doubt and the fear that they won’t be successful. Fortunately, there are many steps that you can take to ensure that you are successful. I want to show you a system that can help ensure this success.

Here are just a few things that becoming a published author can do for you:

• Establish you as an expert in your field
• Pave the way for other products and services you could offer to your clients
• Provide you with a lifetime of income
• Give you great conversation material at parties and gatherings
• Give you the confidence to begin new journeys

My good friend Mike Koenigs has helped thousands of people publish books for years. He is a seven-time #1 Bestselling Author, “2009 Marketer of the Year” winner, serial entrepreneur, filmmaker, speaker, and patented inventor. Mike Koenigs is the CEO, and Founder of “You.Everywhere.Now.” and creator of “Publish and Profit.” Mike’s products and services have simplified and automated marketing for over 35,000 small businesses, authors, experts, speakers, coaches, and consultants in more than 60 countries.

When I think of business and sales success I think of Mike. I would recommend him to anyone looking to publish a book in order to elevate themselves and their business.

I’ve invited Mike to post on my blog because he truly believes anyone can publish a book, just as I do. He is giving away copies of his book Publish and Profit for FREE and wants to help you become a bestselling author.

THE 3 BIGGEST MISTAKES THAT PREVENT PEOPLE FROM FINISHING THEIR BOOK- BY MIKE KOENIGS

According to an article published in the New York Times, 81% of the United States population wants to write a book someday, or think they have a book inside them.

Don’t you?

According to a recent article in Forbes magazine, 600,000 to 1,000,000 books are published every year in the United States alone. Most of them sell fewer than 250 copies in total while others go on to sell millions.

Why?

THE 3 FATAL MISTAKES

After working with so many people, we’ve found that most failed authors make three fatal mistakes that prevent them from either starting or finishing their book.

And for the ones that do actually finish, here are the reasons why they aren’t successful at marketing, promotion, sales or getting results.

MISTAKE #1: ERNEST HEMINGWAY EXCUSE

The first mistake is the “Ernest Hemingway Excuse.”1

That’s thinking you have to be a writer in order to be an author. Nothing could be further from the truth.

One of my favorite success stories is 9-year-old Abbey Richter, who wrote four bestselling books in only three months about rescue pets. She was featured in American Girl magazine and has been asked to speak at events and sign autographs.

Another is Andy Falco, a former K9 cop who left service after being injured on the job. He came to us on the verge of bankruptcy and foreclosure. He recently closed a $349,000 deal with the country of Bahrain… all because of a book!

They were not writers, but they both wrote bestselling books…

A&S-FinishBookI “wrote” my first book by talking into my iPhone.

MISTAKE #2: ALBERT EINSTEIN ASSUMPTION

Mistake number two is something we call the “Albert Einstein Assumption.”

That’s thinking you actually have to be an expert or even smart in order to be an author of a book. I barely graduated high school and never went to college.

Many of our clients and customers who are successful, profitable authors didn’t start out feeling confident or prepared either.

But they took a chance… and took action using a proven system…

Now, their books are giving them the influence, income, authority, community, and autonomy they deserve.

Don’t you want the same thing?

MISTAKE #3: WARREN BUFFETT BS

Mistake number three is conveniently named after the third wealthiest person in the world…

It’s called “Warren Buffett BS.”

That’s believing and thinking that you have to be rich or famous in order to be a successful published author.

It’s just not true – none of our published students began with a silver spoon in their mouth. Neither did I.

But they did have a system – a proven, tested, and refined five-step formula that will allow you to write, publish, and profit from your books, even if you’re not a writer. And even though you don’t have to start out being famous, a book is one of the very best ways to become famous… especially on your topic.

If you want to learn more about my Publish and Profit book writing system please click the button below to get a copy of my bestselling book for free. I’ve helped many people become bestselling authors and I’d love to build a relationship with you.

BrianTracyCopyright 2015 by Brian Tracy & Mike Koenigs. Brian Tracy is a self-help author of more than 60 books, motivational speaker, entrepreneur, business coach, and keynote speaker. Brian Tracy is Chairman and CEO of Brian Tracy International, a company specializing in the training and development of individuals and organizations.

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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

the-archives2Click for Archives! ~ 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
Follow Larry’s Pinterest page for authors and speakers at: https://www.pinterest.com/larryjames2012/authors-speakers-blog/

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Why Is My Book Getting No Attention

Marsha Friedman, Guest Author

Have you written a great book, but it seems no one beyond your mother and your spouse is interested in it?

You may have one of two problems; or both of them:

1. Your book has wonderful information, or a compelling story, but it lacks a professional polish. If it’s not well organized or written with clear, precise language, it may be hard to read.

A&S-NoATTENTION2. The people who might love your book aren’t aware it exists. Having a website (which is a must) isn’t enough. If you’re not actively engaged in driving people to it, they’re not likely to find it and learn about your book.

Fortunately, both problems have solutions.

First, the writing. If you didn’t have an extensive writing background before tackling your book, and you didn’t have help from a good, professional editor, that could be hurting you. You might want to consider hiring a ghostwriter to revise it.

Ghostwriters provide an array of services, from turning your two-sentence idea into a 150-page book, to sharing writing tasks with you, to editing and polishing what you’ve written. Many, many books being sold today were helped along by ghostwriters, although you’d never know it; their names often don’t show up anywhere on or in the book.

Entrepreneurs and professionals who plan to use their book as a marketing tool can simply hand the job over to the writer. A good ghostwriter can even give you smart suggestions for topics that will work well for you at any particular point in time. And the two of you can collaborate on the content.

Unfortunately, ghostwriting is not a licensed profession; anyone can advertise their services. So, when you’re looking to hire, do your homework. The best way to find a good ghostwriter is through referrals. But you can also find prospects at elance.com or guru.com. Ask about experience and check references. Ask their previous clients how satisfied they were with communications and their end product.

If you’re a professional who intends to elevate your stature; and, ultimately, build customer prospects; with your book, it’s important to hire someone with a strong track record in that area. If you’re a novelist looking for help refining your story, of course, you’ll want someone who has written novels.

For nonfiction books, expect to invest time in answering the writer’s questions. In order for him (or her) to do a great job, he needs to understand who your target audience is and what their needs, problems, concerns and fears are. Once he knows these, he can gather the information necessary to write with them in mind.

And that leads to problem No. 2, marketing. This is such a challenge for writers, I’m making it the focus of my presentation this weekend at the 2012 Northwest BookFest in Seattle.

Too often, writers become so focused on getting their book written, they forget the critical second part of their job: telling people about it.

Some are so confident their book will take off after a few people have read it, they feel they don’t need to worry about marketing. That’s like buying a million-dollar house because you just know you’re going to hit the lottery. Yes, people win lottery jackpots. And yes, books become surprise best-sellers. But no, you shouldn’t bet the farm on either happening.

So while you’re thinking about the audience for your book, think about the marketing messages that will appeal to them. How can you reach them to let them know there’s a new book out there?

Consider these questions:

What will be the best channels for reaching my audience? You might consider doing speaking engagements, or sending pitches to journalists and talk show hosts who would use you as a source of information. You might hire a publicist, contract with your publisher, or put together a book-signing tour. Research the options that appeal to you, including how effective they’ll be in terms of meeting your goals.

How much will it cost? Some options are less expensive, others more. Look into the prices and decide how much you can afford to spend. How much of the work can you handle yourself? Even if you hire a publicist to help, you should plan to invest your own time and energy. To get the best results possible, being active and engaged in your marketing campaign is essential.

Can social media help you spread the word? Actively posting and engaging in conversations on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites are a great way to build your visibility. The more of a following you have, the more potential audience you’ve created for your marketing message. But remember, “buy my book” posts won’t win you any followers; you need to provide informative and/or entertaining content related to your book.

Remember, it all starts with a well-written and professionally published book. Without a quality product, your marketing efforts are likely to fall flat.

Likewise, your book; no matter how beautiful and polished; won’t go far if people dont know who YOU are.

BONUS Articles: Get The Word Out (Five articles)

Marsha-with-Signature Copyright 2015 by Marsha Friedman. Reprinted with permission. Marsha Friedman launched EMS Incorporated in 1990. Her firm represents corporations and experts in a wide array of fields such as business, health, food, lifestyle, politics, finance, law, sports and entertainment. She consults individuals and businesses on a daily basis and is frequently asked to speak at conferences about how to harness the power of publicity. Outside of the office, she is also the founder of a non-profit organization called the Cherish the Children Foundation. In 1996 the White House recognized her charity which sets out to raise awareness of the plight of underprivileged and foster children. Visit Marsha’s Website!

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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

the-archives2Click for Archives! ~ 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
Follow Larry’s Pinterest page for authors and speakers at: https://www.pinterest.com/larryjames2012/authors-speakers-blog/

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Writing the Wrong Book

Donna Kozik, Guest Author

What Do I Mean by “Writing the Wrong Book?”

There’s nothing worse than spending tons of time, energy and money on writing your book, only to find that it’s useless as a “big business card.” How could this happen?

wrongbookUnfortunately, it can be really easy. Here are some of the situations and how to solve them.

1. Writing about a subject your market has no interest in. This is probably the biggest mistake business book authors make.

They fall in love with their subject and think the world will, too. The thing is, it’s hard to use your book as a lead generator if no one is interested in what you have to say.

The solution: think like the people you want to attract. What kind of questions are they asking you? What do they want to know about? You can start there and then expand “an inch wide and a mile deep” to show off your expertise.

2. Putting the wrong title on your cover. And I don’t mean a typo (although I’ve seen it happen!). Generic titles, just like generic marketing messages, don’t pique interest. Instead, get as specific as you can in what your book is about (easier if you follow step one) in your title.

Another effective option is to use a catchy 2, 3 or 4 word title and then use your subhead to call out to your target audience. Examples of this include Timothy Ferriss and his book: “The 4 Hour Work Week: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere and Join the New Rich.”

My favorite is friend Michael Katz: “It Sure Beats Working: 29 Quirky Stories and Practical Business Lessons for the First Time, Mid-Life Solo Professional.” He actually names his “target reader” in his title. That Michael is so clever!

3. Blame the book for lack of promotion efforts. Sometimes it’s not the book’s fault, but the author’s for lack of follow through in promotion. Remember, writing the book is one thing, but then promoting it is a whole new area needing time, energy and attention.

Think about how you’re going to market yourself and your book as much as, if not more, than what your book will contain.

Ready to throw up your hands in despair and forget the whole thing? DON’T!

I’ve heard it time and time again from the experts, and it’s something I know for myself: there is no better vehicle than a book for establishing expertise and generating leads.

Write your book but put some thought and effort on the front end to make sure you write the right book.

DonnaKozikCopyright © 2014 – Donna Kozik. – Reprinted with permission. Donna Kozik, founder of MyBigBusinessCard.com, is a book writing & publishing consultant who shows business owners how to write their book quickly and easily to create a no-fail marketing tool. Visit Donna’s Facebook Page. Download Your Free Book Planner to “Get Started Writing Your Own Book FAST.”

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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.

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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
Visit Larry James on LinkedIn

Saturday, January 11, 2014

8 Things I’ve Learned from Writing My First Book

Filed under: Author Tips,How to Write — Larry James @ 8:30 am
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Patti Johnson, Guest Author

Chances are, you have a story to tell. Or maybe there’s a message you’re dying to share with the world. Research says that 81% of us want to write a book someday; I am one of them. I’m getting closer to crossing this goal off of my bucket list in May 2014.

I pictured myself sitting in a cozy coffee shop finding the perfect words to tell my story. I’ve had those magical days, along with many very late nights, rewriting a chapter to meet a looming deadline.

FirstBookAn author friend compared writing a book to giving birth – one of the best things you’ll ever do, but painful just before you finish. She said it often takes at least one year afterward before you’d consider bringing another book into the world. I’m still a little over four months away from my first book birth and I get it.

I am writing a ‘business casual’ book called Make Waves: Be the One to Start Change at Work and in Life. In it, I share how changes in organizations and communities can start because of the decisions and actions of just one person.

Here are the highlights and “must-knows” of what I’ve learned so far in writing a book, in case you are in that 81 percent too.

1. Know the why. You’ll need it. ~ Know the real reason why you want to write. Is it to share a family story, demonstrate your expertise, grow your business or transition to a career as an author? These answers will influence your timing, if you self-publish or go to a more traditional publisher, the time required, and the financial commitments. Also, knowing your ‘why’ will help you stay with it when it gets hard – and it will.

2. Decide the time and financial investment that you are willing to make. ~ At first, when I was told how much time it would take, I naively thought, ‘I’m always busy. I know how to juggle.’ This is different. Before my major manuscript deadline, it felt like a recurring repeat of finals week. Remember the movie Groundhog Day? Also, understand the extra costs that an author may cover, such as a website, additional marketing support, and assistance in your ‘day job’ to pull it off regardless of how you publish.

3. Dabble and experiment to find your voice. ~ No matter how or what you write, give yourself time and avenues to experiment and find your footing. Start a blog. Write a chapter or two and invite others to give you frank feedback. Allow time for your ideas to percolate and assimilate. My agent helped me shape up my final proposal.

4. Understand the new rules. ~ Book writing and publishing work by different rules. So, if you have no experience, talk to those who do – a lot of them. It’s not just about writing, but building a community around you who’ll be interested in buying your book. Talk to those who have gone before you and use the many online resources.

MakeWaves

Click cover for info!

5. Publishing is a business. What’s your ROI? ~ Think of agents and publishers as investors and you as an entrepreneur. Do you have compelling content and a platform to share it so that they want to invest their time and resources in you? If you go the self-publishing route, then you are making that investment in yourself. The return on investment matters regardless of how you publish.

6. Not everyone will be interested in your baby. ~ You spend months writing this wonderful book, yet some won’t be interested and when you publish some won’t like it. You are putting yourself out there and that’s why it’s amazing! Learn, listen and adapt, but then let it go and hope that your writing will influence the right person or people rather than everyone.

7. Authors are in sales. ~ You are ultimately responsible for selling the book. Yes, you may have wonderful partnerships and support, but it is ultimately up to you. You’ll have to ask for help and support often. If you don’t like this idea, consider this right up front.

8. You don’t have to publish to write. ~ Books are the historical gold standard on sharing your thoughts. But today there are so many other possibilities. Start your own blog or ask to contribute to others’ blogs. Many authors started writing their book through a series of blog posts that became essential content. You’ll soon learn if you have the passion for writing a book.

If you know your “why” and have the commitment to do it, then get started. Find your first step, even if it’s setting up your first blog. You can do that today.

p_johnsonCopyright © 2014 – Patti Johnson. Patti Johnson is a career and workplace expert and the CEO of PeopleResults, a change and human resources consulting firm she founded in 2004. Previously, Johnson was a Senior Executive at Accenture. Johnson has been recently featured as an expert in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, NBC, Money Magazine and Working Mother. Patti is also an instructor for SMU Executive Education and a keynote speaker on “Leading Change.” Johnson’s first book, Make Waves: Be the One to Start Change at Work and in Life will hit shelves in May of 2014. Visit Patti’s Website at www.People-Results.com.

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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

Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Narcissist Series: Who Are You Writing For?

Filed under: Author Articles — Larry James @ 8:30 am
Tags: , ,

Mia Siegert, Guest Author

I don’t know whether the majority of people say they write what they want to write for themselves, or whether that’s faux-modesty that many writers feel they need to say to justify smaller (if any) publication records. I’m not saying a writer’s worth is based on publication, but I think that there can be a problem when writers use “writing for myself” as an excuse for their state of success.

SpecificReadersHowever, I have noticed that many writers I’ve encountered through the years (from undergrad, through grad school, and especially now in the emerging stages of my professional career) stick with the same excuse, “I’m writing for myself, not other people.” I’ve noticed a trend that those writers are in the same place that they were ten years ago with little (and often no) improvement whatsoever.

So how is it possible for writers who take their craft very seriously to be stuck in this rut?

Although there probably are many possible answers for that question, I believe one of the main roots stems from narcissism. The term narcissism comes from Greek mythology (which I’ve been obsessed with since I was a kid, for good reasons – Gods with human flaws! But I digress).

For a streamlined background and crash course about the roots of narcissism, in the story of Narcissus a very attractive man was so in love with himself that he burned the affections of many people, including the goddess, Nemesis – who by chance happened to be a very spiteful goddess. She lured Narcissus to a lake where he falls in love with his reflection. Unable to leave the sight of his own face, he starves, and dies. The modern terminology for narcissism revolves around a person’s excessive egotism–egotism such as with an all too familiar sentence, “I’m writing for myself, not my audience.”

There’s only one word to sum up Narcissus’s fate: ouch.

Actually two: mega ouch.

To clarify before I’m crucified, I’m not saying nor suggesting that one should write with the sole purpose of gaining audience approval, but observing that the mentality behind writing for one’s self can be and often is problematic. Those writers with too much self often don’t deal well with criticism, if they can cope with it at all.

Although sometimes the most passionate about their work, they’re by far the toughest to teach. Often, they feel misunderstood (“No, you missed the point of what I was trying to say!”) rather than consider the option that maybe their writing is lacking a key factor that helps clarify the author’s point.

Many times, those writers take critique as a cruel form of bullying, something incredibly personal (“They’re being mean to me!”) It’s completely understandable that writers can become so attached to their writing that their feelings can get hurt when it feels like their work is being torn to shreds. Sometimes, it’s over-sensitivity.

Sometimes, people really do tear writing apart negatively (I’ve noticed a common trend that often the harshest critics are the ones with the least amount of writing knowledge). The point is, the way one deals with critique is critical to a writer’s future successes and ability and willingness to improve. Because, really, who wants to be plagued with being the narcissist?

I think one always needs to keep a sense of her/himself in mind to figure out how to improve and how to stay humble. Writing for one’s self is important in the sense that a writer shouldn’t write specifically for someone else, but if writing for one’s self is used as an excuse to not accept critique and improve, then there’s a problem.

MiaSiegertCopyright © 2013 – Mia Siegert. Mia Siegert graduated with an MFA from Goddard College and holds a BA in English from Montclair State University. She won honorable mention in the 2009 MSU English Department Awards in Fiction. Siegert primarily writes literary fiction and contemporary young adult, with some dabbling in commercial fiction and drama. She teaches fiction and memoir to adults and students. To learn more about Siegert’s work, check out her website at www.miasiegert.com or like/follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

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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.

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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Writing a Book: Where Do You Begin?

Filed under: Author Tips,Blogging Tips,Creativity,How to Write — Larry James @ 7:30 am
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Are you ever afraid you will run out of ideas when writing?

If you’re tired of skimming your community newspaper or trolling the shelves of your public library for article ideas, you’re a pretty typical writer. Ideas to write about are everywhere. Try observing, reading, listening and paying attention to life in general. You must be committed to writing and to never running out of ideas if you want to write a book.

MessyDeskWhen I wrote my first book, I decided it should have 10 chapters. I started by titling each chapter then started writing in the chapter that I knew would be the easiest to start. My second book became total of 333 different topics about relationships. Some topic were long some were short but when it came time to put them all together I had enough topics for a 310 page relationship book.

“Don’t be afraid to start somewhere in the middle. Write the pieces that are flowing for you. That may not be the introduction or chapter one. It might be chapter twelve. Trust your flow and write what’s coming.” ~ Marnie Pehrson

Because people love to find easy-to-follow instructions and “how to” books to help them accomplish something, the relationship book became my best seller. There was something there for everyone. It got the attention of a producer on ABC TV’s “The View.” Four months later Barbara Walters interviewed me and the book went national.

I have a special file in my computer labeled, “Fresh Ideas.” There you will find anywhere from a couple of lines or a paragraph or two of an idea about another topic to write about. Whenever I need an idea I pop open that file. Usually there are quite a few ideas and perhaps a couple of lines to get me started on something new. Often I will nurture these ideas, maybe writing an additional line or thought about them, then let the idea go again to stumble across it at a later date.

ideaI also have a file basket on my computer desk. Mooch from magazines. Often I can be seen at a fast-food joint skip-reading a few magazines that I seem to never have time to read at my office. Keep your notepad handy when reading magazines and newspapers. Use a voice recorder. I always take notes while reading, these quick ideas which may seem unimportant at first will be invaluable in the future.

When an idea comes, I scribble some notes and toss it in the file basket on my computer desk. I will often revisit a story I’ve already written and come up with new angles for other markets. I will re-slant the article accordingly. Use your own creative imagination. I will also often get an idea from driving past a billboard. Sometimes just a few words will pop out at me. I make notes for later. I never run out of ideas.

Read bumper stickers. Pay attention to advertisements. Advertisements tell a story in a few short words. Restate the idea in your own words, then expand it. Again, the ads show the current trends. Read a variety of magazines, because you never know what may hit you.

A trip down the Hallmark or American Greetings aisle promises to generate ideas about the range of human emotions. You don’t have to buy them to get ideas from the text and artwork. Making ideas happen isn’t easy and requires patience, determination and hard work.

Join an authors group. Brainstorm with other writers. Jotting down even two words is usually enough to trigger the idea when you’re ready to start working on an article later. When I read something that someone else has written about the topic I am pursuing, ideas of my own pop into my head; sometimes they are my interpretation of what I just read, but are in my own words. Because something similar has already existed, doesn’t mean you can’t make an improvement on it.

“While most people complain about standing in line or waiting for the doctor or dentist, I consider waiting an opportunity. The next time you find yourself waiting for something, instead of pacing and griping, tune into your own thoughts. It’s amazing what can occur to you if you’ll just quiet your mind. Pay attention to what’s going on around you. In other words, eaves drop.” ~ Patricia Fry

If you are committed to writing, you will need a constant flow of new ideas for articles. Write what you know best or about things you want to know more about. You need only to take a look at your own life to find ideas. If what you’re reading, watching, or listening to doesn’t directly relate to what your looking for for a blog or article, you should always try to find a way to relate it to your business or to the topic at hand.

You can use the same formula for books. Write enough articles on the same subject and after a while you will have enough material for a book! Things I’ve blogged about can be put together to form a book.

BONUS Article: Scribble, Scribble… Write, Write!
50 Ways for Writers to Find Article Ideas

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Authors & Speakers Network Blog

Copyright © 2013 – Larry James. 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.

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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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