Writing Journal 16: Meetings

Writing Journal 16:  Meetings

My writing journal for Thursday, August 28, 2014. You can find all the writing journal entries here.

The novella is moving right along

No more hiccups with the novella. I like the world that I’m creating in it. I might set another novella in this particular world. Wrote 1,000 words this morning, even after spending 30 minutes researching old French titles and nobility. I couldn’t put the research off, because it affects the plot.

The nonfiction book is skipping along too; 1,000 words on that. I’ve got a lot to do today, so since the book’s on track, I wanted to get to email quickly.

I like Mailbox in general, but I’m used to Gmail sorting the mail for me. Although I didn’t like Gmail’s tabs initially, I’m used to them, and don’t want to deal with unsorted mail.  So when I saw that I had a couple of hundred messages staring at me this morning in Mailbox, I panicked and opened Gmail.

Once I dealt with the deluge, I went back to Mailbox. I love Mailbox’s idea of having messages pop back into the Inbox later in the day, but I wish that Mailbox would sort the email, as Gmail does.

Mailbox is still in beta however, so I won’t complain too much. I’m sure they’ve got lots of goodies planned. It’s perfect on devices; I used to hate checking email on my phone; Mailbox makes it fast. Elegant.

After spending a timer session responding to messages, I gave Honey her breakfast, and made some notes for Julia.

Next, student emails and projects. I’ve got a couple of meetings today, which means that I’m in a rush to get everything done. I eat breakfast at the computer.

I managed to get a lot done; the rest will have to wait until tomorrow or the weekend.

Out most of the day

Lunch with a writer friend. He’s recently jumped from his magazine writing gig to a gig with a PR company. We chat about Web content, and publishing.

Then off to the the meetings.

They went well, and were fun, but I got back very late.

After I’d returned phone calls, I only had a couple of timer sessions to fill, so I wrote some first draft material on a couple of copywriting projects and the day was over.

Before closing down, I edited the photos of whiteboards etc from the meetings in Evernote. Did you know you can edit images in Evernote very simply?

A quick Evernote tip: photos

After you’ve photographed something with Evernote’s camera, you can edit it inside Evernote, using any image editor on your computer.

Right-click the image, and choose Open With. Choose an image editor, and edit the image in the editor. When you save the image, the image updates itself inside Evernote. It’s fast, it’s brilliant, and it’s one of my favorite Evernote features.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

photo credit: Daniel E Lee via photopin cc

Writing Journal 15: Phone Coaching, Mailbox

Writing Journal 15: Phone Coaching, Mailbox

My writing journal for Wednesday, August 27, 2014. You can find all the writing journal entries here.

Yes! The words are flowing again

A great writing morning. Up early again, and 1,100 of novella #4 flowed easily. I would have managed more words, but needed to research a couple of character names. I do most research after the first draft, but character names are vital, so I needed to get a couple of 18th century French surnames right.

Next, I focused on the novella’s first two scenes. I gave one of the main characters more to do (rather than just talk), and made him stronger. He’s now got more potential for change, which magically made the later scene, which I wrote today, stronger too. When in doubt, always go back to the beginning. Kick it up a notch.

Tip: when you’re writing fiction, have people do stuff. Don’t just say “he was a mean old man” — show him kicking the cat when no one’s looking.

If you follow the strategies in Authentic Writing, you’ll discover some of these simple tricks for yourself.

I managed 2,000 words of nonfiction. If I keep this up, I’ll finish the ebook before the deadline. That’s always a good thing.

Julia’s sent off novella #3 to the editor. Julia likes the book, so that’s good too.

It rained overnight, and it’s still raining. No time for a walk this morning. I’ve got errands to run, so I need to get some client copywriting projects under way, because I’ll be gone for most of the morning.

This afternoon, I have some client and student coaching. In between all that, I need to work on another couple of blog posts for clients. And complete the client presentation. Another hour on that should do it.

Honey’s arthritis is making her stiff this morning. She still gobbles her breakfast. She’s always been a good eater.

Phone coaching sessions

I had lunch with a friend who runs a local bookkeeping service for small businesses. We talked about Google+, which I enjoy, and which she’s just starting to use.

In the office again, to more email — and a surprise. I received an invitation to the beta of Mailbox for Mac.

Mailbox is owned by Dropbox. If you link Mailbox and Dropbox, you get a free gig of storage. Here’s a review of Mailbox. I like the threading; it’s easier to follow conversations.

First impressions: it feels like Sparrow — an email app I paid for. Then stopped using because of the bugs. Once the bugs were ironed out, Google acquired it. Mailbox is much faster than Sparrow; Sparrow took forever to download emails.

Next, preparation for the coaching sessions, and the sessions themselves.

Then onward to a couple of quick blog posts for clients blogs. They’re already drafted. I added a few paragraphs to each, and they were done and scheduled. They would have been faster, but I had to hunt for images. I meant to find more images last weekend, but didn’t get around to it.

And the day’s done. Daily review; word counts respectable.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

Writing Journal 14: Editing with Scrivener

Writing Journal 14: Editing with Scrivener

My writing journal for Tuesday, August 26, 2014. You can find all the writing journal entries here.

Novella: write and EDIT, again

Up at 5AM, to a very sluggish start. I did a cluster diagram — but the words wouldn’t flow.

I shouldn’t complain. I had a good run, of very good days. :-) It happens like this sometimes. I know what the problem is, I need to get the two main characters from point A, to point D, and the emotional connection isn’t there.

It will come. I know I need to make the beginning stronger. I’ll reread what I have later today. Maybe I’ll be able to write a few more words.

Despite the dribble of words I managed to write 1,000 of them. However, it took me twice as long as usual. At one point, I would have settled for 500 words.

I’m still editing novella #3. I need to get that off to the contracted editor today, so I don’t have time for nonfiction. I’m pleased now that I was ahead of schedule on that book, otherwise I would have been behind.

I’m hoping that a dry spell hasn’t set in. Dry spells happen with your writing occasionally; all you can do is press on.

Time for Honey’s breakfast. It’s raining. How annoying. I need to walk off my bad mood; I shouldn’t get frustrated, but I do. A walk would help.

Email. Then breakfast.

Next, I prepare for a phone coaching session with a writer.

The coaching session goes well. We’ve scheduled a follow-up for the weekend.

I’ve got to complete a presentation for a client this week. I’ve come up with some ideas, so I pitch them to him on the phone.

He chooses the idea he likes. So, I need to draft it, and choose the number of slides, before I worry about design. I’ll be passing this off to a designer. However, it’s easier to give the designer an idea of the feeling I want for each slide by choosing fonts and images which give the right mood, and help convey the message.

I check email, and make some notes, so that Julia can work up the quotes.

Lunch time already. Time for a break to run some errands.

Then back to novella #3. I need to get it done. No excuses. Scrivener makes editing easy. I use the split screen function a lot, and I also have lots of Quick Ref documents open.

How to edit with Scrivener

These edits are taking much longer than I thought they would. I know why — the novella is much longer than I’d imagined it would be.

I wrote a blog post on how to edit fiction with Scrivener.

FINALLY,  it’s done. I send Julia the Scrivener file, so she can do quick read and check, before sending it to the editor.

This editor is fast, so it should be back by the weekend. At that stage, I’ll read through it again, change what needs changing, maybe add a little more material. Then it goes to the proofreader.

What a LONG day. A final check of email, then my daily review, and word counts. Fingers crossed that tomorrow flows more smoothly. :-)

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

Writing Journal 14: Short Stories Sell

Writing Journal 14: Short Stories Sell

My writing journal for Monday, August 25, 2014. You can find all the writing journal entries here.


Up at 5AM, eager to write. Did more outlining on the current novella, which is #4, and wrote 1,100 words. I could have written more, but spent one timer session to researching so that I can create the meta data for novella #3.

I spent an hour reading #3, in preparation for the edit. I need to get my edit finished, so that I can send off it off to the contracted editor. I promised her the material today, thinking that I could get it done over the weekend, but that didn’t happen.

Also wrote 1,000 words of nonfiction on the client’s book. I’m a little ahead of where I should be, so I stole time from this project for the novella.

Breakfast for Honey, and for me, while reading email. We get a lot of email over the weekend, because students complete their exercises, and are impatient for feedback. So, email takes a little longer today.

Time for a walk, and then time to sort out the week’s schedule with Julia.

Next, I work on a couple of copywriting projects from last week. I always like to leave a couple of days between writing, and editing, to clear my mind. They’re fine, so Julia can send them to the clients.

Blog posts. One for a client blog, and Short Stories Sell, for the freelance writing blog.

I also wrote a blog post for the Just Write a Book Blog, Write a Novel, or a Short Story?

Lunch, at my computer, reading students’ projects.

Short stories SELL (for the first time in decades)

Readers buy short stories. I know that from my experiences with publishing my own fiction to Amazon, and ghostwriting fiction for clients.

Writers think that there’s a catch… Why do short stories sell on Amazon?

I’m sure that it’s because we’re all pressed for time. I download a short story to read because I have a few minutes to relax, and I’m in the mood for a story of that genre.

In the days when I bought hardcover and paperback books, and visited the library every week, I felt obliged to read everything I hauled home. I went to all that trouble, so I should read the books, right? :-) Today, I’ve got 2,000 ebooks on my Kindle. I may read a chapter or three, or I may read the entire ebook.

Consider too, Kindle Unlimited. Readers can download ten ebooks at a time. Why not download a short story? They can finish a story quickly.

So that’s my theory on why short stories sell now: readers like them because they’re a quick read.

You don’t have to write a novel to justify your price

Writers tend to think that if they write a short story, they have to give it away for free, or sell it for 99 cents. Nonsense. Sell your story for $2.99.

Client deadline

Next, I’m on deadline for a long article I’m ghostwriting for a client. I had a chat with him last week to get material. Now I need to add the additional material, and write another draft.

I can chop the article into separate documents in Scrivener, and then drag the snippets around. Then, if I like the structure of the article in Scrivenings mode, I can redo the transitions, and it’s done. God bless Scrivener. Saves so much time.

That’s it for today. :-)

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

Writing Journal 13: Closing Programs, and Blogging Preparation

Writing Journal 13:  Closing Programs, and Blogging Preparation

My writing journal for Sunday, August 24, 2014. You can find all the writing journal entries here.

Novella: clustering and outlining

Up at 5AM as usual. Yawning after a late night with student phone coaching.

So, just 1,000 words of fiction this morning. I spent an hour doing cluster diagrams and creating a full outline of the novella. Now that I know the characters, the outline is easy to create.

If you’re a pantser, I encourage you to outline, even if you only outline a few scenes ahead. Fiction is all about emotion. Think about the emotional journey your characters — and readers — will take.

They start in one emotional space, and end in another. You need to show that journey, in scenes. Dig underneath the surface emotions. If your character is sad, what lies underneath that sadness? What images appear in your character’s mind?

You can do a lot of digging in your next draft(s). However, if you think about what you’re doing in your first draft, you’re laying the foundations of a strong book.

Consider your character’s flaws, too. I wrote about character flaws here.

Next, on to nonfiction, another 2, 500 words. I mark the areas in which I need to do research with XXXs.

Email, and Honey’s breakfast.

No time to walk today.

Writing programs closing — 5 close on August 30

We’ve got many writing programs, so we’re withdrawing all those programs we’re not actively promoting.

I chose the programs which will close on August 30, and wrote a short blog post for the freelance writing blog.

Time for my own breakfast, while reviewing student exercises. Lots of email messages, and lots of updates on Trello. I set up boards for students on Trello, because it eliminates the fuss of email.

I downloaded Folia yesterday. It might become more useful than Trello. Here’s a review of Folia on TNW.

I’ve started using it, and hope that I’ll be able to use it for writing courses.

Next, I need to create a couple of short videos for students, so that takes us up to lunchtime. It’s Sunday, so lots of things to do, and no more writing time until late afternoon.

Sunday blogging; drafts and more drafts

It’s Sunday, so it’s blog preparation time. I sort through all the blog post ideas in Evernote, and create draft posts for my own and clients’ blogs.

I didn’t get a chance to read through the third novella last night. I got caught up in reading students’ projects, then phone coaching. Finally, I was just too tired.

I still need to sort out the meta data for the novella, and edit the first two novellas, adding links to the others in the back matter.

I’ve done my daily review, and totted up the word counts, so they’re done, and I’m done for the day too.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

Writing Journal 12: Nonfiction – “What’s Your Point?”

Writing Journal 12:  Nonfiction - “What’s Your Point?"
My writing journal for Saturday, August 23, 2014. You can find all the writing journal entries here.

Fiction, nonfiction, and email

1,100 words of the novella; I’d hoped for more, but I did another couple of cluster diagrams, getting to know the characters and the conflicts. Still solid.

I managed 2,000 words of the nonfiction book. It’s flowing well. I need to do a little research today, if I get around to it. I made some notes for research, and read through what I have and the outline. I’ve added another chapter to the outline, and deleted a chapter from the outline, because it’s not needed.

Why do I know that the chapter isn’t needed? It’s because I have a slant — a promise I’ve made to the reader. Your slant focuses your writing.

Writing nonfiction… what’s your SLANT?

I’ve received some questions about nonfiction. Many of my writing students are self publishing nonfiction books. They do well once they understand how nonfiction works.

They start out wanting to cover everything about their topic.

Of course they get stuck. Such a book is impossible to write, and no one would want it anyway. Readers want a book which fixes a problem. So, when you’re writing nonfiction, you always have a point of view: a slant. Think of it as the promise you’re making to the reader.

Ask yourself: “what’s your point?” before you start writing. If you don’t have a point, your book will meander, and it won’t be satisfying to the reader.

Consider the “For Dummies” books. They promise the reader that he can get up to speed on a vast number of topics. Their tagline is: “Making Everything Easier”.

They promise they’ll make a topic easier, but they don’t promise the reader everything on a topic. You’ll find For Dummies books on topics as diverse as planning a budget wedding, composting, and car repair.

So, when you write nonfiction, ask yourself what you’re promising the reader. Everything that doesn’t relate to that gets deleted.

Next, it’s time to deal with email, but Honey needs her breakfast first. Her arthritis is bothering her this morning.

I have my own breakfast, while reading blog posts. Then I wrote a quick blog post on Fab Freelance Writing Blog on discoverability, and selling more ebooks.

It’s Saturday, so I’m off to run errands.

Late afternoon. Time to check email, and compile a MOBI file of the third novella, so I can read it on my iPad. The first read is always just to get a sense of the book as a whole; I might highlight a few paragraphs, but I avoid making notes. I discussed a basic self-editing process here.

Time to review my work for the day, and tot up my word counts. And I’m done. Time to take a break, have dinner, and then read the novella.:-)

3 Writing Programs Closing in 24 Hours

Three writing programs are closing in 24 hours:

As you may know, we’re clearing the decks of our bestselling writing programs. We’ve got more coming, so we’re withdrawing all the programs which we’re not actively promoting. This is good news, if you’ve been considering a program.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

Writing Journal 11: Copywriting, Blogs and Clever Traffic Trick

Writing Journal 11: Copywriting, Blogs and Clever Traffic Trick

My writing journal for Friday, August 22, 2014. You can find all the writing journal entries here.

The fourth novella is underway; I LIKE these characters

Sometimes you create characters who are fun from the get-go. You know them, and you love them. Sheer happiness. I was right to trash what I’d created originally, to go with this new idea.

Did a cluster diagram for the first scene, then another for the two main characters’ emotional arcs though the book.

Wrote just 1,200 words, but the material’s solid.

A tip: if you cluster before, during, and after a fiction project, you’ll find that it’s easier to get the voice of a character right. You’ll need to tidy up in your second draft, but the voice is there from the start.

Authentic Writing, our new program, helps you to build your clustering skills with lots of how-to and exercises.

Nonfiction, and copywriting…

On to nonfiction. I dug in, and wrote 2,500 words. This book is going to go fast, which is a good thing. More research on the tagline I’m doing for the client, and a cluster diagram, just to see what’s in my head.

Next, Honey’s breakfast, and catching up on email during my own breakfast.

Whew, lots of copywriting, and client blogging to do today. I make a quick cluster on an index card, because I remember visuals more easily than lists.

Which reminds me. I need to get more images. I keep a running list of images I need for current and upcoming projects. The list’s getting too long.

I created a task to explore stock photo libraries on the weekend, to whittle down the list. I also need to email my blogging clients to nag them for PHOTOS. I don’t particularly care what kind of photos, anything will do.

Images are becoming essential for social media. You can’t encourage people to share your content if you ham-string them with image-less content.

Then I make some audio notes in Evernote. It’s often easier just to blurt out my thoughts, rather than write.

Next, my walk, with phone in hand, to make more audio notes, and to check my Reminders in Evernote.

Copywriting and blogging: crack the whip — onward!

I’m back, and it’s a full morning of copywriting projects and blogging.

Get traffic from Slideshare with blog post PDFs

Apropos of blogging, I tried out a little trick that traffic guru Ana Hoffman talked about — turning blog posts into PDFs, and uploading them to Slideshare. I didn’t think it would work as advertised.

It does. It’s EASY. Here’s a link to a slide deck I created from a blog post PDF.

PrintFriendly is an excellent resource too. It creates no-hassle PDFs from Web pages fast. I added the extension to Chrome; very useful.


Heh. Simples (in meerkat voice… )

After I uploaded the PDF, I downloaded it from Slideshare to make sure the links survived when people save the PDF, and they did. :-)

Excellent. Ana always has wonderful ideas. I must remember this simple trick; several of my clients will benefit from it. It takes just a couple of minutes — remember to edit the blog post to add a bio, you can remove it later, and you’re done.


Out of the office, Friday lunch

Julia and I close up and leave for our usual Friday lunch. Excellent… I can indulge my Hummingbird cake addiction. Julia suggests that I make it at home, and kill the addiction by over-indulging. Good idea. :-)

This recipe looks easy.

More blogging and copywriting projects

I return some phone calls, catch up with students on email and Trello, then focus on blogging for clients. I’ve been blogging since 1999, and blogging for clients since 2004. A decade. The mind boggles. I love blogging because it’s instant publishing — and instant gratification too.

Here’s my process:

  1. Create a content calendar for a blog (after a lot of research;)
  2. Develop goals for the blog;
  3. Create draft posts;
  4. Schedule posts to publish.
  5. Schedule on-going research for each blog, and communication with clients. I get in touch at least once week, and I’m copied on all up-coming marketing campaigns. You can’t write blog posts without raw material.

I do the reading and research in the evening; I don’t have time during the day. Evernote is a godsend, because I can clip research into Evernote, so that by the time I’m ready to draft some posts, I have the materials.

Next, it’s time to finish up as many copywriting projects as I can, so that Julia can proof everything.

And we’re done. Daily review and word count: done. Time for the weekend…

I love the meerkat ad. Here you go, if you haven’t seen it…


, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

Writing Journal 10: Fiction, Copywriting, and Nonfiction Review

Writing Journal 10: Fiction, Copywriting, and Nonfiction Review

My writing journal for Thursday, August 21, 2014. You can find all the writing journal entries here.

Fiction: fourth novella started

Early morning start with fiction. Time to begin the new novella. I’d already outlined this novella, but I came up with a fresh idea. So I did an initial cluster diagram for the people and the plot.

It’s a fun and exciting plot, and I adore the main characters. Wrote 600 words; just planning material. Outlined the first scene. It made me laugh out loud when I when I was outlining it, so I’m looking forward to writing it.

I made good use of The Writer’s Digest Character Naming Sourcebook by Sherrilyn Kenyon. I have the hardcover first edition, published in 1994. It went out of print a few years after that, and second-hand copies were selling for hundreds of dollars. That must have inspired the publisher to bring out a second edition; it’s an excellent reference, highly recommended.

Looking for a nonfiction book idea?

If you’re looking for a good nonfiction book idea, here you go: create a character naming book for fiction writers. Not merely lists of names, but also chapters on how to name your characters in various genres.

I did an Amazon search, while there are few reference books on naming characters, genre-specific character naming books should sell well. I’d buy one on naming characters in the various romance genres, for sure.

Since I’ve got a busy couple of days, I’ll save reading and editing the LONG third novella I completed yesterday until the weekend.

I need to get going on this new book. I’ve already second-guessed myself by discarding my first outline. So I want to get it well underway, in case I change my mind again. I also need to get a little distance from third book, so I can see where the holes are.

No time for the nonfiction book this morning. I need to complete a couple of client copywriting projects. I’d hoped to do them yesterday afternoon, but I got back too late.

First one: client’s okayed the sales letter I sent him for review, so I need to write a couple of email messages for him to send to his list.

Second: write some calls to action for a client’s newsletter, plus edit the newsletter so that Julia can format it and send it to the client.

A quick pause to give Honey her breakfast, and have my own.

Then back to the office.

Authentic writing — program page completed, and online

Authentic Writing: Develop Your Writer’s Voice, And Sell

I completed the program page for Authentic Writing: Develop Your Writer’s Voice, And Sell  — it’s now online.

I’m hugely excited about this new program. My coaching students are getting results with the process, and the beta testers did amazingly well with it.

Then, on to email from clients, and students.

I need to return lots of calls since I was out at the on-site yesterday, so that’s next.

A busy morning. I need to clear my mind, so I’m off for a walk… No, I’m not. It’s raining again. Sigh… I’ll go this afternoon. I play some music to clear my mind, and do a cluster diagram of the MUST DO tasks for the day. A couple of ebooks are back from editing, so they take priority.

Next, audios for my coaching students

I enjoy creating videos, but they can be a bear for people to download if they don’t have a reliable connection, or if they’re using a phone or tablet.

After many requests, I’m creating more audios. Audio files are smaller, and as useful as videos, if the accompanying material is outlined in steps.

It’s time to run some errands, and then lunch.

Final review and edits on two ebooks

My editor’s sent her edits on two nonfiction books. She said they’re clean. Just some fact checking, and more explanatory paragraphs needed in some chapters. I want to get them done. Then I can send them off to the beta readers and the client. I’ll need to spend the next few hours on it.

Some writers hate editing. I enjoy it. My only challenge is to stop myself from writing more. I return a phone call. Then I turn on Spotify and dive in.

More phone calls, so I can catch people before they go home for the day. Then back to the edits.

Finally done. I managed to complete a couple of small copywriting projects too, so a very good day.

Oh woe – I never did go for my walk. The horror… Silver lining: at least I got the work done.

Daily review done; word counts done… done for the day. :-)

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

Writing Journal 9: Novella DONE, Scrivener, And An On-Site

Writing Journal 9: Novella DONE, Scrivener, And An On-Site

My writing journal for Wednesday, August 20, 2014. You can find all the entries here.

Fiction and nonfiction: the novella is DONE!

DONE… Just 1,600 words — I added an epilogue. And  the third novella is done. Now some revision, and editing, and it’s off to the client.

I didn’t have time to create a MOBI file, that’s for tomorrow, when I’ll be starting the fourth novella in the series of five. I need to wrap up this series quickly. I’ve got a few more fiction commissions to fulfill, and then I can focus on my own fiction.

Before I started on the final scene, I had an idea for the book’s cover. The designer sent the PSD file, along with the cover, so it’s a simple matter to add the extra text to the cover. I send the client the image of the amended cover.

Tip: if you’re working with a cover designer: get the Photoshop (PSD) file. Then you can make any changes you like.

Next, nonfiction. The book’s humming along. Another 1200 words, with lots of “XXX” areas, as placeholders for research.

I’ll be out most of today, working on-site with a client. So, I need to get the email backlog out of the way next.

Scrivener questions: is it “worth it?”

I’ve mentioned Scrivener, and received a couple of messages asking whether Scrivener is “worth it”.

I’m a huge Scrivener fan. I started using Scrivener in around 2006, with the beta versions.

In 2005, I switched from Windows to Mac, even thought I was still contributing to PC magazines. I dithered for months, worrying about this decision. Could I still write for PC magazines when I became a “Mac person”? (Snicker. All the dithering I did back them seems silly now.)

My intuition kept prodding me to make the switch, so finally I did, and it was the best decision I’ve ever made. Mac programs like RapidWeaver, Curio and Scrivener made me not only more productive, but more creative too.

They’ve also made writing a joy, and I don’t say this lightly. So I make no apologies for being a Scrivener enthusiast. :-)

YES, Scrivener is worth it — a thousand times over. It takes time to learn, but not long, considering how powerful the program is. Once you understand the basics, which won’t take you longer than it takes to go through the Tutorial, you know enough to write with Scrivener. You’ll make many happy discoveries along your journey.

Join the Scrivener Community on Google+. Post any questions you have, the members are kind and generous, and only too pleased to help new Scrivener users.

One of the biggest benefits of Scrivener for me is that you can keep multiple books in a single Scrivener file. All the novellas for this client are in a single Scrivener file, for example.

Last year, I wrote three full-length mysteries for a client; they’re all in one file. This means that you can easily refer to other books as you write, to make sure you keep the characters straight. You can create front and back matter templates, and use them for each book.

And of course, if you want to edit a title at any time — to change the links to the other books in a series in the back matter, for example, you can do it simply. Make the changes, and compile to create a new MOBI or EPUB file, and upload it to Amazon, or wherever.

I hate searching for things and I can only imagine the chaos if I were to attempt to write a series of books for a client — or for myself — and had to keep everything organized without Scrivener.

Breakfast for Honey.

Then work on a couple of small copywriting projects for clients. One is a tagline. I write a list of questions to answer, so that I can start on the research.

The other copywriting project is a sales page, so I create an initial cluster diagram for that.

Breakfast for me, then I’m off to the on-site.

Late afternoon…

I’m back in the office. The on-site work was busy and fun, but we had a late meeting. Afterward, I had some errands to run, so I’m back late.

All the work I’d hoped to do this afternoon needs to be rescheduled. I make notes for Julia, so that she can do that.

A final pass to catch up with email, then it’s time for the daily review, and a look at my word counts.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

Writing Journal 8: Books, and Upcoming Programs

Writing Journal 8: Books, and Upcoming Programs

My writing journal for Tuesday, August 19, 2014. You can find all the entries here.

Fiction and nonfiction: writing and reading

Hooray… final scene of the novella coming up. I’m getting ahead of myself, and realize that the main character’s arc is off by one or two scenes. I wish I could leave it alone, and stop tinkering, until I’ve finished the draft. Then I can read the whole thing.

When I get close to the finish line, my brain starts to fizz like champagne. Just 1,000 words today, because of the tinkering, but that’s fine. I’ll complete the novella tomorrow. I resist the temptation to compile a MOBI file and send it to my Kindle app. I don’t want to read it, until it’s done.

Instead, I look over my material for the new novella. With any luck, I should be able to start the new novella this week, and wrap it up quickly.

On to the new nonfiction book. I managed 1,500 words. Lots of “XXX” marks in places where I need to research. I’m pleased. I’ve made a good start on this.

I’ve talked about researching AFTER you write on the freelance blog. The idea is that you write a quick draft, so you know where you’re headed. Then you know what you need to research. Just put “XXX” where you need to research so you can find those areas when your draft is done.

If you research before you write, you’ll end up with lots of information you won’t need. Not only does this slow you down, it means that you lose focus.

Clustering has many uses

We’ve received some questions about clustering. Clustering is basically mind mapping, and as with mind mapping, you can use it for everything.

My brain feels fuzzy and full this morning. My attention’s snagging on the novella. I need to put it out of my mind and think about everything else I need to do today. So I create a cluster diagram of today’s important things to do, and to remember. When I get pulled back to fiction, I can snap myself out of it by checking the cluster.

If you’re not familiar with clustering, here are a couple of links to help you to use this wonderful tool.

I use clustering many times each day. Yesterday I had a couple of coaching calls, so I clustered what I wanted to chat about with each student before the call. Then I clustered during each call. I photographed all the clusters — they were just on index cards — into each student’s notebook in Evernote. I can refer to the clusters months from now, and I’ll be able to remember what we discussed.

Email: clients and students

Clustering has cleared my mind a little. Lots to get done today. First, email. I need to create some quotes for client projects, and give feedback to students on their exercises.

We’ve got boilerplate templates for everything. I can call up a template with a couple of keystrokes with TextExpander (Mac). Do you use templates? Start creating them. They’ll save you seconds, minutes and hours over the course of a month.

Honey and I have breakfast.

Then a chat with Julia. I’m doing a phone presentation this afternoon, so Julia’s sending the presentation PDF to the client, and doing some research on the company. When you pitch, you need all the insights you can get. I set a reminder for 30 minutes before the call, so that I can clear my mind, rehearse, and prepare.

Off for my walk. There are still showers around, so I’ll take an umbrella.

Next, the program description for Authentic Writing

Back again, and looking at my watch… I need to draft this quickly, because tomorrow morning and most of the afternoon will be spent working on-site for a client.

Lunch at my desk, reading social media.

Then, reviewing the presentation, and preparing for it.

The client calls on time, and we have a good phone meeting. I know they’ve asked other people to pitch for this project, so I’ll mark it as “done” in my calendar, and will add a reminder to follow up with them in a couple of weeks.


Leap into Copywriting: 3-week online class

The class is in 3 modules, with a total of 15 video and audio lessons with worksheets. As you complete a lesson, you send us your exercises for feedback. We’re estimating that we’ll be running the class once a month.

I’ve planned the modules, and the first week. Just need to record the videos and audios. I spend a couple of timer sessions planning exercises for the modules.

Next up, more paperwork. Ugh. At the end of a couple of hours of paperwork, my brain is mush.

It’s late, so it’s time to do the daily review, and tot up the word counts for the day. It’s been a good day.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.