Tag Archives: blogging

Writing Journal 33: Blog Topics and Keywords

Writing Journal 33: Blog Topics and Keywords

My writing journal for Sunday, September 14, 2014. You can find all the writing journal entries here.

The fourth of the series of novellas I’m ghostwriting for a client is DONE.

So this morning, it’s time to set up novella #5, the final one in the series. Once that’s written, I’ll compile all five novellas, so that the client can sell them as a bundle. This makes a total of six books, because the novellas will continue to be available individually.

I’ll recommend to the client that he chooses one, and makes it permanently free.

My outline for novella #5 is ready, so this morning I just had to reacquaint myself with the plot before I started writing. Last night I was chatting to someone, when my mind drifted to my writing, as it always does. I was thinking about this new novella, and realized that I’d forgotten the plot completely. :-)

Nevertheless, I managed 500 words — so the project is on its way. I need to do more work on the characters and their emotional arcs.

No new nonfiction this morning; I compiled the nonfiction book to MOBI, and started my read-through. I’ll spend time editing it next week, and should get it to the contract editor by next weekend.

Next, breakfast for Honey and for me, while reading email. General email was light, but there were some student projects for feedback, so I made a note to get to them tonight.

It’s time for a quick walk, while thinking about clients’ goals for their blogs.

Back again. It’s Sunday, so it’s a short writing day. Basically, I need to to focus on blogging, the company history ghostwriting project, and the freebie ebook I’m writing for a client.

I’ll do more blogging later this afternoon. I do a couple of timer sessions on the company history, and the freebie ebook.

Then it’s time to pack up, for Sunday commitments.

Sunday: blog topics and keywords

Back again. Time for Sunday’s primary task: draft blogging.

I like to use Sunday afternoons to check over my own and clients’ blogs, and get some draft posts ready. Usually, I’m well ahead with draft posts; this is a good thing. I like to move quickly from one task to another, so the more preparation I can up do front, the less likely I am to procrastinate.

Over the past few weeks, a site called Keyword Tool has become my favorite… well, keyword tool.

Basically, the site is a turbo-charged version of Google’s Search Suggest. Keyword Tool offers you up to 750 suggestions for every keyword.

Here’s why this is useful:

  • It avoids “topic blindness” — my term for an expert’s perspective on a topic. The better you know a topic, the less you’re able to see from others’ viewpoints, and this is dangerous. Experts end up writing for each other, rather than 95% of searchers;
  • It helps you to think about the intentions of searchers.

Web content development’s come a long way since the good old days of keyword stuffing. Those tactics just don’t work any more. Indeed, writing Web content looks more and more like plain old marketing every year.

Weekly review — GTD

After the draft blogging, it’s time for the weekly review. I’ve never committed to the complete Getting Things Done system, but I like the weekly review.  It’s essential so you’re all set for the week ahead.

So, with that done, my writing’s done for the day.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

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

Writing Journal 26: How to Make Writing a Habit

Writing Journal 26: How to Make Writing a Habit

My writing journal for Sunday, September 7, 2014. You can find all the writing journal entries here.

Another wonderful morning for my fourth novella for my ghostwriting client: 2,700 words. It’s flowing like water, AND the characters keep surprising me. That’s the reason I love fiction: it’s a true joy when the characters become real.

The nonfiction book is doing well too. Another 1,500 words, in just two timer sessions. I could have carried on with it, but it’s Sunday.

How to make writing a habit

A reader asked me whether you “should” write every day.

Do what you can. In my first few years as a writer, I didn’t write every day. I’ve often talked about how challenging I found writing. It wasn’t easy. I wanted to write, and I loved writing. But I had to force myself to sit down at the typewriter and then stay where I’d planted myself, rather than running away.

Looking back, writing became much easier once I got my first Apple computer, and studied Gabriele Rico’s book.

Before the Apple, writing meant golf-balls, carbon paper, and correction fluid. A nightmare. I adored my Apple, because I’m a truly lousy typist.

Larry Block helped immensely too. I took his Write for Your Life seminar at the Vista Hotel in NYC in 1985. That seminar was a huge turning point for my writing. I played Larry’s tape of affirmations for years, until the cassette broke. :-)

Over time, writing just became a habit. I can’t imagine not writing every day.

However, asking whether you “should” write every day is the wrong question. If you’re asking yourself this, ask yourself how you can make writing more fun, instead.

If writing’s fun, you won’t be able to keep away from your work. Eventually, writing just becomes something you do every day – habitual.

As Carl Jung said: “The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect, but by play.” It’s my favorite quote. Focus on having FUN when you write. You can’t be creative without an element of play. When writing’s fun, you want to do it.

After I’ve fed Honey, and made some toast, I check the day’s email, which is light. I use Send to Kindle to add some students’ stories to my iPad, so that I can focus on them this evening.

Then, I send the MP3s of yesterday’s phone coaching sessions to the students.

Sunday is draft blogging day

Sunday, as always, is the day when I add to my collection of draft blog posts on my own blogs, as well as on client blogs.

A reader asked how many draft blog posts he “should” have lined up. I’m not big on stuff you “should” do, as you may know.

I like to have at least ten draft posts in each blog. I review them every few days. Some I discard, because the inspiration’s gone, or because I did some research and decided against the post. Other blog posts grow organically. Then I add some more content to them, and line them up for publication.

Do whatever is comfortable for you. I know a couple of professional bloggers who create no drafts. They have no editorial calendar. They know they have a certain number of blog posts to write each week, and they sit down and write them, cold. I admire that, I truly do. However, I couldn’t work that way, because I have too much going on. Having a cache of draft posts gives me a sense of security, and confidence.

Time for my walk.

And now it’s time for Sunday’s commitments.

Planning and preparing for the coming week

Several of my clients have sent me images, so I need to look them over, and Photoshop them a little to get rid of distractions in them. I also download some images I’ll need for my own blog posts this week.

Then it’s time to for the weekly review, to check last week’s progress, and check this week’s deadlines, to make sure that everything is on track.

That done, I tot up my word count for the day, and Sunday’s over.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

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

Writing Journal 23: Copywriting and Workshop

Writing Journal 23: Copywriting and Workshop

My writing journal for Thursday, September 4, 2014. You can find all the writing journal entries here.

An odd morning, but in a good way. I received another rush copywriting job yesterday, so I started it last night, and need to continue with it for a few hours this morning.

Both the novella and nonfiction book can wait until the end of the day. I’m on track with both, so if I don’t get to them, that’s OK too.

Took a break from copywriting to clear my mind, feed Honey her breakfast, and have my own breakfast. I made a note that I MUST walk today. I haven’t been walking. First it was cold and raining, then things kept coming up. Yes, I know, excuses, excuses. :-)

I’m pleased that it’s a light morning for email. I got the messages out of the way quickly.

An interesting message from Amazon KDP about their new Kindle Kids’ Book Creator. I don’t write kids’s books, but I coach several students who do. I made a note to familiarize myself with the program.

I managed to get some blogging done yesterday afternoon, and that’s a good thing, because I don’t have time for it this morning.

A reader asked about a blogging process. Here’s mine. It’s simple:

  • Create draft posts regularly. I like to keep at least ten draft posts in a blog;
  • Complete the draft posts, and schedule them to be published;
  • Repeat.

Off for a walk, then back to do the final edit on the rush job. Edit completed, and it’s time for lunch, when the Telstra technician arrives.

More tech aggravation: dead cable

It’s lucky that I got a new SIM for my hotspot yesterday, because the problem isn’t the cable modem, it’s the cable itself. It could take up to three working days to fix. At least I have Internet. The hotspot’s data is expensive, but it would be a lot more expensive not to have a connection at all.

More copywriting…

Email, and then work on my regular clients’ copywriting gigs.

These are on-going projects which come up every month, and they’re simple to do, once I have the information from the clients. Getting the info can be a challenge. Everyone’s busy these days, and for some companies marketing isn’t a high priority. I’ve learned to start nagging for the material I need a week before I need it, otherwise I end up missing deadlines.

Leap into Copywriting launches: the first workshop starts in less than 3 weeks

I completed the “welcome” materials for Leap into Copywriting workshop. The workshop starts in less than three weeks, and we’re very excited about it.

I want this workshop to feel personal to each student; so it’s focused on exercises and feedback. We’ve been testing the exercises with current and previous copywriting students. I want the next exercises to be fun, as well as effective, so that students get methods they can use on all their copywriting projects.

We’ve got several workshops planned. Each has a start date, so they’re not on-going, and each is limited to ten students. I’m not sure how often we’ll be running each workshop.

With that done, it’s time to make some phone calls, and finish up for the day. I’ve got a coaching call this evening with a student in Scotland. I love a Scots’ accent.

Daily review done; word counts done. I’m done… :-)

, and on Twitter: @angee.

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

Writing Journal 22: Tech Aggravations

Writing Journal 22: Tech Aggravations

My writing journal for Wednesday, September 3, 2014. You can find all the writing journal entries here.

My Internet connection died last night. I’ve had problems with this cable modem before. Now it won’t go online at all, and it’s only 12 months old. A tech won’t get here until tomorrow.

Luckily, I’ve got a WiFi hotspot. Unluckily, the SIM card in it is old, so I’ll need to go and get a new one today. In the meantime, dealing with hundreds of email messages on a phone is no fun at all. :-)

So, before I started to write this morning, I needed to rearrange my schedule. Clients expecting material won’t get it this morning. Any tasks for which I need to be online will have to wait, too.

I’ll focus on fiction and nonfiction, which mostly doesn’t need an Internet connection. Then I’ll run errands, and pick up a new SIM card on the way. All going well, we should be online again this afternoon.

Fiction and nonfiction: planning scenes

Fiction first. I needed to plan the next scenes for the novella, so I did that. I created several cluster diagrams, and outlined the scenes.

I created a new character too. This is a nuisance. Like short stories, novellas work best when you have a limited cast. I’ll need to weed out some of the “extras” in revision. My general rule of thumb is that if a character appears in only one or two scenes, he’s unlikely to be important, so you can weed him out.

I managed 2,000 words.

Next, breakfast for Honey, and email.

Fiddling with email on my phone takes forever. Thank heavens for Mailbox. All emails which need more than a sentence or two are postponed until this afternoon. I compose a couple of “sorry, we’re offline” messages for Julia to send to clients.

The nonfiction book is moving right along. I created several cluster diagrams and did some research yesterday for later chapters, so I can work on those. I manage 2,500 words which is excellent. At this rate, I’ll finish the book early.

Before closing the Scrivener file, I compiled the early chapters to PDF to send off to the client once we’re online again.

Breakfast. While munching my toast, I read over the rough drafts of the video scripts from yesterday.

It takes just a couple of timer sessions to get them ready to send to the clients for their review – once we get back online.

Even simple tasks are annoying when you have no Internet connection. I’ll need to pick up some dog food for Honey while I’m out. I keep my shopping lists in Notational Velocity, which syncs with SimpleNote on my devices. I opened Notational Velocity to add the dog food to my supermarket list, then remembered that there’s no sync.

Of course, Evernote isn’t syncing either, and I LIVE in Evernote. I need to call on a client this morning, so I check to make sure that the material is in Evernote on my phone. Otherwise I’d be messing around with USB drives.

More rearranging…

I can’t access my blog post drafts online, so I need shift those tasks to tomorrow. Unfortunately the “do tomorrow” list is growing rapidly. Luckily the posts which I needed to go out this week are already scheduled, so they’ll go out automatically.

With a timer session left before I need to leave this morning, I read over the short story. I schedule an edit for it next week, and get started on another one. I want to create an ebook of 25 Christmas short stories; mainly to experiment with emotion. Hey — Charles Dickens did very well with A Christmas Carol. :-)

Online again with the WiFi hotspot

Mid-afternoon, and I’m back online with a new SIM card in my Wifi hotspot. It’s a slower connection, but at least I can send out the emails with attachments from this morning. Synchronicity: I’d just set up the hotspot when I got a call from the Telstra technician to say they’d be out tomorrow afternoon.

The rest of my writing day was spent:

  • Responding to email;
  • Checking blogs, and writing draft posts;
  • Working on our new program, Leap into Copywriting.

I do a quick daily review, plus a word count, and the day is done. At least I have an Internet connection again. :-)

, and on Twitter: @angee.

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

Writing Journal 20: Planning Everything

Writing Journal 20: Planning Everything

My writing journal for Monday, September 1, 2014. You can find all the writing journal entries here.

An early start, with fiction and nonfiction. Managed 2,000 words on the novella (it’s steaming right along), and 1,500 on the nonfiction book.

Honey’s breakfast, and email. Then my breakfast, while I read over a couple of short stories from students, and make notes, for the students, and for Julia.

Next: planning.

Getting Things Done — you need a system

It’s the first day of the month, so I need to spend time planning. As I’ve mentioned, I use a modified form of the Getting Things Done system.

In GTD terms, Evernote is my Inbox. Everything gets dumped into Evernote. I sort it out at the end of the day, when I do my daily review and word counts.

Projects and tasks get dumped into OmniFocus and Things. Why two task managers? Honestly, I have no idea. I like OmniFocus because of the Forecast views, which Things doesn’t have. I use Things as an extension of Evernote, even though I use Reminders in notebooks in Evernote too.

And I use lots of paper… I have a large Behance Action book which I use with Circa paper, several other paper notebooks both small and large, AND I use index cards.

I think on paper; I remember something when I write it by hand. If I type it, I tend to forget. I tend to doodle a lot, too, when I’m working things out. So paper wins. :-)

Every page of paper gets snapped with Evernote’s camera. Most of these images — cluster diagrams, notes on a scene, ideas which crop up when I’m working on something else — are deleted in my weekly reviews. However, some I keep.

For example, I had a “warning” dream last week, and I’ll keep the notes I made on that. I have these kinds of dreams occasionally. The first time I had one was around a year BEFORE my life went to total cr*p. In the dream, I was in a car, driving down a very steep, narrow and curving road. I knew the road well. Then the brakes failed. This dream recurred for months. Did I pay attention to what was happening in my life? No, but I have ever since.

Whenever I get one of these kinds of dreams these days, I start to pay close attention to what’s happening.

Apropos of dreams: if you don’t keep a dream journal for your writing, start to keep one. Your journal can be a huge source of inspiration.

Monthly and weekly goals — create them

The first day of the month’s an excellent time to plan. You’ve got a whole month ahead of you — four weeks. What can you accomplish in those weeks? What would you like your life to be like a month from now?

I start my monthly planning session by creating some goals for the month. I write some notes about upcoming projects and tasks. Then I look back over the past month, and try to see what I could do better as well as what I’ve accomplished. We can always do better. :-)

Next, I work out what I need to do this week, as far as client deadlines, and my own deadlines, are concerned.

With my planning done, I move on to current projects.

Two video scripts this week

I’ve got a couple of scripts to do so I create some cluster diagrams, and do some research, while keeping the clients’ calls to action in mind.

Writing tip: whenever you’re writing copy, keep your client’s goals in mind.

Lunchtime — I need to run some errands, and stop in at the library to return some books.

I spend a couple of hours at the library, because I always seem to get more done there. I do more work on the scripts.

Then I write 500 words of a Christmas short story. My goal is to create an ebook of 25 Christmas stories,  more or less as writing exercises. I love Amazon. What’s not to like about putting your writing exercises online and selling them? ;-)

Back to the office to more student and client email. I make some notes so so that Julia can send out responses.

Next, the client blogging I didn’t get to yesterday. I create several more draft posts. I finish two more, and schedule them for publishing. I shoot off more messages to remind clients to send me images.

Done for the day. Time for the daily review, and word count.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

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

Writing Journal 19: Edits and Sunday Blogging

Writing Journal 19:  Edits and Sunday Blogging

My writing journal for Sunday, August 31, 2014. You can find all the writing journal entries here.

Fiction focus today

I received novella #3 back from the editor last night, so I’ve decided to focus on fiction this morning. I’m on-track for the nonfiction book, so that’s fine.

I slept in this morning (horrors), so I need to get caught up. It won’t be a full working day because it’s Sunday, which means I have commitments.

I managed to get a couple of timer sessions (35 minutes each) of novella #4 done, with 2,300 words. However, I’ll need to do a read-through because the characters aren’t reacting the way I expected they would. In a way, that’s fine, because the characters are starting to drive the book; in another way, it’s a disaster. Over the years, I’ve found that characters can drive a book right off a cliff. I may need to back up a couple of scenes.

Time for Honey’s breakfast.

Then my own breakfast, while reading email. I’m still hugely impressed with Mailbox. It’s a delight to use on a phone. It’s intelligent too. It picks up what you want to do with a message from how you’ve handled similar messages in the past. It offers to handle future messages for you in the same way.

Lots of student emails today. I’m a little behind on student feedback. I made some notes on student projects I read on my iPad last night. I’ve just got to call up Notability on my Mac this morning, and copy the notes to email, and send them off.

Edits of novella #3

I’ve looked the material over, and there isn’t much to do. However “much” is relative. It’s a long novella. I could have made it shorter, if I’d taken the characters in hand. :-) Not to worry, it will get done today, then it gets shipped off to the client.

I’ve got a lot of client blogging to do today. However, I’ll leave that for this afternoon. I’ll focus on the edits for now.

Whew — the edits are done. Time to leave it for now; before I’m late…

Back again: final read of novella #3

I’m back. I do a quick read of novella #3, and it’s time to focus on creating draft posts for my own and clients’ blogs.

Finally done. Sadly, not as many draft posts as I’d hoped to do. Enough for now. Time for the daily review, and word count. And that’s it for today. :-)

, and on Twitter: @angee.

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

Writing Journal 18: Scrivener and Blogging

Writing Journal 18:  Scrivener and Blogging

My writing journal for Saturday, August 30, 2014. You can find all the writing journal entries here.

Firstly, thank you for the kind words, if you sent me a message, or called to say that you enjoy the journal entries, and that they inspire you when you see what writing for a living involves. That’s what I hoped the journal entries would do… :-)

Busy: fiction and nonfiction

After yesterday, I was determined to get a flying start on fiction and nonfiction, so I kept going until I had 2,000 words of each.

The novella’s progressing well. However, I needed to introduce one of the characters earlier. It’s a romance, so the sooner you get the romance moving along the better. Ideally that happens on the first page, or at least the first five pages.

I’d written some cute material. but it had to go. Now both main characters appear in the first scene. It’s still cute. :-) When you start a novel, or short story, there’s a lot to set up. Don’t try to get it “right”. Just get something written. You can fix it later.

So I wrote the first scene, then went back to writing the next scene I’d outlined. Usually, I’d wait to fill in scenes until I finished the first draft. Whatever works. :-)

Speaking of drafts.

Second drafts in Scrivener

Nicole Crail asked about “version control” of drafts in the Scrivener Community on Google+.

You don’t need to use versions when you use Scrivener.

Here’s what I said…

I use Snapshots, icon changes, labels and annotations for revisions, rather than saving versions, as such. Pretty much as Gwen Hernandez suggests in her excellent article.

I also use a lot of Collections, to work out character and plot arcs. I use Collections to remove characters too – if I create a search collection for a character’s name, and see that he appears in just a couple of scenes, that’s a clue that he probably isn’t all that important.

Scrivener’s tools are brilliant. And you can use Compile as often as you like. Before the first edit, I compile the material to MOBI, for a read-through, away from my desk. I suppose that’s a version, but I delete it immediately I’ve read it.

I do a lot of ghostwriting, so I often compile chapters to PDF, for clients for feedback.

When Scrivener was in beta, I’d save the entire file under another name, but I haven’t done that in years. Scrivener saves my backups to Dropbox automatically. The backups are there, all zipped and ready, in case disaster happens to the file. I’ve never had it happen, but it could. I look on the backups as versions, too.

Email – student feedback, and projects

Time for email, and Honey’s breakfast, then my own.

As always, there’s a mile of email. Lots of feedback for students. I can’t get to the longer material until this evening, so I use Send to Kindle.

I mentioned Notability yesterday. Now that it’s on Mac too, it makes it easier to grab my notes add them to email. I can make notes on Notability on my iPad, and they appear on my desktop, ready to use. Perfect.

Client blogging — draft posts

My eyes are on the clock, because I need to run errands this afternoon. (Sigh.) So I dive into clients’ blogs, to create a couple more draft posts. I manage to complete three drafts, and schedule them for next week. They’ll go out automatically.

I’ve got a boilerplate “SEND ME MORE STUFF TO BLOG!!” message which I send to three blogging clients. Of course, the boilerplate message is phrased more delicately than that, but it reminds them to send me what they have.

Errands…

Out to lunch, and to run errands.

Back too late to do anything except answer some email. A respectable word count 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 7: Fiction, Blogging and Coaching

Writing Journal 7: Fiction, Blogging and Coaching

My writing journal for Monday, August 18, 2014. All the entries are here.

Today promises to be a busy day. Lots to write, and a couple of phone coaching sessions at the end of the day.

Fiction and nonfiction: ending one project, and starting another

Up at 5AM, as usual. Wrote 1200 words of the novella this morning. Just another couple of scenes to write. I went over the first couple of chapters this morning, and had to stop myself reading. I’ll create a MOBI file of the novel tomorrow, so that I can read it when I’m away from my work computer.

Then I drew the first cluster diagram for the next novella in this series – there’s a theme for the series, and I want my subconscious mind to start thinking about this new book as I wrap up the current one..

Whenever I reach the mid point of a project, I’m eager to get the project done. With only two novellas to complete, I’m well past the midpoint on this project. The next two stories will be shorter. At least, that’s what I’m hoping.

After a quick email message to my fiction client, I start on the new nonfiction book for the series I’ve ghostwritten for a client.

This client hasn’t commissioned me to write any more books in the series, however I know that he wants me to write several more.

So last night, while thinking about the rest of this year, and 2015, I decided that this will be the last book I ghostwrite for him. If he offers me a commission for the next book, I’ll set him up with someone else to  complete the series.

I’m committed to making 2014 the final year I take on so many ghostwriting projects.

Last year, I had every intention of cutting back on my ghostwriting commissions. However, long writing experience has trained me to grab great projects when I can. So I kept grabbing, which is fine. However, it means that I’m doing much too much “work done for hire”. The fees for the ghostwritten materials are excellent. When I see authors like Russell Blake building wonderful careers, I know that I should be focusing on my own fiction and nonfiction.

I’m resisting working on my own materials, and it’s frustrating.

When you meet resistance, ask yourself why

Resistance is always interesting for writers. I think I know what’s behind mine — fear, as always. When you accept commissions, you’re not risking anything. Enough musing on my psyche. Onward with the nonfiction project.

I write a short description of the project, and create chapter documents in Scrivener. Then I write an introduction of 600 words.

This is odd. Usually I complete a book, then write the introduction. Not to worry, I’ll go with it. Now I’ve started it, I want to get it done. I create a cluster diagram for the first chapter, and write some research questions.

Breakfast for Honey, and then for me. No walking today. It’s raining and windy. Yoga later.

Email and blogging

Julia’s arrived, so we have a coffee while going over this week’s projects. Then I work on blogging.

Next, a dip into social media, and more blogging, for the freelance writing blog.

And it’s lunch time. No time to go out to lunch, so Julia and I chat and read social media. It’s still raining.

I’ve got some administrative chores to get through, so I turn on Spotify and resist the temptation to poke myself in the eye with a sharp pencil. I resist doing essential housekeeping chores as long as I can. Very immature behavior. :-) I tell myself to stop complaining, turn on the timer, and stick it out for two sessions.

Two sessions done, and I stick with it for another session — that’s almost two hours. Once I get started, it’s easy to keep going. I know this, but procrastinate anyway.

Time to return phone calls.

Then ten minutes of yoga.

Authentic writing — project revision

I spend two timer sessions on this. I’ve removed a couple of the exercises, and added another couple.

Late afternoon, and I have two phone coaching sessions for which to prepare. I need to study a student questionnaire from a new personal coaching student, and prepare my ideas for another student’s book marketing project.

The phone coaching sessions go well. The students are enthusiastic, and so am I.

It’s late, so I do a quick review of the day. It’s been a busy and productive day – I broke the back of the administrative chores. My word count totals aren’t as high as I’d hoped, but tomorrow is another day. :-)

, and on Twitter: @angee.

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

Writing Journal 5: Writing and Planning

Writing Journal 5: Writing and Planning

My writing journal for Saturday, August 16, 2014. All the entries are here.

Fiction first, as always.

Up at 5AM to work on the novella. Only a couple of major scenes left. I do several cluster diagrams, thinking about the emotion in these scenes.

I make some revision notes about a couple of scenes I want to remove. Then I change my mind; the scenes stay. Maybe. I need to read the novella as I whole, before I decide, and look at the characters’ arcs.

Only managed 1,000 new words on it this morning, but I’m pleased with them. Getting the emotion right was essential, because the entire story leads up to these scenes.

A short break to catch up on email, then I complete a blog post I drafted yesterday for Fab Freelance Writing Blog. I add some material to draft posts on clients’ blogs too.

A quick browse through ReadKit, and Twitter. I tend to snatch a few minutes here and there for social media. It can be a time sink, but I always know how much I have on my schedule, so I don’t let it pull me in. I add the material I want to read to Pocket.

I enjoyed this article on empathy maps on CopyBlogger. I use cluster diagrams to get at the emotion in fiction and copywriting, but this gives me — and you — another tool.

The time’s flown past. Time for Honey’s breakfast, and my own. Then off for a walk.

Back again. I visit Trello, to leave messages for coaching students  and to check up on client projects due to start next week.

Then I spend a timer session planning.

How much planning do you do? Planning’s essential of course, and I try to plan at least three months ahead for short projects. For long projects, I plan a year ahead.  Evernote’s an excellent tool for planning, because you can create project notebooks, and link notes together.

Lunch, and shopping.

Lunch, then we do some shopping. Ugh. I prefer to confine my shopping to bookshops, but needs must.

OK. Back again. It’s late. I won’t get anything more done today. Do my daily review, and tot up the disappointing word counts. Remind myself it’s the weekend. The trouble is, I enjoy writing more than I enjoy other things, so it’s not like work to me. Tomorrow is another day. :-)

, and on Twitter: @angee.

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