Tag Archives: writing

For Writers: Closeouts On Bestselling Programs

For Writers: Closeouts On Bestselling Programs

Over the next few weeks, we’ll have some great deals for writers, as I mentioned on the freelance writing blog:

Family problems have meant that my writing time is limited — and I suddenly realized HOW MUCH I was doing. With my time so limited, I need to cut down on my projects, so I can meet my writing goals for 2015.

Going forward, I’ll be concentrating on personal coaching, and on publishing. This means that many of our bestselling programs are closing. This is good news for you, if you’re looking to build your skills, and increase your income.

I’ve set up a page for closeout deals, so keep an eye on that.

Our first closeout deal is for The Professional Writers’ Pitch Book.

A reader asked whether I was still blogging… of course I am. After 16 years, it’s even more fun than it was when I started out. :-)

, on Twitter: @angee, and find Angela on Pinterest, too.

How to profit from your writing: online store.

Writer’s Block: 5 Ways to Write Anyway

Writer's Block: 5 Ways to Write Anyway

A student asked about writer’s block. I’m tempted to say that there’s no such thing, but writers do burn out. If that happens, you’ll eventually get back on track, much wiser for the experience.

Let’s assume that your block isn’t burnout. You’ve simply lost your writer’s mojo. Here are five ways to get it back.

1. Get Input: Learn Something, or Do Something

You write, write, write… and then you stop. You have nothing to say. This happens to bloggers. It’s easy to feel that you’ve said all you have to say on a subject. You just don’t want to think about the topic again.

You need input. Learn something new. It doesn’t matter much what that something is. Anything you’re learning will kick your brain cells awake.

If you’re writing fiction, at some stage (for me it’s page 100), you’ll hit the wall. You decide your plot is ridiculous, your characters are worthless cardboard and you’d rather be dead. Break out the champagne, and have a few celebratory sips. When you hit the wall, salvation is on the other side of it. Take three days off. Refuse to think about your fiction.

Take yourself off somewhere on a short break. You’ll come back revitalized. Your subconscious works hard. It will deliver a solution, and your block will be just a memory.

2. Describe Your Pen

You don’t want to write, so you don’t. Grab a pen, or a pencil, and study it. Then describe it, in as much detail as you can. What material is it made of? Color? When did you buy it? Keep writing.

I’ve no idea why this simple description process breaks through blocks, but it does. It’s probably because after a few minutes of battering your brain about a stupid pen, any other topic sounds good to you.

3. Write a Letter (You Don’t Need to Send It)

Occasionally you’re blocked because of what you’re not saying. If you’re annoyed at someone or something, write a letter. Release your anger, or fear, or whatever it is. The letter’s just for you. Delete the computer file, or rip up the paper when you’re done.

4. Start Something New

You have things you need to write: sales material, your blog, emails… All these “musts” can dry up your creativity. Start something new. It doesn’t matter what it is.

5. Rewrite Something Old

If you’re stuck on a project, and can’t face it, here’s how to get going on it again. Rewrite it — that is, retype it.

I started writing back in the days of typewriters. I’m a horrible typist, so my typescripts always looked ridiculous, with smudges of Tipp-Ex all over the paper. I needed to retype pages often. Here’s the thing. Once you start retyping, your brain gets into the act. You’ll find yourself rewriting, and getting interested in the material. Then, just like magic, you’re writing again, and your block is gone.

Try these methods of breaking through your writer’s block. One will work for you, and you’ll be happily writing again.

If writing is challenging…

The Easy-Write Process will help. Write anytime, about anything. You’ll become a confident writer.

, on Twitter: @angee, and find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Get coaching, and build your skills at Angela’s online store.

Improve Your Writing: The Free Content Library

Writing Genii Free Ebooks
New Writing Genii is finally relaunched, and with it, our Free Content Library. If you want to improve your writing, check it out. Currently, we have three free ebooks for you to download, with many more coming.

In the press release, I said:

Over time, Writing Genii’s Free Content Library will develop into a powerful resource for both new writers, and established writers. New writers will discover how to develop a professional career. Established writers can build skills in an area which is new to them.

Please tell me what you need

Everyone’s a writer today, so please tell me what you need. Of course we’ll have ebooks for professional writers, but there will be ebooks on creativity, developing your writing skills, productivity, and much more.

I’d love to hear what YOU want to know more about. Over the years, I’ve learned many tricks to help me to write, and enjoy writing. Believe me, I didn’t start out as a confident writer. Although I loved to read (and still do, of course) I HATED writing with a passion. it took years to get over my fear.

My perfectionism got into the way, which meant that I was the queen of procrastination. When I did sit down to write at my IBM Selectric, I wept. Seriously. I’ve no idea why I kept going with writing. Sheer masochism. So, if I got over my abject terror about writing — and endless procrastination, YOU can too. :-)

Here’s how I got over my fear of writing, in a nutshell: I focused on the words. Only on the words. A seminar with Larry Block at the Vista Hotel in New York in 1985 helped too: Larry encouraged meditation. Larry’s book of the seminar is available; check it out.

Who’s Writing Genii for?

Anyone who wants to write. Anyone who has to write. Anyone who wants to use writing to improve their business. Or write a book.

Business is all about communication. Essentially, I hope that Writing Genii will grow into a resource which will help you to communicate, even if you think you can’t write. Even if you think that, remember that I started out with tears rolling down my face. You’re not that bad, are you? ;-)

, on Twitter: @angee, and find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Get coaching, and build your skills at Angela’s online store.

Writing Journal 72: Easy Time Management Tips

Writing Journal 72: Easy Time Management Tips

My writing journal for Thursday, October 23, 2014. You can find all the writing journal entries here.

No meetings today, thank goodness. That means that I can focus on catching up with my schedule. Lots to do.

I started with the mystery novel, as usual. It’s still going well. Although I’ve always thought that the expression: “the book wrote itself” was ridiculous, this book seems so easy. Maybe I should write a few mysteries under my own name. If they they all turn out to be this this much fun, it would be amazing. Words: 2,200.

Onward with the two nonfiction books. I send off more material to the designer; this will be the final batch of graphics. Words: 2,600.

Honey’s in a happy mood today. She can’t wait for her breakfast. I feed her, then eat while reading email.

I add most of the messages to which I need to respond at length to the “Today” folder in my email. I tap out brief replies to others, following the “two minute rule”.

Read that article, it’s excellent: if it takes less than two minutes, do it NOW. I tend to stretch two minutes  to ten minutes occasionally. If something takes less time to do right now, and more time to enter into my schedule, and track, I do it immediately, if it’s practical to do it. Sometimes it isn’t, of course: you may be out and about, and all you can do is make a note of the task.

Writers always ask me how to get stuff done faster, and for processes to manage their writing time. Scroll down for some easy time management tips.

Next, it’s time for my walk. We’re heading into the warmer months, so I need to walk earlier. The temperature’s predicted to be 30 degrees today; that’s 86 in Fahrenheit.

Back again. I’ve got some copywriting projects to work on, for holiday sales. I like to create in batches. On one day I’ll plan, develop concepts and make notes for several projects. The next day, I’ll draft them. So I set my timer, and get to work.

Lunch at my computer, while reading social media. The challenge with social media is that it can get away from you. I’ve started to track everything I do, because if you don’t track, you have no idea about what’s useful, and what isn’t. I use a combination of Omnioutliner outlines, and spreadsheets to track.

Next, back to the copywriting projects. I work on them for another couple of timer sessions, then it’s on to blogging.

I’ve received a collection of images from a client. I open Photoshop to tidy them up, and get them ready for scheduling.

The afternoon’s flown by; it’s time to deal with email again, and catch up with phone calls. I do my daily review, and the day’s done.

Now, those time management tips.

Three easy time management tips for writers

We’ve all got the same 24 hours in our day. In the time you have for writing, you need to be as efficient as possible. Here are three easy tips.

1. Write it DOWN!

You’re a writer, so write everything down. At first blush, what seems like a silly aside can trigger powerful ideas for your novel, your Web writing project, or an exciting copywriting concept.

Writers think on paper. It has to be that way, because you can only keep a limited amount of information in your mind at any one time.

If you’re a slow writer, it’s because you’ve failed to acquire the habit of writing EVERYTHING down, and that’s unproductive in two ways:

  • You’re not keeping up with the speed of your thoughts;
  • You’re allowing your logical left brain to take over. Your left brain is not creative; it’s your inner editor, if you like. It complains too much, and hates your creative right brain — your left brain wants to be in control, and is power mad.

I know the left brain/ right brain theory has been debunked, but it’s a good way of thinking about complex brain functions.

The only way to calm your left brain is to write, even if you think you have nothing to say.

2. Use a timer: it forces you to concentrate

A timer sets a time limit. Even if you hate a project (and if you’re writing for others, you will hate some projects) you can stand anything for 25 minutes.

I usually work on somewhere between five and 12 projects concurrently. Without a timer, I’d choose the projects I love, and procrastinate on the rest. With a timer, I know that even if I’d rather be mowing the lawn, I’ve only got 25 minutes, and then it’s on to the next project.

Most importantly of all, a timer forces you to write. You’ll find that as soon as you set your timer, you start writing. Ideally, we wouldn’t need a crutch like a timer. I don’t always use a timer, but I often do, because it’s an efficient way to get stuff written.

3. Trust yourself. You know what you’re doing even when you think you don’t

It’s hard to learn to trust yourself.. Partly this is because your logical left brain wants to KNOW. Its primary aim is your survival, so it watches for threats constantly. If your intuition says “no”, your logical brain wants to argue about it. It doesn’t trust intuition, or creativity.

I know that trusting your creative self is difficult. No one achieves it completely — witness the fact that I’m kvetching about the mystery novel “writing itself”. All I can tell you is that if you trust your intuitions, you’ll be glad you did.

Trust is a huge time-saver. For example, over the years I’ve learned that if I get a “no” feeling about a client or a project, it’s in my interests to say no. Yes, I may miss out on some work. But if I persist anyway, because I want the money or the credit, or whatever, at some stage I’ll bitterly regret it.

Anytime I get a “no!” intuition from my subconscious, I pay attention. As we’ve said, it saves time. Always go with your gut.

Tip: a real intuition isn’t connected to any particular emotion. If you think “no!” and you’re scared, that’s just fear. Real intuition has been called the “still small voice”, because that’s what it is.

Try these three tips. You’ll get more writing done. :-)

, and on Twitter: @angee.

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