Tag Archives: writing

Fear of Writing: 3 Tips to Help

Fear of Writing: 3 Tips to Help

Do you have a fear of writing? If you do, you avoid writing tasks. You procrastinate.

In professional writers, “fear” often feels like resistance. This resistance may be a good thing, as I shared on Google+:

Usually, when I wake up in the morning, I make a cup of coffee and start writing fiction immediately. It’s easiest for me to write fiction first, before I start writing “real” stuff – nonfiction. I was a little spooked this morning when I opened my email instead.

Why was I resisting? Why, oh why wasn’t I writing?

But I went with it. When I finally opened my fiction WIP, the story took off in an entirely new direction. I’m thrilled. I didn’t work on any fiction at all yesterday; I had a couple of client deadlines. It seems my subconscious mind was gestating a new (and better) direction for this story during the downtime on it. I’m pleased.

Is resistance fear of writing? In the above instance, it wasn’t. I wanted to write, but felt that I wasn’t ready. I knew I’d work on the fiction project at some point during the day.

What about a real fear of writing? Can you write anyway? Yes you can. Try these three tips.

1. Switch Your Brain: Be Happy.

This exercise sounds weird, but it may work for you – quirk your lips to the right, to trigger your left brain:

If you pull the left lip back repeatedly, it can trigger the right brain. You may feel sad. Pulling back the right lip can trigger the left brain, and a feeling of happiness.

Go on, try it. It works for me, and it may work for you. You should feel a sudden little jolt of happiness which will make your writing task seem a lot less intimidating, and more fun.

Read the LEFT BRAIN RIGHT BRAIN article which explains the exercise; it’s interesting. A lot of brain lateralization theory has been debunked, but it’s still a useful way to think about creativity and your brain.

2. Start Writing – Write Stream-of-Consciousness Material for Ten Minutes.

I’ve been using this little trick for a couple of decades, and I teach it to my writing students. It puts you into “creative” mode; writing triggers more writing.

Here’s all you do. Get a timer, and set it for ten minutes. Now start writing, and keep writing. Write anything you like, whatever words pop into your head. There’s only one rule: KEEP WRITING, no matter what, until the timer goes off.

You can type, or write by hand, it’s up to you.

Writing for ten minutes changes your mood. I discovered this when I started a daily walking regime. For the first ten minutes of the walk, I hated it. At around the eleventh minute, I started to enjoy it.

You can apply this “ten minute” rule to lots of things. Just keep doing the task for ten minutes, and you’ll start to enjoy it.

3. “I’m scared of writing because…”

This exercise works if you have a deep-seated aversion to writing. You may need to repeat it several times. If you do, it will remove your fear of writing completely. One of my students practiced this exercise several times a week for a couple of months. He has no problems with fear of writing now.

As with the stream-of-consciousness exercise, set a timer for ten minutes.

Write “I’m scared of writing because…” and keep writing for ten minutes. Try to write in whole sentences if you can. If you can’t, don’t worry about it. Again, write whatever comes. Don’t worry about spelling or grammar, or censoring yourself.

If you wish, you can try this exercise using your non-dominant hand (that is, if you’re right-handed, write with your left hand.)

As we’ve said: if you keep repeating this exercise, eventually you’ll stop being afraid of writing. I’ve no idea why it works, it just does.

So there you have it; three tips to help you to overcome your fear of writing, and make writing fun. :-)

Got a writing challenge? I’ve been helping writers for 20 years. Get in touch.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Write Kindle Romances: Special Offering

Kindle romances

Kindle romances are hot. Want to try your hand at them?

As I said here:

To sell ebooks, write what’s selling

Romance sells. Readers gobble it up in many different flavors: straight romance (contemporary or historical), erotica, paranormal romance (which includes sub-genres like vampire romance), young adult, and the HOT new flavor, new adult (just out of college)…

Romance is the hottest selling genre in fiction. You can make an unbelievable amount of money if you’re hard-working, and lucky enough to hit a nerve with readers.

We’re having lots of fun with our Hot, Hotter, Hottest: Write Bestselling Kindle Romances writing class. We ran an offering for the class when it was launched, but people missed it. So, in response to many requests, here’s the offering again.

Join us, we’d love to have you. Details here.

Write novels, novellas or short stories, your choice.

We cover writing at any length in class, so you don’t have to write full novels. It’s a great idea to start with short stories if you’re new to writing fiction. If you’re already writing at novel length, consider writing some short stories, they help with promotion.

Speaking of promotion, I know that many authors freak out about it. As I said in Writing Romance Fiction For Fast Promotions and Sales:

There are endless ways to promote your ebooks. The simplest way: don’t bother. Create a mailing list on aweber or similar, and include a little note in the back matter of your ebooks, telling readers how to subscribe, and leave it at that.

See you in class. :-)

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Writing Workflows: Write and Repurpose With Markdown

Writing Workflows: Write and Repurpose With Markdown

We’re all writing more these days: business documents, social media updates, and endless emails and messages. I’m constantly refining my writing workflows, and I’m sure you are too.

Markdown is at the heart of my workflows. I started using plain text with Markdown syntax as my preferred writing environment several years ago, purely to save time.

Here’s why. You can transform a Markdown document into HTML, RTF, or PDF and even EPUB in just a second or two. It doesn’t matter what I use to create a document; I can open it in Marked, and export it to other formats more or less instantly.

Markdown documents are just text, so you can write in Markdown on your phone or tablet – any text editor can create Markdown documents. I wrote a couple of blog posts on my phone at the hairdresser’s yesterday, for example. This morning I copied them to MultiMarkdown Composer, my current favorite Markdown editor to save as files. Then I copied the files as HTML with a couple of keystrokes, and posted them to a blog.

Write App: Elegant Simplicity and Perfect for Social Media

Since I write in Markdown, I’m always checking out text editors which offer Markdown options; I end up buying far too many of them. My excuse? Time. If an app helps me to save an hour or two a month, it’s well worth the money.

When I spotted that Write was out of beta, I had to get it. I’d heard many good things about it. TNW’s Nick Summers called it “gorgeous”, and he’s right.

Write’s perfect for writing snippets – short social media updates, and then repurposing them. For example, you might tweet something, then expand the tweet into a Google+ post, and expand it further into a blog post, or develop it into a presentation.

Alternatively, you can head in the other direction: create tweets and other social media posts from Markdown documents.

write app

As you can see from the above image, Write’s window is divided into three sections. Your library on the left (folders on your computer, Dropbox, iCloud, Google Drive etc.) The center area offers a search query box, and a file list. Then there’s the editor, which you can pop out into a free-floating window, either full-screen, or not.

However, Write really shines when it comes to sharing, as you can see in the image below.

sharing with write app

Write offers the usual Markdown sharing as HTML, PDF et al as primary options. I love the instant sharing to Twitter and Facebook. Just select a snippet, and if you’ve set up your computer to send social media updates, you can post an update at a click.

Write’s the Perfect Editor if You Use Markdown – or Even if You Don’t.

Use Write for:

* Quick social media updates;

* Emails, and documents you want to attach to emails;

* Web content;

* Basic business documents;

* … anything you choose, really.

I couldn’t see myself drafting long documents in Write, I prefer Scrivener. But for short documents, it’s perfect: you can focus on your writing, and can share it in many formats. My writing workflows have benefited from Write; yours may too.

Discover the Copywriting Course That Builds Your Copywriting Business in Seven Days

The Copywriting Course That Builds Your Copywriting Business in Seven Days

Seven Days To Easy Money: Copywriting Success helps you to build your own copywriting business in just seven days. It’s a complete program, with everything you need. Each day you have objectives and tasks. Just complete the tasks, to build your business.

Coaching is included, and no additional materials or purchases are required. Join us, you’ll have fun, as you build your business. :-)

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Online Writing Classes: Romance Writing Class Kicks Off

Online Writing Classes: Romance Writing Class Kicks Off

Online writing classes are fun. I started my writing career as romance novelist, way back in the dark ages, so our latest class helps you to write and self-publish Kindle romances.

If you knew me, you’d laugh at that notion of me as a romance writer.  I’m not a stereotypical romance novelist in the “hearts and flowers” sense. I comfort myself that Melvin Udall wasn’t stereotypical either. Few romance writers are as you’d imagine them to be.

Over the past couple of years, student authors have been asking me to create a romance writing class, so I have. I’m enjoying it hugely. The class is called Hot, Hotter, Hottest; a nod and a wink to what we’ll be covering; romance at various degrees of heat, from mild to smoking – sweet romance, to erotica.

Hot, Hotter, Hottest: Write Bestselling Kindle Romances

My personal coaching students in romance mostly write erotica. The huge success of Fifty Shades of Grey inspired them; I have no preference. I write whatever I’m inspired to write. Sometimes that’s sweet romance, and sometimes it’s steamy.

Writing Romance, Over Four Weeks and Six Months

Hot, Hotter, Hottest: Write Bestselling Kindle Romances is a four-week class. After the four weeks, students receive six months of Kindle Romance Writer Weekly, which continues the class, in a sense. We’ll all be writing together, which will help students to get beta readers, and to get honest reviews for their ebooks.

I’ll be writing with you. You’ll see my process, and since I do hours of research each week, I’ll be saving you time in doing your own research. It’s all experiential – you receive exercises with each lesson, and you send those to me. Your exercises build into a romance, which you’ll publish on Amazon.

Join us, if you’d like to write, and self-publish…. :-)

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Not in the Mood: 3 Blogging Tips To Get Over Bloggers’ Procrastination

Not in the Mood: 3 Blogging Tips Get Over Bloggers’ Procrastination

Not in the mood to write a blog post? Although I love blogging, half the time I’d rather be reading – or doing something else undemanding. If you allow it, procrastination can kill your blog. For hobbyist bloggers, that’s okay. It’s not okay if your job or your livelihood depends on writing more content.

Check out these three blogging tips for those times you’re just not in the mood.

1. Get Inspired by Google Suggest – Tip Toe Through the Alphabet.

Google’s the savior of recalcitrant bloggers. Hie yourself off to Google, and enter a topic – any topic. Add the letter “a.”

google suggest

As you can see in the image above, I entered “blogging”, plus “a.” I haven’t anything to say on blogging away debt, but I could create a post on any of the other three ideas, even if I wasn’t in a blogging mood.

2. Write a List of Words. Use Them in Your Blog Post.

Challenge yourself. Write a list of words – any words. Author Ray Bradbury used nouns:

These lists were the provocations, finally, that caused my better stuff to surface. I was feeling my way toward something honest, hidden under the trapdoor on the top of my skull.

You can use any words you like. Example: summer, drizzle, sly, sky blue, river, petunia… Now write a blog post, and include those words. Or not, your choice.

Writing a list of words primes the pump. You’ve given the logical side of your brain something to think about. Before you know it, the creative side of your brain gets in on the act, and you’ve written a blog post.

This exercise works well if you need to create your editorial calendar for the month.

3. Temper, Temper – Think About Something That Annoys You.

Got a temper? Me too. I’ve calmed down over the years, but I can create a list of annoyances which get me into a temper without any effort.

Think of something which annoys you. No, don’t blog about that. Use the energy and make a word list. Anger is just energy, and you can direct it anywhere you like. Direct that anger into creating a blog post. Tip: keep your post positive.

So there you have it. Next time you’re not in the mood, try one of these blogging tips. They’re fun.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, too.

photo credit: TheAlieness GiselaGiardino²³ via photopin cc

Editing Your Writing: Say It Better

Editing Your Writing: Say It Better

Want to improve your writing? Edit it. “Editing” means different things to different people, from tinkering with word choices, to a complete rewrite. Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been editing the first draft of a novel; in this case, my “edit” is a complete rewrite.

Never hesitate to rewrite completely. You’ll say it better the second or third time around – don’t bother checking the original. As Jason Fried says about editing in Writing Decisions: Saving space without losing meaning:

The first thing I do when I want to cut out some words is not read the original version. I just write a new one. I don’t want to be influenced by what I thought I had to say before. I want to think about what I want to say now. After I’ve written a new one I go back to the old one to see if there was anything critical I missed.

You’ll Say It Better in Later Versions

Later versions will always be better than your first attempt, whether you’re editing an advertisement, or a book. You know what you want to say, so your writing will be clearer.

Not sure about a complete rewrite? Try it. If you’re writing a book, rewrite a scene, or part of a chapter, and see how you feel. You may well realize that rewrite gives you freedom and options you didn’t have it the first draft, and won’t have if you try to reword the original.

My students tend to be outraged when I suggest that they rewrite completely, expecting it to be hard work. They’re surprised when a complete rewrite is easier than a laborious edit.

, and on Twitter: @angee

How To Write A Book Without Going Out Of Your Mind (slide deck)

Want to write a book? I’ve written many books, both traditionally and self-published. Her tips will help you to become a confident author. Write every day: same time, same place. Separate writing your book from editing it. Before you know it, your book will be done.

You can see the notes and the transcript for the deck at this link.

, and on Twitter: @angee