Tag Archives: writing

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.

Writing Journal 71: Reading On The Go

Writing Journal 71: Reading On The Go

My writing journal for Wednesday, October 22, 2014. You can find all the writing journal entries here.

More meetings today; with luck, they’ll be the final ones for this week. Everyone’s just realized that the holiday sales season is upon us. No complaints… I love being busy, so this is an exciting time of the year for me, and for you too, I hope. Things won’t settle down on the marketing front until after Valentine’s Day.

As usual, my writing day starts with work on the mystery novel. I didn’t get much written this morning; just 600 words. I was planning out several scenes. It’s still going well. :-)

Then, the two nonfiction books. I’m focusing on the print book at the moment. I create some notes for the graphic designer, so that he can develop a couple of charts. Words: 1,800.

Honey’s lazy this morning, but gobbles her breakfast, and then settles down on her bed. I eat my breakfast while checking over the morning’s email messages, and respond to several. Email’s building up a backlog again. I schedule “email time” in my bullet journal, and prepare for the two meetings.

A couple of writers asked about how to get more reading done. I suggested reading on the go; it’s how I manage it. There are always minutes during the day that you could be spending reading. If you prepare for those minutes, you can read much more, without affecting your family time, or your schedule.

Reading on go: keep up with yourself, and everyone else

I wrote about social media writing on my freelance blog.

Mostly, I read on my iPad. I use Flipboard, and if I find something I want to post to social media, I can do it right away. Alternatively, I can save an item to Pocket, and read it and share it later.

If I’m having lunch at my computer (yep, bad habit), I read social media on my iPad. It’s relaxing. Later, in Pocket on my Mac, I can tag items, send them to any social media network I choose, or I can send articles to Evernote. Of course, I can just delete an article too.

To read my own and clients’ material for editing, I use Send to Kindle. I just downloaded a PDF from a marketing company on repurposing content, for example. At a glance, I can see that the PDF contains some great ideas. I drag it into the Send to Kindle icon on my Dock. (I’m a Mac user.) I can read the PDF on my phone, or on my tablet.

Send to Kindle is excellent, obviously, for long material. My first step in editing a book is always to read it in the Kindle app. I can read on my phone anywhere — while waiting for a meetings to start, while in the queue at the bank… Try it. You’ll find that reading in the Kindle app gives you a fresh perspective on material.

Back again…

After two days of running around, I’m way behind on everything, even though I scheduled as well as I could. I spend an hour typing up notes from the meetings, and scheduling new projects and tasks. Most are short, thank heavens.

With that done, it’s time to deal with email again, and then, phone calls.

The day isn’t over yet; I’ve got a rush copywriting job to do for a client tonight. I do my daily review, and I’m ready to relax for a few hours.

The Easy-Write Process has been updated for 2015

The Easy-Write Process has long been our most popular writing program. If you’re struggling with your writing, it will help you to discover how to write easily and well. Check it out now.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

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

Writing Journal 67: (Mac People) Hello, Yosemite

Writing Journal 67: (Mac People) Hello, Yosemite

My writing journal for Saturday 18, 2014. You can find all the writing journal entries here.

It’s Saturday, so that means I need to RUSH because it’s a short writing day, and I have coaching calls this afternoon and evening.

To save time, I shortened the writing time for the mystery novel, but managed 1,800 words. I skipped working on the nonfiction books completely, so I could focus on my email backlog.

Then, time for breakfast for Honey. I ate while dealing with today’s email.

Client reports, and dealing with edited material

I didn’t do any client reports for the week yesterday, which meant I had to do them today. I also received a couple of books from editors, which I need to assess for final changes. I’ll do that tonight.

Now it’s time for my errands. I need to be back early for my coaching calls.

A couple of writing students asked me about the new Mac OS, Yosemite. They’re new Mac people, and weren’t sure what to do, if anything at all.

A few tips, if you’re new to Macs.

If you’re a Mac person, Yosemite is here

Yosemite, the new Mac OS X is here. When it was announced yesterday, I promised myself that I’d wait a month before updating. Updating is always risky; if your most-used programs haven’t been upgraded to work with the new OS, you’re stuck.

“Yosemite announced, wait a month before upgrading” — that’s what I wrote in my bullet journal. Then I looked at the features, and noticed Handoff. I could start creating a presentation, and could finish it on my iPad.

And Safari got updated. Not to mention, security features… Sigh. No sooner had I finished my working day, than I decided, oh what the heck, and hit the Install button in the App Store.

I made sure I was ready first, so if you’re installing Yosemite, do this:

  • Make sure that your “MUST HAVE” apps have been updated to work with Yosemite. Visit the App Store, and update your apps;
  • BACK UP… Have a new backup. I use Time Machine, and also back up important files to both Evernote and Dropbox, so I was OK;
  • Make sure that your computer can run Yosemite.

Once you’ve done all that, you’re good to go. Yosemite’s a 5 GB download, so the time to download depends on your connection. Once it’s downloaded, the install took around half an hour for me.

Once Yosemite’s installed, your Mac will run like crap for a while, as it optimizes things in the background. Expect this — don’t panic.

Next, visit the App Store again. You’ll see more downloads, now that Yosemite is installed. Install the apps. Yesterday, the Yosemite download was fast; the updated apps took forever to download. It depends on how many others are doing what you’re doing.

After all that, run your backup program again, now that you have a bright and shiny new operating system.

Back again: coaching calls

I’m back, and need to prepare for today’s coaching calls. I read through clients’ materials, and make some notes. Then it’s time for the calls…

With the calls done, most of my day is done. I do my daily review. I’ve still got the edits to read through tonight, but that’s OK.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

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