5 Pain-Free Tips to Write Your Book

5 Pain-Free Tips to Write Your Book

You’ve started to write your book. Relax. Writing is fun, if you just focus on the words. You do it day by day, and word by word. You’ll be amazed at how soon all those words turn into a book.

These tips will help.

1. Stop Thinking, Start Writing — and Keep Going

You have doubts. Do you have the time to write? What if... you think. Stop thinking! A book is just a book, a collection of words. It’s no big deal. In my ghostwriting life, I write books for clients, and the writing is pain-free, because I’ve learned to ignore my doubts. You can too.

Your doubts arise from your inner editor. He usually sounds like someone in your life who told you you couldn’t do something or other. He’s not only an idiot, most of his kvetches are recordings. They play over and over, until you give up the mad idea of writing a book.

Some writers picture the inner editor, then imagine locking him inside a box, or a bottle. Don’t worry, you can’t kill him, and once you’ve got a book, he comes in handy during editing.

2. Schedule Your Writing: It’s an Appointment

Here’s the solution if you have “no time.” Schedule the time, even if it’s only 20 minutes. If you write 250 words in 20 minutes, your book will be done in eight months. A timer’s useful too.

Try this. Write your book on your phone. Writers do it for various reasons, the primary one being that your phone is non-threatening. Try Drafts.

3. Write to Yourself: You’re Just Thinking on the Screen

“Writing a book”is scary. Don’t think about it. Instead, write to yourself. Just write down whatever you’re thinking — even if you’re whining: “I’ve got no time. I need to finish the presentation and rehearse it, and if we don’t get the contract I’ll get fired. This is a stupid idea…”

I’m serious. Write your whining — the exact words. Why? Because you’ll get sick of it. Whining isn’t pretty, and when it’s in your head, it tends to play on an endless loop of worries. One of the big benefits of journaling is that it gets all that junk out of your head: it’s healthy. So is writing what you’re thinking. You’ll delete it later of course, but writing it down externalizes it, and as we’ve said, you’ll get sick of it. Which means you can write your book.

I teach this trick in my book coaching practice; it works.

4. Map It: Create Lots of Circles

Early in your writing process, you’re exploring possibilities. Try grabbing a large sheet of paper, A2 size. I like Levenger Oasis pads. Brown paper’s fine, if that’a all you can find. Now grab some marker pens, and make a largish circle in the middle. Write “my book” in the circle. Make smaller circles and ovals all over the paper. Your creative self thinks in images; this is why you’re creating all the circles.

Write words in the circles and ovals — any words which occur to you. Write first thoughts, don’t think about it. Pin the paper onto a board or to a wall.

5. Outline It as Soon as You Can

Outlining a book too early has pitfalls, the big one being that you can choke off your creativity. Your paper-with-circles helps to avoid that.

With both fiction and nonfiction, I like to write a few thousand words just to get into the book. Then I create my “circles” diagram. Shortly after that I draft a preliminary outline.

You don’t have to outline, but it helps you to see where you’re headed at a glance. If an outline makes you uncomfortable, don’t bother with it. All that counts is that you keep writing.

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

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5 Easy Blogging Tips to Help You to Blog on a Schedule

5 Easy Blogging Tips to Help You to Blog on a Schedule

Want to write lots of blog posts easily? You can. You just need a few tricks so that blogging is less a chore, and more fun.

I blog a LOT. Not only on my own blogs, but also for clients; blogging is a huge part of my writing week. It’s impossible to know whether I find blogging easy because I love it, or because I’ve managed to come up with lots of tricks over the years.

Let’s look at five easy blogging tips which will help you to blog consistently, and achieve your goals.

1. Collect Images to Inspire Your Creativity.

As I said in this post on outlining fiction:

Why start with an image? Because it’s less restrictive. It opens your imagination; words tend to close it.

When you’re looking for blog post ideas – and even if you already have ideas – images open up your creativity. And of course, these days, to promote your blog posts, you need strong images. (I’m finding that more and more of the traffic to blogs comes from social media sites like Pinterest and Twitter.)

blogging tip: collect images

Collect images you’ll use over the next month or two. Ideally, you’ll create two images per blog post. One an attention-getting image, and another to summarize the points in your blog post. Two images give you additional options for promotion.

2. Make a List of Topics to Cover Each Month.

Why are you blogging? You have goals for your business, and blogging can help you to meet your goals. Therefore, create a list of topics which tie in to whatever else you happen to be doing in your business.

Think about your customers too. What’s happening in their lives? Grab a calendar with national holidays.

3. Get Out of the Office: Brainstorm Blog Post Titles When You’re Relaxed.

You’re more creative when you’re relaxed. Get out of the office so that you can brainstorm some blog titles.

Consider: your goals for your blogging that week, the topics you want to cover, and the images you have – or that someone can create for you.

4. Batch-Write: Draft Five to Ten Posts.

Here’s why it’s so hard to start a blog post: inertia. Once you’ve written some quick notes under your blog titles, you’ve broken your inertia. When you get back to a post, your writing will be faster. It will improve too.

Jot lists and bullet points to get started on a post. You can refine and tidy up later, adding material. If you’re blogging on WordPress, try out the Drafts Dropdown plugin. Although it hasn’t been updated in a while, it works fine with current versions of WordPress.

5. Don’t Publish Immediately. Schedule.

Here’s the big secret to consistent publishing: drafting posts, and scheduling them. Once you’ve got a few posts drafted, and ready to polish, tackle them in batches again of two or three posts. Then schedule them to go out on the dates and times you choose.

Once you get into the habit of doing this, you’ll be able to relax. You’re no longer compelled to write because you need to publish today; you’ve got posts all lined up.

I hope these blogging tips help you to build your blog, and have fun doing it too.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, too.