WRITING – Just Tell the Damn Story Already!
I won’t give you writing tips here because frankly, there’s enough already out there. Plus, if you clicked on this page, you likely already know how to write, or at least tell a story. What you don’t know is how to finish. That’s where I’ll focus my attention. Because I know you. You, the one who has a million stories swimming around in your head. You, who’s mastered the art of the beginning but have yet to bring a story to completion. You, who flirts with the idea of writing, but never actually writes. Yes, I know you. Because I was you.
Until I did this one simple thing. This one tiny act that forever changed the way I write. This thing, that also ensured that I now finish ALL of my writings. And I do mean all of them.
What is it?
Simple. I wrote a Business Plan.
I know, I know. That seems too simple. Or too boring. Or too, what’s the word, possible. But all I can say is yes, yes, and yes.
I’m a big believer in visualization. I make vision boards, wish on stars, meditate on what I want, and all that crap. Apparently, I also make Business Plans. Because they work.
You’ve heard it over and over: If you want to write for a living, you have to treat it like a business. I also like to add: How can you get anywhere if you don’t know where you’re going?
So go ahead and see for yourself. Check out my Business Plan to adopt your own plan and finally finish your story!
PUBLISHING – It’s Easier Than You Think
Today is a great time to be a writer. We now have several paths to publishing. After researching the subject for many years, I ultimately decided to self-publish. I wanted more control, freedom and royalties than traditional publishers can offer. J.A. Konrath has an amazing blog, A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing, which discusses self-publishing in detail, so I won’t repeat it here. Seriously, check it out if you’re still deciding what direction to take your book.
If you do decide to Self-Publish, here are the steps I suggest:
Step 1: Write a damn good story.
Step 2: Hire an Editor. Not your great Aunt Sally but an actual editor, preferably a Developmental Editor who will focus on plot and character. I use BubbleCow, because I can’t edit myself, but you can also Hire Me!
Step 3: Hire a Cover Design Artist. Like it or not, we all judge a book by its cover, so it’s worth the money to hire a professional. I use Extended Imagery.
Step 4: Hire someone to format the thing. Apparently formatting is very important for the reader experience. Who knew? Use the wrong font or spacing and you can annoy them. Have too many words on a page and they get overwhelmed. So hire a professional to give your readers the best user experience. You want them to focus on the story, not your helvetica font. I use 52 Novels.
Step 6: Publish the Damn Thing! Then write another book, rinse and repeat.
If you still want me to hold your hand, check out my PUBLISHING FOR WEENIES (Coming Soon!)
SOCIAL MEDIA – Do I Have To?
Social Media is the bane of my existence. Between posting and liking and commenting and sharing, it really does drain the life out of this introvert. Most agents and others in the industry will tell you “If you don’t exist online then you don’t exist at all.” While that’s true as far as your book goes, your presence on social media isn’t the end all of book sales. Yes, you want to connect with your readers, but if you’re spending all day everyday on social media, when, I ask, are you actually writing?
Readers only want to connect with a writer if you wrote something worth reading. Something that touched them somehow. So let yourself off the hook, pick one platform and dedicate an hour a day to growing a readership. And remember, has “following” anyone on social media actually made YOU buy their book? (Aside from the authors you already knew about). I didn’t think so. It really is okay to just write an amazing story and let the rest of that shit go.