books · business · writing

Writers Wednesdays – Why It Takes Me Forever To Publish A Book

Happy Writers Wednesday! Today’s topic is was a question that I posed to myself recently, after feeling frustrated about the timelines for my works in progress (you can see my writing goals from now to December in this post). I find myself with a great idea, which I develop – sometimes to the point of completion – then there is this extraordinary “dead period” that happens once the work is done.

I had to ask myself, “Why does it take me forever to publish a book?” This isn’t referring to my children’s books, which are fairly simple and can be completed once I have enough photos that aren’t protected by copyrights. This is talking about my original works, which I’ve already finished writing and that seem to take FOREVER to get to the point of publishing. These should be ready to publish quickly, but they always appear to be stuck in the queue for longer than I think they should be.

As I asked myself about why it takes so long, it hit me: I’m stuck in analysis paralysis when it comes to publishing. I am constantly running various scenarios in my mind, and, as a result, very little tangible progress is made. I often find it much easier to blog, since these are short little glimpses into my daily life and passing thoughts. But book writing and publishing? I overanalyze to the point of ineffectiveness.

I would normally put forth a challenge to myself at this point, but, realistically, I’ll likely feel paralyzed every time I publish, regardless of how illogical it is to feel that. All I will vow to do is to try and remember to come back to this post the next time the analysis paralysis hits me. Maybe if I remember this post, I’ll be able to summon enough courage and reasonableness to move past my overthinking and to just leap into publishing. Only time will tell if I take my own advice, right?

books · life curation · reading list

Writing Wednesday – Five Books That Changed My Life

Several weeks ago, I shared a video on my YouTube channel, highlight five books that changed my life.

I realize that was a very bold claim, and it could be interpreted as the most important books I’ve read in my life. However, that interpretation would be incorrect. Books that change my life =/= favorite or most important books. Some of the books that rank as most important to me are books that haven’t actually “changed” me, but have entertained me thoroughly, or reminded me of something rare or precious, or that are just stellar examples of writing mastery. So, books like And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie, or A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith haven’t necessarily changed my life, but they rank among some of the most important books I’ve read.

That being said, we’re talking about life changing books that I think could be useful to some of you. These books helped me with money, love, conscious creation, friendship and more, Without further ado, here are the five books that changed my life:

  • Ginie Sayles, HOW TO MEET THE RICH for Business, Friendship, or Romance – A couple of years ago, one of my favorite role models, Ginie Sayles, gave me an endorsement on her author’s page, after I shared that her book, Writer’s Block is a Crock, helped me write and publish my first book. I was so excited that I made a post about her generosity and support. Well, as much as I love “Writer’s Block is a Crock”, there’s a book by Ginie that I love even more . . . and that’s “How to Meet the Rich”. Having your own vast resources is a wonderful thing, but your ability to do good and really change the world is enhanced when you have a network with high net worth! I love how she not only shows ways to meet the rich, but also all of the ways to nurture reciprocal relationships with these individuals. This is a great book for networking with various goals in mind (either business, friendship/social, or romantic ends).
  • David Bach, Start Late, Finish Rich – Similar to Ginie, David Bach has been discussed over here previously. I sing David’s praises because his work was fundamental in providing me with an excellent foundational education in personal finance. No matter what your age is, Start Late Finish Rich is a great book to introduce yourself to his strategies for creating financial freedom. I highly recommend any of David’s books, but this is a great one for starting on the path to wealth.
  • Helen Gurley Brown, Sex and the Single Girl – This book was fundamental in understanding the joy and pleasure of being a single woman. I learned so much from Helen regarding all of the perks that you can enjoy before saying “I do”. I got to reconnect with some of those delights when I divorced! Despite this book being published 60(!) years ago, so many of the tips are still relevant today. It’s still a fun read!
  • Shelley Branch and Sue Calloway, What Would Jackie Do? – I love all things Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, and this book was a fabulous addition to my Jackie book collection. What Would Jackie Do is a combination of self help, biography, and etiquette lessons all in one. I often refer to this book when I need to recall how to make the perfect alfredo sauce from scratch, or how to approach my interior decorating budget, and even what I should do to enhance my career. Yes, it covers all of these topics and more. Fabulous read – highly recommended (naturally)!
  • Dr Henriette Anne Klauser, Write It Down Make It Happen – I won’t rewrite my review of this book, because I’ve already talked about it here, here, and here. I come back to this book again and again because every time I read it and try some of the writing exercises mentioned, my life shifts in significant ways.

Here is my video reviewing the books mentioned above:

What books have changed your life? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below.

writing

Writers Wednesdays – NaNoWriMo Week 2 and Clarifications

Hello friends! It’s another Writers Wednesday and I’m excited to share my NaNoWriMo progress with you all! But first, I need to clarify something.

My blog is 100% my opinions, 100% of the time. I was recently harassed by a random visitor and attacked for my stance on Harry and Meghan. The insults in the response were vile and uncivilized, which is why you won’t find the comment anywhere on the blog: it was deleted and no response was offered. I wanted to state my stance on cyberbullying and digital violence for you all, but my good friend (thanks chica!) reminded me of the goal of this space and how to address this.

I will never entertain bullies that feel entitled to my attention. I will never allow hateful comments on my platform, nor will I engage anyone that leads with hate or violence. I will always protect my readers from comments that are mean-spirited and not constructive.

Further, I have chosen to ignore the bully and celebrate YOU ALL, my regular readers that have offered kind words and good energy for years. I am choosing to turn my focus to the good that surrounds me at all times. You all have made blogging worthwhile. The comments, private messages and overall goodness that you’ve brought to my blog is much appreciated.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Now, back to the topic at hand. NaNoWriMo kicked off last week, but it took me a week to pick out a book idea. That’s why I opted out of last week’s Writers Wednesday post: there was nothing to share with you all! I prefer not to do too much pre-planning for NaNoWriMo: I like to allow inspiration to guide me from the very beginning. But, since it took so long to find an idea, I’m behind on my writing schedule. I only have 1,500 of the 50,000 words I need to win NaNoWriMo (eek!) Fortunately for me, I have some time over the next few days that I can use for my writing. I’m thinking of setting up another writer’s retreat to give myself a block of time to work on my writing. And honestly, for someone that has been writing for just three days, I’m pleased that I still have so much momentum that I can leverage for the rest of the week and, hopefully, the entire month.

How is NaNoWriMo going for you all? I’d love to hear all about it!

business · career · writing

Writers Wednesday – Is a Writing Coach Necessary?

Happy Writers Wednesday! Today’s topic came to me after I spoke to several people that are part of writer support groups, or they have gotten writing coaches to assist with creating their books. Further, I’ve seen numerous advertisements for writing coaches that are appearing on the scene, all claiming that they will help the aspiring authors to finally release their works into the world.

The question on my mind (and possibly your mind) is this: is a writing coach necessary?

Personally, I’ve never used a writing coach, but given how many delays I’ve encountered on my writing journey, perhaps a coach would be a good investment! That being said, I will admit that I don’t think a writing coach is necessary for *most* people. I think that there is only a tiny subset of people that actually need a writing coach. However, I believe there are enough people in the subset to provide an abundance of potential clients for writing coaches.

My recommendation for anyone considering hiring a writing coach is to go through this list of questions and see where you fall on the writer spectrum.

  • Are you having difficulties with determining which direction your writing needs to take?
  • Do you need regular external motivation in order to work on your writing project?
  • Do you struggle with structuring your writing?
  • Do you have questions about writing that can’t be answered through other means?
  • Do you generally respond better to verbal instruction, as opposed to written directions?

Answering “yes” to any of these questions may make you a prime candidate for a writing coach. I’m still of the mindset that the best way to write is to problem solve for yourself, then, after you’ve hit a wall, consider reaching out for help. However, everyone is different, and what works for me may not work for you. I do think there’s some value in the practice of solving your own problems through your own efforts, but I’ll be the first to admit that time is precious and if a coach can save you time and energy, then it may be a worthwhile investment.

I’m curious: have any of you ever hired a writing coach? What was that experience like? Also, if you’re a writing coach, please comment on what that experience is like for you, and how you can help aspiring authors. You can leave your comments below.

That’s it for today! I look forward to talking to you all tomorrow. Take care!

business · writing

Writers Wednesdays – 5 Exercises to Beat Writer’s Block

Happy Writers Wednesdays! I took off four days from my bookwriting practice because I’ve been entertaining visiting relatives (yay for finally returning to a semi-normal life!). On top of that, I had a few other things to work on in my ever-fleeting downtime (such as writing on this blog and putting more time into my tutoring business).

However, when I resume my writing practice, I want to ensure that I am able to hit the ground running. So I took a little time to think of some additional ways to beat writer’s block. I’ve discussed some strategies before that I find to be effective, but I’ve never done a consolidated post – until now. If nothing else, I hope these tips can help those authors-in-the-making who want to bust through those uninspired moments so that they can finish writing the book of their dreams. Here are my five favorite techniques for beating writer’s block.

  1. Try haiku or a limerick. I have found it really helpful to switch up my writing whenever I’m feeling stuck. Since I usually write fiction or how-to manuals, I try a few short poetry styles (like haiku or limericks) to get the creative juices flowing. Something about breaking up my routine really works well for helping me to get over creative challenges. I chose haiku and limericks because they are are so drastically different from the type of writing I enjoy most and they engage a different part of my brain. Of course, you can use any type of writing that differs from what you usually do. The key to this is to keep the exercise brief so that you aren’t overwhelmed by the process.
  2. Do 7 days of stream of consciousness writing. Anyone can do this, but it is especially good for anyone that is working on an autobiography or some work that involves self-reflection. As soon as you wake up, you write for 10-15 minutes about whatever comes to mind. You don’t reread or judge what you’ve written until you’ve finished doing it for 7 consecutive days. After that time, you can look over what you’ve written and figure out if there are any patterns or latent messages that are being revealed. If nothing else, you may find that your mind is under- or over-stimulated, and you can adjust your routine accordingly.
  3. Go somewhere or do something you’ve never done before. Speaking of under- and over-stimulation . . . Sometimes, the blockage comes from boredom. We know that boredom is a problem that everyone experiences at some point in time. But, we are so conditioned to view time on the internet as “doing something” that we feel guilty about claiming to be bored. It’s very possible to scroll endlessly on social media, news websites, personal blogs, or video platforms, yet still feel bored. So break up the monotony and try something new: do something you’ve always wanted to do, and see how that improves your creative blocks. Alternatively, the block may be happening because you’re overwhelmed. In that case, disconnecting from your daily activities and severely reducing your “to-do” list may be just what you need to get inspired again. Try a no- or low-stimuli routine for a defined period of time, and see how that improves your creativity.
  4. Have someone to tell you a story. This works particularly well for me, because it passively engages my storytelling “brain”. As I listen to the story, I try to anticipate what will come next, and I’m always delighted when the story takes an unexpected turn. There are some times where an author needs to transition from the role of storyteller to the role of captive audience member. Listening to someone else tell you a story gives your brain a pleasant rest from trying to figure out what’s next with your own writing projects.
  5. Do a scent (or flavor, or sound) summary. This is a really good practice for writers that struggle with creating sufficiently descriptive passages. Instead of focusing on your latest work-in-progress, try flexing your adjective and adverb muscles, and attempt to accurately describe your favorite food dishes flavors, your favorite musical genre (focusing on the instruments used and how the sounds make you feel), or your favorite cologne or perfume. Go beyond that, and perhaps try your hand at describing the smells, flavors, or sounds that make you feel excited, sad, angry, or fearful. This exercise takes you outside of your normal writing practice, but it still engages the creative part of your mind.

Those are my five favorite hacks for busting through writer’s block. What are some things you’ve done to help with those creative blockages? I’d love to hear aobut them in the comments below!