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3 Fun Ways To Use The 2-Minute Rule To Write A Book

3 Fun Ways To Use The 2-Minute Rule To Write A Book

Writers — you gotta love them. Procrastination is without a doubt, the biggest hangup they face. “I’m writing a book,” a writer tells me. The writing and publishing plan I created for him lands in his Inbox…

Then… crickets. A week later, I contact him, and he hasn’t even read the plan, much less started on the book. Procrastination strikes again.

The 2-minute rule can help you to write a book

If you haven’t heard of the two-minute rule, it’s a technique popularized by productivity guru, David Allen. Basically, if some thing takes less than two minutes, you do it right away. You can use the rule on long tasks on which you procrastinate too — you give yourself two minutes to get started on the task. That two minutes breaks your inertia, and you’re likely to keep doing the task.

From How to Stop Procrastinating by Using the “2-Minute Rule”:

The 2–Minute Rule works for big goals as well as small goals because of the inertia of life. Once you start doing something, it’s easier to continue doing it. I love the 2–Minute Rule because it embraces the idea that all sorts of good things happen once you get started.

Let’s look at how you can use the two-minute rule when you’re writing a book.

1. Create a main character in your book in two minutes

I like Penny’s character-questioning process for fiction authors:

Here’s an important tip: your character interview gives you your character’s back story. You’ll discover who your character is, and what his greatest fear is. Your story (novel, novella, or short story) starts after the incidents which he tells you.

Think of a character (use Penny’s adjective and noun), then ask the question — hey presto, you’ve created a character.

2. No time? Maybe, but you’ve got two minutes

You’ve been meaning to work on your book, but over the past week, you haven’t even had time to open the computer file.

Give yourself two minutes to open the computer file, right now, and write a couple of sentences. They don’t need to be wonderful sentences. Don’t read what you’ve written, just write the sentences.

This simple strategy usually ensures that you carve a few minutes out of the busiest days to write a page of your book.

3. Two minute to a deadline: when you really, positively need to finish your book

Your book is due in a couple of weeks. You’re only at the 50% point. There’s no chance you’ll make your deadline, so you procrastinate. You haven’t written a word in days, and are frantic about your deadline.

I know the feeling. 🙂 You feel overwhelmed.

Open your book’s computer file, and spend two minutes with it. You can write sentences, or read a few pages, it doesn’t matter.

This simple tactic might be enough to overcome your procrastination. If it isn’t, open the file two more times today, and spend two minutes with it each time.

Chances are that you’ve conquered the feeling of overwhelm, and your procrastination, and you get to work on completing your book.

Can you think of ways YOU might use the two-minute rule to write a book?

My friend Penny uses the two-minute rule to research her historical fiction: “If I Google, something, and can’t find it in two minutes, I’ll put a large XXX in the manuscript. I’ll deal with it in rewrites.”

I use the two-minute rule to rough out an upcoming scene in my novel on an index card. Just who’s in the scene, what they want, and the purpose of the scene. Although I don’t force it, I write the first and last sentences of the scene too, if they occur to me.

Try the two-minute rule if you’re a procrastinator. 🙂

Step By Step To Fiction Which Sells: Plotting And Scene Magic

Step By Step To Fiction Which Sells: Plotting And Scene Magic

eBook: $5.99

Your readers want to enter your novel's world. They want to experience your book -- they want to live your book with your main characters.

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More Heart To Heart: Write Hot-Selling Romance Fiction

More Heart To Heart: Write Hot-Selling Romance Fiction

eBook: $5.99
Series: Romance Writing, Book 2
Genre: Writing
Tag: writing fiction

I adore writing romance fiction, and now you can write romance too.

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Indie Publishing: 5 Tips To Get Started

Indie Publishing: 5 Tips To Get Started

You’re into indie publishing. Good for you — self-publishing has great rewards, even for new authors. Who knows, you may hit it big with your first couple of books. On the other hand your books may bomb. It’s more likely that neither thing will happen. You’ll publish, and publish some more, and slowly build your readership, and business.

A couple of readers have asked about the “risks” of indie publishing. My response: “What risks? You’re putting your books out into the marketplace. They sell or they don’t. If they don’t, you write more books. You’re in charge. You don’t answer to an acquisitions editor, a literary agent, or a publisher.”

Risks? I was baffled, until I figured it out. To new authors, indie publishing is seen as risky because you do it all yourself. You’re betting on yourself. It’s lonely. You need courage and confidence.

Writers like the validation of traditional publishing. Then you can assume that your book’s in good hands. I understand. However, if you talk to authors who’ve been traditionally published, and opted to go indie, you may feel a lot better about your choice. Not more confident — that’s impossible until you publish a few titles — but better. Your confidence will grow. It’s normal to be nervous.

Here’s a truth for you: no one knows what will succeed. No one. So you might as well keep writing.

These tips will help.

1. Build a mailing list now, before you publish

You’ve heard about mailing lists. You’ve decided that you’ll start building your list after you’ve published a couple of books.

Why, oh why???

Start building your list now.

Yes, before you publish a single book.

Write a blurb for your book, convert the first chapter into a PDF, and offer it as a free download for subscribers. Post your blurb onto a Web page, and start collecting subscribers.

An additional tip; put a link to your mailing list page in the front matter of your books, rather than the back matter.

Lists are easy to set up. I’ve been using aweber for my lists for over a decade, but there are many list providers.

2. Hire an editor, and get a cover

Editors are busy. Book an editor as soon as you have an idea of when you’ll finish your first draft. Check forums for editors in your genre, or hire one on one of the outsourcing websites.

Get your cover designed asap too. If you’re doing it yourself to save money, create the cover now. Once your cover’s designed, your book will seem more real.

3. Schedule your writing time each day

To publish a book, you need to finish it, so schedule writing time daily. Inspiration is fine, but it won’t help you to complete your book. Time spent on it will.

4. Get a large calendar, and plan the rest of 2015, and early 2016

Buy a wall calendar, or draw one yourself on a large sheet of paper. Work out your publishing plans month by month. Put the calendar where you can see it. I like this idea for creating your own wall calendar with chalkboard paint.

5. Join a writer’s group, and/ or get a writing buddy

If you’re a new author, it’s lonely. You need support. Join a supportive writer’s group. With luck, you’ll find a kindred soul who will become your writing buddy.

So there you have it — use these tips. Indie publishing is lots of fun. Take it day by day, and before you know it, you’ll be a published author.

Story Power: short stories made easy

Story Power

Story Power — insider secrets of writing short stories and making them work for you: writing serials, and series.

Write with me: over four weeks, you’ll discover HOW to not only write short fiction, but also make money at it. I make a very nice income ghostwriting fiction for clients, and also selling my own short fiction under various genre pen names.

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

How to profit from your writing: online store.

Writing Short Stories For Fun and Profit: How Fast Can You Write?

Writing Short Stories For Fun and Profit: How Fast Can You Write?

Thinking about writing short stories? Many writers are, and some are making amazing money.

Established erotica short fiction writers are making five figures a month, but they don’t promote themselves – they can’t. Amazon’s cracked down on “monster porn”, and there are few venues for erotica writers to promote their offerings.

No, I’m not suggesting that you start writing erotica. 🙂 You can if you like, there’s money in it. However, there are many more genres in which you can make a handsome living if you write short fiction.

I receive endless questions about short stories. Writers still can’t believe they can make money from their imagination. Hard to believe, I know – I used to feel that way myself. Before self-publishing became hot, I would have giggled if anyone suggested you could make money with short stories.

Let’s look at some of the most popular questions I’m asked about writing and selling short stories.

How long are short stories?

Short stories can be as short as you please. Back in the days when I wrote for magazines, I’d sell the occasional “flash” fiction story. They were always shorter than a thousand words.

If you’re selling short stories on Amazon, I suggest that that your ebooks contain over 5,000 words. If you’re writing flash fiction, compile two or three or more stories. This is a suggestion – you can write at whatever length you choose.

Occasionally Amazon will tag writers who publish extremely short material for not providing a “good user experience.” Your mileage will vary. Those of my students who sell erotica, tell me that their stories of eight to ten thousand words sell well.

What kinds of short stories sell?

Erotica, romance, and mystery do well. Choose whatever genre you please. One writer I know sells horror short stories. Initially her stories languished. Then she built up her mailing list and sold bundles, and she’s doing well.

Write whatever you like. Experiment. Who knows, there might be a huge fan base for you.

How do I promote short stories?

The best way to sell your stories is to write more of them, so that you continually appear in Amazon’s New Releases lists. Also, make sure that you create a mailing list.

Can I freelance short stories? Will people hire me to write them?

People will hire you to ghostwrite almost anything. I’m cutting down on my ghostwriting activities. I enjoy it, because I love to write, and anytime anyone gives me a brief, I can’t wait to get started.

However, it doesn’t make economic sense. Your short stories will make money for you for years, if you sell them on Amazon. However, if you’re ghostwriting, you’re selling “work done for hire.” That means that you’re trading hours for dollars; if you need to do this, do it.

The big benefit of ghostwriting is money in your bank account. Build up your own short story publishing catalogue as soon as you can.

Kindle Short Fiction Domination: Today’s Blueprint For Writing Success And Income (4-week class)

Short Fiction Domination

Want to write short fiction and build a successful career? For the first time in decades, it’s possible to write short stories and make a great income. Each week, for four weeks, you receive a new lesson, in PDF format, via a download link sent to your email inbox.

As we move through the class, you’re not only writing your own short stories, you’re also discovering the Kindle short fiction BLUEPRINT… What to publish, and when, so that your Amazon income steadily increases. Join us. 🙂

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

How to profit from your writing: online store.

Updated: July 27, 2015