Writing More: 3 Essential Strategies To Write Your Book

Writing More: 3 Essential Strategies To Write Your Book

Whatever happened in 2018, the year’s almost over. A new year offers a new beginning, so perhaps you’re thinking of what you’ll do differently next year. One of my students has decided that she’ll focus on writing more in 2019.

She’s making that her primary New Year’s resolution, because she wants to write and publish two books in 2019. Her challenge is that she’s struggling to find time.

She asked for some tips to help.

Writing more: habits, time, and enthusiasm

Unfortunately, writing more longterm isn’t just a matter of clearing time in your schedule. If it were simple, you would be doing it already.

To write more, consider:

  • Your current daily habits: do you write every day? Could you develop a writing habit?
  • How much time do you have to write each day, or each week?
  • Can you generate enthusiasm for your writing?

Let’s look at habits, time, and enthusiasm in a little more detail, so that you can build a strategy.

But wait… Are you thinking that “writing more” sounds a lot like working more? You can write way more than you do now, and work less, when you develop a writing habit.

1. Develop a writing habit so that writing more takes less work

Charles Duhigg’s book, The Power of Habit, offers some amazing insights. One insight is this: once you train your brain to do something, you can do that task faster, and with a lot less effort.

Duhigg tells the story of scientists researching what happened to rats which were running a maze. At first, when the rats were unfamiliar with the maze, the rats’ brains lit up completely, all over. The rats were working hard to learn the maze. But things changed once the rats had learned the maze.

As each rat leaned how to navigate the maze, its mental activity decreased. As the route became more and more automatic, each rat started thinking less and less.

It turns out that brains (both rats and human) like to create routines, and habits. These habits are then replayed automatically, using a lot less brainpower and energy.

That’s the reason that you can drive, and arrive somewhere, with no memory of the journey. Your brain has formed a routine for driving that route. It’s become a habit — you no longer need to think about it.

If you want to write more, aim to write every day. Sit down in the same place, at the same time, and write. This routine may seem a challenge initially, but when it becomes a habit, it will be automatic, and not like “work” at all.

2. Make your available time work for you

Writers who’ve gone full-time, and still find consistent writing a challenge, often say that they were more productive when they had a day job.

When you’ve got hours of time, it’s tempting to think “later.”

Whatever time you have to write each day, sit down and write. Ten minutes is enough time — you don’t need to wait until you can spend an hour or two hours writing.

Pack a little writing kit: a notepad and pen. Or write on your phone. Writing in small amounts of time is a habit too, so train yourself to do it until it becomes automatic.

3. Enthusiasm makes writing more possible

When you’re enthusiastic about your writing, it’s easier to sit down and do it.

Enthusiasm tends to ebb and flow. You’re enthusiastic about a project when it’s new. Over time, doubts set in. Enthusiasm fades.

At those times, try to regenerate your enthusiasm. If you’re tired, take a day off. Try approaching your writing in a new way: if you’re writing fiction, write from a different Point of View. If nonfiction, do a little more research.

It’s worth firing your enthusiasm, because enthusiasm brings creativity with it.

Writing more: a habit YOU can develop

Willpower takes energy. Instead of forcing yourself, trying building a writing habit. Once daily writing becomes a habit, you’ll automatically write more.

Try it in 2019 — and Happy New year. 🙂

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

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

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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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Map It: For Writing Success — Fiction And Nonfiction Outlines Made Easy

Map It: For Writing Success — Fiction And Nonfiction Outlines Made Easy

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I developed the tactics and strategies in this book to help myself. My students have found them essential to producing both fiction and nonfiction almost effortlessly.

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Book Marketing Tips: 3 Low-Cost, Savvy Ways To Sell More Books

Book Marketing Tips: 3 Low-Cost, Savvy Ways To Sell More Books

My students tell me that the biggest challenge they have with book marketing is finding time to do it. Authors are busy, especially those authors who work a day job. Add children to the mix, and you end up writing in the marginalia of your life.

So how do you find time?

Book marketing: time, energy, and money

You need time to promote your books, as well as the enthusiasm for it — and the money, today. So I’m always looking for easy, fast, and low-cost marketing strategies for my students, and of course for me.

Try these tips; they work for my students, so they’re worth trying because they may work for you too.

First, a tip which concerns writing.

1. Many books from one idea: think smaller books and publish more often

In Self-Publishing Tips: How To Sell Books Without Marketing we pointed out:

Amazon doesn’t care whether you publish a book of 100,000 words or 2,000 words. I’ve been encouraging you to write and publish short stories, and short nonfiction too.

We’re on the cusp of 2019. I’ve developed my publishing plans already. If you’re still working on it, and mulling over what you’ll publish next year, consider adding shorter books to the mix.

Think in terms of novellas for fiction.

With nonfiction, think of “easy solutions.” It takes forever to research and write a nonfiction book of 50,000 words. Moreover, the market’s well supplied with them already, in many categories.

Consider short nonfiction.

Start by researching current trends in whichever categories of books you write. Then research trends and crazes in the news media. What movies are coming up which indicate a trend? (Movies set fashions.)

Take a risk, too. When an idea strikes, trust your intuition. Who knows, you may be in the vanguard of a brand new obsession. Rush to publication, and you may sell thousands of copies. (Remember the coloring book craze of a couple of years ago?)

2. Sell your books from your own website, and keep more money

When you sell your books via retailers they of course take a chunk of the profits. When you sell from your own site, you get to keep more money.

That’s a big benefit. Here’s another benefit: by slowly transitioning to “going wide” (publishing everywhere you can), and adding your own website to the mix, it gives you a chance to build community.

When they think “community”, authors tend to think “oh — a Facebook group.” Creating a Facebook group became popular once Facebook started restricting what appears in your news feed, because you get group postings in your feed.

BUT (and it’s a big, juicy but) when you tie your fortunes to a big company, it’s like swimming with a killer whale. Yes, the whale may play nice for a while, but sooner or later, you’ll be swiped to oblivion.

It’s a challenge to set up your own website. However, if you use a website creation company like Squarespace, you can set up an online store in minutes. And the big company takes care of all nuisance housekeeping tasks.

More and more authors are spending time and energy on their own websites. Consider whether it might work for you, going forward.

3. Build your community: reward readers who love what you do (and find new readers)

Authors are hopping onto Patreon too, to build their community of readers. They publish complete short stories on their Patreon blog, then publish the stories elsewhere. They also offer snippets from works in progress.

In 2019 and beyond, building a community around your author name will become imperative. Today, it’s a challenge to find your readers because audiences are so fragmented. The only way to get a wide reach is via advertising, and that’s becoming increasingly expensive, as well as taking lots of time.

Try out different book marketing strategies: test, to see what works for you

We all long for a magic bullet when it comes to book marketing. Unfortunately, no single strategy works for everyone. Nor does any strategy keep working forever, except for carrying on with your writing, while marketing.

Onward, ever onward. And do have fun with it all. 🙂

Book coaching: struggling with your book?

Book coaching: struggling with your book?

Book coaching may well be the best investment you ever make in yourself and your future.

Angela’s guidance helps you to write, publish, and market your books successfully.

Check out our new Book Coaching options, and come write with us.

Plan, Write, And Publish Serial Fiction In Four Weeks

Plan, Write, And Publish Serial Fiction In Four Weeks

eBook: $5.99

Why write serial fiction?

Everyone's busy today. A serial is by its nature, faster to write, and publish, than a novel.

It's a quicker read too, and many readers appreciate this. While a reader may hesitate before committing hours to a novel, he can read an episode of your serial in minutes.

If you’re a new author, a serial serves to introduce you to readers. A reader may not be willing to commit to a novel by a new author, but be willing to read an episode of a serial.

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Blurbs Sell Your Books: Craft Irresistible Blurbs, And Sell More Fiction And Nonfiction Today

Blurbs Sell Your Books: Craft Irresistible Blurbs, And Sell More Fiction And Nonfiction Today

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You can, when you discover the secrets of writing blurbs (book descriptions) which sell.

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Resources to build your writing career

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Self-Publishing Pay To Play: Hello, Book Advertising

Self-Publishing Pay To Play: Hello, Book Advertising

Few authors are thrilled about the big shift in self-publishing in 2018, because the process became more a lot expensive. Both Amazon (AMS) and Facebook shifted to pay-to-play.

No more free visibility. If you want to sell books today, you need to advertise.

I prefer to keep all my blog posts positive. I know that this new “pay up!” situation will be disheartening for many authors.

We’ll look at how to cope in 2019. For now, let’s cast an eye over the terrain, so to speak.

Self-publishing: slimmer margins, more work

Pay to play means slimmer margins for authors who now have to advertise, or forgo sales.

Russell Blake has an excellent post on Amazon’s changes, and on advertising:

Amazon has taken real estate on their product pages and turned it into revenue streams… (because it’s a) revenue generation engine, it would have been dumb for them to offer visibility that doesn’t involve publishers and authors paying Zon…

Paying for ads wouldn’t be such a pain in the rear end if the reporting process made sense; at least then authors could make decisions. Unfortunately Amazon’s reporting is plain horrid.

Sales and advertising on Amazon: what the…??

On the sales side, many authors have been complaining about huge drops in their Amazon KDP sales since October. This book sales downturn isn’t across the board — not all authors are affected. However, it encompasses both straight sales, and KENPC income.

Affected authors believe that there’s a major glitch in KDP. Who knows? It’s a mystery.

As for the Amazon advertising situation… Authors advertising on Amazon can spend a lot of time wondering what on earth is going on too.

Suffice to say that AMS’s reporting is a mess. This is beyond-frustrating when you’re advertising on AMS. You’re throwing money into the void, and don’t know whether your ads are working, or not.

The solution? Roll on 2019

We’ll look at solutions in 2019 — many self-publishing authors will need to change what they’re doing, but this is nothing new. There’s an Amazon challenge every few months, and publishing is of course a business.

In the meantime, write on. 🙂

Want to sell your fiction? Start here

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Blurbs Sell Your Books: Craft Irresistible Blurbs, And Sell More Fiction And Nonfiction Today

Blurbs Sell Your Books: Craft Irresistible Blurbs, And Sell More Fiction And Nonfiction Today

eBook: $5.99

You can, when you discover the secrets of writing blurbs (book descriptions) which sell.

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Write Fast, Write Well: How To Be Prolific, and Sell – Powerful tips to increase your writing income

Write Fast, Write Well: How To Be Prolific, and Sell – Powerful tips to increase your writing income

$4.99

What If You Were Twice As Successful, Or Even THREE Times More Successful Than You Are Today?

There's No Ceiling On A Writer's Income... You Just Need To Be Prolific.

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Resources to build your writing career

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