Tag Archives: Write a book

Writing Goals: One Word To Help You To Achieve Your Dreams

Writing Goals: One Word To Help You To Achieve Your Dreams

Do you want to write a book, but hesitate? You need writing goals, and they revolve around a single word.

Several weeks ago a writer contacted me who confided: “I’ve tried to write. But after I write a couple of chapters of a book, I give up. Please don’t ask me to set set writing goals. Clearly they don’t work for me.”

Perhaps you’re like this writer. You start more books than you finish. You feel that writing goals don’t work for you.

Here’s a secret. You need to set two kinds of goals.

Writing goals: set process goals, as well as achievement goals

You need both process goals as well as achievement goals.

Process goals involve what you do, daily, or weekly.

Achievement goals (sometimes termed “outcome” goals) are what you hope to achieve via your process goals.

An example: you want to write a bestselling book.

Your process goal: I will write every day.

Achievement goal: I will write a bestselling book by January 1, 2021.

Process goals are under your control. If you set a goal to write every day, you either do (succeed), or you don’t (fail.)

Unfortunately, achievement goals usually aren’t under your control. You set achievement goals, realizing that events may derail you. Then you’ll rely on process goals to get you back on track.

The one word that will help you to achieve your writing goals

So, what’s the single word that helps you to achieve your writing goals? Here it is: write. You might add to that: without expectation.

Consider that writing is writing. It’s not:

  • Doing research;
  • Worrying about your plot;
  • Joining writers’ groups to talk about writing;
  • Going to writers’ conferences…

Only writing is writing, and you can’t achieve your writing goals without it. “Thinking” won’t help either, unless you write down your thoughts.

Overthinking: the biggest pitfall standing between you and your writing goals

All my writing students over-think writing. I do too. That’s why I keep my DDT acronym (Do, Don’t Think) on sticky notes where I can see them.

Write. Here’s why. From Beginning Writer: 2 Strategies To Remove All Your Roadblocks:

Writing is thinking. Ideas won’t come to you in words. They come as insights, impulses, or compulsions. Often they’ll arrive as images (if you’re writing fiction.)

Write down the words which arise from those insights and images.

Then hey presto — you’re thinking. And writing:-)

Achieve your dreams: start writing

You can’t achieve your writing goals without writing. Try to get into the habit of thinking with a pen in your hand, or at the keyboard. You’ll discover that when you do, you become more confident, and your concerns about writing fade away.

Please don’t equate “writing” only with working on a current project.

I love this Flannery O’Connor quote:

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.”

Writing helps you to solve your problems and make decisions. So write your thoughts. Questions? Write them down. Consider your goals, and write about them. Keep a journal or a bullet journal.

Write.

Write Your Bestseller: Write HOT Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

Word for word, mystery authors earn more than authors of most other genres, including romance.

Check out our new report, “Write Your Bestseller: Write HOT Mystery, Thriller & Suspense”. You’ll discover how, why, and what types of mystery fiction are selling today, and how to develop a mystery writing career.

Planning And Writing A Hot-Selling Series: Selling Writer Strategies, Book 7

Planning And Writing A Hot-Selling Series: Selling Writer Strategies, Book 7

eBook: $4.99

When you write in series, you're giving yourself more chances to sell with every novel you write.

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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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Resources to build your writing career

Check out Angela’s Writing Classes and Angela’s books for writers.

Writing Process: 3 Ways To Streamline Your Process And Sell More

Writing Process: 3 Ways To Streamline Your Process And Sell More

Are you a flaky writer? That’s OK; many creative people are flakes. Sadly, flaky writers fail to master their writing process.

Its worth learning to streamline your process, because if you can’t manage your creativity and get stuff done you’ll miss out on great opportunities. You may also find that days and weeks go by when you accomplish zero.

Your writing process: build habits

Your writing success depends on your habits:

Your writing success is mostly a matter of habit. A little luck doesn’t hurt, but without effective habits, any success will be short-lived.

It’s worth reading the above article for the ten most effective habits for writers.

As a commercial writer, your writing process involves three things:

  • Developing ideas;
  • Managing your creativity; and
  • Drafting.

1. Ideas sell, in fiction and nonfiction

Ideas SELL. Ideas aren’t everything. You must execute them efficiently, but without good ideas, your writing won’t sell.

I’m developing a program on writing the Mystery, Thriller & Suspense (MTS) genres. These genres depend on ideas. I did a little research for the program on novels which are bestsellers because of their must-read ideas.

Here’s a tiny excerpt from the program…

Consider bestselling examples of the MTS genres. The novels which hit the bestseller lists ALL have something unique about the plot.

The best example of this which springs readily to mind is Dan Brown’s novel, The Da Vinci Code. A huge bestseller since its April 2003 release, the novel made all Brown’s other books bestsellers too. It featured a weird but irresistible crime. (I’m sure Dan Brown was delighted when he hit on the wonderful idea for the book.)

Also, consider Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl. This book was a huge bestseller, and launched a new sub-genre, the domestic thriller.

Both books became movies.

Agatha Christie’s novels are read with pleasure many years after their first publication — because of the crimes. (Ideas, that is.)

Christie spent a lot of time hiding her murderers by creating intricate puzzles. I’m fascinated to see that Agatha Christie’s Death On The Nile is still selling well. Death On The Nile was first published in 1937 and was based on irresistible ideas. (Christie’s husband was an archaeologist.)

Just for the heck of it I checked out current estimated sales for Death On The Nile in Publisher Rocket:

Daily sales: $3,624

Monthly sales: $25,038

Not bad for a novel written in the 1930s. 🙂

I encourage you to make developing ideas a big part of your writing process.

2. Creativity: harness your imagination

Once you’ve captured a wonderful idea, you’ll need to be creative in executing it, so harnessing your imagination forms a big part of your writing process.

When you gain easy access to your imagination, you can be creative on demand.

From Writing Fiction: 3 Simple Ways Access Your Imagination:

An imaginative mind state is focused. But it’s also loose — free wheeling, and dream-like.

Repetitive tasks which don’t require much thinking help to trigger creativity. For example, I go for a drive if I’m stuck on a plot point. Other writers do household chores, or go swimming.

3. Draft your writing: write first, revise and edit later

Can you sit down at your desk (or on the sofa) and write? Do you have a writing process to draft your writing, so that writing is a joy, rather than torture?

From Create Your Own Writing Process: Write Fast, Write More:

We can put immense pressure on ourselves when we write.

This is always a mistake. Just write. Look on all the writing you do as “making mud”. Be exuberant and messy.

You can do a lot with your mud. Just as you can build entire houses with mud bricks, you can write articles, novels, nonfiction books, short stories, essays, memoirs – in short, you can write anything and everything, if you make the basic building material, the “mud” first.

“Mud” is the basis of ALL your writing. You can edit later.

By the way, editing’s much easier when you use an app for the final edits.

When you have a writing process that’s efficient, you’ll be happier, as well as more productive

If you’re a commercial writer, you need an efficient and enjoyable writing process. Use the above tips to develop a process that works for you.

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

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

eBook: $5.99

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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Write AND Sell in Just 8 Hours: Create Top-Selling Ebooks FAST

Write AND Sell in Just 8 Hours: Create Top-Selling Ebooks FAST

$4.99

What if you could create AND sell an ebook or other product in just eight hours? The product could be anything: a Kindle ebook, a collection of articles, a short story… a new writing service for your clients. This program will show you how to think outside the box, get creative — and SELL what you create.

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Resources to build your writing career

Check out Angela’s Writing Classes and Angela’s books for writers.

Editing Your Book? You May Not Believe It, But Apps Can Help

Editing Your Book? You May Not Believe It, But Apps Can Help

You’re all done with writing; now you’re editing your book.

Editors cost money, so you’ve done as much self-editing as you can. Self-editing is vital, because:

Leaving aside the fact that if you dump a mess into an editor’s lap it will cost you a small fortune to get it cleaned up, your own editing is important, because:

  • It’s your chance to discover the story you want to tell (this applies to both nonfiction and fiction);
  • It’s your big chance to make your book better.

But what if you’re on a self-publishing budget, and can’t afford an editor?

Editing your book takes time (and money)

Recently I started revamping and republishing several of my older books, published years ago.

Rather than hire an editor, I decided to try an app.

My reasoning? Using an app’s faster than hiring an editor. Although these books have been edited, I’m revising and rewriting scenes, so an app might help me to catch typos and other errors.

Also, I’ve never tried any of the editing apps. Since they’re proliferating, they must be useful, so I decided to download ProWritingAid.

ProWritingAid: amazingly useful

My expectations were low. I’ve been writing professionally for 40 years so — an app? Surely you kid….

After a month of serious use, I can report that ProWritingAid is useful.

Not only does it catch obvious errors like typos, but it also tightens up my writing.

Another benefit: we authors can get a little precious about our words.

However, once you’ve dumped your precious words into ProWritingAid, they no longer seem as sacred. You’ll slash and burn with abandon, and your writing gets better.

Check out a writing app or two: you may be as surprised as I was

I’ll do a proper review of ProWritingAid soon.

The app has also inspired me to take a look at other writing apps. As soon as I get time, I’ll be looking at Grammarly and others to see how they compare with ProWritingAid.

Hard as it is to admit, I’ve been properly humbled by ProWritingAid. Anything which improves your writing is a good thing.

Self-Publishing Strategy Made Easy: How To Market Your Books In 15 Minutes A Day

Self-Publishing Strategy Made Easy: How To Market Your Books In 15 Minutes A Day

eBook: $5.99

Do you enjoy writing and publishing your books, but find that marketing them is a challenge? You're not sure what works, so your efforts are muddled, half-hearted, and inconsistent.

What if you could market in just 15 minutes daily?

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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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Resources to build your writing career

Check out Angela’s Writing Classes and Angela’s books for writers.