Friday, January 31, 2014

Do You Dread a Deadline?

I had a deadline on a writing project this week. I often work under self-imposed deadlines, but this one was imposed by the editor of an international magazine and it felt very different from my usual self-imposed deadlines.

The difference is, mine are always negotiable and highly flexible. Because I'm a free-lance writer, I have the luxury of setting my own priorities. My self-imposed deadlines are always subject to my family's needs. With such a large family as I have, this happens often, and that really works for me. I love the flexibility and freedom free-lancing allows me to have.

I have worked under outside deadlines before, don't get me wrong, but they really are few and far between. I like being in control of my own schedule. But, this week was different. The editor in charge of this project said on Monday he wanted the finished product by Friday....of this same week. He was on a deadline to be sure.

At first, it felt good.

Then it felt intimidating.

Then it felt restrictive.

Then it felt motivating.

Then it felt exhilarating.

Then I got the project finished a day early!

I learned that working with a deadline imposed by someone else isn't as restrictive as I thought it would be. I learned that I really do have it in me to work on someone else's schedule. I learned that I hope I get to work under such a deadline in the future.

Since I intend to remain in free-lance work, working with external deadlines will likely remain a rare option for me. When those deadlines do come, I'll embrace them as I did this one, and likely finish early again!

Happy Writing!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

One Step Closer to Your Writing Dreams

When I started my Writing for Publication classes a few years ago, I had no idea how far some of my students would be able to take what they'd learned and achieve such success. Amanda Hocking sat in my class and told me how she'd quit college to write full time because college took too much time away from her writing. Sitting with a large stack of rejection letters, Amanda learned about e-publishing in my class and that was all she needed to know. She's now a million-dollar-author with a movie deal in the works!

The simple, straightforward information in this short e-book have been life-changing and confidence-building for many other authors as well. I got word just this week that another one of my students has sent his book off to Paramount Pictures. I also got word that another former student just signed a book deal with a publisher. You can be a successful writer, too. Start by learning what my other students learned; start by downloading your free copy of Write, Then Publish. Today.

Happy Writing!
Happy Publishing!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Do You Want to Sell Books? Start Giving Them Away

The title looks a little deceptive, but it really is true. If you want to sell your books, start giving them away! Today, I started offering one of my e-books, Tears in a Bottle, for free through Amazon Kindle Direct. Within an hour, 35 books had been downloaded! For me, a small-scale indie author, that number is huge for an hour's worth of sales!

KDP Select is one of the best tools any writer can use. It doesn't matter if you're a seasoned author or just getting started. Offering your books as a free download through Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing's Select program is genius for selling books!

Kudos for Amazon for coming up with such a program. Writers, take note. If you want to sell more books, start giving them away!

You still get a cut and your name as an author gets a wider audience. It's a win/win plan.

By the way, the photography on the cover of this e-book is also mine!

Go for it!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

A Good Book = Good Company

When one of my sons was seven years old, he got very sick. He was not only lethargic and not hungry, he was also hot with fever and broke out with a very red rash. A trip to the pediatrician revealed what I had suspected: Scarlet Fever. The poor kid was miserable. I felt terrible for him, but knew just the thing he needed, besides the medicine the doctor prescribed and lots of fluids. He needed a good book!

I found several books from The Box Car series and he was hooked, spending the long, sick hours reading. He hardly realized how quickly the time passed while he waited out this disease. Later, he said to me, "Mom, a good book can sure keep a guy company!"

I've never forgotten this little lesson. Write well. You might be keeping someone company sooner than you think!

Happy Writing!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Day My Writing Changed

I never thought of myself as a writer. I wrote as a child, but that didn't translate into writing for anyone other than myself. I did the mandatory writing in school and always got good grades on what I wrote, but that didn't translate into becoming a writer. I wrote, however, a lot. I did far more than just the mandatory writing my teachers required. 

I wrote lists. 
I wrote observations. 
I wrote expectations. 
I wrote stories.
I wrote.
But, I didn't think of myself as a writer because all my writing was for myself.

One comment from one college professor changed my writing. Upon returning a graded writing assignment to me, he commented, "Reading your writing is just like talking to you. You should write." He actually wrote those words at the top of that paper! I was astounded that my writing could impact someone else. That idea had not occurred to me. I got an "A" on that paper, and that'x exactly when I started writing for the eyes of others.

I still write for myself, but that comment from my professor helped me overcome the fear of exposing my writing to others. It changed my writing forever. To this day, when I am doubting my writing, I think of his comment and it bolsters me up to continue.

What about you? When and why did you start writing? Go back to those roots for a jump start on your writing for 2014. It's amazing how motivating that can be!

Happy Writing