It’s November. Time for NaNoWriMo – What’s That?

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NaNoWriMo – have you heard of it? National Novel Writer’s Month. Honestly, I never heard of it until six months ago. NaNoWriMo is the month (November) writers and anyone who wants to enhance their writing skills commit to their goals for writing. People dream about writing a novel or book or becoming a better writer, but we all know dreams don’t mean anything unless you set a goal because goals have a deadline. NaNoWriMo is the month people commit to write 50,000 words for their novel or other writing project during November. Fifty thousand words divided by 30 days is 1,666 words/day. What activities can you shave out of your day to make time for writing? Less TV, less time on social media, less time sleeping? Maybe you’ll have more time one day than another. That’s okay. The idea is to set your goal and stick to it.

We’re all busy, but if we’re serious about writing, let’s take the challenge. When I plan things or carve out time for tasks I’m able to hit my goals. If exercise, violin lessons, meetings, etc. are on my calendar, I’m more organized and my brain doesn’t have to “remember” things. Therefore, I’m less stressed and have a clearer head to finish things faster and easier.

At this time in my business and life, if I aimed for 50,000 words this month, I’d fail. Wow, did I say that? Yep, but I’d rather say it up front than to say I’ll write 50,000 words this month, not do it and then criticize myself for the next five years! So, my goal for November is writing 25,000 words. That’s 833 words a day which is doable. We’re creating new programs, writing more blogs, and writing a book for 2017 so 833 words on average a day for the month of November is my goal. I can commit to that. How about you? What’s a goal you can stick to and not blast yourself for the next six months if you don’t reach your target?

It’s about having fun, setting a goal, managing your time, and finishing or moving closer to completing your novel or writing project. If you want support during this month, follow us in our Facebook Group, Your Literary Prose Writing Circle. It’s an interactive group where you ask questions, find support, and more. We’re announcing new things to come and provide daily tips and more! We hope to see you there!

We look forward to hearing your goals for NaNoWriMo this month. Comment here and in our FB Group. Peter and I will post our updates daily in the FB Group too.

Here’s to NaNoWriMo and making it work for you – no matter what your goal is for writing this month!

Until next time,

Colleen and Peter

Your Literary Prose

Here’s more information on NaNoWriMo.

 

Try These Writing and Editing Processes… Your Time Is Money

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In the long run, separating the writing and editing process, setting a timer just to write, and avoiding distractions can end up saving you time and money.  We’re all busy and try to multitask everything we do, but sometimes it just doesn’t pay to try to combine doing everything at one time because we end up going back and starting over again. When I write, I find I need my brain’s undivided attention!

Write First; Edit Second.

One common trait many writers and authors wrestle with is disconnecting the writing and editing process.  I struggled with this for years; if I knew something was not correct while writing or typing, I immediately went back and corrected it so I wouldn’t forget to change it later, but realized at some point that I was losing time, and let’s face it, time is money. After years of doing this, I finally started writing the article or blog, etc. and then editing. “Letting go” of this was excruciating for me, to say the least! My advice: Put all your thoughts down on paper or type them on the computer and then revise the grammar, duplication of word usage, incorrect spelling, etc.

Wait to Write Your Introduction.

Introductions are hard to write so if you struggle with your introduction just start writing your first key point from your outline and then after you write your chapter, article, blog, etc. go back and compose your introduction.

Set a Timer.

I’ve mentioned this before in different “writings” but it’s a great habit to start no matter what type of business you are working with; i.e., coaches, speakers, lawyers, Fortune 500, etc. When you determine the length of time you want to write, set a timer and write. You decide the amount of time – 30 minutes, 45 minutes, 60 minutes – it’s up to you, but during this time, until the buzzer sounds – write. Focus on writing; no checking email, making phone calls, checking Twitter or Facebook, cleaning off your desk, etc. Write.

Keep Moving.

What? I mean keep writing even if you want to edit as you are writing. This is one habit I have really worked on; however, it’s a struggle, but I have found that if I keep writing and edit later, I do save time. I have a system for notes or information I don’t want to forget about; I highlight the area and mark it with bold letters. You could try this or write a note to yourself or use {brackets} to record your notes and come back later and edit the material.

DD – Duck Distractions!

It’s difficult enough to write when you aren’t interrupted, but constant interference can play havoc with your writing progress. Some helpful hints to DD:

  • Tell people you are writing and need to concentrate; give them the hours you are not available.
  • Turn off Skype, Twitter updates, your cell phone, office phone ringer, etc.
  • Find a quiet place – a place you can close the door, or perhaps a go to a quiet park or the beach.
  • Put on a pair of headphones – people will think you are listening to something (even if you aren’t) and less likely to disturb you.

I post tips and suggestions on Facebook and received the following comments from two people:

Introductions: Michelle Campbell from Forte Virtual Support Solutions:

“This is a great tip, Colleen. I always do this. I rarely start from the beginning and finish at the end. I jump around from section to section and point to point, especially when I get inspired to discuss a particular point. It’s much more difficult to write if you force yourself to stick to an outline you create.”

DD – Duck Distractions: Patti Cooper from Big Sky Social Media Management:

“I find it very difficult to concentrate when working from home, there’s always someone around. I usually just go in the bedroom and close the door. But the headphone idea is a great one. I’ll be trying that now, thanks for sharing!”

What steps do you take to Duck Distractions?

My tip for you – keep moving along when you write, and edit when you have finished your article, blog, chapter, etc. See what happens. You might find you are more productive and the system works better than editing as you write.  What are some of your tips and tricks? I’d love to hear from you!

Until next time,

Colleen

The Easiest Way to Start Your Book Today

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Welcome back readers.

Have you ever thought to yourself, “I want to write a book?” Or, maybe you’ve heard an increasingly large number of entrepreneurs are writing books and you want to jump on the train. Maybe you want to spread your story and expand your audience beyond your current clientele. We’ve heard these types of comments and questions from many people and we are here to help. Over the past month we have put together a guide for authors, speakers, coaches, and businesses owners to start the book they’ve always wanted to write.

Today I’ll break down what we created and why we sectioned it out the way we did. From the first day of writing to finding your readers’ problems to brainstorming ideas for your cover and everything in between, we have you covered.

What we did?

Making it easier to start your book!

“Ten Simple Steps to Discover the Book Inside You” is our way to help people who want to write a book but do not understand where to start. One of the hardest parts of writing a book is starting. Newton’s first law, as stated probably one too many times outside of the field of physics, still holds true – “An object in motion stays in motion, an object at rest stays at rest.”  The aim of our guide is to help writers to just start, to create a certain time to write in a creative place, and to begin planning the entire process of writing, publishing, and marketing their future book.

Each manuscript goes through three main processes, which you have probably heard from us before: writing, publishing, and marketing. We divided our ten days into three, three-day blocks tackling the three tasks in each period block. But, that only adds up to nine days. The last day, and in our opinion the most important day, is the day in which we encourage our writers to take the time to plan out the rest of their book, and to take the next step forward.

If you want to learn a bit more about how to start writing your book, download “Ten Simple Steps to Discover the Book Inside You” today and begin your path to publication. Or, if you know of someone interested in writing a book, please share this post with them. We appreciate it! 

Until next week,

Peter

Ten Simple Steps to Discover the Book Inside You

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Announcing Telesummit Experts and Topics, Oh My!

We’re excited to announce the experts and their topics for our Capstone Telesummit event on April 1. We’ve extended the day since we have two bonus experts sharing their information! The hours are now 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM EST. If you can’t make the entire day, that’s okay; all audio is recorded and we’ll send it to everyone whether you’re online all day or not. That way, you can go back and absorb the material at your leisure!

The next segment of the Teleseminar, “It’s More Than Just Words,” is Thursday, March 10, 2016, at 4:00 PM. “See” you there. Thanks to the following experts. We couldn’t have accomplished this without you!

We’re Grateful For:

Michelle Arbore

Social media marketing for authors; what works for fiction might not work for nonfiction writers.

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Diana Ennen

Best-Selling Author and PR Expert Shares What It Takes to Market A Book; the Pitfalls to Avoid and How to Create Magic for Sales.

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Kay Fittes

From Speaker to Author – The Author’s Guide to Creating Confidence and Credibility.

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Beverley Golden

During her interview, Beverley discusses how “writing was the easiest part. It was the editing, publishing, and marketing where most of the energy was spent.”

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Tonya Hofmann

How being published establishes credibility as a speaker, what publishers expect, and once you’re published it’s another avenue of revenue!

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James Ranson

Comprehensive Book Plans: Why You Need One to Create a High-Quality Book.

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Michelle Scappace

Authors Can’t Do It Alone; Your Focus is Writing. PVAAs Have Training and Expertise, Provide Guidance, and Encouragement…

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Janica Smith

Self-Publishing Options: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

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Janica Smith and Michelle Scappace are also going to talk with us about how authors can find a certified PVAA and the benefits of someone taking their course through Instruction Smith to become a certified PVAA.

For more information on our experts, visit their sites and also sign up through our expert page!

There’s an extra bonus for you too – Sign up before March 15 and receive all recordings of our audio, all freebies, and one hour of coaching with Colleen and Peter. We can discuss your book, your process of writing, where you’re at and where you might want to go, clear up any objectives or goals… But, the deadline is March 15. What’s stopping you? Your book; It’s More Than Just Words!

52 Weeks to Better Myself

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Challenge Accepted

Personal development

Hello there Reader!

With January past, we are starting to get into the real meat of the year. The holidays have worn off, the time spent at work grows, and that New Year’s Resolution may or may not still be working. That’s okay, we’ve all been there. What happens is that most of us try to change too much too soon. So I want to give you a little extra push on your goals or even a chance to change up your goal and refocus.

Over the past month I’ve been thinking of ways that I can better myself, psychically, intellectually, in business… I often wonder about how I can become better, as my one professor’s in college used to say, “get better everyday.” Yesterday as I sat down to read I had one of those little ah-ha moments.

A Pledge To You

Time to crack those spines

Here is my pledge to you the reader. I pledge to make myself better everyday this year by reading 50 books this year. Yes this is a lofty goal and I know just two paragraphs above here I said that most of us try to change too much to fast. But in all honesty that’s not that difficult.  Just think about how long you spend watching Netflix (For me it’s The Office and The X-Files right now), or maybe you’re one of those people who are engrossed in a game on your phone (Clash of Clans addict here), or think of all the other tasks you do that are not the most productive use of your time (no one is 100% productive). Now think if you just read a book instead of watching one more episode of The Office (you don’t have to stop rooting for Jim and Pam) that’s 20 minutes of reading time.

That’s how I’m going to pursue my goal, one less episode of The Office (or The X-Files) a day. Now that doesn’t mean I’m going to stop watching Netflix all at once, leaving me with nothing but reading to do. No that would be a too drastic change, but who knows in a few weeks maybe I’ll be down to watching one less episode a night.

Reading Lists

What I’ll be reading in 2016

Now what will I be reading? A little bit of everything! With the aforementioned new year it seems as though there have been about as many people offering up reading lists, for this year and last year, as there are people who have tweeted or wrote a blog. I’ve also been delving into Goodreads lately and there are so many reading lists on to pick and choose from. I also have gone back to high school Pete and  thought about what I read, what I want to re-read, what I only read the Cliff Note’s for, there are about 40 books right there to think about. There are so many books out there to read, it really is impossible to not find something for you to read.

With my pledge of reading 50 books I want to read at least 20 books focused on business.  Reading business books will push me to learn more about the business, how we can better help you, how to interact better with people both in person and through the ever-growing field of social media and the internet in general.

That means that I have plenty of room for the fun books too! These are the books that I truly love, the books that I have laid in bed reading until 3:00 in the morning when I had to wake up at 7:00. This is what I’ve been reading almost exclusively in the past few months and what I want to continue reading. Fiction novels still provide you with knowledge that helps you in your life, it gives me imagination, access to language that I don’t hear in everyday speak, it provides insights into other people’s thoughts, and many, many more things.

A Challenge For You

Reach for the stars

I would like to challenge you to read a little more this year! Take the time to grow as a professional, as a human being, or better yet, both. If you use Goodreads I challenge you to pledge a number of book to read this year (look me up and lets be friends). Don’t stretch yourself too thin but don’t be afraid to challenge yourself. By striving to reach just above your comfort level people are more likely to work for and achieve their goals. If you tend to read 10 books a year, maybe stretch your goal to 15, there is no need to do 50! I’d love to hear your thoughts on reading , or your thoughts on what to read.

To keep myself honest I’ll be posting a list of the book I’ve read right here, I’ll try to update as much as possible.

What I’ve Read

– updated 3/8/2016

So I’m up to 7 books, a bit behind schedule but that’s okay, I hope to finish up a couple books this week!

Fiction and Fun Non-Fiction

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie

The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

Children of the After: Awakening (book 1) by Jeremy Laszlo

Argo: How the CIA and Hollywood Pulled Off the Most Audacious Rescue in History by Antonio Mendez 

Business Non-Fiction

The Most Productive People in History: 18 Extraordinarily Prolific Inventors, Artists, and Entrepreneurs, From Archimedes to Elon Musk by Michael Rank

 

Thanks for the read! Hope to see you on Goodreads or down in the comments!

Peter Wietmarschen