• Discipline,  Time Management

    Top Ten Ways You Can Find Time To Write In 2016

    My house is a disaster. We’ve moved furniture around to make room for holiday shenanigans. We’ve forgone our schedules for calorie packed merriment. We’ve embraced the season with so much fervor, our wallets, our stomachs and our emotions are upset in a mostly good way. But the party will be over soon and Monday, January 4, will be here, all bright and shiny, waiting for us to make our mark and start good habits in the New Year.   We should all collectively rename January and call it “Good Intentions Month” instead. Because, really, by February we’ve forgotten all we want to accomplish and we’re back into old habits and…

  • #Top10Tuesday,  Marketing

    #Top10Tuesday Top 10 Ways To Invest In Yourself (And What To Avoid) From 10 Minute Novelists

      Great artists need great tools. If we are going to be great in our art, we need to equip ourselves, and spend a little money doing it.  I’m as frugal as the next person. In fact, I’m kind of a skinflint. I will come up with a million ways from Saturday to get out of spending money. Some of my ideas are practical, like shopping at thrift stores for growing kids but some are a little ridiculous, like how I decided that instead of going to a writers conference, I’d just watch all the writing videos on YouTube. If I’m going to spend money, especially on my art, I’d…

  • Community,  Motivation,  Self Talk

    #Top Ten Ways To Beat Insecurity As A Writer (At Least Temporarily) By Katharine Grubb

      We are insecure for a lot of reasons. We’re insecure because we probably have artistic temperaments that makes us feel deeply. We overthink and over analyze. We find it’s easier to dwell on what it negative in our life rather than what is positive. We may have lived in environments in which confidence and boldness was discouraged and despair was fertilized with lies and fear. We may lack skills. We may fear failure. We may long for approval and we know it’s hard to achieve it anywhere, much less in this field. We’ve been burned before. The last person who read our work was mean or hateful or didn’t…

  • #Top10Tuesday,  Discipline

    #Top10Tuesday Making Your Readers Fall In Love With You In 10 Not-So-Easy Steps By Katharine Grubb

    Recently my group had a one hour chat on Facebook about how to get a readers to fall in love with their work. We had one hour!  That’s  like bringing a baby home from the hospital and saying, “I got five minutes, how can I be a great parent?”  If you’re one of those writers who wants to woo readers quickly, then you need to move along. This post isn’t for  you.  There are no shortcuts. Sorry about that. Each bullet on this list is a long tedious task that can only be accomplished with hard work. Discouraged? Don’t be. Good relationships and enthusiastic tribes take time. And it starts with…

  • #MagicalMarketing,  #SellingMySoul,  #Top10Tuesday

    #Top10Tuesday Top 10 Ways to Market Your Book on a Budget

    I met Janice Thompson in 2014 at the MacGregor Literary Marketing Conference. Besides being a delightfully encouraging person, she also knows a lot about marketing books. Because she’s published over 100 titles, her Top 10 Ways to Market Your Book On A Budget is full of practical help. Enjoy! And then support Janice and buy her books! 1). Market first. Create a full marketing strategy in your proposal. Include every bit of contact information you can think of: local TV and radio stations, civic groups (or other places where you can speak/teach), bloggers who might be interested in promoting your book, online chat classes and so on. Put together a…

  • #MagicalMarketing,  #Top10Tuesday,  Marketing,  Motivation

    #Top10Tuesday Top 10 Ways Good Marketing Is Like Good Parenting

    The writing of the book, was the pregnancy. You conceived the idea in a romantic, intimate moment. You developed it secretly in the dark. You wrote while stuffing your face with all kinds of snacks. You tried to explain your characters and your plot to others and they just didn’t understand. And the length of the ms got bigger and bigger. And you wondered will I ever get this done? Will I be waiting for the arrival forever?  And the big day comes! You get your little bundle of joy from Createspace or some other expert labor and delivery establishment! You count all of the pages to make sure that it is all…

  • #Top10Tuesday,  Community,  Marketing

    #Top10Tuesday Top Ten Local Resources That Could Help You Sell Books

    The first rule of marketing is finding the right people who want what you have to sell. And the truth is that selling books is hard. But assuming that your book is an excellent one, it’s free of grammatical and artistic errors, it has a nice, professional cover and you’ve done all you can do to make it a great book then you can sell it. But first, you may need to start small and have low expectations. Starting small may mean starting locally. Your connections in your hometown might be a great place to begin your sales. This week’s #Top10Tuesday list is all about local places your book could be welcome.…

  • #MagicalMarketing,  #SellingMySoul,  Marketing,  Publishing,  Self Talk,  Self-Publishing

    Top 10 Signs You Aren’t Ready To Market Your Book

        For the last two-ish years, I’ve had books to sell. I’ve learned a lot about, but certainly not everything, about marketing. I’ve made plenty of mistakes. I think a good marketing author is always prepared to talk about their books, but timing is everything. You may not be ready to market. These are the top 10 signs you need to put your marketing plan on hold for a little while. 1. Your book may not be that good. Do not assume that because you got it on paper that it deserves to have readers. If you have put shoddy work on the marketplace you are being disrespectful of…

  • #Top10Tuesday

    #Top10Tuesday Top 20 Things To Give Your Characters That Will Make Them More Vivid

    Forget about hair color and broad shoulders and kissable lips.The best stories have characters  that are complex,  well drawn and have such interesting inner and outer struggles that readers can’t help but be fascinated by them.   There are hundreds of ways to develop character, from figuring out their favorite ice cream flavors to starting with an archetype and building on it. This is just one little list to set you thinking.  If you only manage a couple of these, your characters will be more vivid, more interesting and strong enough to carry a reader through your story.   1. Give them a secret that you won’t reveal to the…

  • #Top10Tuesday,  Beautiful Words,  Inspiration

    #Top10Tuesday Top 10 Links That Highlight Beautiful & Unusual Words

    1. Buzzfeed’s Beautiful Words: 51 Of The Most Beautiful Sentences in literature. I found them very inspiring. 2. From Sliptalk. They call it, “These 33 One-Sentence Quotes Will Blow Your Mind Every Time. Especially The 8th One.” That’s a bit of an overstatement, but they are nice and noble and short! (That can’t be said about the ads!) 3. Untranslatable Words. This is a beautiful collection of words from other cultures that can’t be translated into English. I love the illustrations and I also like thinking of the imagination that came up for the need for these words. I also want to put them in my every day use right now.…

  • #Top10Tuesday,  Beautiful Words,  Community,  Reading

    Top 10 Tuesdays! Top 10 Ways To Love Your Local Library

    It seems fitting to me to incorporate a tribute to libraries in my theme of Beautiful Words. Where else can you get access to free  beauty?   My local libraries have been very generous in helping me with author signings and events. I’d like to suggest the sooner you start loving your local library (and the people who work there) the better your relationship and the more help they’ll give you in your marketing goals. 1. Bring them a treat.  Showing up with cookies or donuts just to say thank you would almost always be welcome. 2. Donate your books. Libraries differ on their donations policy, so it’s better to ask…

  • Beautiful Words,  Craft,  Revising and Editing

    Top 10 Easy Ways To Make Your Sentences More Beautiful

     For the month of April, this blog is celebrating Beautiful Words! Today I have a list! Top 10 Easy Ways To Make Your Sentences More Beautiful 1. Eliminate the adverbs and adjectives. Stick in a metaphor if you want the reader to appreciate the nuances and features of the noun. Or pick a better noun. 2. Read it out loud. Listen for rhythms and cadence. Add in phrases or clauses to slow things down, add description or amp up emotion. 3. Don’t let it start with “There was” or “There were.” 4. Rearrange where the verb and noun are in the sentence, but don’t make it passive. 5. Add an element…

  • #Top10Tuesday,  Perils of a Mom Writer,  Time Management,  Write A Novel In 10 Minutes A Day

    #Top10Tuesday Top Ten Things I Think About Daily That Make Me Productive

    I am NOT perfect. I make a LOT of mistakes, but one of the biggest things I did right was decide that I would make time for my dreams. (I wrote a book about it too!)  I realized that if I was going to actually write in 10 minute increments, I would have to organize my life. Now, I’ve been doing this 10 Minute Writer/Novelists gig for nine years, so I’ve streamlined my procedures pretty well (and THANK GOD, my kids are older!) But I still have 10 Things I think about on a daily basis that makes my organization and productivity possible. 1. I know where everything is.  I…

  • #Top10Tuesday,  Self Talk

    #Top10Tuesday Top Ten Things You Should Be Saying To Yourself That Will Help Make You More Successful

    In February, I posted, Top 10 Things You Could Be Saying To Yourself That Will Guarantee Your Failure As A Writer  Today I want to do the opposite! 1. Everybody Makes Mistakes.  This is huge! You need to be reminded that every successful writer has a team behind them of editors, agents and publishers that help them make their book the best it can be. Don’t freak out over the errors in your manuscript. Just fix them and move on! 2. Tomorrow Is Another Day. Plan on making every single day the best you can to pursue your goals, but be realistic. Some days, you’re not going to get your words in,…