Friday, December 31, 2010

And the winner is ...

Well, the votes have been tallied and the decision has been made on a name for the new e-zine. A few weeks ago, I asked for your help in naming my new e-zine set to debut in just a few days. Thanks to everyone who submitted suggestions and who voted on the name ideas. Wednesday, January 5th is the launch date for my e-zine called … drum roll, please … Book Your Success.

It’s all about information, tips, resources and articles to help aspiring authors get their book done, upsell their assets and enhance their expertise. Every two weeks, you’ll get tips from some fabulous writers and authors, experts in publishing, specialists in author promotions and even some gurus to help with your command of the English language. I want to help you make your dream of becoming an author a reality. No more excuses. No more procrastinating.

Be sure to type in your email address in the upper left corner of this page to subscribe to Book Your Success so in 2011 you’ll Be an Author. Be an Expert. Be Amazing!

Happy New Year!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Top 10 Resolutions for Writers

I came across this article on and found these tips especially good. And really, I need to try a few myself. So, here's to you and your New Year's resolutions. Call them goals, dreams, hopes, whatever. But by this time next year, plan to call them DONE!

Top 10 Resolutions for Writers
By Ginny Wiehardt, Guide

Ready to set some concrete goals for the next year of your writing life? In the spirit of the season, I've outlined some popular resolutions for writers. Pick one or two things you want to feel good about when you look back on this year next January.

  1. Consistently Make Time to Write. Finding time to write is the hardest thing for many writers, but if you're committed to writing a certain amount each day or week or to writing at specific times, you're much more likely to get work done. (This is especially true if you tend to procrastinate. And who doesn't, at least at times?) For me, it's worked best to write every day at the same time. Beyond the fact that it makes me write, my brain gets trained to write at that time and will offer up solutions or ideas more readily than at other times of the day.
  2. Overcome Your Writer's Block. Renew your commitment to finding a way to overcome your block, if you have one. Find out what's causing your writing woes, and address it head on, starting with this article on writer's block.
  3. Complete an Unfinished Work. Do you have a story or novel sitting around, keeping you from going on to new, more exciting projects? I can attest that unfinished projects are huge energy drains. Make a plan to get through them this year -- you might even write your goals on your calendar. You'll find that you have a renewed energy for your writing once these old projects are off your plate.
  4. Read More. Are there classic novels you've always meant to read, but haven't? Or some genre you think might inform your work in interesting or productive ways? Make a plan. It doesn't have to be too ambitious, but set some modest goals for your reading life this year.
  5. Keep a Journal. Though journaling is an art in itself, with its own disciplines and satisfactions, many fiction writers rely on their journals for ideas and details. If nothing else, keeping a journal is a good way to ensure that you're writing consistently.
  6. Find a Place to Write. If a lack of space is keeping you from writing, put this at the top of your list. Your resolution might also be to just make your writing space more conducive to your work. Clean up the clutter; surround yourself with things that inspire you. Have a space you look forward to entering.
  7. Write a Novel. If you've always wanted to write a novel, but have been afraid to attempt it, make this the year you finally do it. Don't worry if it's good or not, or if it's publishable or not. Just find a story you need to write, that only you can write, and write it. There's something valuable about sticking to something this big, about discovering that you can do it. If nothing else, you'll finally be able to cross this off your list of things to do in life.
  8. Submit Work. If you know you're ready to publish, make a realistic goal about the number of magazines you want to submit to, presses you want to query, or contests you want to try, and stick to it. Stay focused on accomplishing your goal, though, and not on the result. Whether you get published or not, you can take satisfaction in meeting your goal.
  9. Try a New Genre or Art Form. Screenwriters, playwrights, and poets have a lot to teach fiction writers. You'll find that you take the lessons of that genre back to your fiction. The same applies to other art forms. From photography, you'll learn to pay attention to the visual world, and from acting, to put yourself in the mind of someone else and to pay attention to how people move in space. (If you're already working in several media, your resolution might be to integrate them in the coming year.)
  10. Be Easier on Yourself. Focus on what you do accomplish this year, not on your failures. Writing is hard, and getting published even harder. Beating yourself up doesn't help anything. Reward yourself for having found something that you love this much and for sticking to it.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Name that Newsletter

As if the blog, the author’s coaching program, the teleseminars, the workshop, the self-study program and the journal aren’t enough meat for the Write Your Life Program, I’m actually launching the e-zine in January 2011. The only challenge: I don’t have a name for it yet. So, I need your help. I have a tagline, but no title. What’s that all about? 

Anyway, I had a list of about 40 potential names for this electronic newsletter, but I obviously need to narrow it down to 1. That’s where you come in. Please send me your suggestion for the 1/one (only 1) e-newsletter title that you like best. I need to hear from you by December 31st. If you don’t like any of the below ideas, suggest one/1 (only 1). Here’s what you need to know before voting/suggesting:
The Audience: The newsletter will target aspiring authors. Successful women in Corporate America and in business (entrepreneurs, solopreneurs), who want to write and publish a memoir, autobiography or how-to book. 
The Content: It’s all about what an aspiring author needs to know to start, finish, publish, market and sell her first book. We’re talking tips, resources, interviews with industry experts, articles from leading sources and content from yours truly, the Writer Extraordinaire.
The Frequency: Twice a month. That’s enough to keep the audience engaged, and hopefully not too much to bombard them.
So, get to work people. I need to hear from you in short order. The e-zine is set to launch in early January, but it goes nowhere without a name. I’m sooooo looking forward to hearing from you. Oh, and by the way, be sure to tell your friends to follow this blog so they can be added to the e-zine subscriber list. This is going to be so much fun!
Here's how to vote:
  1. Select the e-zine title you like best (or make one up).
  2. Email with your choice. Put "e-zine" as the subject.
  3. Click "send"

Totally easy!

Here are the choices:
  • Author Aspirations
  • Author Inspirations
  • Write to Success
  • Book Your Success
  • _______________What's your suggestion?

Here's the tagline (this will follow the title): "Be an Author. Be an Expert. Be Amazing."

Now, get those votes in by December 31st!

Thanks a million (in advance)!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

4 Ways to Advance Your Book Project Over the Holidays

The holidays are upon us, and no doubt you’re feeling the crunch. There’s shopping, cooking, gift wrapping, cleaning, partying and planning to be done, yet there are still only 24 hours in a day. During “normal” weeks you find it difficult to work on your book project. With the added distractions and to-dos of the holiday season you might find it even more strenuous to find time to write. Here’s a tip to let you off the hook: Don’t stress. Do what you can and enjoy life.
I’ve said it before -- writing should be pleasurable. However, I understand the stress of trying to finish your book on time or, better yet, ahead of schedule. But I’m here to let you off the hook, give you a break, allow you to breathe this holiday season. Instead of adding to your stress level by trying to squeeze in writing time between gatherings and holiday projects, use the holiday season to do some other work on your book. Here are 4 things you can do to advance your book project over the holidays:
  1. You better tell somebody! The holidays are the perfect time to (finally) tell your family and friends that you will be a published author in 2011. When wishing people Happy Holidays, add that you’re looking forward to next year when your book will be finished. Develop a short spiel to explain what your book is about and why you’re writing it. Toss in a suggestion that you’d love their support in promoting your book.
  2. Do some research. This is a really non-creative way to move forward with your project. Review some of the resources your writing coach has shared with you, pick up a book you’ve been wanting to get that will help propel your project, interview a colleague or other professional whose expertise you want to include in your book. 
  3. Speaking of interviewing ... You’ll be around family for days; take the time to gather stories, quotes and photos for your memoir or autobiography. Once you tell Aunt Ethel that you’re writing a book, she might open up and tell you more about that incident with your dad when he was 12; or your siblings might enjoy taking a group photo so they can be included in your book.
  4. Reflect and Review. Think about how far you’ve come with your book project. Give yourself a pat on the back for making some progress. Then, review the content you already have. You might need to adjust your outline, revise a few paragraphs here and there, or make notes for other content to add.  

See how easy this can be! Use the holidays as an opportunity, not an excuse, when it comes to your book project. If writing seems out of the question, take this time to do some other things that will keep your book project going. When January 2nd arrives, you’ll not only be ready to start writing again, you will have made progress in other areas and you’ll be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Happy Holidays!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Who Are You, What Do You Know and Why Should I Care?

We already know that one of the best ways to establish yourself as an expert, a leading voice, an authority, a sage is to become an author. Write your story and tell it like only you can. But your book won’t move readers to action or inspire them unless it answers three important questions:

  • Who are you?
  • What do you know?
  • Why should readers care?

This is true whether your book is a memoir, an autobiography or a how-to book. Think about it, readers want to learn from someone who has been there and done that. They want to know that you aren’t just making up this stuff; that you’ve been in the trenches and you’ve come through it, a little bruised, but with a whole lot of lessons learned. So consider each question as you write your book and make certain you address them effectively, always keeping your readers in mind.
Who are you?
Here’s where you describe your background, establish the theme of the book, describe an incident that affected you deeply, allowed for your growth and finally led to your writing the book. Readers want to know that you’re real, so tell the truth, be authentic and transparent.
What do you know?
Tell of your experience, touch on the knowledge you’ve gained. This doesn’t necessarily have to be professional, intellectual or academic experience. It could be what you’ve learned from the school of “hard knocks.” Life teaches us amazing lessons. Your book is your chance to share what you’ve learned. If you’re writing a how-to, dig deep and offer some little known insights, trade secrets or valuable tips you’ve learned.
Why should readers care?
Here’s where you draw your readers in and cause them to hold up a mirror, stare deeply into it and find themselves in the pages of your book. Read them their personal mail. Let them see themselves in your situation and help them discover how they too can triumph, prevail and become better by living the lessons and applying the tools you are sharing.
Your book is a tool for readers to learn something. So, determine what you want to teach and then make it your mission to do so with authenticity and clarity. Keep them turning the pages, wanting more. Best of all, make sure they close your book and know for sure that you are the expert you claim to be.