It’s OK for a Writer to …

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As 2017 ended, I contemplated how I could make 2018 calmer for me as a writer. My word for 2017 was CALM. Focusing and praying on staying calm last year has blessed me. Since January, God has healed me of chronic insomnia and shown me how to receive the peace He offers. So as I leave my year of CALM, I wanted to list other things that will continue my calmness as I go forward.

It’s OK for a Writer to …

 

Platform, Promotion, and Marketing

 

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♥ Take off holidays from posting blogs. I faithfully blog once a week. This year I simply wished my readers well at Thanksgiving and Christmas. I was sincere in my wishes, and the break in blogging revitalized me. 

♥ Use the learning and research performed during writing, marketing, and platform building as topics for blogs. For me, this quickly produces blogging ideas, and the research is mostly done.

♥ Accept offered help. This may be from several people. After my husband retired, he took over the vacuuming, shopping, and laundry so I could write. Then, he read and offered input on my manuscripts. This year, he has revamped my spreadsheets that track my sales for tax reporting and my inventories. He does several marketing tasks, and he’s going with me to a writer’s conference. Hurray! He’s even learned to make memes! Relief for me.

♥ Say no to disliked promotion activities or those that experience or research has shown aren’t worth the work. For me, that’s TV or Radio interviews, blog tours, and non-reader-related fairs.

♥ Ask for information or help to make progress. I’m respectful of others’ time, but I’ve learned most publishing staff, other writers, and readers want to help. And many who can’t, wish they could.

Writing

♥ Write in the style and manner that personally works best. For me, I like to create a thought-out journey, then have the freedom to be creative along the way as I listen to my characters.

♥ Make mistakes in drafts. I was surprised at how many of the “mistakes” I write about in my blogs I did in my latest draft. For my draft, this is OK.

♥ Learn from mistakes. Now, as I write and edit, my critique partner sits on one shoulder, my editors sit on the other, and my writing blog posts perch atop my head. These kind people want my story to be the best it can be. I enjoy hearing them speak to me as I write.

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My word for 2018 is BOLD. If I’m truly bolder, I’ll be less anxious and that will contribute to my calmness. And I’ll take better care of myself in this demanding profession.

Writers, give yourselves permission to __. And enjoy the writing profession in 2018. Click to tweet.

If you have a word that represents what you’d like to work on this year, would you share it with us? And what will you give yourself permission to do or not do?

 

 

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Amanda Larrowe’s lack of trust sabotages her relationships. The English teacher and award-winning author of middle-grade adventure books for boys has shut off communication with friends and family to meet her January 2 book deadline. Now, in the deepest snow accumulation Richmond, Virginia has experienced in years, Camden Lancaster moves in across the street. After ten years, her heart still smarts from the humiliating aftermath of their perfect high school Valentine’s Day date. He may have transformed into a handsome, amiable man, but his likeability doesn’t instill trust in Amanda’s heart. When Cam doesn’t recognize her on their first two encounters, she thinks it’s safe to be his fair-weather neighbor. Boy is she wrong

5 Reasons I Don’t Care I Lost Money Self-publishing

“Dare to be naïve.” —Richard Buckminster Fuller 

ID-10047143Two Self-published Books

In 1999 before I signed with an agent, I had twelve contemporary Christian short story ideas that came to me like shooting stars from heaven as I studied the Bible. I wrote the stories to explain to myself difficult teachings.

photoAfter giving dramatic readings of the stories, listeners encouraged me to publish them. I did, relying on The Self-publishing Manual by Dan Poynter and The Complete Guide to Self-Publishing by Tom and Marilyn Ross. I completed more than 35 steps in the publishing process.

At my marketing expertise level, 700 copies would’ve been sufficient, but I contracted 3,000 books printed through my company, Holy Ghost Writers Publishing. In 2000, I did it all again with 15 more stories and 3,300 books printed. Talk about naïve.

But over time, the stories, the extra books, and the publishing process have become a boon.

5 Reasons Self-publishing Pearls in the Muddle and Crumbled, Tumbled, Humbled—Saved Became a Godsend.

Reason 1. Self-publishing showed me how to find talented people-resources in my own backyard.

Image courtesy of anankkml at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of anankkml at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

In the self-publishing process, a qualified Christian co-worker edited my books. My nephew created the illustrations. A family friend, a graphics designer, designed the book covers. Friends and family members contributed funds. Friends organized my first public dramatic readings. All shared my vision. Many would’ve worked without compensation if I’d let them.

Self-publishing prepared me for finding gifted people for my later dream project: creating a church library.

Reason 2.  Self-publishing taught me how to research an unfamiliar industry and hire business providers.

In the self-publishing process, I contacted Advance Book Information to list my books in Books in Print. I obtained copyrights, Cataloging In Publication information for the title page, ISBN numbers, and barcodes. I requested quotes from book printers. I scheduled bookstores for signings.

These tasks provided me experience for working with many business providers in building our dream house.

Reason 3. Self-publishing provided a basis for honing my public speaking skills.

MP900289528I reaped public speaking experience from my corporate job, but my dramatic readings expanded my skills. I presented to women’s groups in churches, at women’s retreats, at community centers, from church pulpits, and to youth groups. I learned the worth of incorporating spin-off ideas by developing a workshop based on two of my stories about prayer and offering participants my books.

Today, this experience helps me build my platform as a writer. My presentations and workshops on the writing craft and industry allow me to give back to other writers what I’ve received.

Reason 4. Self-publishing demonstrated I had the determination to be an author and speaker.

When I pitched my first novel to my agent-to-be, my self-published books showed her my commitment. They also emboldened me to get two stories published in an online magazine.

I include my self-publishing efforts in book proposals to publishers to show my perseverance.

Reason 5. Self-publishing provided an avenue to help others.

I’m aware of one person the stories led to Christ. People have used the books for devotionals and Bible studies. Many of those extra printed books are on bookshelves of new Christian libraries in English-speaking third-world countries through donations to a library ministry.

Image courtesy of anekoho at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of anekoho at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Over my 8-year involvement in a prison ministry, I provided the books to young male prisoners, who passed them on to fellow inmates.

The books provide me a meaningful gift I can give new friends, associates, and acquaintances. A fun medium for witnessing my faith.

What “faux pas” has turned into a bonanza for you?