IF…THEN

If you watch your gas gauge, then you will not run out of gas.

If you clean your plate, then you can have dessert.

If you listen in class, then you will learn.

It’s really simple, isn’t it?

If…then.

Writers can use the “if…then” principle, too.

If writers will learn the fundamentals of the craft, then the quality of their writing will improve.

If writers will dedicate time to reading, then they will learn much from published authors.

If writers will join a writing/critique group, then they will find encouragement from fellow writers.

If writers will schedule a block of time for writing every day, then they will become a more disciplined writer.

If writers will make a Thesaurus their best friend, then their writing will become more interesting.

If writers will attend a writing conference, then they will find increased opportunities to network.

If writers will pursue writing with their whole hearts, then one day they will find they have a tangible product:

an article

a journal

a book.

If…then.

If not now, then when?

The Value in S-T-R-E-T-C-H-I-N-G

If you are given to exercise, you know that the experts say we need to s-t-r-e-t-c-h our muscles before we begin. Lately, they have said that s-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g after exercise is just as important. It helps us exercise more effectively and reduces exercise-related injuries.

I have found that sitting for hours in front of the computer writing, also requires that I get up and            s-t-r-e-t-c-h, periodically. If I don’t, my back, neck, and shoulders suffer.

I’ve also found it necessary to s-t-r-e-t-c-h while I write:

I strive to hone my writing skills by requiring more of myself each time I turn on my computer.

I s-t-r-e-t-c-h to become more creative.

I s-t-r-e-t-c-h to use more vivid descriptors. .

I s-t-r-e-t-c-h to write in more depth.

I s-t-r-e-t-c-h to achieve more excitement.

I strive to tighten it up…to build it up.

S-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g  while we write helps us write more effectively…say what we want to say in the way we want to say it.

If we don’t, our writing suffers.  We continue to write as we always have and our writing doesn’t improve.

S-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g may mean that we change our style, improve our word choice, or try different techniques we’ve learned in workshops. But, what ever we choose to focus on, it increases our skills.

It we commit to s-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g, each sentence will be better than the last, each book will be an improvement, and we’ll be one step closer to writing that next best-seller.

Happy Landing!

I’d like to tell you about Ben De Rienzo’s Booklaunch. This is especially good information for those of you who are nearing completion of your book or even those who have already completed your book and beginning your marketing. It just may be a game changer for all of us because we must be active in promoting our books if we are going to be successful in the marketplace. This is true for those who are self-publishing as well as those who are going the traditional publishing route.

In a nutshell, this is all about a landing page, which is a single, dedicated, permanent page on the internet used to promote your book. It is a template for a page which shows the book cover, has space for a great headline and welcome copy, a brightly-colored “Buy Now” button, purchase links to vendors, space for your bio and contact information, offers a “Sneak Peek”  (the first chapter or two), space for credible endorsements, responsive web design (for those who shop via their smart phones, etc.), capability of running your video book trailer, allows for page customization/optimization to support your overall brand, and….

I think you get the idea.

I watched his webinar, last Thursday, and the above information is taken from my notes. I am pretty certain that what I have said is accurate, but please check everything out on his website to verify. His website address is: www.booklaunch.io

If you are like me, I want to write—not necessarily spend all of my time on publicity and marketing—and so I appreciate any tools I can use to make this process easier for me. The fact that his company offers unlimited help via phone, chat, and so on makes me doubly interested in getting started. Did I mention you can use a plug-in to put this on your WordPress site?

So for those of you who have a passion for writing, but whose computer skills are minimal, or those who find yourselves in a time crunch, checking out Ben’s Booklaunch may be yet another tool to get your self-promotion off in the write direction.

By the way, I know Joel Friedlander also has a landing page out there. He is another amazing guy whose many products you may want to consider!

When Dreams Become Reality

So, you’re a relatively new writer, like myself. You’re halfway through your first book and you come up for air. You think it’s time you find out what publishing is all about. The first article you read stops you cold. It says you need to start the process of self-promotion: getting your name out there. Becoming recognizable in the world of the written word. Join the club.

The revelation that you cannot just simply crank out page after page, but actually have to turn to the social media machine that you have been avoiding (because it potentially could suck up all of your writing time) hits you like a ton of bricks. The fact that you only feel comfortable with reading your emails and using your word processing program only compounds the panic that wells up inside you.

You reread the article. You read a few more, hoping against hope that you have misunderstood. But, nope. The message is loud and clear. What to do, now?

You could run, bury your head in the sand, pack it up, give up the dream. But, do you really want to do that? Could you even do that? I mean, fight the compulsion to sit in front of your computer, daily, and let your fingers walk you into that “other world” you create in your mind? That other world that beacons to you, each day? That world that offers you solace, a creative outlet, challenges you to look deep within, inspires you to become more than you ever thought possible?

I didn’t think so. Me neither.

So, you attack the overwhelming task ahead: marketing yourself. Building a platform. Putting your ego aside. Inviting criticism through your door. Fighting your insecurities. Finding a voice. Calming those fears of rejection and perhaps being misunderstood at times. And, braving the world of the technologically-challenged.

But, not for long. Because you’ll wake up one day in the not-too-distant future and put your name into your computer’s search bar and it will pop up. You’ll get a few emails that give notice that you’ve acquired some followers—some, even, in other countries! You’ll read positive comments to your posts. You’ll get encouragement from friends and family.

Your dream—you know, the one that’s been sitting inside you, germinating for a few decades—is coming to fruition. You are suddenly on the brink of a whole new life, filled with endless possibilities.

All because you dare to write. To challenge yourself. To share all of who you are with anyone viewing your website—anyone who is curious to learn what you’ve got going. What you bring to the table that no one else does in quite the same way.

We’re writers—and life doesn’t get any better than that!

Brenda

Please visit my other blogs at spiritualsnippets.com and 5scribesandtheirstories.com