Searching For the Right Word

“The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.” ― Mark TwainThe Wit and Wisdom of Mark Twain

Words are a writer’s tools. Every word is appropriate for a particular job, and it’s important to use the right tool for the right job. If you have a half-empty toolbox, you’re going to run into trouble when you need a certain word and you don’t have it, or you use the same word over and over because it’s the only one you have. That is probably what prompted British scholar and physician Peter Mark Roget to write the first thesaurus in 1852. Read more ›

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26 Ways to Stay Motivated Through Publishing & Promoting Your Book

It has been a long road from your decision to write a book to this point in the journey. You now know first-hand what it takes to plan and write a book and to work with experts who brought their special talents to the process. you may be surprised to learn that, after all that work,  you are only halfway to your destination. Now that your book is written, it is time to make it tangible and let the world know all about it.  Here are 26 ways to stay motivated through publishing and promoting your book.

  1. Focus on the good news that you will soon be a published author. Your book will be between covers, printed on paper, converted to digital format for e-book devices, and available to all those readers who have been waiting for it. Read more ›
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16 Ways to Stay Motivated When You Work With Experts

You’ve probably heard this before: No one write a book alone. It takes a team of experts in various disciplines to help you bring your idea to fruition. Who are these experts, and how do you find them? Which experts do you need? How do you manage the ones you choose? The whole process of writing a book and coordinating the efforts of several independent contractors can wear you out and wear you down. Here are 16 ways to stay motivated when you work with experts. Read more ›

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The Inspiration Enigma

“Inspiration usually comes during work, not before it.” – Madeleine L’Engle

“I write when I’m inspired, and I see to it that I’m inspired at 9 am every morning.” – Peter DeVries

 Which is it? Does inspiration show up after you’ve started writing or before? Can you create it, control it, turn it on and off; or does it have a mind of its own? Do you wait to be inspired before you start writing or just figure it will either make an appearance or it won’t.

Read more ›

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How to Stay Motivated As You Write Your Book

writer at work“I write when I’m inspired, and I see to it that I’m inspired at 9 a.m. every morning.” —Peter DeVies

Let’s face it. You started writing your book like a runaway train. So much to say, so little time.

Your muse was sitting on your shoulder, urging you on, and you were turning out page after page of amazing prose … until … you came to a screeching halt.  What happened? Read more ›

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Writing Fiction

“Creating people and their life’s stories through my writing is as close to magic as I’ll ever get again.”
― Dori Ann Dupré

Let me start with a disclaimer: I am not a novelist. I write nonfiction books. I coach and teach other authors how to write nonfiction books. Only once in my career have I attempted fiction, and, as author Dori Ann Dupré observes, it was “as close to magic as I’ll ever get again.” Read more ›

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Beating Writer’s Block

writers block“Ugh, writer’s block. The best thing to do is to forget about everything you’re trying to do. Get away from your writing station, kick your feet up and relax. Then allow your mind to just wander.  ― Dori Ann Dupré

No one is immune. Like the common cold, writers block can strike any one at any time. It has been the scourge of writers from time immemorial. Writers block is aptly named, though it often feels more like a wall. It is mercurial in that you never know when it is going to make an appearance. You might sit down at your desk, stare at the blank screen, and nothing happens. Or perhaps you are in the middle of a chapter or an article or a poem, and suddenly, you run out of words. Read more ›

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Why You Need an Elevator Speech

The Point“Whole books all boil down to a drop of essence. You can read a book full of ten thousand words and at the end, sum it up in one sentence.”C. JoyBell C.

How many times have you heard the term elevator speech? Probably many times and in many contexts. An elevator speech is a summary of something—a process, product, service, organization, event, or book—and its value proposition or benefit. The point is that you should be able to present this summary in the amount of time it takes to travel between two floors in an elevator.

Why would you even want to do that? Because being able to craft and deliver an effective elevator speech accomplishes the following: Read more ›

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75 Ways to Get Motivated When You’re Writing a Book

 

Ways to Get Motivated—And Stay That Way—Through Every Step of Writing Your Nonfiction Book

Let’s face it. You started writing your book like a runaway train. So much to say, so little time. Your muse was sitting on your shoulder, urging you on, and you were turning out page after page of amazing prose … until … you came to a screeching halt.

What happened?

  • Did inspiration desert you just when you needed her?
  • Did you suddenly run out of steam or just get bored?
  • Did you have no idea what to write next?

These show stoppers happen to many new authors, but they don’t have to happen to you. Here are 75 ways to get over, around, or right through this obstacle course of de-motivators. Read more ›

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Marketing Means Making Connections

You know what an important part marketing plays in the sale of your book. If you have a traditional publisher, perhaps you’ve been led to believe that you don’t have to worry about marketing. The publishing house will set up a book tour, arrange for interviews with radio and TV hosts, and put ads in the book section of The New York Times. Actually, that’s true if you are Steven King or former President Bill Clinton or have written a dozen bestsellers but not so true if you are a complete unknown in the publishing industry. In that case, prepare yourself to get up to speed on book promotion. Read more ›

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