Friday, November 27, 2015

How to Live Life to Become a Successful Writer

Sometimes you just need to begin living the life of a successful writer to become a successful writer. Here are some of the most common traits of authors who’ve made it.

Avoid Put-Downs

Successful writers learn early on that putting themselves down is counterproductive. They learn how to speak to their inner self in a helpful and respectful way. They also avoid others that put them down and people who exert a negative influence on their lives.

Have a Plan

Have goals and have a daily plan to work on your writing. Successful writers work on their writing pretty much every day. They have long-term book writing goals and they have a set amount of work that they do each and every day.

Don’t Dwell on Obstacles

Don’t waste time dwelling on the obstacles you face. Instead, face each obstacle head on and eliminate them or work around them. Many of the obstacles we face are put there by ourselves. We create our own excuses for failure. Focus on your goals and create the roadwork to success.

Move Past Failures

Every person makes mistakes. The difference between an unsuccessful writer and a successful writer is that successful writers learn from their mistakes. If a book flops, they uncover the reasons why and aim to never repeat those mistakes again. Successful writers also don’t let failures get in the way of their larger goals. They keep getting back up, they keep on writing, and they eventually work themselves into success.

No Such Thing as Perfection

There is no such thing as perfection. Successful writers work to write at their best, but they understand that aiming for absolute perfection is impossible. Do your best and continue to make improvements to your writing.

Ignore the Haters

People are going to hate, no matter what. There are people who hate Shakespeare, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Stephen King. Do you think Stephen King cares how the haters feel towards his work? Absolutely not, and neither should you.

Celebrate Others Success

Don’t be a stingy, jealous writer. Celebrate on the success of other writers. Learn to be gracious and giving. People will love you for it.

Take Care of Yourself

Your health is paramount. Take care of yourself by eating healthy and getting exercise. Spend time with the people you love and have fun nights or fun days. Experience the healing power of laughter.

Embrace Change

The publishing world has experienced a great deal of change since the birth of the internet. Writers are now maintaining websites, blogging, and self-publishing their own books. The old methods for getting a book on the market are dying and writers are learning to embrace new technologies and new mediums. Keep up with the growing changes and experiment with different book mediums.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

How to Make Writing a Daily Habit

When you first start out, writing everyday is a task. Over time, as you keep to your writing schedule, it becomes a habit. It will be something you automatically settle down to do, without dread or regret.

Here is what you need to do if you want to turn writing into a daily habit.

1. Decide on a Habit

Choose the habit you want to build. For this article, we are focusing on making writing every day a habit. If you are already writing every day, you can change your goal to writing x amount of words or pages a day.

2. Part of Routine

Schedule writing time into your day. Plan on making it a part of your every day activities. If you have a daily planner, choose a block of time to write and try to keep it at the same time every day, including weekends.

When writing becomes part of your routine, you will find that you begin to do things that will trigger yourself to prepare to write. Some writers will go out for a jog, come home, and begin their day of writing. Other writers will practice breathing exercises to prepare for their writing. Find and develop a trigger that will put you in the mood to write.

3. Start Small and Build

If you are just deciding on making writing a daily habit, start small. Plan on writing for just one hour each day or writing x amount of words each day. 500 words a day is a good goal for beginning writers. For those who have a little more experience, up the daily word count to 1,000 words a day.

4. Stick to It

The most important thing to do when forming a new habit is to stick to it. Don’t start off by giving yourself days off. Plan to work on writing every single day, including holidays. This is not meant to be a punishment, but a way to form a new habit.

5. Form One Habit at a Time

Only tackle one habit at a time. If you are working on building a writing habit, don’t start building another habit in some other area of your life. When you tackle one thing at a time, you are far more likely to succeed than if you tackle two or more habits at a time.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

How to Overcome Stress Headaches When Writing

Writing is a stressful job. In fact, newspaper reporters have the 8th most stressful job in the United States.

Constantly faced with deadlines, even self published Kindle writers can feel the stress build up into an excruciating headache. The good news is that there are simple steps you can take to de-stress and possibly eliminate the stress headache.

Take a Break

You need to get the book done now, but your head aches and you can’t focus. You’re not getting any work done, so it is time to simply step away from the keyboard and take a break.

During your break, do something different for at least 15 minutes. You can start a load of laundry, wash a few dishes, or do some stretching. When you are done, sit down and refocus. Decide on what you must do, how you are going to do it, and then get back to work. Write for another 45 minutes and take another 15 minute break.

Learn to Breathe

Stress not only causes headaches, but it can cause shallow breathing. Learn how to breathe properly by inhaling to the count of 4, holding for 2, exhaling to the count of 4, and then holding your breath again to the count of 2. Let your belly expand and contract while breathing, and keep your shoulders still to prevent chest breathing.

Whenever you feel the tension begin to build, take a few minutes to just breathe. You will immediately begin to feel more relaxed.

Take a Shower

Take a warm shower or a bath at the onset of a stress headache. This will help wash away the tension and it will give you time to de-stress and refocus.

Dim Your Computer Screen

Bright lights can cause headaches. If you are going to be writing on your computer for any length of time, dim your screen. You don’t need a bright screen to work on writing and some writers go as far as to turn their screen to dark so that they will not get distracted by the urge to do rewrites while working on a first draft.

Other Tricks

Have a cup of coffee, tea, or a glass of soda. Get some caffeine into your system to help fight off the headache. Wear sunglasses while you work if the surrounding light is too bright. Finally, do some stretches and exercises. While moving around might be the last thing you want to do when you have a headache, it is proven to help decrease the pain of headaches and can relieve them entirely.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

How to Prepare to Write a Nonfiction Book

There are 3 phases to writing a nonfiction book: preparation, research, and writing. To succeed in writing your nonfiction book, you cannot skip any of these phases.

Deciding What to Write

Deciding what to write can be the hardest part of writing a book. There are so many interesting topics to choose from and you have to decide which idea is best.

Keep a List

One of my tricks to always having something to write about is keeping a list of ideas. On my Mac, I keep a long list of ideas in TextEdit. I also keep the list on paper as backup.

What this list does is hold all my random ideas for books and articles. Sometimes the items on the list are just one or two words of something I want to look into. Sometimes I come up with a great title and write it down. A few of the items are paragraphs of ideas that I just had to get out of my head.

I add to this list night and day, anything and everything that comes to mind.

Check Out Your Subject

After you have chosen something to write about, your next step is to check out the subject on How many books have been written on the subject? Check out the reviews of books similar to the one you plan on writing. How well are these books selling?

You will also want to visit the Google Adwords tool and do searches on the keywords of your subject. If you want to write a book about writing nonfiction, you will do a search on "writing nonfiction". Study all the keywords that show up in your search. Get ideas for possible chapters in your book. How popular is your subject?

Decide on a Title

After this initial research, you should now have an angle for your book. Now you need to choose a title. When writing and publishing nonfiction as an ebook, such as on Kindle or Smashwords, your title should reflect exactly what your book is about. Avoid abstract titles. Search to make sure no one else has published an ebook with your title.

Pen Name or Real Name

Decide if you will be writing under a pen name or your real name. Either way, search the name on Amazon to see if the name is already in use.

Prepare Work Area

Finally, prepare your work area for your project. Remove anything that is not directly related to your project. Grab the necessary books for research purposes. Remove all clutter and distractions.

You should now have a clear idea and purpose for your book. You are ready to move onto the second phase of your book: research.

Monday, November 23, 2015

How to Research for a Nonfiction Book

The three phases of writing a nonfiction book are preparation, research, and writing. After you have finished preparing for your book project, it is time to sink your teeth into the research phase.

Researching Online

Online research is often the first step to researching material and ideas for a nonfiction book. You will begin by searching for articles on your subject in search engines. You will read through the articles you pull up, take notes, and maybe come up with a few chapters or subsections to add to your outline.

You will also want to conduct a search on Google Books ( and you will want to check out the The Online Books Page ( Both of these websites can help add a wealth of information to your book.


Public libraries are a great resource when searching for mainstream topics. You may also want to check out any local college or university libraries. I have spent countless hours doing research at the Kutztown University library and I don't know what I would do without this wonderful resource.

Used Book Stores

Used book stores tend to have a lot of out of date books, but there is almost always a gem or two in the stacks. I usually go to the local Goodwill store that sells books for 25 cents a piece and buy a stack of books for current research and future research.

Talk to People

Depending on the subject of your book, you can also contact people in the industry and give interviews. You can include the interviews and what you learned from individuals in your book.

Do It Yourself

Finally, one way to gain a wealth of information about something is to go out and do it yourself. For example, if you are writing a book about a type of business, the quickest way to gain insider knowledge about that business is to work for one or set one up. Use yourself as a guinea pig to gain a new perspective and knowledge for your book.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

How to Write a Book About Yourself

Think you’ve had an exciting life? Many people do, and the common reaction is, “I should write a book about it.”

Anyone can sit down and write an autobiography, but unless you are famous, not many people will want to read about your life. Here are some ways you can create interest in your book and how you should approach the task of writing it.

1. Focus on What’s Interesting

People don’t want to read about your life starting at your birth and ending at the present date. Instead, focus on one important chapter of your life. An example would be the start of your drug addiction and all the ups and downs you experienced while hooked. End it with yourself in rehab getting clean. You could also start with how you became incarcerated, your experiences in the prison system, and what you are now doing to improve your life.

2. Embellish

That’s right. Embellish your story, but don’t lie. If you were to tell your story exactly how it happened, step by step, you will bore your readers. Instead, use your adjectives and verbs. Show, don’t tell your audience what happened.

3. Create a Timeline

Your first step to preparing your book is to write out a timeline of the events you want to cover. This is sort of like outlining.

4. Learn Plot Structure

Like it or not, to be a best seller, you will have to work the events into a plot structure. The most common plot structure used is the W diagram. When people sit down to read your book, they expect the introduction of you, the main character, and the setting. Something has to happen that sets up the reason for the rest of your story. You will then take the reader through all your ups and downs, and you will end with a conclusion to your story.

5. Characters

You can’t include everyone in your book. To tell your story, you may need to cut out some of the background people. This means that I, the reader, do not need to know the name and life history of the neighbor whose only line in the book is “Good morning.” Trim out unnecessary characters.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

How to Write a Book That Inspires People

Inspiring people through writing can seem like a difficult task. How do you convince people to do the right thing, the healthiest thing, and the best thing? These seven tips on inspiring people will help you focus on what you should share with your readers.

1. Be a Real Person

Absolutely no one is perfect. When writing a book that is meant to inspire others to do things, such as lose weight, go green, or change their perceptions, never portray yourself as the perfect individual. Show your readers your faults and how you strive to overcome them.

2. Lead by Example

Give as many examples as you can uncover. Why does your method work? How has it changed you? Show your readers what you are doing differently and how it has forever altered your life. How has your method or technique changed other people’s lives?

3. Don’t Brag

As a little girl, I was sent to camp one summer. It was there that I met my first braggart. The boy would always interrupt conversations stating that he did that, he had that, he’s got better, and he’s the best. None of us wanted to be around him. We would run and hide if we saw him coming up the trail towards us.

Don’t be a braggart. Keep things real and honest.

4. Identify Hurdles and Give Solutions

No one lives a perfect life and everyone faces hurdles. Identify the hurdles your readers may face and provide them with actionable solutions.

5. Keep Positive

If you want to inspire people, never take a dive into anger, hate, and resentment. Remain positive and determined, even in the face of adversity.

6. Give Hope

Provide your readers with hope. There will be days when your readers will feel like they just can’t do what you are suggesting. They need a boost in confidence to keep on going. This can be true of any group of people, from dieters to weight lifters to investors. Focus your readers on their own inner strength to help them pull through their darker moments.

7. Show the Rewards

The easiest way to inspire readers is to show them the rewards. Show them the open doors and the possibilities. Assure them that not even the sky is the limit to their abilities.