Category Archives: How to and Tips

Writing Cheats #9 You’re a Character

Writers psyche themselves out constantly. Maybe you’re about to write your first book and don’t even think you can call yourself a writer yet. Or, maybe you envy another writer’s style and don’t think you can measure up. Or, maybe you’re feeling so stuck and uninspired lately that you can’t complete your projects.

Whatever it is, it’s time to get over it. It’s zapping your creativity, output, and…your wallet.

It’s time to go outside of yourself a little bit. It’s time to think of yourself as a character. That might sound strange, but it really can help. Just as you would create a character sketch for someone in your books, create a character sketch for yourself as a writer. There are three steps to this:

  1. Invent yourself– Brainstorm who you are as a writer. What you look like, think about, and talk about as a writer. Now brainstorm who you ideally are as a writer. What is your process? What do people say about your work? Where do you work?
  2. Picture yourself– Next, close your eyes and picture yourself writing. See yourself smiling with confidence as you type away. See yourself finishing the piece. See yourself publishing it on Kindle, happy all the while. See the praise rush in as people read the words. Get a very clear picture in mind– create a vision board to really cement the images.
  3. Interview yourself– Finally, interview yourself. Create a list of questions you’d ask any writer you were interested in. Then, answer the questions, honestly and completely. Your answers may surprise you. They will also give you deeper insight into who you are as a writer.

This process helps you come into your own as a writer. It gives you the confidence and assurance you need to produce outstanding work, more quickly.

Writing Cheats # 8 Zippy research is within reach.

Research.

What came to mind when you read that word? How did you feel? What was your body language?

If you’re like many people, you cringed. You made a face and felt a knot in your stomach. That’s because so many of us are taught (and experience) that research has to be this difficult, boring, time-consuming thing.

Okay, maybe it used to be those things, but it doesn’t have to be anymore. This is the best time in history to be a writer. Not only can you publish anything you want to (within reason) on Kindle, but you can access anything you need to make it happen.

You can use Google Earth to visit faraway lands. You can access untold numbers of public domain books. You can Google anything you want to know. You can ask people from all over the world whatever you’d like to ask them. You can find experts to interview on any topic, with a few clicks of the mouse.

Everything you need is out there and it’s easily accessible. You just have to know how to find it and organize it. Sometimes, having too much information can be just as scary as not having enough.

Here are three tips you need to know to take away most of your struggle with research before you write:

  1. Learn how to read only what you need to-This is the biggest trick to research there is. Be very specific with your research and read only what you need to. Use the ctrl+f function to drill down and find specific words and sections. Be very specific with Google and database searches. Don’t waste time taking notes or even reading things you don’t really need to know. You aren’t hoarding information– you’re reading and using only what you need.
  2. Organize your research as you go– Be very specific about what you need to know. Create notes files for specific topics. Organize yourself now and you won’t have to spend hours doing it later. Don’t just have a giant file for a topic-have many smaller, very specific files that you can access in a stress-free way while writing.
  3. Know exactly where to get the best information– Don’t waste time using sources that can’t back themselves up. Look for primary sources and scholarly sources. Use more than one source to verify information.

Scholar.google.com is a great starting place as is books.google.com. Use those databases to spark additional research in the right places. Go to the right spots the first time around and you’ll save yourself a lot of headaches.

“Create an EBook Today. Publish It On Amazon. Profit From It for the Rest of Your Life” Get a FREE Copy CLICK HERE

Writing Cheats #7 Reading is the answer.

It’s impossible to become a good writer if you aren’t an avid reader. There are so many amazing writers out there. Their books will change your life as you’re reading.

Some writers, however, get so caught up in getting their own work out there that they neglect to feed their mind with the words of others.

Right now, you’re studying a book about writing better and writing more efficiently so you can cash in more by writing amazing Kindle books. I’ve given you some great tips so far, but this is absolutely the most important one.

Read. Read. Read. READ.

It’s amazing what happens when you read. Ideas will come to you. You’ll be infinitely more creative. Words will flow easily, and in the perfect order. You’ll be inspired, alive, and changed.

Read fiction and nonfiction. Read spy novels, romance novels, and horror novels. Read historical fiction and nonfiction, biographies and self-help books. Read everything.

Figure out how to get Kindle books from your local library and fill your Kindle with everything you can get your hands on. That is the best writing course on the planet.

“Create an EBook Today. Publish It On Amazon. Profit From It For the Rest Of Your Life!” Get a FREE Copy CLICK HERE

Writing Cheat # 6 – Know exactly what you’re doing, and when.

Do you write haphazardly? I know some writers who “write” all day long. I know some business owners who “work” all day. They’ll claim to spend 16 hour days working or writing and are at their breaking point. They definitely give their blood, sweat, and tears to the craft.

If you’re that type of writer or worker, I want you to look hard at what you’re actually doing.

  • How often do you check your email?
  • How often do you visit news sites?
  • How much time do you spend on Facebook?
  • How often do you find yourself getting into debates on Internet forums?
  • Do you check celebrity gossip sites?
  • Do you find yourself getting up for a drink, to use the bathroom, to get a snack, to check on the cat dozens of times in your work day?
  • Do you find yourself at the end of a work day, wondering what in the world you did all day and why you don’t have more of your project done?

I’ll be the first to say that I work long days. But, my days are pretty tightly focused. I frequently check in on my forum members and my Facebook group members. You’ll rarely find me flittering my days away doing nothing. It takes dedication to get to this point and I won’t say it’s always easy– the Internet is an endlessly distracting place with any number of rabbit holes.

I want you to give yourself a maximum of 3 hours a day to work at your computer over the next three days. That’s it. You’re not allowed to be on your computer, for any reason, longer than three hours.

These 3 challenge hours will include the following activities:

  • Writing
  • Marketing your Kindle books
  • Checking email
  • Spending time checking news outlets, gossip, and funny cat pictures

Yes, you have big projects to complete. You have goals and deadlines.

You still have those goals and deadlines…but you now have much less time to work on them for three days.

Don’t worry– I’ll wager that you’ll get a lot more done than you usually do. There are two things at work here:

  • You naturally work better, faster, and more efficiently when you’re crunched for time. You don’t have 16 hours a day to work during this challenge, so your conscious and subconscious will find ways for you to work smarter.

You’ll neither have the time nor the inclination to check out time wasting sites. You only have 3 hours– those dancing cats aren’t that interesting. You also won’t feel the pull to do something fun while you work so hard because

  • you won’t feel like you’re missing out. You have 21 hours to do whatever else you’d like to do (assuming you don’t have an outside job– even then, your “free” hours truly become your own). Read a book, go for a walk, or watch tons of trashy TV if you want. The rest of the day belongs to you.

Do a self-evaluation after the experiment. Did you get more done than normal? You probably did– working a fraction of the time. Adjust your work day from there and think about what you have to do and what you really want to do. Those low-value time wasting websites are sucking away your productivity and time away from activities you really want to do.

“Create an EBook today. Publish It on Amazon. Profit From It for the Rest of Your Life!” Get a FREE Copy CLICK HERE

Writing Cheats #5 Change where you are.

Writers are creatures of habit. They do the same things the same way. Sometimes, this works well– maybe you have a lucky chair or desk you write in. Sometimes, though, this sameness causes things to go stale– and it shows up in your writing.

If you’re feeling stuck, bland, or uninspired, you need a change of scenery. Here are some ideas of things you can do to jumpstart you physically, mentally, and emotionally:

  • Do something you’ve never done before.
  • Go to the beach and brainstorm or write there.
  • Go to a busy Starbucks or local cafe and write there.
  • Go for a walk through the woods by yourself with no electronics.
  • Take an entire week off with no access to electronics.
  • People watch for an entire afternoon
  • Read something in a genre you’ve never read before
  • Re-read your favorite book from childhood
  • Call someone you haven’t called in a while
  • Apologize to someone you need to apologize to
  • Pay the toll for someone behind you
  • Spend the day on a farm
  • Visit the “poor” section of town
  • Volunteer in a homeless shelter for an afternoon
  • Visit the ritzy section of town
  • Dress up like someone you admire
  • Read about the life of a writer from two centuries ago

… you get the idea. It’s time to break out and do something completely unexpected. You may have heard this advice before, but you likely haven’t seen anything like this list before. One or more of those ideas stood out to you. Now, do them.

You’ll come back to your writing with a new perspective, a new jolt of creativity, and total freedom to write something awesome much more quickly than you would have had you just stared at the blinking cursor for hours on end.

“How To Be a Writer Who Flies High, Makes Money and Dazzles the Folks Back Home” Get Your FREE Copy Click Here

Writing Cheat # 4 Take away all questions before you start

Some writers try to write with only a vague notion of what they are going to write about. That can work for some writers, but you might not be one of them if you struggle with writer’s block, inconsistency, plot holes, and a number of other issues that will sink your Kindle book.

Many writers “interview” their characters before they sit down to write. They pretend to have their characters tell them about their lives, past, present, and future. This is a really great technique, but let’s take it a step further. You are going to ask your characters how they feel about everything that happens in the story.

At this point, you likely have your major plot points figured out. But, every writer has experienced the frustration that comes along when they just don’t know how to move the plot forward or how to solve a plot hole that doesn’t make sense. Stewing about these problems can put a giant kink in the works. It’s almost impossible to move forward if these questions are hovering over you, unanswered.

Here’s what you can do instead– answer these questions ahead of time. No, you can’t predict every question or issue you’ll have. But, you can be way ahead of the game and can be prepared to solve any issue that comes your way.

List the major plot points you have planned. Then, interview every character who will be affected or even present at the time of the event. “Ask” your characters what they saw, who they saw, what they felt, what happened (for them) before and after the major plot point. Remember to do this for each character in turn-even minor ones. This helps you see the plot from all angles so you can plug up any holes. This can be as quick or as detailed as you want to make it.

Now, when you run into questions or aren’t sure what to write next, you can just look at what your characters told you. You’ll never get stuck and your writing will be even more powerful and creative.

You can also do this with non-fiction, to some extent. It depends on your topic and your goal.

“Create and E Book Today. Publish It On Amazon. Profit From It For The Rest Of Your Life!”  Get Your FREE Copy CLICK HERE

Writing Cheats #3 Write a movie instead of a book.

No, I’m not saying you should get out there and write a screenplay. I’m saying you should feel and know your characters as deeply as you would if you were directing them in a movie. You should know what they look like, what their background is, what their physical and emotional flaws are, and more.

Many writers struggle to get to know their characters. They get frustrated and experience writer’s block because they don’t have a clear enough picture of who their characters are. It’s one thing to “direct” people you can see and hear. It’s another to try to “direct” characters who don’t yet exist and haven’t come alive in your mind.

You need to make your characters live before you get started writing so they are easier to direct. If they are alive, it’s much easier to take them in unexpected and magical places because you don’t have to spend any energy wondering who they are.

How do you do this?

You create them.

Flip through a magazine and find people who represent each character. Find and cut out objects, travel destinations, homes, and other photos and graphics that represent who your character is and what they love, hate, do, and feel. Paste your character and the other images to a poster board so you can glance up and see your character whenever you need to. Do this for each major character and you’ll be surrounded by “people” who have actual lives instead of a few lines of flat, typed characteristics. Alternatively, create this “poster” on your computer using digital images for easy access.

It will be so much easier to write compelling scenes, dialogue, and descriptions once you do this. Make your characters live and you’ll write more quickly, write better, and write more productively. Have fun with this– it sincerely will banish writer’s block and anxiety in writing fiction.

Writing Cheats #2 -The backwards outline

You have the end in mind after cheat #1. Found at: http://writerssecrets.com/writing-cheats-1-see-the-end-before-the-beginning/

You know how to create a traditional outline. Now I want you to try something that isn’t as traditional– create a backwards outline.

Outlines usually consist of major talking points and sub points. That’s a great method and works very well for a lot of people. But outlines sometimes become too focused on “me, me, me” the author, instead of on the readers.

Great writers are supposed to pay attention to their audience. They are supposed to be able to reach their audience on an emotional level, delivering on the very thing the reader hoped to gain from reading the book, and more.

Too many writers get bogged down on the mechanics of the outline instead of on the expected outcome of the outline. I hope that makes sense. Emotions, feelings, and the power of words get lost in the mechanics of writing and outlining.

Let’s take a different approach. This approach gets the very best writing out of you while also giving the very best to your reader. Best of all, this method will help you write more quickly and become more excited about your writing.

This exercise is all about emotions and feelings. Go ahead and get a general idea of what each chapter will be about. For fiction, which scenes will each chapter contain? For non-fiction, what information will be in each chapter? This should be a very rough, quick outline with few details-there is plenty of time to fill that out later.

Now that you have your list of chapters and a general idea of what they will contain, it’s time to think about the result of those chapters. When the book is written, what will the reader feel or think after reading chapter one? How about chapter two? Chapter 3? Go through each chapter in turn and use this method of backwards outlining. It’s “backwards” because you’re thinking about desired results and feelings instead of facts, figures, and structure.

Here is a fiction example:

Chapter One

General idea: Princess hates her posh life and wants to escape from the castle.

Reader should feel: Skeptical about this spoiled girl, yet intrigued at the same time because they see a little of themselves in her desire for something more.

Do you see how easy it will now be to fill out the rest of the outline for chapter one? You’ve started with your desired result, which got your brain working with possibilities. Now will take just a few minutes to sketch the details for chapter one. You may have just stared at your outline, baffled, for hours before this trick.

Here is a non-fiction example:

General idea: Writing great books for Kindle is actually easier than most people think.

Reader should feel: Like I understand them. They should feel hope and excitement about learning new methods to write faster and better. Possibly skeptical and unsure, but anxious and excited to move past the first chapter.

Did I capture some of what you felt as you read the first chapter? I hope so– it helped me figure out what to write and which emotional hot points to hit on. It then became very easy to write the introduction.

Do this with each chapter you’re going to write and the book will practically write itself… Partially because you’ve hyper focused on the reader. Everything comes into focus when you do that. It’s so much easier to write and to feel excited about your writing when you do this. No more writer’s block and no more hesitation to sit down and write– I dare say, this method makes it fun to write.

Get a FREE Copy of “Create an EBook today. Publish it on Amazon. Profit from it for the Rest of Your Life!”

Writing Cheats #1-See the End before the Beginning.

Not really cheats but it’s more fun to think of them that way. Really it’s tips and methods for efficiency and ease in writing.

Writing Cheat #1 –  See the end before the beginning.

You’ve been told to create outlines before you get started writing. You’ve been told that this takes away writer’s block and gives you a smooth path as you write. All of that is true…there’s just one problem. Your writer’s block and uncertainty can be so severe that you can’t even get that far. What do you do then? If you’re like most writers, you sit around feeling anxious with your fingers motionlessly poised over the keyboard. You waste minutes, if not hours, with this uncertainty. It zaps your creativity and your best ideas.

This problem (I think we all go through it) got me thinking about what I know about success. Masters of productivity and goal setting tell us to create vision boards, mind movies, and things like that to become more successful. We’re supposed to use these visuals to motivate ourselves to drop the weight, boost our incomes, or whatever will lead us to our goal.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized the same thing can apply to writing a book. We

can think about the smaller pieces (the outline) all we want. But it doesn’t mean anything unless we know what the result will be. Where is the story going? What is the point?

We know that we can be more successful if we have a vision in mind of what success looks like. By the same token, we can be more successful if we have a vision of what our book looks like. What’s the ending? What’s the purpose?

I’ve written about this quite a bit recently, and I call it “visualizing Point B”.  In other words, if you have a destination in mind, whether a trip, a goal, or in this case a completed book, before you start on your journey, you need to know where you’re going… getting from Point A (where you are now) to Point B (where you want to end up).

Now, I want you to think about the book you need to write.

If fiction: Set a timer for 10 minutes and brainstorm your ending. Where will your characters be by the end? You may know how the book will start or who will be in it, but how will it end? Have fun as you brainstorm. No idea is too crazy.

Then, go through and choose the ideal ending from what you’ve brainstormed– choose the one that stands out to you the most.

The pieces of your outline should now fall into place when you go to create the rest of the outline and start to write. You know where you’re going, so it’s much easier to map your course for getting there.

If nonfiction: The process is a bit different with non-fiction, of course, because you’re not really coming up with an ending. In a non-fiction book, the ending generally summarizes everything the book contained. You try to inspire people and get them thinking, caught up in what they’ve just learned or felt.

Go ahead and write that ending section now (it only has to be a few paragraphs for this exercise) You have your ending, so now you can easily work toward it– it’s a more freeing way of outlining. Sure, you may not know everything that will go into your book yet and you may never actually use this “ending.” But, it will relieve your mind of the duty of thinking as you write, leaving room for creativity and solid writing.

This is a mind trick as much as an organizational trick. We all want to get to the end, right? Writers don’t like to write; they like to have written (a spin-off of Michael Kanin’s, “I don’t like to write, but I love to have written”). Well, you’re at the end already. Your mind is at ease and you’re ready to put the rest of the pieces in place.

This isn’t to say that you can never change your ending. Your story will tell you where to go. The point is that you now have direction and you don’t have to think about it. You can be as creative and free because the pressure of “the perfect ending” is gone.

Find all 10  Writing Cheats at: http://bringoutthepotential.com/2017/10/03/writing-amazing-kindle-books-with-these-10-easy-cheats/

Blog Posting Made Easy with This Simple Blogging Formula

What do you think of the idea of spending an evening to fill up your blog for an entire year?

What about spending a weekend on and off just writing a few quick blog posts, and then schedule them far enough in the future that if you have more stuff to say later, you can fill it in between the scheduled posts but, even if you don’t, you’ll still have a blog that posts content on a regular basis for an entire year?

Blogging isn’t that difficult. It doesn’t have to be another site you maintain, it doesn’t have to be an extra task you do every single day and it doesn’t have to be an extra chore.

Here’s an overnight blogging system, to make your blog posting simple.

Use it to crank out a few blog posts, and then sit back and let it do some promoting for you.

The Point of Your Blog

A blog is like a journal where you set up a site and you can post your articles or your content and it’s organized by date.

Now if you are trying to do some marketing, it should be a lead-in to your regular products; or even if you don’t have products, it should be a lead-in to your affiliate programs.

Now here’s something to ask yourself – does your content go anywhere?

Keep this in mind anytime you’re blogging: That you’re not blogging for charity, you’re not blogging just to be a nice guy, you’re blogging because it’s supposed to lead somewhere.

Use your blog to lead in to your regular products and get some regular readers who flock to your blog every time you have something new to say. Use your blog for email opt-ins, better than just allowing people to subscribe to an RSS feed to get notified about new posts.  You’re going to want to get people on an email mailing list as well, so that when you make new blog posts you can send them a message and they can come and read it; and when you launch new products, they’ll get those messages as well.

Your goal is to fill up your blog for 12 months. One blog, which is about a year old, has 56 posts and almost 1,500 comments, and it looks like a pretty busy blog – even though when you think about it, 56 posts?  What is that?  Like, five posts a month.  But because it is marketed to my list and because I have a call to action at the bottom and because I gather opt-ins on that blog, I’ve got an average of 26.5 comments per post. And I get that because every time I make a new blog post, I type out a special message to my mailing list, not just an automatic notification, but a real reason and a teaser type hook of why they should read it and why they should post.

I do article marketing. The extra articles I write that don’t really fit on my blog I will submit to article directories and for many of them, in the resource box, instead of plugging some actual product, I will plug the specific blog post it relates to, because people were on that article site reading free information, so the perfect transition is to go to my blog to read free information and then maybe when they’re on the blog, then they can opt in to a list. And then once they’re on a list for a while and I’ve built up their trust, then I can hit them with some low-ticket stuff; then once they bought a few low-ticket products, I can start hitting them with the high-ticket products.

So I’ve got the list sending traffic to the blog, I’ve got articles going to the blog, I market on forums and I have my forum signature pointing to my blog.  And when I have a popular blog post I might sometimes change my forum signature to point directly to a specific blog post.

What do you want on your blog?

You want to put the best stuff you have to write on your blog. If you don’t write a lot, then fine you can put every single thing you write on your blog. But for me, I never really want to post more than one blog post a week. Sometimes I do it more frequently, but I don’t want to consistently post more than one blog post a week. If you remember I have had 56 posts on my blog in the past year so that’s about one post a week. That seems to be good enough that my list pays attention, then I have something to say – because I’m not mailing too often – and I also can keep their attention – because if you don’t post often enough, they’re just not going to come, no matter what.

So if you can write one article a week, post it on your blog. If you can write two articles a week, post one of those articles on the blog and submit one of the articles to the article directories to get traffic back to the blog, to get people to opt-in and to buy from you.

What do you want to post on your blog? You want to post the tame stuff – the “neutered” content – onto the article directories because you want it to be accepted by as many places as possible. But if you have an article that might be a little more on the promotional side or might be a little more on the controversial side, and you’re afraid it might not get approved by as many article directories, then you should post it on your blog, especially because this is the kind of stuff people will actually respond to.

If you write an article that’s so good that people are going to respond to it and you submit it to article directories, it ends up in other article sites, ends up on other people’s blogs and other people’s newsletters. So what? How does that benefit you if people respond to someone else posting your article?

So you want to write articles on your blog that people will respond to, that get people going, because they’re adding more content to your site, they’re making your site look more popular and then that’ll lead into more visitors and more commenters. It’s a windfall.

Blog posts can be even shorter than articles. Nobody said there is a set length on blog posts. There’s always a set length on articles but blog posts can be as long or as short as you want. I try to keep it under three pages but sometimes I’ll have blog posts that are not even half a page. And that’s totally fine.

You can ask questions on your blog. So even if you have stuff you’re not totally sure of, asking questions on the blog is great because they bring in more people responding. And with articles that aren’t exactly article-length – if you write an article and it’s just too short and you’re only making one quick point and you don’t have time to make it better, just post it on the blog.

The plan is to crank out as many blog posts as you can in a one hour period, because we don’t want to have to write a blog post, then go back to the regular marketing, then go back to the blog posts, go back to marketing, go back to the blog posts. No way. That is a guaranteed way to make sure that the blogging takes up too much of your time. So, you want to get yourself in the mood to write a bunch of blog posts, write them out, schedule them, and then not have to think about it for a very long time.

So a one hour period, alright. Make a commitment to me that for 60 minutes you will just crank out a handful of blog posts. Don’t get up, don’t answer the phone, don’t have any browser windows open, don’t check email, don’t let anybody disturb you. Just say, “For one hour, I need this time to myself to crank out a bunch of blog posts.” You can write them to be a hundred words, they can a third of a page, they can be a full page, they can be a page and a half – it doesn’t matter. A hundred word post or a five hundred word post? They both work.

All I want you to do is to knock out the first six months. So sit down for one hour and knock out the first six months of blog posts. Since we’re doing the bare minimum, let’s just say we’re going to post one blog entry per month, ok. That’s the parameters I’m going to set here. So, for one hour, you’re going to write six posts. I’m sure that if someone sat you down and grilled you for 10 minutes on one subject, you could say a heck of a lot about that subject, 10 minutes is a long time. I know you’ve had to give presentations – maybe for school, or for work, or for some kind of club or activity. 10 minutes is a long time to talk. You can get a lot of stuff down in 10 minutes. So you just do this 10 minute thing six times.

You want to knock out six posts and then we will schedule them one month apart and that gives us the first six months of content.

Once that’s completely done and maybe a day from now, or a couple weeks from now, or a month from now, if you want to write something else, you can fill in stuff in between those one-month gaps, but only four posts per month max, because there is such a thing as posting to your blog too often. I have followed many blogs where the guy posted every day. And I could keep that up for maybe a month or two, but then at some point it just became too tough.

So give people the break.  At least give them a weekend or at least post different types of content. So maybe one day you’ll do a video, maybe one day you’ll do text, but just don’t overload them.  Don’t post a bunch of entries per day. Space it out because it’ll last longer.

For my BLOGGING FORMULA Go to:

Simple Blogging Formula

Get a FREE Copy of “Create An E-Book Today. Publish It On Amazon.com. Profit From It for the Rest Of Your Life!” by Dr.Jeffrey Lant  Get Your FREE Copy CLICK HERE