foreword

Foreword: What is it, Do I Need One, and How Do I Write One?

If you’re confused about what a foreword is, you’re not alone.

A new writer, especially someone looking to self-publish a book, has a steep learning curve ahead of them.

There are so many new skills to learn—building and managing a book launch team, finding a book cover design, making Amazon Marketing Services work for you, et cetera—and new vocabulary words to go along with them.

Here are the questions we answer:

  1. What is a foreword
  2. How to write a foreword
  3. Do I need a foreword for my book?
  4. Who should write a foreword?
  5. What should be included?
  6. What’s the difference between a foreword and introduction?
  7. What’s the difference between a foreword and a preface?
  8. What’s the difference between a foreword and a prologue?

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What is a Foreword?

A foreword is a piece of writing that serves to introduce the reader to the author and the book, usually written by someone who is not the author or an editor of the book. They can also serve as a sort of endorsement for the book.

If the author does write this section, it might be to explain how the book came to be, or their connection between the work and themselves—like Stephen King often does for his novels.

It always goes at the very front of the book (with one exception, which I’ll get into below), and it’s rarely more than a couple of pages long.

You may see it written with either lowercase Roman numerals or typical Arabic numerals, or without any page numbering whatsoever. That is between you and your book formatter.

How to Write a Foreword

You’re pretty sure you’ve seen forewords in books before, or maybe your favorite classic piece of literature has one in the front. You’ve got a book now, or you’re well on your way to finishing it.

Do you need one too? Do you need front matter at all?

Then again, maybe you’re not new, and you’ve been around the proverbial block enough times to know your way around. Maybe you’ve gained enough recognition to be asked to write a foreword for someone else’s work.

And maybe you’re someone looking to write one for someone else’s book and have no idea where to start.

Here’s how to write a foreword:

  1. Understand what the author is looking for
  2. Know the tone and style of the book
  3. Start with a list of what you want to cover in the foreword
  4. Make sure to mention your credibility
  5. Tie your own experience back into the worth of the book
  6. Get feedback from others and the author
  7. Make any necessary changes to comply with what the author is looking for
  8. Be honest about the book and its impact

Do I Need a Foreword for My Book?

Now that we know what a foreword is, it’s time to get into the nitty-gritty of whether your book really needs one. This is what you’ve been waiting for!

The first thing to note is that it’s certainly not necessary.

Plenty of books don’t have one, and never have them added on. Unless your book needs the elaboration and context provided, you won’t miss it.

What you really need to consider is whether you’re writing fiction or nonfiction.

A nonfiction book is far more likely to need one rather than a novel, especially if the topic is dense or interesting, or the author has passed on. Again, Stephen King does tend to produce them for his own fiction novels but this is seen far less in authors who aren’t as established.

For example, the fourth edition of The Elements of Style has a great one by Roger Angell arguing that the guide is just as relevant today as it was the day Strunk and White turned the manuscript into the publisher.

foreword example

But if you are writing fiction, are you covering a period of history, or some other topic, in depth?

It may be helpful if the reader needs a bit of background knowledge to sink their teeth into your book. Charles Todd wrote one explaining just who was the titular character of Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot: The Complete Short Stories.

It’s also not uncommon for works of great literary renown to have one added onto the original manuscript, or added as a way of explaining the difference between the current edition and past editions.

Alice L. George’s in the 150th-anniversary edition of Little Women by Louisa May Alcott was written to illustrate why the book is so beloved all these years later.

Who Should Write a Foreword?

It could be written by several people, but not by just anyone.

If you’re of the opinion that your work needs one, approach an expert in the topic of the book or one of your peers in your field, especially if this person is well-known.

This lends the book social proof.

Unless you have something especially noteworthy to say, it’s probably best not to write your own book’s. You may want to write a preface instead.

That being said, if you’ve established yourself as an expert in your field, you may be asked to write a foreword for someone else.

What Should Be Included in a Foreword?

If you’ve been invited to write one, congratulations! What an honor, and what an impressive accomplishment to add to your resumé!

what is a foreword

Of course, every foreword will have needs as unique as the text that comes after, but here are some ideas for what you could include should you need to write one:

  • Your relationship to the author (if you are or were contemporaries)
  • How the author’s work affected you personally
  • Your opinion of the book, its protagonist, and/or theme
  • The book or author’s historical impact
  • Differences between the current and past editions of the book (if applicable)

It’s also important when writing one, to strike the same tone as the rest of the book.

Avoid writing a witty, humorous foreword if the book is more serious, and vice-versa.

You don’t want the writing styles to clash, or you risk jarring the reader when they turn the page.

What’s the Difference Between a Foreword and an Introduction?

The introduction is reserved for a book of non-fiction. It can be used to explain the content, but they can also be used to summarize the work.

The introduction is sometimes comprised of everything that comes before the bulk of the text, meaning the foreword would be nestled within the introduction.

Other times, the introduction is a separate section written by the author themselves.

What’s the Difference Between a Foreword and a Preface?

If you’re looking to write something like an introductory statement to your own book, you may want to write a preface.

In a preface, you can include what your aim was in taking on the project and thank the people in your life who helped to make the book a reality.

Unlike the focus of this guide, prefaces are always written by the author, and they’re not signed. If your work happens to include both, the foreword comes first.

What’s the Difference Between a Foreword and a Prologue?

A prologue is always written for fiction, and it takes place within your story’s world.

Forewords never take place within your story’s world, unless you’re writing a fictional forward by one of your characters. You might do this if you’re writing as a fictitious person a lá Daniel Handler.

If your work happens to include both a prologue and a foreword, again, the foreword comes first.

And again, a prologue isn’t signed. (You can probably guess why!)

Forewords Can Be an Important Part of Your Book

Whether or not to include one in your book is—as is most of the art of writing—a matter of personal preference, but not preference alone. Consider what your particular work calls for.

Only you can make that call.

Trust yourself that you’ll make the right one.

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writing excuses

Writing Excuses: 9 Actionable Tips to Overcome Writing Excuses for Good

We all make writing excuses for various reasons and it slows down our progress for writing a book

Publilius Syrus once claimed: “Every vice has its excuse ready.” And writing is no different.

In this article, we will uncover the kind of excuses we make and provide you tips on how to overcome your writing excuses—so you can actually succeed like so many of our authors here at SPS.

So stay put! Learn. Practice. And soar.

Here are our tips for how to overcome writing excuses:

  1. Find your voice
  2. Avoid the “non-native” speaker debate
  3. Develop a writing habit
  4. Cut back on social media
  5. Don’t procrastinate
  6. Stop fearing the fall
  7. Disability is not inability
  8. Strive for progress
  9. Get rid of writer’s block

What causes writing excuses?

There are a plethora of reasons writers give for letting excuses take over their work.

Sure, some are the real-life instances you may connect with, and others are cheesy ideas saved in your head.

You are likely to find reasons like toddler trouble, age, illness, time, little knowledge, to creativity blocks still making headlines in the writing community as the biggest launchers to writing excuses.

But do you know what? Only you can let go of all excuses—and we at Self-Publishing School are here to help you along the way.

The common excuses which prevent us from writing or self-publishing:

  • “I’m not a native English speaker, can I still write?”
  • “What is the right age if you want to self publish? I am 14 years old; do I stand a chance?”
  • Writer’s block (which we cover solutions to below)
  • I am still learning how to write.
  • “I have little vocabulary knowledge: what should I do first to be a writer?”
  • Life problems/disability.
  • Waiting for the perfect time to write.
  • Looking for good writing tips.
  • Fear of failing or falling.
  • Looking for a book genre or how to start a story.
  • Laryngitis.
  • “I want to write a script; what should I do first?”
  • I’ll do it later.

How to overcome writing excuses with ease

The late Great Louis La Moore, the prolific author of over 100 books, once said he could write on a busy street corner: that was years back where authors used a pen, a paper, or a typewriter to create text.

Imagine the benefits you can add to your writing in this era of the iPhone, tablets, and cloud apps that allow you to write on the go?

First.

#1 – Find your voice

Usually, we learn writing by imitation: but no matter how you view it, Laryngitis will only add poison to your book.

I know you may love how JK Rowlings writes or Neil Patel’s variety, but I can tell you that drifting away from your voice will be a bane to your book.

How?

Remember the creativity slowdown I mentioned earlier?

When the author completes his piece, you are blank, with no ideas for your essay. You have nothing fresh to add after you finish comparing your writing to the author you are reading.

The magic to fighting ensuing excuse from Laryngitis is finding your voice in writing. But that’s only half of it.

Here are other kick-butt methods to find your writing voice:

  • Writing more every day.
  • Write your draft freely without editing or looking at another person’s work.
  • Write and research later: or research but take a break before you engage in the writing process.
  • Plot all your plans for writing a novel and ideas on some paper or notebook whenever they pop.
  • Read more from different authors, publications, and manuscripts.
  • Get creative with your work or content.
  • Write with the buyer persona in mind.
  • Get laser-focused with your writing or content by selecting a niche and a language.

#2 – Avoid the native/non-native English speaking debate

Client: “Native English speakers only.”

Writer: “But I am not native!”

I hear this phrase a lot in the writing community, especially from clients who want their book/content written by Anglophone writers.

But frankly speaking, I have never understood the debate or the relationship between native and non-native speaking to writing unless one is writing on religion, culture, cuisine, or destinations nuance.

What should you do then if you are not a native English speaker?

Many great writers are native English speakers. However, writing should not only be in the English language but in other languages too! And being a native does not equal writing well.

Here is how to win this debate:

  • You can write in your native language and use a service like Google translate to translate phrases and words to other languages.
  • If you want to focus on English, read English books, the dictionary, thesaurus, and journals on the niche you want to write.
  • Practice writing in the English language.
  • Watch English films and movies (not the Housewives thing).
  • Stop using autocorrect while writing.
  • Invest in your education, learning the language.
  • Use online writing assistants like Hemingway editor to bring clarity in your writing.
writing excuses hemingway editor

You can also seek inspiration from the likes of Prof Ngugi Wa Thiong’ and Chinua Achebe who are not native English speakers yet, have published books in the English language and even received international accords for their persuasive writing.

#3 – Develop a writing habit and strategy

Planning is a necessary process in any person’s life – not only for corporates but writers too.

If you do not plan, you plan to make writing excuses! It is that simple.

The building blocks you create in the planning process will inspire you to reach your goal of completing that book.

It will help you avoid replacing writing with watching The Game of Thrones, buying groceries, browsing for advice and settling toddlers or cat mischief and excuses.

Tip on making a successful plan:

  • Designate a specific time for writing and reading.
  • Set targets.
  • Push yourself.
  • Create a content calendar and a place where you find writing prompts or exercise to kill writer’s block.
  • Test your progress – after a week or a month.
  • Make a list of what you want to achieve. It can be in sticky notes on a wall or laptop for affirmation.
  • Set reminders to give you the push and inform you when it’s time to do groceries, shopping, or writing.
  • Create realist goals on the number of words you want to write in a day. For me, I love using 750 words.com for setting and achieving my daily writing goals.

Here too are our favorite writing software you can use in planning, time management, improve productivity, and kill those writing excuses:

#4 – Use social media less

How often do you use social media? Once a week? A day? Every minute?

It is true social media has got a tremendous influence and opportunities these days. It has created jobs, made communication, information, and knowledge more manageable. But it has also contributed to time and resource wastage not forgetting making the world louder.

Studies show on average; we spend close to three hours every day on social media slacking off watching memes or viral content yet, we could use this time to improve on our writing skills.

Take, for example. You take an hour to write 1,000 words. You could reduce the number of hours you spend on social media to two, and the other on writing.

Social media is also not just a place for watching memes, but thankfully, a platform to develop writing habits. You can write on LinkedIn writing, Tumblr, or even Facebook as you connect with friends and family.

Other ways to get over being hooked on social media:

  • Turning off notifications so you can concentrate on writing.
  • Use an app like Zen writing app or the ones mentioned in #3, which keep track of what you do.
  • Write before you engage in another activity. This will make you want to write faster since you want to move to the next commitment.
  • Let your desire for writing be numero uno.
  • Make the environment conducive for writing.
  • Join writing groups like the Self-Publishing School Mastermind Community: an excellent place to find inspiration from those who share or overcome similar challenges and excuses.

How to succeed in writing groups to get over writing excuses:

  • Join relevant writing groups worth your time.
  • Connect with authors and publishers through personal chats for advice and inspiration on places such as Scribophile.com or professional associations for writers and editors.
  • Ask only relevant questions and be on point to get the most answers out of your questions.
  • Build a rapport.
  • Connect, network, and engage in each case.

Never let social media take charge of your life.

Take advantage of its hidden gem and use social platforms as an inspiration to arouse your creativity and bring back your writing mojo.

#5 -Avoid procrastination

“If it’s not easy to start, it will be hell to finish.” — Niklas Göke

Procrastination is the biggest thief of creativity, progress, and success. It is an enemy you must conquer at all cost.

Whatever it is that you may not want to write now, stop waiting for the right time, age, or when the right resources are available to start.

Today, the community has got many great resources. You can write on your phone, tablet, or a pocketbook. You can also use platforms like LinkedIn, Medium, or Tumblr to share your stories: or use a tool like Jami Gold Save to plan your novel if you are starting in this art.

Remember also the Great Louis La Moore words on being able to write on any busy street corner.

Any place, any time is an opportunity to write: not procrastinate.

Note: For your writing to work, you need to be in the writing factory and not embrace the excuse factory.

#6 – Don’t fear to fall

There is a lot that goes into self-publishing a book: drafts, outlines, revisions, finding a publishing company and eventually marketing and selling to the public who receives it with mixed reactions.

Guess what happens during all this process?

Frustrations, name shaming, trolls, in-your-face insults, and horrible reviews with straight-up lies.

excuses for not writing

If this has been the case, keep the fire burning and kill the negative energy in this way:

  • Make a list of all the life lesson and use them for motivation – if you lack the inspiration.
  • Keep a list of your favorite motivational quotes.
  • Take Sir Richard Branson’s offer challenging readers to write letters to their younger self how to navigate life.
  • Make a list of your habits – positive and negative.
  • Write of your failures and how you plan to succeed.
  • Have faith which gives powers and action to thoughts. Most people develop excuses because they do not have faith in their writing.
  • Finally, keep in mind that success waits on the other side of failure.

#7 – Disability is not inability

Are you struggling with specific challenges in life? Maybe an illness, marital problems, family issues, anxiety, low mood, spouse abuse, or low self-esteem?

Life has a unique way of furnishing us with problems—a thing the Bible captures: but it encourages us to overcome our challenges in a unique way.

2 Corinthians 4:8-9: “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.”

You may struggle with whatever challenges life throws at you, but do not turn them into writing excuses.

Remember, excuses thrive well where problems exist. The many times you count the troubles you are experiencing, the more you will use them as a reason for not completing your book.

To tow you out of the excuse mode, look up these five authors who succeeded in this art despite disabilities.

I also wish to encourage you to:

  • Write a memoir or a biography, or on the challenges, you are experiencing.
  • Write about your failures and shortcomings and how you plan to undo them.
  • Find a mentor in writing groups, writing conferences, and co-working space.
  • Ask an able sister, friend, or family member to assist where necessary.
  • Use technology, especially those for voice, motion, and creativity.

#8 – Strive for progress, not perfection

When I started writing, I struggled to produce a well-polished draft. I hated rewrites and self-editing made me want to ram my head into a wall.

But with time, I allowed myself to be scrappy.

I realized that giving it all in my drafts held my back: it pushed me into the rabbit hole of procrastination, fear and made me look inept.

You may aspire to be perfect at what you do, considering the good returns it brings. But perfection sometimes carries a poor reputation – plagiarism, Laryngitis, and writer’s block.

This is especially the self-judgment we impose on ourselves when we find our piece is not of the quality of bestsellers or garnered low reviews.

While you may want to become a bestselling author; when starting, strive for progress and with time, harness the power of perfection through edits, second, or third editions.

Remember the old saying of how to eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

That your first piece never made headlines does not mean the next will experience the same fate.

Aim for progress. Perfection is like success, a journey, having no destination: hence the doing is a lot more important than the result.

Here is a broad overview of how to aim for progress:

  • Collaborate with other writers, making relationships with them, whether aspiring or professional.
  • Seek reviews and feedback from beta readers.
  • Find or pay an editor to help bring out your thoughts, ideas, and write more succinctly.
  • Do an activity that will bring more clarity to your writing.
  • Give yourself enough latitude to experiment and maybe fail a couple of times.

#9 – Writer’s block doesn’t exist

It is an excuse us writer’s use to shot our own feet when writing or publishing a book: then seek comfort in a community or in-crowds ailing of the same.

Let’s face it one more time: “Writer’s block is a fancy term made up by whiners so they can have an excuse to drink alcohol.”  – Steve Martin.

Guess what? You can stop it.

How?

It often starts with finding the real ailment, some soul searching and admitting to yourself.

The other list of things you can do to write without writer’s block goes here:

So what’s standing in your way from self-publishing? Not excuses, it is you. But we can fix that—here at Self-Publishing School—with a few shifts in the mindset.

romance authors

8 Best Romance Authors: Which Authors to Follow and Even Learn From

Brace yourself, because you’re about to feast your eyes on the best and totally non-partial or biased list of the best romance authors.

Out of the millions of crazy-talented authors out there, I’ve managed to put together 8 of the best romance authors I think were integral in shaping the lives of so many artistic, hopeless romantic souls vying for a place in this book genre.

Here are the 8 best romance authors:

  1. Jenna Moreci
  2. Josie Silver
  3. Rainbow Rowell
  4. Audrey Niffenegger
  5. Nicholas Sparks
  6. Judy Blume
  7. Richelle Mead
  8. Helen Hoang

What makes a good romance novel?

It goes without saying that these romance authors’ books have become bestsellers. However, it’s a long way to get through to get on a bestseller list, but it’s real!

If you are one of those crazy guys who dare to overcome this path, make sure to pay attention to each and every detail of publishing your book.

Genuine romance authors know how to draw their readers’ attention right from the first page and even distract you from mulling over the plot even when you are not reading.

The most important point is they follow their idea, moving, sad, and a bit insane (or absolutely crazy one).

Best Romance Authors to Read and Learn From

Without further ado, here’s my list of the best romance authors.

You can read for fun or, if you’re looking to write a book, you can read and learn from their methods and techniques.

#1 – Jenna Moreci

While Moreci doesn’t just write romance, the romance included in her novels are drool-worthy, intriguing, and most importantly, healthy.

This author’s debut novel Eve: The Awakening featured a romantic subplot amidst interlopers, chimeras, and more and still held its own and shined.

Her second novel of a separate series, The Savior’s Champion is a romantic fantasy adventure where yes, the romance is a part of the main plot (and let’s be real, I could read about these characters’ love story forever!).

Moreci has a way of delivering the romance in a natural, yet intoxicating manner while sticking true to a healthy relationship—something this industry is in desperate need of.

If you love romance (along with some action), this is the author to keep an eye on.

#2 – Josie Silver

The Wolverhampton native is the author of One Day in December, a rising cult favorite that rose to fame thanks to the palpable warmth and charming characters that spring to life in every page.

Lovely doesn’t even begin to describe Silver’s writing; her words and stories are imbued with so much magic it’s hard not to cry or swoon when you’re so far deep into the story.

Although One Day in December is the first and only book in her repertoire at the moment, we’re hopeful for part 2 to Jack and Laurie’s whirlwind romance—or at least a spin-off!

One Day in December is the magic and chaos that ensues when you’re pretty certain you’ve just locked eyes with the love of your life, only for your bus to depart without him.

After a year of searching for him, you’re reunited one fateful night at your very own Christmas party—except he’s dating your roommate and BFF. Ten years of friendships, heartbreak, missed opportunities, and what ifs, roads not taken, and fate are reconsidered.

Josie Silver’s masterpiece is a reminder to everyone out there – hopeless romantic or otherwise – that true love and fate take inexplicable turns along the way to happiness, but it gets there.

So, to everyone out there who randomly locks eyes with someone cute on the way to work – if you feel it in your bones that they’re the one for you, go out there and do it! Who knows? They just might be the Jack to your Laurie!

#3 – Rainbow Rowell

If you love a good cry or heartwarming page tuner, then we reckon you should pick up any book from Miss Rowell’s highly acclaimed selection that goes from raw and real adult stories to warm and relatable teenager ones – all with a panache only the Nebraska local is capable of.

Rainbow Rowell has churned out masterpieces like Attachments, Landline, Eleanor & Park, Fangirl, and Carry On.

Out of the impressive lot, our winner is Eleanor & Park!

Who knew domestic abuse, child abuse, themes of escape, bullying, and body image issues would make for one knock-out novel? Eleanor & Park is everything a coming-of-age story should be.

It makes you feel things so strongly, transports you to a time and place where all you can feel is Eleanor and how the world shifts around her.

Together you weep at her circumstances. Together your hearts flutter for one Park Sheridan. Together you escape to Minnesota in the hopes of surviving the hand you were drawn.

Riveting, raw, and real, this love story is something so uniquely special, it’ll be engraved on your brain for a long, long time.

#4 – Audrey Niffenegger

Okay, hear us out – time travel, unsurmountable passion, and a lifetime of waiting and intertwined destinies – could it get any better than this? Right, didn’t think so.

Niffenegger gave the world a gift when she released The Time Traveler’s Wife, one of the most widely successful romance books and films to have made it into the mainstream and cult favorite niche.

The story takes place between two lovers; Henry, a man born with the inexplicable ability to time travel, and Clare, a woman he has been drawn to meeting in several timelines.

They fall in love, and what follows next is a series of beautiful and tragic moments that teach us the pains of having to wait your whole life for the one that owns your heart.

We could only dream of creating work as stunning and riveting as this. We have so much respect for writers who hone their craft and go through the motions of delivering content that is nothing short of brilliant.

It can be a huge, daunting task, but thanks to lifehacks like Spreadsheeto to help the best of the best streamline ideas and get that creativity flowing quickly and efficiently.

#5 – Nicholas Sparks

Nicholas Sparks is on this list of best romance authors, so that means this is pretty legit now, eh?

Kidding aside, this multi-awarded novelist and screenwriter is famous for bringing into the world a string of romance novels worthy of their own films.

romance authors

Oh wait, most of them are already on the silver screen (and doing great at that!).

Sparks specializes in the language of intimacy and picturesque moments in time, and some of his greatest work include A Walk to Remember, The Notebook. The Last Song, Night in Rodanthe, The Lucky One, and Dear John.

Out of the string of popular picks, The Notebook is our favorite! (Shocker). Ryan Gosling aside, the story is impeccable from beginning to end.

Who doesn’t love young, passionate romance fueled by differences in societal rank and one nosey-as-hell mother out to get in the way of her teenage daughter’s whirlwind romance with a so-called hooligan?

What you can expect from this fantastic read is a love story you’ll be begging the gods for.

#6 – Judy Blume

Hailing from New Jersey, Judy Blume is a multi-awarded child and young adult novelist whose incredible work has landed her permanency and veteran status in the hall of romance book fame.

The brilliant mind behind Tiger Eyes, Forever, Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret, Deenie, Blubber, and Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, Blume is out to conquer the world of fiction with one amazing book at a time.

Our favorite out of the impressive lineup? Forever!

Teenage sexuality, teenage angst… just all of the glorious, painful, and all too real moments about being a young teenager in love are captured perfectly in Blume’s tale of navigating through youth in all its awkward intricacies. 12/10 would read again!

#7 – Richelle Mead

The goddess of all things fiction, fantasy, and romance, Richelle Mead has reached household name levels of fame from exquisitely written novels that play up our favorite kind of scary – or in this case, sexy – ghouls: vampires!

Mead is the author of the Vampire Academy series, which has subsequently been turned into a movie.

Warning: not falling in love with Adrian Ivashkov is absolutely impossible.

#8 – Helen Hoang

romance author helen hoang

This American romance author’s debut, The Kiss Quotient, is a breath of fresh air for more reasons than one: her heroine is autistic – yes, you read that right – and suffers from Asperger’s disease.

Not only is her work inclusive, it’s also realistic and speaks to a much-needed group of people who have been underserved until her work.

Get. Your. Hands. On. This. Book. Honey. Or everything on this list, for that matter!

Every one of these guys is pure talent. But to succeed in this niche where every other one fails is impossible without a successful marketing campaign.

Hard difficult work, but undoubtedly worth trying!

what to write about

8 Things to Write About: What to Write About When You Lack Inspiration

You’re struggling with finding things to write about—that much is clear.

And you’ve decided to make that jump. You’ve finally worked up the courage to write a book. Congrats!

Now the daunting question of what you’re going to write rears its ugly head.

What on earth can you write? What would people want to read?

You find yourself at the first stumbling block, also affectionately (not) referred to as writer’s block.

Here are 8 ways to find things to write about:

  1. Write about your passions
  2. Fiction or nonfiction
  3. What you’re an expert in
  4. Write about your experiences
  5. Get ideas from friends and family
  6. Find inspiration to write about online
  7. Brainstorm what to write about for a day or two
  8. Collect a large list of ideas to write about

What's causing your writer's block?  Take this 2-minute assessment to determine the exact cause of your writer's  block, whether it's a lack of direction, inspiration has dwindled, or something  else! Learning the cause = finding a solution that WORKS.  TAKE THE ASSESSMENT NOW!

8 Things to Write About and How to Find Writing Inspiration

Well the good news is that all of us could write a book or two about something!

Each one of us has our own unique set of experiences that others could learn from, not to mention the plethora of writing prompts and story ideas online.

Figuring out what to write about simply takes some self-reflection, brainstorming, and research.

Follow these next steps and you will surely find at least one future book topic!

#1 – Start with your passions

The best place to start is with what brings you joy. After all, you’re going to enjoy writing your book a lot more if you enjoy the topic.

Furthermore, you are more likely to really sell an idea and convince your audience of something if you’re passionate about it.

Here are a few questions for finding what to write about:

  1. What’s one thing you enjoy most?
  2. What do you lose track of time doing?
  3. Where do your thoughts go when you’re not paying attention?
  4. What do people describe you doing often?

These things to write about could be as simple as bike riding, home organization, or cooking. It could be something more technical or complex.

Take out a pen and paper, and make a list of all the things that you really love.

Write them all down, whether they’re big or small. You will draw inspiration from this list, so write down everything that you can think of.

#2 – Choose to write fact or fiction

Once you have a good, working list of all the things you love, you need to decide something important: will your book be fact or fiction?

There are so many different book genres out there that it can feel overwhelming. Hence, it’s best to get an idea of this before you start the writing process.

Your passions list will really help you narrow this one down.

Perhaps your love of cats could make you want to write a fiction novel about a cat who goes on adventures. Perhaps your love of home gardening could make for a great how-to book to help others who want to grow their own food. Maybe your love of ghosts could make for a good horror book.

Whatever it is, your passions are there waiting to be turned into a book idea.

Your specific genre can be modified as you begin to write. However, deciding whether your book will be fiction or about your real life, like writing a memoir, is something you need to decide before beginning the brainstorming and writing process.

#3 – What you’re an expert at/in

Everybody is an expert in something. Do you believe me? Most people when they hear this go “oh no, not me!” After all, we are often our own worst critics.

However, that’s where everyone is wrong. Each of us is an expert in something.

The truth is that you don’t need a million trophies or some fancy title to be an expert. Furthermore, books written by experts don’t always sell. People love getting advice from ordinary people just like you! After all, if you can write and publish a book, so can they.

You can find your expertise through a brainstorm.

Much like your passion list, make another list! On this one, I want you to write down all of your work experience from the last 5-10 (or more!) years. I’m talking everything that you can think of such as employment, volunteer work, hobbies, and unique experiences.

After you’ve spent some time on this list, start to look at the patterns:

  • What things keep popping up?
  • What do these things have in common?
  • Are these things related?

This list might help you see that you really are more of an expert in something that you can write about.

You might not have been the boss of the company, but you might have learned more than you think working in public relations or even answering phones.

#4 – Pull things to write about from your experiences

Your future book inspiration doesn’t solely come from professional experience. It can come from personal experiences as well. With this, you’ll want to create another list.

things to write about

However, this one will be more of a brainstorm of different life experiences you’ve had.

If you can’t just start making a list, start by mapping out your life.

Jot down a few of these ideas to write about:

  • Where do you live?
  • Where are you from originally?
  • Who are your family members?
  • Who are your friends?
  • Where have you traveled to?

If you answer all of these questions, you will surely start to think of “that one time I …” or other memories.

Write down all the words, thoughts and images that come to mind. Write down how you felt in these moments and how they affected you and you’ll have plenty of things to write about.

When you brainstorm, let your creativity flow! Don’t worry about writing the words in a perfect list. If you feel inspired to draw, draw.

These brainstorm sessions are for you and you only, so let them be as crazy as you want!

#5 – Get writing ideas from friends or family member

Those who know us best often see things about us that we cannot. They have the perspective of seeing our lives from the outside.

If you’re thinking of writing a book, speak with someone you’re close to.

They simultaneously know you best and want the best for you.

Take them out for a cup of coffee and tell them that you want to publish a book. If you already have a few things to want to write about, you could run them by this person.

If you don’t, you could simply ask them what they think you should write about. You might get responses like “I would love to read about your experience with _____” or “I think you could really tell this story well.”

You’ll either narrow down your list of ideas or have a few new ones to add to the list!

#6 – Turn to the Internet

The Internet is a great place to find inspiration for what to write about. First and foremost, you want to ensure that someone hasn’t already written about what you want to write about.

If it’s a broad topic such as “how to travel the world,” surely at least several people have already beaten you to the punch! However, this isn’t the end of the world.

When searching, you can see how these people have written their books and think about how yours would be different. Since no one on earth is exactly like you, you certainly will have your own unique perspective to bring to the table!

Only you can be you!

In addition to a general Google search, use both Instagram and Pinterest to your advantage.

These two social networks will bring your inspiration for what to write about—not to mention give you book marketing opportunities when you do write the book. When searching on Instagram, make sure to look at related hashtags such as this #writerinspiration one.

What's causing your writer's block?  Take this 2-minute assessment to determine the exact cause of your writer's  block, whether it's a lack of direction, inspiration has dwindled, or something  else! Learning the cause = finding a solution that WORKS.  TAKE THE ASSESSMENT NOW!

#7 – Leave all the brainstorming and discussion for a day or two

After you’ve brainstormed and talked with a close friend or family member, put it all down.

Simply go about your life as normal going to work or school or whatever your normal routine is.

You are sure to come up with more ideas or more details to add to your existing notes at the most random times. When something comes to mind, record it right away!

It might be good to have a notebook with you at all times or start a note on your phone.

You can actually use an app like Evernote for this very purpose.

things to write about notes

After a few days of a break, come back to all your notes and decide on what you want to write about.

#8 – Create a list to work from

A lot of authors feel like pressure when picking their book topic. It is kind of scary to pick an idea and then write several hundred pages on it.

However, remind yourself that choosing an idea to write about does not obligate you to write an entire book about it.

You might start by writing the outline or the first few chapters and realize that you’d rather write about a different topic. That’s okay!

Creating a large list of ideas will help you when you’re just not feeling one idea anymore—whether you’re writing a book or simply a blog post.

Get out that notebook and get to work!

The best time to get started brainstorming your perfect idea is now! Don’t wait around and let fear get the better of you.

Get out your notebook and start making these lists. Write down every word, thought or image that comes to your mind!

What's causing your writer's block?  Take this 2-minute assessment to determine the exact cause of your writer's  block, whether it's a lack of direction, inspiration has dwindled, or something  else! Learning the cause = finding a solution that WORKS.  TAKE THE ASSESSMENT NOW!

author advantage live publishing conference

Author Advantage Live – Writing Event for Self-Published Authors

Last year’s Author Advantage Live event was a HUGE success! More people showed up than we ever thought, and it was incredible.

This year, 2020, COVID-19 has made it so difficult for us to meet in person. And for the safety of everyone, we’ve decided to take our event VIRTUAL!

That’s right, this year, we present Author Advantage Live Virtual Experience! This 3-day experience will have ALL the same content but you can join from the comfort of your own home—and for CHEAPER!

Click here to get your AUTHOR ADVANTAGE LIVE VIRTUAL EXPERIENCE ticket and join us September 24-26th for the BEST information and industry insights for self-publishing.

Author Advantage Live is the ONLY event dedicated to helping you as a self-published author sell your first 10,000 book copies, build a platform to scale your income and impact, and unlock your Author Advantage.

https://youtu.be/xMm2MYPpvSI

My team has been working on this project in secret since January with the purpose of creating the most valuable, go-to conference in the self publishing industry…

And at the risk of giving away a few surprises, I think we’ve done exactly that.

But here’s the deal – because this is the first live writing conference we’ve hosted, we’ve capped the number of tickets at 300 attendees…

(We didn’t want to end up like the Fyre festival disaster on Netflix.. ;).

author advantage live

And if you’re reading this blog post right now…

So are approximately 150,000 other writers and authors just like you who visit this blog each month.

Which means Author Advantage Live will sell out.

Right now, and for the next few days we’re offering an Early Bird Discount on all Author Advantage Live ticket packages…

This is the lowest price these tickets will ever sell at (to reward our longtime community members who are fast action takers).

But there are a limited number of Early Bird Tickets Available

Once the Early Bird Discount tickets have been claimed, the price goes up $100.

What Is Author Advantage Live?

Author Advantage Live is the ONLY event dedicated to helping you as a self-published author sell your first 10,000 book copies, build a platform to scale your income and impact, and unlock your Author Advantage.

Who is Author Advantage Live For?

Are you a writer looking to learn today’s cutting-edge book sales and marketing strategies based on what’s working right now?

Are you a coach or consultant looking to cut through the noise, position yourself as the undisputed expert in your niche, and create an asset that makes clients ask you to work with them?

Are you someone who wants to take the knowledge and expertise you’ve already written in your book (or already have in your head!), repurpose it, and turn it into a higher-ticket digital product or service?

Are you looking for a proven process to write a book that positions you as an expert, and generates a steady stream of qualified leads for your business?

Are you someone who wants to use their book to build a highly profitable business on the backend?

Or maybe you’re an aspiring author looking for the strategies, frameworks, and inspiration you need to make your bestselling book a reality?

If you found yourself nodding “Yes!” to any of those questions above, then Author Advantage Live 2019 is specifically for you!

What Will I Get At Author Advantage Live?

Author Advantage Live is the first event of its kind hosted by Self-Publishing School… and we’re pulling out all the stops.

At AAL, you’ll be rubbing shoulders and collaborating with some of the top Self Publishing School coaches, team members, and your fellow authors and community members so that you can see what it actually takes to write and publish a bestselling book, build a six and seven figure business, and create a platform that allows you to scale your income, influence, and impact.

Get feedback, support, and encouragement for your book and business ideas during our Author VIP night and mastermind breakouts…

Immerse yourself into the mindset of what it actually takes to grow a six figure online business…

See and engage with Chandler Bolt in person! He’s inspired and trained you via video to this point…the opportunity to engage live with your book, brand, and business ideas is like adding gasoline to the fire.

Build life-long relationships with other authors in the Self-Publishing School community during our networking events and cocktail night, so that you have allies, accountability, and don’t have to go through your journey alone.

All of this takes place over 3 days designed to Change Your Life and get you results:

Day 1: Crafting Your Message & Identifying Your Audience

There is nothing more powerful than a compelling story, and Day 1 is all about focusing on crafting YOUR unique story and identifying YOUR perfect audience.

On Day 1, we’re covering ALL the necessary elements that a compelling story MUST have, as well how to ensure your story and book topic are positioned the RIGHT way that sets you up for maximum book sales while positioning you as an expert in your niche AND driving qualified, ready-to-buy leads to your business.

Day 2: How To Sell Your First 10,000+ Copies

Day 2 is not just about giving you tons of content and theoretical knowledge about selling more books. Our goal for you on Day 2 is to arm you with the playbooks you need to walk away with a tangible, step-by-step gameplan to go out and sell at least 10,000 copies of your own book to position you as the undisputed expert in your niche and unlock YOUR Author Advantage.

At 10,000 copies sold, doors start to open for you that had previously been invisible. Podcast interviews, speaking engagements, partnership offers, and business opportunities will suddenly all start to present themselves.

This is what we call the Author Advantage.

Day 3: How To Build A Business On The Backend Of Your Book

Day 3 is possibly the most POWERFUL day of Author Advantage Live.

Whether you’re a career author, entrepreneur, or what we call an “impactor,” you’re going to walk away from the last day of Author Advantage Live with takeaways that have the potential to change your life.

On Day 3, Chandler is going to show you EXACTLY how to take your book and repurpose the hard work you’ve already done into a higher-ticket digital product or service…

And the step-by-step playbook you need to build a six or even seven figure business on the backend of your book.

You’re going to learn the EXACT strategies we’ve executed at Self-Publishing School to build a $12,000,000 business on the back of Chandler’s OWN books in just 5 years.

Lastly, there’s a special keynote speaker on Day 3 that we are INCREDIBLY excited to announce. You don’t want to miss this!

Click here to visit the Author Advantage Live page, get more details, and purchase your ticket today.

main character

Protagonist: How to Write a Kickass Main Character Your Readers Will Love

Readers will show up to your metaphorical yard for a good story…but they will come back for a good protagonist…

And we’ll teach you how to write a main character your readers will love, root for, and even cry for.

You have the story you want to tell. You know exactly how to write the novel…however, you’re not sure how to make your protagonist stand out—how to make readers love them.

And that’s the key, after all…

When your book is years old and readers have long since read it, it’s the main character they’ll remember, the joy and fear and happiness they experienced on behalf of that protagonist that will make them remember your book—and you!

Character Development Worksheet!  Keep your characters feeling REAL and organized at the same time with a fully  customizeable and printable character development worksheet designed to make  your characters shine!  YES! GET THE WORKSHEET!

Here are the steps for writing a protagonist and main character:

  1. Learn what a protagonist is
  2. Understand a protagonist vs antagonist
  3. Learn from protagonist examples
  4. Make your main character likable
  5. Give them a sense of humor
  6. Make your protagonist powerful
  7. Give your protagonist trouble
  8. Give them several of these qualities
  9. Avoid making a passive protagonist

What is a protagonist?

The protagonist of a story is the leading or main character in a book, movie, short story, play, or other works of fiction. They are the person the story centers around and the character readers will root for to succeed.

Essentially, the protagonist of a book is the one whose goals and ambitions are a part of the main plot, often thwarted by the antagonist, who wants to see them fail for their own personal motives to succeed.

Your main character possesses characteristics that are redeemable and lovable—they’re who your readers will grow most attached to and want to see win and succeed in their ventures throughout the plot of your novel.

No matter what book genre you’re writing in (aside from nonfiction), you will need to be able to craft a stellar main character.

What’s the difference between a protagonist and a main character?

Protagonists and the main character can be the same, however, not every main character is a protagonist.

For example, when writing split perspective novels, the protagonist might just be a single character, but the other points of view are also main characters.

A main character is any character that plays a pivotal part in the plot and journey of the protagonist.

Here are a few examples of protagonists versus main characters:

Protagonist (and the main character):

  • Jon Snow
  • Harry Potter
  • Katniss Everdeen
  • Tobias Kaya

Main character (but NOT the protagonist):

  • Cersei Lannister
  • Ron Weasley
  • Peeta Mellark
  • The Savior

What counts as a main character in a story?

The main character in a story is someone who plays an active role in the progression of the plot and story. This includes both the protagonist, antagonist, and other active characters.

For example, your protagonist’s best friend can be a main character (like Ron Weasley), but so can the antagonist (like Voldemort).

You can have several different main characters but usually only one protagonist in your novel.

The difference between main characters and side characters is that a side character typically serves a different purpose in your novel. They might not be directly impacting the plot, but may serve as comic relief, a foil character type to your main character, or even play a specific role to tie different characters together.

An example of a side character is Nick Fury in The Marvel Comics. Most often, the superheroes are the main characters (and protagonists), but Fury is often a side character with the purpose of connecting plot points, but not necessarily moving them forward on his own.

protagonist main characters

Protagonist Versus Antagonist

The protagonist is the character who is trying to accomplish a specific goal while the antagonist is any character or organization opposing them.

The antagonist is often found to be synonymous with “villain,” but this isn’t always the case.

The antagonist of a story is anything or anyone opposing your protagonist. Their goal is to stop them for whatever reason, usually because their own motivations and goals contradict theirs.

Take Cersei Lannister, for example. The popular franchise Game of Thrones unveiled a very specific type of antagonist in Cersei because if you read or watch from her own perspective, she is the protagonist of her own story.

This is one of the golden rules of writing antagonists and any sort of “villainous” character.

George R.R. Martin pulled this off beautifully by making Cersei Lannister the antagonist to other main characters like Jon Snow, the Starks, and Daenerys Targaryen, but because (in the books) we’re offered her point of view, she’s actually the protagonist of her own life journey.

Nevertheless, she is still considered the antagonist—as are the White Walkers.

Protagonist Examples

The reason why so many popular books are a series of books (other than the author wanting to make a living writing several books). We all want to see the next adventure of a character we love.

At some point, if you like the character enough, you stop caring what they are even getting up to (almost) and you just want to know more about them and their life.

Think of any engaging character you’ve encountered in the past decade. These characters could have stopped after one go, but they keep coming back with new and interesting things to do. Sometimes they engage in stand-alone stories, other times their continuing adventures are part of the overall story structure that shows off their growth over a series.

character development arc

Here are some examples of great protagonists:

  • Harry Potter
  • Spiderman
  • Jack Reacher
  • Tony Stark
  • Thor
  • Katniss Everdeen from Hunger Games
  • Tobias Kaya of The Savior’s Champion
  • Anybody that survives an episode of Game of Thrones

How to Write a Good Protagonist Your Readers Will Remember

Not every character is worth coming back for. The staying power of a character comes from more than simply surviving the plot (though that usually helps).

You need to do intense character development and give them some special quality and/or make them likable. In other words, make them kickass.

While that is easier said than done, it isn’t too hard to do. Here are six ways to put some kick in your character.

#1 – Make Your Protagonist Likable

People like to spend time with likable
characters. Much like in real life, the off-putting people tend to get skipped
over and left to the side.

Think of any Tom Hanks character in any of his romantic comedies. He always plays a likeable guy, a guy you’d happily have over for dinner, spend the day with, hang with.

His charisma and charm extend from there, making his characters in dramas more approachable.

In the same way, if your make a character likable and personable, the reader will stick by them in the tough spots. They will care about the events that happen because they like the character.

Consider the way a slasher flick sets up
the characters. You know from the introduction who is going to survive the
night and who isn’t. The heroes (usually a couple) stand for the same values as
the audience. They are kind, good, and moral. They look out for their fellow
characters in times of danger.

A likable character sticks up for the little guy and adds a human quality to their supporting cast, even when that cast isn’t remotely human.

When a character feels like a guide, it
makes the reader feel safe. Especially in horror or thriller stories, you want
the reader to be more excited to turn the page and see the next scene than they
are hesitant.

Examples of these likable main characters include:

#2 – Make Them Funny

Not quite the same as likable and not quite the opposite either. Funny characters can get away with more than unfunny ones, but they can get annoying if pushed.

Like any good joke, timing and delivery matter.

Biting wit and a jocular look at the dangers all around make for some memorable character moments. Make writing dialogue for this type of character worth some outbursts of laughter and you’ll have your reader turning the pages with gleeful delight.

Funny isn’t just jokes consisting of set up and punchline. You definitely don’t want to rely on a string of catchphrase utterance, no matter how much a Groot might work on occasion.

The essence of wit is brevity. Quips work when they are insightful but also come from a real place.

Be extra careful in establishing the background of a metacharacter. Deadpool’s humor doesn’t fly in all stories at all times.

Funny can also mean awkward or accidentally funny.

Think Ron in Harry Potter. He doesn’t mean to be funny… he’s awkward, but in a lovable, hilarious way and we love him for it.

The falls into trouble and falls back out of it style of character goes way back to Greek comedies. The setup for a comedy of errors relies on a likable fellow getting in over their heads and trying not to make a mess as they work it out.

Examples of funny characters:

  • Starlord and Rocket Raccoon in Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Sherlock Holmes in the latest reboots
  • Tyrian Lannister in Game of Thrones
  • Simon Pegg’s Scotty

#3 – Make Your Protagonist Powerful

A character that lacks the ability to affect the world around them becomes tiresome. We want heroes challenged, sure, but we also want to know they can succeed. That when faced with the dangers of the plot and the villains they have a shot that, when it comes down to it, they can kick some ass.

Tony Stark isn’t just a billionaire. He’s a billionaire genius. Take away his armor and he’s still a beloved figure with money, brains, fame and the awareness to point it all that out, if pressed on the subject.

good protagonist

The reason we love underdog characters is
because they are secretly the most powerful. They have the power to rise up and
supersede the challenges, they just aren’t there yet. The likable, funny
exterior makes you root for a character, but you want them to win in the end
because they are better than the competition.

If your character is a lawyer, they’re the
best lawyer in town. If they are entering an academy to become a pilot, they
are on the path to be the best pilot.

A powerful character (ie- the best at something) garners respect from the reader.

Remember to keep the character likable, a powerful character that uses their power to do harm becomes a villain. Redemption in character arcs aside, you want to avoid both a snotty character and a character that can’t be challenged.

Powerful doesn’t mean perfect.

One of the bonuses of being great at something is that people are quick to forgive them some of flaws. Tony Stark is arrogant. We forgive him that because there is a good reason why he’s arrogant.

Genius characters can get away with being antisocial, wholesome characters can be naïve, and effective characters can be forgiven some moral grey areas.

Unless you are writing noir, you want to keep the positives outshining the negatives. That balance can flip a bit for antiheroes (ie Deadpool, John Wick) but often takes a darker world to be effective.

#4 – Give Your Protagonist Trouble and Conflict

Conflict makes character. Conflict that
stems from the characters internal conflicts leads to a different emotional
response than conflict that stems from inevitable outside forces.

Case in point, we immediately feel sorry for Jack and Rose because we know the Titanic is going down and there isn’t anything that either character could do to avoid that fate.

We feel a lot less for Superman and Batman in their Doomsday fight when they need a device they casually tossed aside an hour ago.

The more a conflict resonates with the reader, the more they can identify with the character.

While saving the world from the terrible forces of an overwhelming alien order is fun, it isn’t relatable. It isn’t the kind of thing you are likely to face in a day.

You personalize it by bringing it down to the granular. You make it about a particular personal loss, not all the losses.

Examples of great conflict with protagonists:

  • We empathize with Harry Potter because he’s an orphan, not because he’s a wizard in the wrong world.
  • We understand what it’s like not to be believed, not so much dying and being resurrected by magic like Jon Snow.
  • We want to make a difference like Hawkeye, knowing that what we do matters even if we aren’t Thor level powerful.

Be warned: there is a difference between the reader empathizing with a character and pitying them.

  • Jack and Rose are good people enjoying life. They make the most of their last days.
  • Harry Potter is a school kid trying his best. He (almost) never wallows in self-pity over his trials and problems.
  • Thor loses his hammer and his eye. He makes jokes about his problems while trying to solve them instead of giving up.

Character Development Worksheet!  Keep your characters feeling REAL and organized at the same time with a fully  customizeable and printable character development worksheet designed to make  your characters shine!  YES! GET THE WORKSHEET!

#5 – Give Them Diverse Characteristics

Character’s shouldn’t be one dimensional cardboard cut-outs. You want to make them rich and full.

To this end, you don’t need to stick to one technique.

As the preceding examples overlapped quite a bit, you see that mixing and matching works better than solo applications.

write a main character

Mix and match your protagonist’s characteristics like these examples:

  • Tony Stark is powerful, likable, and funny
  • Harry Potter is likable, in a situation that’s relatable but outside his control
  • Kirk is likable, often in danger outside himself, and has the skill to outpace his faults

You don’t want to overdo it. A character that is trying to be too many things can become cluttered and confusing. Sometimes this is a result of the Superman problem, you can’t directly challenge a character designed to be too good.

Flaws make for an anchor for a reader to project themselves into a character.

Also, nobody likes a story where the plot dictates the effectiveness of the character from page to page.

You also don’t want to alienate an audience by creating a dreaded Mary Sue (which is a “perfect” character who can never do wrong)…

Leave room for flaws in your protagonist like these examples:

  • Tony Stark is arrogant and a drunk
  • Harry Potter lacks self-confidence and doesn’t get the girl
  • Deadpool has cancer, is a jerk, and can’t seem to die
  • The Cast of Game of Thrones is all too mortal, and largely unprotected by plot armor

#6 – Avoid Making a Passive Character

A common mistake of first-time writers is to make characters reactive, otherwise known as passive.

And you know just how much passive voice is a no-no in writing, passive characters are also frowned upon.

While they might need to roll with the punches when they first splash into the deep end, you want them to drive the action soon after.

A great character is proactive. They take charge, make a plan, and attack a problem with their skills and supporting cast.

Often, you can use the above techniques to define their approach to proactivity.

Here are some questions to ask in order to learn how to avoid a passive character:

  • Do they face their problems with a joke?
  • Do they enlist the help of their cast of friends?
  • Do they solve it with their power?
  • Do they solve the problem by acknowledging that any effort matters because where they find themselves is not their fault?

Keep in mind what fuels your character and they will always have a way to move forward. Not only that, the reader will be rooting for your charter as well.

Great characters come from relatability and impact a reader by appealing to what we like to think about ourselves. A likable character engages a reader and can be a vector into a strange world.

Likable characters humanize conflict and give readers a reason to care.

Funny characters use their quips and whit
to attack problems and keep the darkness at bay. We like to leave our fiction
with a good feeling and jokes are how we cope with the worst of our issues.

Powerful characters embody proactive
approaches. A reader likes to see a character succeed and likes to know what a
character is capable of so they can be in on the action, not blindsided by
troubles and des ex machina.

A reader likes to see real conflict. That
is conflict that matters to a character and challenges the character. They
don’t like to see pity and interpersonal wallowing.

Think of your character like a friend. Do your best to advocate for them but remember that they aren’t you. Keep writing and let your characters speak for themselves.

Character Development Worksheet!  Keep your characters feeling REAL and organized at the same time with a fully  customizeable and printable character development worksheet designed to make  your characters shine!  YES! GET THE WORKSHEET!

need a book editor

Do You Need a Book Editor? Why Authors Have to Hire Editors

Do you really need to hire a book editor—especially when you self-publish?

Let’s face it…

Gone are the days when an aspiring writer only dreamed of publishing. Technology has made self-publishing about as commonplace as learning to drive.

Here’s what you’ll learn about hiring a book editor:

  1. Why do you need a book editor?
  2. What does a book editor do?
  3. What the self-editing process is
  4. When to hire an editing team
  5. What is a good book editor
  6. How much does a book editor cost?
  7. Accepting that you need an editor

Learn How to Self-Edit & What You Need to Hire a Pro Editor

Book Editing Checklist

Download your FREE guided checklist to help you self-edit, or to guide you and give you a baseline for setting expectations for copy editing and content editing services. Get it now!

Why do you need a book editor?

Tried and true strategies for creating, producing, and organizing content are readily available to any aspiring author along with a wide range of self-publishing courses from self-publishing companies and free resources that decode the once mysterious process of writing and publishing a book.

Anyone willing to put in the time, energy, cost, and effort can crank out and self-publish a book. It’s really that simple.           

Well, that’s the good news.

Far less straightforward, however, is the multifaceted, often undervalued topic of book editing—the essential step that makes your manuscript actually worth reading.

Working with an editor is, in fact, so important that some authors, particularly fiction writers, begin their writing process with an editor’s support.

Most authors seek the help of an editor at the end stages of their process, and, depending on how much work was put into the first draft, hiring an entire editorial team may be necessary. If this sounds costly and time-consuming, it definitely can be, but these are included in the cost of publishing a book.

Fortunately, the work and cost of editing your manuscript can be mitigated by educating yourself about the process, incorporating editing costs into your overall budget, and learning how to self-edit your manuscript, so you can be prepared for the last step in turning your manuscript into a finished book.

And you thought writing the manuscript was the hard part!

The Self-Editing Process

After the grueling first draft is complete, many first-time authors find themselves dismayed by the unforeseen cost of editing. Not to mention overwhelmed by the extensive rewriting they are suddenly burdened with just when they thought the heavy lifting was over.

Most novice writers are unaware that revision is 80 percent of the work involved in book writing. So if you get to that glorious moment when you finish your rough draft only to feel beaten down when you realize just how much revising you have to do, you’re not alone.

book editor notes

For those unaware of what it will ultimately take to polish your manuscript for publication, the back-end job you are presented with at the last stages of writing a book can be both costly and extensive if you didn’t devote ample time to editing early drafts.

But there is hope!

Considering the following can help you prepare your draft for editorial review and save you money.

When to Hire Your Editing Team

Yes, I said “team.”

When I worked in traditional publishing, every manuscript went through no less than four separate editors. Sometimes close to a dozen rounds of editing.

And you know what? There were still usually a few typos that slipped through!

Let that sink in for a second.

Just as producing a manuscript involves a varied skill set—writing, formatting, cover design, etc.—so does editing it.

Depending on your genre, writing skills, experience, and how much time you put into revising your draft and incorporating the feedback of trustworthy readers, you can determine which kind of editor you need to get you to the next phase without spending extra time and money.

Estimating editing costs (along with the approximate time it will take to complete each stage of the editing process) in your budget and timeline will also save you time and energy finding top-notch editors you can afford.

What makes a good book editor & can I afford one?

Well, yes. But only if you are willing to put the time and effort into your manuscript.

Before you start reaching out to prospective editors, it is important to assess the work you’ve done from an objective standpoint so you can shop according to your budget and particular needs.

Consider the following before hiring a book editor:

  • Your overall budget for editing
  • How many beta readers have provided feedback (people who read your rough draft)
  • Your experience level
  • Your timeline
  • How much time has been spent reworking the text

If you’ve never worked with an editor before, it’s important to know who does what and when to employ their services.

There are a few different types of edits to be aware of before hiring an editor.

Developmental editors address the big picture, looking closely at the content to analyze structure, plot, and characters in works of fiction and the rhetorical concerns, organization, and overall flow of ideas in non-fiction.

Content editors analyze the existing content in the book itself. Specifically paragraph flow, tense, voice, and readability. Just remember that all editing is subjective. What one editor likes, another may not. So it is super important to find someone who specializes in your book genre for this stage.

Copy editors focus on the nitty-gritty of grammar, syntax, punctuation, and clarity and may also revise and rework particular sentences or paragraphs.

Proofreaders are the last readers/editors in line who myopically comb through the manuscript for any remaining errors. Just remember, if you didn’t have your draft copyedited first, the proofreader is unlikely to catch everything.

Keep in mind no one is perfect. Typos happen. It’s just life.

Depending on your genre, skillset, and budget, you may want to consult with developmental editors after you’ve written several chapters or even as you outline your book and brainstorm.

This will help you steer clear of major revision (hopefully) and set you on course for a smooth book writing process. In general, it’s a good idea to start assembling your team as you near the end stages and prepare yourself and your manuscript for editorial review.

Here’s an example of what you can (and should) find regarding the different types of book edits when you research your own editor.

types of book editor

How Much Does a Book Editor Cost?

Most editors do not charge by the hour. Book editing costs are assessed based on word count or by the page, and editing rates differ depending on the type you need. Generally, you can expect to pay anywhere from $.05-.18 per word for copyediting, $.03-.07 for developmental editing, and $.01-.02 for proofreading.

These costs vary greatly depending on the editor’s experience, reputation, demand, and the amount of work they will need to put into your draft. It is not uncommon to spend several thousand dollars editing a full-length book.

But fear not! There are various approaches you can take to keep costs low if money is an issue.

Learn How to Self-Edit & What You Need to Hire a Pro Editor

Book Editing Checklist

Download your FREE guided checklist to help you self-edit, or to guide you and give you a baseline for setting expectations for copy editing and content editing services. Get it now!

Here’s how you can save money when hiring an editor:

  • Assemble a team of beta readers who can provide feedback for revisions during the writing process. Share several chapters at a time, incorporate any feedback into your revisions, and choose people who are willing to give you honest notes. This can be particularly helpful for content-related issues.
  • Consider hiring a college student or reader with a background in English who has a passion for editing and won’t be concerned about hurting your feelings.
  • Check out freelance websites like UpWork or even a great site called Scribendi. (Warning: if you source an editor from these sites, make sure you hire another, professional editor to go over it afterward. There is no way to know what you are getting otherwise. Just because the draft comes back better than it was before, does not mean it was well-edited!)
  • Take the time to educate yourself about grammar, punctuation, outlining, and other technical issues, especially for nonfiction works. Rely on websites such as The Owl at Purdue for style guidelines and support with grammar, punctuation, and research concerns.
  • Fiction writers may want to join a writers group or workshop to benefit from the help of others who have experience with your genre and can help you develop your craft, challenge flaws in your narrative or character development, and help you improve the overall quality of your story. A flawed plot or character is much harder to revise after you finish writing your book, so it’s important to catch such problematic aspects of your book early on.
  • Don’t overestimate your skills and brilliance as an author! At least not when you’re working your early drafts. Even the best writers agonize over and discard much of what they initially produce, as there is simply no way around combining inspiration with structure.
  • Read books on writing, seek information about the kind of writing you’re doing, and find ways to approach your work with a fresh perspective.
  • Give yourself ample time and space away from your project so you can see it as clearly and objectively as possible.
  • Accept that you will never be totally objective about your writing, and that you will need, no matter how great your book is, the help of others to turn your manuscript into a masterpiece.

Your Book is Still Your Book

When all is said and done, just keep in mind this is your book and no one else’s. The beauty of self-publishing is that you have the final say in your own work.

There is no big, bad publisher denouncing your creative freedom.

If you don’t agree with some of the suggested edits, delete them! Your editors don’t know your book-baby as well as you do.

So, while expert feedback is essential to creating a polished, professional-quality book, have some faith in yourself and your writing.

You chose to write for a reason. So keep that in mind as your editor chops up the book you worked oh-so-hard on.

When you find the right editors (and it may take a few tries), whom you work well with, hold onto them! If you do, it will be mutually beneficial as you create and build together.

Happy editing!

writing space

Writing Spaces: Where to Write & Why it Actually Matters

You know that writers write…but did you know your writing spaces matters significantly?

You’re a writer when you put your pen on your paper and create words that combine together to form a sentence. You’re a writer when you stroke the keyboard and type out an email. You’re a writer when you comment on a Facebook post.

The fact is, you’re a writer whenever and wherever you add anything in writing in a physical or virtual location—but especially if you’re writing a book.

But where should you write? What makes a great writing space? And how do you create one?

Here’s what we’ll cover about your writing space:

  1. Writing spaces at home
  2. Writing spaces outside of the house
  3. Where to write
  4. Utilize at-home writing spaces always
  5. Block out noise with headphones
  6. Set a timer in your writing space
  7. Write in the same place
  8. Writing space tips from famous authors

Read on, my friend.

You’re going to learn about my favorite writing spaces and tools for where to write and creating a writing space.

Writing Spaces at Home

Creating a writing space at home is not difficult and can generally be done without spending a lot of money. I am lucky enough to have my own writing office, but even without that, you can still create a space that is just for you and your writing.

Here are a few tips to start building your writing space:

  1. Clear off the corner of your table. (It might mean that you throw away the mountain of mail you’ve been meaning to open or you finally put your laundry away, but a corner of a table will do just fine for this).
  2. Find a paper and pencil, pen and notepad, or a computer.
  3. Put your tools in that space and you’ve built a writing space.
  4. Tell your kids, your significant other, or your cat (although best of luck on training the feline) that this is your space and it is protected in a magical bubble where only you are allowed!

Now, you have a writing space – where you can do what writers do, write.

where to write

If you have a small budget (less than $100) to set up a writing space, you can scour buy, sell, trade groups for small writing desks. My husband found this gem of a writing desk for $75 on a local Facebook swap site.

I use it to journal during my morning routine (don’t forget to check out Chandler’s morning routine video) and outline things with good old-fashioned pen and paper.

Once my brain dumping to my journal is finished, I often transition to a more standardized office desk where I have my computer set up.

So if your budget is a little higher, between $300 – $500, you can buy an office desk from a used furniture store and get a nice desk, with delivery and set-up.

This helps you feel like you’re in more of a work mode and will be able to get things done

writer space

Perhaps you have a grand budget to use. You can go to a higher-end furniture store and buy a cherry or an oak desk for $1000-$2000. But, it is absolutely not necessary.

So, if you have have as little as $0 or as much as $2000+ dollars to spend, you can set up a writing space at home for you to meet your daily writing goals.

Where to Write Outside of Your Home

Anywhere!

Really, anywhere? Sure, you can go anywhere to write. I have some places that I recommend and some places that I would stay away from, but you can write anywhere.

Most writers have a favorite coffee shop. I have three. I love writing at a chain coffee shop when I need a little more background noise. It helps me zone into my rough draft writing and I work well when I am surrounded by others, coffee in hand, and can dedicate my time to writing. There’s also an independent coffee shop that I enjoy going to.

During NaNoWriMo we had some of our write-ins there. I love that it was designed so that at any table there is a spot where we can plug in our devices and type away.

I find this particularly useful when I am needing some motivation from being around other creatives, as there’s also a wall of art that changes frequently.

Finally, I really like a pay-it-forward cafe that has a community table where I can go when I need to concentrate on editing. Sometimes the different niches help me out the most so that I can focus on doing what writers do – write!

Here are some ideas for writing spaces outside our home:

  • The library
  • A museum
  • A park
  • A diner
  • Your backyard
  • Your front or back porch

It will depend on what you’re writing though as to which works the best.

Anywhere that you can go with your notebook, computer, or your phone is a location that you can write.

So, there you have it! You can write anywhere that you can take a writing device.

These are my overall recommended writing spaces:

  1. An area of your home, dedicated to writing
  2. A local coffee shop
  3. A library
  4. A Museum
  5. A park
  6. A shared office
  7. The beach
  8. A friend’s house
  9. A diner
  10. Anywhere that you can take a writing device

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Which Online Writing Spaces to Use

On a notebook, a computer, a phone. Anywhere that you can record words and be a writer. Because that’s what a good writer does, you write.

There are many different writing softwares to use for your virtual writing space.

Personally, I prefer to outline, mindmap, prewrite with a good old-fashioned pen and paper. But I know many writers who prefer to do their prewriting in a Google Doc, on Scrivener, Microsoft Office 365 or in a similar space online.

Be sure that no matter where you decide to write that you are free from distractions and that you write.

Once you have your prewriting done, then you can move into creating a first draft.

Google Docs

This is when I generally switch over from pencil and paper to an electronic format. I open up my Google Doc and I make an electronic version of my outline. This is important, because then I can quickly move from place to place in my document.

After I outline on my Google Doc, I move into writing out sentences. At this point, I don’t necessarily worry about whether or not I am writing cohesive sentences, I just get words on the paper, because I am doing what writers do—they write.

As Ray Bradbury says, “Quantity makes up for quality.”

Microsoft Word

If you’re not a Google Docs person, there are other tools out there that you can use to capture your words electronically.

The most well-known is Microsoft Word.

This is great if you always have access to it, which is possible with Office 365, but for me, Google Docs works better.

Scrivener

Scrivener is another tool that you can use to capture all your ideas, outlines, and planning in one place. The best thing about this is that it’s web-based, so you access it anywhere that you have access to the internet. Most writers that use this tool absolutely love it—so let us know if you have it and you love it.

Finally, if you’re driving and have ideas come to you, you can capture them with a speech-to-text app and then transfer them to a word processing document later.

This is particularly useful, as I often have ideas come to me when I am traveling.

Do not let the excuse of “I don’t have a writing space” hold you back from writing, because with very few tools (most are free or minimal cost), you have a writing space or a location to write.

Writing Spaces Tips for Beginners

Setting up a writing space is not always easy, but you know you want to write and you need to have a space to do what writers do: write!

So here are some tips to help you.

#1 – Use your at-home writing space for writing

where to write

You wouldn’t take a bath in the kitchen sink, right?

Right! Don’t use your writing space for other activities – only use it for writing.

“But I only have one computer – where else do I go to get on Facebook, watch YouTube, or pay my bills?”

I am guessing that if you’re like my family, you have a mobile computer – a laptop, a surface, an iPAD, or something similar. For the purpose of writing at-home, make sure that the device goes to the designated spot you have set up for that.

Then move when you’re not writing.

When we move to specific places to accomplish a task, our brains engage in those tasks and we are able to focus on doing what writers do – write.

#2 – Block out noise with headphones

You will be distracted. If you’re writing at home and have children, your kids will distract you. If you’re writing at a coffee shop, there will be other customers (hey, you want coffee shops to have customers – that’s what keeps them in business and gives you a space to write).

Invest in some headphones. Our brains can process doing other things with music – or white background noise. Create some by tuning into your favorite playlist.

I personally find meditation music especially helpful for this.

#3 – Set a timer

Equip your writing space with a timer. I, personally, usually have enough self-discipline to use my phone as a timer, but I love my Google Home Mini for this too.

Simply say, “Hey Google – Set timer for 25 minutes.” Twenty-five minutes is my magic number to get a lot of words written in a relatively short amount of time.

#4 – Write in the same place, at the same time

Whether you write as a part of your morning writing routine, when you get home from work, or some other time of day, write in the same place at the same time.

That’s why it’s important for you to have some kind of writing space – even if it’s only the corner of the table.

#5 – Write when inspiration hits too

Keep a dedicated writing space, but don’t forget about diving into the spontaneity of writing also.

That’s why I keep my Google Doc app on my phone.

I can make brief notes and then splice them together into coherent sentences later.

Writing Space Tips from Famous Authors

The advice from almost any best-selling author is to always be ready to write – anywhere. You never know where inspiration will hit, so always have something to record your thoughts.

J.K. Rowling also says, “I can write anywhere.”

Jodi Picoult says “I can write anywhere.”

E.B. White, author of Charlotte’s Web, “A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word on paper.”

So don’t wait until you have the perfect space prepared to start writing. Just start writing, because that’s what writers do – write.

Writing Space Tips to Get You Started

Find a device – a laptop, a computer, a phone, a notepad, a notebook, a journal – to record your thoughts. Then do what writers do – write.

Do not wait until you can make your writing area perfect or until inspiration hits to write. Write right now. Because that’s what writers do, they write.

That’s right! All you need for a writing space is a dedicated space to write and the desire to put one word in front of another and you’ve created your writing space, so write on, my friend.

For additional tips on setting up a home office or working from home, be sure to check out How to Successfully Work from Home (Habits, Handling Distractions, And The Ultimate Office Setup video created by Chandler Bolt.

writing styles

Writing Styles: How to Find Yours With Writing Style Examples

Writing styles as authors can differ from person to person.

As a writer, you have a gift of creativity in using your art as something that can elicit feelings. Writing a book may make people laugh, take people on a journey or fill them with knowledge.

Writing is and can be an art form if you use it to express yourself and learn the art of doing it well.

Most writers will find themselves falling into a specific style of writing. That could be writing poetry, non-fiction, writing a novel, children’s literature or even screenplays.

This will usually happen around your interests, your education, knowledge of writing and the books you read.

Here’s what you’ll learn about writing styles:

  1. What is writing style?
  2. Types of writing styles
  3. Writing styles examples
  4. How to find your writing style
  5. Read a lot to find your writing style
  6. Be honest about yourself
  7. Write what comes with ease
  8. Express yourself to show your writing style

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Why Writing Styles Matter and What They Are?

Your writing style is the way in which the narrative of your writing comes across to other readers, including your sentence structure, syntax, and overall voice in order to provide your writing with an overall tone or mood.

Each writer has their own, natural style and this can change from project to project. However, you may find that certain authors typically maintain a cohesive writing style.

Essentially, an author’s writing style can be recognized from work to work.

Types of Writing Styles

There are a few different ways to think of writing styles as an author.

Firstly, you have your personal writing style as an author, which is what we explained above; it’s the specific way your writing reads. But, writing styles are only one of the considerations of style that an author can offer. There are essentially aesthetics and nuances that you can purposely tweak in order to give your audience your art.

Here are some examples of how an author’s writing style may vary:

  • Wordiness – How much your narrative uses longer, run-on sentences versus short and choppy ones.
  • Syntax – The structure of your sentences, the emphasis, pauses, word order and general style of writing typical sentences.
  • Word choice – This can mean swearing or not, using more complex words versus simpler ones, and more. The word choice in your writing style can help readers understand the perspective of the narration.
  • Tone – The tone in writing is like the attitude the author has toward a subject matter. If they dislike something, the tone could be short and negative, the opposite if they enjoy what they’re writing about.
  • Mood – The mood differs from tone because it’s the overarching feeling readers take away through the writing. The mood can be altered through the use of tone, word choice, and other literary devices.

However, writing styles also refer to the intent of what you’re writing.

Here are the 4 main writing styles:

  • Expository Writing – This is the most common type of writing. This blog post is an example of expository writing, as I’m explaining a concept and providing information. However, expository writing often doesn’t include the author’s opinions.
  • Descriptive Writing – You’ll most often find descriptive writing in fiction (and creative non-fiction too!), as it’s when authors write in a more descriptive style, creating more of a visual rather than just relaying facts.
  • Persuasive Writing – This writing style is mostly used in order to persuade others to take some sort of action and includes cover letters, reviews, advertisements, web copy, and more. The goal is to convince the readers of something one way or another.
  • Narrative Writing – This type of writing style is usually exclusive to fiction and is when the writer is constructing a story and plot by using descriptive writing to help you visualize it.

These different writing styles aren’t typically exclusive to one project. You can use various of them in a single work, which is often what books are.

We’ll cover some specific examples to help you understand further below.

Writing Styles And Examples

Sometimes it’s easier to understand through examples than just simply reading a definition.

Here are some examples of the different types of writing style to help you get the gist for understanding what writing style is and how you can use that to adapt and create your own.

Expository Writing Style Examples:

As stated above, expository writing is the most common type and basically just relays necessary information.

Here are some examples of expository writing:

  • Textbooks
  • Recipes
  • How-tos
  • Instructions
  • Technical writing
  • Business writing
  • Scientific writing

Descriptive Writing Style Examples:

You can write in a number of different ways with descriptive writing styles. Even expository writing can include descriptive within it. These nuances really get granular but matter to your biggest fans.

Here are examples of descriptive writing:

  • Fiction novels
  • Plays
  • Songs
  • Poetry
  • Journaling or Diaries
  • Nature/Animal descriptions

Persuasive Writing Style Examples:

Remember when you had to write a “persuasive” essay in school in order to learn how to make an argument? That’s what persuasive writing is.

You want your readers to leave agreeing with you on some matter.

Here are examples of persuasive writing:

  • Resumès
  • Cover Letters
  • Product/service reviews
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Newspaper articles
  • Advertisements
  • Website sales copy
  • Letters of complaint

Narrative Writing Style Examples:

When you think of books, they’ll typically fall under this writing style. If you’re trying to discover your personal writing style, you’ll likely be writing in the narrative style.

Here are examples of narrative writing styles:

  • Anecdotes
  • Oral histories
  • Novellas

This writing style is the type we’re really going to focus on in this next section all about how to develop your own writing style and find your natural flow as a writer.

How to Find Your Writing Style

I myself, like to write in two different writing styles to express who I am as a person and access my creativity. For these two styles, I actually own two separate blogs; one on travel parenting and one on my faith.

My travel/parenting blog allows me to express myself with humor. This allows parents to identify with me by seeing the lighter side of parenting. My faith blog is a more serious destination where readers can come to learn more about the bible.

I enjoy writing in both styles. The two blogs allow me to enjoy these writing styles without confusing my readers.

So how do you, as a writer, find your place in the writing world and develop a writing style that suits you?

Here a four ways that you can find and develop your own writing style:

#1 – Read a lot

Why is reading so important? Reading allows you to learn from other people’s knowledge and lets you immerse in their world. It allows you to develop your own writing style.

Reading other people’s work will influence your own writing. This is because we tend to write in a similar way to what we read on a regular basis.

If you aren’t currently reading every day I would encourage you to do so. Find something that interests you and start reading, whether it be in a book, via a website, or another place.

Make it a daily habit to spend at least half an hour devouring someone else’s work.

As you read more and more, your own style of writing will deepen. It will develop based on your own experiences and the influences you have had.

You can broaden your own horizons as an author by reading various styles of writing. Reading will show you new ways of wording sentences and creative ideas you hadn’t thought of.

#2 – Be honest to who you are

When you write, remember to stay true to who you are. Writing is an art-form that allows you to express yourself from within.

Trying to be someone you are not will hinder your writing journey, not help it.

When I say be honest with who you are, I mean staying true to yourself. This will include your own values, your beliefs, your feelings and who you are as a person.

Trying to write a comedic piece when you don’t usually use humor will be difficult and often not read well. This is because you may be forcing this writing and the piece will not flow.

writing style types

When you write something that is not from who you are, it can confuse your reader. This is because it will be difficult to sustain your voice as a writer. When your style changes or doesn’t flow well, it makes it harder for the reader to identify who you are. As a result they may not want to read more of your work.

When you writes from within, the reader is able to see parts of who you are as a person and can get to know you better.

I read a book a while back on business growth. It was a good book and I learnt a lot from it. As a result I then followed the author and starting reading her other books. Shortly after this she changed styles. The trend at that time was beginning to bring in swear words to make someone seem ”kick ass”.

This author jumped on that trend and began swearing through all her books. I don’t mean one or two swear words dispersed throughout. One of her books had so many swear words in it that her book would have been several pages shorter if she had left them out.

This writer delighted in telling her readers that this particular book had only taken her four hours to write. The problem was you could tell that it didn’t have the flow or content of her other books.

It felt forced and more as if she created it to make money rather than give to the reader.

To me as a reader I felt like she was trying to be someone she wasn’t and I lost interest in her work and didn’t bother after that. It felt a bit sad because she had some good information to share but appeared to lose sight of who she was as a writer.

When you write from who you are you will not need to change your style part way through. Find your own style of writing and own it!

#3 – Write what comes with ease

Writing as part of who you are should come to you naturally and not feel weird or be a huge struggle. You may have times that you feel like you have writer’s block, or struggle to come up with what you want to say but this shouldn’t be the norm.

If you find that writing in general is difficult it could be for several reasons:

  1. You have not created a writing habit to allow it to flow for you
  2. You are lacking in inspiration for your topic
  3. You are not writing in a style that is true to you

If you have created a proper writing habit and you are stuck, try getting inspiration. This could mean reading other forms of writing to refresh you or taking a break from writing. A half hour walk while you listen to music may be all it takes to put you back on track.

If you are still struggling, then chances are, you are not writing in a style that is congruent to who you are.

#4 – Express yourself naturally

I’m an extrovert and I thrive from the people in my life who I spend time with. As you can tell I love to use a conversational writing style when I put pen to paper.

For me it feels like I am able to share my thoughts and feelings with someone like I would if they were sitting next to me.

That style of writing comes naturally to me and flows easily.

When you write, choose a style that allows you to express yourself. That may be in expressing yourself through creative writing, allowing the poet in you to come alive or sharing your life experiences in a helpful how-to form.

Whatever it is, it should leave you feeling like you have shared what you want to. You should feel energized and excited about your work, not drained and struggling to create more.

Once you have found your style the only other thing you can do is write, write, and keep writing. The more you write, the easier it will come to you and the better you will become at expressing yourself through your words. You have a gift to write and you need to use it to share your message with the world.

Today plan your daily habit of reading and writing and watch your life grow and move you to the next level of your writing career.

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