2020 seems to have been an un-darned, stinky sock made patchwork quilt of a year – stale, yet oddly nostalgic, making people long for a normality that already seems like distant childhood…
And for the publishing community this is as true as for anywhere else.
With more hours at home we have seen a rise in indie authors this year, for better or worse, and for the kindle and self-publishing market especially, this has meant a flood of new authors vying for our attention.
But what does this mean for traditional publishing or more importantly, what does this mean for you? As an upcoming prospective author, how are you going to stand out and make sure your light shines brighter then everyone else’s? After all, there used to be times and strategies that you could put into place…and yet 2020 seems to be just a free for all.
I love October. It’s one of my favorite times of year; when the trees are all starting to turn to rich, fiery reds and oranges, the weather can be brisk, yet chill enough to appreciate a hot cup of tea after a long walk, and above all, it holds the best of holidays at its end – Halloween.
But as a writer, I have another reason to love October, however other literary heads and I know it by another name…Preptober.
In recent years, the month preceding NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) has become affectionately tagged as the preparation or planning month prior to that where hopefully aspiring authors attempt to produce a 50,000 word manuscript in just 30 days.
In my 2018 post entitled Just Start – Waking up for Success! I spoke about how I was attempting to change my daily routine by waking up earlier and ensuring I spent the time on those things most important to me (i.e. novel writing, dearest dreams of the heart, etc.) prior to the demands of the day sweeping what precious little time I had away via the petitions of others people’s whims, i.e. the daily job.
It’s currently 5:08 am as I type this draft and I cannot help but reflect that a lot has changed since I wrote that post. Not only have we moved, but I’ve since packed in working the 9-5 with writing on the side and have taken my freelancing business full time; offering services such as article writing, beta reading, copy editing, and of course my pièce de résistance, being an authors assistant. My health and well being have vastly improved and with every new day, I am a few steps closer to achieving my goal of becoming a published author (I’m not counting ghost-writing and pen names).Read More »
I’ve been toying with the idea of starting my own writing channel on YouTube for some time now and with the current situation bringing back-burning projects to the forefront, I have decided that there is no better time than the present.
I previously attempted to start my channel whilst I was pregnant, but with hideous morning sickness I didn’t even want to talk to people in the physical world, my on-screen presence blurred into a distant dream. I was too icky to be on camera.
But now I am only semi icky and so this past week I got the camera back out again and am pleased to announce my first (though actually, it would be my second…) video on YouTube, going live on Wednesday.Read More »
As writers, it is very easy to get into a routine when tackling larger projects such as re-accruing assignments and novels. In fact, it is one of the smartest things we can do – to train our subconscious minds to work on command and thus prevent the detractions that are inevitable when working from home.
And yet, whilst home offices and writing routines are a Godsend for our productivity, they can also become somewhat stale over a long period of time. It’s inevitable really. Eventually, all of us need to re-schedule a meeting with our muse and shake things up a bit so as to get out of a slump or take away the eventual boredom of living every day like the last.
I recently wrote a post about my experiences with a teacher in High School who seemed hell-bent on giving me bad advice regarding my dream of being a writer. I must say I have been blown away by the private messages I have since received from my readers, many of which have also been from teachers, saying how much you all believe in my decision to power through the criticism and go for gold. Can I just say a huge thank you to everyone who has written to me, as your encouragement means more to me then I can ever put into words!
But this was not why I wrote the post. As heartfelt and wondrous as your comments are (and believe me, I am truly grateful!) my aim with The teacher that told me ‘no’! was to inspire others by my story. There seems to be a common stigma in our world that writers have to be linguistic and grammatical geniuses and always know exactly where every comma goes. And it simply isn’t true. As much as I have found negative responses to my dyslexia, I have also found that people are more likely to ask me how to spell something because I am a writer.Read More »
I’d like to think I am not the sort of person to hold a grudge but even I must confess to not always being a saint about this. In fact, there is a grudge I have been holding on to – for over 16 years now…
But in many ways, this grudge is a good thing. It has fuelled me through hard times and given me enough determination to overcome obstacles and fight the battle for my dreams.
Back when I was just 12 years old I used to take support classes for my dyslexia. Now here’s the confession no writer ever wants to make – my thirteenth birthday was coming up and I still could not read or write!Read More »
With all the daily bustle and grind we put ourselves through; the thankless tasks, the hardships no one else sees, the constant nagging feeling of having something else to do…it can be hard to focus when life gets busy or rush. But when we have an overwhelmingly long list of tasks and commitments, we must also remember to take a little time to stop and celebrate the wins in life.
Admit it! How often do you throw your hands up in the air, jump up and down and scream at the top of your lungs ‘I got the kids to bed on time!‘. Probably never. And though this might be partly due to not wanting to wake said children up again, its because you probably also think it’s not an accomplishment worth shouting about. And I’m here to tell you it is!Read More »
Have you ever really achieved your full potential? Are there things in your life that, if you only had more time, then you would blow them out of the water? Things like exercising, writing your blog, reading more self-help books, meditating….the list goes on.
I have always been one of those people that fall into the trap of ‘Not enough time’ and I think a lot of people suffer from this concept too nowadays. We all seem to be so ‘busy’ doing things, working daily grind, catching up on social media, cleaning the house; whilst having these dreams and ambitions that continuously go unfulfilled.
After all, it takes so much energy just to survive the average work day. There are just so many demands on our time that when we even think about adding in the morning work out or trying to schedule in a daily novel writing session, we feel a cold sweat and self-doubt edging in. There is so much to do! I don’t want to overwork myself. It can wait until tomorrow! I’ll feel like it tomorrow… Read More »
A few years ago I was introduced to the concept of speed writing, whereby you set a timer for five minutes and just write. This is a great idea for when you are low on time, stuck or procrastinating on a project as it gets you moving. It is also proven to keep you going, as studies have shown that just doing five minutes of a task will get us in the ‘flow’ of doing and we will be more likely to continue until the task is done.
Back when I heard about this five-minute method I also heard about an application that forced a writer to write, by threatening to delete their current progress should they stop typing for more than five seconds. Scary I know.
Unfortunately, I forgot what the website was called and never did find it. Alas, though I liked the concept as a motivation tool I was never able to give it ago.