Monthly Archives: September 2013

Is Fear Stopping You from Writing?

When it comes to writing, it’s so easy to procrastinate. I’ll start when I have time, I’ll start when I taken that class, I’ll start after I: “fill in the blank.”  There’s always going to be another reason not to begin.

That’s why you have to ask yourself, why do I want to write this book? Why is it important that I share this? What do I want to gain? If you haven’t answered any of those questions, it will be impossible to get started.

Over the years I’ve talked to many people who want to write. They have a lot to say, yet still they hesitate. What’s stopping them?

When it comes to my own writing, I’ve often asked myself the same question! But, it’s so easy to listen to the voice in your head that says you’re not good enough, or that no one wants to hear what you have to say.

It’s the same thing that keeps a lot of people from marketing themselves. They’re afraid to come on too strong, or have others think badly of them for promoting themselves.

All of these fears can keep you stuck in non-stop planning, yet never writing. So if you’re really serious about writing a book, will you commit to a completion date right now? It can be two months from now, six months…or a year from now.

The most important thing isn’t the date itself; it’s your the commitment to yourself.

Preparing for Publishing

Right now I’m working on formatting my novel as an ebook. After that’s published, I’ll start formatting the print version. And when I say formatting, it comes down to copying my manuscript into a template that’s already been prepared. It’s really that easy to get your content ready for uploading.

But it is time consuming. So, if you’d rather not have to copy and paste for hours, you can hire someone else to take care of it for you.

Last year, I was a contractor at a very large pharma company in NJ. As a technical writer, I thought I’d get to do a lot of writing. I didn’t. Mostly I wrote functional specs that were dictated to me by others on the team. And I did a lot of copying and pasting of content from old templates into new templates. I did that every day for about 1 year.

You can imagine how fast your brain goes to sleep when all you have to do is copy and paste. Let’s just say, that wasn’t exactly one of my more challenging writing assignments.

But it did prepare me for this. So yes, even the most mundane, boring, tedious activities can be meaningful. Next time you’re stuck doing something truly mind-numbing, don’t forget that perhaps, at some point, it will prepare you for something better.

Don’t Like Writing? Try This!

Stack of Paper by TypewriterIs writing hard at times? Yes! But I find that when I write and edit at the same time, it’s just about impossible.

Creating and editing can’t happen at the same time. While you’re getting the words down, you’re also critiquing the words – it’s like trying to drive with one foot on the gas and the other on the break.

For me the first draft is easier. I can write and let it flow.

After a lot of stressing, I finally realized what works for me. Write it first and leave it alone – no tinkering! There will be plenty of time for that later.

So, here’s my advice for writing without editing. It works for non-fiction writing too.

Step 1 – Write
It’s hard to be creative if you’re editing at the same time. When you begin your writing project don’t think about word choices or punctuation. Just write. Don’t read your work. Just write. It will be difficult at first because you will be tempted to make changes. Resist the temptation! Just write. You’ll find that thoughts and ideas start flowing once you stop editing.

Step 2 – Edit
Read through your work, then mark the parts you want to change or revise. Focus in on the paragraphs, sentences and words that need revision. Get more specific with each round of edits. Read the piece again, then focus in on specific passages, sentences and paragraphs that you want to shape up. When you’re finished, read the entire piece again.

Step 3 – Listen
Satisfied with your changes? Read your work out loud so that you’ll be more likely to catch missing words, incorrect tenses or repetitive phrases. It will also allow you to catch places where perhaps a word can be changed to a more appropriate one, or a sentence can be reworked so that it flows better. Make additional revisions and read it again.

If time permits, put your work away for another day or two. Give yourself some distance from the work, so when you read it again you’ll be less likely to be filling in words or meanings that aren’t there. You’ll be able to see it as though you were reading it for the first time. If possible have someone else read it and give you feedback.

Electric Dreams: Seven Futuristic Tales

Electric Dreams Futuristic Short Story CollectionMy new short story collection, Electric Dreams: Seven Futuristic Tales is live on Amazon.com!

Click on the “Electric Dreams”page to read an excerpt!

What do You Want to Say?

This is the first post of my new blog. And the first step in a new life, you could say. After years of wishing and dreaming and procrastinating, I finally stepped up.

You see, I’ve been a writer for many years. And I always wanted to publish a novel. So last month I finished my first novel. I’ve started, but never finished. But this time was different.

In addition to that, I decided to take seven of my short stories and publish them as well. I’ve had short stories published over the years. I’ve also written and published articles and done tons of business writing. So seeing my writing in print (or online) is not anything new. But finishing my novel is new. So is going ahead and publishing the short story collection.

So now, it’s done. And my novel will be published in a couple of weeks.

That’s why the reason for this blog. To have a place to post info about my books and share it with my readers.

So I’m going to start with a post I wrote for my newsletter.

It’s good advice. I’m glad I finally took it.

What do you want to say?

Every published author has answered that question – that’s why their books are published. Not because they know more than you do, or have more experience or more connections. They’re published because they know their “why.”

Where do you begin? Start where you are right now.

When it comes to writing, it’s so easy to procrastinate. I’ll start when I have time, I’ll start when I taken that class, I’ll start after I: “fill in the blank.”  There’s always going to be another reason not to begin.

That’s why you have to ask yourself, why do I want to write this book? Why is it important that I share this? What do I want to gain? If you haven’t answered any of those questions, it will be impossible to get started.

Over the years I’ve talked to many people who want to write. They have a lot to say, yet still they hesitate. What’s stopping them?

When it comes to my own writing, I’ve often asked myself the same question! But, it’s so easy to listen to the voice in your head that says you’re not good enough, or that no one wants to hear what you have to say.

It’s the same thing that keeps a lot of people from marketing themselves. They’re afraid to come on too strong, or have others think badly of them for promoting themselves.

All of these fears can keep you stuck in non-stop planning, yet never writing. (And if your book is published, those fears can keep your from promoting it.)

So if you’re really serious about writing a book, will you commit to a completion date right now? It can be two months from now, six months…or a year from now.

The most important thing isn’t the date itself; it’s the commitment to yourself and your book.

What do you want to say, and when will you share it?