Want writing success? Please keep moving forward. Over the past year, I’ve been working with a group of writers. They were all stuck, in one way or another.
Let’s look at the experiences of three of them.
One writer (let’s call her “A”) is a teacher, now retired. She always meant to write a novel “when she had more time.” Well of course, her retirement meant that she had lots of time, but she couldn’t get started on her novel.
Another writer we’ll call “B” always has a full order book. Her clients love her. However, even though she writes full-time, she could barely pay her bills. Her bills were growing.
“C” is a ghostwriter, writing for an Internet marketer who’s making a killing on Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP.) She wrote three short ebooks a week for this marketer. Her health was breaking down; she couldn’t keep up the pace.
Writing: stop thinking, keep going
The group’s writers all had different challenges. Mostly, they know what they should be doing to solve their problems, but they’d stopped moving forward and were stuck.
Some years ago I wrote 7 Quick Ways To Improve Your Writing Skills Today, and said:
Whenever a student says: “I can’t…” It’s a sign he’s stopped moving forward. Write. If you need to do more research, mark the area with “XXX” and move on. If you’re not sure HOW to write something, try. Write. Then you’ve got something with which you can work.
Maybe you feel you lack confidence; move forward anyway.
Move forward, whatever the challenges you face.
I caught up with the three writers last week, and asked what tips they had for you, based on their experiences in moving forward.
1. Stop thinking, and start writing
I suggested to “A” that she set herself a daily word count goal. She didn’t have to write her novel. She could write anything at all — even the same word 200 times.
Each week, she was to increase her daily word count until she was writing 1,000 words a day. She could write poetry, a shopping list, a description of her grandchildren, email messages — anything at all.
She had to transform her idea of “writing” as being something special, and hard, to the idea that writing was easy.
“A” started writing. After little over a month, she started writing a novel. Of course she had challenges. Several times she begged to stop working on the novel, because she had a “better idea.” (The answer was no, keep going.)
Six months later, “A” has finished a rough draft of her first novel.
2. Get comfortable charging more, and saying “no”
Working with writer “B” was a lot of fun.
She knew that her writing fees were too low, and we did some strategizing, and used Excel to get an overview of her parlous finances, and ran various scenarios.
Eventually, she gained courage, and created a new fee structure for her business. Mostly, she doubled her fees. For some gigs, she tripled them.
Her biggest concern: “I’ll lose all my clients!”
Well, she didn’t. Yes, many fled, but a healthy number stayed with her.
Tinkering with Excel told us that she could now afford to advertise. So, she did.
It’s some eight months since she started to make changes. For the first time, she’s paying down debt. Soon, she’ll be able to start saving.
3. Write for others, but write for you, too
“C” knew that since the Internet marketer who hired her was making money from her words, she could too. However, she needed to muster the courage to turn down her regular gig, so that she could work on her own fiction.
We created a publishing program for her which relied heavily on advertising, and a regular schedule of new releases.
To her, this seemed like a holiday. She was writing 30,000 words a week as a ghostwriter. Now that she was writing for herself, she wrote between 10K and 15K a week.
Yes, she was writing less, but her books will sell for years. Since she keeps the copyright, she can sell them in as many formats as she wishes.
Seven months later, “C” has paid off her credit card debt. This month, she doubled her ghostwriting income for the first time.
She’s set new goals for her publishing business: she’s enjoying writing, and her excitement over the possibilities is building.
Writing: keep going. Need to change? Change
The biggest obstacle for any writer is internal. We need a lot of courage to write. We also need courage to change, when something isn’t working for us.
If you need to change something about your writing, please believe that you can. 🙂
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