How can I become a better writer in 2019?

How can I become a better writer in 2019? Lynda Filler, Winner of Best in Contemporary Fiction 2017 BTRC at Writers and Authors (2009-present) Quora

I love this!!!

Elizabeth Gilbert—Everyone has read Eat, Pray, Love, right—posted this on Instagram today and I just had to share!

elizabeth_gilbert_writer repost from Instagram

A friend told me yesterday that she was thinking of taking a writing class. I told her that was fine, but that I might be able to save her money, by telling her everything I know about HOW TO WRITE. So here it is!

My free 10-step Writing Academy:

1) Tell your story TO someone. Pick one person you love or admire or want to connect with and write the whole thing directly to them —like you’re writing a letter. This will bring forth your natural voice. Whatever you do, do NOT write to a demographic. Ugh. ❤️

2) Start at the beginning of the story, write what happened, and keep going until you get to the end. ❤️

3) Use radically simple sentences. ❤️

4) Don’t worry if it’s good; just finish it. Whether or not your project is good, you’ll be a different person at the end of it, and that’s always worth doing. ❤️

5) Don’t write with the aim of changing anybody’s life. That will lead to heavy, irritating prose. Just share what delights or enrages or fascinates you. If somebody’s life is changed by it, that’s a bonus. ❤️

6) Whenever you can, tell stories instead of explaining stuff. Humans love stories, and we hate having stuff explained to us. Use Jesus as an example: He spoke almost exclusively in parables and allowed everybody to draw their own lessons from his great storytelling. And he did very well. ❤️

7) Your work doesn’t have to be any particular length or written for any particular market. It doesn’t have to even be seen by another human being. How and if to publish your work is a problem for another day. For today, just write. ❤️

8) Remember that you’ve been doing research your whole life merely by existing. You are the only expert in your own experience. Embrace this as your supreme qualification. ❤️

9) Every writer starts in the same place on Day One: Super excited, and ready for greatness. On Day Two, every writer looks at what she wrote on Day One and hates herself. What separates working writers from non-working writers is that working writers return to their task on Day Three. What gets you there is not pride but mercy. Show yourself forgiveness, for not being good enough. Then keep going❤️

10) Be willing to let it be easy. You might be surprised. ❤️LG

I’m highlighting this and reading as a mantra every day until I know it off by heart! It was Eat Pray Love that inspired me to write my own memoir, LOVE The Beat Goes On, Thanks, Liz!

Make something every day.


Seth Godin sent me to my blog! So here I am!

“My work is to figure out how to share emotions and stories with people to turn lights on for them. And the part of it that scares me is wasting the privilege, wasting the leverage, wasting the opportunity. So that’s why I keep pioneering and pushing new ways to do it encouraging people to copy me.”

“After you innovate, you have to keep pushing forward, coming up with new ways to move things forward.”

Writer’s block is a myth. Being a professional is showing up everyday and making something despite how you feel. The world needs more artists, who love what they do, and do it despite uncertain outcomes.”

Whoever fails the most, wins. Now if you fail too big, you don’t get to play anymore. So we have to learn how to fail, just the right amount to keep on going. Make small calculated risks so you can be in the game long enough to succeed.”

“If I come to your barbershop for a haircut. I don’t care if you had a fight with your girlfriend and don’t feel like cutting my hair. I came to you for a haircut. Cut. My. Hair. That’s what it means to be a professional.”

I think I’ve given you a few key notes to think about. Sometimes I’m asked questions on Quora about writing. Often times it centers around story ideas or writers’ block, or ‘what should I write?’ The reality is if it’s your job to write, don’t talk about it, write something! And don’t waste your readers time. If my reader expects to learn something or be entertained on my page, then it’s my job to deliver that to you/him/her each and every time. No excuses. The same when I write a novel or a non-fiction book. You are trusting me to deliver what you are paying for…entertainment or ideas and knowledge. 

It’s become a habit that even when I am working on the marketing and sales of my books, I will not go to bed without writing something. It might be a blog like this or a few fun things on FaceBook, but if time is limited, I go on Quora and answer questions. A writer writes. No excuses. 

I hope you’ve enjoyed a few ideas I picked up on You Tube today. I love to share with my readers and will answer anything and everything you throw my way. If you have any questions about any of my areas of expertise, feel free to send me an email or drop a note in the comments. And remember, I spend far too much time on Facebook so feel free to connect with me there and get my latest news. 

And speaking of news: I have a free prequel for you. 

Drop by Amazon and download a free copy of Luke Raven and Code Raven, how this exciting and fun series began. 

https://amzn.to/2QuCgnf

CODE RAVEN PREQUEL free!   

https://amzn.to/2QuCgnf

How do you handle writer’s​ block?

 

Screen Shot 2017-10-27 at 10.54.22 AM

Take a break. Go out, have lunch, take some photos, read a book—clear your head. You might be pushing too hard.

I read gossip columns, go to Huffington Post, Netflix—watch something totally unlike anything I’m working on. The idea is to trick your muse into thinking he/she is no longer working. Then go back to it.

Think of it like training in the gym or playing any kind of sport, or running a business. You have to take breaks to let the muscles—mind, body, creative juices—grow and flow.

I’ve published quite a few books/novellas since the summer of 2015. After the first novella JET: EXPOSED (Kindle Worlds Novella) (JET WORLD Book 1) I was lucky to have a mentor in the creator of the JET series. I learned from Russell Blake how to plot. So I plot. I don’t get stuck on the writing because the story is plotted out on Excel or any spreadsheet before I start to write. Do things change along the way? Absolutely. Are there surprise characters? Sure, that’s where the fun starts. That’s why they are called action/mystery/suspense novellas! Remember, if it is too easy to write, depending on the genre, it might run the risk of being predictable to the reader. And that’s not good.

When I decided to write a memoir on my healing journey LOVE The Beat Goes On I really struggled. How do you write the story or your life? And did I really want to do that? The answer was no. I wanted to focus on my diagnosis in 2008. The doctors told me to get my affairs in order, I had maybe 6 months to live. So writing this story I did the same thing as in my novels. I worked with a spreadsheet and found everything fell neatly into place. The first half is background up to my panic at the idea of dying. The second half is “what I did, what works, and what I continue to do.”

Think of your writing as a business and handle roadblocks the same way any major corporation would handle a problem. Take a break, let it all go for a few hours or less, then come back to it with a fresh approach.

And most of all enjoy your roadblocks. They are part of the process and will help you end up with amazing results!

Beating the Block by Russell Blake

Source: Beating the Block by Russell Blake

 
Beating the Block

10 February 2017
by Russell Blake
Published in:
Uncategorized
1 comment
I am routinely asked by fellow authors how to get over “writer’s block.”

Here are my thoughts, as well as my technique.

First off, there is no writer’s block, at least as far as I can tell. There’s a lack of motivation to do the work, or there’s a problem with the story/pacing/plotting.

If there’s a lack of motivation to write, I’ve shared ideas in the past on how to overcome that. Ask yourself empowering questions, a la “how do I make this the most amazing chapter I’ve ever written, and have a blast doing so?” You’ll get a way different answer than if you ask yourself lousy questions, like “what’s the point?” or “how am I ever going to get this done?”

 

Beating the Block