Tips and Advice From Our Friends of Book Bub ~How To Self-Publish a Book…


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Welcome Readers and Writers to Cat’s Reading and Writing Den!

Today I will be sharing one of the best places to get grand exposure to all your books and your brand as an author and writer. Our hard-working friends of Book Bub and Blog share a special informative post all about How to Self-Publish a Book!

It can be both rewarding and challenging to figure out all the intricate parts to the self-publishing field but so worth learning as then you get to keep more of the royalty share of your work and craft as a writer. So when Cat comes across an informative article for all to learn from, I enjoy sharing it with you. So let’s see what we can learn from Book Bub and the advice and tips they share all about self-publishing your next book!

*CAT* 😺💻📚📚🖋✏💞

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How to Self-Publish a Book: Tips from Indie Authors


You’ve polished the final draft of your novel,
and now you’re looking into self-publishing — you’re not alone! Over 1 million books were estimated to be self-published in 2017, and that number is only rising. With self-publishing comes a quicker turnaround to hit shelves, deadline flexibility, full control over your own marketing, and a larger percentage of the royalties from sales of your book. If you’re still on the fence about whether to pursue a traditional publishing route versus self-publishing, check out our comparison of the two.
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But for those who are interested in learning more about the ins and outs of how to self-publish a book (or veteran indie authors who want to hear what their peers have to say about the business), we’ve compiled a flipbook of self-publishing tips from authors who have seen it all. From writing advice to cover design to marketing strategy, these 26 authors have fantastic self-publishing wisdom to share.

(Subscribe to their blog to download a high-resolution PDF of How to Self-Publish a Book: Tips from Indie Authors” https://insights.bookbub.com/how-self-publish-book/

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Heres a small sampling of quotes you can find inside:

“The absolute best advice I ever received was not to rush to publication, hire top-of-the-line editors, and get more than one proofreader. We have one chance to hook readers, and presentation matters as much as content.

Whether you offer a book free, at a reduced price, or at full price, it should make no difference in the level of editing your product receives before landing in the hands of readers. Every reader who picks up your book deserves the highest quality in both story and presentation, even if that means waiting to release your story until you can afford proper editing. Errors stop readers while reading, and may also stop them from picking up the next book in a series.” — Melissa Foster, author of This Is Love.

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“Focus on your readers, not your sales. When you place your readers first, it means not rushing the story, it means ensuring the experience your readers have is one of full immersion and it means reader loyalty will become your reality. Sales will follow as you grow your readership — but if all you do is try to market your first novel without placing your readers first, your potential readers will turn away.” — Steena Holmes, author of The Patient.

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“Look at the bestsellers in your genre. Make sure your cover looks just as good. Make sure your blurb is just as enticing. Make sure your manuscript is edited, proofread, and impossible to put down. With a professional cover, blurb, and story, you’re already ahead of the game. In some genres, it also helps to write a series. If you write science fiction like me, consider labeling your novel ‘book 1’ and get started on that sequel!” — Daniel Arenson, author of The Requiem Series.

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Daniel Arenson self-publishing advice for authors
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Go download the high-resolution PDF for more book marketing inspiration whenever you need it!  https://insights.bookbub.com/how-self-publish-book/

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Special thanks to the authors who contributed quotes and guest content to BookBub: Daniel Arenson, Chelle Bliss, Cheryl Bradshaw, Glynnis Campbell, Claire Cook, Adam Croft, Tanya Anne Crosby, Ernest Dempsey, Melissa Foster, Kellie Coates Gilbert, Steena Holmes, Lisa Renee Jones, J. Robert Kennedy, Julia Kent, M. Louisa Locke, Dale Mayer, Patricia McLinn, Deborah Fletcher Mello, Rick Mofina, Ty Patterson, Ana E. Ross, Stormy Smith, Lee Strauss, Alana Terry, Skye Warren, and Lacy Williams.

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How to Self-Publish a Book: Tips from Indie Authors

Authors? How Do You Handle “Bad Book Reviews?” An Article Share That Just Might Help! Courtesy of ‘Insecure Writer’s Support Group.” #10? My FAV!

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A MUST VISIT FOR Writers and an Article Reshare About?  “BAD REVIEWS”

Bad reviews! Any writer with a published book gets crappy reviews. How do we deal with them?
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Here are ten tips:

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1 – Refrain from responding
As much as you might want to respond, either politely or with harsh words, don’t do it. Once you’ve left a comment or sent out a Tweet or posted to Facebook, your negative response will be out there for all to see forever. You might get a few fans to rally to your cause, but most will view you as the villain, not the reviewer. Even if you later delete it, the damage is done. Sending an email is a bad idea as well. So refrain from adding fuel to the fire and keep your grumblings private.

2 – Know that it’s part of the process
Guess what? We all get negative reviews. It goes with the territory. Remember, you created art. Art is subjective and not everyone will like your book. You can’t please everyone. (And if you do, then you really didn’t say anything of value.)
Shake it off and move on.

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3 – Laugh about it
What are you going to do—cry? Might as well laugh about it! Often a bad review is just as poorly written. So turn the tables and have a good chuckle about it.

4 – Remember they add validity to good reviews
What do you think when a book has nothing but five-star reviews? You start to wonder, don’t you? Friends and family of the author? Paid reviews? A couple bad reviews mean some readers were honest—which means the rest of the good reviews are probably honest as well. Plus sometimes people want to know if the book is really that bad and they read it!

5 – Look for constructive criticism
Often two and three-star reviews will offer constructive criticism. Look for it. Is there any validity to what they said? Can you see areas where you can improve or issues you need to address? (Several reviewers didn’t like the fact there were no women in my first book. I listened and made sure there were several women in the next one, including a female main character. That book garnered better reviews than the first.) Learn from the bad reviews and write a better book next time.

6 – Don’t focus on the negative
We tend to focus on the negative. We can have a hundred great reviews and one bad one. Which gets our attention? The bad one! Who cares? When doing averages, what do they always do? They drop the top numbers and the bottom numbers. So ignore that bad review and don’t even factor it into the equation.

7 – It’s just one person’s opinion
Everybody has an opinion. And they are just that—opinions, not facts. So one person didn’t like your book? Big deal! Out of millions of readers, that’s not even a drop in the bucket. (Unless all of your reviews are bad!)

8 – Don’t let it stop you
Yes, putting a book out there is scary. It’s a creative endeavor, which makes it a little more personal. We can’t take it personally though. We have to believe in ourselves and not let bad reviews stop us. Have you ever encountered a jerk at your work? Did it cause you to give up and stop working forever? No! So don’t let a negative review from someone you’ve never met stop you.

9 – Write the next book
This is the best thing you can do! Just hunker down and write your next book. Show those naysayers that you are a great writer. Take your experience from the previous book and pour it into the next one. Besides, you’ll be so busy writing, you won’t have time to worry about bad reviews.

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10 – Kill off the reviewer in your next book
If all else fails, then just put that reviewer into your book as a murder victim or monster that is slain by the hero!

So come by today for more tips and advice at “The Insecure Writer’s Group”…

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“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” – Teddy Roosevelt

How do you handle bad reviews?

****CAT****

 

My New Author Interview of All Things Recovery, Literary, and Helping Others. All My Passions In Life…

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Yes, that is ME in the photo with my Red Big Jim’s Ride Around America Shirt on and with some amazing recovery friends this past April 2019 at a Speaking Event I spoke about my story from gambling addiction and my life today almost 13-yrs later maintaining recovery and advocacy work to raise awareness …

Now, it’s not every day I happen to get invited for an Author Interview. I’m a wee bit shy since I do battle agoraphobia and I get a little nervous doing interviews. But since I have had so many new blog friends come to visit and follow along on both my recovery and my book blog, I thought I would take up the offer from Terry who owns Author Shout which is an amazing large reader site as Terry connects authors and readers together so readers can find many awesome new books.

The interview has been updated as my journey all began with one little book I published and grew from there! I hope all my new friends and followers will enjoy learning about “All The Hats I Wear” on my recovery and literary journey! And if you didn’t know?

My at-home business is promoting many fine authors and their books and can be seen on my other WordPress Book Blog of “Cat Lyon’s Reading & Writing Den” and home of “Lyon Media Services”…

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Just some of my back story as I am a Best-Selling Author of The Kodel Publishing Group with her shocking debut memoir titled; “Addicted to Dimes: Confessions of a Liar and a Cheat.”

Catherine’s Memoir is both an in-depth and raw look as she takes readers on a journey of many important topics that ‘touched’ her life, starting as a little girl into adulthood. Not a book on how to recover but an in-depth look of how events in one’s life, or past trauma and abuse, or even the ways of parental discipline can be some of the underlying factors to why some people may turn to an addiction later in adulthood as form of escape, numb hurt feelings, or just trying to cope with everyday life when not emotionally strong and haunting memories of it come calling…

She had taken a dark path, trying to elude that past childhood pain and traumatic events. She began using gambling as a coping skill and escapism into a “dream world” to forget, if only for a few hours the haunting memories of her childhood sexual abuse, parental verbal and physical abuse, and lived with undiagnosed mental/emotional illness for years. Shaping the “perfect storm, she became addicted to gambling with alcohol abuse right before entering treatment. So, something like gambling to be for fun and entertainment became her worst nightmare and almost took her life, twice!

Now maintaining recovery nearly thirteen years, Catherine has become well known in the addiction/recovery communities and is a loud advocate of gambling addiction, mental health, and why the expansion of Indian Casinos and State Lottery offerings needs to stop across America. Catherine’s featured in many mainstream media and recovery publications like Columbia University’s Media Release through the 2×2 Project “Gambling with America’s Health. Also was interviewed for “NAUTILUS &Time Magazine online article in September 2016.

She is a former writer and columnist for “In Recovery Magazine’s-The Author’s Cafe”  and after it’s sale was hired as a freelance writer and columnist for Keys To Recovery newspaper. She is also an “Expert Gambling Recovery Blogger” for “Addictionland”   of Founder/Author, Cate Stevens along with other recovery experts like the late Christopher Kennedy Lawford, Tommy Rosen, and Arnie Wexler. She recently handled all the media and social media manager for “Big Jim’s Bike Ride Around America” until Jim Downs was forced off the ride due to serious medical issues after 4 months of biking over 5,000+ miles.

Catherine, aka., CAT lives just outside Phoenix, Arizona and So. Oregon. She is married to her husband for 29-years. She is a ‘Cat Lover’ and has three, Ms. Princess, Mr. Boots, and Simon-Peter. She has no choice but to be an avid reader for her business, but she loves cooking, gardening, swimming, and rafting. She owns and runs an online marketing business called: “Lyon Book & Social Media Promotions.

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Author Interview With Catherine Townsend-Lyon

 

Q. What question do you wish that someone would ask about your book(s), but nobody has? Write it out here, and then answer it.

Why did you write and disclose personal family experiences? Were you afraid of backlash or judgment from family and others?

 

A.  I feel that is what writing a memoir is all about. Since my book is about my life of many topics including gambling addiction and recovery and not a book of HOW to RECOVER, I wanted readers to have an inside view of how our family life growing up can later become some of the reason some may turn to addiction in the first place.

I, nor many people do not grow up in an “angelic” family dynamic. Some grow up in a dysfunctional or abusive situation. That was my experience, and later became added “fuel” to my gambling addiction. I wanted to “set the back story” so to speak so readers had an understanding of how many of us turn to addictions instead of knowing there are places we can get help like counseling or therapy when your “past comes back later in life haunting you.”

As far as any backlash, my family needs to understand this memoir is not about them, it about how I was affected by how I was raised and disciplined. I was also sexually abused as a little girl, and I stuffed that away for years without my parents knowing until adulthood. You will have to read my book to learn how all that turned out. So, you have to brave enough to share the good, the bad, and all the ugly if you are going to write a memoir without the worry of backlash. I am trying to help others through my book. For me, that is what I focused on and help others know they are not alone if this happened to them.

Q. What is your writing process? Do you follow a regular routine or do you have any weird, funny, or unusual habits while writing and what are they?

A. Not really. My first book came very easy to me. And believe or not I hand wrote the memoir in 6 spiral notebooks. At that time, I was not writing a book, I was writing for myself to heal and to see all that gambling addiction and alcohol abuse had taken from my life. The book part and becoming published happened a year later as “divine intervention” I say.

I then was invited to be part of a compilation book which published in December of 2017 titled “Ten The Hard Way.” And I have been working on my next book for a long while and will be about HOW to begin recovery and what to expect. The only weird thing? I love writing when it’s raining. But I am not an outline or draft type of writer. I just let the words flow out of me onto paper. More of a freelancer.

Q. Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?

A. I can thankfully say no to this question. One of the best pieces of advice I had received from another writer was, “write what you know.”

Unfortunately, I know much about gambling addiction, recovery, mental health challenges, and childhood trauma. All these topics have ‘touched’ my life and I advocate about passionately …

Q.  What is the single most important piece of advice for aspiring authors?

A.  I would have to pass on what was told to me in the above answer “write what you know or I feel what you are passionate about.” If you love animals? Write an animal children’s book. If you have an open imagination? Write a thriller or mystery. An action or adventure story.

I am a writer and author “by accident,” Lol. So I feel funny giving other aspiring authors advice. I am a book promoter/marketer for many fine authors of all genres as well, so one piece of advice I can give to first-time authors?

Your book takes many hours, days, and months to promote. Book sales and book reviews will not happen overnight, so don’t give up or get discouraged. KEEP Writing and Promoting your books!


Q.  What are your current/future projects?

A.  I do have a couple of projects on am working on. My second book is almost complete and will be a follow up to my memoir and a helpful resource for starting recovery from gambling addiction on how to make their first year in recovery.

Another I have been working along time will be a stab at fiction! It is about a woman who is being chased by her “addiction demons” in recovery and takes a Lighthouse Keepers job on the North Oregon coast looking to start life over and for some solitude and serenity in her life. But her past comes calling! The rest you’ll have to read if I ever get it done! Lol.

Q.  Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?

A.  I actually added in my current book with the reasons “how and why” I came to start writing in the first place. It was about the suicide of a woman at a hotel and casino 41 miles North of my home in So. Oregon. I read about in our local newspaper. Reading it lit a fire in me to see all that my gambling addiction took from me. But, no spoilers here. LOL. You need to read my book titled; ‘Addicted To Dimes, Confessions of a Liar and a Cheat,’ which is now listed here on Author Shout, and available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Books-a-Million.

Again, I write what I know ….Lol.
Balance is a challenge for me to fit my own writing time in as I promote for other authors. It is why it has taken me two years to get my next books done and published. So except for the compilation book, I am still a “one book wonder” at this point. Again, I sure do write a lot for several recovery publications and my own blogs.

Q.  What do you think is the future for independent authors and do you think it will continue to be easy for anyone to be a published author?

A.  I think we all know indie and self-published authors are changing the landscape of the “traditional” way authors get published these days. You no longer have to look to or be with a big publishing house anymore. Now, that is not to say they’re most likely are some self-published or indie books that may not be very appealing. (No offense to authors). As I have read a few myself and the authors are not writers, LOL.

However, there are awesome writers and authors producing some fantastic works and it is refreshing to see that all authors can now be noticed and praised for work well done! That is part of the change with being able to self-publish. I have promoted authors that were picked up and offered publishing contracts. So the traditional publishing houses are finding many good writers and authors. That is a great thing.

Q.  Are you traditional or self-published, and what process did you go through to get your book published?

A.  My current book was picked up by a publishing firm in So. Oregon where I used to live. But my publisher is a smaller independent publisher. I did, however, receive an awesome offer when it came to my royalty share. the Kodel Group are more like a “self-publish” helper. I had an editor and designer for my current book already, so they just did my format, typesetting, and upload through Amazon’s KDP Direct Publishing of my paperback and for my e-book.

Going this route was a more inexpensive way to publish. Nowadays most publishers won’t do any book promoting for authors unless you buy a publishing package, except they may send out a press release about the new book, so authors Beware…Be ready to set a budget to promote your books on your own. I do all my own book promoting throughout social media and PR releases through several PR services. Authors can promote for free at many book sites. There are many low-cost options to gain exposure, sales, and reviews. Just like doing advertising on “Author Shout” and others like awesomegang.com or bookgoodies.net …

Q.  Have you ever changed a title, book cover, or even the content of your book after it was published? What was that process like?

A.  No. The only change or difference that I made was to my book cover. I have two different covers that are the same, but my e-book cover has different colors. I wanted my e-book cover to have more vibrant Las Vegas catching colors. That was about the only change.

Q.  What opportunities have been presented to as an author you in sharing those memories? (i.e. travel, friends, events, speaking, etc..)

A.  Being a person of long-term recovery from gambling addiction and alcohol for almost 13- years now, publishing my book was my way of helping others with the problems as I had and was the only way I knew how to help others. By sharing my story in many ways like media, radio, and podcasts shares to others HOPE that they can recover from this cunning and devastating illness.

Many blessings and doors have opened for me to share my voice and writing and to have a platform to help inform, educate, and raise awareness of addicted and problem gambling. I want those who have never been touched by this addiction have more understanding and empathy for those who suffer. The opportunities that have come from people seeing and reading my book are have been many!

Being a former recovery columnist for a premier magazine called; “In Recovery Magazine.” I did many amazing interviews and articles of many high profile people who share their recovery as well and many have become friends and supporters of mine. I am now a writer for a premiere recovery newspaper out of So. California called; “Keys To Recovery Newspaper” and I am still an expert gambling addiction and recovery blogger “Addictionland” a platform to raise awareness and educate the public about problem gambling. I have a few more, but I am ‘humbled and thankful’ for all the opportunities that have come my way. These offerings help keep me in recovery as well.

Q.  What are your marketing, advertising, promotion strategies and which one(s) have worked the best for you? If you had to share your most valuable promotion tip, what would that be?

 

A.  Now this question is an easy answer! Lol.
Since I market, promote, and advertise books for many authors and my own book for living, authors can hire me for “done for you” set-up of social media places to be and a full-service plan that won’t break the bank here at “Lyon Media & Literary Services.”

I’ve been doing book promoting and marketing a long time and it doesn’t have to be costly. I do research often and keep up on the latest low-cost options and new media places too! I want to be able to help new authors learn ‘how and where’ to promote their books. Many of the sites to place book ads are free or you can do low-cost book ads or book promotions and giveaways.

There is no shortage of authors needing help as they continue to write more books, and why among other reasons why they hire me to promote their books.

My number one valuable tip? Layer your book ads when your book first releases. That way you will find and it will help build your readership through many book promo sites like Awesomegang.com or Bookgoodies.net . . . And Author Shout! Just a couple of my “go-to places.”

Q.  What field or genre would you classify your book(s) and what attracted you to write in that field or genre?

A.  My current book is a Memoir of my life with many topics discussed throughout which I mentioned above.

Q.  What do you do if inspiration strikes in an inconvenient place like (car, restaurant, bathroom/shower, etc..) and how do you capture that moment before it gets away from you?

A.  I carry a spiral notebook or my laptop with me everywhere I go!

 

Q.  Do you have a target amount of words/pages for each of your books or do you just know when enough is enough?

A.
  Now that I am working on books two and three, I am trying to keep both within 300 to under 500 pages. I also let my editor worry about that! Lol.

Q.  How do you think you have evolved as a person/author because of your writing and do you believe your writing has helped others, how/why?

A.  Yes. My writing has evolved so much since I wrote my first book. I feel the more you write, the better you get. Now that I am writing more as a profession as well, I have taken some webinars and use writing software to make sure I continue to become a more seasoned writer.

I would hope to think writing my book and my recovery blog for my book and where I continue to write my recovery journey in many publications helps others. We just never know who our story will touch or help. I wanted others who still suffer or are stuck in the “cycle” of gambling addiction that ‘Suicide Is Not An Option to Stop Gambling Addiction.’

Again, like the woman I had read about in my local newspaper. And like my own two failed suicide attempts when I was deep in my addiction. Suicide is never the answer.

Q.  Do you believe there is value in a Press Release, have you used any press release service, and what have your experiences been?

A.  Yes, I do feel a press release is very important and has value. Many first time authors can not afford mainstream advertising or hire a PR firm. So a press release sent out through PR websites is a stellar way to let people and literary media places know about your book and it’s release. I do them for my book promoting clients as some PR websites let you send a couple out for free.

A few I like and use are NPR, WEBPR.com, and NewswireToday.com are some good ones. I get some good results in books sales and book reviews.

Q.  Do you believe there is value in a review? Do you believe they are underrated, overrated, or don’t matter at all?

A.  Of course, there is value to book reviews for many reasons. Readers who shop for books, let us say on Amazon, they look and read reviews before they buy a book. I know as I do and I am an avid reader! Amazon emails me when someone reads a review I have placed and tells me it helped them decide to purchase.

Reviews on Amazon also helps your book’s rankings among other books in that genre. My book is still in the Top 100 in Paid Kindle E-books at #83 for Gambling Addiction Books. Rankings and tell us as authors how our books sell and compare to other books sold on Amazon. When a reader takes the time to write a review after they read my memoir, I use that as well if they leave suggestions to improve my craft as a writer.

Q.  What is your biggest fear about having a book published?

A.  This question goes back to how I answered your very First Question. I sat on my manuscript for almost a year because of fear. It is more difficult being afraid of how readers would react to my memoir as it is based on truth and is a real story and facts. I also had some fear about what my family would think even though I have been estranged from them for years. But I decided it wasn’t for or about them. My book was about healing and forgiveness for me and insight for readers.

Q.  What is the intended audience for your book?

A.  People in or reaching out to recover from gambling addiction, awareness of mental health, and those who had been sexually or physically abused, went through childhood trauma. Also for readers who want more understanding about these issues.

Q.  Do you find it easier to connect with your readers with the advances in technology we have today like social media? What platform do you prefer, and why?

A.  The Internet has changed not only the landscape of how authors can easily promote their books throughout social media, but the Internet has also changed how people can find information to get help from addiction and recovery support.

As a book promoter as my in-home business, the Internet has allowed me to work from home and make an income as I still have mental health challenges with Agoraphobia, Depression, and Mood Disorder, the internet has changed the way we do many things for school, work, and not just the bookselling and publishing industry.

Q.  What are some events you have attended or participated in that has been a positive experience/influence on/for your writing?

A.  Taking on paid writing jobs has boosted my self-confidence as a writer. That also helped me get the offer to be a columnist at “In Recovery Magazine.” And why I write for several other addiction/recovery publications. For me, it is two-fold. I become a better writer and I have great platforms to showcase my writing while helping others recover.

Q.  What are the most important elements of good writing? According to you, what tools are must-haves for writers?

A.  I really can’t answer this directly as my book was written very unconventionally. When I was writing at the time, I wasn’t writing a book. That all happened later on.
I do however recommend using some form of writing aide software which I do use.

Q.  Do you view writing as a career, labor of love, hobby, creative outlet, therapy, or something else?

A.  All of the above. Especially for therapy and a recovery outlet.

Q.  Were there any challenges (research, literary, psychological, or logistical) in bringing your book to life?

A.  None. Seriously. I had none as it all poured out and I just kept writing it all in my notebooks!

Q.  Do you proofread/edit your own books or do you send them off to an editor? If you send them off to an editor, who/what have you had the best experience with?

A.
  God created editors for a reason. Lol. My editor was Julie Hall. She works for our local newspaper in Grants Pass, Oregon. She isn’t an editor by profession. But she edits and proofreads for the newspaper. She had taken my six notebooks and performed “magic.” Then she sent the first 50 pages to a publisher friend of hers, and that is how my book made it to being published as Steve from The Kodel Group kept hounding me to publish as to help others!

Q.  What motivates you to write and where does your inspiration come from?

A.  For my recovery and helping others is what inspires me to write. If I can help others by sharing my story and experiences through words? That makes me happy. And what a living legacy to leave behind.

Q.  What is your most/least favorite part of the writing process, why?

A.  Since I do write a lot and for several publications, coming up with new topics to write about can be a challenge. Writing is very freeing to me. I enjoy it and hopefully continue writing and publishing more books to help others and for readers to also enjoy.

Q. Now lastly, If you had the chance to get one message out there to reach readers all over the world, what would that message be?

A.  A message of HOPE to others who suffer from addiction of any kind. We can recover no matter how bad or how far addiction has taken you. We all have that tiny sliver of light given by our Higher Power within us to turn our lives around if we want it bad enough. I have learned that recovery is possible and it works if you are willing to work for it. I will be a “work in progress” until my last breath, but the life lessons learned and wisdom gained has been well worth the RIDE!

 

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Books by Catherine Townsend-Lyon

 

      Ten the Hard Way: True Stories of Addiction and Recovery (Ten the Hard Way; True

Connect with more from Catherine Townsend-Lyon …

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I am Honored to Announce My New Author Interview With NF Reads. I Enjoy Writing.

NF READS ~ NFReads.com | Interesting Articles. Inspiring Stories.

I was honored and had the pleasure of being invited for an in-depth author interview by NFReads.com about my craft of writing, about why I wrote my book, about recovery life, and some other intriguing questions. I included and shared some book marketing tips for authors in the interview and shared about my long-term recovery as well.

I hope you will take some time to visit and read the Full Interview!

Interview with Author/Advocate, Catherine Townsend-Lyon

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Addicted to Dimes (Confessions of a Liar and a Cheat)

“Books can come by imagination with vibrant storylines and characters. Come in many genres and about real life, or sometimes they come by way of a little “Divine Intervention” like my book.”   ~Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon 

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AND The Last Question Was?

Tell us some quirky facts about yourself?

Oh my. OK. I love dill pickle slices and mayo sandwiches. I am a cat lover with three therapy cats named, Mr. Boots, Miss Prissy Princess, and Simon-Peter. I love writing when it rains and will keep my door cracked and window open to hear it while writing even if it is 20 degrees outside!

Lastly? 

Well, after everything I’ve been through in my life up to now? GOD let me keep my sense of humor!


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56848129_657000964754004_2110962222527152128_n(A little fun and $$$$ Raised For Big Jim’s Ride 4 Addiction at The Arizona State Capitol Event as One of The Guest Speakers – April 10th, 2019) LOL!!

My Friends At TCK Publishing Helps Authors Be Amazing Writers With These Tips and Advice . . .

Welcome Friends, Writers, and Authors,

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Today I have a featured guest article from my friend Tom Corson-Knowles, CEO of TCK Publishing who shares some amazing advice and tips on becoming a more seasoned writer. I enjoy visiting his helpful website as he shares so much it keeps me coming back often and learning more about writing, authoring, selling my books and I can pass it on book marketing tips to all my author friends and clients.

Authors, make sure you check out his upcoming 2019 “TCK Publishing Readers Choice Awards” and enter your book! There are fabulous prizes and it helps get more exposure to your book! So let’s all learn some tips on becoming Better Writers!

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40 Tips On Creative Writing by Dan Buri FACEBOOK and TWITTER TEASER

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“Writing professionally is a full-time job with part-time hours and never-ending responsibilities.”
Most professional writers don’t actually spend 8 hours writing each day, but that doesn’t mean they’re not working.

If you want to become a more productive writer, you have to learn to manage your work, your life, and your mental and physical wellbeing. You can’t sustain high levels of creativity and productivity as a writer without working on yourself.

Here are the 10 things that helped me become a more productive writer, and I hope these tips help you too.

1.  Schedule Your Work

You have to make time in your schedule for writing, marketing, and business time.

Don’t let a day go by without writing and working on your career. Even if it’s just 15 minutes here and there it adds up. The work habits you build will determine your success or failure.

Every day you skip your writing work, you bring yourself closer and closer to failure, anxiety, stress, and the really bad habit of procrastination that dooms far too many writers’ promising careers.

2. Study

Learn everything you can about writing, publishing, and marketing. Ignorance is not bliss. It will ruin your dreams.

Check out the best books on writing.

Learn how to improve your readability.

Understand how to do market research for writing and learn more about your customers and readers.

Every day, study so you can learn a little bit more about the incredible art of writing.

3. Make Mistakes

You’ll learn more from your mistakes than just about anything else.

Be bold. Get rejected. Publish crappy articles and books (at first).

You learn as you go and you have to be willing to fail or you’ll never learn what you need to learn to succeed.

The only difference between you and the most successful writers in the world is they’ve made more mistakes than you have. Learn from your mistakes and keep going.

4. Get Rid of Bad Habits

To become a successful writer, I had to get rid of my addiction to video games, binge-watching TV series and complaining. I also had to develop new habits like working out, taking walks, meditating, and asking for help. I had to ask hundreds of people for help along the way. I never could have done it alone.

Bad habits and addictions will destroy your creative output. You need every extra hour you can get to take care of yourself and focus on your writing career.

If you waste that time on bad habits, you’ll be shooting yourself in the foot.

5. Build Relationships

Meet other writers and creative people with big ambitions and good work habits. Just being around people who published 1, 2, or more books since you started yours will motivate the heck out of you.

You’ll see that other people are succeeding and you’ll be inspired to work extra hard to make your dreams come true.

6. Ignore the Noise

Don’t waste time with complainers, energy vampires, or depressed people. Their energy will infect you. It’s nearly impossible to create while depressed or stressed.

If you find something or someone in your life is distracting you from being productive, happy, and fulfilled, deal with it now! Putting it off will only make you feel more stressed, anxious, and depressed. And if that’s how you feel day after day after day, chances are you’ll never become a highly productive writer.

7. Manage Your Emotions

Writing is painful as hell. You will feel miserable sometimes. You’ll be scared, angry, hurt, feel emotions you haven’t felt or haven’t wanted to feel for years. It’ll open up parts of yourself you never imagined we’re there. Embrace it. Get help. See a therapist. Talk about your feelings and problems.

8. Take Care of Yourself

You are your biggest obstacle to success. You have to learn to work harder on improving yourself than you do at your writing career.

When you work on improving your life, even if it’s just a little bit, it’ll help you become more creative and productive.

Take that walk around the block. Eat healthier. Meditate. Get rid of bad relationships. Make your relationships better. Reduce your stress.

Small things may not seem that important but they can make all the difference in the world over your lifetime.  Creating is hard enough without adding 10 more problems to your life.

Solve the little problems and becoming a more productive creator will be a lot easier.

9. Add Value Always

Focus on adding value not making money.

Your readers need your help. Your job is to help them, no matter what kind of books you write. Your story and the message could change their life. It’s your job to do the best you can possibly do to help your reader. Nothing else is as important to your career as helping your readers.

When you have a big decision to make about the direction of your work, the title for your book, or any other creative decision, ask yourself:

“What’s best for my reader?”

Whatever the answer is, it’s almost always the right choice. Do what’s best for your reader. Add value to their lives. If you do that well enough, everything else will work out.

10. Experiment

If what you’ve been doing hasn’t been working, it’s up to you to change it. Do something different. Try new things. Experiment. Play like a kid. You are smart enough to figure it out if you really want to become a successful and productive writer.

Believe in yourself, believing in your dreams, and believe in your work.

You can do it if you’re willing to do the right thing day after day after day.

That’s how you build a successful life and a successful writing career.
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If you liked this post, please visit my friends from TCK Publishing as below are some other articles you might love:

Always Enjoy Having My Friend Marilyn L. Davis of “Two Drops Of Ink” Sharing Writing and Literary Advice.

Welcome, Everyone! Especially Those Who Love To Write!

I happen to be doing my Twitter book shares today for all my author clients and came across an amazing post by my dear friend and fellow writer, Marilyn L. Davis.  Not only is she a “writing expert,”  but I learn so much from her and her literary blog.  I have written a couple of posts for her but this past year has been so busy with my marketing business and co-writing another with a friend that the time has just gotten away from me to write more for both her literary blog, ” Two Drops Of Ink ” and her informative recovery blog where I also write posts on From Addict 2 Advocate.

That will have to be my ‘New Year Resolution’ going into 2019, writer more for others! Lol.  I am happy today to share her new post from her fabulous literary blog  Two Drops Of  Ink.  Even though this article is from back in 2015?  It is informative and has some amazing writing advice as to overcome that intimidating “Blank Page.” I hope all you writers who visit get something to take with you after reading this post. Make sure you take a visit to Marilyn’s blog. Some amazing and helpful tips there!

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Overcoming the Big, Blank Page

By: Marilyn L. Davis

“Confront the page that taunts you with its whiteness. Face your enemy and fill it with words. You are bigger and stronger than a piece of paper.”Fennel Hudson, A Writer’s Year – Fennel’s Journal

Blank Page? Fill it Wisely

I have gotten emails from other writers asking how I continue to make my niches new and exciting. They perceive that I do not seem to suffer from Writer’s Block. The reality is that I do, from a different perspective, Writers Glut. I have too many ideas floating in my head, both forTwo Drops of Ink and my other blog, From Addict 2 Advocate.

One problem with brain overload is that we have difficulty focusing.

Sadly, for a writer, when we lose focus, we might end up in a situation like Gordon Comstock, the protagonist in George Orwell’s book, Keep the Aspidistra Flying. Comstock struggles to complete an epic poem, which disintegrates into fragments because the writing is not cohesive.


While information or links enrich our posts, when we use more than necessary to make our point, the post often becomes:

Just in case you didn’t know, the Megillah alludes to five books of the Bible read on certain Jewish feast days and considered by some as long and tedious, and frankly, long and tedious are the last things that people want in a blog post.

Too Much for Just One Page?

With too many words or ideas clamoring for attention, it’s often necessary to find ways to focus the writing. Certainly, you can free write and fill the pages with words, and in turn, move the random thoughts and ideas from brain to paper. Since it’s the first draft, you also don’t have to worry about how disjointed it might be.

 

  1. Are you passionate, angry, or saddened by the subject?
  2. Can you convey your emotions about the issue in powerful words?
  3. Has your viewpoint changed since you wrote about the topic last?
  4. Are you writing about an underdeveloped aspect of the subject?
  5. Does your site need updated information about this particular topic?
  6. Do you think there’s already too much information about your topic?
  7. Is this a worthwhile topic?
  8. Did you research to find correct, factual, and accurate information?
  9. Can you support your information with credible links?
  10. Can you add useful or valuable information about the topic?
  11. What are your qualifications to write about a topic?

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Mastering the Blank Page

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skill einstein expert Overcoming the Big, Blank Page marilyn l davis two drops of ink

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After your point of interest, decide your level of skill in presenting the information. 

  1. Skilled

  2. Authority

  3. Knowledgeable

  4. Professional

  5. Expert
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When you establish your skill level about the topic, approach it from the standpoint of the reader. Frame questions to help you narrow your focus.

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What were you curious about when you didn’t have much information about the topic? What stimulated this interest? Write as if you’re discovering something beneficial and exciting, as this tone and sense of wonder will translate and engage your readers.

When we write from the standpoint of learning and teaching, we aren’t condescending nor pompous in our choice of words and tone. CLICK TO TWEET

Remember what you did not know and tell the reader about it. While you’re an authority on the topic now, there’s always a backstory about what you learned. These stories can also add some humor. “Then there was the time that I didn’t understand…” and let your readers know that you’re an authority or knowledgeable, but had to learn a lesson the hard way.

We’ve all made mistakes, in fact, mine was misspelling message with massage and trust me, that one change in letters made my piece unacceptable for small children, even though spell check let it pass. Thank goodness for an editor with an eye for context like Scott Biddulph.

What to Leave In and What to Leave Out

As you learn and write about your topic, you may understand the subtle nuances of it. Elaborate on them. Remember, you’re not writing this as a new topic. You’re writing this with a skilled eye and can expand on the obvious facets of the topic. However, your readers may just be learning about the topic, so teach them. It is not redundant to explain the basic aspects of the topic.

If you have professional or expert knowledge about a topic, you need to let readers know that while any post is your opinion; you back it up with years of experience, your education, or current research.

Qualifying your information or credentials is not bragging. You’re doing this so readers learn to trust your posts.  CLICK TO TWEET

Your readers know that you’ve worked in a field, have advanced degrees, or you can let them know where you’ve been published. Letting them know that other sites value your writing goes a long way in establishing this trust.

Even for an expert, it’s not enough to write about the technicalities, subtle nuances, obscure facts learned over the years, or minutiae of the topic; you still have to write new insights, interesting content, and provide original thoughts. Whichever skill level you have about the topic, it is your writing that will make it worthwhile. Your distinct tone, style, and phrasing can and will make it original, which allows you to produce a stand-out piece.

How you convey your information might be:

  1. Repeating sage wisdom of the ages with a new twist.
  2. Reforming someone’s thinking with persuasive facts, passion, and your point of view.
  3. Revamping one of your old articles with updated information.

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Taming Block and Glut

Some days, we simply have to accept that we can’t produce and publish a piece. We’re either too distracted to narrow the focus, too uncertain about our skill level of the subject, or we can’t think of a perspective that isn’t saturated. On those days, unless you have a deadline, give yourself a break.

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Overcoming the Big, Blank Page marilyn l davis two drops of ink

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Adopt the Scarlett O’Hara mentality, “I can’t think about that right now. If I do, I’ll go crazy. I’ll think about that tomorrow”, or  remember the words of Ann Lamott, “The word block suggests that you are constipated or stuck when the truth is that you’re empty.”

When you think you’re empty, then reference the following:

  1. Have you taken a reader’s comment and expanded on it?
  2. What grabbed your attention today?
  3. What piques your curiosity?

I think writers are often too hard on themselves. Writing is one of the few professions that it’s hard to walk away from because it doesn’t need an office. Furthermore, I’ve never seen any mention of traditional writer hours. For most of us, it’s when we’re awake.

Too Tired or Too Much Going on to Focus? 

Writers are always writing, even if it’s just in our heads. We read signs on the road, imagine character’s conversations, or a great title pops into our brains while at lunch. Those are the creative ways that we think. But sometimes, all those great ideas don’t go anywhere.

Unlike most professions, we’re never without the tools necessary to write. We’ve got electronics to record our thoughts, and even with a power outage, our phones still have Evernote. Not to mention, paper and pen.  CLICK TO TWEET

So sometimes, we’ve got to let our brains rest.

  • Jot a few good sentences down.
  • Put the writing in your Darling file
  • Review it the next day.
  • Drink some tea, meditate, take a nap, or call it a day and go to bed and read.

After all, glut and block will undoubtedly pass by morning.

 

 

Here at Two Drops of Ink, we also believe that how something is said is just as important as what is said. In this spirit, we invite you to submit your writing.


Two Drops of Ink
 is accepting submissions for all genres except “R” rated romance or anything politically partisan.

We are proud to collaborate with our montly and guest contributors.
We hope you consider submitting to an award-winning site.

TWO DROPS OF INK: THE LITERARY HOME FOR COLLABORATIVE WRITING

Meet Writer Lorraine Reguly Who Shares As My Guest – ‘How to Optimize Our Writing Time.’

Welcome Writers, Authors, and Bloggers

Please meet my friend Lorraine Reguly who like me wears many literary hats. Actually, funny story, and don’t know if Lorraine will remember this as it HOW we first met.  When I first set up my recovery blog here on WordPress, I had NO IDEA what I was doing as I wrote my very first blog post. Lorraine came and gave it read.  She then was kind enough to leave me a comment about how I wasn’t using correct spacing and paragraphing. Now, at first, I felt embarrassed, which then lead to me thinking, what the hell I am doing!!? Lol.  Which lead me to, how dare her! Doesn’t she know I am not a writer? And my goodness! How dare she leave me such a rude comment? LOL!!

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Well, if my first blogging and writing experience didn’t happen like this? I would not be writing today!  Yes, I got over myself after and knew she was only trying to help guide me. We connected together all over social media and I have been learning from her ever since! So, thank you, Lorraine, for making me better at all that I do today. You know I love you to pieces! So, I was on Facebook and my dear friend and Author, Max Ivy., Jr. happened to reshare an article Lorraine had up on her site that is so informative I needed and asked her permission to share it with all of you. I thank her for doing so!

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How to Optimize Your Writing Time to Achieve Your Writing Goals

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There are 6 things you can do to optimize your writing time so you can achieve your writing goals:

1: Determine your “best” time.

2: Determine your realistic writing time.

3: Determine the days you will write.

4: Make writing a priority.

5: Write during your spare pockets of time.

6: Optimize your writing time by getting help and outsourcing tasks/chores.

Now, let’s look at each of these in-depth.

NOTE: Two different planners are available to you in this post (for FREE)!

 

1: Determine your “best” time

The first thing you need to do to optimize your writing time so you can reach your writing goals is to determine your best writing time. You can determine the best time to write if you know your body’s rhythms.

Do you write best in the morning, afternoon, or night?

When do you have the most energy? Write during that time!

A lot of people get tired in the late afternoon, but after they get their second wind, they are more energetic. When do you get your second wind? Write right after that!

Do you have more time on weekends? Write on weekends!

Do you exercise and eat healthily? Once you consider your diet and exercise habits, you can improve your energy levels. Some people feel more energetic when they drink caffeine (found in coffee, tea, and most sodas), while others find they are more energetic when they consume more water, eat more fruits and vegetables, and avoid sugar. Most people also function better when they exercise every day.

If you have a hard time finding your peak writing time, do some self-experiments. Write in the morning. Write in the afternoon. Then write at night. See what times you enjoy best, and see when you are most productive. Write during those times!

2: Determine your realistic writing time

The second thing you need to do to optimize your writing time so you can reach your writing goals is to determine your realistic writing time. By this, I mean how long you can actually write for.

I don’t know about you, but I get tired of writing after a while. I certainly can’t sit and write for hours on end! I can write for only an hour or so before I get bored or tired of the task.

(Even when I’m editing, I only edit for two hours at a time, at most!)

By determining your real writing time, you will be able to schedule the times you write. By doing this, you will become more realistic with your goals, too. And when you are writing, you will simply write, because you know that, after an hour passes, you can move on to doing something else!

I like this concept because I also apply it to exercising. I hate the moments leading up to it and find it hard to motivate myself to exercise. But once I am actually doing that task, I know it’s not going to last forever. I know that it will soon come to an end! I can then force myself to finish my 30 minutes easily. Also, I always feel great afterward, so that is another added benefit!

3: Determine the days you will write

The third is, we all have busy schedules and often make the excuse that we can’t find the time to write.  So how can you find time to do your best writing, even when you’re busy?

Make a schedule!
You need to do this to optimize your writing time so you can reach your writing goals. You can use this FREE PLANNER to help you. This planner is specifically tailored toward bloggers.

The other planner (the downloadable one) is for every writer to use.

Alternatively, you can use this planner. It’s also free and requires you to sign up to my email list but it’s a much better planner!!!

Look at your weekly routine. It is probably not feasible for you to plan to write every day. But if you know that you can write on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 7 and 9 p.m., then you should plan to write on those days.

Maybe Sunday is a good day for you to write. If you work a full-time job from Monday to Friday and run errands on Saturday, then that leaves Sunday as the best day for you to write.

You don’t need to write every day. Even writing just one day a week (and being faithful to that schedule) will bring you closer and closer to reaching your writing goal!


Think about it.

In one year, there are 52 weeks. That means there are 52 Sundays for you two write. If you spend one hour each Sunday writing and write (on average) 1000-2000 words each Sunday, you will have written a full-length novel within a year!

Any writing goal is easy to achieve if you look at the big picture and then break your goal down into small steps that are easily achievable!

4: Make writing a priority

The fourth thing you need to do to optimize your writing time so you can reach your writing goals is to make writing a priority.

You will need to make sacrifices in order to reach your goals. That is just a fact of life if you want to be successful!

By making writing a priority, you will have to sacrifice some of the time you spend elsewhere. This might mean giving up an hour of TV time each night. It might mean waking up an hour earlier. Or it might mean hiring someone to come in once a week to clean the house, thus allowing that time to focus on your writing goals.  Whatever you do, make sure you find a good work-life balance!

5: Write during your spare pockets of time

The fifth thing you need to do to optimize your writing time so you can reach your writing goals is to write during your spare pockets of time.

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: Make the most of the time you have available to you!

Maybe you have 20 minutes to spare in the morning while the kids are getting dressed. Maybe you can write during the time it takes to cook a casserole in the oven. Maybe you can use that 30 minutes in the evening while your child is bathing to get some writing done.


“The key is to take advantage of every opportunity you have to write!”  ~Lorraine


Another example is to write while waiting for an appointment (like when you’re at the doctor’s office). Just simply pull out your phone and write in a Google Doc. I have this app on my phone (it’s one of the many apps I have to make my life easier), and I have set so that writing offline is enabled. That way, I don’t even need Internet access to write!

I have taken this one step further by enabling the speech-to-text function on my phone. I don’t need to fiddle with tiny keyboard buttons on my phone to write. I can simply say what it is that I want to write, and the speech-to-text function will record what I’m saying!

It also doesn’t matter if other people are around because this feature is set to record the sound of my voice, not everyone else’s. It is a very neat way to write, and I love it. I’ve been using this feature for over a year now, and I even use it to record emails and Facebook comments (when I am checking my Facebook notifications from my phone).

I highly recommend writing using the speech-to-text function. I actually learned about this feature from my blind author friend, Maxwell Ivy Jr. ~ The Blind Blogger & Life Coach.

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6: Optimize your writing time by getting help

The sixth and final thing you need to do to optimize your writing time so you can reach your writing goals is to get help.

Bloggers automate their scheduling. Businesses hire employees to work for them. You can apply similar principles to your own life by outsourcing some of your weekly tasks.

For example, can you hire someone to clean your house, do your laundry, or cook for you once a week? Can you get your groceries delivered so you can save time on grocery shopping?

What can you do to free up more time for you to write?

Can you automate your bill-paying practices with online banking?

If you think about every task you have to do (especially ones you don’t enjoy doing), perhaps you can brainstorm some ways for you to reduce your workload so you have more writing time.

You don’t always have to look at solutions that cost money, either. Maybe you have a family member or a friend (or both) who is willing to help you out once a week, for free. If you take the time to explain to them how important it is for you to find some uninterrupted writing time, they will be more likely to help you.

Maybe the solution is as simple as asking for a little help. As my good friend Max Ivey says, “If you don’t ask, they can’t say YES!” He is a Life Coach after all and just may be of help!

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(Note: This saying is so popular that Max even had T-shirts made that say this! You can order yours by following the links from his page that advertises them.)


Your Turn!

Do you know your peak energy time? How long is your realistic writing time?

How can you optimize your time more effectively? Share your experiences in the comments!

Also, tell us what other things have helped you become a more productive writer!

Let’s learn from each other!  ~ Lorraine ~

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About Lorraine Reguly:

Lorraine Reguly is a freelance writer, editor, and blogger who provides stellar services at superb rates. Lorraine is a reliable, highly skilled, Canadian-based freelance writer, editor, and blogger who has written for many top blogs online. (Check out her portfolio.)  

She has also written several articles and letters, which have been published in local papers in Thunder Bay, Ontario, including The Argus, Lakehead University’s newspaper. These particular articles focus on her life experiences, which have been vast.  Lorraine has many hobbies, loves to read, and has a passion for the English language.  She prides herself to a high standard and is a perfectionist! Connect with on social media.    TwitterFacebookLinkedIn, or Google+.

( Cat knows this first hand! Lol! ) Thank You, Lorraine, for writing and letting me share this informative POST!  ~Catherine Lyon