Tag Archives: publish

Writer Wednesday: AuthorLevelUp

michael La ronnI discovered this YouTuber, Michael La Ronn, who provides videos on the topic of writing. He authored a number of published books. Click here for his Author page on Amazon. His web site: Author Level Up lists his videos, but you can just as easily view his YouTube page, or subscribe there.

I like how the videos aren’t saturated with ads, but he provides clear tutorials on subjects such as writing, marketing, and publishing your book. He adds some humor, and you can find some videos, he provides reviews on programs he used.

Here are a few of his videos worth watching;



Have a writer, blogger, or youtuber that talks about the craft of writing? Post in comments. I’ll share to let other writers know about them.

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2015 Writing Goals

2015writing goals copyI haven’t written much in the way of fiction this year. I did, however, write tons in blogging, articles, and other non-fiction, not to mention journaling that seriously helped me evolve through 2014.

So this year, my writing goals adjust according to needs versus wants, and so I’ve come up with the following;

Write regularly, by time not word counts. I’ve tried daily word counts and it only stresses me out. Concentrating on how many words I should add sucks out the freestyle enjoyment of just writing fiction. I just want blocks of time to creativity write out the story, rather than pressure myself to produce when I may not be feeling it.

Write creatively. I need to let go of the concern of ‘getting it right’, but focus on ‘getting it down on paper’. The editing process will straighten out any issues later.

 Write by the Muse not the Editor. This goal incorporates the need to decide which writing project I will focus on. I should focus on whatever creative muse sparks, because it will flow better, and more importantly, I will enjoy writing a story I WANT to write rather than a story I just need to finish.

Publish more fiction. I have a few non-fiction projects I want to publish, but this year, I want to focus on fiction writing as an author. There’s several short stories, a few novels, and characters whining to be written in stories just waiting to be explored.

Use the S.M.A.R.T. goal setting method. This is pretty basic in creating and achieving goals.

Specific– Goals need to be direct and to the point.

Measurable– Goals require to be measured in steps or tasks where you see results.

Achievable– Goals need to challenge you but also be attainable. Publishing a novel within a month might be stretching your skills, but could potentially break you so you can’t reach the goal at all. Adjust according to time, skill, and effort.

Results– Goals need to be outcomes, not the activities. An example of this would be ‘workout regularly’, which doesn’t illustrate a goal as much as a method to reach the goal of becoming fit (or losing weight). ‘Write daily’ might be a goal, but a goal of ‘make writing a daily habit’ better serves to illustrate the need for the habit, not the daily writing.

Time-bound- A time frame provides steps you can take to reach the goal, and this must also be realistic. You should push your limits, but not crush your soul.

Here is a worksheet that includes methods to clarify your goals.

And lastly, to stretch beyond my limits. Since changing my personal blog title to ‘My life is an Adventure’, the change prompts a more daring attitude towards life. I’m not longer just frootbat31, but an adventurer in Life.

This illustrates the power of words, to transform our hearts, to provoke action, and make change. 2015 will be a year of challenging myself.

What are your goals? Post in comments below.

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Cultivating Focus

eye01I am an over thinker. I’m a multi-tasker. I am a whirlwind of thoughts and ideas that never really get to the fruition stage of development, so this month’s main goal is to find ways to cultivate the power of focus.

marieVerberize the‘to do’ list- One helpful hint by Marie Forleo’s about tweaking the ‘to do’ list (Video),  talks about adding a verb to the to do list, to help trigger you into action. This has helped me shift into action because the action gets listed right there. Instead of ‘blog’, I write ‘post blog’.

Specifics– This was a bit tip that helped me. Generally goals don’t’ get done if they are too generalized and I have no idea where to begin, so part of the process of achieving goals includes the planning process. Instead of ‘write short story’, I write ‘write Under the Bridge’ story, so I know exactly which plot to work on. Instead of ‘blog’, I will write’ Brainstorm blog posts’ or ‘post Cultivating Focus’.

Bite size goals – It helps to not just be specific to what your goals must be, but also they need to be broken into bite-sized pieces. This lets you take on less without getting overwhelmed.

Prioritize your actions– I pick three things each day that become ‘most important’. If anything else, those three things must get done, and they need to be things that focus on moving my life forward in some capacity.

focus45Remove distractions. I use a Google Chrome extension called Focus 45 which enables me to shut off sites like Pinterst, Facebook, and Youtube (the top distractors) from my viewing pleasure for 45 minutes.

You can also use timers on your phone, watch, or computer to dedicate that time to a specific chore you need to complete.

Plan the night before- Each week, I plan for the week ahead. This is laid out in a MS Word document, in a table that lists topics like appointments, writing (non-fiction), blogging, work/marketing, chores, and crafts/projects. Form this, I will list in my MS Word journal the main list of things to be done daily, making sure to prioritize the top three things that are most important. This really helps me get on with my day.

A time to plan, a time for action – My biggest revelation last month is how great I am at planning but not so much with taking action. I added to my weekly schedule labels so certain days are dedicated to planning, while others for focusing on action. My hope is that balances my efforts into something tangible, and taking action bears success.

So what are your tips for productivity? If these help, please remember to share, like, and otherwise let me know you enjoyed it. Thanks.

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My Top NaNoWriMo Tips

nano_participant_icon_largeI managed to complete the 50,000 word challenge back in 2007, and only once did I attempt to do it again. For those of you out there, hoping to complete this challenge, I offer some basic tips;

Have your plot outlined. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but writing like a madman (madwoman), you don’t want to find yourself midway through, and stuck on a plot point.

This was what stopped me the one time I attempted the NaNoWriMo again. A week into it, and the story sort of fell apart. I feel behind, felt horrible, and even found my creative writing wanted to write non-fiction anyway.

writersthoughtsThrow perfection out the window. Forget about spelling correctly, finding the ‘right word’, or formatting. Write like the flames of Hell are at your heels, and get the story out there.

Remember that is, after all, a rough draft anyway, and you’ll fix misspellings, punctuation errors, and changing words (and complete sentences) through the editing process.

writer01Find your writing ritual. I found a glass of Rum and Soda with a tiny lit candle at my lap-side, after my son was in bed, and the pets fed. This marked ‘writing time’, where my door was shut and I was to be left alone.

I preferred nights, but during the day, when my son was in school (he’s homeschooled now), provided me that vital alone time to write without interruption.

Don’t forget to back up! I knew of two authors who had their laptops quit midway through the month of November, all their writing completely lost. I strongly recommend a cloud drive (Dropbox) or a USB flash drive. It doesn’t hurt to install on the drive word processor like OpenOffice should you need it. This will enable you to use ANY computer and work off the USB drive.

Enjoy the Journey! I never published the novel I finished, but the time and effort of NaNoWriMo earned me something more.

  • I learned that I could write 50,000 words in thirty days. This averaged 1700 words a day, and more if I fell behind, but I could do it.
  • I learned that my husband and son were so much more supportive than I thought they’d be. (Hubby brought me coffee every day!)
  • I learned its important to be selective to whom you invite to join you in this challenge. A so-called friend became very competitive, instead of supportive, offering no support whatsoever. Even her husband made rude comments to me, midway through the contest.
  • I learned the value of writing crap. This is perhaps the most important element of NaNoWriMo, to give yourself permission to write crap so you can focus on the STORY, knowing you will edit later.

Post in comments your own experiences with National Novel Writing Month, and if you’re taking the challenge this year.

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