Adopt Positive Thinking
We've all heard about the power of positive thinking.
You can become productive by training your brain to stay positive. Especially when circumstances around you are seeking to drag you down. Learn to conquer challenges. And never deal with the threat of failure again.
We tend to remember our failures and forget our success. Sure, that can help us with learning from our failures and improving. But, dwelling on failures is unproductive. Having a positive attitude will keep you trying.
It takes determination to not succumb to despair. When life throws a negative curve ball, we tend to slip with the negativity. But we should be counting our blessings.
GRATITUDE AND ATTITUDE GO HAND IN HAND
Taking on a grateful attitude will keep you thinking positive.
Train your brain tips
Express gratitude. When negative thinking creeps in, dwell on the good things in life instead. Keep a gratitude journal. List the little things and the big things. Think about the things that make you smile.
Positive affirmations. Messages can have an effect on our emotions. The more you tell yourself positive things, the more you will be likely to believe them. Choose a few affirmations. Write them down. Recite them until they become a mantra. This will rewire your brain for positivity.
Challenge negative thoughts. Tell yourself you are facing a challenge. But you will conquer it.
What methods help you go from Negative Nelly to Positive Patti?
The Role of a Writing Coach
Do you have a desire to write? Do you find yourself frustrated by an inability to develop or organize your writing? Or are you getting bogged down by the process? A writing coach can help you.
What is a writing coach? They are not an editor nor are they a ghostwriter. A writing coach is a guide. The best point to hire a guide is at the beginning. Although you’ll benefit a writing coach starting at any stage of the writing process.
The relationship begins with a face-to-face or phone interview. The writing coach asks the writer about the project. What does the writer hope to finish? Ans what's holding the writer back.
A writing coach helps the writer organize his or her project. Determines a schedule and selects a completion date as a goal. The writing coach discusses the stages of a writing project.
- initial outline
- preliminary research
- a revised outline
- more extensive research
- another revised outline
- various drafts
- editorial process (developmental or substantive editing, copy-editing, and proofreading)
A writing coach helps the writer develop a clear and compelling premise or plot. They help determine a tone, style, and voice based on the intended audience. And produce a coherent, captivating narrative, whether fiction or nonfiction.
- A writing coach can help:
- a professional share expertise
- a business owner to sell a product
- an academic report on research
- a student completes an application or course essay
Writing coaches benefit:
- short story writers
- authors of
nonfictionwork, including articles, reports, and book manuscripts
A writing coach helps elicit the writer’s experience and
expertise. Guides the writer to develop a creative, productive spatial and
temporal environment. And trains the writer to craft effective prose. They help
the writer find the heart of the content, what works and what needs work. They
help teach how to carry out research and
A writing coach helps the writer focus, provides perspective, and guides and encourages. A writing coach is like a personal trainer for a writer. A writing coach is a mentor.Writing coaches charge writers per hour for their services. But their role is less costly than an editor, or a proof-reader. You’re guaranteed to benefit. And you'll get closer to completion of the project and eventual publication.
Finding a Literary Agent
UNDERSTANDING YOUR WORK’S COMMERCIAL POTENTIAL
There are different levels of commercial viability: some
books are “big” books, suitable for Big Five traditional publishers (e.g.,
Penguin, HarperCollins), while others are “quiet” books, suitable for mid-size
and small presses. The most important thing to remember is that not every book
- Genre or mainstream fiction, including romance, erotica, mystery/crime, thriller, science fiction, fantasy, young adult, new adult
- Nonfiction books that would get shelved in your average Barnes & Noble or independent bookstore—which requires a strong hook or concept and author platform. Usually a New York publisher won’t sign a nonfiction book unless it expects selling 10,000 to 20,000 copies minimum.
If your work doesn’t look like a good candidate for a New
York house, don’t despair. There are many mid-size houses, independent
publishers, small presses, university presses, regional presses, and
digital-only publishers who might
THE NEED FOR AN AGENT
In today’s market, probably 80 percent of books that the New
York publishing houses gain get sold by agents. Agents are experts in the
publishing industry. They have inside contacts with specific editors and know
better than writers what editors or publishers would be most likely to buy a
particular work. Perhaps most important, agents negotiate the best deal for
you, protect your rights, ensure you
Traditionally, agents get paid only when they sell your work, and they receive a 15 percent commission on everything you get paid (your advance and royalties). It is best to avoid agents who charge fees other than the standard 15 percent.
SELLING FICTION VS. NON-FICTION
If you write fiction, the agent will want to see the full
manuscript (assuming you’re an unpublished or unproven fiction writer). If you
write nonfiction, the marketability of your idea and your platform often matter
as much as the writing, if not more so.
Every agent has unique requirements for submitting your
materials. The most common materials you’ll
- Query letter. This is a one-page pitch letter that gives a brief description of your work. Here’s how to write a query for a novel. Here’s another post on writing a query for a nonfiction book.
- Novel synopsis. This is a summary (usually only one or two pages) of your story, from beginning to the end. It must reveal the ending. Here’s how to write one.
- Nonfiction book proposal. These are complex documents, usually twenty-thirty pages (minimum). For more explanation, see my comprehensive post.
- Novel proposal. This usually refers to your query letter, a synopsis, and perhaps the first chapter. There is not an industry-standard definition of what a novel proposal is.
- Sample chapters. When sending sample chapters from your novel or memoir, start from the beginning of the manuscript. (Don’t select a middle chapter, even if you think it’s your best.) For nonfiction, usually any chapter is acceptable.
Important: Almost no agent accepts full manuscripts on first contact. This is what “no unsolicited materials” means when you read submission guidelines. However, almost all agents will accept a one-page query letter unless their guidelines state otherwise. (If they do not accept queries, that means they are a closed market.)
After you send out queries, you’ll get a mix of responses, including:
- No response at all, which means it’s a rejection. Don’t sweat it—this is normal. Move on.
- A request for a partial manuscript and possibly a synopsis.
- A request for the full manuscript.
If you receive no requests for the manuscript or book proposal, then there might be something wrong with your query. If you get your material requested, but then get rejected, there may be a weakness in the manuscript or proposal.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT AGENT
1. What’s his/her sales track record? This is usually the
number-one sign of whether you have a good agent. Test his/her client list
and the publishers he/she has recently sold to. Are the publishers he/she sells
to the publishers you consider appropriate for your work? Are the
advances his/her clients command in the “good” range for you? Keep in mind
these factors can be subjective and
Bottom line, ensure that your agent has experience and success in representing the work you’re trying to sell. Most agents will list current clients on their site.
A note about new agents: Sometimes it’s easier to get
represented by a new agent who is trying to build a roster of clients. If
you’re a new author with a potentially small deal who wouldn’t interest an
established agent, then a new and “hungry” agent can work out just
2. Does his/her communication inspire confidence? If an
agent treats you professionally, that’s a good sign. Timeless signs of
professionalism in agents: they get back to you
A good agent doesn’t leave his/her clients in the dark for extended periods and will offer clarity about each stage of the process—no loose ends, no vague reports.
That said: Some unpublished writers seem to be very
demanding and have expectations outside the norm. What does demanding look
like? Expecting to call your agent
3. What’s his/her level of enthusiasm? Do you
While it’s not possible to put a quantitative measure on
enthusiasm, think of it this way: your agent
EXPECTATIONS FROM A GOOD AGENT
A good agent will
have a conversation with you about any rejections he/she receives from publishers. If your agent has a
good relationship with the editors/
Don’t assume that
your agent isn’t good enough if your book didn’t sell. But agents should
have an open and frank discussion with you about the rejections received. You
also have a right to know
Did the agent help
you improve your query, pitch, and/or proposal? A good agent will improve
the query/proposal package. There might be a handful of authors who can put
together a crackerjack proposal, but they are few. An agent should
Your agent MUST know
his way around a book contract. A good agent understands where to ask for
more money or
A great agent is an
author’s business manager, mentor, and cheerleader. Agents are also there
to hold your hand when things go wrong with the editor or publisher. They prop
you up when you’re
People in the
industry should recognize the name of your agent. If you can’t find any
online mention or reference to your agent, and he’s/she’s not a member of the
Association of Authors’ Representatives (AAR), that’s a red flag. Check his/her
track record carefully. See who he’s/she’s sold to and how recently. One thing
you needn’t worry about too much is the size of the agency; this doesn’t
ARE ALL AGENTS CONSIDERED EQUAL?
Yes, and no. There are potentially hundreds of agents
capable of selling any
Establishing "Killer" Opening Lines (for any novel)
- A statement of eternal principle. Remember, the novel you write must confirm the proposed principle.
- A statement of simple fact. Try to convey the entire weight of the narrative in a single statement. No gimmicks. No fireworks. Just the facts.
- A statement of paired facts. Two facts combined are more powerful than either one on its own.
- A statement of simple fact laced with significance. Because readers don’t read backward. Try burying a key piece of a story in an opening so that, by the time it becomes relevant, the reader has forgotten it.
- A statement to introduce voice. Stories that begin with an unusual voice often withhold other craft elements. If only for a few sentences. A reasonable choice to allow the reader time to adjust to a new form of language. Before being able to absorb much in the way of content.
- A statement to establish mood. Contextual information not related to the story in a direct way. This can color our understanding of the coming narrative.
- A statement that serves as a frame. Sometimes, the best way to begin a story is to announce that you’re about to tell a story.
What a Story Needs to be Effective
There are many main components that come together to make a story work. And when they come together, you not only have a great story… you have an effective and epic one.
Here are 8 things necessary in every story:
- Orientation to the world of characters. The characters must be believable. Ask yourself-what does my main character want but can’t get? And what is that main character doing to get it?
- Origination of conflict. Keep continuity in mind. Pace the speed of what is happening with the narrative energy or momentum.
- Escalation of tension. Create tension scene by scene until the climax.
- Rising stakes. Causality-everything that happens
is causedby the thing that precedes it.
- A moment where everything seems lost.
- Climatic encounter. This is where nothing will ever be the same again.
- Satisfying conclusion. Inevitability plus surprise. Each scene should have an unexpected end. But make it seem like there is only one conclusion.
- Transformation of the main character or situation. Both is sometimes best.
Dare to Boost Your Creativity
10 ways to enhance creativity to better write copy
- Take a 30 minute break every day. (Not a break to do laundry or make phone calls.) Just disappear for a while. Maybe a walk around the neighborhood or take a reading break at a park bench; perhaps a quiet soak in the tub or a cool and refreshing shower. Whatever takes you away from your routine-it will revitalize your mind and bring forth crisp, clear creativity.
- Small breaks through your work day to focus on stretching and breathing can increase your productivity and promote creative flow.
- Find a hobby because it has a positive influence on creativity.
- Work when you know you are more creative. Maybe you are a morning person who is at their most efficient at dawn. Or perhaps your mind likes to wander into a creative place in the evening.
- Go barefoot whenever possible. It’s a quick release for stress which makes way for creative thought patterns.
- Exercise! Blood flow stimulates mind, body and spirit, and gives a rush of energy.
- Set the mood to write by customizing your work space. It can be as simple as having your favorite cup next to your laptop filled with rich coffee or your papers stack in three neat piles.
- Take a nap to give the mind a chance to process thoughts. Coined by the phrase, “Just sleep on it.”
- Chew gum to release negative energy which can curb your creativity.
- Remind yourself “Why” you love what you do, who you are doing it for and what you want the outcome to be. This will keep you focus and open to possibilities.
Before you Take the Final Leap
You may think about the possibilities and freedom of
freelance writing full time but don't quit your day job just yet. There are some significant things that you
need to take into consideration before making the big jump.
Many people dream about having the time to do what they want and work when they want but freelance writing is still a job, whether you do it full-time or part-time. You need to have discipline and determination to succeed or you'll end up doing what you want all day long with no pay. Freelancing can bring with it many opportunities like the ability to work from anywhere (the home, a coffee shop, or even a new city), you'll also gain respect from your peers and it is a personal accomplishment to be proud of. If you can succeed as a freelancer, the doors are wide open to all kinds of work. There are endless niches and areas to specialize in from direct-sales copy, to ghostwriting and blogging.
Because you will
And don't forget to show some gratitude. Give others around you as much opportunities as possible to grow as individuals, to explore the world and challenge themselves and you'll find you will start doing the same with your work too. Freelancing can be a win-win situation for people that have the heart, and guts to push forward through obstacles, that can overcome rejections and still stand tall.
Is Freelance Writing in Your Stars?
Take some time and write out your answers to the following questions. This will give you a better idea and understanding about yourself, the work you want to pursue and the way to approach it.
1. What does the writers’ life mean to you?
2. What is more valuable to you than a writing career?
3. If money or social ties were not an issue, where would you want to live?
4. Think about the people who mean the most to you. Given the time and resources, how would you show them gratitude?
5. If motivation, money or time were not an issue, how would you take better care of yourself?
6. What secret goals have you always wanted to pursue?
If after asking yourself these tough questions and coming up with viable answers you still want to start a career as a freelance writer, set up a goal fulfillment system.
Goal Fulfillment System
Start with baby steps and list up to 10 things you need to
accomplish to get you one step closer to your dream. This could mean taking a writing course, or
keeping a dream journal. After you have
your list complete, state 1-3 things
Then select a guiding word that will keep you motivated and
pushing to reach all your goals. Good
words to start with are
How Taking Care of Your Health Can Equal Wealth
We all want to have more focus to accomplish tasks and goals. But
- Drink plenty of water. We all know that we need 8-10 glasses a day but what most people don't realized is that water assists your brain with its normal functioning so you can remain focused for longer periods of time.
- Stretch or walk around every 30-45 minutes. The leading cause of fatigue is poor blood circulation. And if you are tired,
creativity will be lost.
- Put exercise equipment in your home office. Sometimes taking a brisk walk on the treadmill or rowing for 10 minutes can give you the needed clarity to finish a project.
- Get a proper chair. Poor posture will cause aches and pains that will take the focus off your writing.
- Adjust the brightness of your monitor. Too bright or too dim and eye strain will result causing you to lose focus.
- Purchase an exercise ball. Alternate between sitting in your regular chair and the ball. This will keep your hips mobile and stimulate blood flow for higher boosts of creativity.
- Add a second monitor to your system. When you have multiple screens on the go, you will be more efficient and productive.
- Go to bed early and get 8 hours of sleep. This gives your body the time it needs to combat any minor health issues.
Creativity is associatedwith sleep because your brain uses your subconscious and new ideas form during certain sleep cycles. You will wake up restored and ready to tackle anything.
- Have a brain-boosting snack at your reach to stimulate clarity, such as fruit, nuts or granola bars.
- Take several breaks throughout the day to watch inspirational videos, ones that make you laugh or just spend some time with the kids. Inspiration and creativity can hide anywhere.