What's Your Brand?
Looking to establish your brand and make a name for yourself as a writer? Everyone else is too. It’s not easy, but definitely possible. Out of the many different methods in existence, I’d like to explore just five that stand out to me.
"Find what you love and let it kill you."
1. Find Your Fire
Time to find something and let it consume you. Establishing a niche allows you to become an expert in a specific area, making it easier for readers to find and connect with your work. It also helps you stand out in a sea of writers. So, before you start writing, ask yourself what you're truly passionate about and what you want to be known for. What’s going to consistently get you out of bed at 4am to do your writing before heading to work each day?
2. Be Online and Be Social
Having a strong online presence is crucial for any writer looking to establish their brand. (I never said this was easy.) This includes having a professional website, active social media accounts, and a well-maintained blog. Platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok are great places to connect with other writers and readers, and even share your work. But don’t forget, quality over quantity, you don’t need to be everywhere all the time.
"It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all." - J.K. Rowling
3. Put Yourself Out There
This one is tough for introverts like me. Network, Network, Network. Don't be afraid to put yourself out there and network with other writers and industry professionals. Attend writing conferences, join writing groups, and don't be afraid to reach out to other writers for advice or collaborations.
"There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you." - Maya Angelou
4. Find Your Voice
What makes you unique? Not an easy question sometimes. Really think about what you, and only you, can specifically offer the world. Your unique voice is what sets you apart from other writers and is what readers will come to associate with your brand. So, don’t be afraid to be yourself and let your voice shine through in your writing.
5. Kaizen Approach to Writing
One small step at a time. You don’t have to write the entire chapter each day. But you do need to write something. Consistency is all-important with getting a brand established. Keep putting out consistent, high-quality content and don't give up. Building a brand takes time and patience, but with persistence, we might all just get there.
Establishing your brand as a writer takes time and dedication, but by following these five tips, you'll be well on your way to building a strong and recognizable brand. So, find your niche, build a strong online presence, network, create a unique voice, and be consistent. Happy writing!
"Even the smallest person can change the course of the future." - J.R.R. Tolkien
Sprint to Write More!
A writing sprint is a short, focused burst of writing time, usually lasting anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour. The idea is to set a timer, clear your mind, and just write. The goal is to produce a large quantity of words in a short amount of time, rather than worrying about perfection or editing.
Famous writers have long extolled the virtues of this kind of intense, focused writing. Ernest Hemingway, for example, famously wrote standing up at a tall desk, and would set a goal of writing 500 words a day. Ian Flemming aimed for 2,500. But Stephen King noted that it wasn't so much how long you spent writing, but rather the focus, saying, "The adage that the seat of the pants must be in the seat of the chair is one of the most ridiculous things ever spoken. It's not the seat of the pants that's important, it's the seat of the brain."
Writing sprints can be a great way to get into a productive writing mindset, and to overcome writer's block. They can help you to focus on the task at hand, and to overcome the distractions that can so often pull you away from your writing.
One way to make writing sprints more effective is to set a specific goal for each sprint. This could be a certain number of words, a certain number of pages, or even a specific scene or chapter that you want to complete. Having a clear goal in mind will help you to focus, and to stay on track.
Another way to make writing sprints more effective is to establish a routine. By setting aside a specific time each day for writing sprints, you'll be more likely to stick to them, and to make them a regular part of your writing routine.
Incorporating writing sprints into your routine can be a powerful way to stay motivated and productive as a writer. So, set your timer, clear your mind, and just write - not worried so much about the quality. As Anne Lamott said, "Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts. You need to start somewhere."
Storyist - A Quick Review
Storyist is a powerful writing app that is designed to help writers of all skill levels create compelling stories. Whether you're a novelist, screenwriter, or journalist, Storyist has everything you need to take your writing to the next level.
"Storyist is a great app for writers. I use it to organize my notes, research and manuscript. It's a great tool for keeping track of a complex story,"
One of the most notable features of Storyist is its intuitive interface, which makes it easy to organize your writing, track your progress, and access all of your research and notes in one place. With Storyist, you can easily switch between different views, such as manuscript, corkboard, and outline, to suit your writing style and needs.
Another great feature of Storyist is its built-in research and note-taking tools. With the ability to easily add and organize research materials, such as images, documents, and web pages, Storyist makes it easy to keep all of your research and notes in one place, so you can easily reference them as you write.
"Storyist is one of my favorite writing tools. It's great for keeping all of my notes and research in one place, and the outlining tools are second to none." - Brandon Sanderson
Overall, Storyist is an excellent writing app that is packed with features to help writers of all skill levels create compelling stories. With its intuitive interface, built-in research and note-taking tools, and the support of a community of successful writers, Storyist is an essential tool for any writer looking to take their craft to the next level.
Writers Need A Plan
"A goal without a plan is just a wish."
As a writer, chances are you've got a pretty long list of writing resolutions. You want to write a novel, a collection of short stories, a memoir, a script, a blog, a newsletter, etc. But how do you turn those wishes into reality? Make a plan and stick to it. Get out of your comfort zone and this year, follow through with the plan. For me, this starts with a decent planner.
Think of your daily planner as your personal writing coach. It's the one thing that will keep you accountable, motivated, and on track to achieving your writing goals. With a daily planner, you can set specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals, and then break them down into smaller, manageable tasks. I like to do 30, 60, and 90 day goals or milestones.
"The most important thing is to write, to create. Whatever you want to do, do it now. There are only so many tomorrows." - Michael Landon
For example, let's say your goal is to write a novel. You can break that down into smaller tasks such as:
Each day, you can check off the tasks you've completed, and make note of any challenges you faced or successes you had. This will not only help you stay organized, but it will also give you a sense of accomplishment and motivation to keep going.
"I write entirely to find out what I'm thinking, what I'm looking at, what I see and what it means." - Joan Didion
A daily planner will also help you prioritize your time. As a writer, it can be easy to get caught up in the endless distractions of life, whether it's social media, email, or just staring out the window. With a daily planner, you can set aside specific blocks of time for writing, and then stick to them.
"The scariest moment is always just before you start." - Stephen King
One of the best things about a daily planner is that it can help you overcome writer's block. By breaking down your writing goals into smaller tasks, you'll always have something to work on, and you'll never have to face the blank page again.
In conclusion, a daily planner is an essential tool for writers, helping them to set and achieve their writing goals. With a daily planner, you'll be able to turn your resolutions into reality, one tiny step at a time. So, grab your daily planner today and get writing!
Here's the planner I'm currently using.
If you've ever had writer's block, you know that it can feel like the worst thing on earth. Even if you're a professional writer who does this for a living, the feeling of being stuck and unable to break through can be debilitating. And while there are many ways to overcome writer's block and get your creative juices flowing again (and even some helpful tips and tricks), sometimes writing isn't enough. You need more than just words on paper—you need inspiration! Luckily, there are plenty of books out there with tips on how best to beat writer's block. Here are my top 5 at the moment:
#1 - The Blank Screen by William Gallagher
If you’re struggling to get started, feeling lost and fed up with life’s everyday stressors – then this is the book for you. Writer William Gallagher shows how to turn back the clock on all those little things which take away from your writing and make your Blank Screen the most productive place in the whole world. Turn emails back into useful tools, use your phone to stay in touch with distant friends and relatives and actually enjoy making phone calls again. Get more out of writing by getting rid of distractions such as deadlines, skype calls or taking short breaks. Maximize your time by learning how to work better in bursts, avoid procrastination and get rid of general writer’s block for good!
This is a must-read for the modern writer, whether you wish to become a master of your pen and paper or just want to be able to work with friends, family and colleagues at home. William explains why distractions are not what they seem and how you can use them to shape and improve your writing; why time is limited, so make the most of it; how technology can help save you hours; strategies for coping with mental distractions (email); how the ancient art of messengering has been corrupted into mindless standard operating procedure; how Good Luck's always lurking around the corner.
Frankly, William Gallagher is just a bit of a nutter. But that’s why I like him and this book. He talks about writing every day as an activity that creates content, not just words … He explores all aspects of out-of-the-blue creativity — great ideas, how to make them happen and when your brain should shut off from interruptions.
This book covers how to take control of your writing life and get rid of the distraction and procrastination. Find out when you work best – and when you really don’t – plus how to remove most distractions and minimize all of them. Guess I could have just told you that...
#2 - The Writer's Block: 786 Ideas to Jump-Start Your Imagination By Jason Rekulak
Featuring more than 200 photographs throughout, this chunky little book covers every aspect of getting started with your writing. Whatever your genre, whether short stories, novels, or screenplays -- from the sun-drenched streets of New York to the elusive redwoods of Northern California, from modern day adventures in Tibet and Nepal to ancient Egypt and outer space -- you'll find the perfect exercise or idea for reaching your true potential as a writer. Turn any page to find your next idea or exercise that will jump-start your imagination!
#3 - Around the Writer's Block: Using Brain Science to Solve Writer's Resistance By Rosanne Bane
There are dozens of reasons why you might find yourself stuck in a place called writer’s block, and most of them have nothing to do with laziness or lack of ambition. In Around the Writer’s Block, best-selling author Rosanne Bane uses the most recent breakthroughs in brain science to help us understand, in simple, clear language, where writing resistance comes from: A fight-or-flight response hard-wired into our brain, which can make us desperate to flee the sources of our anxieties by any means possible. Part one gives you practical strategies for managing writer’s block; part two teaches you how to turn writing from a source of stress and anxiety into one of joy and personal growth; and part three shows you how to rewire your brain for consistent productivity.
#4 - The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles By Steven Pressfield
The War of Art is a no-nonsense, personal, and utterly powerful guide to conquering your inner saboteur and reaching the highest level of creative discipline. Acclaimed novelist Steven Pressfield lays out a battle-plan for overcoming artistic block, and shows how to reach the highest level of creative discipline.
What keeps so many of us from doing what we long to do? Why is there a naysayer within? How can we avoid the roadblocks of any creative endeavor—be it starting up a dream business venture, writing a novel, or painting a masterpiece?
This is one of the most important books for creatives of all stripes. It teaches about our own inner critic who says that we aren’t good enough.
#5 - How to Write a Book: An 11-Step Process to Build Habits, Stop Procrastinating, Fuel Self-Motivation, Quiet Your Inner Critic, Bust Through Writer's Block, & Let Your Creative Juices Flow By David Kadavy
Don't let writer's block stop you from writing a book. The steps to creating your own bestselling non-fiction book will help you lose that feeling of insecurity and gain a solid understanding of how to write a book in a way that actually works.
This is a short book (around 7,000 words - almost half of them in its title), but powerful nonetheless.
Writer of screenplays, fiction novels, inspirational stories, and short stories.