Everybody thinks. Some way or the other.
Everybody wants to share his/her thoughts. One way or the other.
Writing and Publishing is not the only way to do so. It’s just a great one.
In the old times – 5 years back and earlier – people tended to thing that it was really difficult to write their own thoughts and even more difficult to publish them and to utmost difficult to get people to read and buy your writing.
And they were right for a good part.
The big publishing houses controlled the book market, newspapers and magazines.
That didn’t make writing hard, but publishing or getting published proved to be pretty demanding for a lot of folks and many people did not succeed.
While this does not explain, why most people didn’t even write, it rightly shows how much the times are changing and have changed.
Today, in the age of the digital revolution, all the means are out there for you to succeed in writing, publishing, promoting and selling your thoughts put in writing as an independent author.
And many of them are free.
It’s almost unbelievable that there are still people out there who fall for „companies“ that get writers and authors to pay them for being published. Check out this great article of the Alliance of Independent Authors covering the newest schemes.
I’ve covered some of these easy and free ways in „How Hard Is It to Be an Independent Writer?“, „Print on Demand with Amazon’s Createspace – how I got my first book published in hard copy – independent publishing in the 21st century“ and „Print on Demand with Amazon’s CreateSpace – how to Get Your Book Published in Hard Copy and Earn Money with It – Independent Publishing in the 21st Century“. And when you go to my Resources and Knowledge Base you find lots of useful and helpful information and links for your success.
But today I don’t want to write about this aspect, so I won’t.
Today is all about the writing part.
Because, when you want to get your thoughts out into the world in writing, there are only three ways: You write yourself, you pay somebody to write for you (ghost writing) or you use one of these funky speech recognition programs.
Let’s talk about doing this yourself. That’s what I do, that’s what I know best and true to my motto „You go first!“ I’ll stick with that today.
And that means: You start today. You start right now, after having finished this article.
Step One: You decide on what you want to write about.
My suggestion is: Choose a topic you know and care about. Write about something you know well and that is important to you.
Because the more time you spend on subjects that do really matter to you, the happier a life you will be having.
Yes, I know, there are many advisers out there, who tell you that you need to write for a specific audience, your target group, to be successful – and I’m one of them.
And here at step one, it’s all about you!
I want you to have fun writing, so choose something you love and that’s fun for you. I don’t care, if it’s the NFL Playoffs, your dog, romances, birds, cooking, weight loss, selling, or other cool stuff.
Do yourself a favor and take a topic you love and as soon as you have decided on it, you’ll have noticed how much easier and faster you get going than you would have imagined it to be possible in your bravest dreams.
Yes, this is about motivation and having fun.
Step Two: You set your writing goals and put them down in writing.
And to make this really easy on you set small goals while you work and live towards your big dreams.
I don’t know where you are starting from. If you haven’t been writing at all up to now, a paragraph a day could be cool start. Even a sentence is fine. If you’re already doing some writing a page or half a page a day might be good to get started.
Because what you need to make use of at any rate is: Your commitment.
What ever rhythm of writing you choose now, you’ll be writing to it for a long time. Whether there is rain outside or sunshine: you’ll be writing. Each and every day. Because you want not only be good, you want to be the best and that’s a great thing to strive for. And to become good and great at anything you have to do it often and for a long time – people call this practicing.
I love this story, where a guy asks a street musician: „How do I get to the opera?“ and the musician answers: „Practicing, practicing, practicing, …)
Step Three: Is a non-step, since the one thing you won’t do, when you start writing is: editing while you write.
Editing is an important part of quality writing … and it comes in at a later point.
That is to say: You write and then you save what you have written and leave it at that. So you ensure that your production increases each day and then, later you have your material, ready to be edited by you and then somebody else.
The others and your writing
Let me touch on them for a brief moment. I know, people are manifold and different. My best guess is that you well know, whether it helps you to get going, when you share your plans and results with others, while you are still in the process of doing it. For some of you, this is a great booster and very helpful, others of you rather do their thing until they are convinced that it’s ready and that’s the moment, when you want to share your exploits. There’s no right or wrong in this, either you already know how you tick with respect to this or you find out fast by testing it.
There is one rule: Choose supportive people and treat any feedback you get as what it is: Information. Maybe you want to check with „Negative Reviews, Negative Comments – How to Deal with the Feedback You Receive“
Step Three: Keep on writing.
Keep producing written material each and every day. You have chosen a topic and started to write about it and you stay at it.
Now, I’m sure – especially, if you weren’t used to writing – that you get plenty more ideas while your are at it. Save them for future use. Do yourself a favor and write them down.
Maybe you started out with one topic and a completely different one pops up. Cool! Write a short note and save it for future use. You keep going with what you started.
Maybe you come across new aspects of the same topic, while you are writing: Cool! Write a short note and save it for future use. You keep going with what you started.
You see, the great thing about choosing to do something you really love to do is: You love doing it, you come back to it automatically and consistently and you are having a good time at it.
While you are building and creating a writing habit, you are creating the habit of feeling good at the same time. That guarantees your success, because you stay at it.
Step Four: Get it out! Publish your work!
Now how you go about that depends on where you started out and where you have arrived at, yet.
If this is the first time you really got going with this lovely writing thing, a blog might be a great idea. Blogging is a great way to share your thoughts with ever more people. Blogs are free – for you and for your readers – so they are a cool way to develop your skills and to start to interact with others.
Maybe you are already an expert in a field and you just used this impulse to get really going, than an ebook might be next step.
What I love about blogging – and that’s what really got me going as a writer and made me a published author: Blogging offers you a great foundation to write and publish continuously. For me a rhythm of one blog post a week has been working perfectly. I do about 1.200 to 1.500 words a week for my blog that’s two to three pages in word (Verdana 12 pt) – and you find what’s perfect for you.
There are many blogging experts out there, Pat Flynn is one of them I benefited a lot from, who share their knowledge and experiences freely. On my Resources and Knowledge Base you find the respective links leading to their blogs.
To me a blog is more a way to: You get going as a writer, as an author, than the powerful marketing tool it becomes for you and your writing, because you keep putting out quality information all the time.
I started using wordpress.com for my blog – not the only way to go, and it’s very easy and user friendly and especially, when you just get started, it creates some easy early traffic for you. Now I have migrated my blog to hostgator.com and have even more control. (This process was very quick and easy by the way!)
If you have chosen the way directly to an ebook, than now is the time to involve a third party for some editing and proofreading.
While you might get by with help by friends, I strongly recommend you to get professional help with editing your writing.
Many people don’t mind small mistakes in your texts, some will and to me this is basically no moral question, but a question of respect, you give to yourself and your readers.
Respect is an important cornerstone to your success.
So you set your goal, be it I am a published writer or author – and at this point it doesn’t matter much, whether you’re going for fiction or non-fiction, or be it am a international bestselling author, or I write a weekly or monthly blog. You put your goal in writing and know that this is the best way to achieve it.
It’s a fantastic idea that you learn from the success and failure of others and that you compare yourself only to yourself.
Put your focus on: How far have I come, yet? How much farther am I, than I was yesterday? And this will have become a great trip you’re on.
If you should have to start over again – so be it.
Life works this way: You think something that makes you feel good and you put this thoughts and feelings into action – then you get feedback and know: No, that’s not the cool way for me, I change something. Or: Yes, this is it! I have done it! I keep doing this.
So here you are right in the middle of living and writing the wonderful way.
Let me know about your writing experiences!