some little tips for writing and publishing

I was going back through my old diaries of writers’ association meetings and found some good tips and some great tips I’d been given and implemented to varying degrees. I’ve added extra info I’ve learnt over the past couple of year in italics.

  1. Decide on your brand. For you as an author or your imprint as an indie publisher. But you don’t have to stick to it if it’s not working or you don’t like it anymore.
  2. Where possible, decide what you will do and what you will outsource. When you start to make some sweet cash, what will you outsource?
  3. Edit. Then Proofread. Then edit again. Then some more proofreading. Then more editing… (See point #2)
  4. How important is your cover? Is this something you’ll make yourself or splurge on?
  5. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel. Read, listen and learn from those who have been there before.
  6. Oh geez… how’s this one – Do Talks, book signings, etc. Oh dear…no, I can’t see me doing this…
  7. Use LinkedIn. okay… Target writers, groups (?), and book clubs. Not sure about this, other writers aren’t necessarily my audience.
  8. Don’t have too many characters! Well I certainly failed on this account.
  9. Authenticity. Just that word. Not sure what I was getting at, but then isn’t authenticity the goal no matter what we’re doing?
  10. Resistance hates it when we show up. (pg 63 The War of Art)
  11. I need to bring the same dedication to my writing as I brought to my art when I worked for someone else. Yes I do.
  12. Use pendulum to target marketing. wow, okay, not sure whose suggestion that was.
  13. Align myself vibrationally with 5-star reviews as though I already have them. I did this for a while and got some great reviews but then stopped. Might need to revisit.
  14. Two ideas for a podcast 1) The Mess in my Head. (lol) and 2) Writer’s Diarrhoea (double lol)
  15. Idea for a group of Paris-themed writers. (Tried this but didn’t get off the ground.)
  16. Make writing a habit. check!
  17. Build a network of like-minded writers. I’ve made a very good start on this one.
  18. Life is a Verb. okay?
  19. For the first draft, just get out of your own way. Fill in the blanks. Don’t worry about research and grammar, just get the story down. This is from Andy McDermott, author and publisher based in my home town.
  20. Then further in my journal, another entry about Andy McDermott. The 2nd Draft – work through the first draft a chapter at a time – editing and research. Far easier said than done, but hey, it’s gotta be done.
  21. Find your voice then find your audience. Working on it.
  22. Get your POV right. Nothing worse for a reader than not knowing who is talking. Well I am sure there are worse things but Point of View is crucial.
  23. Metaphors and similies – Use sparingly! I obviously thought it important enough to warrant an exclamation point!
  24. Italics during dialogue should not be used. (sorry about the awkward sentence!) It should be known from the writing what tone of voice they are using. I will be working on this aspect of craft for the rest of my life.
  25. Cliches are a form of plagiarism. Wow, I wrote that down about two years ago but feel like I’ve just learnt it!
  26. No Footnotes. Oh hell no! I read Good Omens but Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett again last year and those footnotes nearly drove me nuts!
  27. And last but not least for the current journal… I wrote my words for 2018 (Connection) and 2019 (Focus). Ironically my word for 2020 was Surrender.