The writer knows that it takes a great deal of courage to put yourself out there to share your work. It means telling yourself – over and over – to ignore the voices stating you cannot do it or that you are not good enough. The courage to share one’s work is work. Please use these quotes to stay encouraged but also to encourage others.
“It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.”
― J.K. Rowling
“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.”
― E.E. Cummings
“Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage, you can’t practice any other virtue consistently.”
― Maya Angelou
“Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.”
― Nora Ephron
“I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn.”
― Anne Frank
“Courage is found in unlikely places.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien
“Freedom lies in being bold.”
― Robert Frost
“If you care about something you have to protect it – If you’re lucky enough to find a way of life you love, you have to find the courage to live it.”
― John Irving
Often newbie writers gloss over the details that defined an era other than their own. The details of what people wore, ate, and even did in another era can make or break the credibility of your story. Here are five sites that can give you information and insight into some of those details.
- RetroWaste is a database of information about fashion, movies, and other details of eras from the 1920s to the 1990s – the last century
- Historian Jan Whitaker’s Restaurant-ing through History blog gives a decade-by-decade glimpse into food that was popular, food customs, and even into the pricing
- Smithsonian Magazine online has a wealth of informative articles that provide historical details and facts
- National Geographic Magazine online is another jewel resource for geographical and historical details
- Auction Finds is a blend of historical information and details about things like home furnishings and art and collectibles from the past
Your local library is filled with reference books and other books that can assist you in digging out facts for your historical novel. Do you have a favorite resource? If so, post it in a comment, please.
How do you write? Do you have music or the TV on in the background? Do you work in complete silence? Do you listen to podcasts? If so, here is a curated list of podcasts for writers and creatives that offer substantive advice or information to help you grow in your craft and business.
Perhaps you want to become a better storyteller or a better literary entrepreneur; these podcasts offer advice and information you can use on the journey. If you know of others, please drop a link in the comment section.
Do you remember making the switch from Myspace to Facebook just when you were mastering how to market your projects or yourself? Maybe it was Black Planet or Yahoo Groups before Twitter. As you know, social media changes swiftly with new tools and new features on the old tools. Instead of becoming frustrated, go with the flow, and experiment with a few new things coming down the pike.
- Canva the graphics tool has made some recent changes, including a Beta testing of a new way to create in a more organized fashion. You can access that feature now. In the future, expect the inclusion of a scheduling tool, which is being beta-tested by a select group of users now. If you can create using Canva, then why not schedule on the same platform?
- Blogging, as you know, is a form of social media. WordPress’s Gutenberg project will ultimately become the only way to use the platform. It is similar to drag and drop but it relies on building blocks on individual posts and pages (with plugins) that give each page a unique look and function.
- Vero is a platform that is growing in popularity. It enables you to make social more personal and personable by sharing only with the people you want to share your videos and photos with. It is free for life. Try it.
- Caffeine is a new broadcasting tool to livestream for fun, for gaming or to speak with your audiences. It’s in pre-release mode, so feel free to sign up now.
- Instagram’s IGTV is turning the photo-sharing platform into a broadcast studio. More and more Instagram business users are producing long-form and episodic videos to engage their audiences. Expect that to grow.
These are just five platforms to keep an eye on as you keep in mind that you don’t have to use every feature on any of them. Just use what works for you.
Be warned: These are questions without immediate answers. These are more like challenges to discover more ways to distribute, market, and sell your books or build your publishing business.
- Have you heard of The Bulk Book Store? Look over their site and see if there is some way they could be of service to you.
- Have you considered creating a Facebook profile photo frame to promote your next book or project?
- Do you know we all rely heavily on clichés in creative writing? We don’t even notice.
- Having trouble coming up with character names? Maybe you need a name generator.
- Are you a literary entrepreneur who needs some guidance?
- Do you need an easy way to track work expenses, invoice and create proposals that is absolutely free? It is also tied to Fivrr.com.
- Have you explored all of the ways you can use Paper by Dropbox?
Discovery is our friend. Explore the tools linked above and choose the ones that are most useful to you and your book business.
It is almost the end of the year. This is a good time to organize the marketing and publicity sides of your writing without a lot of pressure to get it done before December 31. You can put these on your calendar and cross them off one-by-one before January 1.
- Take new headshots and portraits for social media, author publicity and book covers.
- Update biographies and book summaries.
- Create new social media cover images that are modern and more polished.
- Re-write and refresh website copy and information.
- Take the time to schedule posts and memes about your products on social media accounts.
- Prepare holiday communication to followers and subscribers on blogs and to newsletters.
- Send notes to local media to let them know you exist and are available for interviews and features.
- Send notes to media writers and editors who have featured you in the past year.
- Query online book marketers for costs of promotions.
- Schedule a book signing or reading at your local bookstores and libraries. Promote those appearances online.
- Make a list of people you want to thank for helping you throughout the year.
- Let followers know if you’re working on something new. Begin preparing them now for a new work and release date.
- Have a brainstorming party with other writers and authors, where you share how to promote work.
These things take forever if you try to tackle them all in a short space of time, but if you schedule in a day for each, you will have them all completed by January 1. What suggestions do you have that we can add to this list?
Sometimes it is easy to forget why we write. The act of writing can deplete us of the energy to stay inspired and encouraged. Remembering why we write generally shows itself to us when someone congratulates us or thanks us for a book or article that inspired them. Still, you have to stay inspired. Journaling can be a great help.
Thankfully, there is more than one way to journal. We can open up our laptops or tablets and type away or we can write on paper in longhand, and now we can open an app on our smartphones to record our thoughts.
Most of us struggle with the time to journal, but you don’t have to do it daily, just do it. Here are some questions to ask yourself as you type or record your personal thoughts on writing:
- When did I first realize I wanted to be a writer?
- Who was the first person to tell me to write and why?
- Where was I when I first sat down to actually write for the pleasure of it?
- How many muses do I have? Who and what are the people and things that motivate me to write?
- Why do I like telling stories?
- What are my favorite types of stories to tell?
- What do I want my readers to learn from my writing?
- What do I need to do this better?
These are a few questions but if you’re in pursuit of inspiration, more will come to you as you journal. Writing is a love affair that can stale like any long-term relationship, and it requires just as much nurturing to keep the romance alive. Journaling is a way to stay in love and not the act itself, but rather the answers that are revealed during the act.