MF 386 : Writing series: Recap and wrap-up (part 2)
Updated: Jun 16
We wrap up the writing series with a recap and review of the writing series. Part 2 of 2. More at www.bemovingforward.com.
Wrap-up (part 2)
This week, I continue recapping and reviewing the authors featured on the writing series for Moving Forward. Below, are two takeaways per author that resonated with me that you may find helpful in your writing journey. As with last week’s recap, there are many more contained in each episode and conversation. I encourage you to listen to the full episodes and visit the accompanying write-ups.
Fred Brandon (MF 378):
Put yourself in the mind and eyes of your reader. This is especially important with children’s books as it will help you understand the shape, format, and type of writing that will resonate with your book's intended audience.
Make writing a book a S.M.A.R.T. goal (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time bound - for more on this check out my conversation with Rich Perry on MF 322). The more you define the specific elements of each letter of the SMART goal, the more you’re likely to stick with it. In the case of achievable and time-bound, find someone to be accountable to to get it done. This can be someone formally involved with the book such as editors, illustrators or informal in the case of a friend who agrees to act as your accountability buddy.
For more, check out MF 378.
Dr. Debora Gilboa ("Dr. G") (MF 379):
When it comes to interactive books, craft it in such a way that your audience does most of the writing. This may translate into a non-linear reading experience such that each reader chooses different chapters, exercises, or sections to focus on.
Start with an EXCEL spreadsheet to capture your ideas, exercises, and points. This can be a great organizational tool to frame your books.
For more, check out MF 379.
Helen Aitchison (MF 380):
Helen Aitchison is the author of The Dinner Club. Tips for writing your first novel.
It’s not just about having the desire to write a book or a great idea for a story. When you have a story that won’t leave you alone, one that becomes a persistent obsession, that’s the one you should write. The more you have an idea that resonates inside you in such a powerful way, the more likely you are to commit to writing it and not experience writers’ block.
Find support and develop your craft through communities, both in person and online. Try submitting to competitions or find writer friends on social media (eg Twitter) to get feedback and to help you improve as a writer. Competitions are a great way to get short form pieces out there and may open doors for you to connect with experienced writers.
For more, check out MF 380.
Megan Prikhodko (MF 381):
Megan Prikhodko is the author of Leap. Tips for writing a poetry collection or other compilation of short form pieces.
Keep your writing organized, including your legacy works. You never know when something you wrote years or even decades ago may end up being part of an important anthology. It’s a good idea to go through old notebooks, thumb drives, laptops, and cloud drives and organize your writing into one central hub.
If you self-publish, visit your neighborhood stores, not just bookstores but speciality ones. Talk with the owners, get to know them and you may find they're interested in carrying your book.
For more, check out MF 381.
Cleve Mesidor (MF 382):
Cleve Mesidor is the author of The Clevolution. Tips for writing a book on a technical topic.
Have a writing mindset with every piece of writing you create, including notes, scraps of paper, and even email drafts. Treat everything as if you’re writing part of a book. When you go back to revisit these pieces, identify common threads that can lay the foundation for your first book.
With books on technical subjects, be a little personal. Share your story or journey with that topic so readers can better connect to it and you.
For more, check out MF 382.
Irene Wen (MF 383):
Irene Wen is the author of two WIPs, both fantasy novels. Tips for pursuing writing as a career.
Be a reader. The more you read, the more you fuel and inspiration you gain for your writing. All writers are readers.
Treat your writing as a business. Your service or craft is writing books. Treat yourself as both your best employee and the ideal boss you want to work for.
For more, check out MF 383.
Dr. Lori Shemek (MF 384):
Dr. Lori Shemek is the author of several books, centered around developing healthy habits through diet and lifestyle changes to alleviate inflammation. Tips for writing non-fiction books in the health and self-help categories.
Dr. Lori starts with a title, outline, and table of contents before writing. This sets the framework for her books and a roadmap to completion.
Start with form pieces like articles first before taking on a full book. See a book as either a long article or a series of articles. This will help you break down a book into a series of shorter, attainable writing goals. For more on short form pieces as a primer to longer formats, check out MF 377 with Rich Perry.
For more, check out MF 384.
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