5 Simple Steps to Writing a Book by Cheryl Holloway

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On this blog, I “Pay it Forward” to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too “Pay It Forward” to any other author.                                              ~ Cheryl Holloway

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Cheryl Holloway Asks, “Have You Met Your Writing Goals for 2017?”

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“Have You Met Your Writing Goals for 2017?”

Oh, no. You didn’t get that book written. And…you didn’t finish NaNoWriMo. You’ve fallen behind, and now, you’re beating yourself up…bad!

I know, you’re saying, “I missed my writing goals. I have no motivation. I can’t stay on a writing routine. Besides, it’s almost the end of the year. Why bother? I will do better next year.”

But…Why wait? Let’s get started now and you’ll be ahead of the writing game. You’ll be ready for those 2018 Writing Goals. No more excuses!

Three Simple Tips:

  1. Focus on 1 or 2 Writing Goals.
  2. Create a Simple Action Plan.
  3. Reward Yourself when you Finish a Weekly Goal.

My Suggestion: Instead of writing the whole book, try writing the outline for the book and maybe just writing the first chapter by December 31st with weekly goals that are doable. The rewards can be simple also, like buying that writing book at the used bookstore or a café latte at Starbucks ®.

Be grateful and thankful for what little progress you’ve made. After all, these are baby steps towards making your big goal happen!

Another Simple Tip to Stay on Track:

I would also suggest finding a writing buddy, who you are accountable to them and they are accountable to you. You will keep each other on track for your overall writing goals.

Get started today, don’t wait until January 1st!

If you like this blog post, share it with your friends. 🙂

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On this blog, I “Pay it Forward” to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too “Pay It Forward” to any other author.                                              ~ Cheryl Holloway

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Cheryl Holloway Suggests How to Improve Your Work In Progress

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What should you do to improve your Work In Progress (WIP) after you’ve written the first draft?

Many writers would argue that the hardest part of writing is the first draft, while other writers say it is developing that work in progress. I agree with the later. With NaNoWriMo coming in a few hours, by the end of November you will have completed your first draft of 50,000 words.  And many new or beginning writers want to know what’s next?

Well, here is my suggestion. Try to find new ways to express yourself and your writing. 

So, here are three action steps—they’re not easy, but they are doable:

  1. Have Action Steps for yourself, as the writer

Read and re-read your draft

Then, brainstorm some ideas to make it a better story/novel

  1. Have Action Steps for improving your work

Address a particular aspect of the WIP, such as imagining a love scene; re-imagining the plot; creating enough conflict to keep the reader turning the pages; creating those love/hate characters; creating emotional scenes where readers laugh or cry; and/or creating dialogue that reels readers right into the book.

  1. Have Action Steps for your second draft

Invite feedback from others, such as writer friends, beta-readers and personal friends 

Let me know if these suggestions help you in writing your second draft.

If you like this blog post, share it with your friends  🙂

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Don’t Keep this Blog a Secret…Tell Your Friends about it!

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Subscribe to my blog because I share great books with wonderful readers all over the globe!

   

On this blog, I “Pay it Forward” to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too “Pay It Forward” to any other author.                                              ~ Cheryl Holloway

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Six Things You Need to Make Your Book a Best Seller by Cheryl Holloway

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Six Things You Need to Make Your Book a Best Seller

These techniques will work on any kind of book: fiction: romance, mystery, sci-fi, urban fantasy, thriller, etc.; or non-fiction: business or literary work. Any writer can implement these techniques no matter where you are in your writing process, from the first draft to the polished final draft.

  1. A Well-written Book
  2. A Positive Attitude
  3. Inspiration
  4. Motivation
  5. Determination
  6. Target Audience

A Well-written Book – Tell a wonderful story to make readers love you (Fiction). Provide useful information that readers can use (Non-fiction).

Hint: Pull on their emotions—make them laugh or make them cry.

A Positive Attitude – Do not underestimate the power of positive thinking when it comes to your writing. Learn and know your craft by building and enhancing your skills and developing your resources. As a writer, you must build and maintain a positive attitude. Don’t worry about rejections or negative feedback.

Hint: Everyone is not going to like your book.

Inspiration (definition) – the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative (such as writing). Find your inspiration and let it lead you on to better writing. It will also lead you from being a writer to being an author. What inspires most people is “an ordinary person who has done an extraordinary thing.”

Hint: Whether your inspiration is someone or something; big or small; let it lead you on to better writing.

Motivation – According to Writer’s Digest magazine, “Writing takes commitment, self-discipline, and desire.” My passion for writing is my motivation. What’s yours?

Hint: Find a quote about writing and put it near your PC or laptop where you can always glance at it.

My Two Favorite Quotes: 1) I live in my own little world. But it’s okay…they know me here! 2) If there is a book you want to read but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it. Toni Morrison

Determination (definition) – a firmness of purpose; resoluteness. As a writer with a mission, you need an unflinching determination. You have goals and deadlines to meet—go for it.

Hint: Don’t give up! No matter what.

Target Audience – The Bible is the only book that is for everyone (and some people will question that). Know who should read your book: What type of people? (Christians, entrepreneurs, etc.) What type of groups? (shoppers, smokers, children, baby boomers, young adults, etc.) What other books do they read? (romance, sci-fi, urban, etc.) Know their demographics: age, income, education, race, gender, marital status, and/or occupation

Hint: Learn as much about your target audience as possible.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am determined to make one of my books a best seller. I promote my books each and every day. It’s only a matter of time for me…how about you?

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On this blog, I “Pay it Forward” to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too “Pay It Forward” to any other author.                                              ~ Cheryl Holloway

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Questions? Comments? Interviews? Contact :

AuthorCherylHolloway@gmail.com or Cheryl@CherylHolloway.net

Cheryl Holloway’s Advice for Developing Good Writing Habits

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Did you know that 82% of the people say that they want to write a book, but only 2% actually write a book?

I am an Accountability Writing Coach and today, we are discussing advice that I give to my clients and the students in my Creative Writing Classes.

  1. Be A Winner When Setting Your Goals

You must set goals you can easily achieve. I set weekly goals.

Start out with a simple goal: Within One Week I will… Example: Within One Week, I will write the outline for my fiction book.

As you progress you can make bigger, smarter goals. Years ago, I learned about S.M.A.R.T. Goals. (I can’t remember who to give the credit to, but I didn’t come up with this idea.) These goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Bound. Example of a SMART Goal: I will write the first chapter of book title with 1,500 words by December 15, 2017.

You want to be successful in reaching your writing goals. I would rather that you write 250 words a day and reach your goal, than strive for 1,000 words a day and never reach your goal. Now, if you write 479 words today and only 251 words tomorrow that is okay, because you still reached your daily goal of 250 words. Note: I advise you not to end your writing session until you have achieved your goal. And that is why a smaller goal is better than a big/fast goal…like writing a book in 30 days. Yes, it can be done, but are you the one to do it.

Remember: A successful author set goals (and deadlines-another blog post).

  1. Be Diligent in Managing Your Writing Time

Did you know that when you write something down, you are 42% more likely to make it happen?

Ask yourself: How often will I write? How long will I write? And then write your goals down.

You must be very specific with yourself about the time you will commit to writing, especially if you want to go from a writer to an author. You must write on a regular schedule—write every day at the same time. Whether it is early morning, late night, or all day, the key is to be consistent in your daily writing. If you need help, keep a chart of daily writing times.

Remember: Writers write.

Month Day Word Goal Words Written
August 1 250 250
2 250 593
3 250 649
4 250 255
5 250 407
6 250 1,528
7 250 1,751

3. Be a Finisher and Complete Your Draft

Ask yourself. What type of writer am I? Am I a pantser? Am I a planner?

A pantser makes the story up as they go along. A planner plots the story, usually with an outline.

Regardless of what type of writer you are, you need to completely finish writing the entire first draft, before you start self-editing!

Remember: A carpenter doesn’t polish the table before he attaches the legs.

Every writer wants to become a successful author.

  

Remember: Alice Walker, Walter Mosley, Danielle Steel, James Patterson, Nora Roberts and Stephen King were not an overnight success—it took years for them to reach that status.

I hope this short blog post helped you better understand developing good writing habits.

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On this blog, I “Pay it Forward” to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too “Pay It Forward” to any other author.                                              ~ Cheryl Holloway

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Five Essentials of An Author Website by Cheryl Holloway

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Five Essentials of An Author Website

Since I wrote the last article on Author Websites, many authors have written me and asked the question, ‘What Are The Essentials of An Author Website?’ So, today, I’m going to answer that question to the best of my ability.

  1. Think About the future of your website

Think ‘Big’ and act like you’re already famous. I can’t remember who said this, but the idea stuck in my head.  I know, as a new author, you may be on a limited budget, but think about the future. Do not limit the design. I suggest getting a website with yourauthorname.com or if someone has your domain name, get yourauthorname.net (like I did).

You can also use a free domain, such as yourname.wordpress.com. Or use a free website, such as wix.com

I suggest that most writers do as I did and do it right from the beginning by hiring a web designer and put your best foot forward. Remember, you only get one first impression. I advise you to have one page done right and you can expand it later, once you start selling books. Brand yourself and make your website and blog look alike, so readers can recognize you.  All of this means something to the reader—you look consistent and you look professional.

  1. Your Book Cover is Extremely Important

Make sure your book cover is done by a professional graphic designer. Do not try to do it yourself, unless you are a graphic designer. The cover will define your brand as an author. It will be the primary visual brand for your readers to identify you. You must put your professional foot forward. Do not ask your niece, nephew or grandson to design it.  Pay hard-earned money to have your book cover designed. There is no exception to this rule!

  1. Make Sure Your Website is Mobile Friendly

Today, most people use their phone to google an author, then they check out your website on their laptop. A few readers may even use their PC, but be prepared and make sure that your website looks good on any of their devices. Check mine out. This isn’t hard to do for a professional web designer, and they can do it fast. So, once again, get it done right!

  1. Your Author Website is not a Catch-all

Your website should target only readers of your books. Do not mix your passion for crocheting with your books. Get a separate website for your crocheting. So, your author website needs to remain true to your goal—your books and nothing else.

The only exception to this is if you write in two very different genres, such as Mystery/Thriller and Romance, or if you write under two different pen names, then you will need two separate websites. Of course, you can always provide a link between the two websites. Keep your author website just that—an author website—preferably for one genre.

  1. Your Author Website is there to Connect with Your Readers

This author website says it all.

The main purpose of your Author Website is to connect with your Reader Fans. Do I need to repeat that? The main purpose of your Author Website is to connect with your Reader Fans.

First and foremost, your Reader Fans need a way to contact you. I have my email address pasted all over my website and my blog. You can easily contact me with my easy author email address. AuthorCherylHolloway@gmail.com Do not use cute email addresses, such as. Pookie52190@yahoo.com or Twinkletoes15@hotmail.com. Your readers are not going to remember the cute email address. Personally, my pet peeve is a website where I send the author an email, never knowing whether they will answer it in the next 90 days or not. I suggest using an email address that the Reader Fan can easily contact  you. Use one that you will check at least every 2 days. You can always say that you are in the middle of a big re-write and will get back to them in one week, but do so. Remember, your readers are your bread and butter. Treat them like family (or better!).

Second, you need to be able to contact your Reader Fans when you release your next book. You can contact them and tell about your New Book Launch. Better yet, you can send them a free or reduced price book and solicit book reviews on Book Launch Day. Most of the Reader Fans will buy your new book and those are easy sales that you made with just a few emails. You can sell hundreds of books this way. Plus, book sales and book reviews on Book Launch Day push you up on Amazon’s Bestseller List. This is a win-win situation.

And last, but not least, you don’t need to be a social media junkie to have a successful author website. Your author website can connect you to social media by having a link to your Facebook page and your Twitter page. You can make your website sharable to both Facebook and Twitter.

So, that’s my take on the five essentials of an Author website. Let me know what you think about the topic.

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On this blog, I “Pay it Forward” to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too “Pay It Forward” to any other author.                                              ~ Cheryl Holloway

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Cheryl Holloway Says, “An Author Website is Your Billboard to the World!”

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A Billboard is For Everyone to See What You Have to Say!

An Author Website is Your Billboard to the World!

If you are an author who is serious about your writing career, especially about making it a business and writing more than one book, then you need a website, so you can keep in touch with your readers and they can keep in touch with you. So, if you are a serious author, there is a requirement for you to have a website, because it is your billboard to the world!

Even in this age of social media, having a website is really very important to an author. Yes, having a website is one of the key ways readers can find out about new books by an author. Facebook and Twitter accounts help readers find an author, but in terms of new book discovery, author websites are much more influential and provide author credibility.

Nowadays, if you want to find an author, readers will usually just google their name. When you type in the author name, his or her website is the first thing that pops up. The first result in a Google search is reason enough to have an author website.

This visibility is priceless!

Having your own author website also gives you the opportunity to capture reader’s name and email address, so you can begin building your mailing list for future book releases or to build a newsletter list. The mailing list is extremely important for any author, new or established.  Readers who give you their name and email address are telling you that they are interested in you as an author and want to read your books.

If you have an author website, you can tell your readers facts about yourself that they may be interested in, which are not included in your bio. This creates a bond and friendship between the author and the reader. Today, many readers want connectivity with authors who write books that they love and cherish.

In a future blog post, I will share more information on an author website—a free website versus a paid website. Also, I will share more information on an author website with or without a blog connected to the website.

Just a thought…Authors Need A Website.

Let me know what you think about this topic.

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On this blog, I “Pay it Forward” to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too “Pay It Forward” to any other author.                                              ~ Cheryl Holloway

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Cheryl Holloway’s Best Writing Tip and Best Writing Advice…Ever!

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Cheryl Holloway’s Best Writing Tip Ever!

If you write 1 page a day (approximately 250 words) for one year, you will have more than enough pages (365) and words (91,250) for a book.

How many days will you spend writing in 2017?

Cheryl Holloway’s Best Writing Advice Ever!

There are 525,600 minutes in a year. If you write 60 minutes (1 hour) a day for 365 days, you will have written for 21,900 minutes

How many minutes will you spend writing in 2017?

My 2017 Wish for You “is you will find the time to write the book you were meant to write during 2017. You can go from being a writer to being an author.

You can make 2017 your best writing year, EVER!”

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On this blog, I “Pay it Forward” to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too “Pay It Forward” to any other author.                                              ~ Cheryl Holloway

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