Formatting (Ebook Only)

Since I use the blog here more as an advice column for writers, I opened post subjects up and one that was strongly requested was how to format for ebook. To me, it’s one of the easiest things to do, but I guess as I’ve formatted all eight of my books for paperback and ebook, I’ve come to learn how to do it in my sleep.

First, I know you would love to keep all your fancy fonts and maybe you have the chapter headings and title and everything in some font that is cursive and pretty or something amazing that you think defines your book, but when it’s converted to an ebook, none of those fonts hold. They’re all in the plainest fonts you can think of.

– Times New Roman

When I’m formatting an ebook, the first thing I do is CTRL+A and put the entire book in Times New Roman and 12 pt font. This is only because everywhere will convert it anyway and it just makes it easier to read and to distinguish.

– Page Breaks

After the fonts are all the same, I go through and put page breaks at the section dividers. The title and author name should be on it’s on page (page break), the copyright page (page break), dedications (page break), table of contents (page break), and then your chapters start. EACH CHAPTER SHOULD START ON A NEW PAGE! Put a page break at the end of them! This is to guarantee that on the ereader, each chapter starts on a new page.

– Font Sizes

After the above is done, I go through and work on font sizes. I increase and maybe bold the title and author name. I put the copyright page at either 10 pt or 11 pt. I put the “Table of Contents” header at a bold and bigger font (size is ultimately a personal choice, but remember the number)! I then go through and put the chapter headings in the same size and possibly bold and that takes care of your font sizes.

– Spacing

Spacing is next and this is mainly something I do so it looks neat and polished. I put a little bit of space (empty lines) between the chapter headings and the first paragraph of that chapter. Again, this is just something that is a personal choice, especially if you’re OCD like me.

– Indents

I went through this, assuming that you already had indents. If you don’t, it’s the perfect time to insert them. Go back up to chapter one and start at the very first paragraph. Click and hold your left mouse button and highlight just the paragraph. of the first chapter, setting their indents at either 0.25 or 0.5 (again, persnal preference). And do this for each chapter.


 

At the end, you can add a list of your other books, an author photo, bio, an excerpt of another book (put that in the same format as above though), and anything else that you want. Because Amazon changes the page size to fit ereaders, your page size doesn’t matter.

Everything above for formatting is ONLY for Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, iTunes, Draft2Digital, and places like that. IT IS NOT FOR SMASHWORDS! That formatting is more complicated. I know how to format for Smashwords, but I don’t use that site personally.

For Paperback formatting, I would recommend Hearts on Fire Editing.

 

 

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Authors Against Bullying

I know, I know! I’ve been so bad as I’ve been gone again – FOUR DAYS! But I caught something that made me sick and dizzy and eww!

Well, today, besides sleeping and noming on chicken stew, I pulled together with Kate Marie Robbins and Zara Elise Thelms and pulled together the next TWO Authors Against Bullying anthologies! One will be on bullying, but we are also expanding and partnering with another author to bring awareness to another cause – Human Trafficking.

Attached, I have both promo banners for the anthologies and I am proud of all we have achieved with AAB. Our first volume  went as far as #13 in its category! I’m so thankful for all the hard work and dedication people have put into the anthology and while Volume Two is now with our publisher, I hope to see more people participating and sharing the cause!

AAB

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Expanding Word Count

Now, many people ask this question, wondering how some people can write 90,000 words in a book and such and, well, here is my advice to you.

  1. Show – Don’t Tell: When you’re writing, make sure that you’re showing everything to your readers and not just telling them. Saying “Amelia was angry” isn’t exactly showing your readers what’s going on with your character. While your readers are getting what you mean, there is another way to say it. “Amelia’s face became red and her eyes narrowed at the woman who insulted her. With her fists clenched, she held back her retort.” That alone turns three words into twenty-three.
  2. Describe Details: When your character is in a room, describe the room. Describe the weather when appropriate to show how much time has passed. Maybe it was raining in one scene and in the next, maybe you want to say that the pavement is slick and wet and the sky was still riddled with clouds that are overhead. Maybe the room your character is in makes her feel claustrophobic. DESCRIBE IT! You can get away with describing anything, painting the pictures in your reader’s mind.
  3. Include Dialogue: I guess the best way to explain this would be to show an example, but in between dialogue, you could show what else your character is doing because we don’t just sit there while talking, we fidget around, make subtle movements, use your hands, show facial expressions.

“Come on!” Amelia shouted as she waved towards David. The sky overhead cried as there was a light mist falling from the light gray clouds overhead.

“I can’t keep up!” Behind her, Daniel was struggling to keep up with her, running out of breath and slowing down. “Slow down.”

When Amelia paused, she shook her head and turned around, nearly out of breath herself. She bent her knees and placed her hands on them, hoping to be able to fully breathe by the time her boyfriend caught up. Once he got there, he reached out his hand to her.

“Are you ready?” he questioned as he raised his eyebrows, the smile spread over his lips gently.

 


All of this can come into play when expanding your word count and I’m sure there are other ways, but these are the ones that I try to use frequently. Hopefully they help and I will continue to make new posts if I find other ways!

 

Fun Horror Excerpt – Title Needed

So, I did a quick write of about 1,000 words and I’m still not sure where this is going, but there were some people who said that they wanted me to write a little horror included and I hope this either satisfies them for now or leaves them begging for more! I definitely liked stepping out of my comfort zone with even this little bit 🙂


 

Prologue

The rain fell in sheets, the sound of it hitting the pavement and the few ice droplets that were present bounced off. The wind whipped the woman’s hair in every direction, her long, black locks making it nearly impossible to see as thunder sounded and lightening lit up the area. She was waiting for someone that was already late.

Glancing at her watch, she sighed. There was nothing that she could really do to get him here faster, except for the one thing she didn’t want to do. Reaching up, she tied her hair up and waiting as the rain soaked through her tight black jeans, loose black shirt and zipped black jacket. The cloak that was billowing around her was just for appearances as she needed to show who she represented, not that the dark gray seal was visible in the light that was present.

Glancing around, she took in the bridge that she was standing nearby. Wanting to be seen and to have her visitor realize she was alone, she resisted stepping under its safety from the storm. There was a small stream that was running below the bridge that she was standing on the edge of the water. Looking up the small hill towards the edges of the road to her left, she could barely see the outline of her black Bentley sitting next to the guard rail.

With everything that was going on, she knew that the deal needed to be made and it needed to be made quickly. That was why they had sent her. That is why she was now standing in the rain, waiting on him to arrive. Time ticked by slowly as the wind picked up even more, the trees in the distance shifting their weight as they were moved. Once she heard the footsteps behind her, she sighed.

“You’re late,” she spoke quietly, knowing that he would hear her anyway, having exceptional hearing. “You were supposed to be here an hour ago. For the one calling all the shots, you’re not doing a great job.”

She turned around and only saw his shadow, but she knew that would be all that she saw. It had happened before the last time he had threatened all the peace between all the races and all the people, and everyone had bought it. Everyone had essentially, everyone had bowed down and given him what he wanted in return. Now he was back and the woman was stubborn – part of the reason her people had sent her. She wouldn’t bow down for anything.

“Doesn’t matter, does it?” His voice was soft and velvety, something that she could easily see herself begging to hear more of if it was a different situation. She cocked her head and narrowed her eyes, trying to catch a glimpse at his face, but it was useless. The dark hid him well, even if she had extraordinary sight. “Did you bring the stuff?”

She waited before replying because a part of her was scared. She was young and had her entire life ahead of her, but it could all disappear if she told him no. She didn’t have the drug.

“Damnit!” he cursed as he turned ad started walking away from her. When he turned back, it was clear that he was furious. Rushing up to her, he grabbed her shoulders quickly, pushing her against one of the pillars that held up the bridge. As he did so, his own cloak fell, exposing his decomposing face, the flesh slowly peeling off of it, bone and blood present and oozing from different wounds. “I don’t think you understand the severity of it. I need the drug. I need it to survive and if I don’t have it…”

He paused, leaving the woman anticipating the next part of the sentence. It was a good thing that she wasn’t squeamish as she would have shied away, but she didn’t. In fact, she couldn’t tear her eyes away from it. There was a piece right above his eye that was hanging down, brown and clotting blood where it use to be. A part of her wanted to reach up and tear the rest of it off for him, but she doubted that he would appreciate that very much.

“What will happen?” she questioned as she tried to push him back. It was useless though as he pulled her away and then slammed her back against the stone again. She winced as the pain shot up her back, but she tried not to show it on her face.

“What will happen is that this… this disease will be spread and that’s not what you want, is it? Think about it. All the races will be faced with this disease, this affliction and you would have an outbreak on your hands. Is that really what the Elders want?”

He took a step back from her and paced, but she was frightened, keeping against the stone, just in case he decided to attack. She was sure he didn’t know, but she had a dagger strapped beneath her cloak, one with an intricate design on it. It was made especially for her as the hilt was made of gold and the blade was made of the purest sapphire, formed into an unbreakable blade that made the smoothest of cuts.

“You don’t understand what you’re doing, keeping the drug locked up the way that you do…”

“It’s not my call,” she started to reply, but again, he spun around and slithered up to her quickly. She could feel his rancid breath against her cheek and the ooze of the blood as his cheek touched hers as he whispered in her ear.

“That’s where you’re wrong, dear.” Okay, maybe she was starting to feel a little nauseated from everything, holding back the vile that was rising in her throat. “The people control the Elders, just remember that.”

Stepping back, he raised his hands as his eyes bore into hers. “I will give you one week and not a second longer to get me what I need or else. My dearest Ophelia Moriarty.”

Her eyes grew wide as her name slithered off of his tongue. For a moment, there was something in the air, something that wanted her to retreat and find the Elders, telling them everything that had transpired, but the other part left her intrigued as to how he had known it was her.

“Did you really think I wouldn’t figure it out, Princess?” Princess was all but spat out as he rolled his eyes, stepping towards her again. “Turn their heads,” he whispered before he walked past her and back under the bridge.

“And if I can’t convince them?” she called out, thinking that he was already gone. His reply came, quietly and barely audible, but still it was there.

“Then the countless deaths from the affliction will be your problem, not mine.”

(C) Bree Vanderland 2015

Breaking You Mold

When I first started writing, my first book that I released was a Fantasy book and at that moment, I thought that would be all I wrote. I love reading Young Adult books and I love the way that the Fantasy genre pulls me away from real life, making anything possible – literally anything. The thought of magic, elves, dragons, and so much more,gave me relief from the troubles that I had been facing. I read for an escape and I write for the same reason.

But as I grew as a writer, I felt like I would be letting people down if I didn’t take risks, experiment, and pull myself out of my comfort zone. Now, not everyone likes an author who writes more than one genre, but why should you limit yourself? I’m not good at writing things that are horror, but does that mean that I will give up trying?

NO!

Why would I want to limit myself? In my opinion, everyone should experiment and try to push past their comfort zone. On the other hand, why be limited to just one genre?

Personally, after I published my first book, the ones that soon followed were also all fantasy book, which was why I considered it the only thing that I would write. But that turned out not to be true. After a few anti-bullying short stories that I put out there, I worked more into my ideas and Tempting Fate was thought of – a hot and steamy romance that I wrote and will be publishing on March 27th under the name Brianna Vanderland (oh, yeah, I’m actually using my birth name)! But after that, my thoughts also progressed and I’ve been working on Goddess Becoming, a more mature Fantasy book that has things twisted all around with some science fiction thrown in (or is it science fiction with some fantasy tossed in… hmm…). Anyway, the thing is that I have LOVED stepping out of the zone that I originally set myself in. I have even begun planning a paranormal book that has to do with someone being haunted!

The thing is, I think stretching myself and testing the waters on all of these new books and genres have also helped me improve my writing. It has taken me to places I couldn’t even dream of and many people say that they all love everything that I have put out and then there are some who don’t like any of it (which is so not my problem, just saying). I guess the thing is that I’m still looking for the genre that I fit in and all of my writing is only for me. I don’t write for other people – I write for me. If other people just happen to like it then I am thankful and I am glad that I have those people in my life who support me with it.

I’m guessing that my main thing here is to write for yourself and if you want to try something new, go for it! Don’t confine yourself and make yourself think that you have to write in one genre or you have to fit in somewhere. It’s okay to stick out and to be whomever you want to be!

Callie C. Colbert

Born and raised in Kansas, Callie C. Colbert developed an obsessive love for writing as a child. That obsession has continued throughout her life, leading her to write poetry, song lyrics, short stories, books, and a novel.

Callie is a published poet and has also sold the rights to some of her song lyrics. She has earned awards for other writing ventures, and has also written for Yahoo Voices. Her song lyrics and poetry are available for purchase.

During an interview, Callie was asked how and why she picked the ‘Christian-paranormal’ genre, as it appears to be an oxymoron. She responded, “I didn’t pick the genre. It picked me.”

She currently has three books available on Amazon: ‘Graze the Night’ (Psychological/paranormal thriller), ‘The Tibuens: Lexie’s Journey, Book I’ (Christian-paranormal), and ‘Threads of Reality: Lexie’s Journey, Book II’ (Christian-paranormal/horror).
All three books will be available in paperback at a later date.

When she isn’t working in home health or writing, Callie enjoys spending time with her family and friends. Some of her hobbies include reading, cooking, crafting, and going for long rides in the country. Her favorite movie genres are horror, the paranormal, and psychological thrillers. She also likes to watch anything in the Christian and spiritual realm.

Callie lives by the philosophy “God first, family and friends second, and writing third. Everything else will fall into place.” She adds, “writing is not only a gift, it’s a privilege. If I can touch even one person with my words, then I have done what I set out to do.”

 

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AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE & BOOKS

Working, Working, Working…

So, I would say that unless you’re a big time author who has been on the bestsellers list multiple times, you probably have a day job and when you get home, writing or editing, or formatting is the LAST thing that is on your mind. If you’re anything like me, sleep is the first thing you want to do – either that or eat.

Well, I can say that I’ve been there, I am right now, and it does suck. It gets in the way of everything – seriously, it’s like a cat, especially mine, who always like to sleep on my laptop whenever I want to write or something like that. But I can’t because there’s so much that I need to do for other things, other than writing.

So, my opinion is to keep your head up. If writing is what you want to do, then wait it out. When you right, well, before you write – gather your thoughts so you can crank out as many words as you can!

New Author Friends

So, lately, I’ve been trying out some new promotional methods, trying to find one that suits me. I’m not one for shoving my book down their throat telling them that it’s the best thing since sliced bread and all that and well, posting in all different Facebook groups like some people do is also annoying to the point where it clogs up some peoples notifications and I just really don’t know much in the promotion area.

What I do know is that there is a small group that has been set up for a few authors to join to promote each other and well, I have to give a shout out to them. They are all amazing. Click their names below to be taken to their author pages! They seriously are amazing people and amazing authors 🙂

Annelle Willard
A.W. Willard
Ashley Gustavson
Brooke Warra
Heather Kirchhoff
H.R. Lutz
Kate Marie Robbins
Konstanz Silverbow
Lainy Bradshaw
Madison Sevier
Rebecca Jaycox
S.L. Dearing
Sara Nelson
Yvonne Anderson

They are all seriously amazing and I hope you like them too! On top of all of them, please don’t forget to like my own author pages!

Bree Vanderland
Brianna Vanderland

Setting a To-Do List

So, sometimes it seems that things are awry and you just don’t know where to begin. For example, today, I had a lot to do and it was all over the place. I needed to call work, call Verizon, format Dance with Darkness, get that book cover finished and so much more. What really helped me today was setting a To Do list. It helped me stay organized. I had a main list and then a more detailed list. Well, here’s how my day went –

First, I needed to call Verizon about something personal to do with our bill (not that you care much about all that) and then I needed to call work to confirm the next day I work and everything like that. After that was taken care of, I began working on my book things!

Well, for me it was pretty simple today, it was just tedious work like formatting a paperback book – making sure the images were perfect that I inserted (see the image below) and then getting an e-book formatted for it and uploading it onto many different sites. I did make a list, only so I wouldn’t lose my head, even though a list for this wasn’t really needed.

13

Now, while I didn’t necessarily need a list, I still made one, only to keep everything organized. I would highly recommend keeping this in practice for the future for anyone and everyone who has a list of things they need to do for their books! It’s definitely by far the best solution I have tried.

Getting Involved

When you’re starting to write your first book, you’re probably very lost. The indie author community is HUGE – literally – containing thousands of authors who self publish and do a lot of things on their own, but that’s nothing to worry about. Most of the authors I have come in contact with are rather friendly and are more than willing to answer any questions you have.

How do you get your foot in the door?

That was my first question when I started writing. I was working on a book that was supposed to be a trilogy – except I have had so many computer issues that it didn’t turn out that way – and you’re at a loss. Well, I hope my blog posts can help you start to find your way, but ultimately, you need to work on getting some people on your friends list that are also involved.

For me, it kind of fell into place. I read a book by Cameo Renae and I happened to stumble across her personal profile, so I friended her. She happened to be so sweet and kind and helpful with answering my questions and those she couldn’t answer, she pointed me in the direction of someone who could help by answering – and those people were more than willing to answer as well.

My friends list grew and even now, I’m at about 1,600 friends and most of them are a part of the indie community. I’m not ashamed of this (and I know that employers will be able to look at that and see it and question why I have so many friends, but I don’t care. I’m happy to have gotten to speak with each and every person on my friends list). Well, everyone on my friends list is special and someone that needed my help or I needed theirs. Either way, they are people that I can count on because they have been where I have been or they are on their way to becoming a success.

Anyway, the thing isn’t just to fill your friends list, but actually create a circle of author friends. For me, it’s simple. My author friends consist of Kate Marie Robbins, Zara Elise Thelms, Isabella Tredway, JE Feldman, Loki Jackson, and a few others that I try to talk to at least every other day (some of them I talk to nonstop because they are so amazing and we just “click”, you know?). When everything seems to be going wrong or my characters won’t talk to me, I can always count not only on their opinion, but for them to distract me if that’s what I need. I hope they know that they can count on me for the same thing!

I view that as getting involved, but not only that. I try to like and participate in as many events for cover reveals and releases as possible, a lot of the times, donating something that is mine (usually a few ebooks) for giveaways to help make their parties a success. Because that is what we’re here for!

In order for the indie community to keep turning, we have to help out with each other. There are many groups on Facebook for you to promote your books and I would also recommend joining quite a few of them. That way, you also get to see every one else’s books (that is, if you’re interested because I know a lot of people that skip over them. I personally try to go through them and see if any are in the genre that I like to read and occasionally find some that I end up loving).

Now, getting involved will all pan out into helping you with marketing techniques. I know that I have a street team consisting of some of my favorite authors and people who love what I write that help me promote my books and help push along my ideas. They are also great for encouragement.

 

STAY TUNED – POSTS COMING UP:

– Formatting Help
– Marketing Strategy
– Favorite Authors

Quick Write

Sometimes taking a break from what you’re working on to do a quick writing sprint to work on something else gives your mind a break. I did that today and I loved it. Here’s what I wrote in about 20 minutes. I’m thinking the start of a new story! Tell me what you think then take a break and write for yourself – write anything – for 20 minutes straight!


 

Prologue

“Emily!”

She could hear him call out her name, but still she didn’t turn around. She continued running through the field that was located on the outskirts of her hometown. The long stalks of wheat brushed against her legs as her dress flowed behind her. While she was running, she was laughing, the sweet sound rising through the night and over the empty air, filling it with something melodic.

“Catch me if you can!” nineteen year old Emily Steele shouted back toward the young man behind her. For years, Emily had been chasing Chase Jones, trying to get him to go out with her and here he was, chasing her through a field on their first date, trying to catch up with her. “Come on!”

A quietness fell over the pair except for the heavy breathing that they were both giving out. The closer she got to the creek, the louder the rushing water became and soon, she couldn’t hear Chase behind her. She didn’t stop to think, thinking that it was all a part of the game that they were playing. Continuing down, she weaved around the trees that were starting to appear, heading to the creek.

After a moment, she had reached the edge of the creek, the terrain changing to small pebbles and mud that was a result of the water nearby. Taking a few more steps, she placed her feet in the water, not bothering to take off her shoes since she was barefoot. Closing her eyes, she savored the moment, loving the feeling of the cool water against her skin. Emily turned around, waiting for Chase to come through the trees.

“Chase?” she called out, but there was no reply. There was only silence and the hoot of an owl, perched overhead. “Chase? Where are you? This isn’t funny anymore.”

She waited another few minutes, allowing the water to wash away her anxiousness, but still, she was curious about what was taking him so long. Emily stepped out of the water and headed back the way she came, not really wanting to look or her date as she was now in a bad mood and the bright moon was now hidden behind clouds, making the world around her darker and harder to see.

“Chase, please,” she all but begged. “Where are you?”

Emily started back to the field, the stalks billowing lightly in the breeze. There was no sign of Chase and she honestly thought that he had just left her here, all alone, at two in the morning.

“Great,” she muttered as she leaned against one of the trees that were at the edge of the field, glancing over the field at the lights from the town. There weren’t many on and the few that were on she knew were only street lamps, ones that stayed on from six at night until about eight the next morning. There was one flickering in the distance that was giving her a headache.

Turning away, she stood straight and let out a deep breath, deciding to head back in town. She considered looking for Chase, but then thought that it wouldn’t have been worth it. She thought that if he left her out here alone that he wasn’t worth it and there went years of chasing after him.

Heading back to the town, she knew that the quickest way was through the field and over the interstate roads that hardly anyone travelled over. Still, there was something about walking there alone that scared her, even at nineteen years old. Every day on the news, she heard about bad things that happened to people, but never here. Never in the small town of Royal Lakes.

Heading back, she thought about her life and where she wanted it to go, but she knew that even though she was nineteen, she had her entire life to figure out what she wanted to be. Fresh out of high school last year, she had so many plans that she wanted to pursue, but all of that changed just by tripping and falling over one thing.

Once she hit the ground, she winced, trying to get a tiny stone that had managed to find its way far from the creek to the middle of the field out of the palm of her hand. After that was done, she turned her head to look at the large object that she had tripped over and when it finally clicked, she screamed.

Chase Jones was lying on the ground of the field, with blood trickling from a wound on his head. His brown eyes were open and looking straight at her as his left cheek was pressed against the dirt of the ground. There he was, lying dead in the middle of the pathway that ran through the field leading from the town to the creek.

That was when Emily Steele’s entire life changed.

 

(C) Brianna Vanderland 2015

Blog on Blog

Yes – my topic for today is about having a blog – while I’m on my blog. Makes sense, right?

Well, I’ve recently started this blog and well, I honestly didn’t think that I would keep up with it since I have had so many in the past and well, let’s just say that I’ve let some of them fall through and I’ve eventually ended up deleting so many of them. But this one is a part of my author website, so I guess I could just delete the one feature and be done with it, but I want to try. I’m bad at keeping up with things, but I seem to be doing  okay for now.

Anyway, what I’m here to talk about today are the pros and cons of blogging – keeping a blog whether it be for personal reasons or as a business tactic, it can still be helpful.

Competition –

To start with, if you look, there are many reasons not to blog. For one, there’s a lot of competition in it – so many people have blogs about so many topics that it would no doubt be hard not to be jealous of so many others and their success. My advice to you is to push that out of your mind and focus on yours and their happiness with what they are doing. If they reach many people and people like them, it’s GREAT news to have anything successful going on. As a writer, you meet so many people who write and to be successful, you kind of have to have your own style and voice,  something that is unique, otherwise it gets lost in the midst of thousands, if not millions of others.  The thing is that many people look at the “so-called” rules of blogging and think that it’s too much work, when in fact, there is no wrong way to blog.

Frequency of Posts –

Somewhere I remember reading that someone said before that in order too be successful, you should post three or more posts a week and it would help your readings and help your blog become more successful with followers and whatnot, but let’s think about it. Three posts a week equals three times 52 and that is 156 posts in a year! That is a lot of posts and while I might be good at keeping up with the posts now, I feel like at this rate, I will eventually run out of things to talk about. I will run out of decent posts, posts that contain good information for all of you readers. But who knows – maybe one of you is or will be more successful at this blogging thing than I am and will find something else to write about other than just this. I’m considering posting some other things that aren’t just about my books to expand, but who knows. Think about it.

Time Sucker –

I will admit right now that blogging is a time sucker – it takes time away from other things just so you can make a post to other people. You could spend hours in front of a computer screen (and us authors already do that anyway, but maybe this is distracting you from actually writing), but still, there are some pros to blogging.

Improving Writing –

For one, it’s been said that while blogging, you can improve your writing for both fiction and nonfiction. I can say that while I’ve been keeping this blog, I’ve learned to type a little faster and gather my thoughts while I’m typing so I know what I’m going to try to be saying a few sentences in front of where I am. With that being said, it helped me become better, faster, and more confident. Eventually, you will become a well-rounded writer!

Author Platform – 

While keeping a blog, it could help you build on your author platform as people come in and view it, but you also get to meet so many people like you as well (refer to blog post about author pages). Because of this, it could help get your name out and about and get people talking.

Spread Your Creative Wings –

Before I started blogging, I had no idea whether or not I had something to say. I felt like I would run out of topics and it’s probably true. I will eventually run out of things to say, but I know that when that happens, I will approach it like writer’s block (see blog post on writer’s block) and I will overcome it, finding something else to write about, but for now, I am approaching it as if it’s all for other people, help, advice, a way to get started.

 

Now, I don’t know about you, but to me, as someone who is looking to improve as an author, the pros outweigh the cons. Who knows! Maybe something like this would help you publish a nonfiction book or something like that! Surely it wouldn’t be too difficult to take your blog posts and make it into a book that others would find interesting!

I hope that you find this post useful and there will be more coming soon! Thank you for your patience while I was doing some research and getting this post up!

For ideas on blog posts, take a look at Julie Jarnagin’s 101 Blog Post Ideas!

Feel free to leave comments on your thoughts! What blogging myth have you debunked?

Minimizing Distractions

As we’re writing, there are many things that would pull you away from actually writing – I’m someone guilty of spending way more time on Facebook and on their games than writing or paying more attention to whatever is on netflix at the time. I’m so guilty of all of the above, but when you really want to get cranking on that word count, try a different approach.

When I’m really trying to bust out some more words to meet a goal that I’ve set I make sure I’m in a rather peaceful place (like that exists for some of us) or as peaceful of a place that I can find. Instead of turning on the television or opening facebook, I open my music player (usually spotify, but youtube and everything like that works as well), and put on something soft and quiet – for me, it’s usually classical piano music or something epic that has many highs and lows as far as trying to emote and something WITHOUT WORDS (I don’t even know, but when trying to listen to something with words while writing, I end up writing what is spoken to me instead of what is in my mind). I use the tone and vibe the music gives me while writing and it actually helps me personally by improving my writing as far as emoting goes.

Now, I know the urges to check your inbox or check your facebook are strong, but don’t give in to them. Don’t give in to any of it! Keep them all closed and focus on the words before you and most of all, listen to your characters.

I know that this won’t help everyone, but all I’m suggesting is to try it at least once before you bash it! If I can find at least one other person this helps, then my goal would have been accomplished!

 

Now, what in the hell are you doing reading this? Turn off the internet and get to writing!

Writing with Emotions

So many people have told me that they can’t write because something happens and their emotions take over and they just can’t – their boyfriend/girlfriend broke up with them, someone passed away, job promotion where they’re too excited, or they get distracted. If you’re the last one, please wait until the next blog post is uploaded which will be all about dealing with distractions!

Now, I’ve been in the same position! I’ve had my share of the emotional roller coaster, riding it on its ups and downs, but do something with it. I’m not trying to come across as someone who is saying, “oh, let’s ignore everything and we will write instead of going to a funeral or being with someone who is sick,” but take those emotions and make something with it once you have the opportunity to sit at a computer.

Write it down – write anything down and remember the way that you feel because it can make your writing ten times better as the reader would be able to connect with you if it was something that they had felt as well. This is an important part about being a writer – making someone else feel what you feel and want what you want. Use it to your advantage because if you write while you’re feeling emotional – even if you don’t want to – it will help you beyond belief and will help people want more of whatever you’re writing. Use the emotions as your inspiration and mold them beyond that.

Creating an Author Page/Blog

When I first started in the indie author community, I had no idea what I was doing. I was lost other than writing – something I knew that I loved. Well, there’s a question that haunts many people that are just starting out.

“I’m not published, but should I create an author page/blog?”

In my opinion – YES!

I made mine long before I was published and it helped me a lot. It helped people find out who I was and what I wrote about before I was published and it helped get people interested. It was also a place that I could use to ask fans questions and get more involved in the community. Even now, I use it to stay in touch with people and to help fellow authors with promotions that they need help with.

Not everyone will agree with this, I know. There are many who believe you should only make one once you publish something, but that’s not what the indie community is about – it’s about supporting each other whether someone is working on writing a book or promoting a published one.