life lessons

DIYDay Lesson 18: How NOT To Write

Write

When I began this series with the very first post, I told myself (and all of you) I would never tell you how to write. It’s not for me to say; I have been writing something or other since I could hold a pen in my hand, which gives me roughly 22 years of experience on the subject, and I still don’t feel qualified to give advice.

I have, however, received a lot of advice on writing, much of it unsolicited, some of it useful. Lately I have seen a lot of posts by bloggers, authors, etc. containing lists of rules for writing a successful novel. Rules for avoiding elements, things that are overdone in writing, things new writers do wrong… you name it, and there is probably a list out there for it.  It’s a thing now, people want to know the secret. How did you do it? How did you get so famous? What do I need to do to break through into the NY Times Best Sellers list? TELL ME!

I won’t tell you. Mostly because I haven’t done it myself yet, but also because I believe all those lists and rules are a lot of snake oil. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t. In the end, we’re the ones who decide the outcome. We’re the ones holding the pen. All the rules and guidelines in the universe won’t make your story stand out if you don’t have a good story to tell. They might even smother your book, diminish its potential if they make you cut out what makes your story unique. Because that is what rules do: create cookie cutter novels for public consumption.

Here’s how I approach writing:

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Fairy Tales (or why my childhood was better than your childhood)

Christmas in my family is a time of re-watching old movies, mostly fairy tales, from the home country. See, when I was growing up across the pond in Europe, Disney movies were picture books with accompanying audio tapes (one side in English and the other in my home language translation). I was therefore never indoctrinated in the magic that is Disney, and though I love it now, I have to say I love my own childhood fairy tales more. Here is why:

DIYDay Lesson 16: Taking Care Of Business: Getting A Book Published

Introduction

Time is moneyThis lesson is one every author should know. We are artists at heart, which means we don’t often think about the business side of writing, but believe me, there is one. To us, our books may be about the art, but to everyone else behind the curtain they’re about numbers. To them it’s as much about how you market yourself as it is about how well you write, and that is where a lot of writers (myself included!) stumble. We expect others to have the same passion for our stories we do. Unfortunately, that is not the case.

Today I want to share what I’ve learned throughout the submission/publishing process in the hopes it will open some eyes and help some authors out. Fair warning ahead of time, it’s going to be a long post, but I think well-worth reading.

So let’s say you finished a book and are looking to get it out there for the enjoyment of the world. You now have a product. What do you do next? You should be thinking about two things: Strategy and Execution.

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DIYday Lesson 7: Stocks and Resources

Lesson 7: Stocks and Resources

Images, Fonts, Music and Videos, Application Resources. Just because you found it on the internet doesn’t mean you can use it however you want. Check the licenses and use requirements and when in doubt contact the creator before making something public.