Hello, my name is Ana. Welcome to my blog! I started this blog to motivate myself to write every day. I embarked on a writing journey to find out all I could about the writing world. There are a lot of techniques and ways to write. However, I enjoy writing because it allows me to share my feelings, experiences, inspirational/motivational things, personal interest stories, as well as writing information, with others. My goal is to write a daily devotional/journal. I am a Christian and have discovered that faith is never losing hope. I welcome your feedback and anything you would like to share. Thank you for visiting.
It's done! After more challenges than I could possibly enumerate here, my book is finally finished. Called 8 1/2 Steps to Writing Faster, Better, the book is designed to give you a system for writing.
Why is having a system better than, say, just sitting at the computer and typing? Well, for one thing, a system will save you time. Lots of time. For another it will lead to a better result. Cleaner, crisper, more compelling copy. And both of these factors will prevent oodles of frustration -- making writing more of a pleasure and less of a chore.
So if I'm such a smarty-pants, why didn't I get my book done faster, you ask? Fair question. Turns out that producing a book is infinitely more complicated than writing one. So, looking at all aspects of the process, let me tell you the five book-writing secrets I learned....
1) Have a daily writing goal. Like you, I'm a busy person. I write this weekly newsletter; I juggle many clients with wildly different needs and multiple deadlines; and I have a busy household with three kids. I'm not exactly wallowing in spare time. Finally, I realized the book would never get written if I didn't treat it like exercise. In other words, I made it a daily goal. Some days I measured the goal in minutes (e.g.: write for 30 minutes), on other days I measured it in words ( e.g.: write 500 words.) But so help me I stuck with it like Clint Eastwood (Million Dollar Baby) was my trainer.
2) Separate the writing from the editing -- but don't leave the editing till the end. Refusing to edit while I write is one of my core principles. (In fact, it's one of the key features of my system.) But if you're going to tackle a book, I discovered it's best not to leave all the editing until the end. The scale of a book is just too big for that. For my next book (yeah, it's like childbirth -- you forget the pain right away), I'll do some writing every morning and some editing every afternoon. To ensure I have enough "distance" from the work, I'll edit material only when it's several weeks old.
3) Be aware that writing is the easy part -- the hard part is everything else. I decided to be my own publisher so I could sell the book exclusively through my website. I definitely wanted that kind of control -- but it meant I had to become an instant expert on everything. So after writing the book I then had to shepherd it through design, printing and sales. I can now talk for hours about the merits of the typeface American Typewriter vs. American Typewriter Condensed, about the price-points of various print-on-demand publishers and about different kinds of shopping carts. Writing was a piece of cake compared to that.
4) Be incredibly organized. I'm an organizational zealot who, on a good day, could give Martha Stewart a run for her money. But even I found it a challenge to keep all the bits and pieces of a book together. With dozens of emails to suppliers flying back and forth, graphic files hiding in different folders and multiple versions of the book floating through cyberspace, it was extra tough to keep everything in order. (Next time I'll set up a stricter filing system beforehand.)
5) Accept that it takes a village to raise a book. Above all, I learned not to be proud. So many people were incredibly generous with their time. I had about a dozen volunteers who read an early manuscript and provided me with detailed critiques that made the book ever so much stronger. My friend Bob patiently coached me through the perils of Adobe Acrobat Professional while Noel, buried in snow, talked to me via Skype about my sales letter. Paul took his sword to a few shopping cart dragons and for that I'll cheerfully call him a knight. And friend and fellow writer Anne Miller (author of the terrific Metaphorically Selling) provided one of her e-books as a bonus to buyers of my premium edition.