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Two Free Facebook Groups Writers Need To Join!

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The legend himself, Jim Rohn.

One of Jim Rohn’s famous quotes, “Don’t join an easy crowd; you won’t grow. Go where the expectations and the demands to perform are high” illustrates why it is imperative that authors surround themselves with likeminded, productive people.

Many would agree and I can speak from experience when I say there are a significant amount of benefits of surrounding yourself with people who either are headed where you want to be or are already there. Doing so can expose you to positive habits and strategies, helpful resources, and advantageous networking opportunities. All of which can help bring you closer to achieving your goals.

Despite this, it seems many people do not take action on this. I could explore in greater depth as to the reasons people do not take action when it comes to expanding their network (or anything for that matter) but I prefer to focus on a two quick solutions that can easily enable you begin surrounding yourself with people who will help make you more productive by granting you access to the benefits listed above in addition to many more that I’m sure  you’ll learn about along the way.

The additional perk about the two groups I’m going to show you is that you can utilize them at your convenience in the comfort of your own home. Which means if you’re like me and you have a full time job and a family to care you can still take advantage of these groups.

Facebook Group #1: Authority Self-Publishing

Authority Self-Publishing

I found this group because I have been an avid Steve Scott follower. When I was in the process of writing my first book The Amazon Sales Formula I came across Steve Scott’s ebooks that focus on developing productive habits. As I became a fan of his work I quickly learned that he also offers a ton of valuable content for writers. I still struggle with the thought that his podcast Self-Publishing Questions is no longer. However, I was recently brought back to a state of joy when he and two partners created the Facebook group Authority Self-Publishing.

I use this group for motivation but also for advice questions. The image below shows a question I posted. I received three comments that gave valuable instruction which did cause me to adjust my marketing strategy. The second image below shows a post I made when I was feeling down about my first negative review which I wrote about in the article The First Negative Review. You’ll see that I received 19 likes and 18 comments. It was this support combine with my wife cheering me on that brought me from feeling discouraged to writing over 2000 words that same day!

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Facebook Group #2: Pat Flynn’s Kindle Publish Facebook Group

Pat Flynn's Kindle Publishing Facebook Group

Most entrepreneurs (particularly internet entrepreneurs) are well aware of Pat Flynn, but in case you are not he is basically the “it” guy when it comes to blogging and generating income online. He is best well known for his blog The Smart Passive Income. This guy is great because he somehow has scaled his audience without hindering his friendly, happy go lucky image. More importantly, he focuses on providing valuable content for free.

The Facebook group does just that. Valuable content at no charge from many great writers. Before these two groups I was paying $47 per month to be a part of a writing Facebook group. The group was phenomenal. I received tons of great strategies and met some great people, but why pay for it if you can get the same thing from the two groups above.

Go take action. Join these two groups.

I’ll see you there!

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5 Strategies To Use When You Don’t Know What To Write About

education-548105_1920Inspiration. We have all felt it before. All of a sudden we’re hit with the topic that we want to write about. If we’re smart we have a system to capture that idea whenever we’re not in front of our computer. If we’re lucky we’re in front of a computer ready to turn the idea that has magically bestowed upon us into a collection of words that offers valuable content for our sacred readers.

Inspiration. We have all felt it before. All of a sudden we’re hit with the topic that we want to write about. If we’re smart we have a system to capture that idea whenever we’re not in front of our computer. If we’re lucky we’re in front of a computer ready to turn the idea that has been magically bestowed upon us into a collection of words that offers valuable content for our sacred readers.

This post is about every day that isn’t like that.
The reality is there will be many days that we do not feel inspired. So what do we do now?

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A “wannabe” writer stops writing, loses momentum and eventually begins again months later only to go through the same cycle time and time again. You on the other hand, the real writer, combats the lack of inspiration by implementing one or more of the following strategies. I want to preface these strategies by giving you complete permission to adjust these in any way possible to make them more effective for you.

Exercise – For me personally there is nothing better than a jog along with some music that will help me zone out. I recommend the following Pandora stations:

  • Ratatat
  • Parov Stellar
  • Yo-Yo Ma
  • Jose Gonzalez

Experiment with the music, but the idea is to increase your endorphins while you put yourself into a bit of a trance. It is amazing what great ideas can pop in your head.

Converse – find a friend, spouse, family member, writing partner and just start talking to that person about what you have written about or would like to write about. The key here is forcing yourself to talk for 20 minutes or more. If you can’t think of anything that relates to your writing to discuss then talk about anything. Talk about how your feeling and try to discuss why you may be feeling that way. Many times you can use the source of frustration as a potential idea for something to write about.

Go Outside – this is simple. Go outside and observe what you see in great detail. Try to take it all in. Focus all of your attention on observing as many small details as you can. If it helps verbalize the small details out loud.

Write About Your Block In Your Typical Writing Setting – sit down in front of the computer and just start typing that you’re blocked and that you cannot think of anything to write. Write why you think this is happening and what you could you do to fix it. Try to write as much as you can. The idea is that if you’re in your typical writing position as you type words your subconscious mind will eventually throw an idea your way because you’re used to writing in that particular setting.

Read – if you truly can’t think of anything to write then grab a book that relates to your genre and start reading. Have a pen near by so you can write down questions, thoughts, and comments as you read. Do it enough then all of a sudden you’ll have plenty to write about.

There is plenty of things you can try to reignite your creativity and idea muscle, however, it is essential that whatever you choose if it doesn’t work just continue to search for your method(s).

If you’re looking for more strategies check out this article as well. Now stop reading and start writing!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The First Negative Review

If you’re like me then you focus a great amount of attention on completing as much writing as you can whenever you have the opportunity. With a family, a full time job that often requires 50 to 60 hours per week, and a variety of additional entrepreneurial pursuits I am forced to maximize my productivity when I sit down to write.

On one hand I am proud of the habits I have created. As a result, I am efficient and extremely productive. On the other hand, every now and again, I can find myself forgetting that ultimately the words I am writing will be read by many different people.

These people will have and are entitled to their own opinions. Moreover, it is very likely, regardless of the quality, that a portion of your readers will not like what you have to say.

When this happens it is essential you do not, under any circumstances allow these opinions to cause you doubt yourself or your abilities. I say this because today I received my first one star review on amazon. In response to a suggestion I make in my book The Declutter Formula one reader was so turned off they felt compelled to leave the following review.

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Negative reviews are not uncommon and are often very helpful from a consumer stand point. When we go shopping online and we see a negative review we look at it as information we’ll either consider as helpful or unhelpful. We rarely look at the poor review and think to ourselves “jeeze that was mean, I feel really bad for the writer (or seller)”.

When the review is a result of your creation though it will hit you straight in the gut. It’ll hurt. Essentially you put yourself out there in an extremely vulnerable way and some person very easily demeans your message. Again, it hurts.

When (not if) this happens to you, it is essential that you refuse to let this negativity hinder your drive to continue writing.

To close I’m going to offer three quick strategies to help work through these discouraging reviews:

Strategy #1 –  Join writer/author focused Facebook groups or attend meet-ups. Tell members your experience and watch the support roll in.

Strategy #2 – Does the negative review offer any constructive feedback? If so, focus your attention on using the feedback to help improve your skills.

Strategy #3 – Read through your positive reviews. As bad as a negative review can hurt, a positive review offers a feeling of joy that is comparable to very little. The same day I received the negative review I also received the review below.

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Regardless of the strategy you choose to utilize to get yourself past that negative review, remember that time is of the essence and what you really should be doing is more writing.

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Punch The Blank Page In The Face With These 3 Strategies

Whether you refer to your list of book ideas, act on a sudden shot of inspiration, or finally decide to begin writing the book idea you’ve been sitting on for the last five years you, it doesn’t matter. You still might find yourself staring in front of a blank page without the slightest idea of how and/or where to start. Then as soon as you begin typing each letter you match it with an equal amount of deletes. At this point you are completely frustrated and annoyed.

I get it. I’ve been there. Don’t panic my fellow writer. Many have been there which means many have successfully escaped.

Check out the three strategies below to help you get yourself started. This is a pre-outline stage. Literally, you have nothing and you need something, anything. Breath calmly, rest easy, and enjoy the solutions below.

Strategy #1: Open Up The Flood Gates 

Grab a huge piece of paper or a the whiteboard of equal or greater size. Just start writing everything you think of when you think of your book. Do this for at least fifteen to twenty minutes. Do not put any restrictions on anything. Seriously, if it pops in your head during this time then write it down. It may or may not have anything to do with what you want your book to say, but for now that does not matter. Write down words, phrases, sentences, draw charts, pictures. The keys are to avoid withholding thought or ideas and to write for at least fifteen minutes, if not longer.

To be clear, if you write something down and feel as though it didn’t come out the right way, for the sake of this exercise just try writing it down again somewhere else on the sheet or board. Do not cross out or try to correct. If you find yourself requiring more than fifteen minutes then continue until you are completely empty, but force yourself to push through to the fifteen minute mark.

Once you have finished this process and you are completely and utterly unable to continue writing down ideas be sure to save this sheet or board somehow. I recommend you take a picture and/or if you have an iPhone you can use the GeniusScan app to scan and save it to your phone (see example below).

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This is only an example, don’t worry if yours looks completely different.

Strategy #2: Start Talking

Find a method to record your voice. I recommend the iPhone voice recorder app, but there are a variety of options out there so pick what makes most sense for you. All you’re going to do is start talking about your book. If this is difficult, pretend you’re answering the question “What is your book about?”. Force yourself to verbally respond in as much detail as you can.

Do not worry about repeating yourself, speaking incorrectly, confronting long pauses. None of these are going to hurt you later on. The key is you’re just going to start talking about what your book could be about. If you have specific ideas about possible chapter titles then include it.

Once you’ve done this save the recording and get ready to move on.

Strategy #3: Generate Keywords

If you have any friends in the internet marketing world then chances are you’ve heard the acronym SEO. Moreover, I’m sure you have heard of Search Engine Optimization. I bring this up because I want to make clear that generating keywords in this instance has absolutely nothing to do with SEO. For the purposes of trying to get yourself to a clear starting point with an organized road map guiding you along the way to happy finished book land. Use Google’s Keyword Planner  (free) or Long Tail Pro (paid software) to generate possible keywords within the subject of your book idea. Start identifying words and terms that you feel as though you could elaborate on and begin creating a list of at least 20 words or terms. Once finished with the list you have two options.

Either record yourself as you elaborate on each keyword and term verbally or write down a few sentences for each item on your list.

After you have completed one of the strategies above you now need to organize this information into a neater visual. Review the results of your chosen strategy then try to come with a list of at least ten potential chapter titles. For each chapter, you want to list each possible chapter subtitle that would fit. If you have more than ten chapter subtitles, you may want to consider breaking it into two separate chapters.

As you write each chapter title and subtitle, do not worry about sequential order just yet. Focus more on what you’re going to discuss within each chapter. When you complete this, you are officially ready and able to begin writing each chapter.

Pick one chapter that you’re very excited about and/or you feel confident about beginning. That will building the momentum and you can slowly chip away, chapter by chapter.

I recommend writing your chapters within Evernote because you can create a Notebook and title it what ever your book potentially may be titled. Within each Notebook, you can create a Note for each chapter.

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An Evernote notebook containing multiple notes for one of my previous books

Regardless of your writing tool, you now have officially eliminated the blank page that has had continued to taunt you.

Happy writing!