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How to Write a Book: Everything You Need to Know in 20 Steps (Part 3)

Part 9. Eliminate distractions to stay focused

by Jerry Jenkins

Are you as easily distracted as I am? Have you found yourself writing a sentence and then checking your email? Writing another and checking Facebook? Getting caught up in the come-ons for pictures of the 10 Sea Monsters You Wouldn’t Believe Actually Exist?

Then you just have to check out that precious video from a talk show where the dad surprises the family by returning from the war. That leads to more and more of the same. Once I’m in, my writing is forgotten, and all of a sudden the day has gotten away from me. Continue reading

Bobbie’s Bill of Writes # 4 in a series: A WRITING PLACE

by Bobbie Christmas

I devoted an entire chapter to my Bill of Writes for writers in my seven-award-winning book on creative writing titled Write In Style: How to Use Your Computer to Improve Your Writing. Special to SPAWN, I have agreed to list and explain each item in my Bill of Writes through a series of articles. Below is number four in my Bill of Writes. Watch for the remaining items in future newsletters.

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The Writing Life

by Rick Helms

A great writer named Jerry Healy, who sadly left us a couple of years back, once said something that resonated strongly with me. It’s probably a quote from someone else, but I heard him say it, so I associate it with Jerry.

He said, “Everyone has a novel in him or her. Not everyone has a SECOND novel.”

For a working writer, constant production is the key to success. I see many, many writers each year at conferences who are still flogging a book they wrote and published ten years ago. They have a single title out, and they’ve been riding it like a trusty steed for years. Continue reading

Insights, Facts, & Numbers from an Amazon Top Reviewer

by Gisela Hausmann

One common myth says indie authors need only get a few/some/many reviews from friends and acquaintances, then buy an online promotion and their book will (probably) take off.

As an Amazon reviewer since 2012 and a top reviewer since 2014, I can contribute some factual information.

In 2014 I reviewed 75 items on Amazon, including 45 books penned by indie authors. Continue reading

Writing Through Grief

by Bobbie Christmas

Q: My ten-year marriage is ending. I don’t feel like writing. Do you have any advice on how to fight through the pain and write?

A: As a veteran of two broken marriages, I feel your pain. I’m sorry you have to go through it. Depression often leads to immobility. Many people need time to go from “overwhelmed” to “productive.”

Any loss results in grief, and grief that goes unresolved can lead to mental and physical problems. Instead of thinking of the issue as fighting through the pain to write, think of the fact that writing helps you fight the pain. While immobility keeps you in a depressed state, doing something–almost anything–can get you out of that state. Continue reading

Niche Magazines

How can you turn a hobby into a money maker? Niche magazines. Think about it—magazines contain a half dozen or so articles in each issue. Multiply that by the number of years the magazine has been published and you’ll see why editors love pitches with a different angle. Here are some markets you might not have thought about. Continue reading