Author: Angelica Kate

Writer's Block

Writer’s Block – How to Overcome It!

When you think about your favorite authors, it can be hard to imagine them struggling with the same things you struggle with as a writer. But in reality, problems such as writer’s block are universal! At some point in their career, I can almost guarantee you that your favorite author has come up against the seemingly immovable brick wall that we call writer’s block. Unfortunately, when that wall hits you, it can seem impossible to move past it. So here are a few tips to help you to overcome it!

1. Take Off the Pressure!

It can feel like every word you write has to be the perfect first time around. Unfortunately, this mindsight often leads to writer’s block out of fear of writing something imperfect. The way to overcome this is to reassure yourself that everything you are writing is just the first draft – there will be many more to come! This frees you from the shackles of making every word exactly right, allowing you to write in a more flowing style that feels more authentic.

2. Switch up the perspective

Look at the scene you’re writing from another character’s point of view. This can help you look at the scene in a whole different light, opening up avenues for development you had not seen yet. You can even do this with non-speaking characters such as pets. Even if this exercise doesn’t make the final cut, it can be a gateway to furthering the story through your main character’s eyes.

3. Do something that takes your mind off writing

While this may sound counterintuitive, taking a break from your writing can give your brain the space it needs to figure out your next steps. Subconsciously, you will be playing around with various ideas in your head, and the best ones usually rise into your conscious state.  Additionally, doing something different may provide you with some inspiration. You never know where inspiration may come from – it could be a wallpaper pattern or a piece of clothing that reminds you of an aspect of your story!

4. Exercise your brain!

Try out some writing exercises to give your writing a new perspective. For example, you could try flicking to a random page in the dictionary, closing your eyes, and pointing to a word. Then, find ways to work this word into your next sentence or paragraph. You’re likely to get some hilarious results, but it will help you to broaden your thinking, as well as your vocabulary!

5. Use a creative prompt

There are hundreds of these out there! The idea is that they will make you think about your writing in a new way, which can be perfect for overcoming writer’s block. For example, imagine your character cooking their perfect meal – what would it be? Or, if they could go on holiday anywhere, where would it be? These prompts help you get inside your character’s head, enabling you to see their path more clearly.

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Time Managment

Time Management Tools for Writers

It can often be difficult to manage your time as a writer. Often writers work for themselves, meaning you have to work your writing life around your day-to-day life. This can become tricky, especially if you find yourself writing lots one day and hardly anything another day. How can you work as productively as possible without wasting time worrying about this? Here are a few tools you can use to improve your time management!

1. Set a timer

This is a super simple tip when you sit down to write, set a timer on your phone for the amount of time you want to work for. Then set aside your phone and don’t look at it again until the timer goes off! This is especially useful for people who forget to take breaks and find themselves getting distracted and procrastinating instead of working. When your timer goes off, set yourself another for 15 minutes and take a proper break for those 15 minutes – get a drink, walk around, or listen to some music. That way, when you come back to your work, you can focus on your writing properly.

2. Use an online calendar

Using a calendar to block out your day can be a very effective tool for managing your time. For example, you can put in the tasks you have to do each week and block out chunks of time to get your writing done between all the everyday tasks you need to do. This way, when you’re writing, you’re not worrying about the other things you need to get done so that you can focus 100% on your writing!

3. Schedule feedback sessions

This is a great way to hold yourself accountable – plan to meet up, virtually or in person, with someone you want feedback from, such as your writing partner if you have one. Set a target of how much writing you want to get done before this meeting, and let the person know your target. That way, they will be able to help you stay on track!

4. Set yourself a target each day

Set yourself a target at the beginning of each workday, such as the number of words you want to have written or the number of pages you want to have edited by the end of the day. If this is too difficult for you to stick to, break the day down into sections, and set a target for each of these.

Writing can be difficult at times, so if you don’t manage to hit your targets on some days, remember how much progress you have made compared to what you would have done without your targets. As with everything, the aim is to be better, not perfect, and writing often takes time; it is rarely done well under pressure or time constraints. Hopefully, these tools will help you take control of your time management and improve as a writer!

Photos courtesy of Deposit Photos.

Street Teams

Street Teams – How They Can Help You!

It can be difficult to get your work out there in a world that is seemingly saturated with content! One way that writers garner attention for their work is through using street teams. A street team is usually a group of fans of your writing who want to help bring your writing to more people. They help you promote your new books in return for the ability to chat and interact with you, their favorite author! As such, it is a mutually beneficial relationship, giving you an enthusiastic team of people who are more than happy to help raise awareness of your new material, boosting your sales.

If you think a street team could benefit you, the next thing you’ll want to know is how to form one! The best way to build your street team nowadays is via social media, predominantly Facebook. If you have a following on any social media platform, put out a post saying you are interested in forming a street team and ask your followers whether they are interested in being a part of it. Many writers who have built their street teams suggest you focus on building your street team organically, only adding people to it who are genuinely interested in helping you. You can manage your street team by adding members to a Facebook group. This is useful for instantly connecting with the members of your street team and organizing events!

Here are a few ways you can make your street team as effective as possible:

1. Engage with your street team personally

The people who will be your most effective members will want to get to know you, their favorite author! So make sure you spend the time interacting with your members to make them feel valued.

2. Incentivise your street team members

There are several ways to get your street team excited about your new book. This includes doing book signings and setting up competitions to chat with you or win books. Additionally, give your street team members exclusive content – this will ensure your team feels they are getting lots back from you for their efforts!

3. Involve your team members in event planning

A great way to make sure your events are effective is to ask your street team members for their suggestions and get them involved in the planning. This way, they will be invested in the events, and therefore more likely to put in the time and effort required to succeed.

If you’ve not considered a street team before, maybe this is the sign you’ve been waiting for! They can be a fantastic way to get readers involved in helping raise awareness around your new content!

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audiobook

Should I Voice My Own Audiobook?

The format in which we enjoy consuming writing has changed over the past decade or so. While books are still very popular, more and more people choose to listen to audiobook versions of the latest releases. As such, it is often a good idea to look into publishing an audiobook version of your own work. This will allow you to reach a wider audience, increasing your earnings. However, many authors find it difficult to decide whether or not to voice the audiobook themselves. If you are struggling with this conundrum, let’s look at some of the pros and cons of recording your own audiobook!

Pros

1. Economical

If you record your own audiobook, you can avoid paying someone else to do it for you, saving you some money.

2. Have Fun!

Recording an audiobook can be a very enjoyable process! As the author, you have control over how you want the audiobook to be recorded in terms of voicing the characters and the book’s overall tone. As a result, you can convey a lot of emotion and often control the meaning of the text through the way it is spoken.

Cons

1. Expensive Equipment

To record a high-quality audiobook, specialist equipment is usually required. This usually consists of microphones, a sound-proofed space to record, and computer equipment to put together recording sessions into one track. If you do not already own this equipment, you could end up spending a lot of money on a setup that might not give you the quality you were hoping for.

2. Quality Control

Speaking of quality, recording your audiobook means forgoing the expertise of sound engineers. While this may save you money, you may regret this decision if the product at the end of the process is not as professional as you had hoped it would be.

Also, unless you need additional voices to flesh out the characters, voicing them all yourself may result in an audiobook that you are less happy with than if you had hired actors to help you out.

3. Time-Wasting?

If you’re an author, chances are your time would be better spent working on your next project. It may be better to hire professionals to take care of your audiobook while focusing on the elements you want more control over.

Ultimately, the decision is up to you as the author, but make sure you carefully consider all aspects of making the best decision for you. For example, you may find you have a passion for recording audiobooks! Alternatively, if you don’t enjoy the process, learn from the experience and choose a different option for your future work. One of the best things about being an author is autonomy, so make sure you are happy with your decisions – your writing deserves the best!

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How to Juggle a Writing Career and a Full-Time Job

Many writers struggle to find a good balance between their writing life and their personal life. However, for many authors at the beginning of their writing career, this also has to be balanced with a full-time job – not easy! Whatever type of writing you do, whether you are writing your first novel or ghost-writing to make some extra money, it can be tricky to fit it in around your other commitments. So today, we’re going to look at some tips to help you thrive both personally and professionally!

1. Block out your day

This is a great way to structure your day to get everything done that you need to. First, block out the time you are working for your full-time job, then factor in essential time for cooking, eating, sleeping, as well as some relaxation time – you’re not a robot! Then, when you’ve done this, work out when you can fit in some time to write. This might be in after your evening meal for an hour or two or at the weekend.

2. Don’t overcommit

To create a sustainable routine, don’t overwork yourself. To begin with, you may set yourself high targets for the number of hours you will write for each week or the number of words you want to write each week. Then, re-evaluate after a week or so to see whether this routine is working well for you. If it isn’t, see how you can tweak it to suit you better.

3. Be honest with everyone, including yourself!

When balancing writing with a full-time job, everyone who relies on you to get things done must know your situation. It is a good idea to let your boss know so that they can let you know if they are concerned about the amount of energy you have for your job – after all, your full-time job must take precedence over your writing. Above all, be honest with yourself about how you are feeling. Are you feeling tired or overwhelmed? If you are, it might be time to cut back on a few things to give yourself time to recharge so you can be at your best.

4. Set aside time for you

Following on from the previous point, be sure to take time to check in with yourself and find ways to help you feel well-rested and energetic enough to take on everything your job throws at you! When you over-work yourself, you are likely to be dissatisfied with your results at work and in your writing.

Juggling a full-time job with a writing career can be difficult, especially if your passion lies with your writing. However, until you can rely solely on your writing, the smart thing to do is to prioritize your job. Jeopardizing your full-time job could lead to you being unable to continue writing, so play the long game by continuing to fulfill all your responsibilities to the best of your ability.

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Ghostwriting – Pros and Cons

Have you considered ghostwriting? It’s become more and more popular as businesses and writers look to create interesting content for their customers and readers to keep them interested in their products and business. However, creating this content can be time-consuming, so many people choose to hire ghostwriters. A ghostwriter is paid to create content that the client paying them can put their own name to and claim as their own. This can be a very beneficial relationship for both parties. If you’re interested in ghostwriting, here are some benefits and drawbacks of ghostwriting.

Pros

1. It can be a very interesting job!

Ghostwriting can allow you to write about a wide range of topics. Rather than writing about one subject, a ghostwriter is likely to be given a range of work in terms of the subject area and the type of writing. For example, one day, you might be writing a blog post, the next a recipe card or an email template. The variety of work makes ghostwriting an exciting job.

2. Freedom to pursue the work you enjoy

If you are lucky, you will be able to pick and choose which assignments you take on. This means you only write for clients you have a good working relationship with and write about topics that truly interest you personally.

3. Can be lucrative

Ghost-writing can be a very profitable practice. Many ghostwriters have a full-time job and ghostwrite on the side for some extra money. Depending on your experience and skill level, you could earn up to $50,000 per year of ghostwriting.

4. Your only responsibility is the writing

As a ghostwriter, you are only responsible for the writing and not the entire project. This means you do not have to worry about any other aspects of the project and can focus solely on producing the best writing piece. There are no distractions in terms of publishing the writing or anything else that can make content creation difficult. Once you have submitted your work and the client is happy with it, you can move on to the next project!

Cons

1. No credit

The biggest drawback of ghostwriting is that you do not get credit for the work. However, you agree that your client can take ownership and responsibility for the writing when you take on the work. If this isn’t something you are comfortable with, then maybe look into other writing options.

2. Finding work you enjoy isn’t always easy

There are many ghostwriters out there, so getting people to choose you to do their work can be tricky. Competition is stiff, especially for work that is well paid, so bear this in mind, especially when you are just starting.

3. Time management is crucial

If you’re taking on ghostwriting work, make sure you can stick to the deadlines you are given. Clients are unlikely to bring you more work if you cannot deliver work in a timely fashion.

Now you know more about the pros and cons of ghostwriting, is it something you would like to try? There’s no doubt that it can be a very rewarding job!

Photos courtesy of Deposit Photos

How to Find an Editor

Before getting your work published, it is always a good idea to get your work edited. If you’re new to writing or looking for a new way to get your work edited, here are a few tips for finding an editor!

1. Work out what kind of editor you need

This is a crucial step that you need to complete before you begin your search for an editor. Determining the kind of editor you need will help you to choose the best person for you. For example, do you need someone just to proofread your work, or do you need some to do a heavy edit, rewriting sentences or even paragraphs? The more precise you can be about the kind of editing you want done, the better you are equipping your editor, meaning they will be able to a better job for you.

2. Find a Freelance Editor online

There are lots of websites around that list the services of freelance editors. Some websites you can look at include freelancer.com, upwork.com, and of course, fiverr.com. On these sites, you will find hundreds of people offering their services for a range of prices, so you will undoubtedly find someone to help you. Whatever your budget, remember that the more you can afford to spend, the more you value your editor’s time. While not always the case, generally, you get what you pay for, so make sure to set aside a decent budget to allow you to hire a great editor!

3. Do your research!

As with anything, the more research you can do, the better! For example, if your writing is for a specific genre, make sure to find someone who specifies editing work for that genre. Similarly, if your writing requires an in-depth knowledge of the subject area to make sense of it, ensure you choose someone who has that knowledge and can therefore pick up on any mistakes in the content for you.

4. Choose someone you think you will get one well with!

Another important factor in choosing an editor is your working relationship with them. It will not be a productive working relationship if you cannot have a polite conversation with them. Ensure you choose someone who you can work with, as the editing process often requires several rewrites, meaning your conversation may go one for some time before you are both happy with the writing. If the person you choose is not responsive, rude, or disrespectful, the process will be much more difficult than it has to be!

I hope these tips will help you to feel more confident about finding the best editor for you. Ultimately, having someone editing your work can be nerve-wracking, as you fear they will pull apart months of work! However, choosing the right editor can make this process much more enjoyable and much less scary! So take your time, do your research, and make the most of the feedback they give you.

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Five of the Most Inspirational Writing Quotes

Some quotes about writing have a profound impact on us, encouraging us to pursue our passion for writing or comforting us when we face the dreaded writer’s block! Here are five of my favorites that continue to inspire me.

1. “Write the kind of story you would like to read. People will give you all sorts of advice about writing, but if you are not writing something you like, no one else will like it either.” – Meg Cabot

As a well-loved author (she wrote the very successful Princess Diaries series, in case you are unfamiliar with her work), Meg Cabot certainly wrote with this in mind! This quote reminds us to enjoy our writing, and only when we do this wholeheartedly and honestly can we expect success.

2. “Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.” – William Wordsworth

A beautiful quote from a poet well-known for his beautiful writing. The imagery of pouring out your feelings and thoughts onto a page is quite stunning. It reminds us that the best writing comes from a place of genuineness and an acceptance that we must give part of ourselves for people to respond emotionally.

3. “Mistakes are the portals of discovery.” – James Joyce

This quote is a crumb of comfort to every writer; this quote often buoys my mood when something doesn’t go to plan, either in my writing or in life more generally! Thinking of mistakes as opportunities is not a new idea but are something we often forget to put into practice.

4. “Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” – Benjamin Franklin

This quote often helps me remember why we write – to bring our audience the feeling of new experiences, new places, and new feelings. If we have not experienced these ourselves, how can we expect to do them justice in our writing? The best writers take their own experiences and share them with their readers in a way that makes them feel as if they were there themselves, seeing everything described on the page in front of them. Creativity is essential, of course. However, there really is no substitute for the real thing when writing about it authentically.

5. “If I waited for perfection, I would never write a word.” – Margaret Atwood

Every author has been in this situation – a blank page staring at you, daring you to write something on it, but the right words just won’t come to you. A great way to overcome writer’s block is just to write; it’s as simple as that. And, as this quote reminds us, everything we write doesn’t have to be perfect but just making a start can help us get to where we need to be.

What are your favorite inspirational quotes about writing? I hope these have given you food for thought!

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Do I Need a Writing Partner?

If you’re just starting out in your writing career, you may not have come across writing partners yet. If that is the case, you’re in the right place! Today we’re going to talk about what a writing partner is, the benefits of having a writing partner, and where to find one.

A writing partner is someone you have a semi-formal arrangement with who helps you with your writing, in return for you helping them with theirs. It is a mutually beneficial relationship, enabling both parties to improve their writing. Usually, your writing partner is someone you meet with, virtually or in person, every week or so to discuss ideas and ways to make your writing even better.

Having a writing partner can help to elevate your writing to the next level. Here are just a few benefits that a writing partner can bring:

Giving you honest and constructive feedback

Many writers turn to family and friends for feedback on their writing. While sometimes useful, this can also be difficult because people who are closest to you rarely feel comfortable giving you criticism, even if it is intended to be constructive. A writing partner is someone who is suitably distanced from you that they are not going to just tell you what you want to hear. Their feedback can help to steer your writing in a better direction.

Helping you to see the wood for the trees

When you are writing, it is easy to get lost in your work. A writing partner can help to centre you to allow you to consider the whole novel, chapter or paragraph in a clearer way. Having another person read through your work can be extremely valuable, helping you to stay focused. Your writing partner is a fresh set of eyes that can help you to see what it is you have written and how you can progress, which is sometimes difficult to do when you’ve read over the same paragraph 100 times!

Being a soundboard for new ideas

One of the biggest benefits of a writing partner is that you can bounce ideas off them. As a fellow writer, your writing partner will be able to give you good advice about which ideas are good and which ones to leave behind. Additionally, discussing each other’s work is a great way to spark new ideas for your own writing.

Hopefully by now you can see the many benefits of having a writing partner. So, the next question is: where can I find one? The answer to this really depends on your own personal network. You could approach somebody you already know to see if they would like to become your writing partner. Alternatively, there are lots of ways to find writing partners online. The world is so much smaller now thanks to the internet, so there are hundreds of authors that are just a mouse click away! Make sure to partner up with someone you feel you can bring value to as well, to make it a solid, happy, and long-lasting working relationship.

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Creative Writing Prompts and How to Use Them

When you’re feeling like you need a little bit of inspiration to help you write your next sentence, paragraph, or chapter, turning to some creative writing prompts can be really helpful. These little nuggets of inspiration can be great for getting your creative juices flowing – sometimes, all you need is a gentle nudge in the right direction. Let’s look at some great creative writing prompts; hopefully, you’ll find a few you would like to use!

1. Where in the World?

Imagine your character closing their eyes, spinning around a couple of times, and sticking a pin in a map of the World. Wherever it lands is where they will head to next. What adventures are in store for your character? If it’s a place, you’ve never been to, enjoy doing some research into the country to make your writing feel more authentic!

2. Take a walk through your neighborhood

Pay particular attention to the buildings. Were they all built recently, or are there some older buildings that you know will have a tale or two to tell? Think about how your character would respond to these buildings. Would they be intrigued, appalled, fascinated, or neutral? This can be a great way to get inside your character’s head and understand what makes them tick a little better. In turn, this will help you to flesh out the character more, bringing them to life better for your readers.

3. A sprinkle of magic, a dash of sorcery

Bring a little bit of magic into your writing by using a magic potion to lead your next paragraph. What’s in the potion? Who is making it? What is the potion for? The possibilities are endless, so let your imagination run wild. After all, with magic, there is no right or wrong answer!

4. Is that a real word?

Some of the greatest writers have brought new words to our language – why can’t you do the same? This prompt will set your writing apart from everyone else’s and help you to put into words the exact action, sound, or emotion you want to describe.

5. Whose view are we looking at this from?

An interesting way of developing an idea is to imagine it from another perspective. The most fun way to do this is using the perspective of a character we would otherwise find it hard to understand. This might be an animal or another non-speaking character. Use your literary power to bring these characters to life!

6. The beauty of dreams

In dreams, we often experience the impossible. Imagine what your character might dream about and how they would feel about it when they woke up. This will give your readers real insight into the character’s psyche.

7. Inviting Inspiration In

Write about your character receiving an invitation. Is it for a party or a wedding perhaps? Maybe it’s from a character we have yet to be introduced to. How would your character respond to such an invitation – would they accept?

There are plenty of creative prompts out there, so keep looking for one that you like the sound of. They can help to unlock new ideas, and most importantly, can be fun to think about! I hope you enjoy using these!

Photos courtesy of Deposit Photos

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