Category Archives: WRITING

Do you want to write full time? You can with Mark Dawson’s Self-Publishing Formula 101 course @SelfPubForm #amwriting

I firmly believe you can do anything you want to, if you’re willing to work for it. Last week saw me hand my notice in at the day job. I still can’t quite believe it. One minute I was staring down the barrel of eternity in my corporate ‘hellmare’, and the next I was sliding a piece of paper across the table with one neatly printed sentence.

‘Please accept this letter as my resignation’

For years I thought I’d never get to live the dream, and then just as suddenly, the tunnel of hellmare was gone and the writing world was beckoning. Don’t get me wrong, I still have to work my notice, but 1st of May 2019 is the first day of the rest of my life. More to the point, it means I’ll get to come back to more regular blogging too. Oh how I’ve missed you blog buddies.

I will write more about this week, not least because I’m sure you can have a good giggle at my rollercoaster of emotions. But also because there’s a considerable number of tips I’ve learned on this journey and I want to share them with you in the hope it helps you get to slide the same piece of paper across the office table toward your boss. But for now, I’m going to give you one single piece of advice.

If you do just one thing today, if you spend one pound on writing, then spend it on taking Mark Dawson’s Self-Publishing Formula 101.

Mark has two courses, Ads for Authors (which focuses on advertising methods) and SPF 101 which teaches you how to set up your writing business from the ground up. I’ve taken both.

Both have played an integral part of me leaving my job.

Mark’s courses are highly sort after and as a result, they’re only open a couple of times a year. Right now is one of those times, but be warned, the course is only open for sign ups for a few more days. Want to know more? Click the button below.

I want to take Mark’s course

If you’re still not convinced, then here are three reasons why I love Mark’s courses:

  • Once you sign up, it’s for life, no time limits, no expiry. All yours to study at your own pace.
  • Mark doesn’t just give you the stated course content, he’s constantly adding mini modules and bonus features like tech tutorials.
  • Unlike some courses, Mark constantly updates his materials, so if something changes in the industry, our course content is updated too.

SPF 101 is ideal if you want a complete grounding in how to build your writing career. Here’s what the course will teach you:

  • How to format your books so they’re indistinguishable from traditionally published books
  • How to upload them to all major platforms with step by step guides
  • How to understand and maximise your metadata
  • Find and capture your ideal readers (and more importantly, how to get them onto your mailing list)
  • How to build the perfect automation sequence so that once you’ve captured your readers, you keep them
  • Simple facebook advertising campaigns

AND MUCH MUCH MORE.

I’ve finally reached the accolade of full time writing and a huge part of that is thanks to Mark.

Still don’t believe me? Well I went on record and filmed a testimonial for their Ads for Authors course. You can see that here.

What are you waiting for?

I want in on Mark’s course

 

Creators Of Writing AI Say It Could Do Damage In Wrong Hands

 (CNN) — A new artificial intelligence system is so good at composing text that the researchers behind it said they won’t release it for fear of how it could be misused.

Created by nonprofit AI research company OpenAI (whose backers include Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Microsoft), the text-generating system can write page-long responses to prompts, mimicking everything from fantasy prose to fake celebrity news stories and homework assignments. It builds on an earlier text-generating system the company released last year.

Researchers have used AI to generate text for decades with varying levels of success. In recent years, the technology has gotten particularly good. OpenAI’s initial goal was for the system to come up with the next word in a sentence by considering the words that came before it. To make this possible, it was trained on 8 million web pages.

A handful of resulting demos that OpenAI posted online last week show just how convincing (and, at times, creepy) computer-written text can be. In many ways, they sound like the written version of deepfakes, which are persuasive — but fake — video and audio files created with AI.

For instance, OpenAI researchers fed the following Lord-of-the-Rings-style prompt to the system: Legolas and Gimli advanced on the orcs, raising their weapons with a harrowing war cry.

The computer composed this appropriately violent addition: The orcs’ response was a deafening onslaught of claws, claws, and claws; even Elrond was forced to retreat. “You are in good hands, dwarf,” said Gimli, who had been among the first to charge at the orcs; it took only two words before their opponents were reduced to a blood-soaked quagmire, and the dwarf took his first kill of the night.

“It’s quite uncanny how it behaves,” OpenAI policy director Jack Clark told CNN Business.

While the technology could be useful for a range of everyday applications — such as helping writers pen crisper copy or improving voice assistants in smart speakers — it could also be used for potentially dangerous purposes, like creating false but true-sounding news stories and social-media posts.

OpenAI typically releases its research projects publicly. But in a blog post about the text generator, the researchers said they would not make it publicly available due to “concerns about malicious applications of the technology.” Instead, the company released a technical paper and a smaller AI model — essentially a less capable version of the same text generator — that other researchers can use.

The company’s decision to keep it from public use is the latest indication of a growing unease in and about the tech community about building cutting-edge technology — in particular AI —without setting limits on how it can be deployed.

Amazon and Microsoft in particular have voiced their support for legislation to regulate how facial recognition technology can and can’t be used. And Amazon investors and employees (as well as a dozens of civil rights groups) have urged the company to stop selling its face-recognition technology, Rekognition, to government agencies due to concerns it could be used to violate people’s rights.

And a couple examples posted by OpenAI hint at how its text-generation system could be used for ill purposes.

For instance, one prompt read as follows: A train carriage containing controlled nuclear materials was stolen in Cincinnati today. Its whereabouts are unknown.

The AI response was a completely plausible sounding news story that included details about where the theft occurred (“on the downtown train line”), where the nuclear material was from (“the University of Cincinnati’s Research Triangle Park nuclear research site”), and a fictitious statement from a nonexistent US Energy Secretary.

OpenAI’s decision to keep the AI to itself makes sense to Ryan Calo, a professor at the University of Washington and co-director of the school’s Tech Policy Lab, especially in light of a fake face-generating website that began circulating in mid-February. Called thispersondoesnotexist.com, the site produces strikingly realistic pictures of fictional people by using a machine-learning technique known as GANs (generative adversarial networks), where two neural networks are essentially pitted against each other.

Being able to combine text that reads as though it could have been written by a person, combined with a realistic picture of a fake person, could lead to credible-seeming bots invading discussions on social networks or leaving convincing reviews on sites like Yelp, he said.

“The idea here is you can use some of these tools in order to skew reality in your favor,” Calo said. “And I think that’s what OpenAI worries about.”

Not everyone is convinced that the company’s decision was the right one, however.

“I roll my eyes at that, frankly,” said Christopher Manning, a Stanford professor and director of the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Lab.

Manning said that while we shouldn’t be naïve about the dangers of artificial intelligence, there are already plenty of similar language models publicly available. He sees OpenAI’s research, while better than previous text-generators, as simply the latest in a parade of similar efforts that came out in 2018 from OpenAI itself, Google, and others.

“Yes, it could be used to produce fake Yelp reviews, but it’s not that expensive to pay people in third-world countries to produce fake Yelp reviews,” he said.

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2019 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

Do you want feedback on your writing?

One of the most important parts of developing your writing is getting objective feedback. When you spend one hundred thousand words developing a story, it’s only natural to stop seeing the characters for the plot.

Do you want feedback on your writing? Are you unsure whether your characters are fleshed out enough? Or worried about your description? Maybe you’re ready to submit to a traditional publisher, but would like a second opinion.

I can help.

My feedback will objectively assess your writing while providing constructive and useful guidance on how to improve your work.

I will provide both an overall assessment of your work in the form of general comments as well as an in-line commentary on your text. I’ll also give you helpful examples and specific guidance on how to improve your writing across a range of topics, including but not limited to:

  • Your strengths and areas for development
  • Story structure
  • Style
  • Pace
  • Characterisation
  • Plot
  • Description
  • Dialogue

Want to know more? Want feedback on your writing?

Click here to find out more

Overcome Writer’s Block: The Common Topics

Writer’s Block

You’ve had it, I’ve had it. It’s not pleasant.

As far as I can tell, there four reasons for writer’s block:

  1. Trying to sound profound (This is part of the game in fiction and poetry.)
  2. Poor research
  3. An inability to make an argument
  4. Nothing to actually say
  5. Bonus Reason Five: You’re just procrastinating.

I have very little to say to help poets and fiction authors to overcome writer’s block. What I will say is this: Write about something else. Literally just write a narrative or a poem about something entirely unrelated to the project that has left you stumped. Write a narrative about your trip to the bank or a rhyme about your wait in the grocery line. That helps me come up with sermon illustrations and illustrations for speeches on engineering topics as well.

The big question is this. What can people who are writing term papers, essays, sermons, and persuasive speeches do to overcome writer’s block?

I introduce to you: Aristotle’s Common TOpics

The traditional term for this typology of argumentation is “The Common Topics.” They received this name because they represented the forms of argument that could be utilized in any form of persuasion whereas some arguments (like mathematical proofs) are only specific to their field. But it’s important to note that the list below includes argument forms that function on the level of persuasion as well as on the level of discovering the truth. I pulled most of it from Classical Rhetoric for the Modern Student (Corbett and Connors), but some of it is from more modern rhetorical experts, and the list itself is based on Aristotle’s work. Here are the common forms of argument (common topics):

  1. Definition – Arguments are frequently as effective as the definitions of terms allow. And so to define a term is to control the conversation, or at least to narrow it.
     
    • Genus – To define an item by its genus is to describe what is essential to its nature. “Computers are devices that can be programmed to perform human inputted calculations at inhumanly fast speeds.”
    • Speciation – This is to define something by how it differs from others in its class. “A laptop is a portable computer that sits in your lap.”
    • Division – This is defining something by describing its parts or by explaining what fits within it. “A computer refers to a calculator, a smartphone, a desktop, a mainframe, etc.” Or “A computer consists of a CPU, input, output, a power supply, and software.” 
    • The Reframe – This is more useful for disagreement or for personal mindset shifts. It’s where you reframe a definition to be in favor of your position. In political discourse, the word Nazi has been used as a reframe technique to brand Republicans as uniquely wicked.  
  2. Comparison
    • Similarity – When you’re trying to study, explain, or write about a topic, think about things it is similar to. Argument by analogy is a powerful persuasive tool and analogies often help people discover new solutions to old problems by reasoning like this, “Problem ‘x’ is similar to problem ‘y’ and problem ‘y’ had this solution.” Hofstadter actually calls analogies the fuel and fire of thought.
    • Difference – In order to advertise a product, you might explain how your product is unique among competitors either by being local, non-local, better, cheaper, etc. Differences are obviously useful for explaining how things work or why something is superior to another thing. Kinds of differences include function, composition, size, appearance, accomplishments, honor, goodness, and so-on. When refuting an analogy, you use difference to show how two things are not similar enough to make an analogy.
    • Degree – Comparisons of degree concern how close an object is to embodying its kind compared to another object of that kind. A lab is a better dog than a chihuahua by virtue of one being a dog and the other being too cat-like…a defective dog of sorts.
  3. Relationship – When we write, speak, or study we are always exploring relationships. Galileo studied the sun and the earth, Descartes studied the mind and the body, and Moses studied laws and theology. But what sort of relationships can objects or claims have?
    • Cause and effect – this is the relationship where something is directly attributable to something else. Aristotle described four causes: material, efficient, formal, and teleological.
    • Antecedent and Consequent – Does something become before or after something else? The answer may determine whether something cannot even be cause-and-effect.
    • Contraries – Contrary statements are statements like this, “All dogs are pets.” “All dogs are not pets.” One or the other can be true or both can be false. But both cannot be true.
    • Subcontraries – These are statements that that describe groups in terms of not entirely overlapping. Some dogs are pets, some dogs are not pets. These statements are not quite contrary, they may both be true, or one of them may be true.
    • Contradictories – These are statements of the sort that only one can be true. Example: All dogs are pets. Some dogs are not pets.
    • Implication – Implication is where one statement, if true, means that another statement must be true. If we accept, “All dogs are not pets.” Then it must be true that “Some dogs are not pets” is also true, because some is a subset of all.
  4. Circumstance
    • Possible and Impossible
    • Past Fact and Future Fact
  5. Testimony
    • Authority
    • Testimonial
    • Statistics
    • Maxims
    • Laws
    • Precedents
  6. Personal – these are more like personal techniques to help you make your case rather than specific modes of argument, but they are ways of being/presenting material that make it persuasive without necessarily making the case for the truth, goodness, or beauty of your position.
    • Reciprocity – People are willing to act/believe people who have helped them. That’s why your pest-company does a free inspection.
    • Halo Effect – The halo-effect is the idea that if you display competence in one thing, people will believe your competence in others. This is why you dress nicely for job interviews. It’s also why you want to pay attention to somebody’s skills more than their image if you’re interviewing or hiring them. Image building is a skill and often times people with a shoddy image are low-skilled. But this is not always true. In Antifragile, Taleb tells us why he prefers doctors who don’t look like doctors. They must have gotten through med-school via skill.
    • The Neg – The neg is a sort of back-handed remark that causes the recipient to seek social approval from the one who made the remark. It is commonly used in flirting and car-salesmanship. There are some examples in the Bible as well.
    • Social Proof –
    • Scarcity
    • Charisma

Uses of the Common Topics:

  1. Research Tools:
    When you’re doing research look for these types of support for your thesis statement, topic sentence, or rhetorical purpose. Find definitions that frame the paper in the direction you want it to go. Look for research that determines relationships, find testimonials and statistics about your topic, look for old quotes that seem to carry handed down truths, and try to determine logical relationships (possible/impossible). If you find enough evidence to establish deductive certainty or a high probability that a position is correct, then you are not only closer to that elusive truth you wish to grasp, but you are also ready to write a paper!
  2. Persuasive Tools:
    If you know your audience, then you can determine which types of arguments will most convince them. For instance, personal testimonials work really well for people who want to experience personal transformation, whereas statistics and maxims do not seem to work very well. In a courtroom testimony, by way of example, is a very common form of argument. One tactic that I’ve witnessed work on a jury is utilizing audience sympathy for a party who, on the evidence presented, did not seem guilty. But when admissible evidence remained scarce, an appeal to pity worked very well.
  3. Reading Tools:
    When you read a book and wonder, “How is the author actually making this point?” The common topics give you the tools. If the author makes the point without using them, then the point is not being made well or you’re not reading carefully enough.
  4. Mindset Tools:
    The common topics give you mindset tools that help you be confident and humble when giving a speech and answering questions. You can say things because you have good evidence and feel confident and courageous in the process. But, because you know why you accept an idea, you can also be humble because other people might have good reasons for rejecting the idea. Knowing the common topics and how to use them can arm you for more confident and humble conversation. Knowing the common topics can also guard you against smooth operators who make claims with no support or spouts profundities with no apparent meaning.

Conclusion

The Common Topics are quintessential for any liberal arts education. Really, they matter for engineers and scientists. One has to consider whether or not the evidence in favor of a proposition of any type is compelling and which lines of it are most convincing to a particular audience.

Appendix:The Specific Topics

  1. Deliberative (speeches meant to call people to action)
    1. Inherent Worth
    2. Utility
  2. Forensic (speeches meant to convince people of the truth of a proposition concerning past fact)
    1. Evidence (whether something happened)
    2. Definition (what is the nature of the thing)
    3. Motives/Causes (qualities and circumstances)
  3. Ceremonial (speeches celebrating people, virtues, institutions, and so-on)
    1. Virtues and Vices
    2. Personal Assets and Achievements

Works Cited

Corbett, Edward P.J, and Robert J Connors. Classical Rhetoric for the Modern Student. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999.

10 Steps To Hero: How To Craft A Kickass Protagonist OUT NOW

Most people think their hero is the most important character in their book. I argue it’s the villain. After all, the villain is – for the most part – the source of conflict in your story. And without conflict you don’t have a story. Conflict is your hero’s catalyst for change, which means it’s quite literally the holy grail of story telling.

So your villain is important. But surely your heroes are too?

Yes. Yes, they are.

Your hero is the lens through which your reader experiences your story. Without your hero there is no narrator, no filter for which the story can be told. It would be like going to the movies and wearing headphones and a blindfold.

That’s why I wrote 10 Steps To Hero: How To Craft A Kickass Protagonist.

And guess what?

It’s out today.

Grab my copy of 10 Steps To Hero

Want to know more? Read on…

After writing 13 Steps To Evil, I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to write another non-fiction book. I wrote that book out of a passionate rant. An itch in my own personal villainous-shaped heart that needing scratching. I loved villains, and they were neglected by the plague of hero worshippers. But as time wore on, I realised two things:

  1. My passion for writing craft stretched further than just one character. My passion was becoming parasitic. I was obsessed with every part of the craft. I wanted to study and understand as much as I could. And if I was going to study obsessively, then why not share what I learn too? Thus, heroes was born. (I mean, as much as my ego wants to be a villain, I’m probably an anti-hero at best and even the greatest anti-heroes have to balance good and evil). As were a raft of other non-fiction book ideas… *stay tuned*
  2. I realised that despite my love for villains, heroes are just as vital to your novels as the villain.

What will you learn in 10 Step To Hero?

  • The most common mistakes writers make when designing their protagonist
  • What the web of story connectivity is and how to implement it in your own novels
  • What a hero is and isn’t and the foundations, traits, soul scars and aspects of personality you need to create depth
  • The myth behind archetypes, what they really are and how you can use them
  • Character arcs
  • How to craft killer conflict
  • Cliches and tropes
  • And my personal fave in Step 10 – The Hero Lens, what it is and how to maximise the use of it

And of course, much, much more.

Here’s the blurb

From cardboard cut-out to superhero in 10 steps.

Are you fed up of one-dimensional heroes? Frustrated with creating clones? Does your protagonist fail to capture your reader’s heart?

In 10 Steps To Hero, you’ll discover: 

+ How to develop a killer character arc

+ A step-by-step guide to creating your hero from initial concept to final page

+ Why the web of story connectivity is essential to crafting a hero that will hook readers

+ The four major pitfalls to avoid as well as the tropes your story needs

Finally, there is a comprehensive writing guide to help you create your perfect protagonist. Whether you’re writing your first story or you’re a professional writer, this book will help supercharge your hero and give them that extra edge.

These lessons will help you master your charming knights, navigate your way to the perfect balance of flaws and traits, as well as strengthen your hero to give your story the conflict and punch it needs.

First, there were villains, now there are heroes. If you like dark humor, learning through examples,and want to create the best hero you can, then you’ll love Sacha Black’s guide to crafting heroes.

Read 10 Steps To Hero today and start creating kick-ass heroes.

You can get your copy absolutely everywhere, TODAY, right now. You should probably go grab a copy… just saying.

Click the button/image to go to your favorite store.

 

 
Grab my copy of 10 Steps To Hero from a different store

***

Don’t forget to sign up to get your free 17-page cheat sheet to help you create superbad villains, as well as bonus tips and my latest book news by clicking the button below:

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Currenty Cliche: A Work in Progress

For the past ten minutes I have been doing exactly what I’ve been told not to do. Overthink.

Overthink every word, comma, and meaning behind my words. Even more so, overthink the eyes that may be looking over my shoulder. Writing was so easy. Yet a year later, it has become single handedly the hardest thing for me to do today. Last year waking up was hardest thing ever. However, today, it was easily the easiest moment after a long time.

A year. And me. The world has witnessed people go from nothing to everything within this year. But when I tried hard to look back at my year I couldn’t remember anything significant at all. In fact, I could remember nothing. I could only remember words, milestones I was vaguely aware of. And that was insane. Because I felt no emotional connection to moments that would have meant everything to me the year before 2018. It made me realize how truly I had become connected to the current moment. I have begun to live and die for now, today.

That was insane. Again repetitive, I know. But for an individual like me who always known what was expected of her, lived her past, present, and future by the book – uncertainty had never sat well with me. I was a planner. But now, I don’t plan anything. I just wake up.

I no longer recognize who I used to be and even fully understand who I am currently, in this moment. However, I have never felt more comfortable.

God, I sound ridiculously cliché. Okay, I’m going to stop writing.

 

Photo by dylan nolte on Unsplash

Do you want to master dialogue? @LiteraryLiving can help #amwriting

Dialogue is one of the harder elements of writing. Too often it sounds stilted, dull or ridiculous. Yet it forms such a vital part of your character’s make up. It’s the only time we hear from them directly.

The worst mistake you can make is writing fictional dialogue in the style of a normal conversation.

We litter our prose with ums and ahhhs and loop backs and repetition. If you wrote dialogue like that in your novels you’d bore your readers to tears.

Mastering dialogue is one of THE quickest ways to improve your manuscripts. It creates pace and tension and can even get you noticed by literary agents and publishers.

So the question is… how should you write dialogue? If only there was a nifty resource that could teach you how to master it…

Well, I know just such a thing…

Joan Dempsey is an award-winning author, writing teacher and friend of mine. I don’t recall exactly how I met Joan, but I do remember the first time I used her teaching services. I paid for a critique of my first novel, Keepers. Her insightful comments and explanations made my writing jump a gazillion notches. But more than that, she gave me a confidence I was lacking and that was enough to spur me on to complete Keepers.

I rarely promote anything unless I truly believe in the value of it, but believe me when I tell you, Joan’s courses are serious value for money.

I want to learn more about Joan’s course

Joan’s dialogue course has seven modules, looks at the five functions of dialogue and even has personalised feedback on every assignment you complete. There’s videos, group forums and everything you could possibly want.

For more information on the course, including the full course model outline, just click here.*

Like with all good things, it must come to an end. Joan’s highly sought after course is only open for another 8 days, she can’t give personalised feedback to everyone, after all.

If you’re serious about developing your writing, if you want to hook a publisher in the next year, or if you’re just after objective feedback from one of the nicest authors I know, then go check out Joan’s course.

That link one more time…

I’m ready to check out Joan’s course

 

*please note, this is an affiliate link, so if you sign up to the course, I will earn a small commission. However, any readers of this blog know it’s rare I promote anything and that I only promote services I truly believe in.

The Burnout Bitch: writers beware

Here’s the thing. Burnout is inefficient. And there’s literally nothing I hate more than inefficiency. It’s my archnemesis. It slows me down, makes me angry and ragey, and mildly violent… (toward my keyboard)1

But worse, if you’re anything like me, you’re completely incapable of realizing you’re tired, let alone reaching the brink of total burnout. I’m blind to burnout. It’s like fighting a custom built invisible demon while blindfolded and strapped into a straight jacket. Suffice to say, I’ve probably gone through at least six months of piss poor writing performance, chronic exhaustion, a terrible mindset and insomnia. Because I know what’s useful when you’re tired, NOT SLEEPING.

Okay, I’ll wind my neck in because I like to be a sparkling ray of positivity here.

LIES.

We all know I’m a scathingly cynical, intensely sarcastic rage-beast from the depths of your nightmares.  But that slight tangent aside, I do like to be helpful.

So here’s me being helpful:

Look, the only real way to get around burn out is to rest. And I mean really rest. The feet up, Game of Thrones binge watch type rest. But when was rest ever fun? If like me, you’d rather stick a fork in your eye than slow down, then here are some suggestions to help you re-focus and produce more.

THE ZEN OF ONE

I’ve talked at lengths about focus and productivity. There’s no one size fits all method for mastering productivity.

Except there actually is.

Forget the plague of ‘multitaskers’ and ‘plate spinners’ it’s all an illusion baby. They’re not really being productive, they’re giving themselves a one-way ticket to a fractured and overwhelmed mind and a severe case of cortisol-induced heart failure.

One task at a time people.

O.N.E.

One book.

One story.

One word.

It’s the only way to be truly productive. Science and Cal Newport (author of Deep Work) says so. I’ve written about how narrowing your focus and just working on one task is better for your brain, for your productivity, and for your output

Newport’s point is that we’re plagued by notifications and distractions and minutia. It floods our tiny brains and nukes our ability to focus. No focus, no output. The point is, you need to purge yourself from being switched on all the time. Grasp the silence like the holy grail it is. It’s okay not to reply to comments or check every Facebook notification. The only thing you’re missing is Aunt Bessy’s missing cat and the shit replica of Jamie Oliver’s latest recipe that your long forgotten school friend attempted.

Silence is golden. So is one task.

You can get Cal’s book here: AmazonUK AmazonCOM

RE-PRIORITISE

When you’re burned out, chances are, even a to-do list of three things is going to feel like an anvil to the head. It does for me. As soon as I’m tired (which is all the time), I slip into MUST DO ALL OF THE THINGS mode… Every tiny detail gets slapped on an obscene sized to do list and I stress and worry about all of them. Until I take a breath and remind myself that no one is going to die if an Instagram photo isn’t taken, or if I haven’t tweeted, or set up a new AMS ad.

What’s the big picture here?

No books, no sales. No sales, no full-time writing.

Words.

Words are always the priority. Everything else can wait.

DELEGATION DIVA

Ask yourself what are the things only you can do? Realistically its anything that involves your creativity i.e. your books, your podcast, speaking gigs etc. Everything else can be done by others. If you’re on the brink of burn out, then seriously, it’s time to ask for help. Get a cleaner, find a Virtual Assistant, splurge on scheduling software, get an accountant. Whatever, but it’s time to accept you’re not a superhero and you need help.

Collaboration is efficient. You’ll do more in less time.

It’s okay to ask for help.

PUT THE BIG GIRL PANTS AWAY

You know what else is okay?

Not to be okay.

I mean it. Writers are so hard on themselves. We’re expected to churn out words, market like a machine, hold down day jobs, mom like a master and still be a sane spouse. We’re just one person. We can’t do everything, we can’t run houses and full-time jobs and author businesses and still be resolutely positive. And if you can, take your candyfloss colored cheer pants over to the corner and face the wall.

It’s okay not to wear your big girl pants. Accept that you’re not okay, let the feelings exist, and then, when you’re ready, pick yourself up and soldier on.

Oh, and try meditation.

Who else has suffered from burnout? Let me know in the comments – what top tips do you have for recovery?

Footnotes:

  1. No keyboards have been harmed… although they may have been sworn at, smeared in coffee and had sugar crumbs smushed into their crevasses.

***

If you want awesome writing tips, you can grab a copy of my book 13 Steps To Evil – How to Craft Superbad Villains. Click this link and tap the logo of your reading device or regular bookshop and it will take you to the right page. You can also get a FREE villains cheatsheet by joining my mailing list just click here.

You can also find me on  Instagram, FacebookTwitterPinterestGoodreads

A Writer’s Christmas Bonanza from @angelaackerman & @beccapuglisi #amwriting

Calling all writers… I am super excited to announce that I’m part of a MAHOOOOSIVE writer’s giveaway for Christmas 2018.

Whatever you’re doing, stop. Stop right now and head over to Writers Helping Writers to find all of the amazing prizes you can win.

There’s fourteen giveaways, (I’m part of two). The first is the chance to win a signed copy of 13 Steps To Evil and a three chapter critique.

Click to win

The second you’ll have to check back in and see…!

But it’s not just my prize you should check out. There’s absolutely stacks to win including:

  • A year of ProWritingAid.
  • Novel outlining software from the amazing K.M. Weiland.
  • Signed writing craft books from Jennifer Probst.
  • A complete manuscript edit from the Spun Yarn
  • First chapter edit from September Fawkes
  • Plus prizes still to come from Michael Dunne, C.S. Laiken, Beta Books, Angela Ackerman and many more.