If you squint really hard, you can almost see my books … Oh wait, no, that’s James Patterson.
Which is better, self-publishing or a traditional publishing deal?
If you’re a hands-on, DIY type of person with an entrepreneurial mindset, then you might be better suited to self-publishing. If you’d rather focus on the writing and not deal with the rest of it, you might prefer traditional publishing.
I’ve done both. Here’s the truth: there are benefits and drawbacks to both self-publishing and traditional publishing.
Copywriting for fun and profit. Don’t knock it ’til you try it.
I’m proud to say I’ve built a full-time career around writing, as both a novelist and a copywriter.
That means splitting my time between the two. Usually I spend the morning writing novels, then spend the afternoon writing marketing and advertising copy for business clients.
(“Copy” is just fancy ad agency shorthand for “words that sell stuff.”)
I’m not alone. There have been innumerable examples of copywriters who also successfully wrote fiction. James Patterson, Salman Rushdie, Joseph Heller, and Dorothy Sayers, to name a few.
Think Microsoft Word is a pain to use? Try cranking out 100K on this sucker.
I’m often asked what my writing process looks like.
How do I write a book? It’s pretty simple, actually.
(Not easy. But simple.)
First, I start with the basics:
- Who are the good guys?
- What are they trying to do?
- And, especially, why?
- Who are the bad guys?
- Where does this take place?
Then I boil all of that down into a strong core idea. For example: a bookish crystal shop owner has to save the world from the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse – who drive possessed muscle cars.
The idea has to work at the core level, it has to really grab me, before I start writing it. Otherwise, what’s the point?
Then I figure out how to make the whole book work, beginning to end, in a short synopsis. Maybe one page. That takes time. And even once I have that figured out, I don’t start writing it yet.
Writer’s block(s). Get it? … Sorry. Couldn’t resist.
Let me tell you the secret to getting rid of writer’s block forever.
I’ll admit, I’ve certainly had days where I feel like I don’t know what to write, or I worry that everything I write is terrible.
Some people call that writer’s block. I call it “Monday.” :-)
But seriously, what most people call “writer’s block” is an insidious combination of those two problems.
Problem #1: Not knowing what to write. Continue reading
Read more on Patricia Stoltey’s website
Before I became a full-time writer, I thought music was too distracting to play while I was writing.
I thought I needed absolute silence.
Then I got a job as a staff writer, and suddenly I couldn’t hear myself think.
Stuck in the middle of a bustling open-plan office, I quickly discovered that if I wanted to focus and meet my tight writing deadlines, I needed music.
But not just any music. If it’s too slow, your mind can wander. Too fast, and you can’t concentrate. Too personally meaningful, and you’ll experience the emotion in the music instead of putting it down on the page.
The right writing playlist takes a little planning.
Keep reading >
Tired of struggling with outlining your book? Find out how to do it the easy way.
Writing a book? Live in the Denver metro area?
Join me tomorrow evening for a fun, free workshop that explains exactly how to outline any novel or story in just minutes.
Find out how to take charge of your plot, avoid the three dumbest plotting mistakes, spot the warning signs of a dead-end story, and master the core principles of dramatic structure.
Through classroom exercises, you’ll map out the spine of your story and walk out with a solid plan to get your novel finished.
Hey, who doesn’t like free and easy?
If you’re a writer in the Denver metro area, you should join me for a fun, free workshop that explains exactly how to outline any novel or story in just minutes.
(By the way, even if you aren’t in the Denver area, don’t despair. Just shoot me an email, and I’ll send you a free copy of the new Instant Plot ebook when it comes out this summer. And yes, it’s free!)
What will you learn?
Forget fancy software. Just grab a pen and follow along!
Have you ever needed to write something, but you didn’t know how to get started?
As a professional writer, I face that problem daily.
Luckily, I’ve discovered a super-simple way to organize any writing project.
And I’m about to share it with you.