The First Thing You Should Do Before Writing

The number one as a polished golden object with clipping path

Ever so often I like to take a refresher course in re-employment and cover letter writing. In this free informational class, one of the key notes the instructor insist on before we seek employment for a job is, we should make a plan. The plan should consist of what type of job we want, how we should construct our resume to suit the jobs qualification, researching the correct address of jobsite, as well as, who we send it to and other tips. I immediately thought to myself; the same goes for writing a book or blog.

When an idea for a story or blog pops into our head, the first step we usually take is jumping in and writing. We know our main character and the reason for our book (or maybe not,) but what happens when:

  • You’re up to chapter 25 and you change one of the character’s name? Or,
  • The doorbell rings one day and it’s your long lost cousin coming to pay you a visit and you put your writing down—for three months.
  • Ever thought you could forget the entire point of your story or blog?
Plan concept

Plan concept

That is why the first thing you should do before starting is have a plan of action. A plan will keep you on track to finishing the book or continuous blogs. Your goal is to publish your book or blog and a plan of action will help tremendously.

Oh My, Would You Look at the Time!

Use your time wisely. A plan will mainly be used to set up a schedule of the things you have to do in order to get the book completed or blogs continually posted. It helps alleviate the stress and confusing of what you are going to do next and the action you have to take in order to accomplish this. The first action you want to take is to sit down and schedule the days and time you are going to write/ blog. After, you schedule what you are going to write about.

What This All Looks Like

One of the things that helps my clients with creating a writing or blogging schedule is, it keeps them on track. Having a schedule is essential especially for those times when you don’t know what to write or blog about. It helps keep you on track and most blog host sites allow you to schedule when you want your blog to post. This way you can prewrite a blog and spend more time on writing your book.

Here’s something you can imitate:

April 4            Write a 52-week list of topics for blog (two per week.)

April 6            Create an outline for book- who are my characters, what do they look like, what
struggles do they have, where do they live……

April 8            Write first blog and schedule to post April 11 (check response April 12th & 13th)….

Make sure your plan of action is on a calendar you use regularly. I suggest using a separate calendar. If you are going to use your usual calendar, make sure you use a different color pen or bar color on your electronic device for your writing/blogging schedule.

With a plan of action, you can stick to your goal of getting your book published. Continuing the routine where you write, edit, schedule to post twice a week will, eventually become a routine. They may come a point when you feel something is out of alignment if you skip a step or day.  Remember, that is a good feeling to have. It will motivate you to stay with your plan.

What is/was your first plan of action when writing your story/blog?

If you need help setting up a plan of action for your writing/blogging journey I can help. Contact me and mention the code PLAN from today until December 2, 2016, for 10% off the introductory price of my PLAN OF ACTION package.

Learn how to create a blog in my upcoming eBook Teach Me to Blog-But, Do it Quickly.

 

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I Allowed Five Things to Interrupt My Writing Time

PART OF: So You Want to Write a Book Series

Most writers I know, who has a full-time job, would love to have at least one hour to be able to sit down and let their writing juices flow. The goal to set aside time to write is something that can be achieved but we must be aware of foreseen interruptions.

I was able to set apart four straight days just for that reason. My fabulous writing streak was suppposed to start on Thursday afternoon and end Sunday.Coming home from my job early, the plan was to catch up on all the informational blogs and magazines, I didn’t have a chance to read, as well as continue writing my book. Monday I specifically scheduled for future webinars, tutorials, and conferences I will hold in 2017. The crazy part about this entire schedule was I actually allocated time for interruptions (considering the house if full with three Minnie Me’s running around) that may occur. Never had I thought those interruptions would leave me at the end of my four day hiatus, with only nine hours to get four days’ worth of work accomplished.

Now we all know the start to a great explanation begins with “Well what had happen was…”

Interruption one: Thursday-School Closing

schoolclosed9616If I received one dollar for every Facebook post I saw of the blizzard of January 2016, I would be able to buy a new car. While everyone was welcoming the blizzard as an opportunity to get work done, I had to tend to the children being home from school. Although the snow hadn’t fallen yet, the “I’m bored,” “Can we watch a movie?” “Can you play with me,” demands started as soon as I came home from work.

Despite me explaining to them this is ‘Mommy time’, I still had to feed, tend, and supervise them. I took this as an opportunity to use my interruption time and get some housework done as well, then back to my planned schedule.

Interruption 2: Friday-Jobs Closing Early

Friday was better planned. I knew the children would be home again (and this time it did actually start to snow) so I had movies, games, food, and books-of course- set up for them to do. It was after I placed the last bowl of cereal on the table for breakfast that my husband said “I’ll be home by 1PM today.” This meant I had a few hours to get a little bit of reading or writing in before I had to pick him up from the bus depot and deal with whatever family issues he was about to assign me with. Although he knew how excited I was to get these four days to myself, I knew there would be something he too would like to accomplish with the time he was allotted (and we only have one computer in the house).

I was able to read a few post and use some more of my ‘interrupted time’ slot before my plans were changed. I figured I will do the college thing and pull an all-nighter, but that idea went flop at 11PM when I crashed due to lack of sleep from the other night.

Interruption 3: Saturday-Mommy have you seen my Batman?

batman-logo-theme-ek11When you hear your youngest tell Wonder Woman and Superman that Batman must be on vacation, you automatically turn into Supergirl and try to find Batman before you’re interrupted with the dreadful bat signal–“Mommy have you seen my Batman?” Even the excuse “Maybe the Joker kidnapped him,” would be destroyed by the response “I don’t own the Joker so Batman must be on vacation somewhere.”

Interruption 4: Sunday- Family Time

I will never place my family under the category of interruption because they are not. People think of interruptions with a negative connotation hovering over it. Knowing that the blizzard was coming and church services were cancelled, I was prepared for Sunday as family time. It was the only day out of my four day weekend that went according to plan. The blessing within that day was after all the board games, cookie and ice cream making, and movie viewing, I was able to get some of my reading and writing done.

Interruption 5-Letting Thine Own Self be True

I am my biggest interruption. My mind runs wild with blog and story ideas an average of one or two ideas every half an hour. I have to stop and write it down or type the blog in the moment—as I am with this article or else I forget the idea.

Everything has a way of working itself out. Although I had all those interruption for four days, the interruptions I had were welcoming and a comfortable break from my overwhelming world. This also gave me the opportunity to book a future four day getaway in a nearby hotel so I can catch up on what I couldn’t accomplish at home. This is something to anticipate and I see it as a self-reward as well.

Making time for interruptions is a great idea to put into your writing schedule. Expecting interruptions will give you the opportunity to refresh your mind as well as have a fresh pair of eyes when you ask the rest of the family “Have anyone seen the Batman?”

What are ways you prepare for interruptions? I would love to hear.

If you need help adding interruptions into your schedule for your writing/blogging journey, I can help. Contact me and mention the code PLAN from September 17-October 1, for 10% off the introductory price of my PLAN OF ACTION package.

Learn how to create a  blog in my upcoming eBook Teach Me to Blog-But, Do it Quickly.

 

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Everyday is an Accomplishment to Your Goal

Accomplished File Folder Completed Finished Goals Projects Jobs

Look at How Much You Have Accomplished of Your Goal Today.

I often like to write about procrastination of book writing, why your book isn’t published, and things that stopped you from writing. Well, I write them because these are things that have blocked my journey of completing my novel The Elements-Book 1.

I don’t want anyone to feel they are the only ones who can’t seem to get their book written in the time frame they expected too. Reaching any goal you may have is a task within itself and that is why we must honor any and all accomplishments toward out goal.

As you know my goal is to get on the New York Times Best Seller list. I am also looking to get back into the publishing field as an editorial assistant hopeful managing editor or production coordinator. As I wait for these goals to become reality, I am very proud of what I have accomplished thus far.

My biggest distraction is my undercover OCD (as I call it because I am not fully diagnosed.) I am proud to say today I was able to write a good amount of my story

Work, Work, Work, Work, Work, Work!

WORK word cloud, business concept

I came home from work and immediately I had to give six children–only two of them belonging to me–in my house a cup of water. After, I was on the phone (on hold) for fifteen minutes trying to get my computer service. Thank God for my husband offering to finish the rest for me so I can have time to look for places I want to work.

It wasn’t until after cooking dinner, washing dishes, helping the youngest get ready for bed, and searching for a bag full of brand new Mac make-up, which I didn’t find, that I was able to take a shower and then write some of my story.

A great accomplishment don’t you think? Despite the fact it is now past my bedtime, sometimes these are the things you have to do in order to accomplish your goals. I will look for my Mac make-up tomorrow.

How much of your writing do you accomplish during the day? What has been your greatest distraction?

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Be a Writer with Integrity-Keep Your Promises

Integrity  Dictionary Definition

Integrity Dictionary Definition highlighted with a pen

In lieu of me planning on posting a continual blog to the last one, I feel this one takes precedence over any other consultation I had to give you for your writing journey.

While perusing on my personal Facebook page, I came across a blog ad that asked me to sign up for a free webinar happening that week. Of course FREE is my favorite word and it was on a topic I knew would not only help me but my followers as well.

The first thing I did was check the time it was scheduled to post. Once I saw I can fit it into my schedule, I quickly signed up and began downloading all the information that was sent to my email. I was excited about the webinar because in the advertisement it was already answering questions I had been asking myself for years. I knew this would be a well worth webinar.

Days before the webinar I confirmed the time and link and cleared my agenda so I can spend the time in the webinar. The day of the webinar I was resent a page with the link. I opened the new email approximately ten minutes before it started. To my surprise they were eight other participants besides me waiting for the webinar to start. At first I thought for something advertised on Facebook, this is a small amount of participants; hopefully others will join in for the sake of the hostess, then I looked at the top of the participant list only to see the start time said ‘one hour ten minutes.’

Shocked at the start time, reverting back to the first email was my only option to clear my baffled mind. The program was supposed to start at 5p.m. Eastern, but according to the revised email it said 5p.m. Central time.

“Well of all the nerve!” I shouted. It’s not bad enough I could have been doing something else but now I have to wait another hour before it starts.

Let Your Yes Be a Yes

Ladies and gentleman, be a person with integrity. As a writer it is important you make your deadlines.

If you promised an agent a revision at a certain time give it to them.

Never break your appointments.

If you hold webinars, please indicate your time zone on your invitation so your participants can schedule accordingly.

If you say you are going to do something at a certain time, then do it. If you have to reschedule, don’t sneak it in or think “Well those who can’t make the new time oh well.” The tables will turn on you and you will reap what you sow. It will become ‘oh well’ on you because that, right there, is bad business Buddy.

The World Wide Web is Worldwide

The World Wide Web isn’t called that because it sounds catchy. It actually is ‘worldwide’. That means anyone; anywhere can watch your webinar. The last thing you want to do is make a bad reputation for yourself. The slightest mistake can make someone judge you and with the same World Wide Web, your name can hit social media in less than three seconds. What type of impact do you want it to make?

The End Result

I was fortunate enough to catch some of the webinar. The speaker did follow the old time cliché of save the best for last but unfortunately I wasn’t able to stick around to watch the main factor of her webinar. The tiny bit of information I watched will help me but unfortunately it will not help her.

I was able to find a fortunate opportunity to turn this into something positive and lucrative for both of us. If this should ever happen to you, you can turn this into a win-win situation. If the speaker is professional enough they would have a comment or survey along with the webinar. That is your time to professionally inform her not to take her potential audience for a fool and, in the future, show integrity by informing them of any changes. You can then direct them to your blog or another writer you know that will help them.

My LinkedIn page has blogs that speak on work and managerial protocol, and I was able to direct her to it where we were able to form a great professional relationship.

Have you had a client or know of a person who lacked integrity in their so call field? I would love to hear how you resolved the issue? Did you help them or someone else?

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5 Great Sites to Host Your Webinar

Many of us have our own business or want to start one. Some of us who started a business used our own Skype or Hangout account in order to have meetings. This can be hard as we juggle between personal and professional conversations. There is also the fact certain apps only allow you, to connect with those with the same app .

Using well-known sites such as Skype or Hangout sometimes doesn’t give us the professionalism we are looking for. Although Skype and Hangout is great for those small meetings, what happens when you have more than ten people or you have presentation slides you want to show your audience? This is where a webinar site will come in useful.

A lot of web hosting sites allows you to host conferences within your site (usually for an additional fee to your package), but what if you don’t have a website? Or, what if you just want to hold a webinar maybe once a month or less? If you don’t need a subscription to a site until your business really starts to escalate, you can use any of these five sites that do an excellent job of hosting webinars.

  1. Freeconferencecall.com

freeconferencecall_616  This webinar site lets you have twenty-five people on your conference for free. It is a great site because it allows you to do screen view (so the audience can see the presentation you designed ), record your webinar, and send the link to whoever missed your webinar. You can also upload files and give links to the audience in case you have a book or something promotional to give out.

Freeconferencecall.Com lets you see your audience and gives you your own personal access and phone number. It is easy to set up and has customer support for those times you need help.  And yes, you can also hold conference telephone calls.

2.Freescreensharing.com

freescreen_616 This site does what it says. It’s free and you can share screens with another speaker. This is perfect for the times when you have a guest speaker or co-writer. Freescreensharing.com allow other participants to share their screen although you are the main host. Once again, the great thing about this site is, it is free up to one-thousand participants. You get up to six hours and unlimited webinars per month. Downloads are included for this awesome site as well.

So far you have two great webinar sites that allow downloads. The next three has benefits for you as well.

  1. Meetingburner.com

meetingburner_616This site has a variety of package deals. As part of the package deal, you can stick with the free package they offer that allow you to have ten attendees and live meetings. The advanced packages allows more features and participants of course.

The last two sites are two of the most used webinars by corporations. Although they ask for a fee (for the more useful part of the site,) in the end, it is all worth it if you have a large platform.

  1. Gotomeeting.com

gotomeeting_616  Although it gives you a thirty-day trial, gotomeeting.com, is one of the most popular webinar sites used by a lot of businesses. It allows screen sharing and audio conferencing. The size of your attendees determines the fee per month.

  1. Anymeeting.com

anymeeting_616.jpg This amazing webinar site lets you have free webinars up to one-thousand participants, personal url, international and national telephone number,follow-up emails, surveys, and tests. Anymeeting.com also has registration forms and handouts. After the fourteen day trail, rates apply.

These webinar conference sites are great to use to promote yourself or use as part of a training course you offer. The best thing to do when you are starting, is compare the different sites to each other in order to see Which works for you.

What webinar conference site have you tried?

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You Can Write as Many Books as You Want–At One Time

The one thing I love about teaching others is I learn so much about myself as well. During my blogging session, after the workshop, a guest came up and had a conversation with me. Within that conversation they stated how they tend to write more than one story at a time and felt as if that was wrong to do (as if it was a writing sin.)

That comment made me feel so relieved because that is exactly what I do. I told them there is absolutely nothing wrong with writing more than one book at a time. As long you don’t mix up your characters and stories, you can write as many stories as you can think.

Writing numerous stories at one time has helped me with writer’s block. I don’t get any symptoms (knock on wood). Since I am in the process of writing a trilogy, it would make sense I am writing more than one story at a time. I am also writing an adult fiction so when I get tired of writing about four human teenagers helping thier two alien friends defeat the Saturians who invaded Glitron, I can switch to a married friend of a stripper contemplating if she is going to sleep with her husband’s client.

The ability to do more than one job at a time is part of human nature. We all put down on our resumes ‘ability to multi-task,’ so why can’t we have the ability to multi-write?

Do you write more than one story at a time? Do you think it is writing etiquette to do so? I’d love to hear what you think.

 

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Writer’s Guild Attendees Are Ready to Conquer the ‘Blog’

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Life Journeys Writers Guild members and guests got a start-to-finish blog lesson taught by Alison Figueroa (Aliefwrites.wordpress.com).

I want to take this time to thank all those who attended my blog class at the Life Journeys Writers Guild held in Waldorf, Maryland, at the Waldorf West Library on Saturday, May 21. For those of you who missed it, don’t worry, the request for another class was clearly heard.

At this event I show the participants how to create a blog on WordPress from account sign up to posting the blog. As I taught the class, I learned a lot myself particularly about the areas where writers need help in blogging.

Our time was limited, and (almost like the computer gods planned it,) the internet was slow, making it even more challenging for me to intimately explain and demonstrate some of the pertinent steps in creating a blog. Despite all the welcomed questions and freezes, I was able to achieve my goal of teaching the class how to create a blog.

I will try my best to have a more in-depth class in the near future. Please continue to follow my site for more information regarding the date and location.

Like I said, I learned a lot too. The main thing I learned is I am a useful vessel to many and holding this class has inspired me to not only have a similar class but to hold classes that go further into blogging, design, and how to jump-in and market oneself.

At this time I am open to any ideas on what the audience would like to hear regarding blogging. I received some great questions and would love to blog about them in more detail. Is there anything you want to learn about blogging or how to create a post? Write your question in the comment box and good luck blogging.

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