What Networking Can do For Your Writing

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Flyer for Intros&Collabos

The thing that I constantly blog about and drive in to my clients heads is to stop procrastinating. When you see an opportunity to better yourself, take it! That is exactly what I did on Sunday, August 20, when I attended Intros & Collabos networking party hosted by Events by Celeste.

The afternoon started with a singing lesson for my daughter turned into a last minute invite. In the beginning I was not going to attend but I quickly thought to myself ”This will be an opportunity for me to meet event planners and possibly other people that can help me.” I received a lot more than what I anticipated.

Intros & Collabos was one of the best networking events I attended. The crowd of professional entrepreneurs was of moderate size and enough for everyone to network comfortably. Like I said, this was a last minute invite from my sister-in-law, Mayra Figueroa-Clark, #The LoveExpert; therefore, I did not have business cards or a pitch for myself. That didn’t stop her from encouraging me to network. The result was certainly memorable.

After everyone introduced themselves, entrepreneurs flocked to me in regards to wanting to write a book. Thank the Lord for modern technology. I was still able to make a lasting impression without my business cards. I put my contact information into their device. Absolutely no way of dropping or misplacing it now.

So What Can Networking do For a Writer’s Career?

  1. Give you fans and opportunities in all types of industries.

Try to attend as much networking conferences as you can and not only specifically in your niche. If you are writing about a spaceship flying to Saturn, go to a scientist convention. All you have to do is tell them you are writing a book about spaceships and not only would they be interested in reading it but also they may be willing to help you with your research.

  1. Be the shell breaker you need.

Hard to believe but I am an introvert. If Mayra did not push me (let’s be honest, give me the ‘you better do this’ look,) I know I would had sat in my seat and soaked in the ambiance. Without a speech I explained who I was and what I can do for them. In less than a minute people knew how I can be of service to them.

  1. Prove business cards are not the only way to leave a memory.

Besides not being properly dressed for the occasion, I did not have business cards with me. This did not stop people from getting my contact information. Having social network exposure really helps. This is why I stress to my clients to get a blog. As a result of not having business cards and still getting contacts, I am going to add this no card concept to my branding. Giving my number and putting theirs in my device, is a confirmed way to stay in contact with potential fans or clients. Tell your contacts to make sure it is stored in a cloud or somewhere safe in case the phone zombies decide to attack.

  1. Introduce you to fans and more fans.

I have new friends! I have people I can call on when my clients want to hold an event and need a complimentary outfit to wear-jbaldymac. Of course getting there without having to stress about directions and traffic-Borden Transportation is also something I can give to my clients. Let’s not forget about looking gorgeous for the crowd-Flawless Faces. All these entrepreneurs and gifts inspired me to continue to inspire you.

At the end of the day I gained more contacts in three hours than I did in six months. I am excited about going to more events and hope to have and other contacts help me with the premier party for my first novel. Networking improved my writing because more people are depending on me and expecting my book. I have more accountability and less reason to procrastinate.

 

Have you been to a networking party? What have it done for you?

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Author Ngozi Adichie Speaks About What Started it All For Her

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On September 25th around 6:30, I took a drive to a place I’ve never been, by myself which I’ve never done, and went to an authors event for a book signing. For me, the thought to do it was bravery enough, but my challenges didn’t end at that. I had to cross a one mile, two-lane bridge, that was so low to the water it appeared that the line of a fishing pole could touch it. (Did I mention I hate driving over bridges?)

Through all the 30 minute fear factor I went encountered, I finally made it to hear Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, author of Half of a Yellow Sun, and We Should All Be Feminist, talk about on her first book Purple Hibiscus,  at  Calvert High School in Calvert County. Kambili at the early age of 15, has to learn the struggles between obeying her religious, zealous father or standing up for what she knows is right. Taking place in Nigeria, Adichie is able to capture the sight, sound and feeling of Nigeria in this relatable story.

The audience as well as myself, was kept entertained by her witty and fun personality as she answered questioned from mediator Nadia Hashimi, author of The Sky at Our Feet. The question  and answereing opened with a jovial converstion about how some of us writers love going to public places especially an airport and watching and listening to others as a way to get ideas about a character.

The topic became a little more serious and close to heart when Adichie was asked a question from the narrator in regards to religion and politics. Keeping the conversation uplifting and entertaining, Adichie expressed the political issues (including racism), she went through as well as her characters. It was interesting to hear while searching for an agent, she was told to change her characters nationality. Agents were trying to make her “fit” into what America would accept.

What I find is, despite what genre you read or what nationality the character is, politics and religion can be expressed through the characters in the story. I remember the Book Con this year and the panel of Sci-Fi writers. The topic was on politics in sci-fi writings. It was said at the Book Con, politics plays a big roll in both religion and society.

Questions streamed from the audience on a flow of cards collected by the ushers. Some of the questions were how to become a better writer, in which she replied read more. The more you read the more you will write. In regards to her feminist movement, Adiche encouraged women to speak up and know “You matter.”

The conference concluded with a signing of her books in which I was brave enough to have her sign it. My take away from all the things Adichie spoke on something I was struggling with when it came to my writing. She said to “continue to write and keep writing what you know. If it’s something you don’t feel comfortable writing, don’t
write it.”

What have you learned from attending an authors conference?

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Finding the Right Time to Write

Part Of: So You Want to Write a Book Series

 

Sure, you know most of the reasons why your book and blog is taking a long time to come complete based off of my previous blog on how I allowed certain things to interrupt my writing. I would not feel comfortable telling you the problem without giving a solution. One of those solutions to getting your book finished is having time.

Finding time to write while you’re working or raising a child or tending to a loved one is, is easier to do than you think.

 

Time to Work

When I started on my writing adventure, the information I received as far as when to write was, ‘write in the morning’.

What are they nuts? I can barely get up in time to go to work! Thankfully that is not the only time to write.

 

Businessman on the Train

photos by adobestock

 

  1. On Our Way to Work.

For those of us that take public transportation to work, we have the fortunate opportunity to write on our way into the office. Instead of staring out the window, or going back to sleep, use that time to write. Even if your travel is only a fifteen-minute drive. that is more time than if you didn’t write at all.

Driving to work should not stop you from having your story written. You can use your cellphone or tablet to record your voice while you drive and it converts it into text. You can also transcribe it when you are ready to edit. They are various apps that allow you to do this. Some of them are:

  1. Smart Voice Recorder
  2. Audio Recorder and
  3. Evernote (yes Evernote).

These are also helpful if you are at a job where you are on your feet all day.

Lunch break concept

  1. Time to Take a Break

If you have the type of job where you can’t speak your story into your phone, then the next time you have would be during lunch. Yes,it is fun to hear the latest work gossip, but the time you spend hearing someone’s interpretation of a situation you could have written a chapter of your story.

  1. Time to Hit the Road

The same way you got to work well you have to go back. You can write during that time as well.

A Little More Time

So far you put in three hours of writing time, going to work, at lunch, and on the way home. It is up to you whether this is enough writing or not. If you want to put in more time try these moments:

Woman On Bed Writing

  1. Writing after dinner.
  2. Writing after you put the kids to bed (if you have children)
  3. Writing before you go to sleep.

Before you know it your story would be written and ready for editing. They are plenty of other time slots you can slide into your schedule for writing. I’m positive you will find an activity that you can put aside for a few minutes to get your book completed.

 

 

What other times do you write your story?

Need an awesome three month writing schedule, contact me and we can discuss my various packages to getting your book published.

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Books and Readers Meet Up at the Book Con

bookcon16Poster

When an opportunity comes your way such as attending the 2017 Book Con held at the New York City Javitzs Center, it’s best to jump on it. And that’s what I did. I usually plan things out and have my ducks in a row before I make a financial decision but registering for the Book Con was one of the best last minute decisions I ever made.

What started in 2014 as a regular meet and greet for authors and readers, has been one of the biggest and best conventions where you now get to meet and hear from famous authors and see new exhibitors and vendors. There  were keynote speakers such as Nicola Yoon (Everything, Everything) and Kwame Alexander (The Crossover) giving you information on transforming a best seller into a movie and successes, struggles, and upcoming young adult comic projects. You also meet publishing companies like Harper Collins, Macmillan, Scholastic and others for those of us who want to know what the next book is coming from our favorite author.

This year the Book Con featured comedian/actor Kevin Hart debuting his first book I Can’t Make This Stuff Up. Guest had an open question and answering with Kevin Hart as he talked about his book.

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Marissa Meyer and Laini Taylor play a game of Truth or Dare.

Other famous authors who graced the stage of the Javitz’s were Marissa Meyer author of the Lunar Chronicles and her upcoming book (which I can’t wait to get a hold of) Renegades Laini Taylor author of Strange the Dreamer. The two sci-fi authors held a game of truth or dare for the audience as they spoke about the worlds and characters of their books. They also reunited at a panel on magic and power.

Danielle Page and Christine Ancola helped writers find an easier more fun way to create their worlds. Of course, what would a Book Con be like without a Wimpy Kid gracing the stage? That’s right Jeffrey Kinney author of Diary of a Wimpy Kid was also amongst the authors speaking that day.

Kinney took the audience by entering the stage after a quick video of all the wonderful places he visited while touring for his books. He then continued to show the mainly tween filled audience pictures of his original journals that contained what inspired the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series.

The wonderful thing about going to a book con and sitting in on the mini-panels is the personal interaction the audience can have with the keynote speaker.  Kinney did that with such ease and relation to his young audience by playing a ‘guess which character’ game with them on a projection screen. Kinney would draw a line or two and ask the audience who is the character. He did this to show how we as readers can after a while recognize our favorite character by the slightest drawing.

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A fan from the panel

Kinney was just the beginning of the day. Of course one of the main reasons for coming to a Book Con is to see your favorite author and have a book signing for them. It’s like getting an autograph from your favorite singer or tv acator.Book signing was done throughout the entire Javitz where lines wrapped around wrapped lines and onlookers sneaked a snapshot of the author as they passed by.

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Lines wrapped around each other as fans waited to get their books signed.

Authors were not only signing books and taking pictures but they also spoke about various topics like:

  • What it takes to build your character
  • Bringing the romance out of your book and
  • How to create worlds.

Attendees filled the rooms as they listened and lined up for question and answering.

The event was a relaxing, awe inspiring way to spend a weekend. It was great to see everyone enjoying themselves and resonating in the atmosphere of a fictional Hogwart, dragon, detectives, young lovers, adventurers and of course bunnies, teddy bears, and fairy dust.

Were you at the Book Con? What was your favorite part?

The next Book Con is June 2-3 2018. I will keep you updated as to the events speakers as book signings. I can’t wait to see you there.

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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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