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Don’t Let Your Great Idea Pass You By!

071916-Pencil“I trust a short pencil more than a long memory.”

Do you ever have one of those amazing ideas – for a book, article, meme, or program – and you’re so certain you’ll remember it forever… only to realize that it’s lost?

Yep, me too!

Years ago, when I was involved with a network marketing company, the trainers would trot out that quote about a short pencil being better than a long memory – the underlying message being that writing things down would always trump thinking you’ll just remember.

Have you ever lost a great idea for a story or article? 10 ways to capture your ideas! #amwriting Click To Tweet

And after having a few amazing ideas slip away and only leaving the memory that there WAS an amazing idea, I finally took the hint! Now I write things down.

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Writing When the Suckies Strike…

I have a confession to make… it’s Tuesday and I just don’t feel like writing an article for the blog today. I know that it WILL happen because after THREE YEARS of posting every Tuesday and sending out my weekly newsletter there’s no way I’m going to miss it now but…

I just don’t want to.

It’s been a while since I’ve written a straight-up “how to” article with steps or tips. But nothing is coming to mind as earth-shaking.

I’ve even been “cheating” and revamping some older articles – but that gets boring QUICKLY – and I’m rather bored.

071216-FanAs I’m settling into this “blah” feeling, it’s not about writing in general. In fact, at this very moment I’ve got at least three projects that spark excitement. But as for writing a meaningful article… crickets. Blahs. I’d go take a nap except that Ben is installing a fan in our room and my bed is covered in tools and pieces of the fan.

So what’s my practical advice in this situation? Two things…

1. Suck it up. I’ve got an article to get out and my feelings about it are really irrelevant. It’s a promise I fully intend to keep to myself, to my readers, and to the Kim of 2013 who said she’s do this weekly.
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Do Book Bonuses Increase Sales? 4 Tips for Great Bonuses

I received an email from a client recently asking my opinion on adding additional content into her book project. Her manuscript is nearly done and she wanted my advice on adding in some additional chapters with resources, tips, and a “plan” to follow.

I suggested against it.

Oh! Did I surprise you? Let me explain:

If you're offering a bonus with your book, make sure it's on track! #amwriting Click To Tweet

In the industry where she works (health coaching) it is a very common practice to add several bonuses to the main offer. The thought is that you’ll come for the meat of the topic (main offering) but stay for the potatoes, salad and dessert (bonuses).

070516-PileofBonusesAfter all, when you buy a program for $997 and ALSO receive $2,000 worth of related bonuses you really feel like you got a lot of bang for your buck, right? The thought is that you’ll come for the meat of the topic (main offering) but stay for the potatoes, salad and dessert (bonuses).

But that doesn’t always translate from the online sale of information to the sale of books through Amazon. In the book publishing world, this “add in a ton of “value” with bonuses” approach often backfires.

Your reader purchased your book for a very specific reason; they were looking for a very specific solution. Offering them more than what they came for usually doesn’t scream “BONUS INFO! This author really knows her stuff!”

It says:

“This author couldn’t figure out how to stay on topic!”
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The Power of a Decision on Your Writing

062816-DecisionLast week I shared 5 Tips to be a More Consistent Writer – one of which was decide. As in decide that your writing is important and you’ll give it the attention, desire, and effort it deserves.

Making the decision – just that decision – is very powerful. “When making any decision, whether you like it or not, you are okay with the consequences. We are instantly and subconsciously validating the outcome of our decisions as we are making them. If you think about it, it only makes sense to make those decisions that will eventually make us happy and achieve our goals…” from the website PickTheBrain.com

The challenge there, is that it’s not just the initial decision that matters; if anything that’s the decision that matters the least.

Anybody can say, “I’m picking up the pen today and putting words on paper.” And then do it for one day. That’s easy. You can ride the momentum of inspiration and excitement for the first day.

Your first decision isn't where the power lies - it's in continuing to make the decision. Click To Tweet

And maybe the second. And the third. Maybe you can ride it for a whole week.

The decision that really matters is the one that you keep making – every day, every week, every month. It’s the “little” decision you keep making, over and over, that really matters.

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5 Tips to be a More Consistent Writer

062116-HandsWritingI get asked regularly just how MUCH do I write? For those people who don’t self-identify as authors (or who are still dreaming) I know that the sheer volume of words in a book can seem daunting. But that question really made me stop to think about how much writing I do every week:

(I really live by making lists so I count that as writing!)

What really surprised the asker was my consistency in writing my weekly article and sending out the weekly newsletter. I’m pushing three years without missing a single week. So the follow up question was:

Kim, how long did it take you to create good habits for yourself that keep you on track?

It took all I had not to answer: about fifteen seconds.

See, it really DID take about fifteen seconds to develop my “habit” for my weekly article and weekly newsletter. But I know that isn’t the answer the group (or you) are looking for! Of the five tips I’m going to share, I really do think #1 is the most important!

Five Ways To Develop Consistency In Your Writing

1. Decide it matters
In August 2013 I DECIDED that I was going to post a weekly article and mail out a weekly newsletter. I’d played with posting regularly and, if I’m super honest, had never emailed my list consistently. I don’t even remember my thought process or why I decided that I would write weekly and email weekly.

And you know what, it doesn’t matter. What matters is I drew the line and said: From this moment forward I’ll be consistent. I won’t allow ANYTHING to get in my way.

But here you have to be brutally honest with yourself. If you wanted to write a business article weekly and you sit down to discover you have no Internet at the moment, what do you do?

Write anyway!

Can’t get to the computer? Grab a pen and paper and write anyway. No pen? Get a crayon! No paper? Type a note on your smartphone.
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Are You Following Your Dream?

When I was a junior in high school my dad bought a HUGE book that listed all the colleges in the USA and had endless listings about what you could declare as a major. (Actually, I think he bought a couple of these books!) There was a lot of talk around the dinner table about where I was going to go to college and what I’d study.

ONE time flipping through that book and I knew exactly what I wanted:

061416-UofATo study Creative Writing and to do it at the University of Arizona.

(The fact that U of A is in Tucson where I had a family was a plus. The fact that Dad graduated from there and I’d been raised a Wildcat was a huge bonus!)

I went through the last two years of high school knowing exactly where I was going to college and what I was going to study. When my friends were deciding if college was even something on their radar, I knew what I was going to do.

I knew.

I was moving in the direction of my dreams, taking a powerful action to someday become an Author.

Are you moving in the direction of your dreams? Click To Tweet

But here’s the weirdest thing…

All those friends who were undecided majors (or even undecided about college at all) got lots of approval and feedback from adults. Teachers and other adults alike would look at my peers and offer endless encouragement to pursue their dreams; go to college and find out what you want.

You want to know what they told me when they found out I was majoring in Creative Writing?

“What’s your backup plan?”

I kid you not! That’s what they said to me, over and over. Not “Great job to follow your dreams, Kim!” but “What’s your backup plan?”

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Video – Do You Need a Mentor to Help with Your Book?

Have you ever wondered if NOW is the right time to find a mentor to help you with your book? I know that just answering that question can be overwhelming – let alone knowing what working with a mentor would look like!

Here’s a quick video where I share how I personally know when I’m ready to take that leap – and how you can check in with yourself to decide if it’s the right time for you too.

And if you’re ready, here’s a link to apply for a Writing Adventure Discovery Session. It’s free!

To watch move videos like this, please subscribe to my YouTube channel.

What does it REALLY feel like to publish a book?

053116-DreamI remember the anticipation the most; I had spent weeks working on the project and I was 99.9% sure that the fruit of my labors was waiting for me in my PO Box. I leaned down to open my box; it’s only three rows up from the bottom. I took a deep breath and turned the key.

It was waiting for me. A nondescript brown cardboard package, deceptively lightweight. My mom was waiting for me in the truck; we were just about to head to town for a grocery shopping trip.

Do I open it here, in the Post Office, alone, or wait until I was in the truck, with an audience? I was sure I was going to cry. That decided it for me; if I was going to cry I wanted it to be with only my mom watching and not the whole of a small town Post Office. I didn’t bother to pick up the mail in the four other PO boxes I checked daily but walked quickly out into the late summer sunshine and back to the truck.

My hands were trembling as I pulled back the cardboard zipper. That surprised me. It wasn’t the first time, exactly. I had been here before, almost.

The package opened in my lap. I was glad I was sitting down.

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3 Steps To Organize Your Book’s Idea

052416-WhatIdeaAre you wondering how to organize your ideas for a book?

Or if your ideas even FORM a book?

You’re soooooo not alone! In the past month, I’ve spoken to probably a dozen people who have a great inkling for a book but have no idea how to take that random idea and organize it into a comprehensive writing plan!

Many people THINK that the first step in writing a book is that outline – and they can slave over it and cram every bit of information about the topic into a placeholder in that outline.

And there’s some value in that as an exercise…

But it doesn’t really help you get your book organized and written!

That outline is going to be key in writing your book without losing your mind. But it’s not actually the FIRST step!

052416-IdeaThere are two steps BEFORE creating your outline:

1. Coming up with LOTS of ideas

When you jump straight to creating your book’s outline, you can miss key things that should be in the book. Or your book’s topic is just a little bit… off!

And you can also have ideas that while great – don’t fit into THIS book. Which brings me to step 2…

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How Long Does it Take to Write a Book?

It’s a question I get asked regularly, especially when I’m speaking from stage…

“How long does it take to write a book?”

I get it! You want to know how to plan your work load, your life, your biz, and your book’s launch.

Unfortunately this is one of those “it depends” answers.

A book is a project with a clear starting and ending point. (Idea to completed first draft). But the path between those two points can get… murky.

Think of it this way:
051716-VacuumI want to vacuum my house. I have to get the vacuum and plug it in – regardless of how large my house is, I must do that step. (Call this the idea step!)

Then, I have to vacuum. But do I dust first? Is that really part of vacuuming? (This can be thinking about companion products to your book – like an opt-in gift.)

Why writing a book is like vacuuming the house! Click To Tweet

Is this the week where I do a quickie vacuum or when I really move furniture and get in all the cracks? (This can be the difference between a shorter book (20,000-30,000 words) or a longer book.)

How big is my house? Am I vacuuming every room or just the main areas? (Think about your book – are you trying to be the definitive guide or an introduction?)

The end goal is to have the house vacuumed – clean floors. But the time to get from getting the vacuum out and plugging it in until I’m done and wrapping up the cord and putting it away… That varies!

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