Monthly Archives: May 2014
I was asked this weekend what type of stuff do I write and how often do I write. It was an open-ended question posted in a Facebook group for authors and acceptable answers were everything from Facebook posts to emails to training programs to a novel.
It really made me stop to think about how much writing I do every week:
- Article for the blog
- Introduction for the newsletter
- Emails to clients
- Facebook posts
- Business journal entries
- Emails to friends and family
- Working on my own book projects (at least three afternoons a week)
- Editing and writing for clients
- Copywriting for clients
- And of course: lists for EVERYTHING
(I really live by making lists so I count that as writing!)
But what really surprised the group was my consistency in writing my weekly article and sending out the weekly newsletter. I was quickly asked:
Kimberly, 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?
Call me old-school but I love my printer. See, a lot of what I do is editing book manuscripts for clients. And yes, I KNOW it can be done with Word’s “Track Changes” feature. But have you ever tried to review edits that are of the comma, period, and semi-colon variety? It’s really hard to see what it was and what it’s changing to. Plus, if you’ve already USED the feature for other edits (like removing sections or asking the author clarifying questions) the grammar, spelling, punctuation edits get completely buried in the fray.
So I print it all. Double spaced but single sided. Then I get my red pen and a pot of tea and go to town. When I’m done, I scan in the pages and email the .pdf to my client. That way she can really SEE the changes and not be lost in the “Track Changes” multi-colored mess.
I recently got asked by two different online magazines if they could reprint one of my articles. Each was offering an author bio and link to my website.
Of course I said yes!
But then I was stuck when I realized I didn’t have an up-to-date author bio. Crud! Here are 7 tips to help you write YOUR bio.
1. Write in third person
Use your full name the first time. You’ll use plenty of pronouns so be sure to intermingle your name in there as well. It’s up to you if you’ll use your first name or your last. Personally, I usually use my first name (Kimberly) and save the Ms. Eldredge for more formal bits of writing. Now, if I was DOCTOR Eldredge, I might be more inclined to use “Dr. Eldredge” as opposed to Kimberly.
2. You’ll have different versions of the bio
At a bare minimum, you’ll need three versions:
- End-of-book (300-500 words)
- End-of-article (100-200 words)
- Blurb (25 words or less)
AND you might have different variations on the bio as well. I write in two distinct genres, outdoor recreation and book publishing. My bio for my outdoor recreation books isn’t going to impress the world of business coaching; they don’t care how long I’ve been camping for!
Don’t forget each version needs to link your website!
You’re reading a blog or newsletter. The author is making great points, teaching you something, you’re getting a lot out of it. And then you realize the author has made a BIG mistake in the writing. Maybe it’s something misspelled, or a wrong word, or even a tricky bit of grammar that can alter the meaning. What do you do?
So here’s my advice when YOU’RE reaching out to someone about a mistake:
1. Keep it private.
We’re all human and have egos and pride. An email is private and allows the author to save face.