Monday, July 27, 2015

Stop Waiting for Your Muse #MondayBlogs #Amwriting

Monday Motivation


I hear it all the time, "I could write a novel if I had the time" or "I'd write more if I didn't have a family to raise." I'm calling bullshit on all of that.

I was widowed ten years ago, which left me as an only parent of two small children who were ages eight and seven. Between then and now, I've written and published sixteen novels on top of a freelancing and developing an editorial career. I work from home, which means constant interruptions. I've never missed a swim meet, lacrosse game, school play, or anything else. My secret? I wanted to write more than I wanted to make an excuse not to sit my butt down at the computer.

People who wait for inspiration or time or the mythical muse will be waiting a very long time while accomplishing nothing. Writer's block, you say? I don't believe you. I've never had writer's block because I make myself write even if I know what I'm putting down on the page isn't the best it could be. When writing that first draft all that matters is bleeding your heart onto the page. Leave quality control for the revisions that follow. WRITE!

If something is important to you, then no excuse in the world will keep you from doing it. I used to edit my manuscripts in the front seat of my car while waiting for my son to finish lacrosse practice. I carried my manuscript with me while my daughter took driver's education classes so I could work on revisions while I waited in the lobby. There is always enough time for what you love.

Put down the smartphone. Stay away from funny videos on YouTube. Ignore your Facebook timeline.  Carve out time to create your dream. Make it happen for you!

Write on!
Amber Lea Easton


Monday, July 20, 2015

Staying Focused #AmWriting #MondayBlogs



In the world of writing, it's easy to forget the why of it all. Most of us began writing because we felt that spark of talent, that yearning to be a storyteller, and that compulsion to get it all down on the page. Once the book is unleashed into the world, however, we can become lost--overwhelmed--with creating a platform, seeking reviews, developing a brand, obsessing over rankings, and marketing ourselves to the point where even we are sick of hearing about our book.

Just take a step back.

As someone with multiple books behind me both under my name and a pen name, I am guilty of falling into some of these traps early on in my career. When my first book launched, I felt daunted by it all--media kits, blog tours, radio appearances, tweet teams, writers' marketing support groups. I felt I needed to do everything at all times to make myself known amidst the sea of books out there. I spent money on ads that produced little results. I checked reviews everywhere all the time.

I forgot the why of it all. Why did I want to be an author? Sure, I want to sell books; but I also want to write more books and I want each book to be as good as it can be.

With everything, moderation is the key. Focus on the why of being an author. Do what you can marketing wise, but always make your writing the priority. Always. Never falter in this. Not only will you feel better emotionally when you are thinking about and working on the next project, but you will be continuously moving forward with your career.

Do you want to be a one book wonder? No. Readers want content. You can market one book to death, but then what else do you have to offer?

Focus on your creativity and nurturing it. Spend 80% of your time concentrating on writing the next best book you can create and 20% of your time marketing.

And, by marketing, I do not mean checking your Amazon ranking multiple times a day. I'm talking about cutting out the superficial noise that social media can create and becoming efficient with what works for you. What can you control? Ask yourself that question. In this moment, right now, what can you do to market yourself wisely? Is it creating a FB post or a blog post? Is it adding something to Google Plus or Twitter? Your ranking is out of your control in this moment. So is comparing yourself to so-and-so---stop wasting your creative energy on nonsense. Once you figure that out, you can utilize the rest of your valuable time writing.

Now go. Write. Be amazing. FOCUS!

Write on!
Amber Lea Easton
http://www.moxiegirlwriting.com 


Saturday, July 18, 2015

Opening Yourself to Receive Feedback #amediting #writing

Notes from the editor's desk...

I've been in this business for twenty years as a journalist, author, and editor. As a writer, I've experienced my share of crazy ass editors who would cuss and throw things. I've also benefitted from insight and constructive criticism.

As an editor, I'm not shy. I have clients across the United States and Canada who will tell you in a heartbeat that I am straightforward, thorough, and knowledgeable. I border on blunt--but am never cruel and so far haven't thrown anything at anyone. However, I have one pet peeve that has caused me to never--ever, ever, ever--accept work from a client again even if they beg me and offer more than my set fee. What is this thing that makes me turn down cash and the opportunity to be terrorized? The inability of the author to accept any feedback.

Think about this: why are you seeking out an editor? If you're looking for someone who will validate you and tell you that every word you've written is priceless, ask your spouse or best friend. An editor's job is to make your work the best it can be. If you argue about every comma or suggestion--or ignore them completely--then you are doing yourself a disservice.

Your work is born from creativity, perhaps even ripped from the depths of your heart. We understand that. Editors are your last stop--your safe haven--before your masterpiece hits the public. Would you rather be ripped apart on a buy site like Amazon or in the privacy of your computer by someone who truly has your best interest at heart? Think about it.

Before getting defensive over editorial notes on your manuscript, step away and take a breath. Wait a few days. Remind yourself of your intentions. Come back to it as an objective professional. Open your mind to the fact that you're paying someone with experience to help your work shine--and maybe that means smoothing away some rough edges.

If you as the author approach an editor with the attitude that you are above all criticism, you are setting yourself up for failure. It won't be the editor's responsibility if you ignore all suggestions for improvement--it will be solely on your shoulders.

Does this mean you need to take every little comment to heart? No. Good editors suggest and point out areas for improvement--and they will fight for their point of view if it's something vital--but they also know that the story is one hundred percent yours. But choose your battles wisely because good editors are hard to find and, if you're a difficult pain in the ass, you could burn down a valuable bridge that could have led to success.

Write on!
AL Easton
http://www.moxiegirlwriting.com 



Amber Lea Easton is a multi-published author of nonfiction, thrillers, and romantic suspense. A professional editor and freelance journalist for nearly two decades, she created Mountain Moxie Publishing Services to assist authors in mastering the writing craft. Her memoir, Free Fall, is dedicated to spreading suicide awareness, has topped international best selling charts, and has been named by Dr. Prem as fourth on the "Ten Most Inspiring True Stories Everyone Must Read" list. Easton is also a speaker regarding parenting through trauma and suicide awareness. To discover more about Mountain Moxie Publishing Services, please go to http://www.moxiegirlwriting.com. For a list of all of Easton's books, articles and interviews, go to http://www.amberleaeaston.com