How do you ensure you find time to write?


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Hi everyone

I am so sorry I haven’t been able to visit many of your blogs recently. I have had to put myself in a Creative Lock Down mode, to knuckle down to creating websites and writing. This is the only way I can ensure I find time to write at the moment. How do you ensure you have time to write?

I have had a children’s publisher interested in my idea for a series. I sent them a rhyming picture book manuscript and although it wasn’t suitable because it was in rhyme; the Editor thought my idea for a series was strong, and one that kids would find compelling.

I am a member of the Association of Freelance Writers. Part of my membership entitles me to one free appraisal per year of up to 3000 words. This is ideal for picture book manuscripts because mine are usually under 500 words.

In order to strike while the iron is hot, I have written a non-rhyming picture book based on my idea for a series, and sent it off to be appraised. If it comes back and is deemed to be of publishable quality, I will send it off to the same publisher to find out if it’s suitable for them. I have also written a second book in the series, but I haven’t sent that one off for appraisal yet.

Besides my writing endeavours, I am currently working on creating my new design http://www.beatredundancyblues.com website. As well as my new http://www.BlogTrainer.co.uk site. I have clients waiting for the sites to be built, and that is why there is a sense of urgency to complete their creation.

I create all of my own websites using WordPress.org. It doesn’t help time wise, when I have recently found faults with some of the WordPress.org themes, which has meant I can’t use them and I have to reselect another. This is not good, because many businesses build their websites using WordPress.org.

Taking all of this into consideration, I have had to put myself into a Creative Lock Down mode, and will have to continue to do that on a regular basis until my mission is complete. This is so I can be utterly focused on getting my work done, outside of my day job working hours. For me this means:

● Either switching off my phone or putting it on silent

● Putting a notice on my Facebook wall, which states I am going to be off Facebook on my days off, or all evening, to focus on my work. Also, that I will have my phone on silent or switched off.

● Using my breaks in my day job for catching up with friends, posting new blog posts, replying to Facebook comments and Tweets. So I can use my days off and evenings for focusing on work, without distractions or going off on tagents. My breaks are very short, and currently I can’t keep up during this time.

● Working extra hard to group tasks together, to take time out to do my work. Such as washing up, administration and shopping. This also applies to checking emails; replying to blog comments and Tweets.

Unfortunately, I can’t interact as much as I would like to at the moment. I am working until the
early hours most days at the moment, and going to sleep at silly o clock. I went to sleep just before 4.20am today and had to get up for work in my day job at 8.20am.

I hope you will continue to be part of my wonderful world of quirky. Although I am locking myself down to work; I always want to be in your blogging life.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Have you ever put yourself into a Creative Lock Down mode? If so, how successful was it for you?

Write as soon as I can
Sandra

Researching what your reader wants to read


Hi Everyone

Today’s post is in response to a comment from hutchagoodlife. To find out how you can research what your reader is wanting to read.

I recently wrote a non-fiction book proposal about redundancy and this involved a lot of research. This is what I did and what I would advise you to do, in order to increase your chances of giving the reader what they want and of getting published.

  • Google your subject – paying attention to the top 5 websites and browse them thoroughly
  • Use Google Keyword search tools for finding out what words and combinations of words are most searched for
  • Search the web in general for your subject matter and note and explore your results
  • Read as many books as possible, written by other authors on the subject/genre for which you want to write
  • Read books by the publisher/s you are going to submit your work to, to see what’s been done before
  • Look through magazines/newspapers, watch TV programmes on your subject
  • Devise a market research survey or questionnaire and find a suitable place to action it – then ensure you do take action by noting the results
  • Join social networking forums relevant to your subject and find out what everyone is talking about –  A good one for me is LinkedIn
  • Go to your local bookstores and ask them for a print out on books that you can buy relevant to your subject, if there is a lot, choose between 5 -10. – Different bookstores will have some different titles that you can potentially buy but there will always be crossovers, which is when you can start to see patterns emerging of the most popular titles that you need to study
  • Go to visit your local library and look at books similar to or the same as your subject – Pay attention to how many times each book has been taken out – That way you can compare the most popular titles with the most unpopular ones and analyse why you believe they are better

The amount of time you spend doing each of the above, will most likely be different for a fiction book to a non-fiction book and although all are relevant, you may find that some work better for you than others, depending on what it is that you want to write about.

Whatever you are writing about, ensure you put a different slant on it, to what has been done before. Stay positive, stay focused and believe in your-self.

Good luck.

If you want any more help, please let me know.

Write soon

Sandra