I like to find new ways each year to set my goals. Sometimes I write them in a journal. At other times I create vision boards. I’ve gone on New Year’s retreats where I meditated, hiked, and listened for guidance as to what goals to set and how to achieve them. And I’ve gotten together with a friend where we set goals together.
My primary intention each year is to discover effective methods and tools to achieve my goals. It’s frustrating to set them and not see them come to light.
Today, with the ease of self-publishing and e-publishing, you have no reason not to achieve your writing goals—if you keep them simple to start. If it’s to get your first book written, get clear about your intentions. Why do you want to write the book and who will buy it? What obstacles do you see ahead of you?
I can help you overcome just about any obstacle in creating your book. Believe me, I’ve heard and seen them all. The biggest obstacle is time! Don’t I know that? If you say you don’t have the time, why not talk your book? We speak approximately 180 words/minute and there are 300 words/page in a typical book, so you could potentially speak one page in two minutes. I just tried it and I spoke 200 words in one minute. Now, if you spoke for one hour you could potentially create 30 pages of content. In just four hours, you’d have a 120-page book. Could you find four hours to speak your book?
After that you’d get it transcribed and then do the editing (or send it to me to edit it). Or you could speak into a word recognition program like Dragon Naturally Speaking. As for publishing it as an ebook, I recently discovered www.2epub.com which quickly and easily converts your Word doc into an ebook. Then you upload it at Kindle and Barnes and Noble, and you’re off and selling.
Andrea Susan Glass
Okay, you’ve decided you need a ghostwriter. You want to write your book, you’ve admitted you need help, and you need a ghostwriter. You want to find the right person. So how do you choose a ghostwriter?
In most cases when seeing a new service provider, you often start with a referral. So ask around and see if anyone you know has used a ghostwriter or knows of one. You can also attend writing organization meetings or meetups and see if there are any ghostwriters present. Check the organization’s website and review the members. For example, I’m a member of Publishers & Writers of San Diego (www.publisherswriters.org) and our website lists the members. And like most anything you’re looking for these days, you can do an Internet search. I’m surprised how many people find me online in the morass of my competitors. I must be doing something right.
So now you’ve found a few ghostwriters. What’s next? First, you’ll want to review their website if they have one and get a sense of what they do and how competent and experienced they seem. Then send them an email or call them on the phone. I prefer to set up phone or in-person appointments so we don’t play too much telephone tag.
Remember that you’ll be in a long-term relationship (at least three months or more) with this person, so you have to not only feel they’re an excellent writer, but that you share similar values, like honesty, good communication, reliability, and keeping agreements. This is what’s important to me. I get very frustrated when my clients continually break appointments or worse, don’t even show up. Or when they don’t return emails or phone calls!
I suggest interviewing two to three ghostwriters, get samples of their work, and check a few references. It’s best if you can meet in person, but if not have at least two phone calls. Then let your head and your heart have a conversation and make your choice. Also when you sign a contract, make sure there’s an easy way out in case it isn’t working. I have that in all my contracts.
Here’s to a successful working relationship with your ghostwriter of choice and to a fabulous book!
PS. Please contact me about your ghostwriting needs. If I’m not the right person for you, I have quality referrals. (www.WritersWay.com/contact)
Suppose you want to write an article, newsletter, or column because you have expertise to share and you want to attract new business by getting this information out to potential customers. But you hate to write, you’re not a very good writer, or you just can’t find the time.
These are circumstances when you might need a ghostwriter. Let’s look at each of these reasons in more detail. Okay, you were never good in English, your high school English teacher cringed when you handed in papers, and you were never a big reader. You preferred the Cliff notes or the DVD. Writing is not everyone’s cup of tea. Most people either hate to write or love it—and a few are in between; they do it because they have to. So if you hate to write but you really would love to have articles or even a book about your experiences or your expertise, you need a ghostwriter.
Now if you do enjoy writing, but for some reason everything you write sounds like it came from your 4th grader—let’s face it, you may not have the skills or talent. Not everyone does. I wouldn’t be in business as a ghostwriter and copyeditor if everyone was good at writing. You also may not know how to get started writing a book, as the whole process can be overwhelming. A ghostwriter can walk you through the process, hold your hand, encourage you, keep you on track, and do all or some of the writing for you or fix what you’ve written.
The most common reason I’ve found that someone needs a ghostwriter is they don’t have the time, can’t find the time, or won’t make the time. Take your pick. I’m not saying they’re making excuses, but they have busy lives, they can’t focus, they get distracted, they want to have a book yet can’t seem to make it a priority in their life. A lot of would-be authors don’t know if they’ll make any money on their book, so they find it hard to put it as a priority.
However, they want the book, so they need a ghostwriter. What I do is make weekly appointments with my authors and make sure they carve out time each week to work on their book. I hold them accountable and help them keep their commitments. I have a successful track record of guiding over 100 individuals through the process of completing their books—whether they hate to write, can’t write well, or couldn’t find the time.
Let me help you through your writing challenges. Sign up for my complimentary session at www.WritersWay.com/contact.
PS. Your comments are greatly appreciated. When you comment on a blog, you create a link back to your website! It’s a win for everyone.
When I mention I’m a ghostwriter, some people get that glazed look in their eyes and say, “Oh. That’s interesting.” I know they want to ask me what a ghostwriter does but don’t want to appear ignorant. And some people say, “That’s great. I’ve never met a ghostwriter. What exactly do you do?”
So to clear up the mystery and mystique of us ghostly creatures, I thought I’d talk about ghostwriters this month. Though I probably should have waited until October to fit in with Halloween. Oh well, anyway, here goes.
So what does a ghostwriter do? What a ghostwriter does is write something for another person under that other person’s name. That way the book, article, column, etc. appears to have been written by the person whose name is on the book, etc. but it was primarily written by the ghostwriter.
The person who hires the ghostwriter has something to say and for whatever reason needs someone else to put it into words. Words are the tools of the ghostwriter. They take the ideas from the person’s head, from research, or other written materials and formulate the finished product: book, article, etc.
The ghostwriter may write the whole book or parts of the book. The ghostwriter may do all the research or some of it. The ghostwriter may work on his/her own or in partnership with the “author”. The ghostwriter may get credit as co-author, editor, or in the acknowledgments as some sort of help. Or there may be no mention at all of the ghostwriter.
Generally the ghostwriter gets paid up front for the job, but in some instances the author may negotiate a partial payment with partial royalties. Each situation is unique.
When I work with an author, I customize my agreement and process to the individual and it’s different in each case. Find out more about my ghostwriting services at www.WritersWay.com/services.
PS. PLEASE feel free to leave comments. I love to know someone is reading these articles! 😉
I always like to begin a book project by asking my clients to clarify their two motivations:
1) the author motivation: why do you want to write this book or ebook?
2) the reader motivation: why will your readers buy this book or ebook?
Let me clarify what these mean:
Author motivation can include a variety of goals such as:
- make passive income
- share my expertise
- solve a problem
- spread my message
- promote my name and brand
- do what I love
- enjoy the prestige of being an author
You may have another motivation or several, so think about what it is, and write it down. As you move through the process of writing a book or ebook and confront challenges or distractions, you need to connect with your motivation to keep your forward momentum. (Don’t even think you won’t have distractions!)
Reader motivation has to be strong enough for someone to take out their credit card and click BUY NOW! Some might be:
- need a solution to a problem
- want more information on a subject
- desire to learn a new skill
- inspiration, guidance
- entertainment, escape
Why do you buy books? Why would someone buy your book, instead of someone else’s? This needs to be a strong WHY! Or you won’t achieve your author motivation.
So before you sit down to write your book or ebook, dig down and determine the author and reader motivation. Write these down and keep them where you can see them near your computer. They’ll keep you focused and pumped up any time you get writers’ block, overwhelm, or fear!
By the way, I have accountability coaching programs to keep you on track. Check them out at www.writersway.com/services.
PS. If you live in the San Diego area, I’ll be speaking on Monday, May 23, at the San Diego Writers/Editors Guild. My topic is Turn Your Book into Your Business. The meeting runs from 6:30 to 8:30 pm and is at 3851 Rosecrans St. Visit www.sdwritersguild.org for additional information. Would love to see you there!
I’ll give you an example. Let’s say you’ve been planning for a while to write an ebook. So you put it in your New Year’s goals and that’s that. When February rolls around and you see you haven’t gotten started, you wonder why. Well, here are some reasons. First, you didn’t schedule time in your daily schedule to work on the ebook. Time you schedule for your own projects is as important as time you set aside for clients and loved ones. Second, you didn’t formulate a plan as to how to proceed with writing your ebook.
That’s because you’ve never written an ebook before. So you have no idea where to start and how to proceed. It sounded like a good idea, everyone’s reading ebooks, many people are writing them—why not you? I agree, it’s a good idea, a great idea. But you need a plan.
That’s why I write ebooks and teach classes on how to write books and ebooks, because most people have no clue how to do it. I’ll give you a few quick hints here to start you on your plan.
First do the research and brainstorm some subjects and titles. What other books are out there on your topic? How can you be unique? Check Amazon to see who your competition is. Second, create an outline for what you want to cover in your book or ebook; this will become your table of contents. Next, go to your calendar and block off 2-hour periods of time to write. You might even want to get an accountability partner, like myself or a friend or associate. Then sit and write at those designated times. Don’t worry about being perfect in your first draft—just let the ideas pour out of your brain and onto the page.
Hope this helps you move forward with your writing goals.
Andrea Susan Glass
For some people, writing is worse than getting their teeth drilled. I once read, “It’s more fun to have written than to write”. I can attest to that, especially when I sit down to write 4 emails, 12 blog posts, and 3 articles at one sitting. And then add to that a bunch of Facebook notes and various comments on friends’ notes and blogs.
Also, I’ve alluded to the fact that I often have difficulty writing from my heart, so I’ve been practicing more with these blog posts and emails. But whether you’re writing a blog post, article, email, Facebook note, or an ebook, writing from the heart is the key that connects you with your audience. They hear what you’re saying, but also feel your intent behind the words—your intent to provide value.
When you write from your heart, you connect with your target audience, and when you write with a purpose your writing is at its most impactful! You’re writing what you most want to convey, and you’re writing what you feel others will benefit from
Therefore, writing for both yourself and others is the key to effective communication. And when you’re writing from the heart, it can be a labor of love!
Andrea Susan Glass
Valentine’s Day is upon us and I’m sure everybody is writing about it. Well, what else is there to write about when you start to run out of ideas? The holidays, your family problems, your health issues—honestly I see people writing about their very personal stuff in blogs, emails, etc. I’m sorry, but I really don’t think my readers want to know about all my little bitty personal stuff.
I like to write about writing. I like to talk about what’s current. So what are you doing for Valentine’s Day? Do you have someone to show how much you love them? We all do, and we all especially have ourselves to show our love. (Well my cat too!) Did you ever write yourself a love letter? I have, and it’s really amazing to write it. And then when you read it back, it’s awesome. It’s like the truest love there is—the love you have for yourself.
Okay, you think I’m off my rocker. Or not! So many people fail to realize that self love is the basis for any love. If I don’t love me, I can’t love you. Because I don’t know what love really is. And I don’t have a loving self to present to you.
So why not write a love letter to yourself this Valentine’s Day. If it’s hard, pretend it’s from your spouse, lover, or future lover. What would you want him/her to say to you? Then say it to yourself.
And when you’re done with your love letter to you, write one to your beloved—spouse, parent, child, pet… You know who they are.
Happy writing and Happy Valentine’s Day!
Andrea Susan Glass
Ah, we’re still not at Valentine’s Day yet, but creeping ever closer. I wonder if today anyone writes love letters to their beloved on Valentine’s Day. I wonder if the art of writing love letters, love notes, or even love poems has morphed into love emails and even love texts! We’ve come a long way baby—at least technology wise.
But I’m old fashioned—and fairly old at that—and I still like the longer ways of writing. I still have friends I write LETTERS to, yes, that’s right—LETTERS! And I still write in my journal from time to time. I even send thank you cards, birthday cards, and greeting cards by snail mail!!
What I think is even cooler, is my good friend Lynette Smith of www.GoodWaysToWrite.com who embraced the whole idea of writing treasured letters to loved one. How cool is that? It all started when her son got married and wrote her and her husband a letter of thanks for raising him to be the man he is today. Lynette got to thinking about the Lost Art of writing letters and set about to change that.
So she created booklets that would teach people how to write treasured letters to loved ones. Her first 4 booklets are wedding themed: writing to your husband, wife, parents, and children when they marry.
I was her first customer as my brother was just getting married to his second wife. I’m not sure if they even read the booklets, but I think they’re brilliant. First of all, when you write a love letter, your note will stand out from the barrage of emails, texts, or whatever way you usually communicate and your receiver usually gets communications. Second, you can take your time when you write a love letter, rather than rushing through a quick email or even quicker text.
So take a look at www.GoodWaysToWrite.com and think about who in your life would be thrilled to know how much you care for them. What a great Valentine’s Day gift—an old fashioned love letter.
Andrea Susan Glass
I love the idea of theme of the month, because when you write as much as I do, the theme gives me a place to start and helps reduce writers’ block! And I also like talking about writing with a purpose, because it helps me focus on what to write about.
So back to the theme of the month: Writing from the heart. I feel that when you write from your heart, you’re writing with a purpose; but is it your purpose or your readers’ purpose? And are they two different things? I think they are.
As I’m sure you’re aware, everything you write has a purpose. If you write an email to your mailing list, your purpose is to stay in touch with your audience, letting them know what you’re up to, and providing valuable ideas. So YOUR purpose is to stay in touch, and the purpose for your READERS is to keep them informed.
Now, if you write an article to submit to article directories, your purpose is to spread your expertise over the web so people will contact you to find out more about your services and/or products. Therefore, YOUR purpose is exposure and to attract business, and your READERS’ purpose is to gain valuable information.
And when you write an ebook, your purpose is most often to educate readers in your area of expertise, as well as to make a profit. So YOUR purpose is to make a profit, and the purpose for your READERS is to gain information for education or to solve a problem.
The clearer you are about the purpose of your writing, the more effective you’ll be at reaching that purpose—both for yourself and your readers! When you connect with your purpose, you’ll connect with your readers. They’ll get what you’re communicating and respond accordingly.
My purpose in writing blogs is to share my knowledge in the area of writing books and ebooks so my readers will accomplish their purpose of writing their book or ebook. Please send me comments to let me know if these blogs are helpful.
It’s my purpose to help you achieve your purpose. Connect with your purpose and you connect with your readers
Andrea Susan Glass
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