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21 Days to Making More From Your Writing

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This year has been an amazing year for Writer’s Living. In fact, this month marks the first anniversary of this blog!

Writer’s Living started in December 2011 with another name, as my original intent was to combine two things I love: the business of writing with thoughtful commentary on life and pop culture. After a few months of doing that, we realized those were two distinctly different things and each needed its own space. So we took that one blog and divided it into two separate ones. Writer’s Living, as you know it today, came to be, with the purpose of sharing inspiration, information, and advice to help you manage the business side of your writing career. The other — commentary on life and popular culture and interesting articles to help you live a bigger, better life — would go to Big Life Magazine. You can join the mailing list for Big Life Magazine so you can be among the first to know when it goes live in 2013. But today isn’t about Big Life Magazine. It’s about Writer’s Living.

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Write the Vision and Make It Plain

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I absolutely believe in the power we have to create our own lives. Now, I’m not going to go into some weird explanation about manifestation and explaining that all we have to do is think something to make it reality. Although I do believe our thoughts create reality. Instead, I will  do something way simpler: Let you know that writing down what you want actually helps make it happen.

I read Henrietta Anne Klauser’s book, Write It Down, Make It Happen years ago and it reinforced my ideas about the power of writing things down. In her fantastic book, Klauser shows how the act of writing down our goals and other things we want takes them from some fanciful place and turns them into reality. Even if you don’t exactly know how you are going to accomplish the thing, writing it down has magic. And if you are of a spiritual nature, even the Good Book says this is smart, as Habakkuk 2:2 says, “Write the vision, and make it plain.”

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10 Ways to Generate Buzz and Market Your Business

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I wrote a post the other day about the best way to market your book, writing career, or business. I said the best way to market your work is the way you will actually use. The thing you will actually do. It doesn’t matter if others give you a ton of other ideas for things you won’t do. All that matters is what you will do.

But I now want to give you specific ideas for marketing your book, writing, or business. I am sharing these ideas just in case you are scratching your head looking for a list of ideas for getting the word out about what you do. Having been a published book author and business owner for more than ten years, I’ve seen lots of marketing ideas. I’ve seen ideas that have worked for author friends or others I know in business. And those ideas that fell flat. I’ve tried ideas that didn’t work, and implemented ideas that worked beautifully.

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Everyone Has a Story to Tell … But Do You Have a Story to Sell?

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Sure, we all have stories. Stories of highs and lows, drama and the mundane. And we’d all like to think each of us has a story to sell.

But it’s not true.

I know. I am an editor and a ghostwriter. I’ve worked on clients’ stories that needed just a bit of fine-tuning to make them shine. And I’ve come across some pretty bad ones that had no hope of selling. At least not in their current states. Clients have sent me their messy, sometimes unintelligible, awful writings. And I’ve been able to turn those into something beautiful, or at least something that doesn’t smell up the place. Turning the story you tell into the story you sell takes a bit of honesty, hard work, and creativity.

Yes, each of us has a story to tell. But it doesn’t become a story to sell until we get rid of the junk, polish it so it shines, and look beyond ourselves.

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The Single Best Way to Market Your Books, Writing Business, and Anything Else

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Freelance writers and others who run writing businesses often ask me about the best way they can get business. They want to know how they can market themselves and their work and land new deals, clients, gigs, etc.

I can’t give them one answer. Because there isn’t one. But I can give them the best answer: The best strategy for you to use to market your business is the strategy you will actually use. That’s it.

You’ll read lots of books, articles, etc., about marketing and you’ll hear everything from cold calling to social media to emails to networking events to direct mail to speaking. And all of those are great tools and ideas. Each one of those can be an excellent way to market a business.

But they may not all be great ways to market your business.

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How to Use Your Blog to Get Clients

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A blog can be the foundation of your marketing strategy for your business. A blog can showcase your work, highlight your expertise, and connect you to your audience. If you are an author, freelance writer, or other content creator, then a blog is essential.

For the longest, I resisted the idea of adding a blog to my workload. It felt like just one more thing to do. But I finally knew I needed to have one. We began Writer’s Living a year ago under another name, before changing it to its current name in the early part of this year. The goal was to build a separate identity for it as a resource for all kinds of writers. But what I found in my blogging was that the blog also became a good resource for our primary business, RootSky Books, which provides book ghostwriting, editing, design, and other services. You see, the Writer’s Living blog, while not created to support RootSky Books, actually helped us land clients for RootSky Books!

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Champion Wrestler Robles, Born With One Leg, Is ‘Unstoppable’

Born with one leg, Anthony Robles became an elite athlete and accomplished an amazing feat: He became the 2011 NCAA National Wrestling Champion! The former Arizona State University athlete has won many other honors and awards, including the 2011 NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award. He was a 2012 inductee into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. Now a speaker, Robles has written a recently published book that talks about how he chose to become Unstoppable.

NUP_145508_0465.JPGWL: Why did you choose to share your story in your recently released book, Unstoppable?

Robles: I wanted to share my story with others because I believe we all face challenges. My life was never perfect and I had plenty of obstacles but through it all I was able to make it out on top. I am hoping that by reading my story, people can walk away with a sense of hope and a recharged belief that anything is possible.

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What a Tennis Match Can Teach You About Being a Successful Writer

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My husband and I went to play tennis recently after weeks of being away from the court. If we get a few consistent days of play in, I can do pretty OK. But if there is a gap, it’s a tough road. This past time when we returned to the court after a gap, it was no different. I was losing. Down 2-4, I could almost see the future. Just two more games, and I’d lose. As usual.

But then something happened. I decided I was not going to lose. I was going to win. Sure, my opponent had more skill. And he had technique. He could talk about what to do to make a certain shot. Me? I could play, but I couldn’t conduct a clinic on shot selection or anything.

But what I could do was dig deep. My mental strength would have to compensate for my physical limitations. That, and the fact that he was nursing an old injury — the reason for our hiatus from the court. So I decided to make it all work for me.

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Bruce Holland Rogers Successfully Sells Short Stories

Award-winning writer Bruce Holland Rogers has done what many short story writers aspire to do — make money selling short stories. Rogers has lived in Europe and the U.S., sharing his creative works with fans all over the world, including the U.S., the Netherlands, India, Mexico, Spain, South Africa, and China. His honors include the 2012 Micro Award, two World Fantasy awards, two Nebula awards, and an Edgar Allan Poe Award nomination. Here, he talks about how he turned his creative ability into income.

Bruce-Holland-RogersWL: You’ve lived in London and now Oregon but have fans all over the world. How did you get fans in far-flung places?

Rogers: Part of that was through conventional publishing, having my work appear in magazines and books as translations. But I find that the most effective audience building is personal, that readers often take the strongest interest in writers they have actually met, so traveling to literary festivals and conferences has also had a great impact.

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13 Nifty Moves for Writers Who Want to Succeed in 2013

It might be a little hard to see past the singing, partying, gifting, and celebrating of the holiday season. But see past it, you must. If you’re a writer who wants to be successful in the coming year, it’s time to do a wee bit o’ planning to help make next year start off a bit more smoothly.

Here are 13 nifty moves for writers who want to succeed in 2013.

1. Get something completed.

You’re not a writer unless you write. Forget the writing forums where you spend your time discussing the nuances of a writing career or railing against the popular misuse of “a myriad of.” Forget the writing groups where you forever meet and critique other writers’ work. Forget even the creative writing classes where you always seem to be in a constant state of revision. Forget all those things that seem to interrupt your flow. Just. Get. Something. Done. Make that a priority in 2013. Maybe you have five unfinished manuscripts on your hard drive. Maybe your blog dashboard is littered with post ideas that haven’t quite been fleshed out. Maybe the notebook next to your bed has a half dozen not-quite-there poems. Whatever it is, just complete something.

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