The Worried Writer Episode #23: Super-Charge Your Writing Goals for 2017!

ww_sarahpainter_headerimageHappy new year! This is a short episode to kick off 2017 and I reveal my tip for super-charging your goals.

In the January 2016 episode, I defined what makes a good goal and how to set one, and this year I talk about the importance in working out the ‘why’ behind your goals.

As you probably know (since I bang on about it enough!), I love setting goals and believe they are one of the most powerful things we can do when trying to achieve things in writing (and life).

Last year, I wrote about my writing goals for 2016 and in this episode I recap on how I got on and chat a little about my aims for 2017.

I found setting my goals (and putting them in public – eek!) incredibly motivating, so I’m doing it again this year… Look out for my 2017 goals post on Monday!

Next month’s episode features an interview with a listener of the podcast, Gillian McAllister. Gillian’s first novel, Everything But The Truth, is out 9th March and it was really interesting to speak to someone who is at an early stage of their career.

If you’ve got a question you’d like answered, please email me or find me on Twitter.

I’ll answer it on the show and credit you (unless, of course, you ask to remain anonymous).

Please spread the word and, if you can spare the time, leave a rating for the show on iTunes. I truly appreciate your support.

Thank you for listening!

 

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The Worried Writer Episode #22: Holly Martin ‘I Just Love Writing’


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Holly Martin is the author of funny, romantic fiction and paranormal YA, including her successful White Cliff Bay series, One Hundred Proposals and The Guestbook. Holly was shortlisted for the New Talent Award at the Festival of Romance, she won the Carina Valentine’s competition and was shortlisted for Best Romantic Read, Best eBook and Innovation in Romantic Fiction at the Festival of Romance 2014. Holly’s latest book Christmas Under A Starlit Sky is out now.

For more on Holly and her books, visit her blog or Facebook page or find her on Twitter.

In the introduction, I give a short writing update. I managed to finish the rewrites on my latest book. Although I spent the first couple of weeks in despair, feeling as if the story was broken and that I couldn’t fix it, I am so glad I made myself persevere. I am much happier with the latest version and I think the ending it much stronger. Now I’m just going to keep my fingers crossed that my agent agrees!

Another thing I’ve done this month is to revisit the goals I set back in January. I haven’t managed to hit all of them, but I have got more done this year on my writing business than in any previous year so I’m definitely celebrating. It’s also encouraged me to make a last push in December and see if I can tick off another of my goals before the year runs out.

With that in mind, I’ve started work on a Worried Writer book. A non-fiction title which will bring together my own story with the best tips and advice gathered from two years of author interviews. I’d love to know if that is something you would be interested in. Also, if there is something in particular you would like covered in the book do let me know!

I will keep you all posted on its progress on the podcast, but if you are particularly interested and would like to make sure you get updates, please consider signing up for my mailing list here.

Once it’s finished, I will be looking for beta readers for the book, and there will be giveaways, review copies and all that good stuff available to those who are signed up!

In the interview:

I quiz Holly on the secret to her amazing productivity:

‘Well, I just love writing. I just love creating a story… It’s just something I really, really enjoy. Whenever I’m writing a story, my mind is always jumping ahead to the next story I want to write so by the time I finish writing one story, the characters and story for the next one are already fully formed in my mind and I want to get it down.’

On process:

‘The most important thing is that you need to write every single day, even if it’s just a couple of hundred words, because then your mind stays in the story…’

On submitting/trying to get published:

‘Just don’t ever, ever give up.’

Holly on keeping the creative spark alive:

‘You just have to write what you love… If it’s becoming a chore then something is wrong… If you enjoy writing and enjoy those characters and getting back to it every day, then the readers will be able to tell and hopefully they will enjoy it, too. It’s really important to stay true to what you really want to write.’

 

Recommended:

Self-editing For Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King

Save The Cat by Blake Snyder

 

 

 

 

 

If you’ve got a question you’d like answered, please email me or find me on Twitter.

I’ll answer it on the show and credit you (unless, of course, you ask to remain anonymous).

Please spread the word and, if you can spare the time, leave a rating for the show on iTunes. I truly appreciate your support.

Thank you for listening!

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The Worried Writer #21: Deadlines and Mild Concussion

ww_sarahpainter_headerimagetlos_audiobookcover_smallJust a short episode this month and there is no author interview – apologies!

I am buried under a deadline and some life stuff and, as alluded to in the title, I also managed to faint and bang my head a couple of weeks ago which knocked out a week of productivity/messed up my schedule.

In this episode I give an update on my writing and talk a little bit about how to cope when life (or, in this case, slight concussion) gets in the way.

I also chat about the process of making my debut novel The Language of Spells into an audiobook with ACX.

If you’re curious to see (and hear!) the result, the book is available from Audible, Amazon UK, Amazon US, or iTunes.

Plus, if you don’t already have an Audible subscription, you can sign up for a FREE one month trial and get The Language of Spells completely free!

I thank the wonderful Joanna Penn for alerting me to ACX in the first place – listen to my interview with Joanna here.

I also recommend a podcast which I am currently enjoying: The Self-Publishing Formula by bestselling thriller author (and FB advertising guru) Mark Dawson and novice author James Blatch.

I will be back next month with a full-length episode… Happy writing, everyone!

If you’ve got a question you’d like answered, please email me or find me on Twitter.

I’ll answer it on the show and credit you (unless, of course, you ask to remain anonymous).

Please spread the word and, if you can spare the time, leave a rating for the show on iTunes. I truly appreciate your support.

Thank you for listening!

 

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The Worried Writer Episode #20: Caroline Green ‘Storytelling Is What Inspires Me’

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Caroline Green is an award-winning author of books for young people. Her debut, Dark Ride, won the RONA Young Adult Book of the Year and the Waverton Good Read Award, Hold Your Breath won the Oldham Book Award, and both Hold Your Breath and Cracks have been short-listed for eleven awards between them. Caroline is Writer In Residence at East Barnet School and teaches Writing for Children at City University. She has recently moved genre with a pen name, Cass Green, and a brand new psychological thriller, The Woman Next Door, which is currently storming the Kindle charts.

You can find out more about Caroline and her books at www.carolinegreen.net

Also on Facebook and Twitter: @carolinesgreen or @CassGreenWrites

 

 In the intro I give a quick update on my writing (I finished my latest book – yay!) and recommend Mark McGuinness’s new book, Productivity For Creative People which is currently free on Amazon (or from Mark’s website, Lateral Action).

Mark is poet and a creative coach and he really knows his stuff. You might also like my interview with him in episode 12 of this podcast!

Also, I have completed my first ‘independent’ venture and the audio book of The Language of Spells is out now!

You can listen to a short sample on Audible and, if you sign-up for a 30-day trial, you can get the whole book for free. Here is the book on Audible (UK)Audible (US) and iTunes.

I answer a listener question on the writing advice ‘show don’t tell’ and mention an article I wrote on this subject for Novelicious. Here’s the link.

If you have a writing (or publishing) question that you’d like me to tackle in a future episode, please get in touch via email or Twitter.

I’ll answer it on the show and credit you (unless, of course, you ask to remain anonymous).

Please spread the word and, if you can spare the time, leave a rating for the show on iTunes. I truly appreciate your support.

Thank you for listening!

In the interview:

Caroline on the realities of publishing:

 ‘The year when most of these things were happening and I had national paper reviews and won awards and everything was wonderful, that was the year I actually did my self-employed accounts and cried because I had made no money.’

 

On using a pen name:

‘I think it just helps you to separate the two writing personas…’

On writing:

‘My perfect writing day involves going to The British Library… It feels like more of a commitment and I feel that when I’m there I really have to make the time count.’

‘Storytelling is what inspires me.’

Recommended:
Caroline recommends Into The Woods by John Yorke

Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way

Write Your Novel From The Middle by James Scott Bell

Zoe Marriott’s blog The Zoe-Trope.

The Pomodoro Technique for timed writing sessions.

 

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The Worried Writer Episode #19: Mark Edwards ‘Just Do It!’

ww_markedwardsMark Edwards is the bestselling author of psychological thrillers such as Follow You Home, Because She Loves Me and The Magpies. Before going solo, Mark published a number of police procedurals written with Louise Voss including Killing Cupid and Forward Slash. He and Voss also have a series featuring DI Patrick Lennon, starting with From The Cradle and followed by The Blissfully Dead which came out last year.

 

 

Mark’s latest thriller, The Devil’s Work, is out on 13th September. You can pre-order it here.

You can find out more about Mark and his books at his website, MarkEdwardsAuthor. Or find him on Twitter or Facebook.

In the introduction I reference this wonderful podcast episode from Joanna Penn and talk about my own journey over the last eight years.

Joanna talks about the value of measuring your progress in ‘Olympics’ and seeing how much you have got done or how your life as changed in four-year cycles.

It’s important to look up from the day-to-day grind and take stock of what you have achieved and to set goals for the future, and I think this ‘big picture’ overview is a great addition to the monthly and yearly goal-setting I already do!

I also mention the audio book for The Language of Spells, which I have commissioned. It should be available to buy in a couple of weeks time and you can read more/see the cover reveal by heading to my author site.

In the interview:

Mark talks us through his long – and difficult – journey to overnight success!

On writing:

‘I think that being a writer is so hard, the process of writing itself and all the stuff that goes around it, that you have to have it in you, you have to have that drive.’

 For people who want to write:

‘Just get started, just do it. And if you aren’t a writer you won’t keep going and if you are a writer, you will.’

On the writing process: 

‘I don’t think you can rush yourself, you have to have time to reflect and let the story settle in your head.’

‘I don’t plot it out, I don’t use any kind of act structure…. Somehow from reading so much, the template is there in my head and I’m writing to that without being aware of it.’

On writing dark or shocking material and self-censorship:

‘To me, books really have to divide opinion. So if I think I’m writing something that some people are going to hate or are going to be offended by, then I think it’s probably good idea to keep it in there’

‘There’s nothing worse than being bland and safe… Take risks!’

 

If you have a writing (or publishing) question that you’d like me to tackle in a future episode, please get in touch via email or Twitter.

I’ll answer it on the show and credit you (unless, of course, you ask to remain anonymous).

Please spread the word and, if you can spare the time, leave a rating for the show on iTunes. I truly appreciate your support.

Thank you for listening!

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The Worried Writer Episode #18: Nina Harrington ‘It Was All About Fear’

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Nina Harrington published her first romance in 2009 and since then she has won awards with her fiction, been translated into 23 languages, and sold over a million books worldwide.

As well as publishing with Harlequin Mills & Boon and Carina, Nina has dipped her toe in independent publishing with her thriller, Deadly Secrets, and a series of non-fiction titles aimed at writers. She also runs a website, The Prolific Author, which is packed with information and advice for writers wishing to increase their productivity and build a long-term career.

Nina took the radical (and not generally advisable!) step of chucking in her well-paid job in order to devote herself to full-time writing before she had written or sold a book.

Six years (and several books) later, she received her first contract with Harlequin and hasn’t looked back.

For more on Nina and her books, go to: www.ninaharrington.com

On hybrid publishing:

‘There is a world of difference between amateur self-publishing and professional self-publishing.’

On balancing business with writing:

‘I just accept it… Most days about forty percent of my day is going to be spent on the business and marketing and promotion side.’

On writing:

‘I had terrible problems with procrastination and it was threatening to derail my entire writing career…And it was all about fear.’

‘I am a perfectionist and I always have been.’

‘It all came to mindset… Accepting that there is a psychology behind procrastination and that it isn’t laziness.’

Recommendations:

The War of Art by Steven Pressfield.

Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World by Michael Hyatt.

Nina’s non-fiction books:

How To Write Short Romance Kindle Books: A Forty Minute Masterclass

Keep Your Pants On!: How To Outline A Romance Novel When You Are An Intuitive Writer

Nina’s free video training:

Keep Your Pants On Video Course

Also in the show:

I mention Joanna Penn’s excellent new book, The Successful Author Mindset.

Joanna Penn runs the useful and inspiring podcast (and website), The Creative Penn, and I interviewed her back in episode #8 of The Worried Writer.

In this book she shares the highs and lows of professional writing. Joanna has built a six-figure business and published many novels and non-fiction books, so she really knows what she is talking about. It’s stuffed with practical tips, and I had several ‘me, too’ moments while reading about Joanna’s thought processes, making me feel less weird and alone – always a plus!

Don’t forget: If you have a writing (or publishing) question that you’d like me to tackle in a future episode, please get in touch via email or Twitter.

I’ll answer it on the show and credit you (unless, of course, you ask to remain anonymous).

Please spread the word and, if you can spare the time, leave a rating for the show on iTunes. I truly appreciate your support.

Thank you for listening!

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