Who Are You Writing For? (It Isn’t Really Either/Or)

I should turn that into a song, eh?

vegComes up sometimes in discussion boards: write for yourself and find artistic fulfillment, or write for your audience and sell books?

Here’s what comes up in the research of Chip and Dan Heath, experts in the brain science of decision-making: avoid either/or thinking when making decisions. Consider more than two opposing options.

Today, consider taking a page from CompSci (that’s computer science for the 99.9% of you who’ve managed to elude its evil grasp.)

But first, let’s make soup. … more … “Who Are You Writing For? (It Isn’t Really Either/Or)”

Why Do You Write?

A Long, Hard Look - a Chandleresque cozyPressfield nails it again. Today’s post is about finding why, about asking yourself why you write, what you expect to happen.

And it’s about letting go of the stuff you simply cannot control.

He suggests asking yourself these questions:

  • Was this a worthy effort?
  • Did it call upon you to give more than you believed you had in you?
  • Did you conduct yourself honorably in the enterprise?
  • Did you give it all you had?
  • Did you succeed according to your own standards, the measures that only you know and only you can define?

I intend to market A Long, Hard Look as well as I can.

I intend to accept whatever level of commercial success it achieves, because I can answer “yes” to those 5 questions, and that’s what matters.

Finding Why (#6 of 6 Tools to Write)

#6 in a series of 6

It’s easy to lose track of why you wanted to be a writer in the first place. If you have vague dreams of fame or fortune, those won’t keep you going, especially when they don’t materialize quickly.

writing is the tool I use to understand what's important in my lifeWhile we’d all love to be rich and famous, I don’t think that’s why you write. It’s not why I write.

I write because I love the feel of words. I write because I have feelings which are clarified only when I find words to put them in. I have ideas which might benefit others. I have questions.

I believe writing takes the vague, wandering abstracts out of my head and makes them clear, understandable things I can look at and play with. I believe it helps me decide whether they should remain part of my life or be forgotten in the drawer.

… more … “Finding Why (#6 of 6 Tools to Write)”

Year-Long Workshop: Get Your Book Out of the Someday Box in 2014

was this place new when you started your novel?What if I could lead you by the hand and promise that in 2014 you’d finally finish that novel?

What’s more, what if I gave you greatly increased chances that it would be good?

Is that worth paying for?

Details to come.

6 Tools to Get You Writing (Instead of Whimpering in the Fetal Position on the Closet Floor)

image http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1427838 by Damian Siwiaszczyk http://www.sxc.hu/profile/huxHere are six tools my clients and friends have found effective in combating writer’s block, fear, Resistance, the lizard brain; whatever you like to call it.
… more … “6 Tools to Get You Writing (Instead of Whimpering in the Fetal Position on the Closet Floor)”

The Book

I’m conducting a little experiment with my videos. Clearly, most people watch the videos and, despite a direct request for this information, never comment on what else they’d need to get their book written. People don’t watch a video and think about writing.

After chatting with one of my prospective clients yesterday I realized I need to take my own advice. Rather than writing a book about the mechanical stuff, I need to write the why. It needs to help aspiring writers analyze their reasons for writing a book so they’re writing the right book, and have enough fire to make them do the work.

You can learn the mechanics anywhere; as my geek friends say, Google is your friend.

Only one place you can learn your why: your own head. I can help with that. I hope the book does just that.