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Writing Tips

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New Book Alert!

Dying to get published? Keep reading…
I’m so excited about the next book I’m releasing!
Over the years I’ve had friends, family and strangers alike ask me for advice on how to write a book and how to get published. It’s only natural for me as an educator (y’all know I’m a college English professor, right? I know, 10 million jobs!) to see a need and fill a need.
I actually started writing this book many years ago but I was hesitant to release it. (Yes, even experienced, published authors go through this). There was just so much information that I wanted to convey and so much I was still learning as well. So, I decided to break things down into several different texts, all manuals to help you achieve your dream of becoming a published author.
YOU! Can Write a Book is the first in a series designed to help you get focused, get organized, get started and FINISH writing your book.
It will hit bookshelves on October 3rd, but you can get your copy two weeks earlier by pre-ordering RIGHT HERE.
I’m also pleased to announce that I’ll be holding an online workshop called YOU! Can Write a Book Boot Camp in October, just in time for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). Over the course of two days, you will learn the material in the book, engage in group mentoring sessions, have all your burning questions answered in a no holds barred Q&A sessions and so much more. Not only that, I’ll work with each of my VIP students one-on-one to complete their outlines and book proposals. Early bird registration opens next week with special discounted prices. I can’t begin to tell you the value of this course…well, I can and I will, but I won’t hit you over the head with it all at once!
Make sure to keep coming back (or subscribe to my newsletter) for updates and information, as well as a couple free e-books and of course, my signature Free Class Fridays.
Can’t wait to help you all accomplish your writing goals!
Peace & Positive Vibes,
M.
Did any of you join me for Free Class Friday last month where I discussed Getting Started in Publishing? This month Free Class Friday is back and the topic is Self-Publishing vs Traditional Publishing. This is a super popular topic among aspiring authors. As a matter of fact, just the other day I was placing some flyers in Italian Fiesta (home of the best pizza in Chicago), and the man selling socks and barrettes (if you aren’t from Chicago, maybe you don’t understand, but we have street vendors) asked me in rapid-fire succession, “Who decides how long a book should be, the writer or the publisher? How can I get a book deal? Should I self-publish? Who designs the cover?” You never know who has a story inside of them! And why shouldn’t he be published? Why shouldn’t you?
Technology has made publishing a book easier than ever, and just about anyone can publish an e-book for next to nothing. And the money from sales can be direct deposited into your bank account within 2 months of making a profit.
Getting a book deal is also easier than ever before. The advances in technology also make it easier for publishers, (even very small ones) to give authors deals that can pay a decent amount rather quickly. And with blogs and social media, it’s less complicated to be visible to publishing decision makers, whereas in the past those gates were guarded by rockwilders! (No, not Rottweilers. Rockwilders. Way more dangerous).
So which do you choose? You can absolutely figure out the pros and cons of each on your own, but a little bit of guidance can make all the difference in the world.
If you have a story inside and you want to be published, it’s worth it to come by the webinar. You will be able to watch online, or listen in via-conference call, or watch the replay on the secret Facebook group. But you have to sign-up to access these things. It’s quick, painless and free and I promise I won’t spam you like crazy. Plus, you’ll get a few steps closer to accomplishing your goal of becoming a published author, whether you do it yourself or get a deal.
Hope to see you at the webinar!
Sign up for Free Class Friday!
Whether you love him or hate him, there’s no denying the fact that Tyler Perry is wildly successful. But have you ever asked yourself why Tyler Perry is successful? Okay, I know that many actually have dissected the reasons behind his rise to uber-success (especially on Facebook), and the reasons they give usually ring of words like “chitlin’ circuit”, “self-hatred”, “cooning” and “homosexual agenda”. I ain’t even about to go there.
Because the fundamental answer is actually so much simpler than any of those things.

Tyler Perry knows his audience.

He knows them inside out. He’s watched them from the stage, from behind the stage, he was raised by them, he lived next door to them, and most importantly he listens to them. And then he delivers what they want. It’s really that simple.
People argue about so many aspects of Tyler. They don’t like how he does this. They think he should do that. Some even think that he should disappear altogether. But the mere fact that he’s here at all is due to the fact that he gives his people what they want.
It’s also why he’s been able to successfully expand outside of “his” people with shows like If Loving You Is Wrong and Too Close to Home. Tyler not only knows what old black church ladies want, he knows what nighttime soap watchers want because in actuality, these audiences often intersect. Mainstream didn’t know it, but Tyler did. That’s why their nighttime soaps ratings floundered while his continue to soar.
Tyler knows Miss Laura and Auntie Sister and Big Mama, and he knows that after came home from the church trip to see “Madea Has A Baby”, they watched shows like Dynasty, Dallas, at least back in the day when those shows came on. And he knows that in the day time, they like to catch Young and Restless and Days of our Lives, or as they called them, their “stories”.
Tyler doesn’t listen to the critics and naysayers. He writes for his tribe.

Tyler knows his audience and he gives them their stories.

Find your audience and give them theirs.

This writing tip was inspired by the Hollywood Reporter’s latest  interview with Tyler Perry.

 

Don’t worry about whether or not you suck…

Just write!

No matter how good (or bad) you are, somebody’s gonna have something negative to say.

Don’t let that person be you!

Writers are a sensitive bunch. And we often hold ourselves to high, sometimes impossible, standards. We make all kinds of excuses as to why we can’t finish writing a book (or start writing one) but it often boils down to fear.

More specifically, fear that we secretly, or not so secretly, suck.

But guess what? It’s okay to suck. At least, for a little while.

Because we all sucked at some point. Some of us still do but are doing just fine with fans and finances. You don’t have to be the best straight out the gate. And I’d be willing to bet money that it’s damn near impossible to be the best because who’s measuring this stuff anyway?

Sales don’t determine who’s the best. Nor do fans. Or critics. Because there’s something for everybody in the bookstore.

You just have to have the passion to be the best. Give yourself some time, and a LOT of practice, and you’ll get better.

I promise you, you won’t suck forever.

Peace & Positive Vibes,
M.

Well, it isn’t quite day three of NaNoWriMo. It’s actually a week after day three. Yikes!

It’s funny, I have the discipline to write every day with no problem, but making videos? Pfft. That’s a lot of work. Just trying to do this has given me the utmost respect for YouTube and IG and Snapchat stars. People might think that it doesn’t require a talent, but a LOT of work and thought and creativity goes into making high-quality videos that people don’t realize. I’m definitely being pushed to step up my game! And as I’ve been working at amping up my social media presence I’ve learned so much that I’m looking forward to sharing it with you very soon.

So although I’m playing catch up with these videos, and I WILL catch up, KEEP ON WRITING!

And I’m here to help you not only survive it, but to thrive!

National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo is a writing challenge that dares participants to craft a 50K word novel in 30 days. Wow! Quite the challenge, but it can be done. But what if you aren’t trying to complete a novel that quickly? NaNoWriMo is still an excellent time to get off to a smashing start to your first book. You’ll feel the camaraderie of other authors who are trying to do the same thing, and that can be so motivating! And, I’m doing my part to motivate you just a little bit more!

Whether you’re tightening up an existing draft or starting from scratch, I’ve got 30 days of writing tips to see you through. It’s definitely going to be a challenge for me to create 30 videos in 30 days but I’m going to do it, and do it all while editing my latest novel Dopechick which will hit shelves very, very soon. (I smell a giveaway coming! Stay tuned!)

Make sure to check my YouTube page daily, and if you have questions or want a specific tip, email me at meta@metasmith.com or in the comments below.

Looking forward to hearing from you, and write on!