Five Minute Writing Coach
By Amelia D. Hay
Welcome to the Five-Minute Writing Coach. On the first Sunday of every month, I will release a five-minute writing pep talk where I delve deep and help you get unstuck so that you can clear mental obstacles and find the motivation to keep writing. And, who am I? I'm your host Amelia D. Hay. You'll probably recognise me from the Authorpreneur Podcast and the Book Nerd Podcast. Become a Paid Subscriber: https://anchor.fm/five-minute-writing-coach/subscribe
FMWC002: Don't Expect Writing to be Fun or Easy
I can't stand it when other well-meaning authors tell other aspiring or yet-to-be-published authors that writing should be fun. Spoiler alert, writing is not easy; in fact, at times, it's hard. If you change your expectations and accept that writing is hard, then when resistance sets in, and it will come, you'll be more prepared to do the work. Every book I've written has been difficult, but not in the same way; it's a different challenge every time. There are patterns in my own writing resistance, but something new always pops up. Why am I telling you this? Because when the writing stops being fun and resistance sets in, it's not a unique phenomenon you're experiencing. Everyone experiences this; I'm just one of those people who prefer to be brutally honest. In fact, I despise sugar-coating things because I'm a fan of risk management. I like to know what I'm getting myself into before I start. What do you do when resistance sets in and you're stuck writing your first or next book? Acknowledge that things are hard, accept that this is how things are, figure out why things are hard, and do the work. I know easier said than done. How do you figure out why writing is hard? Here are a few questions you should consider. Have you finished writing the first third, midpoint, or reached the start of the final quarter of your story? If so, know that these points are naturally hard to write. Sometimes it's down to that new project feeling wearing off, plotting or issues with your story, or fear. I'm currently on a break from revising the last twenty-five percent of my second novel because I've become aware that I'm bad at endings. Part of my break is fear-based; the other part is my innate need to not repeat past mistakes. At present, I'm working on a short story that has become a novelette while allowing my subconscious mind to work through the issues with the ending of the story. After that break, I want to go back and check that I've tied up all loose ends in the last quarter of the novel, then pick up whether I left off with my revisions. You get it. I have a plan and a reason for stopping. It's not shiny object syndrome. Are you trying to write or publish like another writer? If you are, please stop. Not everyone can publish a book a month or write every day. Some writers need time to think the story through and edit the outline, whether it's a physical outline or the story in their head, before putting their fingers on the keyboard. If you need to write slowly and edit as you go along, give yourself permission. It's okay to do things your way. There are no rules. You don't have to write every day. But it's up to you to know the difference between procrastination and being the type of writer know needs time to think or give a story room to breathe before writing. Are you trying to write while your life is difficult? Do you have health problems? Are you struggling to write because you're in lockdown? I've struggled to write during the lockdown. It's a combination of my creative energy being zapped, and what worked before is not working now. Know that you're not alone. If your life is complicated right now, you may need to lower your expectations. There are no special merit badges for pushing yourself to meet your self-imposed writing or publish deadlines while your loved one is going through chemotherapy or you have a significant health crisis. It's okay to slow down. Faster isn't always better. Remember the rabbit and the hare? Writing is a journey, and you need to consider whether your expectations a legitimately sustainable for the long term, especially if you want to still be writing in your seventies. In the next episode, I'll discuss why you need to stop writing like everyone else. I know I touched on this a little bit in this episode, but in the next show, I will expand on that even further.
February 15, 2022
FMWC001: What to do When the One and Two-Star Reviews Start Rolling in
So, you’ve pressed publish, and you’ve just checked Amazon or Goodreads, and your first review or rating is sitting there staring you in the face plain as day. Your ego is shattered. You spiral into a depression because your book sucks, and by default, you believe you’re a bad writer. Next, you go over to the book of another author-friend or acquaintance and look at the reviews for their book. Naturally, they have a few four and five-star reviews, no one or two-stars. And you wonder, what are you doing wrong? If this is something you can relate to, then this episode of the Five-Minute Writing Coach is for you. And, spoiler alert, it’s a little longer than five minutes. But episode two is under five minutes. The extra-long length is worth it. Click here to subscribe to the Five Minute Writing Coach Podcast for £4.99 per month.
February 15, 2022
FMWC000: What Can You Expect from this Podcast?
I started another podcast and put it behind a paywall. Why? I wanted to create a podcast that was more than just a tonne of information and free of the same interviews you hear time and time again. In essence, I want to add value to your writing life by helping you get unstuck so that you can clear mental obstacles and find the motivation to keep writing. To achieve this, I needed to create a more personal dynamic that only a coaching relationship can provide. And, I can't quite do this on the Authorpreneur Podcast because it's publicly available to the masses. This podcast is not about me or my self-publishing journey; it's about you. Or less poetically, it's about me helping you. It's Exclusively For You Naturally, this podcast will not be searchable on any of the major podcasting platforms, but instead, I will provide it on a subscription basis. Originally, I tried to launch the podcast on Patreon and Buy Me A Coffee but the distribution was difficult. It was hard to get this podcast in front of people who need to hear what I had to say. That's why I turned to a subscription podcast. Now I don't have to worry about people opting out and still getting the content via the RSS feed. Topics to Discuss As I hinted at earlier, you can submit or vote on topics relating to mindset, motivation, and productivity for me to discuss on the show. Here are a few examples of the writing-related concerns I could address on an episode of the Five Minute Writing Coach Podcast. Have you lost all motivation to write? Are you feeling discouraged about the lack of sales around your first book? Do you lurk on Facebook groups and feel discouraged by the success of other first time writers and think you're doing something wrong? Are you scared to write your next book? Are you stuck perfecting your book and are afraid to move on to the next stage of the publishing journey? Does your first-in-series book suck, and do you have no idea what to do? These are just some of the things I want to talk about on this podcast. While I will not give practical advice on increasing your book sales or tell you what you're doing wrong, I will help you reframe your mindset surrounding these topics so that you can get unstuck, clear your mental obstacles and keep writing. Because that's the point of this podcast, I want to help you to keep writing. I'm privileged to have an amazing person by my side who encourages me to keep going during those challenging writing moments. And, I'm aware that not everyone has someone like this in their life. I want this podcast to be that person for you. Try Before You Buy The first episode is available now and is free; you don't need to pay the monthly fee. And depending upon when you sign up, there might be a backlist of episodes waiting for you. The first episode is titled "What to do when the one and two-star reviews start rolling in" and is a little longer because the topic required more discussion time, and I wanted to provide you with a taste of what you can expect from the podcast before you opt-in. I hope you enjoy this brand new podcasting venture, and it encourages you to keep writing. Subscribe to the Five Minute Writing Coach Podcast
February 15, 2022