#WriterWednesday Coach, Consultant, Strategist–Same Difference, right? 

With the flexibility of online learning and more and more authors opting to self-publish we also have the emergence of writing coaches, consultants, and strategists. If you’re not familiar with business then it all sounds the same and it seems like you don’t need any of it, but  it’s not the same difference. Most likely you will need or want to work with a coach, consultant, or strategist. 

Why? 

Writing may be an art, but publishing is a business and if you plan to sell your art you’re going to need help. 

So, let’s breakdown the difference. To make this very clear, I’m going to treat each one like a relationship. 

Coach–Long term relationship 

If you hire a writing coach or business coach you two are in it together for a long period time. 

Your coach will deal with the whole man. Besides helping you set up systems for your business they will make sure that you have a mindset for success, hold you accountable, and offer encouragement at the same time. 

This relationship should be fruitful. Your offspring will be–a plan of action and your coach will even assist you in implementing the plan. 

Consultant–The one night stand

First of all saints, don’t worry I haven’t lost my mind nor am I promoting fornication this is merely an illustration. 

The consultant has one job to do and they are in and out. You probably will not be getting a call back neither will you be receiving emotional support and mindset management beyond your initial evaluation and the consultation. 

A consultant has one job to do. 

Consult. A writing consultant will review some or all of your work in progress, provide you with feedback and respond to your immediate concerns and after that they’re gone. 

In terms of your business, they will review the parts that are non-functioning or malfunctioning, for example your marketing or branding. Next they’ll teach you a new strategy to jumpstart that broken piece and provide you with a plan to enact the strategy or strategies laid out. They may or may not do a follow up call after implementation. It’s entirely up to the consultant, but they are not obligated to remain on board throughout the duration of the project or roll out of your marketing plan. 

I like to be supportive, so most often I operate as hybrid of a coach/consultant. 

Strategist–That guy/girl you have in the friend zone. 
A strategist has the ability and potential to be so much more, but you just want the good time and smooth sailing they can offer. 

You tell the strategist your problem and they hammer out a solution with exact steps for implementation. Clearly, this person understands the business and could do more, but that may be all they’re offering or that may be the only service you want or need from them. 

So, which one is right for you

1. Do you know any thing about business? 

Yes, then you may only need a consultantation to become an indie powerhouse. 

No, then invest in a coach who will tell you over the course of a few meetings things that you’re going to spend hours researching on Google. 

2. Are you intrinsically motivated? In other words are you a self-starter or do you need a push? 

For the self-starter a consultant or strategist is all you need because you’ve already got things up and running, but your systems aren’t working well. Most likely once you get some solid directions you can move forward. 

If you’re not a self-starter and tend to fall apart or don’t follow through on your own, you need a coach standing on the sidelines calling the plays to you. 


You need someone who will see this project through and that’s what a coach will do. 

Ultimately you know yourself and your commitment to the success of your book(s) and writing career. If you plan on succeeding make the investment in one or all (of course you can start with me)

I want to hear from you. Was my dating analogy good? Have you ever worked with a coach, consultant, or strategist? What was your experience like? 

#WriterWednesday 3 Ways to Set YourSelf Apart From the Pack

To be a successful published author you don’t have to do what everyone is doing. Of course there are experts out there that say you must do it exactly this way in order to replicate my success. The question is as an author did you go into publishing to be successful like them or a successful version of yourself? 

Embrace what makes you different as an author. 

Own it. 

Do it intentionally. 


It might make a few people upset, but if there was only one way to do right, if there was only one way to tell a story and make it successful we probably wouldn’t have the Gospel according to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Each author owns there style–Matthew is an author of precision, Mark is the king of brevity, Luke though he is a trained physician is an expert in writing informally, he writes like he’s just telling a story to his homeboy, John is poetic with his parallelisms. 

There are many ways to own your space within your genre: 

1. Your book covers. Three authors I can think of you use their book covers to stand out from the rest of the authors in your genre are: 

Adrienne Thompson, a romance author whose book covers are typically artistic, handdrawn reflections of the story or characters. 

Click for more info on this author

E.N. Joy, writes Christian Fiction and her book covers are as distinct and dramatic as the stories she crafts. 

Click for more info about this author

Unoma Nwankwor writes Christian Romance. Her covers always depict a unadapted hero and a beautiful heroine that could easily be you or me. 

Click for more info about this author

2. Stand out with style. Like the writers of the gospel make some intentional stylistical choices that set you apart from the pact. You can write heavily episodic pieces, great conversational pieces, be the sultan of sultry, or the queen of sass. Do something that will help the readers recognize your voice. What’s your writing super power?

Can you twist a plot like Brian W. Smith

I deliver grit, realism of the city streets, and our urban architecture, which sets me apart from a lot of other Christian Fiction authors whose books are primarily set in southern cities or don’t give their setting a large role in the story. 

3. Don’t just be one dimensional. Create interactive social media profile across platforms incorporating some of your other strengths. If you’re very visual use Pinterest to build worlds connected to your novels or poetry. Use YouTube to vlog–you can review, rant, or express your ideas verbally, go LIVE and give your people a chance to interact with you and your content in real time.  Or take your readers on shopping trips with you via Instagram or Snapchat stories like I do (don’t forget to follow me on IG). If you need help using Instagram to promote your book and build your brand click HERE to download 5 Free Tips for promoting your book and building your brand using Instagram. 

So, what is it that makes you distinct from other authors within your genre. What can or what do you offer readers that sets you apart from the pack?

#WriterWednesday: Grand Opening

How do you start a great and monumental scene? Do you open with dialogue? Do you start while the pressure is on your hero or heroine has to make a decision right away? Do you set the scene? Or do you mark the scene with some great philosophical quandary?

There isn’t a wrong answer, however there is one opening that is growing less and less popular–setting the scene. In the age of instant oatmeal (which I am a fan of), instant mashed potatoes, and instant celebrities. Most people want everything to happen instantly including some faithful bibliophiles who are like ‘chuck the deets give me the meat’.

If you’re anything like me what you really long to do is open a scene and spend at least a paragraph describing the way that the light refracted off of the river and illuminated the contour and freckles of your protagonist. But, “ain’t nobody got time for that.” So, is this a complaining ranting post where I talk about how much I long for the golden days of literature.

No way, it is important to do all things without murmuring and complaining and when possible I find a solution. Which I believe I have.

Magazines.

I don’t know how they figured out the formula, but magazine journalists have figured out the formula. There’s a way to set the scene and still engage the reader. Let’s look at two examples from Essence magazine:

“Keke Palmer is frozen in a selfie squat in 40-degree weather. It’s a familiar stance: knees slightly bent, chin up and a pout for the camera. We’re outside the backstage entrance of Manhattan’s Broadway Theatre, where steel barriers are the only thing separating her from a crowd of about 50 girls.” ~ “Sugar and Spice” by Clover Hope, Essence January 2015

 

“…She breezes into the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills pushing a carriage and looking like the picture of bliss. She peeks in on her little one, Titan Jewell Weatherspoon, before slipping into her seat and discussing the immense changes she has undergone over the past year.” (I’m not a fan, but I want to keep reading. I want to sip tea with them at the Four Seasons and get all into her business.) ~ “Oh Baby!” by Britni Danielle, Essence April 2015

Both examples provide the reader with enough details to visualize what’s going on without getting bogged down. That’s our job now as modern writers give the people a show-set a scene, but don’t drag them through the mud just to see it.

Sound difficult? It may be, actually it is. But try this to get you started, grab the closest magazine to you or hit the local market and pick up a magazine, turn to the feature article and check out how the author expertly weaves in details that set the scene and engage you as a reader. Nothing lost and everything gained.

Like what you see? After you finish reading try creating your own grand opening? How do you set a scene?

#WriterWednesday: Warning RWW is Prohibited

About two weeks ago one of my colleagues opened her email to show me the first few pages of a novel she’d begun a long time ago and had since abandoned. She wasn’t sure if there was any way her manuscript could be turned into a novel. The more we discussed it I realized why her few pages of writing couldn’t become more than the few pages saved to her email–she had been RWW (Revising While Writing)

Revising While Writing is Prohibited. 

If you keep mulling over your work trying to create the perfect opening you’ll never craft the perfect closing. 
The longer you spend revising paragraphs you’ll never complete a chapter. 

Warning yellow tape with tunnel as backgroundMost writers who step away from their work for an extended period of time are usually prone to revising while writing. I know exactly how it happens you leave the story unattended while dealing with your real life and then when you return and read what you’ve written you slap yourself in the face and reprimand yourself for writing such crap. Then you start rewriting. 

Stop. 

Revising While Writing is Prohibited.

Now, here’s how you curb that. When you step away from your work in progress don’t reread the entire chapter before you start writing. Reread the last two sentences you wrote or the last paragraph if you need more context before you continue. Then write. Don’t make adjustments, play with the words, or give your rebellious heroine a nose ring. Focus on advancing the story instead of rearranging the story.

You can tackle your major issues later.

What are some of the major issues you have with your writing? Leave them in the comments section so, we can tackle them before you’re done.  

#FridayFinds: A-Z Writing Tips: A Motivational Guide for Authors

Our #FridayFind comes from author and publisher, Barbara Joe Williams, who is no stranger to The Neophyte Author. If you want to get your writing rolling look no further, Barbara has the answer for you. 

 

SynopsisAZwriting

 

Genre

Non-Fiction/Self-Help. I wrote this book to help aspiring as well as published authors with their writing goals. Hopefully, this book will motivate them to write and keep writing.

Synopsis

“If you’re looking for a place to get started writing, this is it. Chock full of

helpful tips, this book will have you writing in no time. Just like it says:

you don’t have to get your manuscript perfect, you just have to get it done.

There’s nothing like A-Z Writing Tips to cure writer’s block. Buy it! Use it!” Felicia S.W. Thomas, author of 80 Proof Lives.

A brief (brief) excerpt

 

One valuable piece of advice for any author is this: Get a partner. Not a writing partner,

but another author you can share ideas with, proofread each other’s work, and

keep each other motivated to write. Staying motivated to write every day is the

key to becoming a great writer. Don’t let writer’s block or anything else block

you from getting your writing done.

Bio

Barbara Joe Williams is an Amazon bestselling author, indie publisher, and motivational speaker living Barbara Joein Tallahassee, Florida. She is a Navy veteran, a graduate of Tallahassee Community College, and Florida A & M University. Barbara is also the founder of Amani Publishing, LLC (2004), and the co-founder of the Tallahassee Authors Network since September 2008. She has published books for over thirty authors and the following for herself:  

 Holiday Hotel 2: A Valentine’s Day Story (2015), A-Z

Marketing Tips (2015), A Cup of Barbara Joe (2015), Holiday Hotel: A sexy short

story (2014), Forgive

Us This Day (Anniversary Edition, 2014), First Class Love (2014); You Don’t Even Know My Name (2014); A Writer’s Guide to Publishing &

Marketing (Volume 2, 2013); Double Proposal

(2013); Losing My Soul (2013); The 21

Lives of Lisette Donavan (Anthology, 2012), A Man of My Own (2012), A Writer’s Guide to Publishing & Marketing

(2010), Moving the Furniture: 52 Ways to Keep Your Marriage Fresh (2009),

Courtney’s Collage (with Sherille Fisher, 2007), How I Met My Sweetheart (Anthology, 2007), Falling for Lies (2006),

Dancing with Temptation (2005) and

Forgive Us This Day (2004). Her novel, Forgive Us This Day (Anniversary Edition), was recently reviewed in USA Today by Michelle Monkou. It was a recommended a “must-read” romance.

All of her books are available on Kindle and Nook.

 

 

Amazon page: http://goo.gl/hCOkBb

Email:  amanipublishing@aol.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/barbara.williams.31105674

Website:  www.Barbarajoe.webs.com

Twitter:  @Barbarajoe22

 

 

#WriterWednesday: Old School

I recently embarked on very old school journey with my writing. I actually wrote. I didn’t type and save, and then back up my most recent piece of writing. I wrote it longhand before typing it. I know that sounds totally crazy and it was. It was laborious. Just when I starting patting myself on the back for having finished writing my first novella I realized I had to type the thing. However, there was a huge benefit to this process. IMG_0240

This week for #WriterWednesday I’m encouraging you to go old school. Before you shoot this idea down let’s work this out. 

Cons

  • Time consuming–It seems like double duty, but it’s not. It’s going to cut back on your revision/editing time or at the least change the process.
  • I’m used to writing on the computer not with pen and paper. It’s always good to challenge yourself as a writer and try something different. You never know when you’ll need to do this. My first novel, Born at Dawn was written long hand. The second novel I wrote, Seasoned with Grace was all on the computer, but the demands of the protagonist and narrator of Tempted to Touch would not allow me to just sit and type, but something happened in all that hassle. 

Pro

During the process of taking my story from crazy scribbled notes to a beautifully typed manuscript I had to look at my words again. I had to look at the sentences again. I had to look at the characters again. I was able to spot overused words, poor word choice, and lack of detail and/or too much detail. I had the chance to break up sentences and play with their structure and I had a chance to spot inconsistencies. Does that mean I won’t have to edit? Of course not, but it does mean that the process looks different because I examined the story more closely. 

Challenge: I dare you to go old school today, whether it be a paragraph, a page, or a thousand words. Write something longhand before typing it and watch the transformation take place. Share your transformation in the comments or just your experience in the comments.

Happy Writing! 

#WriterWednesday: Time Thief

So, a popular question that I often receive in relation to my illustrious writing career (don’t roll your eyes, I’m calling those things that are not as though they were) is, “How do you find the time to write?”. I get this question from aspiring authors and non-authors as well who just wish they could get more out of their day. 

For #WriterWednesday I’m giving away the answer. Old vintage typewriter

I’m a thief. I don’t make time I steal time. If I was waiting for an opportune time to begin writing with a full-time job, husband, and two kids, guess what? I’d still be waiting. I wouldn’t have even written this post. What you’re reading was written on stolen time. Today I’m scheduled for jury duty and although I wasn’t supposed to arrive here until 10 am after dropping off the my sweet baby Boogie at the babysitter at her usual time I headed here. I sipped some tea and whipped out my laptop to get this post done and I’ll be moving on to my novella in a few minutes.

Wherever I find pockets of time not being used or misappropriated I steal that time and give it to my writing. For example, my commute to work consists of a half an hour train ride there and an hour train ride back. During that time I write. If the train is too crowded for me to take out my laptop I type on my phone and email what I’ve written to myself.

Trip to the laundry–I write.

Today, I challenge you to record everything that you do today and how much time you spend doing it. Identify the moments where there are holes or chunks of idle time (watching television and trolling Facebook count as idle time–don’t tell me the entire two hours you spent on Facebook was for social media promotions). Once you’ve identified those areas pull a Robin Hood. Steal that time and give it to your writing.  

Are there moments throughout your day that you can identify immediately as excellent marks to steal time from?

When are they and what will you be working on during those times?

Can’t wait to hear how much writing you get done after stealing some time. 

#WriterWednesday : Find the Love

This week Writer’s Wednesday comes from the Neophyte Author and is inspired by V-Day.

Writing is a craft that takes dedication and when you mix in social media, marketing, and trying to balance all the other stuff in your life sometimes the love gets lost. 

This week I not only recommend but I challenge you to find the love. Look through your old journals and writing notebooks. Go sit in the park (if it isn’t freezing where you are) or take a trip to the art museum and let the paintings become the inspiration for a scene or poem. Выбор любовь (choice love). Концепция изменения выбора

Find the love of your craft. Stop working. Stop grinding. Just love the words, honor that tap-tap sound of the keyboard, and dogeared page of your journal. 

Read the words aloud and love them. 

Find the love and after you find it share a line or two from the work that you currently in love with. 

#WriterWednesday : Dr. Ezreaonne Jackson is Digging Up What’s Buried Inside of You

Writing can be done for your own personal edification.  Some of us have purposely focused on writing a project with the thought of being a best selling author, where others, like myself just felt the urge to express some deep, significant thought or circumstance, situation or ideal that needs to be birthed for your personal sanity.

Creativity is intrinsic in every person.  Just as jewels and pearls are fostered through time, pressure, heat, agitation, and force we at times do not realize how to express the creativeness inside us until some pivotal season in our lives. When writing never been afraid to write what you see, feel or experience while your own emotions are flooding to the surface for expression just as the molten lava of a volcanic eruption tells a tale of depth, pressure, heat, and time. 

Read books that inspire you. Words are powerful and they do visit the hearts of its readers.  

Don’t be discouraged by the days of silence, just patiently wait for the flooding of an idea, a powerful sentence or paragraph that will reach into your soul pulling out chapter after chapter.  Never stop thinking about writing.

 

About the Author

headshotRetired from being a Senior Pastor and refocused to oversee her Spiritual daughter’s pastoral mandate, Dr. Ezreaonne Jackson embraces a new chapter in her life.  Her endeavors are to further her education to include Marketing and Media, serve her community, utilize life coaching skills, embark on International ministry and expand her literary expressions. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Theological Studies from the Regency Christian College in Jacksonville, Florida and received an Honorary Doctorate in Ministry from Trinity Bible College in Richmond, VA. Dr. Ezreaonne Jackson’s message is one that is precise in the strategy of developing and defining vision and purpose.

 

#WriterWednesday Michelle Stimpson Helps You Do Your Homework

This week our #WriterWednesday tips come from an author that shouldn’t need an introduction, but if you don’t know her I’m so glad that you are getting a chance to meet her via The Neophyte Author. Pay attention take notes, this may seem like the basics, but we all make mistakes and overlook certain things because we never knew it was wrong or because we’re trying to be creative.

 

michelle-stimpsonBestselling, award-winning author Michelle Stimpson has penned more than twenty-five Christian fiction books including traditional bestseller Divas of Damascus Road, the highly acclaimed Falling Into Grace, and Amazon #1 bestseller, Stepping Down. She has also published more than fifty short stories through her educational publishing company, WeGottaRead.com. Michelle holds an English degree from Jarvis Christian College and master’s degree in education from the University of Texas at Arlington. She is a part-time language arts consultant and serves in women’s ministry at her home church, Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship. She and her husband have two young adult children and one crazy dog.

You can find Michelle online at:

 www.MichelleStimpson.com 

FB page: https://www.facebook.com/MichelleStimpsonWrites