#WriterWednesday 16 Big Things From 2016

The end of the year always demands introspection and reflection, especially for me. As the year changes so does my age. I was blessed enough to be born on the last day of the year, so I am always looking back. 2016 was a bang up year for America– black men were killed at alarming rates, Trump was elected President, and many of the 80s and 70s’ pop icon that we grew up with passed away.

But we pressed on, at least I did. I didn’t do everything I set out to do, but 2016 was a break through year for me as an author. Check out the year in rewind and hopefully a literary jewel or two will trickle from this post into your lap.

  1. The very first reading I participated in was a paid reading and I sold books at the event. Could you imagine my shock, that I would be paid to read from my own book. Speeches I understand, but I never expected to be paid just to be just to read my work.

2. I started coaching authors. Some of my authors booked me to work on their writing and some of them booked me to teach them marketing strategies. Some of them listened and some of them didn’t. LOL.  In the end we both were stretched and grew. Wanna work with me too? To book your Publishing Pow-Wow today click here or click the photo below.

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3. I got a chance meet Kevin Powell. We were seated beside each other at the Black Book Fair. He bought a book and signed up for my mailing list. I don’t know if he read said book, but I was excited nonetheless for a potential new reader. As long as he has the book the possibility is there.

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Me and the legendary Kevin Powell
4. I became a staff writer for Memoirs of a Virtuous Woman. If you’re a Christian woman trying to live right and deal with real issues you need to pop over there. This position was a great win because someone that I worked with (Why did I type that past tense? Was that prophetic? I hope so.) someone that I work with was very adamant about me ditching Jesus and just writing for a secular platform. I said no and a month later I got this gig, which ultimately landed me in the Memoirs of a Virtuous Woman magazine as well. Whatever your convictions are hold onto them. 

memoirs-of-a-virtuous-woman

 

5. I met with a live bookclub here in New York City. Bookclubs are secret societies. The only way in is if you know somebody that knows somebody. Thankfully at my first reading of the year I met somebody who was a member of the Sugar and Spice bookclub. Many authors live off of bookclubs and as a new author while I recommend connecting with bookclubs invest your efforts in connecting with readers; they will always lead you to more readers whether they run in packs or not. 

 

6. I went to Chicago. I didn’t do anything touristy, but I totally and completely loved attending, Book It. I had such a great time I’m going back again in 2017 by God’s grace. I also had the opportunity to meet some readers whom I know and love online in the flesh. 


7. I finally learned how to properly promote my books and brand on Instagram. Yes, for real. I learned how to promote myself and my work and actually make sales. Want to learn as well? I wrote a book about it and taught a class on it make sure you grab each one Influence to Income Workbook and Influence to Income Video

8. I learned the power of going Live streaming. After teaching one class while Live streaming I booked a gig to teach a Smart Social Media Management class for authors.

 

9. I took the whole entire family to a book event. First of all the kids are already on the payroll, but we let the hubs tag along. We all made it out alive, so maybe just maybe I’ll let them join me on the road again.

 

10.  I got invited to speak at a library in North Carolina. Now that was a sore spot for me because every time I tried to book a trip or talk at a local library as someone suggested to me a long time ago it just never went right and then BAM! I got an invite. Though it is often said you shouldn’t wait for an opportunity you should create your own recognize that sometimes it’s just not your time. While there I met the and ate dinner with the Victorious Ladies Reading and if you don’t know who they are you better ask somebody. 


11. I wrote and published my first non-fiction book, Pursuing Your Passion in a Godly Fashion: Prayers for Creative Christians and Entrepreneurs. 

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12. I sold out of Pursuing Your Passion in a Godly Fashion on the day of its release at the Christian Book Lover’s Retreat (which if you haven’t registered for it, please do yourself a favor and register). 


14. I finally made up in my mind that no matter what goes on around me I would write until God tells me to have a seat. 

15. I returned to my first love several times this year. I wrote some poetry. One of my poems was retweeted by Errol Lewis of NY1. Of course, I had  to tag him first.

 

Dear America

16. Opportunities abound and possibility is everywhere you just have to seek it, speak it, and walk in it. 


How was 2016 for you??? Share some of your highlights and lessons with me.

 

#WriterWednesday: 5 Tips for Getting the First Draft Completed

I’ve been seeing a lot of post on Facebook and Instagram (are you following me @NewNigeria) about writing that first draft. Now, I’ve tackled revising while writing, but we haven’t talked about just writing. If you’re struggling with getting through the first draft here are some tips to get you through it (don’t feel bad I’m going through it right now while working on Children of God).

Pray

If you need motivation and inspiration to get the draft done ask the one who brings all things to pass. I’m not being funny here, truly He will steady your heart and mind when you sit down to do your work.

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6

God is the author of the best selling book of all time His influence on your work will take it to the next level.  

Forget the Formalities

Don’t worry about indenting and setting margins. Don’t worry about the look of the thing. Just slap them word on the page.

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Anything that you do at this point can be fixed. It’s a draft. Say it with me it’s a DRAFT.

Close Your Eyes 

If you’re stifled or the words are not flowing correctly just close your eyes and allow the scene to manifest in your mind before you attempt to pound it out on the keyboard. Just make sure you don’t mess around and fall asleep. 

Avoid Counting Words

So, many authors set a daily word count goal, however the old adage a watched pot won’t boil applies here. The more often you pause even if it is for a second to check the word count you’ve actually stopped writing. If you haven’t reached your goal in a certain amount of time or are not where you thought you’d be you may also quash some of your motivation. Instead of checking the word count while your writing check the word count when you begin, cover it up on your screen or turn it off. Once your writing session is over check your word count then and you will may find that you’ve exceeded the goal you set for yourself because you took the limit off. 

Speaking of Limitations

Nothing is off limits for the first draft. Write what you want how you want. You can clean up later. Right now just pump it out.

Do you any tips to add that will help us all get over the hump of writing the first draft?

#WriterWednesday: Workshops, Webinars, Oh My!

Workshop - letters on wooden desk with laptop computer and a notebook. 3d render illustration.

Are you ready to teach a workshop? Want to start a webinar series? Of course you’re saying why on earth would I do that, Nigeria I’m still trying to figure how to sell books. That’s just it a workshop is an excellent way to sell books without selling books, establish or grow your brand, and monetize yourself.

I just came back from the BWABC Literacy Festival in Memphis where I hosted a workshop alongside my #soulsis Unoma Nwankwor. We covered the challenges of writing–I dealt with the practical stuff: time management and marketing and Unoma tackled the creative stuff: research is not writing, overcoming your mood, etc.

Lesson #1

Things never go according to plan (but God always provides a ram in the bush).

Early on we contacted the event organizer’s assistant about a projector. We were told we needed to bring our own. Of course, neither one of us own a travel size projector. We scrambled and to get copies of our presentations made unsure of how many people would be in attendance. Turned out we made enough copies and then the ram in the bushMichelle Stimpson showed up with a projector and allowed us to use it. Yasssss! Thank you, Jesus!

Lesson #2

Have fun. Simply enjoy yourself. If you’re not enjoying the moment the people in attendance won’t.

Lesson #3

Be genuine. Your brand is not only a statement you make up about yourself but how you leave people feeling after that.

Lesson #4

Don’t give them too much. Leave a little room for them to still want to pick your brain if your plan to monetize what you do.

Now to answer the question you’re dying to ask me: Is it worth it?

Yes! Yes! Yes!

  • Traffic to both of my sites–www.nigerialockley.com and www.inheritancebooks.co has increased–making this an opportune time to launch my paid workshops and lead into my webinar series for 2016. I’ll be doing at least one webinar before 2015 closes.
  • I’ve gained credibility. The workshop was held at a well-known literary event.
  • I had a great time and one of the established authors in attendance even posted a remark on Facebook about my lesson on branding. (Woot! Woot!)

Now it’s time to get you moving. Is there a particular topic you’d like the Neophyte Author to help you with? What are your writing challenges and struggles? Do you need help creating your own workshops? Post you answer in the comments below and your topic may the focus of my first webinar.

#WriterWednesday: When Inspiration Strikes or Not

This is a late night edition of #WriterWednesday, but if you’re anything like me this is when you get your best work done. That is if you feel inspired, but what happens when you’re not feeling it?

I’m going to tell you what to do when you’re not feeling it. Treat your writing like your faith–keep walking anyway. As Christians we walk by faith and not by sight. It doesn’t matter what we see or what’s going on around us we’re supposed toGood idea stand. What do you think you’re supposed to do with your gift? Only write when the muse strikes or when you’re wearing your lucky green socks?

No…don’t worship the muse or wait for the muse that is idol worship. Worship the Lord, who is the giver of every good and perfect gift, in spirit and in truth and watch the words flow. Watch how you’re fingers fly if you just sit down and say “It’s not me, but it’s in you, Lord and I want to be used by you no matter the time–day or night and regardless of how I feel.” 

How do I know that this method will work? Because I’m doing it right now. I wasn’t feeling it. I wasn’t inspired and I have nothing to say, but I want to be consistent (as a good blogger should be), I want to be encouraging to new authors and share what I am learning (I am The Neophyte Author, right), but I don’t want to sound like a broken record either rehashing all kinds of lessons on writing that are available all over the internet. So, as I tried to think of what to write about this Wednesday I said a prayer and left my computer alone. I went about my day the way I normally do (pick up Boogie from camp, eat dinner, and hit up Bible Study).

Now it’s after ten and I said this night will not end with me offering something. In this moment the Jesusmet me (that’s the Lord I’ve been referencing if you want to get to know him see the What Must I Do to b Saved? page) and gave me these words. Don’t trust your gift, talent, or calling for they come without repentance (God gives you what you need to be who He wants you to be before you’ve even considered serving Him), but trust in the one who gave it to you. Yield yourself to him and do what you have been called to do, share your gift, and cause your talent to be multiplied and bring the bounty all back to him. That means work in spite of feeling inspired work as unto Him and He will take care of the rest.