Monthly Archives: January 2021

The Writing Life: Half and Half

By Terry C. Misfeldt

Writers will confess that they love writing but are less than enthusiastic about marketing. The writing life is half and half. Half of the process is getting words together in sentences, paragraphs, chapters, and novels or whatever they are writing. The other half of the process is publicizing what they’ve written to their adoring fans; also known as marketing.

Must equal time be given to both halves? Not necessarily. If all you want to do is write and self-publish so you can showcase your work with a spot on your bookcase shelf, congratulations! You are a published author. If, however, you want to make a wee bit of money selling some of those copies you ordered or to get people to purchase copies online, some marketing is essential.

Simple steps include creating an author’s profile with a link people can click on. This gives potential buyers an opportunity to check you out and, perchance, buy a copy through Amazon or another outlet. Use that author’s profile link in your E-mail signature, too. It is a simple marketing tool. Create a listing for your work on Good Reads and other book-related websites. It takes a few minutes to get it set up.

Encourage readers to write reviews (and be prepared for ones that may be less than flattering). Send media releases to your college alumni association, fraternity or sorority if you were a brother or sister, any other organizations you have or may belong to, your hometown newspaper, and any other place that may publish the information about you and your work. The same release can work for a variety of publications with slight modification.

Look for speaking engagements: Book clubs, service organizations, and other groups are often looking for programs. Book clubs mean people buy your book, read it, and then invite you in to discuss it.

None of these tools on your marketing belt cost a lot of money, other than a First Class stamp. Just carve out the time to do it and see what happens.

Keeping A Journal

By Terry C. Misfeldt

Some people think of a journal as a diary and that is one version. Keeping a journal is different.

Diaries are meant to be personal and contents shared with few, if any, people. Keeping a journal is documenting life and significant events that likely impart lessons to whomever reads the journal. Do journals contain diary-like comments? They can, and often do.

Keeping a journal is important if you travel considerably, especially if you want to share those travels with others who may wish to follow in your shoes. Journal about good places to eat and the quality of the food, but do not forget to accentuate how you were treated by the waitstaff and everyone else. Write about the modes of transportation you use, how efficient they are, and the friendliness of the flight attendants, conductor, Uber driver, or others providing that transportation.

How did you feel when you stood on the beaches of Hawaii for the first time? What was it like to drive a car through busy Los Angeles traffic? Where did you see the sun rise that was an unusual location?

Family life is also worth keeping a journal. Share when your child first rolls over or cuts their first tooth. Remember to share your frustration with weird hours feeding or changing dirty diapers. Temper tantrums and how you dealt with them could also prove valuable when your children have children.

There is so much you can journal about, including your work and co-workers. Describe their work habits and personality traits but be careful about sharing these pages of your journal if you get too personal.

The point is to write, and keeping a journal is an easy method of remembering things that motivate you…and that can be used as motivation. A good time to start is now.