Join Janice and Rochelle Melander for a
March 20, 2013 at 3:30PM EST.
Writing Goals That Work
+ A key step you must take before even setting a goal.
+ The elements of successful writing goals.
+ Tools specifically designed to help writers meet their goals.
+ Inspiring stories from famous writers.
+ Six ways to write at least fifteen minutes a day when you have NO time to write.
Rochelle Melander is an author, speaker, and certified professional coach. She is the author of ten books, including the National Novel Writing Month guide—Write-A-Thon: Write Your Book in 26 Days (and Live to Tell About It)Rochelle teaches professionals how to write good books fast, use writing to transform their lives, navigate the publishing world, and get published! For more tips and a complementary download of the first two chapters of Write-A-Thon, visit her online at www.writenowcoach.com
Members will find call-in information for the classes in the member area of the NAIWE.com website. You’ll find it by logging in on any page of the site, then going to the Library link, then to the Expert Teleclasses link. NAIWE teleclasses are totally free for members ($27 each for non-members).
If you’re not a member and you’d like to join in time for the teleclass, you may click on this “Join NAIWE” link to do so. If you would like to register for the teleclass only, you may do so by visiting the Teleclass page. We hope you’ll join us!
We’re looking forward to November’s member teleclass with Barbara McNichol and Andrea Beaulieu! It’s scheduled for Wednesday, November 17, 2010, at 3:30 p.m. EST.
The topic is:
Telling Your Own Story: Expressing the “Emotional Why” Behind Your Book
When editing professional books, Barbara McNichol helps authors give their stories a strong emotional appeal so they jump off the page. In this session, she’s joined by author, performer, and presentation coach Andrea Beaulieu. Together, they’ll give listeners a wealth of ideas for telling their own stories on the page and the stage. Specifically, they’ll show authors how they can express the stories that compelled them to write their books in the first place!
Barbara has worked with more than 200 authors to bring their amazing books into the world. To assist them in choosing the perfect word when it matters most, she has created a word choice guide called Word Trippers. Barbara is NAIWE’s Editorial Expert, and you can read more about her at her member site, BarbaraMcNichol.NAIWE.com.
Andrea is the author of Ah Ha! 100 Flashes of Insight and Inspiration from Your Authentic Voice and Finding Your Authentic Voice. She has created the Your Authentic Voice® Intuition and Creativity System, which is at the heart of her books. Her coaching clients learn to tell their stories with compassion and conviction from the stage.
Barbara and Andrea offer a workshop “Get Your Story Straight: Tell Your Story Powerfully on the Page and on the Stage!” to help people in organizations more effectively tell their stories.
Members will receive call-in information for the class via a member mailing. Be sure that you’ve whitelisted *@naiwe.com (an asterisk, followed by @naiwe.com) and *@naiwemail.com in your e-mail program so that you receive the message (just add those e-mails to your address book, and that should take care of it). Expert teleclasses are archived in the member area for at least a year so that you can listen and learn at your convenience. The advantage of listening live, of course, is that you can ask questions at the end. We hope you’ll join us!
If you’re not a member and you’d like to join in time for the teleclass, you may click on this “Join NAIWE” link to do so. If you would like to register for the teleclass only, you may do so for $27 by visiting the Teleclass page.
NAIWE is delighted to feature ghostwriter Kim Pearson of Primary Sources as our Member of the Month for August 2010. We did an audio interview with her on Wednesday, August 18, at 3:30 p.m. EDT on The Freelance Life online radio show. Here’s the recording:
Q: Please share a little of your professional history with our readers.
I’ve been writing since I was a little girl, and my dream was always to be a writer. I have advanced degrees in English Literature and History, which I pursued because I thought they’d help me in a writing career. I had quite a few short stories published in magazines, and wrote a novel that wasn’t published, but my writing did not pay my mortgage – not even close. For much of my working life until 11 years ago, I held various marketing management positions in the world of hightech, and only wrote “on the side.” It wasn’t until I began writing memoirs for other people that I discovered that I could actually do this as a full-time career. From writing memoirs I went on to teaching others how to write their own (my book Making History is based on one of my classes) and then I went on to ghostwriting nonfiction books on business, self help, spirituality, parenting, and a lot of other diverse subjects as well as memoirs. I’ve now ghostwritten over 35 books, as well as numerous blog posts and articles. Along the way I also wrote six books of my own – fiction and poetry as well as my own nonfiction.
Q: How and when did you make this business a reality?
When my youngest child turned 21, I quit my corporate job and went out on my own as a ghostwriter, editor, writing coach and teacher. I’d always wanted to be a writer, and I realized that if I didn’t fulfill my dream now, just when did I think the magic was going to happen? My family and friends thought I was nuts. They had a point. I gave up a high paying job with those great things called “benefits” for no safe salary or guarantees of success.
To be honest, it was hard in the beginning, and some days it still is. There were days when I was sure that proverbial bag-lady was hanging out in my closet, waiting for me to fail so she could lend me her shopping cart. I sometimes thought longingly about handy things like salaries, medical benefits , 401Ks, sick days, and vacation days – all those “guarantees” I used to have. But then I remembered that there really is no such thing as a guarantee – it’s an illusion we tell ourselves so we won’t feel scared.
So sometimes I feel scared – but mostly I feel happy. It’s been 11 years now, and I’m still here. I don’t make as much money as I used to, but I am making a pretty good living doing what I love – writing.
I named my company Primary Sources (www.primary-sources.com) because I believe that’s what we all are – we all have stories and ideas that do no good for the world unless we share them. We are the primary sources of wisdom. Actually, I think of everything I do as facets of one thing – storytelling. I help people tell their stories, businesses tell their stories, even animals tell their stories. When I write for myself, I tell my own stories. One of the most powerful ways to teach and learn is through stories. I believe sharing our stories connects us, inspires us, teaches us, and heals us. To tell your truth is a profound gift to the world. I am so glad I get to contribute to this.
Q: What do you consider your first “break” as a writer?
The very first book I ghostwrote was for my own grandmother. I wrote the story of when she came to America as a child in 1905, her experiences as a “flapper” in the 1920s, her housewife life in a mountain logging town during the Depression, and her war service in the Second World War. I interviewed her and recorded our conversations, and she lent me a box of very old letters in spidery handwriting, plus about thirty photo albums full of photos of people who even she couldn’t remember. I wrote it in first person, in her voice, using many of the phrases characteristic of my grandmother, with idioms common for her era. I wrote the book for love of my grandmother and because I wanted my own two daughters to know their heritage.
The book turned out very well, and Grandma loved it. She was so proud of it she showed it to all her friends, and since she was a highly social woman, a lot of people got to see it. One of those people raved about the book to her daughter, and then the daughter called me up and asked me to do the same thing for her mother. That was my first paid ghostwriting job. I charged a miniscule amount considering the energy and time I spent on it, but it was a great learning experience to write a memoir for a total stranger. It too was a success, and for the first time it occurred to me that I might actually be able to make a living doing what I loved – writing – and had been doing “on the side” for the previous twenty-odd years.
So I was off and running … well, not really running. I was off and limping. I had a lot to learn yet about ghostwriting, especially about how to market my services. But that was almost 12 years ago, and here I still am.
Q: What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned thus far in your career?
My writing philosophy can be boiled down to one sentence, which I wrote on a sticky note and put on the side of my computer. It says “It’s Not About You.”
When I was only writing my own “stuff,” I couldn’t make enough money to quit my day job and be a writer full time. It wasn’t until I started writing for other people that I was able to go out on my own. I think the lesson for me here was “It’s not about you.”
Some writers say they “write for themselves” as if this means they are a “real” writer, in touch with their muse. I think that’s baloney. You never write for yourself alone – you write for your readers.
Even when I write my own “stuff,” it’s still not about me. It’s always about my readers. If there were no readers, there would be no point in writing. Writing is simply another means of communication, and all effective communication is two-way.
You have to know what your readers care about. You have to think about them when you are writing. Otherwise you are preaching.
The very first question I ask my ghostwriting clients is: “Who are your readers? Who is most likely to read your book? Who do you want to read your book?” I am always amazed that most of my clients – and many writers too – don’t know the answer to these questions. They’ve simply never thought about it.
Q: Are you working on any special projects you’d like to tell us about?
I’m busy ghostwriting, editing, and working on a novel of my own, plus writing my blog. I’ve also recently introduced a new online interactive program called Living as a Ghost, for writers who want to learn the ins and outs of ghostwriting. www.primary-sources.com/learntoghost.html.
There are many unknowns surrounding ghostwriting. How do you market yourself? How much should you charge? What about copyright? How does ghostwriting work? And most important — would you enjoy being a ghostwriter?
I’ve developed Living as a Ghost so that others can learn how to help people tell their stories and share their ideas, plus support themselves by doing what they love and are good at — writing. There are a lot of stories out there, and I sure can’t write them all. I’d love to have a referral source for other ghostwriters who I can wholeheartedly recommend.
Living as a Ghost is a four step program with lots of extras. It includes:
STEP 1 – Getting the Work. Download, read, and study this comprehensive e-book, which includes an in-depth discussion of the business of ghostwriting. Topics covered include: how to get started as a ghost; marketing your services; identifying your niche; what to charge; getting and using referrals; teaching and speaking; your competition; how to quote; ghostwriting agreements, and a lot more.
STEP 2 – Doing the Work. Download, read, and study this second comprehensive e-book, which includes in-depth discussions covering topics such as: the differences between ghostwriting and writing for oneself; gathering info; research; interviewing techniques; client communication; managing your own ego; common challenges faced by ghostwriters — and how to survive them; how to write for someone else; and much more.
STEP 3 – Practicing the Work. Get some actual practice being a ghostwriter! Write essays based on three downloadable audios and their verbatim transcripts, of interviews with me and 3 interesting people about subjects dear to their hearts. You can write one, two, or three essays, then submit them for written detailed critiques. Did you “get the voice?” What other ways are there to structure and organize the essay? What questions would you ask next? What questions do you wish I’d asked? Does your essay tell a story with a beginning, middle, and end? And perhaps, what do the interviewees think of your essay? This critique will help you hone your ghostwriting skills.
STEP 4 – Discussing the Work. In addition to the written critique on your ghostwritten essays, you’ll receive a one-on-one 90-minute coaching session via telephone. We’ll discuss any ghostwriting concerns or questions you may still have on the “business side” of ghostwriting. Or we can discuss ghostwriting assignments you may be quoting on, or those you have already obtained. I may offer suggestions for interview techniques or questions you might try, or suggestions on structure and organization that may fit your topic. If you want further clarification or additional examples on the subjects covered in the e-books, we can talk about that. Or I can just offer some extra encouragement.
PLUS participate anytime in an online forum with me or other new ghostwriters in this program. Ask further questions, discuss challenges, share your successes – and receive further feedback, answers, or advice. This ongoing feedback means you won’t be alone out there in the ether!
And there’s more . . .
• Samples of forms to use in your ghostwriting business, such as quotations and agreements covering copyright, confidentiality, etc.
• Ten extra e-books on subjects important to ghostwriters, such as: Wowing Your Readers; Who Hires Ghostwriters and How to Sell to Them; Historical timelines and suggested interview questions covering 60 years and 8 broad topics —useful for memoirs.
• Links to other book professionals who can help you and your clients. No one does anything alone! These are people who I have worked with and personally vouch for as experienced, insightful, highly competent and honorable. I trust my clients to these folks.
It took me ten years to learn this information the hard way. Here’s a chance for you to mine my knowledge the easy way – for only $349.00.
Finally, I’m hosting a FREE introductory teleclass to Living as a Ghost on August 5th, 4pm PST, 7pm EST. Those who sign up for this free teleclass will receive a $50 credit for the Living as a Ghost program. For details on this free teleclass, see www.primary-sources.com/classes.html
Q: What are some of the teachers, books, or authors who have influenced your professional life in a positive way?
There are so many! Here are just a few: On writing, Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones and Wild Mind still provide me with inspiration and ideas, even when I read them for the forty-seventh time. On having the courage to live your dream, Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way completely transformed my life. On information about the business of writing and publishing, Jan King of www.ewomenpublishingnetwork.com and www.janbking.com has been a wonderful mentor and friend.
Q: As a seasoned professional, what advice would you offer an independent writer or editor who is just beginning a career?
Don’t give up.
Q: What inspires you?
Writing is how I define myself. If I’m not writing, something is missing. Sometimes, though, I do go through those awful blank spells when I’m sure I’ve run out of anything new to say, and I feel like chucking the whole thing. What keeps me writing through those times are the writing practices I’ve established – every morning I write “Morning Pages” (from Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way) – three pages of longhand “compost” (that means anything that comes out of my pen is okay, even if it’s boring and trivial) and I also write one haiku poem every morning. It doesn’t have to be a good haiku; my only criteria are that it’s 3 lines and 17 syllables. (I’ve been doing this for nearly 20 years now, and boy do I have a lot of haiku!) After I write those two pieces, even if I spend the whole day staring at the blank computer screen, I know I am still a writer.
My other inspirations are my ghostwriting clients and my students – I am always energized by hearing their stories; stories full of wisdom, courage, humor, and life. I am so blessed.
Q: How has your membership in NAIWE benefited you professionally?
I’m a fairly new member in NAIWE, but I know that networking with other “book people” is the best – maybe the only – way to succeed as a freelance writer. This interview is a great example of how NAIWE has benefitted me professionally. If you’re going to get hired, people have to know you are here. This can be a difficult challenge for ghostwriters in particular, since we are GHOSTS – we hang out in the shadows and often get no credit for our writing.
Writers are often introverted people. We don’t like getting “out there,” and would prefer to stay holed up in our quiet attics, just us and our computers. This has never worked as a successful marketing strategy, and never will. Get out there. Join groups and professional associations, go to events, hold classes and seminars, make videos, participate on blogs – do all those extrovert things that are hard to do. Not only will it help you succeed, it will be good for you as a person.
Ghostwriting is such an intimate service – I am invited into someone else’s head to poke around, and bring their ideas, dreams, and stories out into the world. People don’t pick a ghostwriter based on just their website or business card; they want the word of others they trust – other professionals – to validate this person.
*** Kim Pearson is an author, ghostwriter, editor, and the owner of Primary Sources, a writing service that helps others become authors of polished, professional, and compelling books and articles. She has authored 6 books of her own, including award-winning Making History: how to remember, record, interpret and share the events of your life; and Dog Park Diary (which she ghostwrote for a dog!) She has ghostwritten (for people) more than 35 non-fiction books and memoirs, which tell the stories of a wide variety of people and cover a broad range of topics, from saxophones to finance, city histories to hypnotherapy, psychic horses to constipation, and many points in between. Her new program “Living as a Ghost” teaches others the fine art of ghostwriting. Her blog From the Compost shares her musings about the writing and ghosting life: www.primary-sources.com/blog. To learn more about her books or services, visit her member site at http://kimpearson.naiwe.com or www.primary-sources.com.
We interviewed Taylor Campbell, the software developer behind StoryBlue. StoryBlue is one of the simplest software programs available for novelists, and NAIWE members receive a $10 discount on it, so we thought you might like to hear the story behind it (it involves NaNoWriMo), and a little more about what makes it unique. The interview is just under 18 minutes– enjoy!
After writing that 200-page book, having an entire information-product line that comes from just a few thousand words sounds almost too good to be true, doesn’t it? This is one of those times it really is true. This session shows you how to make it happen.
Choose a great topic for you
Why start with tips booklet
Learn a simple writing formula, word count, organization
The power of three that easily becomes six, one at a time
Why do different formats
Inventory or not
Examples all around you
Sell parts of the whole – to whom and for how much
Paulette Ensign is the founder, Chief Visionary, and Booklet Queen at Tips Products International, www.tipsbooklets.com. Paulette’s sense of humor and can-do attitude are the backdrop for teaching you to transform your knowledge into tips booklets and other information products for marketing, motivating, and making money. Paulette has personally sold well over a million copies (so far!) of her one tips booklet, “110 Ideas for Organizing Your Business Life,” in four languages and various formats without ever spending a penny on advertising. You will leave this series with ideas to breathe new life into your business.
Members will receive call-in information for the class via a member mailing. Be sure that you’ve whitelisted *@naiwe.com (an asterisk, followed by @naiwe.com) in your e-mail program so that you receive the message.
If you’re not a member and you’d like to join in time for this teleclass, you may click on this “Join NAIWE” link to do so. If you would like to register for the teleclass only, you may do so for $27 by visiting the Teleclass page.
We’re excited to host Tina Games, the NAIWE expert on the art of journaling. She has focused her writing and coaching career on working with women through the power of focused journaling, and she’ll be sharing some very specific techniques writers can use to power up creativity and defuse stress.
In this one-hour teleclass, Tina will discuss:
– How journaling is helpful to a writer
– Setting the stage for journal writing
– What types of journals are best for writers?
– What are some journaling techniques for capturing the best ideas?
– How can journaling help with writers block?
– How to use journal writing to map out a story, article or book
Members will receive call-in information for the class via a member mailing. Be sure that you’ve whitelisted *@naiwe.com (an asterisk, followed by @naiwe.com) in your e-mail program so that you receive the message.
If you’re not a member and you’d like to join in time for Tina’s teleclass, you may click on this “Join NAIWE” link to do so. If you would like to register for the teleclass only, you may do so for $27 by visiting the Teleclass page.
Tina Games is a freelance writer, a creativity and life purpose coach, and a journaling workshop facilitator. She works with mothers who desire a more authentic life filled with purpose, passion, and creative expression. Her book, Journaling by the Moonlight: A Mother’s Path to Self-Discovery (and its accompanying deck of 54 journaling prompt cards) are based on the phases of the moon and are scheduled for release in mid-February.