Why You Should Write Like You Have a Deadline

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As an aspiring author, the best thing you can do to better your craft and get you closer to seeing your novel on the shelves at Barnes and Noble is to write. While that’s no secret, all writers are different, especially when it comes to how quickly they can get words down on the page. 

Some writers can crank out upwards of 1,000 words a day, while others struggle to complete 500 in a week. Are either of these writers better than the other? No. However, writing like you have a deadline, even when you don’t, can often mean the difference between finishing your manuscript or always wishing you had. 

Approaching your writing like you are on a deadline:

Provides Instant Motivation
We all have days that simply don’t have enough hours in them, but giving yourself a deadline gives you the extra dose of motivation that is often needed to finish your book. This inspiration will keep you moving toward your goal, and give you a tangible finish line to look forward to. 

Gets Words on the Page
Deadlines are great scare tactics. Either you meet them or you don’t, and nothing feels worse than letting your creative self down. When you give yourself a date that your draft needs to be finished by, you will work harder to fill the blank pages of your manuscript, which in turn, gets you one step closer to publication. 

Eliminates Excuses 
YouTube, Netflix, Twitter, and Goodreads all too often become excuses for us to avoid digging into our work in progress. By giving yourself a deadline, and making your writing a priority, you will crave completing your novel over a useless binge-watching session. Besides, these typical excuses can make great ways to treat yourself once your book is complete.

Have you ever written on a deadline before? How did it compare to regular self-paced writing?

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3 Secrets to Getting Published

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As a writer, it’s likely not a secret that one of your main goals is to get published. Sure, writing just for the love of writing is great, but you’re probably kidding yourself if you say you don’t dream about one day finding your novel on the shelves at Barnes and Noble. 

While the publishing industry changes daily and there is no one set in stone path that will get your book on the New York Time’s Bestseller list, these three tips will get you pointed in the right direction. 

Network
Rarely does one ever get published without the help of others in the industry. Make a point to reach out to agents, publishers, and other authors you admire. Building relationships with others in the field will help open new doors and opportunities. But be careful to never promote your work right away to new contacts – instead, focus on building lasting friendships. The business aspect will follow when the time is right. 

Build a Platform
In today’s world of social media, it is vital that new authors have a presence online with a meaningful platform. Whether through Twitter, Instagram, or a blog, by continuously building your platform and posting quality content, your likelihood of getting noticed (and ultimately getting a book deal) by a publisher increases significantly. 

Write
The best way to help your work get published? WRITE. Embrace your manuscript and put in the effort to make your book as good as it possibly can be through several rounds of edits, beta-readers, and then even more edits. Constantly working on your writing is the only guaranteed way to improve your craft, and since the quality of your writing is the ultimate factor between your book selling out on Amazon or living in Google Docs forever, it is best that you make the process of actually sitting down to write your primary focus. There are a lot of mediocre books out there, but by ensuring yours is great, you increase your chances of getting published infinitely. 

What are some of your favorite helpful publishing secrets? 

Supermarket Small Talk: 5 Minute Fiction

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Supermarket Small Talk

“Megan?”.
Oh no.
“Is that you? Oh, of course it is!”.
I wish it wasn’t.
“It’s been so long!”.
Not long enough.
“How long has it been? High school?”.
Ugh. “Yeah”, I say with a smile faker than Heather’s new cheekbones. “It’s been a while”. I give her a polite nod and turn around, pretending to be engrossed in the latest tabloids, and praying the 17 year old cashier will get a move on.
“How have you been?”, Heather doesn’t take the hint, expecting me to humor her constant questions.
Since I can’t tell her that I spend most of my time in public avoiding soul-suckers like her, I give her the always acceptable, “Fine”.
“Oh, life’s just great isn’t it?”, she muses.
Not this particular moment.
She keeps going, “Adam and I just moved into a farmhouse, and my blog is really taking off!”.
Her blog about how hard life is in upper-class suburbia. 
Yes, I’ve read it.
Stop judging me.
“What have you been up to?”, she narrows in
“Contemplating how badly I want these bananas, or if ditching them and this conversation would be worth it”.
“Excuse me?”.
Shoot.
I said that one out loud.

Read more 5 Minute Fiction pieces by yours truly.

June Reading Wrap Up

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Somehow, between work, writing, and Sporting KC games, I was able to squeeze in 6 books this past month, including the longest Harry Potter. Don’t ask me how – I’m considering it a miracle.

The books that I read in June consisted of both timeless classics and releases so new that the pages were still warm. Without further ado, here are the books I read over the past 30 days:

  1. 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson
  2. The BFG by Roald Dahl
  3. When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
  4. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling
  5. By Your Side by Kasie West
  6. My Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella

Check out my thoughts on these novels, and become my book friend by adding me on Goodreads!

What was your favorite book you read in June?