BlakeAtwood.com

A Professional Update and 3 Humble Requests
Jun30

A Professional Update and 3 Humble Requests

Today marks a strange new beginning for me: full-time freelancing as an editor and writer. I expect to be befuddled by challenges in the next few months, but at half a day into this new job change, everything seems to be going well. On a promising note, I have enough work for the next few weeks to keep me more than busy. When I first considered going full-time freelance, I assumed I’d have at least 20 hours a week to work on my...

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To Be a Writer: A Major Life Update
Jun26

To Be a Writer: A Major Life Update

“Where do you see yourself in five years?” A prospective client asked me that question just yesterday. I don’t think I gave a great answer. It’s the kind of question I’ve never been able to answer well. Five years? So much can happen in five years. So much can happen in a few months. So much can happen in a split second. How am I supposed to know what I’ll be doing in five years? As I’ve aged,...

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Top 10 Writing Posts of the Week
May31

Top 10 Writing Posts of the Week

First, a remembrance . . . “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” ― Maya Angelou On Wednesday, May 28, your social feeds likely overflowed with Maya Angelou quotes. She was definitely quotable, but take a bit longer than a few seconds to truly remember her work by reading these selected poems. You don’t have to take my word on backing this Reading Rainbow Kickstarter project. You likely saw this on...

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How Long Should My Book Be?
Apr21

How Long Should My Book Be?

Before starting to write your book, it’s imminently helpful to know how many words your book will contain. Knowing your final word count, even if it’s an estimate, provides a number of benefits. Photo Credit: ucumari via Compfight cc Set Daily Word Goals For instance, if you know your deadline and your total word count, you can set daily word goals to help you maintain momentum. One of my favorite features in Scrivener is “Project...

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What is Your Book’s Unique Selling Proposition?
Apr16

What is Your Book’s Unique Selling Proposition?

Depending on your definition of success as a self-publisher, knowing your “competition” before writing your book can help your book become much more marketable. By combing through bestsellers and similar titles to your work-in-progress, you’ll learn how you can position your book against what’s already available. For instance, let’s say you had an idea to write the seminal literary novel about the dust bowl. While I’m not saying it...

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Visual Writing Quotes: Stephen King on Fear
Apr14

Visual Writing Quotes: Stephen King on Fear

From time to time, I’ll post shareable, visual writing quotes. Feel free to share and post as you see fit. The quote above comes from Stephen King’s must-read book on writing On Writing, and I was reminded of that work via this quote-filled summary of On Writing sent to me by Kyle Cheatham. The great Creative Commons image comes from Kaipullai via Compfight, and I created the image rather quickly via ShareAsImage.com. How...

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The Best Self-Publishing Links: Visual Edition
Mar20

The Best Self-Publishing Links: Visual Edition

Two reading apps recently caught my attention, both of which aim to increase reading in our predominantly tweet-reading age: Rooster and Spritz. For $4.99 per month, Rooster offers “bite-sized installments” of a classic work and a contemporary book. It’s a serialized fiction app that, according to this short interview, will eventually open up its digital doors to self-publishers. Spritz, on the other hand, is an app you may have...

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How to Discover Your Book’s Tone
Mar18

How to Discover Your Book’s Tone

In my previous post in this series, I asked you to distill the greatness of your unwritten book into one sentence. That can be a daunting challenge, especially if you’re unsure what your book as a whole will look like when it’s finished. Today’s question from The Self-Publisher’s Checklist (a free download, by the way) might be just as challenging, but should be just as rewarding for when you finally start writing your magnum opus....

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The Best Self-Publishing Links: Whaling with Ahab, Writing with Amtrak, and Competing with TV
Mar13

The Best Self-Publishing Links: Whaling with Ahab, Writing with Amtrak, and Competing with TV

Let’s begin this link roundup with the most challenging and inspiring article I read this week, Steven Pressfield’s “Write Your White Whale:” The #1 question that writers ask: ‘I’ve got a million ideas. How do I know which one to write?’ Answer: Write your White Whale. Which idea, of all those swimming inside your brain, are you compelled to pursue the way Ahab was driven to hunt Moby Dick? Here’s how you know: you’re scared to death...

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What Do I Want My Book to Say?
Mar10

What Do I Want My Book to Say?

The second question in my free download, ”The Self-Publisher’s Checklist: 33 Essential Questions to Ask Yourself Before Self-Publishing,” might be one of the more difficult ones to answer, especially if you have yet to start writing. But, this question might be the most important one you need to answer before you begin working in earnest. The answer to this question provides a sure foundation to build your book upon and a map to lead...

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