How This Writing Bootcamp Is Getting Writers Published

How This Writing Bootcamp Is Getting Writers Published

How This Writing Bootcamp Is Getting Writers Published

Hey Writers and Muse Daters,

Maybe you’ve been considering joining the Writing Gym for a while now. 

But you still want to know: what will it really be like? 

Today I want to shed some light on what it’s actually like to be a member of the Writing Gym program by sharing one of our member’s experiences. 

Stephen Oliver is a graduate of the VIP Program AND the Publishing Mastermind, and he has also participated in the Writing Gym in England retreat not once, not twice, but he’s signed up for a third time.

Now that’s someone who’s getting results. But don’t just take my word for it. Check out his experience in the video below.

If you’re still curious about what it’s like to be a Writing Gym member and if you’re serious about writing, let’s talk. 

Unit next time. Happy writing.

This Simple But Effective Practice Will Drastically Improve Your Writing

This Simple But Effective Practice Will Drastically Improve Your Writing

This Simple But Effective Practice Will Drastically Improve Your Writing

Hey there Writers and Muse Daters,

Have you been dealing with surges of overpowering emotion lately? Do you feel like in a single day you experience the full range of human feeling, from anger to sadness to fear to love to joy?

Many of us are experiencing new and more powerful emotions than ever before, and at times this can feel quite overwhelming, because we haven’t been taught how to deal with so many emotions at once.

But as a writer, you have an edge–writing is the perfect medium through which to release your crazy, pent up feelings. 

There’s even more good news for writers: strong emotions are actually a gift for your writing that will benefit you for years to come–as long as you don’t ignore them. 

That’s why today I want to give you a tip that I usually reserve for the writers over in the Writing Gym. These are crazy times, and I want to make sure you have all the tools you need to not only get through, but come out a better writer.

So, without further ado, here is a simple practice to capture and channel strong emotions through your writing:

  1. Strong emotions are usually felt somewhere in the body. So when feelings of fear or anger or uncertainty arise, take a moment and close your eyes, and focus on where you feel it in your body, and think about exactly how this emotion feels. 
  2. Ask yourself: Is it a sharp pain, a fluttery lightness, a dull aching, a pressing heaviness? Like the writer you are, think about what words you would use to describe what you feel. 
  3. Now open your eyes and write it all down and save it in a notebook, or a file on your computer–and be sure to label what the emotion is. 

Not only will you feel better after releasing the emotion through your body and writing, but this will pay off in your future writing projects. Maybe five years from now, you’ve got a character who’s feeling something powerful and you’ll have a bank you can return to on how to describe any given feeling. 

You’ve been given the gift of emotional authenticity to add to your writing–take advantage of it! 

I’d love to hear whether this strategy works for you. If you want to discuss more I’ve set aside time in my calendar, let’s chat

Always glad to hear from you. 

Until the next time. Happy Writing.

How To Avoid A Character Takeover

How To Avoid A Character Takeover

How To Avoid a Character Takeover

Hey there writers and muse daters. 

Today I wanted to share a story about Sonee Singh, one of the members in the Writing Gym. Like many writers, Sonee has a very specific goal: traditional publication.

Traditional publication is not easy, especially with strict industry standards. However for Sonee, the goal seemed unreachable because she didn’t even have a completed novel. 

Sonee had trouble progressing with the plot of her novel. She felt stuck. She had most of the story put together, but saw holes and wasn’t sure how to solve that problem.

In March of this year, Sonee had a draft of her novel that didn’t have a complete ending. She had an ending per say, but it wasn’t where she wanted it to be.

She knew she needed more work and more clarity, but wasn’t sure how to get there. 

Her plot had big events that marked her protagonist’s journey, yet felt disjointed because there were no events to tie these bigger events together. 

Sonee looked at her work and felt frustrated, with thoughts of dropping the piece all together. 

“But I just kept coming back to it, I just had no idea how to do it.” 

Sonee knew she had a story worth telling, but didn’t have the tools to express her writing the way she wanted. Reluctant to give the story up, she tried out some resources. 

She initially turned to beta readers that offered unhelpful, conflicting feedback. Afterwards Sonee decided she had had enough. 

She decided to reach out to me.

We began working together, and I read through her manuscript twice. After some revisions, she created a second draft.

The first revision focused on details such as character arc, plot arc, the big picture and how these could be used to create a cohesive narrative.

Through these discussions around the revisions, I was able to help Sonee organize her thoughts and equip her with the tools needed to look at these details on her own. 

Another part of the process is that I asked Sonee guiding questions about her plot, to help her realize how to solve any issue she comes across in her writing. 

As a professional, I know what you need to do to make your book better, but most importantly I value your voice and want you to create the solutions to your novel. 

“I think the beauty of what you do is that you have that insight, but you also don’t give the answer. You just pose questions that force me to come to that answer and I think it’s become a very organic process.”

With my help, Sonee has now had multiple breakthroughs in her writing and is on the journey to finishing her novel with confidence. 

Before coming to me, Sonee knew that she had a problem to fix, and that traditional publishing was a far-off dream.

Today, Sonee believes that she’s capable of meeting industry standards, and that she’s one step closer to achieving her goal of traditional publication. 

I’m so happy to see Sonee grow as a confident writer, and am excited to see where she goes from here. 

Do you feel stuck in your writing and don’t know where to go next? Have publishing dreams but have no idea how to get there? Let’s chat.

Until next time. Happy writing. 

How Top Writers Are Using Quarantine To Publish

How Top Writers Are Using Quarantine To Publish

How Top Writers Are Using Quarantine To Publish

Hey there, Writers and Muse Daters,

As you know, we are currently dealing with an international health crisis.

People experience a variety of feelings about that. Denial, stress, anger, fear, and panic–all of the natural things that humans feel when they are faced with a crisis. 

However, over here in the Writing Gym, we are all about being real and having real solutions. 

I’ve been working with writers for a very long time and one of the most popular statements that I hear from writers all over the world is this: “I wish I had the time to write.”

Here’s a new spin: you have been given the gift of time. What writers have always been wishing for is now here. So use this time that you have been given to write. But how? 

Perhaps you can find 15 minutes in the morning or after the kids go to bed just to jot down some of your ideas.

Think about it. 15 minutes?

You could probably write at least 2 pages. If this goes on for a couple of weeks, you’re gonna have several chapters done by the time we are out of our homes and embracing one another and socialising in person once again. 

So, please use this time wisely. It’s a real gift to write. 

I’d like to give you a tip that I usually save just for the Writing Gym members. We are in a special time right now and I really want to be here for you. 

When you’re in moment of strong emotions, like fear, anxiety, anger, write it down. Write exactly what you’re feeling. Write it all down and then save that. Save it in a notebook, in a file on your computer. Title it “uncertainty” or “fear” or whatever emotion you were feeling while you were writing. You’re creating for yourself a bank that you can go back to. 

Maybe 5 years from now, you’ve got a character who’s feeling really uncertain but you’re not sure how to convey this emotional authenticity into your piece. Well, you’ve created a bank for yourself where you can access a distant memory of that emotion. 

Here’s the thing. At the Writing Gym, we always want to reframe things positively. Let me reiterate.

You’ve been given the time to write and you’ve been given the gift of emotional authenticity to really add to your writing. 

Until next time. Happy writing. 

If you’re serious about using quarantine to write and publish a book, drop yourself into my calendar for a chat. 

Confused About Publishing? Got Writer’s Block? Let’s Fix That.

Confused About Publishing? Got Writer’s Block? Let’s Fix That.

Confused About Publishing? Got Writer’s Block? Let’s Fix That. 

Hey there, Writers and muse daters. Many dream of becoming a successful author. Few ever make it. So where do they go wrong?

In order to become an author–let alone a successful one– you have to do a whole lot more than write. The path to publication is long and there are many, many places to get lost.

That’s why our VIP programs are designed to walk you through the whole process–or just the part you’re stuck on, if that’s what you need. 

We give you the coaching, support, knowledge, and support you need to go from struggling writer to published author.

We work with writers at three different phases:

  • Write or finish a novel in eight weeks
  • Revise novel to publishable and find an agent
  • Expand author platform and sell their book

We’ve gotten many authors in different stages of the writing process, to published. 

Sounds like something you’re interested in?

The Writing Gym is accepting select writers to join our community of successful, published authors.

If you’re serious about publishing in 2020, let’s chat. Drop yourself into my calendar here to talk to a member of our team.

Until next time. Happy Writing. 

Finding the Inspiration and Courage That Leads to Multiple Genre Success

Finding the Inspiration and Courage That Leads to Multiple Genre Success

Finding the Inspiration and Courage that leads to Multiple Genre Success

This is a transcript of the Writing Gym Podcast. To listen to the full episode, click here.

Today’s Writing Gym Podcast guest is Cristina Istrati. She writes in multiple genres–which is pretty amazing–and we asked her to share her writing process and inspiration with us.

Many writers have dreams of getting published. In Cristina’s case her dream came from a literal dream!

“I’d like to think it’s a bit unusual,” Cristina started, “How I started writing was actually through a dream that I had back in August 2007. ​I just dreamt myself writing books and that was it. The next day, I just grabbed a pen and some sheets and just started writing and the result of that was my first novel.​ I published it in 2009. This is how I started and like I said, I am working on my third novel in my series and I am so excited about it.”

It’s really a magical thing–to follow that impulse, that dream. And look where Cristina is now. She’s a published and award-winning writer. How did winning an award immediately after her debut novel impact her writing life? 

“I never expected it but I was very happy. The first thing is that it keeps you confident and it also stimulates you to keep going, to keep working on your stories, and to keep writing. Because at the end of the day this is what it is all about. Winning an award was a stimulation for me. I didn’t let it change me or anything a little bit close to arrogant or anything close to that, no, I kept working on my novels and I didn’t allow it to let it influence me in any negative way.”

I then asked Cristina about feedback. One of the things that I talk about a lot is the difference between the creative process and the revision process. They’re two very different functions. When we’re in the creative process, it’s really important not to let that feedback in or for that feedback to only be positive feedback. 

“When I was writing the first novel I didn’t get any feedback. I was so into writing; I was absorbed by the story and the characters and what I was doing there that it didn’t even cross my mind to actually ask a friend to read through it. I just went for it, wrote the book, and published it at the end. That was it. 

You never know–maybe somebody would’ve told me they didn’t like the story or it’s boring, or something like that and that might have discouraged me​ a bit. So, I’m happy that I didn’t ask for feedback from anybody. I just did it on my own.”

This is a really valuable tip for writers–like Cristina, writers must know when it’s time to let that feedback in or when it’s time to just really be in that creative zone. 

But what about after winning her award–did it change her writing process? 

“I had some fellow writers read my second novel but, somehow, I didn’t like their feedback. I didn’t take it personally because f​eedback is not about that. You just listen to what the other person is saying and if something resonates with you then you take it. That’s pretty much it. A writer should never take it personally.​ It’s not about the writer; it’s about the work itself. Feedback should only be looked at as pure feedback.

“What I didn’t like about their feedback was that they were too general. It was like they were talking about a different novel. I realized I just needed to follow my own intuition and to not give anyone the manuscript anymore, before it gets published. I wanted to follow my own gut feeling–both in writing and when it comes to feedback as well.”

Cristina’s talk about intuition resonated the most with me. Many writers get so wrapped up in what they’re writing and many get into this self-doubt, always asking themselves: “Is this right? I don’t know.” It makes such a difference when they start to believe in themselves and their writing. When writers get feedback, they mustn’t take it personally–much like what Cristina shared. 

As writers, we must be confident about the message we are putting out into the world. I know what is right for my book and I know that’s what I’m doing. How did Cristina develop her strong sense of writing intuition? 

“This may sound arrogant–and I totally understand if that’s the way it comes across–but when I see what I am writing, when I see the product of my work, I just feel confident about it and I don’t know where this confidence comes from. When there is something so, so strong and so,so beautiful about the story, it cannot be something random. That keeps me confident.”

“A writer’s story and characters are one. The minute the writer enters their room and starts writing, they become one with the novel and with everything else that is inside the novel. It’s like a universe. When you create something so strong and you feel like it is a part of you, and a part of your soul and heart, how can you not be confident and know? It’s twisting, I cannot understand this but this is what I feel.”

Definitely a unique perspective but one that I appreciate very much. There’s a different type of confidence that comes from the power of our piece–different from when we win awards and other things. Where we are writing has its own life, its own energy, and its own confidence. If writers are really listening to their piece and have faith in their piece, then there is a different kind of confidence that can overcome their impostor syndrome. 

“I think one of the reasons why writers aren’t so confident in themselves is because the media created many limiting concepts about the writing industry and one of of them is that you can’t make a living as a writer,” Cristina shared, “From my point of view, as long as the writers is 1000% committed, there is nothing they cannot achieve in terms of the writing career. There is no limit to what a writer can achieve as long as they are themselves, their journey, and their writing.” 

Resonating and true is something that I also believe in. At the Writing Gym, we have created a group of wonderful writers who are committed to their craft, who get feedback from published and award-winning authors like Cristina. I asked Cristina if a program like this had been available when she was just starting out, would it have been something she was interested in doing? 

“Any help is more than welcome–especially at the beginning. At the beginning every writer should get as much help as possible. That’s a bit of a critical point when the writer just starts out, the confidence is not so big. But if the passion–a really burning passion, the kind that wakes you up at night and compels you to write–is there then that is enough. If this confidence is not there, my advice for writers is to follow the passion, to make their passion a substitute for the confidence. As they hold on to that passion they have for writing, the confidence will make its way, too.”

Some people are born writers in the same way that some are born musicians or basketball players. But the rest of us humans on Earth, we have to work at the process over time, unless we are a true prodigy–and that’s okay. It’s part of the process to learn and to get quality feedback and to learn the skills that we need. 

Yet, even those naturally born writers, musicians, athletes all have to show up and do the work too. It goes for any kind of gift that people have.

As I mentioned before, Cristina writes in multiple genres. “It was very interesting for me to see that I could actually switch from romance to children’s stories and then I wrote mystery stories. I think it is a good thing for a writer to play with genres if they have the ability to, because then they wouldn’t be caged into one particular genre. I highly recommend that other writers try to write in other genres. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a masterpiece, it’s an exercise to see what will work and it’s helped me polish my writing skills and gave me that extra confidence.

 

“Another great benefit is that it nourishes your imagination. For me, at least, I get bored writing in one genre. I want more excitement, adventure, and switching from one genre to another really keeps things exciting for me.”

Cristina shared another amazing takeaway–the energy of the writer comes through the book and becomes absorbed by the reader. “The writer needs to be at his best. When he is writing, he needs to be bubbling with creative energy. That will be felt in his things.”

Lastly, I asked Cristina if she had one piece of advice for writers just starting out writing and struggling with it.

“Firstly, identify what you love to write about. It’s important to play with genres a bit in the beginning and see which one first you best. Without that certainty, you cannot write. And from here comes the lack of confidence. Figure out what genre first for you like a glove and just off and follow that. The more you write, the more you want to write and the more the passion will grow. This will give you confidence and you’ll want to keep doing that.” 

Well, there you go–the lovely advice for aspiring authors. Just identify what you love to write about and follow your intuition. Take the time to play with genres, figure it out, find your niche, and your calling, and all doubts will fade away. 

Until next time. Happy writing.

This is a transcript of the Writing Gym Podcast. To listen to the full episode, click here

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