A fun and informative author Q & A with great advice for fellow writers.
1. You sometimes write about some pretty heated topics, as an author why do you choose to write about them?
Easy. Everyone has a different perspective about everything. We live in a society today where some minds are very open to this and some are not. Often those who are wanting to learn and grow, their voices get drowned out by those who cannot embrace any ideas other than their own. I try to put some volume to perspectives that are uncommon, because someone somewhere has those thoughts. Plus, I can teach some big success principles from them.
2. Do you respond to critics? How?
Easy answer for this one. I don’t live on social media. I know full well that in regards to everything in life people will respond in one of five ways, so I let them be. Sometimes an article will receive comments that do not actually reflect disagreement with the topic or how its presented but contain outright bullying and harassment. On these articles I just delete all the comments. People are going to react or respond. I’m not concerned with those who dislike what I write. The truth is if people are ready for growth and change in their lives they will seek out that which will help them do so.
Often when someone writes a heated topic, most readers only read that piece of their work. Which is why their responses are not vital to a writer’s success. Some people will get the concept being discussed and seek out what else I write and they will likely benefit from what they find – even if they disagree with some of it.
I stay focused on what I am working on creating, not on what people are standing around talking about.
3. Does that mean you don’t care?
Quite the contrary. I care enough to rise above it all and keep creating more solid content. I do not write to impress people, I write to make an impact. The bigger the potential for impact, the louder people will be because most people are not ready for change. Those who truly care the most about others will not give the care coated in sugar. They will say what needs said and do what needs done regardless of what people say about it.
4. What about those who might feel pointed out by what you write or your style?
What about them.
5. That sounds like you don’t care. This seems contradictory.
Nothing happens to you in life unless you allow it to. How one goes about their life, reacting or responding to it, it all lies within their personal accountability. People who do care and who are wise simply know to not feed into people’s reactions.
6. What are your thoughts when people share your viral content?
Some people get the message of my content and they share it with like-minded people who will also likely understand the content of my articles.
Then you will have people who are just wanting to up their social media stats and have not really read or thought about the content of the articles they share. They have a quick immediate overdramatic reaction, hit share and never bother to read anything else by that person.
Some people who also just are looking to increase the number of people attacking the content will leave nasty comments and share it.
What people don’t realize is, the reason why you are sharing it is pretty visible to people who are successful. Either way people are reading my work. And the funny thing is, those people who are so against what I write and are sharing it, they think they are bringing me down. What they are really doing though is shedding light on the fact they can only react to life instead of responding well, that they can only handle one perspective on a topic and can only see what is smack in front of their nose.
Want a success lesson? If you like something and believe in it, share it. If you don’t, simply don’t respond at all. If you react, the reaction is a reflection on the person having the reaction and not the writer.
7. Is there a difference between a writer and a blogger?
Most bloggers begin sharing content about their daily lives, crafts, recipes, parentings, health, relationships. Many grow and expand as they continue and build wonderful rich content packed sites and earn income as well.
Some bloggers just blog to express opinion and intentionally take angles to create social media storms.
Writers are life-long writers. They have purpose, focus and direction behind their writing and careers. Writers utilize the blog aspect to help build their platform, to share with and connect with readers and share samples of their work.
8. Many authors talk about the challenges of writing – getting started, dealing with writer’s block. Do you face these challenges? How to do you deal with them?
My biggest challenge is actually writing time – getting enough time to dive in and focus on my big book projects. I remember when I first began, over ten years ago, I struggled with getting started. I couldn’t decide which book I wanted to write first! As the years have passed it has gotten much easier. Most of my books are pre-written in my mind before I ever get to actually writing them. I make full use of every ten minutes here and there where I am not at my desk to pre-write/edit in my mind so once I sit down and open up a fresh page I’m really charging forward and it just flows.
Writer’s block is really a lack of focus and purpose behind and for what you are writing. So anytime I can’t get the words out – which doesn’t happen much at all, I take a few minutes and think about why I am writing this piece, and what direction I want it to go in and what do I really want to say. This helps me get back into the flow of the book.
9. You talk and teach a lot about building a writer’s platform. How has this change in the industry impacted you as a writer?
Yes, when I began I was only writing books. This shift in the industry to social media and all the various forms of extending a platform has provided incredible opportunities for learning and growing professionally, not to mention created additional sources of passive income.
It is challenging to balance the work time, now we have to give time to these other aspects of having a platform and learning and applying and connecting. I spend much more time now working on and from my platform than I do writing books and it is a bummer some days. I would rather sit and write books and have an assistant deal with the platform stuff. Lol Soon. It will all arrive soon enough.
I don’t take it for granted. I think that the impact of having to be better focused and disciplined with my work and what I work on and when attributes to success definitely. And I purely enjoy writing. My book time is my playtime. Most of the work I create for my platform are extensions of topics in my books so it is fun as well – but it is hard to share and teach a lot in a short blog post or video. Now that I do webinars and have online courses I can elaborate more and connect better with fans.
10. You don’t have an agent yet. Why is this? You teach about getting an agent.
No I don’t. Funny. My first few books are romance novels – which may never be published and I know if I dug them out I could probably get an agent for them – especially with all my growth and platform building in the last few years.
But my sole focus is personal development and the self-help genre is one of the hardest to break into. Of all the topics out there it is one where the industry requires to literally be successful on a big scale before they give you light of day. You literally have to become resilient to success in the success category.
It doesn’t deter me at all. I whole heartedly believe in the principles I teach. A lot of people just up and quite after the first ten rejections. They don’t have purpose or vision or are not willing to do what it takes to actually make it.
I see every query I send out as an opportunity – to improve how I present myself and my work, to connect with agents and those in the industry and to improve my work itself. I’ve studied the industry for a long time and for each ‘You need a platform’ reply I receive I respond with questions for them to elaborate so I can learn and get better. Some reply, some don’t. I have and will continue to believe in the power and solidity of having a strong platform – and will continue to build mine.
I’ve already received incredible proof that having a good platform brings amazing opportunities, allows me to connect with my fans in fun ways and now I give motivation speeches, do webinars, teach online classes and I have a long list of things to add and do in coming years. And these things I can share with others to help them boost their writing careers.
If someone had told me I’d be doing all these things when I was writing my first romance novel – I’d have laughed at them.
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