Setting goals for your writing and the new year

 
 

As we begin a new year, a lot of people find this to be a time to set goals for themselves. For creatives, this might be the time we set goals for the works we want to produce over the next twelve months (or at least begin).  Here at LV Book Design, the goals for the upcoming year are these:

  • Help more authors obtain the covers and layouts they love.
  • Expand the "Upgrades" (which are also available for booking on their own) that I offer to my clients.
  • Develop new products to help writers achieve their goals.

On that last note, one thing I can offer writers right now is the extensive workbook I built, filled with worksheets, timelines, charts, etc. all designed to help you flush out your ideas and keep track of your story as you write. Did "write a novel" make it onto your list of goals? If so, you might be struggling with how to even get started with your writing. Taking on big projects, especially ones that are as personal and as vulnerable as writing a book, can be daunting. Sometimes, we just need help getting the ball rolling. Inside this workbook, you'll find sheets to help you build your characters, develop your plot, scene creation help and much more. Sign up to receive your free copy TODAY!

And remember, you'll never finish if you never begin.

Best wishes and happy writing!

Challenge yourself to write this November with NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo-2015

You've been thinking about a book idea for a while now but just haven't sat down to write it; or maybe you are just suffering from a lack of structure/accountability and that is holding you back from getting your words onto the page. Whatever has been holding you back from writing, November is the month to get the stories out of your mind and onto the page because next month is when writers from around the world have the chance to participate in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).

NaNoWriMo has been going on, every November, since 1999. Anyone can join the challenge to write a 50,000 word novel between Nov. 1 thru Nov. 30. Last year, over 300,000 writers of all ages and walks of life joined the challenge and over 50,000 of them met their word count by then end of the month. Some works created from this project have gone on to be traditionally published, such as Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants, Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus, Hugh Howey’s Wool, Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl, and Marissa Meyer’s Cinder (check out the full list of NaNoWriMo's published authors here).

Each year, you can find authors mentoring the writers taking part in the challenge through "pep talks". This year's mentors include Daniel José Older, Alaya Dawn Johnson, Alexander Chee, Jenny Han and Maggie Steifvater.

If you are looking for that push, the accountability of a world-wide community, a writing challenge, and the chance to be rewarded for your hard work through out the program then you should definitely 1) check out NaNoWriMo; 2) sign-up and join the 2016 challenge; and 3) write your novel!


Remember, when you are done with your NaNoWriMo novel and want help getting into the hands and minds of the world, come back to LV Book Design and I will work with you to create a beautiful finished product that you will love. I'll give a discount to anyone who completes the NaNoWriMo 2016 challenge and wants to take their novels to the next level.

Best wishes and happy writing!

Want to be interviewed? Open call to authors!

 
 

I'm starting a new series on the LV Book Design blog, author interviews. If you are interested in getting more information about you and work out there, then please fill out the questionnaire! You can be traditionally, indie or self-published to participate. Right now, they will be scheduled for one interview a month, but if there is a lot of response, I may do them more frequently.

UPDATE!

Due to an overwhelming response, I'll be scheduling TWO interviews a month and currently have enough interviews to last me through all of 2017. Thank you, all for your support and participation! 

Click the button below to start your interview! And THANKS!

FREE Editing Checklist

 
 

So, you've made it through your first draft! Congratulations! Take a break and come back to your manuscript in at least two weeks with fresh eyes and this FREE EDITING CHECKLIST. There are actually two lists in this PDF; one for copyediting and another for story editing. You could even enlist the help of a friend or fellow author and give them a copy to help them as they proof your manuscript.

Free-Editing-Checklist

Writing Prompt /// Coffee Break /// May 2016

 
 

Each month, I post a writing prompt that you take 10 minutes to write. Just 10 minutes to give yourself a break from what you are working on now but keep you in the flow of working. It may be a topic to write about, or it may be a way of writing that you don't normally use. I am going to try to mix things up so your brain doesn't get bored.

For May, the writing prompt is:

It was all a dream.

Recall a dream that felt so real and expand upon it. What would reality be like if your dream was real?


If you post your "Coffee Break" responses anywhere online, I'd love to read them! Share your link in the comments!

The Obstacle and The Path: Facing Creative Challenges & 10 Ways to Overcome Them

LV Book Design Overcome Challenges

All creatives face challenges when we create our art. Whether you are a writer, designer or some other creative, there seems to be a familiar thread to what we all face and struggle against when we make our art.

We struggle with self-doubt, feeling uninspired, not knowing what to do/write next, procrastination, perfectionism, and the list goes on. But what can we do to overcome these hurdles that the creative process can throw at us? Here are just a few suggestions from one creative to another:

1. Change the atmosphere

Whether this means adding some new art to your work space or getting up and working somewhere completely different and new, sometimes a change of scenery is all we need to get new ideas flowing.

2. Don't be afraid to walk away
(for a little while)

Sometimes, we need to give ourselves some time away from our projects. New experiences, time spent with loved ones and even simple self-care can refresh our minds and put us in a better place to do more and create more...not to mention create better.

3. Change your medium

Sometimes we can get stifled by our art. Spend some time playing and experimenting with a new medium. If you are faced with a challenge in your writing, try drawing out the scene/character/setting to get a different perspective.

4. Always have a notebook/journal/sketchbook on hand

As you pull yourself away to go grab a cup of coffee or just go sit in a park for awhile, make sure you have something with you to just record ideas, notes about the world around you, or musings and errant thoughts that pass through your head. This will help your mind get back in the groove and perhaps give you just the inspiration you've been looking for.

5. Sleep on it

Like many creatives, we all get sleep deprived when we are working on a project. Our minds need sleep, however, to help with problem solving. Sometimes, a long nap or a good night's sleep is all we really need to get back on our A-Game.

6. Schedule it

If the obstacle holding you back is procrastination or a busy work load that prevents you from "finding time" to work on your project, then you may need to pencil it in. Putting time aside in your schedule means that it is important enough to warrant your undivided attention (which it is!). Also, if your project feels daunting, having a block of time with a start and an end can help you not feel so overwhelmed. When the time is up, if you want to stop, you have given yourself permission to do so!

7. Make a playlist

Sometimes, I need to set the mood for myself when I'm creating. I'll make a playlist that has the right tone for what I'm working on, throw on my sound-cancelling headphones and jam out. It keeps my active brain in the right mindset by having music that matches what I'm working on.

8. Redefine your problem

If that scene you are writing is causing you to pull your hair out because you just can't get "it" right, think about it differently. Change the question in your head from "how do I write this scene" to "how would C.S. Lewis (or any other person) write this scene?" Giving the problem an unfamiliar spin will help get your brain thinking about it differently.

9. Do something else that you are "the best" at doing

When we start to feel inferior because of a creative block, sometimes the best thing we can do for ourselves is go do something else that we know we are going to kick-ass at doing. Do you make the best chili? Go make some! Are you a good runner? Go for a run! Do something that will get you feeling accomplished and good about yourself again so that your self-doubts won't hold you back.

10. Always finish what you start

Finally, finish what you start! Ok, this may sound like one of those "easier said than done" solutions, but what I mean is that sometimes you just have to get it done. Just get to a conclusion or an end point and call it finished. Move on, and come back later to the parts that gave you trouble before. Don't let one road block stop you on your journey. Remember, you can always go back and edit and first drafts are rarely perfect.

FREE Workbook to help you write a novel in 2016

 
LV-Book-Design-Writing-Workbook
 

Did "write a novel" make it onto your 2016 resolutions list? If so, you might be struggling with how to even get started with your writing. Taking on big projects, especially ones that are as personal and as vulnerable as writing a book, can be daunting. Sometimes, we just need help getting the ball rolling. 

To help you get started, I built an extensive workbook, filled with worksheets, timelines, charts, etc. all designed to help you flush out your ideas and keep track of your story as you write.

Inside you'll find sheets to help you build your characters, develop your plot, scene creation help and much more. Sign up to receive your free copy TODAY!

And remember, you'll never finish if you never begin.

Best wishes and happy writing!