25 Motivational Quotes for Writers

Sometimes we all need a little motivation. Here's 25 quotes to inspire and motivate you to get those words written.

25 Motivational Quotes for Writers www.WritersAndAuthors.info

It is perfectly okay to write garbage—as long as you edit brilliantly.- C. J. Cherryh

It took me fifteen years to discover I had no talent for writing, but I couldn’t give it up because by that time I was too famous.- Robert Benchley

I have been successful probably because I have always realized that I knew nothing about writing and have merely tried to tell an interesting story entertainingly. - Edgar Rice Burroughs

Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.- E. L. Doctorow

Get it down. Take chances. It may be bad, but it’s the only way you can do anything really good. - William Faulkner

Writing is its own reward. - Henry Miller

Great is the art of beginning, but greater is the art of ending.- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Everybody walks past a thousand story ideas every day. The good writers are the ones who see five or six of them. Most people don’t see any.- Orson Scott Card

Exercise the writing muscle every day, even if it is only a letter, notes, a title list, a character sketch, a journal entry. Writers are like dancers, like athletes. Without that exercise, the muscles seize up. - Jane Yolen

If you write one story, it may be bad; if you write a hundred, you have the odds in your favor.- Edgar Rice Burroughs

“A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.”
—Richard Bach

“It is by sitting down to write every morning that one becomes a writer.”
—Gerald Brenan

“The Six Golden Rules of Writing: Read, read, read, and write, write, write.”
—Ernest Gaines

“Serious writers write, inspired or not. Over time they discover that routine is a better friend than inspiration.”
—Ralph Keyes

“Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts. You need to start somewhere.”
—Anne Lamott

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit.”

“It’s never too late to be what you might have been.”
—George Eliot

“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.”
—Theodore Roosevelt

“Do not wait to strike till the iron is hot; but make it hot by striking.”
—William B. Sprague

“Failure is success if we learn from it.”
—Malcolm Forbes

“No one put a gun to your head and ordered you to become a writer. One writes out of his own choice and must be prepared to take the rough spots along the road with a certain equanimity, though allowed some grinding of the teeth.”
—Stanley Ellin

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”
― Maya Angelou

“You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children.”
― Madeleine L'Engle

“Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.”
― Louis L'Amour

“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.”
― Stephen King

What's your favourite motivational quote? 

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Review of Grammarly Premium

The wonderful people at Grammarly recently gave me the opportunity to test out their Premium services (I know. I'm a lucky girl right?!). Well, I'll be honest with you; I wasn't really sure what to expect. I've never used an online editing service before and so this was a first. I may never look back... Grammarly rocks! 

So what is Grammarly?

Grammarly is a proofreading web application that finds and explains in-depth grammar, spelling, and punctuation mistakes. You can upload documents and instantly check grammar, punctuation, contextual spelling mistakes and more.

Grammarly's browser extension helps you write mistake-free in Gmail, Facebook, Wordpress, Tumblr, LinkedIn, and anywhere else you write on the Web. Simply hover over any word with the underscore to correct a mistake.

Here's a quick look at what you get:

When you log in you get taken to your dashboard.

Review of Grammarly Premium, www.WritersAndAuthors.info

You have two options for inputting the document you want to check.

1) Click "New" and type it in.
2) Upload it from your computer.

There is a limit of 20 pages so you may have to break larger files down into smaller segments. As 20 pages is quite a lot to check in the one go, it's not really a problem though.

When you open a new document it looks like this:

Review of Grammarly Premium, www.WritersAndAuthors.info

You then just type in your text (or copy and paste it in), and Grammarly will start checking it for you.

When the system finds an error it marks it like this:

Review of Grammarly Premium, www.WritersAndAuthors.info

You then just click on the word to insert the correction, or click on the "x" to ignore it. For more information about the correction, just click on the down arrow.

When you've finished editing your document you can either copy the text to your clipboard (CTRL C) or download the file.

At the bottom of the screen it gives you the number of issues found and an overall score.

The system picks up on spelling and grammar mistakes, but also notes "wordiness", "possibly confused word", "passive voice", "unclear antecedent" and "proposition at the end of sentence".

One of the things I liked was that you can select what you want to check. You just turn each option "on" or "off" depending on your needs.

Review of Grammarly Premium, www.WritersAndAuthors.info

You can also check for plagiarism. Again it's just a case of clicking the button.

Review of Grammarly Premium, www.WritersAndAuthors.info

There is the option of vocabulary enhancement. This can be useful if you tend to over use the same words.

Review of Grammarly Premium, www.WritersAndAuthors.info

Grammarly also gives you the option of more detailed proofreading. 

Review of Grammarly Premium, www.WritersAndAuthors.info

You can pay to send your document to a proofreader. They have several options available but I'm not in the position to comment of the level of service as I haven't used it yet myself. These are the current rates:

Review of Grammarly Premium, www.WritersAndAuthors.info

Grammarly is best used as a "second set of eyes" for your writing as opposed to a replacement for a professional proofreader but is definitely a valid tool for writers of all levels. It made quick work of picking up on all those little errors that can slip through the net. I highly recommend it.

You can find out more about Grammarly at http://www.grammarly.com/grammar-check

Have you used Grammarly? What about their Professional Proofreading services? We'd love to hear your feedback.

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Interview with Tracy Weber

Today I'm joined by author Tracy Weber.

What genre do you write and why?
I’m a cozy mystery girl through and through. I’ve loved cozy mysteries since long before I ever knew there was a genre by that name. I certainly read other genres, but I’ve always been drawn to crime fiction. I like writing cozy mysteries, because even though they involve violent crime, it is generally not shown on the page. Swearing is minimized. Sex, as in real life, is usually behind closed doors. When I write, I become deeply involved in my characters, their lives, and the situations in which they find themselves. Why would I want to immerse myself in gory violence? As for sex and swearing? I’ll leave that to cable TV.

What's the best thing about being a writer?
By far, it’s been getting to know my readers. I feel like I’m building a community of friends in my readers, and the writing community is very giving. More so, in some ways, than even the yoga community. Who would have thought that a bunch of people who spend their spare time figuring out how to kill people would be such sweethearts?

How do you research your books?
Most of my research happens online, though for this book I also purchased several reference books on poisons, arrest procedures, and Orcas Island wildlife. And of course, writing a book about my favorite vacation destination wouldn’t have been any fun without taking a trip there myself.

I have to give a shout out to DP Lyle, M.D., however. He is an incredible gift to the crime writing community. I reached a sticking point when I plotted A Killer Retreat. I can’t give many details without spoiling the plot, but suffice it to say I needed to figure out how to harm someone without killing them using an item that could be found at a retreat center. I had some ideas, but none of them felt right. I contacted DP Lyle, and he graciously shared his knowledge with me. The idea he gave me was simply perfect.

A Killer Retreat. Jo Linsdell interviews author Tracy Weber at www.WritersAndAuthors.info
Tell us about your latest book.
Yoga teacher Kate Davidson has been given the opportunity to stay at Elysian Springs—a vegan resort on picturesque Orcas Island, Washington—in exchange for teaching yoga to the wedding guests of the center’s two caretakers. The trip seems like a perfect, much-needed vacation until her boyfriend Michael starts hinting that he’s ready to pop the question and her best friend shows up unannounced and hiding a secret.

Then there’s the loud, public—and somewhat embarrassing—argument Kate has with Monica, the bride-to-be’s stepmother. When Monica’s body is found floating face-down in the resort’s hot tub, Kate becomes the investigator’s number one suspect. Kate will have to solve Monica’s murder quickly, or her next teaching gig may last a lifetime—behind bars.

Who is you favorite character in your book and why?  
Bella, Kate’s German shepherd, of course! But I’ve really enjoyed getting to know Dale Evans. Dale is a quirky old Southern boy who grew up in Kentucky, then moved to Seattle to become a high-powered defense attorney. He traded in his power ties for suspenders and goat-dung-encrusted work boots after winning a case he later wished he had lost. Since has abandoned law to run a goat rescue, Kate calls him the Goat Lawyer.

Dale was interesting enough that he talked me into making him a major character in book three as well. There’s more to his story that he hasn’t shared with me yet, and if I know Dale, whatever it is, it’s fascinating. I have a feeling he may play a bigger role in Kate’s life in the future. Who knows? He may even end up with his own series.

Did you learn anything from writing your book that was unexpected?  
Yes. I realized that I haven’t taken nearly enough vacations lately. A Killer Retreat is set on Orcas Island, which is one of my favorite vacation spots. My husband and I used to go there multiple times a year. I had no idea how much time had passed since we visited Orcas. until I started researching for the book. Many of my favorite businesses on the island had closed. Two of them even burned to the ground.

As sad as those realizations made me, it also gave me a wake-up call. Hubby and I have been spending way too much time on our work lives recently. We’ve made a pact to visit Orcas this spring.

Who designed the cover?
Nicole Alesi (http://www.nicolealesi.com/). My husband originally hired Nicole to design the banner for my website (http://tracyweberauthor.com), and my publisher liked the banner so much they hired her to design my book covers.  I couldn’t be more pleased with the results!

A Killer Retreat. Jo Linsdell interviews author Tracy Weber at www.WritersAndAuthors.info
What is your work in progress? Tell us about it.
I recently sent my third Downward Dog Mystery, tentatively titled Karma’s a Killer, to my editor at Midnight Ink. This work has been intriguing, because in the process of writing it, Kate told me a lot more about her background.

The book opens at a fundraiser for DogMa, a fictional Seattle animal rescue. While teaching a Doga (yoga for dogs) class, Kate meets an animal rights activist named Dharma who has a surprising connection to her past. Two days later, Dharma is arrested for murder. The case seems cut and dry, especially since Dharma’s ID was found at the scene and her skin is lodged underneath the victim’s fingernails. Dharma, however, claims she’s innocent, and Kate vows to find out the truth.

In this book, readers learn the origins of Kate’s pogonophobia—her irrational fear of beards—as well as discovering why she has, at least up until now, been so terrified of commitment. Although most of the book is about Kate’s attempts at murder investigation, Bella and her best friend Rene get her into plenty of trouble along the way. But the most satisfying part of the book is rediscovering Kate.

Where can people find out more about you and your writing?
I love to connect with readers!
Check out my website http://tracyweberauthor.com/ and sign up to be on my mailing list at http://tracyweberauthor.com/newsletter.html. If you friend me on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/tracywe), you’ll find book updates, Tasha-dog stories, animal cartoons, information on my yoga classes, and a smoothie recipe now and then.

Where can a reader purchase your book?
A Killer Retreat is available wherever books are sold.  Specifically, it can be found at all major brick-and-mortar booksellers as well as online. Two sources are Amazon.com, (http://www.amazon.com/Killer-Retreat-Downward-Mystery-Mysteries/dp/0738742090/) and BN.com (http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-killer-retreat-tracy-weber/1119980832). You can also purchase a personalized, autographed copy on my author website (http://tracyweberauthor.com/buy_killer.html).

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Does Your Facebook Author Page Have a Call To Action?

Facebook is always making changes. Yes I know some of them result in many people pulling their hair out and posting about how they are going to leave the social giant (which most of them never actually do). This isn't one of those changes. Facebook have actually added something very useful to pages... a call to action button.

Here you can see the button on the Writers and Authors Facebook page:

Does Your Facebook Author Page Have a Call To Action? www.WritersAndAuthors.info

The call to action is to "Shop Now" and clicking on the button takes people to the Writers and Authors bookstore.

So what call to action could you use on your author page?

When it comes to your Facebook author page you have several options

1) "Shop Now" and link to your main book sales page. For example, you could link it to your Amazon author page

2) "Sign up" and link to your newsletter or other subscription service you offer to fans.

3) "Book Now". This would work well for those of you that do book signings, school visits, presentations, etc... 

4) "Contact us". This is a good general one to encourage interaction with fans. 

5) "Watch video". This could be linked to your video book trailer or a special video you've made for fans. 

These are just a few ideas of how you can use this new feature on your Facebook author page.

What call to action are you using on your Facebook author page? 

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How To Make a Media Kit for Your Book

How To Make a Media Kit for Your Book @Writers_Authors

Post updated February 2017

A media kit is one of the most useful, and powerful, tools you can make to go with your book. It puts all the information about your book all in the one file. This is both good for you (as you have everything in the one place and so won't need to waste time searching for things) and for bloggers and other members of the media.

Your media kit should be in word format. You may also want to make a pdf version available, or make an online version to post to a page on your website. It's always good to give people options so they can pick which one works best for them, so you might want to do all three ;)

What should you put in your media kit?

Here's a run down of some items you should consider including in the media kit for your book:

1) Your book cover art. Make sure that if you insert the cover art as an image, that you also add the direct url to where the image can be found online. 

2) Your book details. Publisher, release date, ISBN/ASIN, number of pages, etc...

3) Your book description. 

4) Your book purchasing links. If you're an Amazon affiliate and use a shortened affiliate link on your blog when linking to your books buy page this is NOT the place to use that link. Bloggers will most likely want to use their own affiliate link when featuring your book so that they earn a few extra cents from any sales. Plus sites like Pinterest don't like shortened links (they tend to get blocked as spam) and so you'd be making it less likely that people would share about your book their too. Include the full url.

5) Your website url.

6) Your blog url.

7) Your other social media links.

8) Your author bio. You may want to include a short version and a longer version so they can pick what works best for them.

9) Your author photo. Again, as with the book cover art image, include the direct url to where the image can be found online.

10) A press release. This could be announcing the launch of your book, your book tour, or have a particular news angle. 

11) A sample interview. This is basically your FAQ's about yourself and your book. This is also a good place to put those questions you wish people would ask you but never do.

12) Reviews of your book. Include a selection of some of the best reviews your book has received.

13) An excerpt from your book.

14) Some pre-written social media posts and click to tweets for easy sharing. The easier you make it, the more likely people are to do it. 

Do you have a media kit for your book? What did you include?

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Book Festivals and Signings and Panels, Oh My

I hate public speaking. In fact, I more than hate it, I am terrified of it. I have always related to a joke from the television show Seinfeld, in which Jerry talks about a survey of fears which found that public speaking was number one on the list and death was number two. He concluded that if this survey was accurate most people would rather be in the casket than giving the eulogy at a funeral. While I wouldn’t quite go that far, I can’t deny that few things bring me more anxiety than public speaking of any kind.

I didn’t think this fear would have any impact on my dream to be a published author, as I didn’t see the two things as connected. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Like many writers before me, I once operated under the delusion that my part in the publishing process ended with writing the book. I never thought about the need for marketing and promotion. I certainly never thought about what came along with book signings and book festivals. When I was accepted to my first book festival last year I was so thrilled that at first it didn’t even register that my acceptance included a requirement that I participate in a panel discussion. When the realization hit a short time later I was terrified. A panel discussion? So I have to speak? In public?

When I say I fretted about this for months I am not exaggerating. Anyone who read my blog knows that my excitement over the festival was tempered by the fear of the panel hanging over my head. I was certain that my life could very well end the moment I stepped onto the panel stage.

I’m happy to say that didn’t happen. And even happier to report that I actually ended up enjoying the panel. Even more surprisingly, I enjoyed the presentation I put on at my local library and the talk I gave to a class at the university where I work in the ensuing months. I now actually look forward to the opportunities I have to talk about my writing and my books.

I know I’m not the only introverted writer out there and I think it’s safe to say there are many of us. So if you’re like me and the thought of an author panel or book signing presentation makes you want to run for the hills, take heart. Believe me when I say that if I can learn to love these things, anyone can.

I was lucky enough to receive some great advice and encouragement from friends before I participated in that panel, so I thought I would share some of that advice here. And remember, if it worked for me it can truly work for anyone.

1.      First and foremost, practice! While you can’t know what questions you’ll be asked on a panel, you can still practice talking about your book and your writing. It’s safe to say those will be the topics of the panel, and you’ll also need to be ready to for this when you’re doing a book signing. And if you’re giving a presentation, make sure you know what you’re going to say before it’s time to say it.
2.      Embrace the art of acting. Play the role of a confident, extroverted writer who can’t wait to talk about her books. You’ll be amazed how well this one works!
3.      Be ready to read an excerpt from your book out loud. This is something I really hate doing. But I’ve practiced in front of a supportive audience – my dog and my cat – and now I’m prepared.
4.      Remember that writing a book is something to be proud of, and people will be genuinely interested in it. I’ve been amazed at how supportive and kind people have been. They will be for you, too.

To my amazement, presentations and panels have been some of the most rewarding and affirming things I’ve done on my publishing journey. I would encourage all authors to be on the lookout for conferences and signings and then participate in as many events as possible. I promise you won’t regret it.

Julie Flanders is a librarian by day and a writer all the rest of the time. She is also a television show addict with a particular fondness for Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead and a slightly obsessive sports fan who cheers for the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Cincinnati Reds. Julie is an animal lover and animal rescue advocate who shares her home with her rescued dog and cat. She has written about the joys of pets for outlets such as Cat Fancy, Thrive in Life, and Best Friends Animal Society. Visit Julie at julieflanders.net.



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New Twitter Features (and How Authors Can Use Them)

Around this time of year all the social media platforms tend to roll out new features. This year is no different. Here's what's happening over on Twitter... 

New Twitter Features (and How Authors Can Use Them)

Twitter strikes deal with Google

Twitter has a new deal with Google where tweets will start to be visible in Google search results. This is huge! You can find a great article about why this is such good news here. It has some great tips for how to optimize your Twitter experience and get better results both on Twitter and Google.

How authors can use this to their advantage:

1) Kind of obvious but the first advantage is you show up in Google search more. Both Twitter and Google love fresh content.

2) You can build your author brand around your keywords and make yourself as an expert in your niche. When people search for your keywords, your Tweets will show up in the results.

3) It should make you think more about what you Tweet about. By staying "on topic" you'll improve your Google ranking for the content you want to be known for. More focus to your social media marketing plan is never a bad thing ;)

Group Direct Messages

Another new feature is Group Direct Messages. You can find out more about this new feature in this article.

On Twitter you can send a Direct Message. This is a private message between you and another Tweeter. With the new groups feature you can have a private conversation with up to 20 users. 

How authors can use this to their advantage:

1) Sometimes you don't want to blast everything to everyone. Want to ask people to host you on your virtual book tour, but don't want to spam your Twitter feed with requests? Send a Group Direct Message to your top supporters instead. You can ask them to help you spread the word without coming across as desperate for the general public.

2) Build stronger connections with your top fans. If you were a fan of someone and they invited you to a private conversation with them you'd feel pretty special right? You could even work out some kind of contest to pick which fans get to be in the group conversation with you.

3) You could do private Q&A sessions with book clubs. 

4) Build relationships with fellow authors. Why not set up a group of author buddies. You can all support each other. There's strength in numbers ;) 

What do you think of these new features? Any ideas for ways authors can use them?

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Adding Video to Your Amazon Author Page

As well as Writers and Authors I also do a lot of other writing related content. One such project is my Quick Tips video series on YouTube. (You can find the whole playlist here). For today's post I thought I'd share with you a video I did back in October last year about adding a video to your Amazon author page.

You can upload one video of your choice to your Amazon author page. Video is as close to in person as you can get and so is a very effective form of media for building a relationship with your readers. Use this space to connect with your fans, showcase a book trailer for your most recent release, or to reinforce your author brand.

Screenshot from my Amazon Author page showing video section

To edit your amazon author page log in at http://authorcentral.amazon.com.

Share the link to your Amazon author page in the comments section below so we can all pull ideas from the ways everyone is making use of this feature.

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How to become a successful freelance writer

How to become a successful freelance writer, www.WritersAndAuthors.info

I was recently contacted by the team at Essay Tigers about "How to become a successful freelance writer". Check out this great infographic they put together:

How to become a successful freelance writer

How to become a successful freelance writer [Infographic] by the team at EssayTigers

Are you a freelance writer? Got some tips of your own about building a freelance writing business? Leave a comment below.

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