How to Use Your Business Skills to Improve Your Personal Life

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Today we have a guest-post by Stephanie Haywood of mylifeboost.com. I’ve written in the past about how writing is a businessor at least, if you want to get paid, it’s a business! Those business skills also help your personal life, though! Without further ado, here’s Stephanie!

Task management is a critical skill for small business owners. These skills can also be useful in your daily life. These are a few ways you can use the skills you have learned running your business to make your day-to-day life better.

Continue reading “How to Use Your Business Skills to Improve Your Personal Life”

Depression Doesn’t Help

It started out so well.

Book six. I knew the characters. I knew the situation. I had the conclusion outlined. On the first day of drafting, I wrote nearly six thousand words. I decided I would aim to write five thousand words a day. I kept to that goal for five days straight. That means I was within sight of the end; the entire novel was going to be about forty thousand words.

And then.

As I write this blog post, I haven’t written in that novel for three days . It’s not that life got busy. It’s not that I was suddenly under some unexpected stress. Nope. The happyman decided I didn’t need a visit.

That’s right. Depression came to stay.

Continue reading “Depression Doesn’t Help”

It’s Not a Secret

Don’t tell them.

They’re competition. If you help them, if you tell them how to do better, if you share information, you’re only hurting yourself. You know what you do? Talk badly about them. Make sure everyone knows you’re better. After all, if they spend their dollars on your competition, that’s less dollars they’ll spend on you.

So, that’s one way a writer can look at fellow authors. We can give them the side eye and hope they fail.

Or we can see them as people on a journey with you.

Early on in my time attempting to get my writing published, I encountered the saying, “A rising tide lifts all ships.” I heard it first from Craig Martelle. He shares so much good information for authors, and he explains why: The only person you’re competing with is who you were yesterday. Other authors aren’t the enemy.

It makes practical sense. Most readers will read more than one author. Avid readers won’t read just your stuff, so why would they read just that person’s stuff? So why not help your readers find their next book, whether it’s yours or someone else’s? Why not help other authors do better?

It also makes sense to me as a Christian. Not every author is my friend, no, but I don’t need to undercut them either. I can show love to them and my readers by talking up other authors. I can also help other authors by sharing resources. I belong to several writers’ groups online, and I’ve made it to the point that I can help others. I share resources. I share what’s worked for me. That’s not to say I’m the expert. I’m not. I’m just farther along than some others, while still learning from others that are farther along than I am.

Honestly, it’s one of the reasons I write about writing at this blog. If it helps someone else, awesome! I’ll still talk about my own writing, of course, and share what’s coming out when. But I don’t need to keep anything secret.

Other authors have helped me. Why wouldn’t I want to help other writers?

Reading and Writing

For the last fourteen months, I’ve written a book a month on average. This month, though… I cut it very close. I finished the current rough draft on August 30. I’ll do a quick revision, let it sit, and then revise again before passing it on to my editor. I only count rough drafts against that one a month goal, though.

For a couple weeks, the work in progress inched along. I was rarely hitting my stride of 2000 words an hour. It was a lot closer to 500 words an hour. For me, personally, that’s not a good speed.

Meanwhile, I was reading a book that was… okay. It wasn’t bad. I’ve read bad books before. This one was merely mediocre. It didn’t have a lot of great quality. It simply was. I evaluated it as I read, picking out what was good and what the writer could have done better. Even mediocre books are handy for that sort of thing.

And then I finished that book and picked up my next book. This one grabbed me right away. The characters, setting, and plot pulled me in.

At the same time, my writing amped up . Suddenly I was writing closer to 2.7k words an hour.

As far as I can tell, the only thing that changed was my reading material. I didn’t have more free time. Stress in my life didn’t suddenly increase or decrease. I was writing off an outline, so it wasn’t like I was stuck before and suddenly had inspiration. Nope. What shifted was the quality of my downtime reading.

What’s the lesson here? Did the mediocre book suck my will to create? Did the good book inspire me to be my best self?

I don’t think it’s anything that dramatic. Correlation isn’t causation. That said, I’m going to pay attention to what I’m reading vs. my writing output and see if there’s a pattern beyond this week. It could be fun to figure something like this out. I’m also going to continue hopefully enjoying good books to read!

How about you? Do you find that what you read affects the quality of what you write?

Madelyn Flies!

As of today, Stones and Swords, book one of Madelyn of the Sky is available at all major retailers in both print and digitally! Click here to select your favorite retailer!

A daring blade, cocky smile, and . . . floating rocks?

Madelyn of the Sky rescues anyone who doesn’t have a home. She whisks them away to her floating Island in the sky.

But not everyone’s happy with the hero. Angry mobs, princes, and dragons hunt her. Grandma’s been kidnapped. Madelyn doesn’t even know why she’s able to float rocks through the sky. And now a muddy boy’s chasing her and insisting on helping, too.

Madelyn will need all her wits, all her sword work, and all her magic to save the day!