Category Archives: Writing

Looking for a Unique Writer’s Retreat in Alberta?

Writer's Retreat in Alberta

Writer’s Retreat in Alberta

Are you looking for a unique writer’s retreat in Alberta? I found the perfect one this week, practically right in my own back yard. It has spawned a new category on this blog aptly titled “Writer’s Retreats” that I plan to add new posts to as often as humanly possible. This is my inaugural post on the topic.

What Made Me Go Looking for a Writer’s Retreat in Alberta?

I founded Polished Publishing Group (PPG) and the PPG Publisher’s Blog almost nine years ago. It will be nine years in November 2018. My dream, from the very start, was to successfully operate this business in a virtual office environment so I could freely travel, write, and work with anyone, anywhere in the world, at any given time. In 2016, I enjoyed a six-month working vacation in Southeast Asia while I continued publishing books for authors back home. The experience proved to me that an online business is viable anywhere in the world where there is an internet connection. But I still had a ways to go in terms of my company’s self-sustainability. I had to return home to my external work and continue building it on the side.

Rockyview Hotel and Texas Gate Bar

Rockyview Hotel and Texas Gate Bar

Luckily, the “work” required to build a sustainable online publishing/blogging business is writing. Along with travelling, writing is my absolute favourite pastime, so this journey continues to be an enjoyable one … and I’m well on my way now, as you know from recent posts. If you want a snapshot of my dream life, all you need to imagine is someone travelling to beautiful locales surrounded by inspirational scenery and containing a living space with all the creature comforts of my cherished writing room back home.

One day, not long ago, I asked myself, “What are you waiting for, Kim? You don’t have to travel overseas again to experience this. You can enjoy a writer’s retreat in Alberta right now. Just look around you. You’ll find it.” And find it, I did!

Rockyview Hotel in Cochrane, Alberta, Canada

Comfy Writing Chair Rockyview Hotel

Comfy Writing Chair Rockyview Hotel

I absolutely love the short drive from NW Calgary to Cochrane on Highway 1A (Bow Valley Trail). It doesn’t matter what season it is, I’m always taken aback by the beauty of this small town nestled deep in the valley, at the bottom of the hill. On a clear day, you can see the majestic Canadian Rockies only 45 minutes to the west and watch the trains as they snake through the valley en route to the mountains. That always gets my creative juices flowing. And tucked right in the middle of Cochrane’s historic downtown is a writer’s perfect haven: the old Rockyview Hotel.

What makes this hotel (and this town, in general) the perfect writer’s retreat? For me, it is the cozy, old-fashioned decor and private rooms along with the kind of peace and quiet you can only find in a small town. When I’m writing, I don’t need to be surrounded by other people. I just need a comfortable chair (or bed) to relax in, a cup of coffee at my side, and my laptop in my lap. That said, an all-day breakfast menu and other home-made comfort foods at the restaurant downstairs is an added bonus.

A Conversation Piece: The Golden Ceiling

The Golden Ceiling

The Golden Ceiling

When you need a break or change in scenery for a little while, you can go for a walk along the picturesque Cochrane streets or relax in the chairs on the hotel’s veranda. I also enjoyed sitting in the window seat of the restaurant and people watching outside while I enjoyed my breakfast. And the golden ceiling in that restaurant is quite the sight to see along with the old wood stove and walls full of pictures from the early 1900s. It really does take you back in time.

In the evening, you can enjoy a beverage at the Texas Gate saloon at the back of the establishment. This has been a popular haunt for locals since the building was first established. And it still has the same old-fashioned decor as the restaurant and hotel does. What a beautiful, historical building in every way. It was such a nice break for me from my usual writing space at home. That definitely helped refresh my enthusiasm along with my creativity. It was the mini-vacation I needed—my dream life realized in a wonderful writer’s retreat in Alberta, right in my own back yard. I feel refreshed once again.

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As a user of this website, you are authorized only to view, copy, print, and distribute the documents on this website so long as: one (1) the document is used for informational purposes only; and two (2) any copy of the document (or portion thereof) includes the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2018 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.



SEO-Friendly Flesch Reading Ease Score (FRES)

SEO-Friendly Flesch Reading Ease Score (FRES)

SEO-Friendly Flesch Reading Ease Score (FRES)

Yesterday’s advice regarding writing the most SEO-friendly blog posts was pretty simple. Make sure your post is genuinely helpful and contains at least 500 words. Within those 500 words, your main keyword should be repeated at least 10 times. By doing that, search engines like Google should be able to easily find and index the blog entry.

SEO-Friendly Flesch Reading Ease Score (FRES)

Today’s advice is a little bit different. According to SEO 2018 author Adam Clarke and Yoast: SEO for Everyone, an SEO-friendly Flesch Reading Ease Score (FRES) is crucial to your SEO success.

Google’s former head of web spam, Matt Cutts, publicly stated that poorly researched and misspelled content will rank poorly, and clarity should be your focus. And by readability, this means not just avoiding spelling mistakes, but making your content readable for the widest possible audience, with simple language and sentence structures.

…The Searchmetrics rankings report discovered sites appearing in the top 10 showed … content that is fairly easy to read for 13-15 year old students and up.

…By encouraging search results to have content readable to a wide audience, Google maximise their advertising revenues. If Google were to encourage complicated results that mostly appeal to a smaller demographic, such as post-graduates, it would lower Google’s general appeal and their market share. (Clarke, 2018)

Why I Now Use the Yoast SEO WordPress Plug-In

In a nutshell, the Yoast SEO WordPress plug-in helps me to write blog posts that Google will approve and index. That’s why I use it. Because Google is the greatest link between me and my desired reader base.

As I begin writing each and every blog post, the Yoast plug-in continually gives me little notices. It lets me know whether my content is SEO-friendly in various ways. It tells me if my FRES is within the acceptable 60.0 to 70.0 readability range. If not, it will show me which sentences need to be adjusted to improve that score.

Your Blog Post Can Be Less Than 500 Words

So long as your writing style matches Google’s desired FRES score, your post can be 300+ words long. Yoast also has a different way of viewing keywords. Rather than repeating your top keyword at least twice within every 100 words, Yoast wants to see it right upfront. If you include that keyword in your slug (the URL for the blog entry), at least one or more of your headings, and within your first paragraph, Yoast will usually give you a good SEO score. It’s also great to attach the keyword to an image on your blog post, too. That way, Google will certainly understand what keyword you want the post indexed under.

There are additional things you can do to improve your blog post’s SEO. Including internal links to past blog posts and external links to other relevant information will also help. The more posts you write that Yoast awards a good readability and SEO score to, the higher up your blog will land in Google’s search engine ranking.

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As a user of this website, you are authorized only to view, copy, print, and distribute the documents on this website so long as: one (1) the document is used for informational purposes only; and two (2) any copy of the document (or portion thereof) includes the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2018 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.



Why Do Writers Write? Can They Profit From It?

Why do writers write? There are varying reasons from the basic desire to share ideas with others to the simple joy of the act itself. I’m one of those writers who does it because I enjoy it. I always have. Since the day I learned how to write, I’ve been writing in some way, shape, or form. When my high school friends went off to cheerleading practice or music lessons after school, I went home to write. Every single day. So, this has never been a chore for me; it’s always been my love and passion. If I never earned a dime from it, I would still write every day.

Why Do Writers Write if Most Earn Very Little Money From It?

In his article titled “Why Do Writers Write?” on the Psychology Today website, author Lawrence R. Samuel ponders:

Why do writers write

Why do writers write?

With rejection and criticism so much a part of the literary experience (and the fact that the income of the average American writer hovers around the poverty line), one has to wonder if writers have at least a streak of masochism in their genetic makeup to choose it as their profession.

This belief that most writers are doomed to a life of poverty seems to be the consensus among writers and non-writers everywhere. I think it is one of the top fears that prevent most “closet authors” from coming out to share their work with others. They may wonder, “What’s the point?” and opt for other seemingly more lucrative careers. But what if I told you times are changing? What if I told you that more and more authors are proving you can, indeed, earn a decent living from writing? I’ve done a lot of research on this topic matter over the past two years. You can imagine how thrilled I was to learn that it is possible to actually profit from my lifelong love and passion.

How Are Today’s Authors Earning a Decent Living from Writing?

Organic Web Weaving

Organic Web Weaving

If you’re like most writers, you don’t want to have to sell your books after you write them. You just want to move onto writing the next book. Am I right? Well, here’s some great news for you: writing is selling in the online world. The best way to sell books today is to utilize the power of search engines by feeding them new content on a consistent basis. Here are five simple steps to guide you:

 1. Create a WordPress or Blogger site for yourself (if you don’t already have one).

 2. Research and find the top 156 keywords for your genre/topic matter.

 3. Write and publish at least three new blog posts per week for a year (for a total of 156 posts) related to your genre/topic matter.

 4. Promote your blog posts and books on social media daily to keep the search engines happy.

 5. Publish 12 ebooks per year (one per month) at a minimum of 5,000 words each (equivalent to one chapter of a standard-size book). Then, at the end of the year, combine those 12 ebooks into one paperback and publish it the following month. “Lather, rinse, repeat” each year to build a momentum.

Why do writers write? Maybe the newest reason is because it’s actually possible to earn a profit from doing what you love!

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As a user of this website, you are authorized only to view, copy, print, and distribute the documents on this website so long as: one (1) the document is used for informational purposes only; and two (2) any copy of the document (or portion thereof) includes the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2018 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.



[PAPERBACK] The Art of Organic Web Weaving: Why Writers are Natural Online Marketers

The Art of Organic Web Weaving: Why Writers are Natural Online Marketers

Coming soon! The Art of Organic Web Weaving: Why Writers are Natural Online Marketers

COMING SOON TO BOOKSTORES (OCTOBER 31, 2018)

Non-fiction (Business Self-Help)

The Art of Organic Web Weaving: Why Writers are Natural Online Marketers
Kindle (.MOBI) Ebook ASIN: B07G7H7H1G
KOBO and E-Sentral (.EPUB) Ebook 978-1-988971-28-5
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-988971-27-8
Copyright 2018 Kim Staflund, All Rights Reserved

It takes the patience of a spider to weave an intricate web that can repeatedly attract—and catch—her prey. Spiderwebs are true miracles of organic engineering, and online marketing works in much the same way. You can grow your readership using various search engine optimization (SEO) techniques, and almost all of them include effective writing.

“Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results.” (Moz, n.d.)

What constitutes quality traffic? It is relevant visitors to your website—people who are looking for the types of books and information that you offer. What is an organic search engine result? It is a search result that you didn’t pay for—a result that occurred naturally through an intricate web weaving process.

Buy the ebook versions through Amazon’s KindleKobo, and E-Sentral.




Proofs and Three Parables by George Steiner

Michael LaRocca of MichaelEdits.com

The Wikipedia entry on proofreading includes four works of fiction in which one of the characters is a proofreader. The novella Proofs and Three Parables is one of them. The professore is one of the more memorable protagonists I’ve encountered in a long time. His skill as a proofreader is unrivaled. No mistake escapes him, however tiny, in the most trivial printing jobs. His eyesight has been damaged by years of exacting work, exacerbated by self-neglect, and he may be going blind.

Alas, this is a subplot.

The novella deals mainly with the fall of Communism. It’s the most readable thing I’ve seen on the topic, brief yet illuminating, simple without being simplistic, not as boring as I’m making it sound. The author is also passionately concerned with the tradition, culture, and fate of Judaism.

But I’d rather dwell on the professore’s character as a proofreader because, well, you do know what I do, right?

Now the burn seemed to smart behind his eyes.

Thirty years and more a master of his craft. The quickest, most accurate of proof-readers and correctors in the whole city, perhaps in the province. Working every night, and throughout the night. So that the legal records, deeds of sale, notifications of public finance, contracts, quotations on the bourse, would appear in the morning, flawless, exact to the decimal point. He had not rival in the arts of scruple. They gave him the smallest print to check, the longest columns of figures to justify, the interminable catalogues of lost and found to be auctioned for the post-office and public transport. His proof-readings of the bi-annual telephone directory, of electoral and census rolls, of municipal minutes, were legend. Printing works, the public record office, the courts of law vied for his labours.

But now the sensation of burning, just behind his eyes, felt sharper.

With an opening like that, the reader must read on. I know I did.

(For the record, I’ve only been editing for 28 years, and I use Word to zoom in on small fonts all the time. No phone books, but I’ve done some awesome work with sales catalogs.)

He hated litter. Waste paper struck him as the very waste of waste. At times, if the winds blew a piece towards his feet, he would pick it up, smooth it, read closely and make any correction needed. Then he would deposit it in the garbage receptacle, feeling obscurely rewarded and saddened. Any witness to this rite would have thought him deranged.

I’ve never done this, even though I do pick up litter. The professore is “a man whose obsessive scruple in respect of the minutiae of print, whose bristling distaste in the face of the approximate and the loosely mistaken, were magisterial and pedantic to a degree.” He’s also the kind of man I’d debate the Oxford comma with, but I fear I’d lose in the face of his stamina.

Since I mentioned Judaism, let me quote the professore.

Do you know what the Kabbala teaches? That the sum total of the evil and miseries of mankind arose when a lazy or incompetent scribe misheard, took down erroneously, a single letter, one single solitary letter, in Holy Writ. Every horror since has come on us through and because of that one erratum.

When his replacement replies that proofreading a hand-bill for an auction of used farm implements and manure sacks isn’t important enough to demand perfection, the professore disagrees.

It is just here that it matters more than ever before. To act otherwise is utter contempt. Contempt for those who cannot afford to look at a fine book, at quality paper or crafted type. Contempt for those who have a right under God, yes, under God, to have a flawless hand-bill, also for a sale of manure! It is just for those who live in rural holes, in slums, that we should do the best work. So that some spark of perfection will enter their wretched days. Can’t you understand, how much contempt there is in a false accent or a misplaced serif? As if you spat at another human being.

Technical editing since 1991. Business editing since 2006. MichaelEdits.com

© Michael LaRocca 2018



When Should Writers opt for Self-Publishing over Traditional (Trade) Publishing?

When should writers opt for self-publishing over traditional (trade) publishing? This is a loaded question because the answer might be different for one person than it is for another. It all starts with your own personal preferences and goals as detailed in this blog post from a while back: Ten Questions To Ask Yourself Before Publishing Your Book. From there, it’s important to research the various publishing options available to you to determine which one best complements your goals. I talk about these three book publishing business models in one of my most recent free downloads titled Your Ebook is an Asset … if You Own the Copyright. Here is a brief excerpt from that ebook:

Some authors will submit their manuscripts to a traditional (trade) publisher for consideration in the hopes it will be published for them free of charge. What they might not realize is that whoever is paying for the publication of a book is the one who ends up with primary control over that book. Trade publishers don’t pick up the bill simply out of the kindness of their hearts. They are business people who are buying a product to try to turn a profit for themselves, and that “product” is the copyright ownership of your work (whether permanent or temporary, whether full or partial—it varies with each contract and each publisher).

The grant of rights clause in a publishing contract is one of the most important clauses because it enumerates the specific rights granted to the publisher by the author. Negotiation of this clause has become even more important in today’s world where increasingly more uses are being developed for literary content.

The scope of the clause may vary widely, it could be all inclusive — granting all the exclusive rights and interests in the author’s work, or the grant could be very narrow — only including a single specific use of the author’s work, or it could be somewhere between these extremes. The critical point is that the publisher only has the right to exploit those rights that are specifically granted to the publisher and any exploitation of rights exceeding the author’s grant could be deemed a copyright infringement of the author’s work.

Copyright ownership of a literary work consists of a bundle of rights which an author, at least theoretically, may assign to the publisher in any manner they choose. Thus, an author may assign all or only a part of his/her rights to one or more publishers while retaining particular rights for himself/herself. (Thomson Reuters, n.d.)

Unfortunately, many authors unwittingly grant all their exclusive rights to one publisher without fully understanding the implications of doing so. As a result, these individuals usually retain only basic rights that recognize them as the author of the work and allow them to be paid a small percentage of its retail price in royalties (usually only up to 10 percent per copy sold). The publisher keeps the rest of the profits because the publisher owns the copyright.

Most trade publishers do not ask for an outright assignment of all exclusive rights under copyright; their contracts usually call for copyright to be in the author’s name. But it’s another story in the world of university presses. Most scholarly publishers routinely present their authors with the single most draconian, unfair clause we routinely encounter, taking all the exclusive rights to an author’s work as if the press itself authored the work: “The Author assigns to Publisher all right, title and interests, including all rights under copyright, in and to the work…”

…The problem is that most academic authors—particularly first-time authors feeling the flames of “publish or perish”—don’t even ask. They do not have agents, do not seek legal advice, and often don’t understand that publishing contracts can be modified. So they don’t ask to keep their copyrights—or for any changes at all. (The Authors Guild, n.d.)

If you choose to follow the traditional route toward publishing a book, you must read and fully understand the contract being presented to you before signing anything away. You should only grant a publishing company the primary and subsidiary rights that it has the full intention (and capability) of exploiting on your behalf so the relationship benefits you both. If any publisher ever tries to tell you otherwise, then walk away.

Interested in reading more about your other two options? You can download a free copy of Your Ebook is an Asset … if You Own the Copyright from your choice of either Amazon, Kobo, or E-Sentral to continue reading. Click on the link for details.



Collaboration: Mental and Emotional Preparation for the Ghostwriting Process

What is a Ghostwriter?

According to The Free Dictionary by Farlex, a ghostwriter is:

n.
a person who writes a speech, book, article, etc., for another person who is named as or presumed to be the author.
[1895–1900, Amer.]

Ghostwriters are often hired by business professionals who wish to produce books and various other marketing materials to promote their leaders, products, or professional services. A published book can lend credibility to one’s offering if it is done properly. If you want to produce a book that presents you as an industry expert in your field, it should be completed by an industry expert in the book publishing and content writing fields. 

Mental and Emotional Preparation for the Ghostwriting Process

Some authors go into the ghostwriting process with the misconception that, once they’ve handed their notes to the professional, their job is done and the book will be written. Yes, a ghostwriter can save a lot of time in terms of the writing portion itself. But it is important to understand that ghostwriting is an ongoing, collaborative process in which the author will be required to answer questions and proof chapters all along the way.




Authors can also expect to go through a series of emotions during the ghostwriting process. It is natural to feel an initial resistance to each new draft—to feel a bit frustrated if things aren’t worded exactly the way the author first envisioned. This is a natural reaction during the ghostwriting process, particularly when it comes to personal books like biographies. Recognizing this, authors should read a draft over once, and then put it away for a couple of days to give their emotions time to settle. If they do this, it will be easier to read it over again, the next time around, with a more objective mindset. In that objective state, they can then feel free to change the words they don’t like or correct the dates, times, and names however they see fit. All authors make better decisions in the objective state than they do in that initial emotional state.

Analogy for Ghostwriting

A big part of a police officer’s job is to write reports—to try to interpret the recollections of various witnesses and to create the most accurate appraisal of a situation as possible. The biggest challenge in writing this report is that although each witness saw the same thing, they’ll all tend to give the police officer a different account mainly because each of them was viewing it from a different vantage point. An officer can only take what he or she is given and translate it as factually as possible.

Ghostwriters have a similar challenge when it comes to interpreting the notes they receive from authors and trying to turn those words into a veritable yet readable, marketable story. Sometimes, the ghostwriter might interpret some things a bit differently than the author initially intended. That’s okay. It can all be fixed along the way, which is why we say that this is an ongoing, collaborative process—just as the entire hybrid publishing process is. It is a partnership from start to finish. If authors can keep this analogy and these tips in mind throughout the ghostwriting process, they will be more patient with it, which will make it run much more smoothly for them and their writing partner. In the end, they’ll come out of it with an amazing book of which they can both be very proud.

Also read: Working With a Ghostwriter to Write a Book

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As a user of this website, you are authorized only to view, copy, print, and distribute the documents on this website so long as: one (1) the document is used for informational purposes only; and two (2) any copy of the document (or portion thereof) includes the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2018 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.

How to Hit a Writing Deadline

Oh, deadlines. The bane of most people’s existences. But, in my opinion, absolutely necessary for a writer if your goal is to publish your book in this lifetime.

Deadlines can be difficult for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, they feel too short and you find yourself putting all of your energy into one project which leads to you neglecting other things. Other times, you may put it off until the last minute and then rush like crazy to get everything done on time.

Either way, when you’re given a deadline (whether it’s self-imposed or imposed by another person), you have to do everything in your power to hit it. So, how do you do this?

Plan Out Your Time

I know. I keep saying this. Because it’s important!

Don’t just wing it and hope for the best. Before you start, plan things out and figure out roughly how much time it’s going to take to knock out this particular book project. Then, spread it out over time and leave yourself some wiggle room in case things change or go wrong. Be diligent, but also be flexible.

I know how many words I can write per hour. So I plan things accordingly, breaking it down by hours per day of writing, then by week, then by month, et cetera. I know in advance how many pages or chapters I plan to accomplish within each time slot.




I acknowledge that not everyone likes the idea of a writing plan (a.k.a. an book outline), as indicated in this earlier guest post by Jennifer D. Foster titled The Ins and Outs of Outlines: Plotters Versus Pantsers. I personally never used an outline for any of my fictional novellas, but I started using one for my non-fiction books and have continued with this ever since. I find myself way more productive when I’m working with a set of plans and deadlines. I keep promises to myself.

Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute

When you plan out your time, stick to the plan.  Make sure you keep your promises to yourself, too. Create a rewards system, if possible, that allows for you to get what you want if you get your job done. Give yourself a cookie. Literally. Whatever helps you to stay on task.

Ask Questions and Get Answers Quickly

If you have a question during your book research, consult Google for an immediate answer instead of spending all day ruminating. The Internet is a great start in terms of helping you find the resources you may need to complete your project. It can also provide you with the citations you’ll need for your bibliography at the back of a non-fiction book. (Just make sure you fact-check the things you’re finding.)

Deadlines can be stressful, but they aren’t the end of the world. Keep these things in mind and you’ll meet your deadlines. Before you know it, you’ll have completed your book! What an accomplishment!

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As a user of this website, you are authorized only to view, copy, print, and distribute the documents on this website so long as: one (1) the document is used for informational purposes only; and two (2) any copy of the document (or portion thereof) includes the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2018 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.

How to Stick to a Schedule When You Write From Home

When you tell someone you’re a writer who works from home, one of the first comments you might hear is, “Wow, so you can write whenever you want?” Well, yes and no. Despite your best intentions, you may find that it’s difficult to stay on track with your writing. If that’s the case, you may end up working seven days per week or pounding away on your laptop from morning to night, dreaming about the day when you can finally take it easy. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be like that. Here are four tips to try if you feel like you’re writing (or trying to write) 24/7 and getting nothing done.

Set Specific Working Hours

One of the perks of self-employment is that you can work whenever you want. That’s also one of the drawbacks. When you have the freedom to meet a deadline at your convenience, it’s easy to spend the entire day writing. Regain control of your work life by setting specific hours for yourself.

Be practical when you set your hours. If you’re a night owl, don’t schedule yourself a day shift. If you have small children at home, consider working late at night or before the sun rises. You may also find it easier to schedule a split shift, such as four hours for work, four hours for errands and a lunch break, and four more hours of writing. Do what works best for you and your lifestyle, because it will be easier to stick with a schedule that meets your needs.




Take Breaks

When you punch in a time clock outside of your home, you probably never miss a lunch break or 15-minute rest break. That’s not the case for many who write from home. It’s easy to skip breaks because you think you don’t need them or feel like you’re being lazy if you stop writing for a few minutes, but this can take a huge toll on you.

Failing to take a break can cause you to feel burned out. You may start to hate what you’re doing if you never take a moment to do something else. Set an alarm to remind yourself to take regular breaks, and make sure that you actually escape your home office for a bit. Walk around the block, drive down the street to grab a bite to eat, or meet up with friends. Your brain and body will thank you.

Eliminate Distractions

Distractions come in different forms from fun Facebook games to uninvited neighbors who never seem to go home. If the Internet is a major distraction for you, try an app like Focus Booster. You can use the app to block social networking sites, YouTube, or even your personal email account when you’re busy with a writing project.

It’s slightly harder to eliminate other distractions, such as chatty family members or neighbours; but it can be done. In fact, if you follow the two steps listed above this one, you may find that it’s easier to prevent these types of distractions. Uninvited guests may be less likely to stop by if they know you have set writing hours and regular break times, and people may stop asking you for rides to the post office or grocery store if they know you’re busy writing your next book.




Reward Productivity

No matter how much you love your career, there will be days when you just don’t feel like being productive. You’ve probably outgrown star stickers and pencil toppers, but you can improve motivation by rewarding yourself in other ways.

Start by setting small, easy-to-achieve goals, such as, “I will write for 30 minutes and then spend five minutes watching motivational YouTube videos.” (Or whatever works for you, of course!) As your focus increases, you can change your hourly goals to daily goals, like, “I can order pizza tonight if I finish writing these two pages by 4 PM.” You can even set weekly goals, like, “I will buy a new pair of jogging shoes if I meet all of my deadlines on time this week.”

Working from home can be rewarding for writers, but it can also be difficult. Eliminate distractions and stick to a regular schedule by trying the four tips above. Good luck with your book!

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As a user of this website, you are authorized only to view, copy, print, and distribute the documents on this website so long as: one (1) the document is used for informational purposes only; and two (2) any copy of the document (or portion thereof) includes the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2018 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.

More Writing Hours Versus More Productivity

We all know those people who spend every waking moment at the office. We admire them and their efforts, and we imagine they must be getting so much more done than everyone else. Sure, sometimes this is true; but other times it’s just a matter of poor time management. More writing hours don’t necessarily equal more productivity or progress. Compact, focused work is just as (if not more) effective in the long run.

I try to get my writing done in small, but controlled bursts. Instead of spending my entire day sitting at a desk or sitting at a coffee shop, I schedule my work time and break time, then stick to it. I set and meet my own deadlines.




When I’m writing, I’m focused on writing. When I’m on a break, I don’t think about writing; I just relax and enjoy the break. Not only does this help me to get more done, but it helps prevent the feeling of overwhelm that comes from trying to do too much at once, and it also helps to prevent exhaustion.

Exhausting yourself can give you an immediate gain; but, over the long-term, it’s also bound to lead to unhealthy fatigue and resentment. That’s not what you want. What you’re after is an achievable routine that is customized to your life and your schedule so you can easily stick to it. Do this, and you’ll have that book written—and published!—before you know it!

More tips on how to stick to a schedule when you work from home and how to meet a writing deadline will follow this week. Stay tuned.

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As a user of this website, you are authorized only to view, copy, print, and distribute the documents on this website so long as: one (1) the document is used for informational purposes only; and two (2) any copy of the document (or portion thereof) includes the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2018 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.