Be professional to become a professional with these 5 tips

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As writers, rejection is a part of our lives. It’s the hurdle we must clear, whether it be on our journey to publication, in pursuit of awards, or even in the form of one-star reviews.

Rejection is a right of passage.

And there’s definitely a professional way to handle it.

Recently, a writer friend asked how one of my projects was going. In response, I sat up straighter as I proudly admitted that I was getting better at managing the sting of rejection. This time I only needed a few…


Methods to overcome your block and finish your novel

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A writer friend reached out about being “stuck” in the middle of her novel. She felt like she’d written everything she could. After weeks of staring at a blank page, she wasn’t sure she could finish the novel. Or ever finish a novel. The feeling consumed her, pulling her into a pit of complete hopelessness.

That is a horrible feeling. Most of us have been there. I wanted to help her past this struggle as soon as possible, so I shared the advice that helped me through it. …


9 steps to take initiative and reach your business goals

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When I started my own business, I heard a lot about mastermind groups. Everybody talked about them with such reverence that I dismissed them as elusive and magical gatherings only used by start-ups or “serious business people”. Certainly they didn’t apply to me.

Eventually, though, I gave into the temptation. And you know what? This is me, now, eating my words.

Since I created my own mastermind group, three months ago today, I’ve made 10x last year’s earnings.

And the year is only half over.

I caveat this by saying it wasn’t the joining of a group, but rather the…


Four entrepreneurial tips for writers

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I ran into a former colleague this week, and he asked how my freelance editing business was going.

“Great,” I gushed. “I get to work with such interesting topics, help writers, and even get a little writing done myself.”

He then looked around furtively and said, “You know, I could really use your help. I have this idea for a novel…”

How often does this happen to us writers? Seems like every time, right?

Tell anybody you’re a writer, and chances are the person you’re talking to will tell you they want to write, or started to write but haven’t…

Why self-care is the key to writing success

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Burnout is real.

After a great push to get to “The End” of my first novel, one that took me years to write, I finally finished. I was reeling with euphoria. I did it! I wrote a book!

Wait… Now what?

Every bit of writing advice I found said the same thing: Put it aside for a while and start something new.

So I tried. I really did. I sat down every day to write, just like all the writing advice said to do. But nothing happened.

That’s not entirely true. I wrote a few words. I got frustrated. I…


An unexpected way to strengthen your writing

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Fellow blogger Tara Emmanuel wrote a piece about the unexpected benefits reading romance brought for an author of middle-grade fantasy.

It’s true— reading a completely different genre can strengthen your writing.

Here’s her article:

Not only did switching gears give her brain a break, but she was able to appreciate the difference in language. And just by becoming aware of language, a writer can improve their own words.

In fact, this is something I often recommend for author friends, as well as for my editing clients. …


Get your words to pour onto the page

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This past week I’ve been assessing my productivity. Specifically, I’ve been experiementing with task batching, to find my sweet spot for efficiency.

For those not familiar with task batching, it comes from the idea that there’s an opportunity cost each time we switch focus from one task to the other. Lump similar tasks together and you’ll get them done faster than if switching back and forth from unrelated work.

At first I thought this would be an exercise in process. I love process — follow the checklist and there’s always a clear outcome. …


Tricks to make writing more concise

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So you’ve reached out to get feedback on your manuscript, only to find out you’re outside your genre’s word count rage.

What does that even mean? Is 527 pages too long for mainstream fiction? (Pretty much.)

If you’re seeking traditional publishing, agents and publishers are looking for manuscripts that fall within a certain range. And they count words, not pages.

Prefer to go indie? Not so fast — those ranges exist because those are reader expectations for genres. And expectations equal sales.

A fantasy reader expecting to get comfortable and live within a fictional…


Treat the road to publication like a business to find success

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I work with authors who are querying agents for representation, and right now on social media it seems like everybody is querying.

For those not familiar, querying agents can often feel like a large dark void full of industry gatekeepers and rejection. And we’re not talking a handful of rejections, I know authors who received more than 100 rejections before getting representation. The process can take months — even years — to find the right business partner.

When faced with seemingly impossible odds, it can be so tempting to quit.

Lately I’ve seen authors on social media declaring they’ve given…


How to keep a story from falling flat

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The other night I watched a remake of an action move from the late eighties.

I remembered the original being a fast-paced and fun ride so I was looking forward to a fresh take.

But twenty minutes in, I wasn’t invested in any of the characters and the story was… boring.

Being a developmental editor, I couldn’t let an opporutnity go to waste. I had to know what made this movie so bad when the premise was so good.

And when the movie finished, I rewatched the original to compare them fairly and not based on memory. …

Elizabeth Russo

Editor with editsunderway.com | Author whose passion is helping new writers find their place in the writing community. Find me on Twitter: @editsunderway

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