Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Kindle Publishing Isn't As Tough As You Think

Kindle Publishing: Writing Isn't Beef Jerky, It's Not That Tough

So you have a story or idea to shake the very foundations of the fiction world. 

how to increase productivity

You can write it and self-publish it through Amazon's Kindle Publishing.

It's not as difficult as you may think.

Perhaps you have a tip to share that will make people healthier and happier.  

Or, maybe, you have a productivity hack that will make people more efficient at their jobs, and wealthier as a by-product.

And you want to share those ideas with the world.

You just know they would make a great story or ebook.

But how do you get started? 

The task can seem like a mountain instead of a molehill, especially if you've never written more than anything other than your name before.

Don't Fear The Page
improve productivity in the workplace

It's easy to stare at a screen or sheet of paper and not know how, and where, to begin.  

It's normal.

But it's only normal because you give it the power over you.

The page is blank, empty, clean.

And it's waiting. 

It's waiting for you to write, to put your ideas onto it, and massage them to make something great spring from the page.

Think about writing as a conversation.  

Unless you suffer from an extreme case of Glossophobia (Wikipedia definition here), speaking with a friend, your family or even yourself, isn't a daunting challenge.

So why do you give writing more power over you than it deserves? 

Simply write in a plain, simple language.  

Talk to yourself and your family on the page and you'll find writing less stressful than you already make it.

Have Conversations With Your Audience: Chatting As Writing

Now that you realize that writing isn't something mysterious, you need to identify your ideal reader.

Who is the person you write for? 

 Is it someone you already know? 

Are they someone that you imagine would enjoy your thoughts? 

If so, then start writing to them.

Stephen King claims he always wrote to his wife.

Kurt Vonnegut claimed he wrote to his sister.

Whoever you choose to write to, once you can imagine how they will respond it becomes immensely easier.

Imagine what that ideal person just had for lunch, or dinner, or breakfast.  

The best idea to strengthen your writing is to write to a person you trust, know, and care about.  If you're uncomfortable writing to a real person, you can create an imaginary person.  

Think about what they look like, where they lived and grew up, what type of job and family they have, where they go for vacations.  

Anything you can think about to make them appear real to you and help you write to them in a friendly conversational tone.

If you imagine what your ideal reader likes, what they eat, what they dislike, and write to them like their sitting right next to you, you'll make your writing flow, get to your writing goal quicker, and be able to share your story and ideas with the world.  

If you're trying to get your stories out to the world, Kindle Publishing is a great way to go about it.  

But before you can publish, you need to know how to write more, and more effectively. 

Bite Sized Is The Right Size

Think about your writing like eating Thanksgiving dinner.

You sit down and on the table there's turkey, mashed potatoes, vegetables, stuffing. You pile it all on your plate in smaller portions.

And you grab a fork and knife.  You can't just shovel all that food into your mouth at once.

You cut the turkey, take a bite and chew. Absolutely delicious (unless you don't like Turkey, and then you can substitute your favorite food here).

What you've done is taken a huge feast, made it more manageable by plating it, and then cutting it into smaller and smaller bite-sized portions.

Writing should be thought about the same way.  Only think about writing in productivity terms.

Create a realistic target, maybe a word-count or a certain amount of time.

I've discussed the technique of using a timer as a tool in my post Get Off Your Ass And Write, and recommend the Pomodoro Technique.

What is the Pomodoro Technique?
 increase productivity at work

It's a productivity tactic of setting a timer for 20-25 minutes and working intensely for that duration. It's a great technique to that helps you improve productivity in short, intense bursts of activity. 

How it works:

Set a timer for a duration of time, but a short, manageable amount of time - 20 minutes is a great starting point. 

Once the timer hits, you take a 5 minute break from whatever tasks you're performing.  

Get up, walk away, do something to distract you from what you were just working on and come back once the break is over.

How To Improve Productivity By Using A Word Count

A technique that I like is setting a word count.

One easy word count to aspire is 500 words a day.  

500 words is about 2 pages of text with space left over. 

It'd take a reader about 5 minutes to read it. 

It's not that difficult. 

Think about it in a different way. 

Say you have an ebook idea that is targeting 15,000 words.  Daunting idea to write, edit and publish if you focus on the outcome. 

Instead, focus on 500 words at a sitting.  If you can do that, 500 words a day, it will only take 1 month to finish the first draft of your ebook idea. 

If you're writing in multiple bursts of 500 words in a day, you can dramatically reduce the length of time it will take you to complete it. 

But you need to sit down and get it done. 

And once you meet your daily word count or timeline, that's it. 

Don't keep going any longer. 

Earnest Hemmingway claimed that you should finish writing for the day when you still know what you're going to say next. 

This tip is great because it'll help you stay fresh and be able to have a good platform to begin writing with the next day.

Write In Doses, It'll Come Up Roses

By writing in short productive bursts and limiting your word count, you'll meet your daily limit easily.  Once you master 500 words or 25 minutes a day easily, you can add another element to your routine.  But only as long as you're able to make your initial word count and the new element without issue. 

You have an amazing story, an outstanding tip, or incredible hack to improve productivity and efficiency; you need to share it!

In summary:

  Write to a person.  Make it someone you know well.

  Write in a conversational tone.  We all communicate every day without hesitation.  Writing is no different.

  Short, intense durations on a daily basis will beat one inspired, manic day.  Don't wait for inspiration, just sit down and write daily. 

And don't be afraid.  Let me say it again, just sit down and write daily. 

By writing in a conversational tone and in small manageable doses to a person you "know," you'll be able to write easier, quicker and get your story told in no-time. 

But you have to sit down and start.  

And once you finish, you can then go out and share your story with the world through Kindle Publishing.  

It's easier than you think.