Have you ever had a friend who walked too fast or too slow? Some days, it is a little irritating. Some days, it’s infuriating. Your pace as an author can have the same effect on your readers. If your story or ideas unfold too slowly, your readers get bored. If your story moves too fast, your readers get lost. Either way, the outcome is the same: they close your book (or click away from your site). When I was in my late twenties, I died. I had a respiratory arrest and stopped breathing. And then the doctors in the emergency department of the Austin Hospital revived me, and it was back to life as usual. Except, of course, it was not. Everything had changed. Suddenly I hyper-aware of my breathing.
Author Archives for kathwalters
With 16 years experience as an editor and senior journalist in the mainstream press, I have an established track record for creating great content -- stories, links, tweets, blogs -- quickly and efficiently across a wide range of industry sectors. I am an editor, journalist and content marketer.
Contact me to find out more: 0425 040 020
Every author needs Chutzpah. Isn’t Chutzpah a lovely word? It’s Yiddish, and it means audacity (for good or bad). Cheek. Insolence, even. Today, of course, is a day for women the world over to get their Chutzpah on – it’s International Women’s Day. It is the day we women stand up and back ourselves. Writing a book is all about backing yourself; it is the ultimate moment of Chutzpah. But writing and publishing a book is not enough to unleash your Chutzpah on the world. You must back yourself even more by promoting your book.
Poor design and printing can really let your book down. You have gone to all the trouble to write 25,000 to 45,000 words; now put some effort into the presentation of your ideas. I’ve been known to reject a book, even though I wanted to read it, because of poor design. Of course, I might be biased. In a former life, I was a graphic designer and a print-production manager – I’ve got baggage. There are a few classic errors that really scream ‘amateur’ when it comes to design and printing. And wibble-wobble – or the lack thereof – is one of them.
Creativity is a strange chariot. Creativity likes activity, not standing still. If I make a single observation about all the creative people I have ever known, it is that we find it hard to rest. When the chariot comes to a standstill, we start to fret.
Money is a remarkable motivator (at least for me). But it's not likely to sustain you through the journey of writing a book. Business growth and financial freedom come from publishing. I've seen this again and again. But it does not fuel authors through the creative process. What does is a readiness to share your expertise.
In my late 20s, I had to give up my first career as an artist for health reasons. It was a shock to my identity – I loved being an artist. Still, I was never a traditional artist. As far as many people were concerned I wasn’t an artist at all. I made screen-printed posters, some on commission, some for myself. I worked in community groups helping others to make posters. I wasn’t a ‘true artist’, meaning I wasn’t starving amid my oil paints in a garret somewhere.
Publishing is a relationship builder. In April this year, I got a contact request via LinkedIn. With it came a note. ‘Enjoyed your article on being worthy to write a book, Kath. I'd like to connect.’ Done. I thanked Mike (it’s his real name) for the feedback and asked him to let me know if I could help in any way. In August, Mike came back to me: ‘Hi Kath, ‘I “may” write a book, let’s have a chat on the phone.’
I'm feeling fantastic. Now. Half an hour ago, I was feeling the weight of the world upon me. Feeling ‘not good enough' is a physical feeling as well as an emotional one. My skin zings with an uncomfortable sensitivity, and my nerves jolt me when I least expect it: whenever I relax. Feeling fantastic is physical too. My shoulders relax, and my spine straightens. I smile to myself and at others. I take deep, satisfying breaths.
As a journalist, I became a finishing expert. I wrote and published about 80,000 words a year. At first, finishing a story was a huge challenge. It took me a whole day to write 700 words and more time to do the interviewing and research. I just couldn’t say goodbye to a story until I thought it was perfect.
Have you ever said ‘Good morning’ to someone who didn’t respond? It’s an unsettling feeling of sorrow, even indignance when a generous, warmly-intended communiqué is ignored. There’s a parallel on our content marketing program: if we put time and effort into creating our content, and sending out our e-newsletters, what happens if we get little or no response?