In this fast tempo life, efficiency is the key to success. When we’re speaking efficiency then we’re speaking Skills development and acquisition. You’re fortunate to come across this blog because you’re about to read some rocking tips!
“Agents confirm this truth when they say that that they can decide on a book’s worth in less than 5 pages. Writers are naturally horrified at this statement because they wrote 173 pages or 312 or 786 – and they know that some of the best pages are midway through the book or in Chapter 23 or at the end when everything comes together in glorious triumph”.-JOEL FRIEDLANDER.
Joel is a writing coach and his statement spreads the message clearly.
As an author, you’ll develop your writing style throughout the years. What’s crucially important here is developing a proper style that suits you. Use the words that pops naturally to you.
Correspondingly, developing your Structure is a must. Learn how to structure your piece, think of the architecture of your book. You’re building a masterpiece, You can’t simply work it out without a structured plan.
The Oxford dictionary contains about quarter of million words. Your job is to utilize the usage of these words and build an identifiable piece of work.
Linguistics, Spelling, and Grammar; Native English writers complain about their writing errors. Conducting regular revisions is the key here. As long as your regularly checking your errors and correcting them; You’re on track.
One neat thing to keep in mind is that you can perfectly ignore your own errors, not because of confidence but because you simply can’t recognize your own tiny hidden errors.
Here’s the reason why.
Here’s the challenge, You want to go in depth about a certain topic and grind it all in and out so you can get all the details needed. However, You’re having a time schedule and you don’t want to miss a deadline or a milestone even if it’s self-imposed. But how are you supposed to produce an outcome without the information needed? The solution always lies in the word “Balance”.
You don’t want to spend all of your time doing research and lose the time to actually write.
Be smart and search on the main points regarding the topic you’re writing about.
Be punctuate when conducting a research. You can consume content from variable sources, blogs, videos, documentaries; Just make sure that these sources are of high quality. Doing a successful research will help you confidently write about topics that are not in your field of knowledge or expertise.
Know your Strengths and Weaknesses.
You’re not supposed to be perfect in every aspect of this journey of writing. But you’re obliged to know what you’re good at and what you need to improve. You might be struggling with forming a logical dialogue or you lack the proper linguistics. That’s why editors exist right? If you’re working with a nice Editor or Proofreader then you’re lucky! There is always a space to hire a professional to fill the gaps and there is no shame in this.
Work on showing your strengths, if you’re good at generating ideas, blogging can help you share those ideas; go for it.
You’ll definitely want to check our Blogging guide for authors it will guide you through the basics and the fundamentals that will get you started.
Developing sharp communication skills is a necessity for any author. If you’re having a blog; proper communication will help you establish meaningful relationships with your readers. If you’re seeking agents or publishers, communication is crucial for a successful collaboration.
A goal without a plan is just a dream. We’ve all experienced situations when we were so motivated to do stuff yet for some reason we did not finish or even put those stuff into action. The same goes with writing. If you don’t have a “timely” plan; you’ll keep procrastinating. Your Goals must be “SMART” Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Timely.
Prior to setting your SMART Goal, plug into your calendar the milestones, So you can see for instance that by January 1st you’ll have planned the plot for your novel and by mid-July, you’ll have successfully written 10 chapters. The same goes for your marketing, branding and PR goals.
It’s a major aspect of writing. If you’re a novelist or a non-fiction author; you need to have a fresh flow of ideas. A lot of authors experience Writer’s block, which is totally natural to occur each now then. But you need to overcome it as fast as possible once you experience it.
Stay updated to know what’s trending, Read frequently to have all these paths in your brain; so once you’re writing you somehow keep generating content.
You’re no longer an author that writes for print. You’re living in an era of blogging, tweeting, and sharing. If you can’t handle such tremendous change in the industry you won’t manage to get your voice heard in this huge crowd.
One of the top skills an author should develop is “branding”. Social media can be your ally here. However, if you’re planning to work randomly or give it a try and learn through trial and error; you’ll significantly waste your resources.
Social media stats can be a good start to learn about the trends and news of social media, You can learn about the best practices in the social networks you’re in. The skill of translating data and stats into a strategic behavior is one of the most skills any marketer prays for. Generally speaking, as an author you can begin to view digital marketing as a technical skill that is equally important as writing.
By business, I mean the fundamentals of marketing, a tiny bit of accounting, and basic management. But why on earth do I need this? You might ask, well the fact that you’re an aspiring author you’ll end up with a book and you supposedly want it to be read. So, if you’re not quite aware of who’s going to read your book, essentially your “Audience”; You might risk all this effort to fall apart as a result of missing the knowledge required to promote your work.
If you’re signing contracts here and there, then you need to know a bit about some legal terms, understand some basics of accounting to manage your transactions and keep track of your expenses. If you’re too busy, find a consultant or seek a friend or acquaintance that can help you manage your financials. It’s no joke here, this can sting you mate!
It’s your time!
In conclusion, You don’t have to master each and every aspect of these skills, In order to reach the level of Mastery, you’ll spend some good time and energy. So, be smart enough and prioritize. Think of writing as a chess game, Divide and conquer. Once you had all these skills divided in front of you; you can instantly begin to work in and out, 2 skills at a time; mixing between them all. There is no perfect recipe rather than defining what you need in the meantime and what you can manage to handle later on.
Tell us in the comments about other skills you believe are essential for authors!