Three Important Author Questions, Revisited

For professional and personal reasons, I have been very reluctant to openly state my answer to #1.

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I mentioned in a prior update that I stumbled upon three questions every creative type should be asking themselves, by way of Dan Blank. To recap, they are as follows:

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Killing the Productivity with Motivation Addiction

Whether I release 6 titles or 1, absolutely none of it is going to get done unless I get it done.

I’m always on the lookout for tips and insights into the publishing biz, or how to be a better writer, or just general items of interest. (Hey, I’ve gotta have some fun.) I don’t know how I did it, but I found Dean Wesley Smith’s web site, and by extension, his series called Killing the Sacred Cows of Publishing. It’s full of great stuff! Which is both good and bad.

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Book Update: Initial Draft Finished!

The end of the book kept eluding me, but at 1:00 AM today I typed the last sentence of the initial draft of Crossed Out: An Ana Lode Thriller.

The end of the book kept eluding me, but at 1:00 AM today I typed the last sentence of the initial draft of Crossed Out: An Ana Lode Thriller. I must be maturing as a writer, because I didn’t bawl my head off when I finished.
Instead, I had a warm feeling of accomplishment. Progress!

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Learning by Doing, Redux

Sure beats doing the same thing over and over in a vacuum, and wondering why things aren’t getting any better.

I do my best to study the (self-)publishing biz 5 days a week, for at least 30 minutes per day. This includes but is not limited to: Writing advice, publishing advice, business advice, coping advice, and so forth.

I fell down the rabbit hole that is Scott Berkun’s web site, and found a page that automatically made me cringe, expecting the usual. I was pleasantly surprised to read the following, on the subject of “how to be good at anything“:

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On Self-Editing Your Manuscript

The case for another set of eyes.

(As opposed to self-editing your blog posts, which happens more times than I care to count, and by that I mean self-censoring.)

I recently finished reading a particularly awful eBook. In fairness to the author, and because it was free, I’m not going to name names if for no other reason than it would be a distraction from the larger point I aim to make with this post. I think one of the overarching sins of the book was that it was, or at least appeared to be, entirely self-edited, and the book suffered tremendously as a result.

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Tool Tryout: Autocrit

I found an online tool called AutoCrit that tells you if you write good.

I believe I mentioned recently that I am making a point of studying, since I am not querying literary agents anymore. (Note: As of this writing I have two active queries remaining.)  One resource that has proven invaluable to me is Jane Friedman’s web site, which is loaded with all sorts of information pertaining to writing and publishing. It was by poring over her blog archive that I got wind of a tool called AutoCrit, which uses whiz-bang AI to review your fiction manuscript, or whatever else you plug into it (but mostly fiction), and determine how well your writing rates on a variety of factors. Full disclosure, I tried it out yesterday and am not in any way affiliated with any of the sites named above except as a casual but interested observer.

I plugged my publicly-available writing sample into the AutoCrit trial application and let it work its algorithmic magic.

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