My Writing Process Blog Tour

Publisher York RegionSerendipity at its best; with spring in the air and proverbial pen in hand, many have been asking for more tips on the book writing process. No sooner did I slot in time to create another blog and possible webinar on the subject, my lovely colleague, Carly (Charlotte) Ottaway, invited me to take part in “My Writing Process” Blog Tour. It’s a great twist on the I C Publishing Author Interviews, as well as the Virtual Book Tours we do where authors guest-post about their passion and area of expertise as it pertains to their book.

Virtual tours provide an excellent opportunity to connect with a broader audience, and encourage some very meaningful conversation.  On this tour you will get to enjoy reading about other inspiring writers as they generously and courageously share about their craft.

At the end of each of our posts, we will provide you with the next blogs that are scheduled. First, be sure to check out Carly’s blog from last week. She is a creative non-fiction writer and small business blogger published in Canadian publications such as Zoomer and The Globe and Mail.

So, here goes, a little bit about my writing process:

1) What am I working on?

Besides overseeing my own clients’ book projects from birth, design and editing, to finished product, a lot of my own writing is currently focused around our social media and blog content.

The whole social media thing has been a learning curve for most of us. Passionately believing in the value of connecting with others in a meaningful way, it’s been important for me to figure out how to translate what I knew and did well conventionally via email, in person, and phone, into sound bites, pictures and videos.

I’m a writer, rarely at a loss for words—how hard can it be :-) ? There’s that question again. Well, I’m sure you’ve heard the quote that suggests the more time you have the better you can write/edit and refine your message into fewer words. Conversely, the less time you have the more likely you will write much more content (not necessarily better or worse, just more).

Because I now devote a little bit of time almost every day, and prepare content weekly, I am making a lot of progress—to the tune of 3,000 more hits on my website just last month! I find planning ahead with social media posts and blog content maximizes my creativity and time much better.

On a separate and more personal note, My Grandmother’s Laugh is calling my name. The shell of the manuscript has been created; the rest is still in my head. It will soon be time to pull all the pieces together and publish my third book. And I am excited about the new seasons and cottage days ahead.

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I think most writers are unique in their own right. We all have a story to tell, something that resonates deep within us. My writing is usually non-fiction based on real life and business experience. When I learn something, it infuses into my work and writing almost instantly. Whether I am working one-to-one with an author or business client, or sharing my insights and expertise on paper or computer screen, it’s just a conversation, sharing something that is intended to support, encourage or guide that person in the way they need it most.

3) Why do I write what I do?

I allude to this above. Life and learning offer us so much to write about. I love to help others on their journey, and I am moved by the power of the written word and the emotion and confidence it can stir in others.

A mentor of mine once shared, if you were given a deliciously decadent box of chocolate truffles (pick your treat), you wouldn’t keep them to yourself would you? No, you would share. That’s how I see life. Be kind. Listen. Learn. Share . . . Oh yes, and write!

4) How does my writing process work?

For the most part, it’s pretty simple. I get clear about my message, and sub-messages or stories.

When writing a book, l often take a big picture approach at the very beginning; creating a working title, sub-title, and table of contents, and often my message to the reader. I will also write or sketch this out visually. This helps me get into the zone, and keeps me focused as I get deeper into the project.

A little bit of structure goes a long way in helping you maintain creativity throughout your writing process.

Occasionally too, I will step back from the project to look at it as a whole. This affords me the opportunity to notice and make any necessary adjustments, and at the same time reinforce my progress.

My writing process for social media includes looking at what messages will support my goals in the coming week(s), what events are coming up that I want to let others know about, who do I want to stay connected with and support in their endeavours, and so on.

On that note too, my next blog will elaborate on Non-Tech Social Media Tips for Authors and Business Owners. If you haven’t already, you can sign up here to receive it as soon as it is published. It is scheduled for the week of April 22nd.

Before then though, be sure to check out these wonderful writers next Mon, April 14th, as they share with us a glimpse of their writing process:

  • Anita Heidema is a motivated and successful entrepreneur, hard-working single mom, loving caregiver, health awareness advocate—and  founder of the YIJ Group Inc., Success Coach, Certified Hypnotherapist, Inspirational Travel Specialist, and new author of Vitality Knocks – Short Stories to Enrich Your Soul (Autumn 2014). Check out her new blog here.
  • Andrea Sevsek is a holistic nutritionist, enthusiastic writer and speaker, with a mission to shine the spotlight on real, good quality, unadulterated, authentic foods—to reveal the pretenders for what they really are, life force vampires. She encourages and empowers others to be lifelong students of their own health. You can follow Andrea’s blog by clicking here.
  • Linda Ferguson is curious about how people make the choices and connections that build a life well-lived. Her publications include Shiftwork (distributed exclusively by I C Publishing) and Living Your Purpose (available May 2014). Linda is the Senior Partner at NLP Canada Training and offers perspectives on chance and choice in her blog, ntgr8.

Thanks so much for following I C Publishing and The Writing Process Blog Tour. As always, please feel free to share with friends and colleagues, and join in the conversation using the comments section below or by emailing me directly.

Here’s to your brand of creativity and writing successes!

Warmest regards,

Sheri

I C Publishing Introduces Author Kathleen Redmond

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I C Publishing is pleased to introduce one of its latest authors, Kathleen Redmond, Author of Building a Character Culture – for Trust and Results in the Workplace.

Non-fiction author, Kathleen Redmond, shows the power of story-telling again. Building a Character Culture is the beginning of a dynamic new series. The story part of each book offers a great read, interesting characters and powerful resources—all in a mere 100 pages. Brilliant!

Building a Character Culture lays an integral foundation for creating trust and result in the workplace through real life/business scenarios which play out at LaMaison du Parc. Kathleen’s teachings are further substantiated with well researched facts and hands-on tools and examples that all who follow her work can benefit from tremendously.

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What do you Need Most? – COURAGE

courageWhat do you need most? I know this is a loaded question, but it’s one that I reflect on often . . . What do I need most in this situation, to embrace an opportunity, or engage with someone new? Of course, there are many qualities and traits we must cultivate in order to create the kind of life and work we dream of. The answer, COURAGE, keeps surfacing in my journey. There are so many things I would not have experienced and learned had I not pressed through the unknowns and fears often associated with taking the bold new steps we all deeply desire to. What about you?

I shared the following poem in a recent blog post featuring one of our authors. I truly believe it takes a lot of courage to live this way. Then, what other way is there?

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music he hears, however measured or far away.”  Thoreau

How do we develop courage, and other qualities, so they become second nature?

  • We recognize and acknowledge ourselves when we are or have been courageous; and we notice and pay attention to what it feels like to be this way.

In case you could you use some assistance, an exercise from my NLP studies, called mapping, is an excellent tool to reinforce this—so it becomes easier and easier to step into the experience each time. In my book, Working From Home & Making It Work, there is a great selection of individual NLP exercises including a written mapping exercise. Here it is as well, in a blog I wrote a while back (even though the focus in this post is on mapping creative states, it is the same exercise simply applied to courageous states).

  • When we are exploring new opportunities, setting new goals, or even adding to the proverbial bucket list, remember the wisdom in asking questions and being prepared.
  • Create ways that resonate for you, like actions you can take or words you can say to yourself that will help you take the first step. My assistant and I use this phrase often—how hard can it be? Then we laugh (sometimes shake our heads), and go about consulting the appropriate experts or doing the research we need to expand our knowledge on that particular subject or task.
  • List all the benefits of taking action to manifest what you want (we’re good at listing the negatives). And to that, add how you (and others in your inner circle of support) will feel when you accomplish your goal.

When I think of what practicing COURAGE has given me in my life, the gifts are limitless. It’s helped me in my:

  • Relationships, including marriage and parenthood
  • Ongoing study and education, which can be scary and exciting at the same time
  • Community and non-profit work, where your one voice gets blended with many
  • Entrepreneurial journey of over thirty years, where I have needed to be courageous in sharing both my story and all my learning so it can serve my clients in the best way possible

I have had the privilege of working with, mentoring and coaching hundreds of small business owners, entrepreneurs, and authors. over the last few years. My efforts in my own personal and professional development have paid off many times over, and I am humbled by the respect and trust my clients continue to extend to me (and of course, my great team too).

Personally, I now have the courage to enjoy my success less reservedly, embrace more quality time with family, and live and work in the moment. I love it. I love the freedom.

What about you? Share in the comments section below or email me personally. I would love to hear from you.

Life is precious, so be courageous!

Warmest regards,

Sheri

 

IC Publishing Introduces Jenn Pike, Local Author

The Simplicity Project - Jenn Pike

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Happy New Year! What a perfect time to introduce you to our author, Jenn Pike; her messages in The Simplicity Project: A Simple, No-Nonsense Approach To Losing Weight & Changing Your Body Forever, pack a healthy punch! Between our busy schedules, I’m excited that Jenn and I were able to finally complete this mini-interview to share with you.

Jenn’s brilliance is in her ability to take a ton of information, find the truths within, add to it her own vast knowledge and experience, and turn it into something that we can all understand and actually use in our own lives. Not only do we feel her passion in every word, her conversational, down-to-earth and humorous style of writing engages us from beginning to end.

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Meaningful Communication = Meaningful Success in Life & Work

effective communcationWhat comes to mind when you think of “meaningful communication”? Communication that is discerning, respectful, thoughtful, sensitive, perceptive . . . And what about “meaningful success”? Although the answer to this question can be different depending on whom you ask—the clear interpretation here is success that has significance and purpose.

The other often underlying thought or assumption suggests that meaningful communication and meaningful success are also meant or intended for “the greater good”.

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Creative Process – Process & Purpose by new author, Adele Spraggon (Part Two)

bigstock-Illuminating-Thoughts-28624310In the last blog post I introduced you to our newest author Adele Spraggon. As promised, here is Part Two of my interview with Adele, talking about what her creative process was for Shaped Within: Reshaping Weight Loss. I couldn’t have said it better—this really speaks to those of us who consider ourselves holistic entrepreneurs or practitioners.

Sheri: What was your creative process for this project?

Adele Picture back cover2Adele: When I first wanted to blend Eastern and Western Wisdoms I had no idea how to do it. After all, these where seemingly diametrically opposed philosophies. Eastern Wisdom is based on the concept that the moment must just be accepted as it arises without trying to change anything in any way. Western wisdom insists on a better tomorrow and one must consistently strive for improvement. I could see how each of these approaches had its limitations and I could also see the benefits of both, but combine them, no way.

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Process & Purpose by New Author, Adele Spraggon (Part 1 of 2)

Shaped Within

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Welcome back again to I C Publishing; I am thrilled to unveil yet another great new author, storyteller, teacher and conduit for healthy and lasting life change, Adele Spraggon in part 1 of this 2 part series.

Adele’s years of research, invaluable personal experience, and asking the right questions, have given virtual bloom to a timely technique, blending eastern wisdom with a western approach. Although this book focuses on weight loss, the amazing philosophy behind its approach will draw you in as you discover how it can be applied to so many areas of your life. It will definitely make believers of the skeptics . . . finally.

Enjoy Part One of this passionate interview with the inspiring author of Shaped Within: Reshaping Weight Loss, Adele Spraggon.

Sheri: What inspired you to write this book?

Adele SpraggonAdele:  At eighteen I weighed 185 pounds.  My first crash diet had me at 650 calories a day. I didn’t realize at the time that dieting was a problem, but the less I ate the harder it became to lose weight.  By the time I was in my forties I was not only overweight, I couldn’t face another diet. I started searching for another way.

My background is in Eastern spiritual practices; I am a meditation facilitator and Kundalini Yoga instructor. I am also versed in the Western objective approach having a Masters in Humanities. Yet despite all of this, I couldn’t stop compulsively eating and drinking (my other problem was wine, every evening I would turn to the bottle in efforts to relax).

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4 Considerations Before Submitting Your Manuscript or Hiring a Writing Coach

publisher York RegionHere are 4 steps that are ideal to complete before submitting your manuscript to an editor or publisher for consideration, followed by some guidelines to discern whether hiring a writing coach could prove helpful as well:

  1. Ensure that you have completed writing your manuscript to the best of your ability. Creating it in Word is preferred, although checking each editor’s/publisher’s detailed submission requirements is always best. Occasional changes after submission are very understandable; however, significant edits and/or rewrites to a manuscript (especially if the project has been accepted and started on) can contribute to increased editing and/or typesetting costs, not to mention the potential for possible errors if too many  extra changes/corrections are needed (even more so if late in the process). Be sure to work closely with your editor or publisher to fully understand their process and timelines. This way, if you do have changes beyond the agreed upon recommendations by your editor, then you can provide them in appropriate timing (so a section or chapter doesn’t have to be edited twice, for example).
  2. Have a Table of Contents mapped out (corresponding page numbers are not necessary at this point, although fine—they will just change once typeset into an actual book design format). The value here is that this outline provides a thorough, yet quick overview of your book. And should be very useful creatively for you as well.
  3. A preface or introduction, foreword, and testimonials ought to be top of mind too (a dedication, prologue, or epilogue can also be included where appropriate). These pieces can be completed in the earlier stages while the main manuscript is being reviewed, edited and proof-read; however, in a way, they’re also part of the overall story/teaching and intention of the book. So the sooner your editor/publisher has a sense of this content too, they will be able to serve you even better.
  4. Other critical steps, should they apply, include a properly compiled list of references and previously obtained permissions for quotes in your book. Although these steps can be easily handled for you as well, it is important to know that it is the author’s responsibility—so be sure to make it a priority and get expert assistance if that’s the route you prefer.

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Timing, Book Signings & Virtual Book Tours

timing

Here’s some useful info for you to consider around making the best of local book signings, events and virtual book tours—and when might be the best time for you to publish your first or next book.

Time to Publish

For publishing a non-fiction book that has a subject matter universally relevant regardless of the season of the year, sooner is better than later, as many books are brought into the market weekly, and you want to expose your idea before others may get to it.

Self-help books are popular for Christmas and in the New Year as well, as people tend to make self-improvement resolutions and like the “new year” feel of a fresh start.

Business oriented books are actually good in the fall, as companies are often coming out of their summer slower times, and ramping up for fall or New Year programs. And because budgets are often set in the last quarter or two for the next calendar year, promoting/selling a program to businesses (your target market) is good to do in the fall.

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10 Helpful Tips in Everyday Writing

editing coachIf you want to build rapport and a positive impression with others, free of distracting typos and incomplete thoughts, these 10 helpful tips for everyday writing should help significantly.

Remember that everything we do and say, and write and create, says something about us.

In a day and age where we converse more in writing than we ever have, I’m often surprised at the lack of attention and detail I see in everyday communications—let alone on websites and business documents. Thus, the reason for this blog:

1.  Plan your message—not just in business letters and website content, but emails and social media exchanges too.

2.  Reread your note, making sure that your communication is as clear as it can be.

3.  Remember your manners. When you write, you are speaking to the reader—a person who has chosen to take the time to read your message.

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