Tag Archives: tips

20 Advice from Great Authors

I stumbled upon this post by Writer’s Digest on 20 writing tips from great authors. If you’re a “struggling” writer, or just in need of some guidance, then you should read this post. I especially loved #19.

Here’s the link: http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/there-are-no-rules/the-rules-of-writing-according-to-famous-writers

What advice would you give writers today?

BREAKING NEWS: Domain Name Changes Tonight!

After much hesitation, I’m finally changing my domain name by tonight. If you haven’t seen a post from me tomorrow, it’s probably because of that. In order for me not to lose your valuable following, I suggest you check back on this domain name by this time tomorrow. WordPress says they would redirect you to my new blog and you can follow me there. You will probably notice that you are already following me. However, you won’t be able to receive my posts on your homepage unless you unfollow then refollow my blog on the new domain name.

I hope this is not so much of a hassle. I compiled a list of my most popular posts for you to enjoy meanwhile. Looking forward for your refollows and support as I take my blog to the next level.

Top Posts:

1) The Benefits of Writing a Terrible First Novel: https://margo187.wordpress.com/2014/06/30/the-benefits-of-writing-a-terrible-first-novel/

2) Four Questions Every Novelist Needs to Ask Himself: https://margo187.wordpress.com/2014/07/12/four-questions-every-novelist-needs-to-ask-himself/

3) The Unhealthy Writer: https://margo187.wordpress.com/2014/04/12/the-unhealthy-writer/

4) Don’t Cheat on Your Ideas: https://margo187.wordpress.com/2014/04/01/dont-cheat-on-your-ideas/

5) Let Go: https://margo187.wordpress.com/2013/05/25/let-go/

6) Published: https://margo187.wordpress.com/2013/11/12/published/

7) Finding the Balance: Between Writing and Building an Author Platform: https://margo187.wordpress.com/2014/06/26/finding-the-balance-between-writing-and-building-an-author-platform/

8) Virtual Past — A Poem: https://margo187.wordpress.com/2014/05/07/virtual-past-a-poem/

9) Black Spider — A Poem: https://margo187.wordpress.com/2014/04/09/black-spider/

10) Beyond The Sea — A Poem: https://margo187.wordpress.com/2014/06/23/beyond-the-sea-a-poem/

See you soon!

Finding the Balance: Between Writing and Building an Author Platform

I’m one of those guilty of neglecting one aspect of my life when the other gets hectic. For instance, I ignore my friends when my job gets demanding, and stop exercising as long as my jeans fit. As a writer I unintentionally create an imbalance between writing and building a platform. Though some argue that writing is far more important than the platform itself, finding a balance between the two is critical. I know this post is directed to writers, but anyone else looking to start a career or a business can relate to this.

First of all, let’s talk about the importance of building a platform. When writing, you work your brain’s muscles to the limits to come up with a piece of art. However, after the creative work is done, writing becomes a business, and the writer becomes a businessman who needs to pitch and sell his creations. That is when building a platform comes in. It’s like creating a market to sell your product to.

Creating this market can be performed through several venues: blogs, twitter accounts, Facebook’s personal and fan pages… All are important and efficient. However, the most important of all is timing. For instance, if you wrote a novel (or developed a product), found yourself a decent publisher (or investor), your book hit the bookstores, then you decided to start building a platform, then you are a tad too late. Not that no one will buy your book if you arrive late; the thing, however, is that you need to build a lasting connection with your readers.

Purchasing a book, like any other purchasing decision, undergoes a certain cognitive process that transports the consumer from the point of awareness of his need to point of purchase and beyond. To arrive at the purchase point, the customer needs to believe that the probability that he will regret the purchase is minimal. That’s when their familiarity with the writer (or any other professional) comes in handy. Your customers need to trust and be familiar with who you are as a writer and a person before they put money out of their pockets into yours. “[Trust] plays a vital role in almost any commerce involving monetary transactions,” says Dan J. Kim in his paper Trust and Satisfaction, Two Stepping Stones for Successful E-Commerce.

Also, many publishers (as well as investors) examine the size of your platform before they sign a book deal with the writer. Not that any book had been rejected due to the size of an author’s platform (unlike many business deals that get rejected if the entrepreneur doesn’t have a solid market platform). A decent following, therefore, is a major advantage in the eyes of investors.

Now that you know a couple of important reasons why building a platform is important, let’s talk about the balance between creating and selling. First, I’m one of those guilty of neglecting my blog on several occasions, especially when I’m too busy with writing. However, I discovered that staying active on social media was easier than I thought.

In you free time, write a number of posts for the coming week or so, and place them in a folder. Sure you will have time to post them online during the afternoon. There are also features on WordPress that helps you schedule your posts to appear at a certain time. That way you can remain active even in your sleep! In fact, this post you’re reading was scheduled to appear on your timeline from the night before. This feature can also be applied using an application like Tweetdeck for Twitter.

It’s important to know that staying connected is not just about posting, it’s also about interacting with your audience. Mingle with my followers by reading their posts and commenting on them from time to time. It’s a way of showing that you care and of saying: You’re not just a prospect buyer to me. At the end of the day, people who genuinely care about you are the ones who would support you the most. So strive to build lasting relations with those around you — even virtually.

How do you maintain a balance between doing your business and building your business’s platform?

Connect with me on Twitter: @MissBenison

Heads up: I’m changing the domain name for the blog soon. So if my posts stop appearing on your home page, then you probably need to un-follow then re-follow the blog. This is going to cost me a lot of followers, but I think it’s worth it to take my blog to the next level. Meanwhile, you can subscribe to my blog via email and stay updated.

Photo Credits: http://jarvismarketing.wordpress.com/2014/01/09/social-media-tips-for-2014/

The Unhealthy Writer


Leading a healthy lifestyle is an essential thing for me. When I’m healthy, not only do I look better in my slim jeans, but I also write better, think better, sleep better, and feel better about myself. Last year, I started an exercise regime which consisted of me working out at least three times a week. Recently, however, I have deviated from the norm and, with swimsuit season approaching, I feel awful about it.

Ever since I started writing my novel, I no longer had much time to do anything else. My mornings revolved around writing, noons and afternoons around studying, I edited in evenings, and at nights, well, I slept. I know that the old I don’t have time excuse is invalid. However, I will say that I was unable to manage my time in such a way as to fit exercising into my daily, or three-times weekly, routine.

I still exercise; I haven’t let myself go completely. However, with the long hours sitting on a chair and typing, staying active has become more important than ever for me to keep my body, and head, in a wholesome state.

To tell you the truth, my work out schedule isn’t the only thing that was affected during the time I was writing my novel. I had two novel-writing attempts before, one of which I quit on near the end while the other didn’t even make it to the middle. I learned a lot from my experiences, and am learning every day. So when I started writing a novel for the third time, I wanted it to be a charm. I put enormous pressure on myself to finish this story, regardless of how tired I was or what it would take from me. Something was going to give. However, I’m glad that something was my waistline instead of my novel.

I’m sure as I embark on writing other novels that I will find it easier to manage my time, as finishing a novel will no longer be a ghost looming over my shoulder. For the time being, I started to get back on track, and went for walk this morning.

How does writing affect your daily routine?


ImageTyping “The End” when you finish your manuscript gives you one of the most rewarding feelings in the world. It feels as if something that seemed impossible had just materialized. It’s like when you’re reading an engaging book and it ends. Oh, no! What happens next? I want to know more. I want to follow the journey of those people forever!
Of course, every journey should come to an end at some point or the other, and the journey of my character ended today. I love the way I ended the book, leaving it open to interpretations, yet, making it easy to guess where the character would go next.

I learned a lot throughout the past 90+ days and I can’t believe that I’m going to wake up tomorrow and not write another word in this novel. You won’t believe how arduous the past month has been. Those of you who wrote or are writing a novel know what I’m talking about. Once your manuscript nears the end, you feel your head going to explode as you make sure to tie loose ends and resolve the conflict in a smart, yet unpredicted, way.

The draft needs serious work, I know. I will let it rest for a few weeks, however, before I start editing, which is the part I dread the most. I get frustrated editing short stories, so you can only imagine what I will go through editing tens of thousands of words. You may encounter several nagging posts on my part in the near future, so be prepared.

Meanwhile, I will publish some writing tips on my blog, inspired by my experience. I’m no expert; that’s why the advice is free. Happy writing!

Read My Latest Article on Content Skin Magazine

CaptureCheck out my article, 5 Ways to Maintain Skin Deep Beauty, on page 55 of Content Skin magazine. Follow the link: http://www.magcloud.com/webviewer/728675?__r=459823&s=w

I hope you like it! 🙂

Misunderstood: Contented Vs. Contentious


No, Contentious is not derived from content. It’s not its adjective. It’s not another noun with the same meaning. It’s a totally different word that has a totally different meaning.

Content [kuhn-tent] or Contented [kuhn-ten-tid] (adj.):

satisfied, contempt, agreeing.


You can’t bribe me with your money, I’m contented with my own.

Contentious [kuhn-ten-shuhs] (adj.):

1. argumentative, quarrelsome.

2. causing argument or strife.


When the issue became contentious, the negotiation had to be halted until both parties regained their composure.