How To Use Your Questions to Complete Your Amazing Writing Plan

Today, we are going to add “triggers” to your questions in order to help you complete your amazing writing plan. In previous sessions, I talked about how to come up with a writing plan for your book. I’ve called some of the special parts of the plan, “block parties”. Today we are going to see how to finish setting up block parties for each of your chapters.

What I talked about in the past, for a non-fiction book, was to come up with a list of 9-15 questions that are grouped with various headings. For fiction, you may just have 9-15 questions (with no headings) that are grouped in the best order. This is what to do with those questions to come up with a great writing plan.

Three Things to Put With Your Questions in Order to Complete Your Amazing Writing Plan

Begin by coming up with a list of trigger words or phrases. Look at the first question, come up with a list of three trigger words, or three phrases that would remind you of the answer to that question. Or it could be a combination of trigger words and phrases. You might have: trigger word, trigger phrase, and trigger word; or you might have: trigger phrase, trigger phrase, and trigger word. You might have some other combination, but you will end up with a list of three trigger words or phrases for each question.

Then when you get ready to write, you don’t have to worry about writer’s block; you just read the questions and look at your trigger words or phrases. Set your timer for five, six, or up to 10 minutes (whatever length allows you to consistently complete 250 words or 2/3 of a page), as I talked about in previous sessions, and press start. Then write as quickly as you can. This is how the creative side of your brain kicks in and helps you to produce a sparkling rough draft.

Now, this is just a rough draft. Later on, you will leave out some things, you will add some things, and you’ll revise some things. The point is, that you will have something that you can edit.

So, as you look at a plan to complete your book, the best way to do it is to have this writing plan set up ahead of time for all of the chapters. Usually you will have anywhere from 10 to 20 chapters. Once you have all of that data you are ready to write, and you’re good to go. Most of all, you’ll be reminded that writing is fun! You don’t have to worry about writer’s block because you have those trigger words or phrases to get you started.

Whenever I did this with my first book, I did it with just three words per question. (Sometimes, the trigger “word” was a combination of two actual words that fit together. For instance, if you needed to have a negative in there, like, “Don’t quit,” you might need both of those. I let those count as one trigger word.) But I just had three trigger “words” to remind me of the answers to each of my questions.

Three New Items to Put With Each Question as You Complete Your Amazing Writing Plan

More recently, I have used suggested trigger words or phrases. I find it much easier to think of the phrases. So here is my suggestion and what I’m going to do the next time I use this method. I’m going to have the question, and I’m going to have the list of three trigger words or phrases. Then I’m going to pick out three powerful trigger words: A powerful trigger word can be a sight, a sound, or something to do with the senses. It can be an action, or it can be a particular noun that fits the answer to your questions. (Some of your already written trigger words may fit these categories. If so, feel free to list them again for your power words.) Those three Powerful trigger words will be written right below my three trigger words or phrases.

When you start the writing process for these questions, try to incorporate those three powerful words or phrases into the first paragraph. That will kick in the creative writing process even more. I would recommend this expansion of my original idea for you.

Anatomy of A Chapter Writing Plan

So here’s what your chapter your writing plan would look like. You have the working title of your chapter. Then you have your list of questions, and those questions would be grouped with headings. Underneath each question, you’d have three trigger words or phrases. Under that, you would pick out three of the most powerful trigger words. This will help you add the finishing touches as you complete your amazing writing plan.

When you get ready to write, look at the question and fix in your mind the three trigger words or phrases that are the answer to the question. Then Look at the powerful trigger words. Start writing with a goal of using those power words as quickly as possible. I’m looking forward to trying that the next time I use this writing plan.

I can tell you this: Having such a plan is great. It helps prevent writer’s block, and it helps you to write on days when you feel inspired. On those days when you don’t feel inspired, this process is very, very helpful. Then later on when you go back and look at the end result, you will have trouble figuring out which days you felt inspired and which days you didn’t. At least, I often find that to be true.

Well I hope this will be helpful to you. If you use these tips, you will complete your amazing writing plan.

If you find these tips to be informative or inspiring, you can find more here. You can also subscribe to my YouTube channel. If you put in a comment or a like, that will be helpful too. I also have a great course that puts all this together.

Would you like an example of how using these techniques to complete your amazing writing plan will work?

Try this little exercise: Write down a question. Below that, write three trigger words or phrases that remind you of the answer to the question. Right below that, write your thee powerful trigger words.

Now, don’t mull it over. If you have a timer, set it for five minutes. If you don’t have a timer, just look at your watch or a clock.

Now, without giving any more thought. Start writing as quickly as possible. Work in your power words ASAP. Then keep writing as fast as you can, including your other trigger words or phrases. Just keep going. Don’t think. Just write.

When the timer goes off or you see that five minutes are up. Stop!

Look at what you have written. How do you feel? Did it surprise you a little what you came up with?

This is how you can come up with a fun rough draft. Remember you can always edit later.

Please let us know, the results of this experiment for you. Just comment below.

Happy Writing!


Writing tips to use your questions to help you complete your amazing writing plan!

What to Do With Your List of Ideas – Planning Your Great Writing

Today we’re continuing to talk about planning your writing. During the first session, we talked about the need of coming up with a list of 12-18 chapter ideas. The second session in this series explained how to tighten those ideas by eliminating three of those items. So now you should have ended up with a list of 9 to 15 ideas. [Editor’s note: In the video, I talk about narrowing down to 12 ideas, but, actually it could go down to 9 ideas. In the written article, I correct this.] Now, what do you do with those 9 to 15 ideas?

I’m going to give you three optional things you can do, and two required things for planning your writing. When I say required, I mean they are required from the sense of using this quick-writing system.

Mind Map – Optional

The first one is, you can do a mind map. Now you may have already done that. However, after you have refined your list, you may want to do it again. It depends on how much you like mind maps. Mind maps are great tools for planning your writing.

At the center of your page, you write the topic or title of your chapter. Then you take your 9 to 15 ideas and run them out as strands, away from the center of the page, and that central idea. Draw a line out and put one of your 15 ideas there. Then write in another one that is related to that continued in a strand of thought. Draw another line up from that to the other one. You draw little circles around those, so it looks like cartoon thought bubbles.

Once that strand has run out, return to the center of the page. You draw another line out from the center, put another one of your ideas there; one that relates. After the first grouping of those, you continue that strand of thought. Keep doing that until you’ve used all of your ideas. This step is optional, but it would help clarify things in your mind.

Outline – Optional

Another optional thing to do, after you have made your mind map, is to reformulate it as an outline. Use Roman numerals for your major points, and letters or numbers for your sub-points.

Add Headings within Chapters – Optional

Here is another optional thing for planning your writing, but it is highly recommended. Put some headings within your chapters.

This is especially for nonfiction books. When we talk about fiction, then you don’t usually put the headings in. You would just want to have the order of your ideas, and they are arranged in the best way that fits your story.

Again, for nonfiction, this is optional, but I recommend you break up your chapter with some headings.

Now if you have done an outline. You have already figured out some likely content for headings because you have come up with some Roman numerals. Those more than likely would be your headings.

If you haven’t done the mind map and outline, and you just came up with your order of ideas, then look to see where you could insert some headings. Three to five would be a good number. But see what fits best in your mind with the topic of your chapter.

So we’ve got our three optional things: the mind map, the outline, and for nonfiction, it’s optional, but highly recommended, that you insert some headings.

Arranging Order – Required

Here’s what’s really necessary for using those 9 to 15 ideas. You need to arrange them in the best order. A mind map would help to clarify that somewhat because you had to group them together in strands of thoughts. You need to list these 9 to 15 ideas in the best order for you and for your reader.

Turn Ideas Into Questions – Required

After you have these 9 to 15 ideas, you’ve arranged them in the best order and possibly inserted some headings. The next thing for this system is to turn each of those ideas into a question.

Just put “who, what, when, where, why, or how” in front of your statement. Put a question mark at the end, and rearrange it to where it sounds right. You now have a list of 9 to 15 questions for each chapter of your book. If you had inserted headings, you would now have those headings sandwiched in between those questions at the appropriate places.

Remember when we talked about some secrets for writing? Getting your mind to get in gear? For instance, we said, write about cars. It may take you a while to think about that. But if you were to ask, “What kind of car do you have? What was your earliest car? What was the make of your earliest car? How did you like your earliest car? What kind of car do you have now? What color is your car?” you would find it much easier to write by answering questions.

When it comes time to write your chapters, you can just start writing by answering those questions. This is a great way to get away from writer’s block.

That’s the secret. Put those 9 to 15 items in the correct order, and then turn them into questions.

You can do that for fiction too. You will have a list, and it will probably be mostly composed of chronological events. You can turn those into questions. Then you will be ready to start writing.

I will have one more post following this strand of thought.

Today we’ve talked about what to do with your list of 9 to 15 items. To review: Optionally, you can do a mind map, form an outline, and (for nonfiction) add headings in between those ideas. Steps required for this method are: Put that list of 9 to 15 items in the correct order, and then, to really make this work, turn each of those ideas into a question.

So next time I post about writing, it will be telling you even more about how these questions can benefit you and get yourself triggered to write.

If you want more tips like these, check out more posts on my blog. You can also subscribe to my YouTube channel. If you put in a comment or a like, that will be helpful too. I also have a great course that puts all this together.

The #1 Secret for Writing Creativity

It seems like “fast” never quite rates “fast enough!” And when it comes to writing creativity any author will tell you that nothing ever seems to go as quickly as we want or expect. Well, let me do my part to help speed things up for you by giving you the #1 Secret to Writing Creativity.

We will look at why we should consider this secret, what it is, and how to go about putting it into practice.

Why We Should Consider this Writing Creativity Secret

There are at least three reasons for considering this secret. The first one has to do with speed, the second with overcoming a common problem, and the third with developing expertise. When combined, these tools will help you complete your book quickly.

It will help us get our books done fast. Getting done quickly will get you to the next step even sooner. Speed is one reason for using this secret.

Working faster will help prevent writer’s block. Writer’s block is defined as “the condition of being unable to think of what to write or how to proceed with writing”. That’s the last thing an aspiring author needs! Overcoming the common problem of writer’s block is a second reason for using this secret.

In addition, just like repetition does for craftspeople, writing rapidly will develop your expertise. An expert crafts person does things very well and very quickly. Think of a plumber working on a clogged sink. He comes in, assesses the problem, uses the necessary tools, and soon has things flowing again. By working quickly, he’s able to move on to the next job. The third reason for using this secret is that it will help you develop your expertise more and more.

What the Writing Creativity Secret Is

Fast writing. This is fairly straightforward. Simply tell yourself to write quickly, and follow through with that thought.

A great way to help stay on track is by creating a “deadline” for yourself. This is not a true deadline for submission; it’s a tool to help keep you focused. Set a timer for 5 to 10 minutes, or, if you’re really good at staying on task, and can write in flow, up to 25 minutes.

Regarding timers, there are many different types that can be used for this purpose. You may already own at least one form of a timer. Most new ovens have a built-in timer. An egg timer from the kitchen section of a department store would also be good. If you have a smartphone, it usually has a timer option. Smart home devices such as an Alexa can set a timer just by saying, “Alexa, set a timer for 10 minutes.”

Writing in these “bursts” will program your subconscious mind. It will say, ” Hey, he/she is really serious about this 5, 10, or 25-minute thing.” So, after a while, you’ll train your brain to put down the most important information first. That’s how your creative mind (or right brain) will begin to work. The more you do this, the more you will become like that crafts person.

Later, you will go back, and you will edit what you have written. This is when the left brain will kick in. When you do the analytical steps, that might be more your personality. Some of us have more of that carefree personality to begin with, so we like the right brain, creative process. Some of us are really analytical, so we like the editing phase of doing this. But I’m telling you, that if you will employ the technique of fast writing, you will find that your creativity kicks in more and more.

How to Put the Writing Creativity Secret Into Practice

It may seem counterintuitive, but just start writing. Don’t think, don’t correct or edit. Don’t even correct typos. (This is a hard one for me.) Just write.

You may come to something where you do need more research. Don’t let that bog you down. Don’t stop. just put in a placeholder like “***, XXX, or Tk.” You might understand how *** might work, and you might understand how XXX could work, but the Tk might confuse you. When I heard about this, the idea was that the letters “t” and “k” do not appear next to each other in any word in the English language.

The idea is that you will put in something that you can do a search for in your word-processing document. When you are in the editing phase, you can search for those places and replace the placeholders with the answers to your questions.

When you are forcing yourself to “just write,” there may be times when you have to write, “I don’t know what to say next but I’m going to keep going.” Of course, that will be edited out later.

Once your timer goes off, stop. Just put an ellipsis (…) at the end. You can come back and complete your thought later. When you write this way, it will kick-start your creativity. The idea is to force yourself to write as quickly as you can while you are in this rough draft phase.

So there you have it! The reasons, the description, and some tips to help any and every author to write quickly and with wonderful freedom of thought.

Give this a try, just don’t give up after 3 or 4 attempts. It can take a few days to get into the flow. Once you learn how to do that, you will be motivated to write more and more as time progresses.

As you can see, fast writing is the #1 secret to writing creativity, and putting it into practice will amaze you at your increase in productivity.

By the way, if you really want to be able to write with freedom of thought, this Creative Writing Course “6-Figure Writing” lays it all out for you! Check it out here.

I wish you well in your writing projects. If you would like more writing tips like these, click here.

Learn to Figure out What Kind of Book You Want to Write – Just Like a Pro

What Kind of a Book Do I Want?

Writing a book is something that over 80% of Americans would like to accomplish in their lifetimes. Yet, far less than five percent, maybe even less that one or two percent seem to actually accomplish their desire. That does not have to be you.

One of the most basic things you can do to write like a pro is to clarify what kind of book you want to write. There are several options from which to choose. Let’s begin by discussing three basic questions.

Question #1 – Fiction Or Nonfiction?

Do you want to write primarily fiction? Who doesn’t love a good thriller or a mystery? How about historical fiction?

Genres such as mystery, thriller, and romance are just a few of the options here. If fiction is your choice, you will want to learn about the “Hero’s Journey”. You will use a lot of elements of storytelling. The hero’s journey has been broken down to show elements that are often seen in three act plays. You can see these in movies and television shows as well.

Do you want to write primarily nonfiction? It may be a “how-to book”. It may be a descriptive book. It may be a book about history or some aspect of a religious text. You can still use many narrative elements. In fact, adding narrative elements will make your book with necessary information in it much more interesting for the reader.

What about Memoirs? Unless you are nationally famous already, the story of your life may be hard to market.

Here is a way to use your life story, or at least parts of that story in your nonfiction books. Intersperse your nonfiction book with all kinds of stories from your life. Interesting stories may help generate positive buzz about your work.

Question #2 – Digital Or Print?

Why would I even ask this?

A few years ago, the sales of digital books surpassed those of print books according to estimates of sales on Amazon.com. Those statistics were mainly for the years of 2011 and 2012.

Since then, the popularity of print books returned.

What that means for you as an aspiring author is that your first book does not have to be a lengthy book. An ebook may be the way for you to go as you wade your way into the process of being an author. An ebook may be much shorter than a print book. The additional appeal of “instant gratification” for the consumer makes the idea of an e-book a good choice for some authors.

Question #3 – Long Book Or Short Book?

I will just give some general observations at this time. At a later date, I will discuss this a little more.

Several years ago, a chapter was considered to be about ten pages long-the amount of time it takes to read one on your lunch break or right before going to sleep.

Just as a chapter was considered to be 10 pages long, an averaged-size book was considered to be about 200 pages long.

Research gave the following generalizations: Nonfiction – 200 pages; mystery – 280; novel 400-500. Ebooks – 25 pages-to the size of print books. (Some are even shorter, down to 8 pages.)

An ebook can be as long as a print book because it is a good idea to have your book in both print and digital form. If you are producing only an ebook, 25-100 pages is quite an acceptable length.

So, here are the big takeaways for every author:
Use these questions to figure out what kind of book you want:
Do I want fiction or nonfiction?
Do I want digital or print?
Do I want a long book or a short book?

The point here is that you can clarify what kind of book you want to write without having to be afraid of going about planning a book in the wrong way.

Now, if you’re an author who is genuinely interested in how to make this even easier, drop what you’re doing and check out my course on How to Write a Book in 28 Days or Less Without Stressing Yourself to Death! To find out more, Click Here.

With this tool, you can clarify what kind of book you want to write and write a good book swiftly… without having to be afraid of going about planning a book in the wrong way!

If you would like more writing tips like these, you can click on the “writing” tab above

Happy Writing!

Three Insider Tips for Writing Quickly and Easily that Every Brand New Author Needs to Know

Happy Writer

Happy WriterWhat are three insider tips for writing quickly and easily that every brand new author needs to know?

The accompanying video is the first edition of “Walking with Randy.” A few months ago I started walking. I started out getting 2000 steps a day, and then I worked my way up to 10,000. I think 10,000 is a good number, so I’m probably not going to try to progress much beyond that.

Walking with Randy

In this article, I’m going to talk about insider tips for writing quickly and easily

for brand new authors.

Find Time to Write

The first tip is to find time to set aside for writing. We need to realize that we all have the same amount of time. We have more than 10,000 minutes every week. Before we talk about regularly scheduled time, though, we need to find snatches of time hidden within our days. For instance, we find that we spend a lot of time waiting. If we plan ahead a little, we can redeem that time. Your waiting time could be used for writing. If you had a little notebook or computer tablet with you, you could spend that time writing.

In preparation for setting aside exclusive times to write, we need to examine what we do regularly. Do you find that you spend a lot of time on lesser pursuits? Maybe those activities are not bad in themselves, but do you have times that could be spend on more productive tasks?

An example of using waiting time could be seen in going to the doctor’s office. Nowadays, you might be asked to wait in your car before going in to actually see the doctor. Under more normal circumstances, you might be asked to sit in the waiting room. While you are doing that, you could read one of their magazines. You may have planned ahead and brought your own reading material. However, if you brought your writing materials, whether they be paper or digital, you could use that waiting time to move your project along.

The next thing is to be intentional in setting aside time exclusively for writing. You might be able to write for 15 minutes on your lunch hour.

You might decide to get up earlier, or, if you are quite productive at night, you might decide to set aside some extra time by going to bed later.

You also, could combine all three of the above times by getting up a half-hour earlier, writing 15 minutes at lunch, and going to bed a half-hour later.

If you can find 75 minutes in your day, you can complete a chapter. That would mean you could complete the rough draft of an average-sized 200-page book that included 20 chapters in just 20 working days!

By then, you would have your “book.” Granted it will be a rough draft, but the book is basically done. Then you will polish the book and make it great.

Create Short Artificial Deadlines

Alarm Deadline

The second tip is to create artificial deadlines. Suppose you give yourself five minutes to write on a certain topic, five or six minutes, or maybe 10 minutes. A lot of writers have found this to be very beneficial in helping them to get certain projects done.

Now, by making the deadlines, small like that, the whole process helps prevent the feeling of overwhelm.

Shorter deadlines also helps with procrastination, because it doesn’t seem so insurmountable to write for just a little project, instead of a big long one. For instance, if you had your chapter broken down into anywhere from 12 to 15 little five minute projects. You could get a chapter done easily by writing, and meeting those short artificial deadlines.

You see? We respond to deadlines. If you spent some time in college, you might have told an all-nighter or two in order to get a paper done. You had two or three months to get it done, but the deadline was looming it had to be turned in the next day. Or, how many of us have gone to the post office with our tax forms on April 15? I know I have done that a few times. So, we respond to deadlines. To get the ball rolling, create your own artificial deadlines. I would recommend that you create five, six, or 10 minute deadlines.

These short deadlines will help you to get over perfectionism. When you have a deadline of five or ten minutes, you don’t have time to agonize over every word. Of course your writing should be the best you can make it, but that will be accomplished in the editing process (whether you do some editing each day or at the end of the first draft). Right now, your goal is to get the ideas on paper.

Write in Answer to Questions

The third tip is to write in answer to questions. You see, our minds are programmed to answer questions. We know six words that help us with questions. When we hear a group of words starting with one of these particular words. We know that group of works is a question. That can help us with writing because our minds are programmed to answer those questions. I’m sure you have guessed by now, but those words are, “who, what, when, where, why, and how.” I would also add to this list a couple of two word questions, such as, “What then?” and “So what?”

Well, those are some tips for being able to write quickly and easily. First of all you have to find a time to write. Second, you need to create some artificial deadlines and doing that will help you to get your work done. I didn’t mention it, or maybe I did but this helps was perfectionism. Third you should write in answer to questions.

These are the insider tips for writing quickly and easily that every brand new author needs to know.

If you would like more writing tips like these, click here.

If you would like some more in depth encouragement for writing that would move you along step-by-step toward your goal of writing your book, click here.

What Is the Cumulative Effect? Encouragement?

What is the cumulative that causes encouragement. I had accomplished much more than I realized.

I have been involved in a writing project that has taken far longer than I anticipated. I have written snippets, research items, whole paragraphs, and rough-drafted chapters. My discouragement has slowed me down at times. Most of those items have been collected in a writing application known as Scrivener. What is the cumulative effect of all this effort?

Besides items saved in Scrivener, several of the chapters were already saved in a Word document.

I was discouraged because of the difficulty of collaborating with extremely busy co-authors (through nobody’s fault), the struggle with producing “good-enough” writing, and working within my own busy schedule. Finally I came to the end of what some writing coaches call, “the vomit draft.” I decided to print out the whole thing and put it in a notebook.

What is the cumulative effect of scattered writing?
What is the cumulative effect of scattered writing? Encouragement when it is all put together.

This is not the actual title or cover art for the book.

The encouraging thing that happened when I printed this out is that it came to 450 pages. It is double-spaced, but it would probably be 300-350 pages even single-spaced.

What is the cumulative that causes encouragement. I had accomplished much more than I realized.
What is the cumulative that causes encouragement? I had accomplished much more than I realized.

When it comes to writing a rough draft, you just need to keep plugging away. Part of the reason I was discouraged on this project is because I teach on the topic of How to Write a Book in 28 Days or Less – Without Stressing Yourself to Death. I have accomplished that task more than once, but this was a different kind of project.

Since I had the writing scattered in different places, I really didn’t know how much had been accomplished.

By having this volume of material, It will be a matter of tightening the writing. Many editors actually describe editing as cutting out much of the material. That will certainly be necessary here, but it is encouraging to know that I can be ruthless in that cutting process.

What is the cumulative effect of the scattered writing? The sheer volume means I can be ruthless in editing.
What is the cumulative effect of the scattered writing? The sheer volume means I can be ruthless in editing.

If I had not printed the paper copy, I would not have realized what had been accomplished up to the point.

There is still a ton of work to do, but at least a rough draft is done.

This experience has shown the importance of perseverance in writing.

Have you had similar experiences in hitting roadblocks in writing or in reaching business goals? We would really be glad to hear from you. You could ask a question, or, better yet, give us some helpful tips in the comments section below.

Life Is Short – Time Management Techniques and Strategies for Writers

I have three friends who have reminded me that time is short – even when it might seem long. Each reminded me of the need for making the most of the time we have. Since I am a writer and some of you are writers, this concept reinforces even more the need for time management techniques and strategies for writers.

Time management techniques and Strategies for Writers

First, my friend, Roger, with whom I have gone on several missions trips for the ministry of which he was director, had a heart catheterization a couple of days ago. The doctors said his heart is strong, but there were some other issues that would continue to give him some problems. He is still with us, and he even said, “I’ll probably see you Thursday.”

Thursday is when we meet together with a prayer- and Bible-study group. Then after that, I always say, “is when we have the real meeting.” Several of us follow up by eating breakfast together.

Then I had another friend, Jim, who had some heart problems last year, received word later in the year that certain tests showed a high likelihood of cancer. He went back for another test, and the indicators were not as great. So, the doctors then wanted him to have an MRI that would be very specific to their suspicions.

When Jim met with the doctor for the results, the doctor said, “I don’t know how to explain it, but the results are zero.” Jim said he knew how to explain it because many people, and especially his wife, had been praying for him!

Last Sunday we went to the memorial service for Aunt Dorothy, my wife’s aunt who passed away. You see Aunt Dorothy was able to stay in her own home until she passed away. In a couple of weeks, she would have been 100. She said, after a visit to the doctor, “No one knows how much time they have.”

None of us know how much time we have, so we should make the best of the days we do have.

In order to beat the enemy of procrastination, writers have to set up deadlines. If they don’t have those, they may never get done. They can be self imposed or they can be put in place by a publisher.

I would like to give you a free gift, “Time Management for Writers.” Get it quickly because I am going to have to shorten the report. Many of my friends tell me that I have “given away the farm” with this report. In fact one friend put the info in place and finished his book. That is great, but, really I am offering a coaching program that will walk others through the process of getting their dream books done. Some will get this report and still want the extra benefits of coaching, but, like I say, there is enough here to help you get your book done. Just fill out the info below to sign up.




Now, if you wait till the report is revised, you will still get a great value. It’s just that I probably won’t give away the farm completely forever.

Go here to check out some more about writing your book.

Business Writing Tools – Creating Great Images and Graphics

When you are involved in writing on the internet, you want to have quality content, and you want to be as efficient as possible when you create it. I am going to give you an example in this post for one of the best business writing tools – creating great images and graphics is entirely possible with this WordPress plugin.

Your Image

The image above, highlighting my writing, speaking and coaching business was created right in the WordPress document.

I liked it very much.

Business-writing tools are very important for any business. First of all, you are likely to have a website, and you will have to have content on your website.

Then, you don’t want it to be just any content. Rather, you will want to have useful content. In order for the useful content to have a hearing, though, it will need to be appealing.

One of the things that adds value to any webpage, blog, or article is an image. Having several relevant images is even better.

Aside from a website or a blog, you are likely also to produce other types of written content. You may write an ebook (or a print book, for that matter). Images add value to that medium.

In this article, we will look at three aspects of image creation for our websites. First we will see what some of the options are. Second, we will see a new option that has become available as I write this. Third, we will discuss the likability factor of these types of image creation.

The Old Standards – Previous Options

You can get a really good program – one that is an old standard. The problem with it at present is that for some of who are beginners, it may “cost us an arm and a leg!”

Fortunately, there is a similar open-source option that has been available for a while too. Many think it is almost as good as the more expensive option.

We bring these up because they are really good programs. They have even become know as the old standards in the image-creation field.

That first one is known as Photoshop (Notice that Adobe Photoshop has registered trademarks for both terms–Adobe and Photoshop). It is an excellent program. One of the things that add such value to it is the ability to work with images in layers.

Actually, many of us think that the price for such a great program is very reasonable, but for the person starting out, it may seem a little pricy.

The open-source program is very similar to Photoshop, but it is free. It is called, GIMP. GIMP stands for GNU Image Manipulation Program. It, like Photoshop, allows you work with layers.

Both programs have features that let you filter the images and adjust the color and transparency of each layered image, as well as many advanced features.

Are there any other options?

What Else Can We Do? – A New Option

We have discussed these two good programs. However, if you are using a website builder, you will likely have a box called a content editor where you put in your words, and of course you can input your pictures too.

WordPress is one such website builder with which many of us are familiar. In fact, I am writing this post using that platform.

Using both GIMP and Photoshop, you have to go outside of the content editor and work on your photos or other images. You can crop the photos or resize them. Sometimes you can flip the horizontal or vertical direction of the photo, as well as doing many other things. Once you have your image edited to your satisfaction, you can save it to a file.

Then you can go to your content editor and input the image. Usually, the editor will give you the option to import the image from the file where you stored it.

That is all good, but wouldn’t if be great if you could work with editing the image right in the content box instead of having to go outside the website builder?

Well, there is good news.

There is a newer option. It is called DesignLike Pro. You can start with your images right inside the content editor in WordPress. Then you can click on a button to edit right there.

I am trying it right now.

I just took a screen shot on my MacBook Pro.

DesignLike Pro Example

Those of you who use WordPress will recognize the content editor. Notice that at the very top, there is an option to “Insert Design.” Since I have already installed the Plugin, it took me right to a screen where I could begin working on images.

Notice the blue background. That started out as an image similar to a business card or a larger image like a website header. Since it allows me to work with layers, I just kept clicking on the text and pictures and deleting those items.

Then I added an image. I was able to go to my desktop and get the screen shot. Now that I have already done that, it shows up in my image gallery, and it will be even easier to insert if I want to use it again.

Let me try some more examples:

I am going to “Insert Design.”

DLP Example 3

I clicked on the image to enjoy Lifestyle, Then I saved and inserted it here.

Your Image

Now if I want to edit this image, I just click on it, and the orange pencil icon appears. I can click on that right here in Word Press. Then I can start deleting or adding to layers.

Let’s delete some.

Notice that it deleted the word, “Lifestyle.”

Your Image

Then I deleted the layers that had the Facebook icon, and the words, “Come to join our facebook page.”

You get the idea. I can do all of this within the word press editor.

Will I like It? – Advantages of the New Option

I guess I can only answer for myself, and I have only had it for two days, but, “Yes! I do like it.”

It is not free, but it is much less than photoshop, and I really like being able to work with the layers (and it has some other editing features too) without having to go outside of what I am already doing.

Conclusion

So, yes, we have three great options. They all have their advantages. I do like the DesignLike Pro.

If you would like more writing tips, you may go to DrRandyCarney.com where you could download a free gift of “Time Management for Writers.”

I wonder if any of you have used this program.

What do you think about the idea of having something like this as a plugin for WordPress?

Creative Writing Tips Beginners Love to Hear

See the clock? it represents time passing.

It also relates to some creative writing tips beginners love to hear about.

Many beginners wonder, “Can I even get a writing project completed at all.”

Here are three tips that will help them (or you) to get that first book or project off to a good start.

Set Time Goals

Tip number 1 encourages you to decide to write for a specified amount of time.

You might want to write for five or ten minutes at a time.  If you want to make sure you get a certain amount of words, set a timer. Then write. Force yourself to write.

Keep writing for the specified amount of time.

Kitchen Timer

When you do this, you might end up being surprised at some unexpected ideas that come your way.

The other thing about having the time limit is that we respond to deadlines. Have you ever pulled an “all-nighter” when a certain project was due.

The key is to have a self-imposed deadline that is not as drastic as having to write all night long.

Just Get It Out There, To Begin With

Tip number 2 encourages you to get the rough draft of your project done before you do extensive editing. Just get the rough draft out there.

You can’t edit unless you have something to edit.

At the very beginning stage of your writing project, the goal is to get a certain amount of words on paper or in your word processor.typing

You can even write so fast that you just pass up many corrections. You might know that you have a mispelled word or two. When your timer goes off, you can do some cleaning up then, but this is not the time for extensive rewriting.

You will be quite encouraged when you actually have a project on paper.

Edit Later

The third tip will help you not to feel so bad about leaving some of your mistakes in your rough draft when you try to meet the time goals. That tip is: Get the rough draft done, and then edit later.

When you have a rough draft, you are ready to really get things in shape.

When you do it this way, what you have already done is not set in stone. You don’t have to have the pressure of having produced a perfect product. In fact, you know from the start that the first draft is going to be far from perfect. On the other hand, you will actually have something done.

Some people write a paragraph or a few paragraphs. Then they get in perfectionistic mode by editing, and editing, and editing. If they are not careful, the will be spending all their time getting a few pages perfect.

Magnifying glass

Most people will be a lot more productive by getting a first draft of their entire project done.

Then, they can begin the process of editing. It is also good to set time goals for editing sessions too.

You might want to edit a chapter one day, let it rest overnight, and do it again the next day. Each time, however, give yourself a specified amount of time to spend on the editing process.

We have looked at three tips for getting your writing project rolling.

Write in five or ten minute blocks of time. Make each session a deadline, and you will get the rough draft finished. Then you will know that you can write a book-length project.

Secondly, don’t be perfectionistic about the first draft. Just get it out there!

Finally, edit the project later. This is when you can make the book shine.

If you would like a free report about time management for speakers who desire to be writers, go to DrRandyCarney.com, and click on the box on the right side of the page.

Copyright 2018 Randy Carney