My writing for Medium.com took my focus away from building my own brand.
Writing for Medium.com is fun and easy to do. But not all writers who spend time and energy posting stories, reap the benefits they expect. That was why I created NotMedium.net and I’m working to establish my own brand.
The Medium Brand
When you write for Medium.com you are writing for the Medium brand. Even though they are a popular website and they have a good brand, it is still their brand, not yours. Your efforts to piggyback off their brand just might not work.
I’ve been a writer and member of Medium.com since the summer of 2019. I learned some valuable information about what online readers enjoy. I even discovered the new way that online readers prefer article content to be arranged.
But there is something writers should know about writing for Medium.com. The truth is, not every writer benefits. Many writers spend time crafting articles and stories for Medium, but they fail to get the results they hope for.
Reading On Medium
Online readers have a vast array of both good and bad content to choose from.
Reading on Medium is what prompted me to start writing my own articles and stories for the website. Medium stories (as they are mostly referred to) have a certain appeal to readers. The site is clean and crisp and makes you want to read.
Personally, I was drawn in by the conversational style and tone of the content available on the site. There is a huge diversity of Medium writers. More and more writers seem to sign up everyday.
Medium has all different kinds of people, from everywhere, and every walk of life. There is no shortage of article and story topics to be found on Medium.com. Online readers have a vast array of both good and bad content to choose from.
Becoming a paid member ($5 monthly) on Medium was a no brainer for me. I didn’t mind paying, since I really enjoyed reading the interesting articles. They send regular emails about new titles. Eventually, I became one of their writers.
Writing for Medium
Writing personal essays and sharing stories (like your own writing experiences) can be a source of motivation to both the writer and the reader. If you get enough views and applause, you can even earn some monetary compensation.
Medium encourages writing in a more personal way, but there seems to be a downfall if you happen to be too specific. That might have been the reason some of my own stories were overlooked.
Writing for Medium requires publishing content unique enough to be interesting, but similar enough to be relatable. I understand what Medium.com wants, but since I don’t always want to give it, I’m not always a good fit.
Are you the kind of writer that hates being put into a box? I am. But what happens if you mistakenly start to believe you can publish whatever you want? Your writing won’t stand a chance of being read on the Medium.com platform.
Neglecting Your Brand
Neglecting your own brand should not be an option when you’re a writer. You should be your first priority, and everything else should be done to help improve, enhance and expose your own brand, not someone else’s.
If you agree with the above statement, you’re probably not a good fit for Medium.com. To be a successful article writer on Medium, you MUST put in quality time and really learn how to finesse the website.
I never planned to get so tied up with Medium.com. But as soon as I started writing for them, I got hooked. Before I knew what was happening, I was spending all my time doing nothing but writing for their website. Suddenly, Medium.com became my total focus as a writer.
Whether you’re a self-published author with other writing obligations, or just a blogger or freelance article writer; Medium.com should not be your total focus. Nothing should prevent you from establishing and building your own brand.
Benefit Every Writer
Visibility is something that can benefit every writer, so it really helps when you get exposure for the articles, stories, and personal essays you post on Medium.com. The problem is, not every writer will actually get exposure on Medium.
In reality, you will get very little exposure, if your writing is not selected by Medium to be “curated.” If you fail to land in one of the popular Medium publications, chances are, your article will basically go unread.
Medium.com allows you to create a publication, as a way to distinguish yourself from other writers. But you still need to build a fan base of readers to follow the publication. You are the one who has to make it popular with online readers.
Who is the one exerting them self on social media, promoting your Medium stories and articles? You have to be responsible for getting eyeballs on your writing, not the other way around.
Medium may not benefit every writer who writes for them, but many of those writers may actually benefit Medium. If you are busy driving traffic to your writing on Medium.com, you are definitely one of the latter writers.
Not Medium Writing
This year, I decided to stop putting all my energy into helping someone else’s writing platform. I created NotMedium.net so I could have my own publishing platform.
I believe it makes more sense to be a big fish in my own little pond, right here at NotMedium.net. Over at Medium.com, I’m nothing more than a little guppy in an ocean full of countless fish.
Authors, bloggers, freelance article writers; you can’t afford not to look at the big picture. Don’t put all your time, energy and skills into helping someone else and their brand succeed.
Are you busy driving traffic and social media followers to the Medium website? Maybe it’s time you create and start establishing your own brand. Don’t be afraid to do something else besides write for Medium.
Has your WordPress blog Sitemap been introduced to Google and other search engines?
My sitemap for this NotMedium.net WordPress blog has been created and submitted. A sitemap is a type of directory, listing the pages on your site, and the way you prioritize them. This is believed to be an important step for your site.
It enables Google and other top search engines to index the pages on your website or blog. Some web owners don’t take having their site indexed as seriously as they should.
Why should anyone care if Google is indexing their site or not? Don’t websites just automatically pop up in Google’s search results, if you happen to type in the right information?
The following paragraphs will show how that is not the case, and also try to help you understand why you should care.
Sitemaps Like Raffles
A good way to think about the importance of submitting
your sitemap is to compare it to entering a raffle. The sitemap serves as a directory page, and
helps visitors discover your content, so you WIN by making Google aware of your
site. But just like winning a raffle,
you have to enter, to be eligible to win.
If you fail to submit your sitemap to Google, there’s
no real expectation of being discovered, or winning,
because you never entered the raffle.
All the SEO experts indicate that one of the best
things you can do for your site, is to try and generate organic traffic; the
kind of traffic you get when people actively search for whatever it is you
What better place to be visible and searchable, than the almighty Google search engine? So, the way you properly introduce your website or blog to the search engines (Google and all the rest), is to create and submit a sitemap.
Search engines read sitemaps that have an .xml extension, but what about sitemaps for humans? They come in handy also.
Sitemaps for Humans
While it is definitely true that you should have a
sitemap that the search engines can communicate with, it is also a good idea to
have a sitemap created for humans to view, namely, your visitors.
This kind of sitemap can help visitors find pages on your site more quickly and easily, but it also serves another purpose. According to an article in Search Engine Journal, “… HTML sitemaps represent a very efficient way to distribute your link juice among the pages of your site.”
What does that mean for the site
owner? It means that your .htmlsitemap can help
steer visitors to specific pages, and at the same time, help improve the
ranking of those pages.
The main take-away from this brief post should be that, at the very least, you create and submit a .xml sitemap for your website or blog, as soon as possible. The sooner you do, the sooner those search engines can start crawling your site.
Even if you still don’t totally understand the need for having and submitting a sitemap to the search engines, it’s still in your best interest to do it.
My .xml sitemap has been submitted to the search engines, and now, I’m working on my .html sitemap, so I can post it in my site’s directory.
Both fiction writing, and journal writing can help purge painful memories of abuse.
Oftentimes, former victims of abuse find it hard to talk about the emotional pain they still feel. When this happens, there are various writing methods a person can try, to help them find at least a degree of healing,
Here’s how that works. All writing can basically be considered as creative, even when it’s not fiction writing; and different types of creativity can be employed, in order to help people heal.
In this way, you can help yourself learn to gradually feel better and heal, whether you write in a journal every day, or your writing consists of short stories or other works of fiction.
Healing Victims of Abuse?
Sometimes, life deals people a really crappy hand, and all you can do is play the cards that you’re dealt. This was true for me as a kid, just like it was for lots of other unfortunate children who grow up in foster care.
Kids like us were no strangers to abuse, both before and after entering the system.
Physical, and even verbal abuse can both have side effects, but sexual abuse can often do the most emotional damage; damage that no one can see with the naked eye.
This is especially true if the victim never confided or told anyone; thus was never really able to find healing.
Seeking Survival Strategies
Sufferers from abuse must have effective survival strategies, in order to cope with the emotional aftermath.
These “survival strategies” amount to finding different ways just to live with yourself. For me personally, writing is one of the best and most effective ways.
No matter who the abuser was and how long the abuse lasted, just because you were able to move on doesn’t mean that you’re truly okay. In fact, in many ways, you may never be okay.
The best that most survivors can ever dare hope for is a healthy coping mechanism. For a lot of us survivors, that coping mechanism is (or can be) writing.
Sometimes, adults who were victims of abuse can find the true healing they need, by articulating their pain through writing. I found this to be true in my own case, and I firmly believe that others can do the same.
It’s really liberating, expressing yourself and your pain, through some form of creativity. Even though it doesn’t necessarily have to be writing, and some other creative activity might do, writing is an excellent way to purge yourself.
Journal Writing Fear
When I first started journal writing, I was timid and too afraid to write what I was really feeling. Even though I knew I had absolutely no plans for anyone else to read what I wrote, I still censored myself for a long time.
It took months for me to finally get comfortable with the idea of jotting down precisely what was on my mind.
journal writing allowed me to clear my head of private thoughts that
made me anxious or full of negative energy. I began regurgitating all
those bad memories that secretly haunted my subconscious, just like
demons in my sleep.
Before I knew it, I was writing about things buried so deep in my mind that I never even knew they were there. I guess you could say I kind of underwent a form of hypnosis through my writing.
It would still take several years before I really started sharing my truth, but thanks to journaling, the healing process had begun.
Fiction Brings Freedom
My love for words and books has always been evident; in school when I was young, and also when I got older and became a journalism major.
While using my creativity and writing a work of fiction, I took the opportunity to inject some actual childhood events. This helped add authenticity to the type of story I was crafting.
Gradually, I was able to open up about quite a few painful and very personal experiences. Since releasing my book in 2014, more and more, I’ve been able to write about difficult topics, and not even hiding behind fiction to do it.
Revealing my truth through fiction finally brought me a sense of freedom from the past. It propelled me down the road to recovery and true healing. But you don’t have to have a painful past of child abuse to be in need of some kind of healing.
Your pain may stem from someone or something else, that you haven’t been able to totally recover from. Perhaps writing about it can help.
Give Writing a Try
If you’re intimidated by the idea of putting your deepest and darkest secrets down on paper (or a computer screen), why not start off simple. First get used to writing your thoughts and ideas that are not so dark or secret, merely just private thoughts.
Try hard not to censor yourself. It’s won’t be easy, but you have got to get used to the idea of writing like no one will read what you write (because after all, no one really has to).
The more you write, the easier it will start to get. Don’t bother trying to go over what you write, at least not anytime soon. You should not allow yourself to get stuck on going over your words and editing your “freestyle” work.
The whole point of this type of therapeutic writing is to get it out, not to read it; not even to share it, but simply to get it out.
There’s no better time than the present to start writing to emancipate yourself. Don’t plan what you will say or think about it, just write. Don’t underestimate the power of writing. It might just be the type of creative healing you need.
Toxic friends affect your productivity, when you’re a freelancer or entrepreneur.
A surefire way of telling if you have a toxic friend (or more than one), is to evaluate how they have treated you, over the course of your friendship.
Every friendship has it’s ups and downs, but overall, genuine friends should have a healthy give and take relationship. Does that sound like you and your friend(s). Whether it does or not, keep reading and you’ll learn more.
Friends and Productivity
All of us at one time or another, has had a toxic friend. You may even have one right now, but the question is, do you know that they’re toxic? Better yet, could you ever resist the charm of a toxic friend, and be able to put them out of your life if it became necessary?
In a minute I’ll discuss some basic characteristics of the typical toxic friend, like the fact that they can always get you to do stupid, embarrassing stuff that you end up regretting later on.
Under normal circumstances, having a toxic friend might simply amount to daily inconveniences or occasional embarrassment. But when you’re a freelancer or entrepreneur (especially just starting out), having a toxic friend could end up affecting your productivity.
In some cases, it might even be completely bad for business; at least that’s how it was for me. I was in the business of writing, and my friend tried to minimize my accomplishments.
Signs of Toxicity
Recognizing toxic behavior is not always easy to do, at least not right away. Of course, there are exceptions to the rules, but most toxic friends will appear as wolves in sheep’s clothing at the start of a friendship.
Then again, you may luck out like I did, and end up with two toxic friends; one of each kind. For anonymity sake, I’ll just call them Janice and Tina.
I knew Janice was trouble from day one, though I wouldn’t have used the phrase toxic. On the other hand, Tina was the kind of toxic that you didn’t recognize until it was way too late to care, or to do anything about it.
It’s not that her negative traits weren’t there all along, because they were. But sometimes we’re so busy being charmed by the toxic friend’s personality, that we fail to realize who they really are.
Allow me to clarify what I mean by my definition of toxic friends, since people have different views about what the expression means to them. As you read the following questions and form answers in your head, don’t focus on the specifics of the question.
It doesn’t matter if it’s asking about going dancing or some other activity that you and your friends don’t even engage in. Just focus on the point of the question. Make sure you answer honestly, because if you don’t, you’re only fooling yourself.
Do you know someone who is only your friend when you agree to do what they want?
Who decides which fast food joint or restaurant to eat at after shopping or a sporting event?
Who always chooses the dvd or latest movie release you go to check out on a Friday evening?
Is the choice of club, bar or other Saturday night activity always left up to them?
The above questions are not a fair gauge for determining the levels of toxicity in your friends. But they can cause you to start giving some thought to the true nature of your friendships. The answers may not seem like a big deal, even if they simply show how selfish one or more of your friends happen to be.
However, if you start asking yourself some other serious questions, along the same line of thought, you may be surprised at what you discover.
If you have a new startup business or idea, or you work in some kind of freelance capacity, you definitely need to be surrounded by genuine friends. Entrepreneurs and creative people who work for themselves have a constant inner struggle.
We’re always worrying about self-imposed timetables, deadlines and other goal-related burdens that we tend to carry. It’s critical that we have sincere friends around who are understanding, supportive and most of all, encouraging.
These additional questions are more serious and can reflect how your friends really feel about what you’re trying to achieve:
Does my friend encourage me about my business plans and goals OR constantly put my ideas down?
Does my friend respect my financial responsibilities and limitations due to my future plans and goals?
Does my friend try to coerce, cajole or intimidate me into unnecessary spending?
Does my friend respect my time and also recognize my need for rest, due to my current business related activities?
By looking at this new set of questions and thinking about the responses, you can see how the answers could have an adverse effect on whatever plans and business goals you have for your future.
Since toxic people tend to be irresponsible themselves, they could care less about the responsibilities that you have. All it takes is one toxic friend to cause your life to get completely off course.
If I had to pick a trait to put at the top of the toxic people list, I’d have to go with selfishness. Toxic friends can pollute a situation because of this negative characteristic. A close runner up would be jealousy, because selfishness and jealousy often go hand-in-hand.
If someone in your life displays these traits on a regular basis, they could prove to be a liability to your future dreams and business endeavors.
My dream to become a writer happened late in life when I went back to school after marriage, a kid, and a divorce ten years later. That’s where I met Tina, at community college, on the first day of our journalism class.
The following week, we were assigned to do a story together and from that time on we became thick as thieves (until several years later when we parted ways),
I used to believe that Tina really wanted me to succeed in reaching my writing goals, just like I wanted the same for her.
But though we started on our writing journeys together, she was never as serious as I was, and all too often I’d skip out of class early, miss an assignment, or not bother to go to class at all, just because Tina had something better (and usually more exciting) for us to do.
Though we were only a few years apart and basically at the same place in our lives, she didn’t take our classes serious, or anything else for that matter.
For Tina, life was just one big party that she was always trying to drag me along to. And of course I went, just like any dutiful friend who is under the spell of a toxic person.
For some strange reason, many toxic friends can be awful darn charming. Every toxic person I knew (now that I can identify them) always seemed to have people flocking around them.
Being attracted to toxic friends instead of true friends can be potentially dangerous. Toxic friends can poison your thinking because they usually have such an influential effect on people.
That’s how my toxic friend Janice was (the troublemaker I mentioned earlier). I knew her in my younger years, as a teen and up into adulthood.
She was always clever, funny, and exciting to be around, just as long as you were lucky enough to be in her circle, and I was. But she was also mean, bossy, and vindictive, and not many friends stood up to her and remained friends for long. Yet she still had a way about her, a kind of killer charm.
Janice gets the credit for many of the punishments I was put on for breaking various house rules as a teen. Her mean toxic spirit was also responsible for the one and only fight that I ever instigated in my life and I always felt bad about afterwards.
When friends display toxic behavior in your personal life, you might let it slide and start to give them a pass. Before you know it, you find yourself putting up with all sorts of crap, all in the name of friendship.
But what happens when this kind of behavior begins to affect your work, your career, or even your educational goals and aspirations?
Toxic people are rarely known for saying encouraging words or motivating you to do productive activities. Instead, they’re usually the naysayers and the ones telling you to “forget about it” and making you feel like your ideas will “never work.”
This goes back to their jealous and selfish nature. They don’t want you to succeed because they fear you’ll leave them behind.
I began to understand this about Tina the day I shared three chapters of a manuscript I had started writing. I would have been completely content with any kind of useful dialogue and sincere feedback from her.
Instead she didn’t even mention anything about the manuscript until a couple of weeks later when I broke down and asked her opinion because I couldn’t stand waiting any longer.
Recognize the Truth
The day I recognized the truth about Tina was the day, I saw envy in her eyes because I was attempting to write a book. By then, we were out of school, but neither of us were working in our field of study.
We partied on the weekends, and worked at jobs we didn’t care about. But I still had my dream, so I started writing without telling Tina, at least not until I had written the first three chapters.
When she gave them back to me, she was unable to hide the envy in her eyes, and suddenly there was an awkwardness in the room, thick enough to cut with a knife.
I don’t know whether she just didn’t bother to read the entire manuscript, or she was so disappointed in what she read, that she didn’t have any words to express it. All I know is that she summed it up and dismissed my hard work with four simple words “It wasn’t raw enough.”
She didn’t give any specifics or elaborate at all. She just moved on to another subject and left me feeling too self-conscious and embarrassed to ask anything further. I was hurt and I have no doubt that it showed.
I didn’t call her for a couple of weeks and she didn’t bother to reach out to me, which led me to believe she knew how I felt.
Years later, when I look back at my life, I realize what a big influence both Janice and Tina had on my life. The kind of influence that can have a bad effect on your leadership capabilities. Just think about it.
If you’re a new freelance worker or entrepreneur, you’re the boss, which means you need to know how to be a leader.
You can’t afford to have negative influencers in your life who cause you to doubt yourself and your abilities. I know for a fact, if I had allowed myself to continue paling around with Tina and let her influence my motivation to write, I would have stopped writing a long time ago.
Keep one thing in mind if you happen to have a toxic friend in your life. Toxic friends like to keep things status quo because usually they’re the ones in charge.
They don’t want you to do more or better, because then you’d probably be outshining them, and toxic people can’t have that. They love and need the spotlight.
So don’t be surprised if you decide to assert yourself in a toxic friendship and your friend starts to pull away. When you finally see the relationship for what it is, your toxic friend won’t be too happy to have things change, so the only thing they can do change, is to let the change be on their terms.
They may not necessarily verbalize how they feel, but as far as toxic friends are concerned, they all have the same motto. “It’s my way or the highway!”
Does this philosophy sound familiar to you? Do you have friends like that? If you do, consider yourself lucky if they’re preparing to move on.
That’s an indication that you may finally be outgrowing them. When you do, then maybe you can make room for a genuine friend who will support you and have your back.
KDP authors can benefit from their Amazon Author Page in three different ways.
Three important ways to benefit from an Amazon Author Page involves your Author Bio, Video uploads and your Blog or Website feed. Keep reading and see how these can be valuable assets to your book’s visibility and exposure.
Some KDP authors are so excited to self publish on Amazon, they rush right in, without learning about or understanding different Amazon tools.
Many authors don’t even know that when they use the Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) platform, they are automatically eligible to receive an Amazon Author page.
case you are not already familiar with what this feature has to offer,
keep reading and you’ll discover 3 important ways to benefit from
setting up your Author page.
Book Promoting & Marketing
many of my fellow authors, I’ve self-published more than simply one or
two books using the same publishing platform. I’ve published multiple
ebook titles, including two full length novels that are currently on
sale right now. As most self published authors realize, getting sales
and book reviews can be a tiresome task.
I’m always looking for smart book marketing and book promoting activities to engage in. Though I’ve been self-publishing for several years, I didn’t always take advantage of my Author page.
There was a time when I failed to realize what an excellent marketing opportunity the page offers an author. It’s only been recently that I’ve given any real thought to how to really utilize my the page. If you can relate to what I’m saying, by all means, keep reading.
Getting to Your Author Page
Not exactly sure where your Author page can be found? You can get to it by clicking on the link to your author name (located directly under the title of your book) on the Amazon purchase page.
Your page is available to readers who are considering whether they want to buy your book at the time. The information they find on your Author page could help to convince them to make the purchase, plus introduce them to you as an author.
They get to see all the other titles you’ve published (if any), plus read about what’s currently going on with you as an author and writer.
Now that I see the possibilities and smart ways to use this page, I think this can be an extremely useful book marketing resource for authors who use it. The page doesn’t cost you a thing, and it isn’t even difficult to create or occasionally update.
The only catch is that you should take a little time and give a lot of forethought to what details you want displayed on your Author page. Your page can be a big asset to you as an author, if you determine how to use it correctly and strategically.
How to Set it Up
Setting up and navigating your Author page is really pretty simple to do. Everything you need to know can be found by logging into your KDP account and going to Author Central. Everything is self-explanatory when you get there.
you take a few quick steps to join, you’ll be able to change, remove,
or add to the information that Amazon displays on your page. The
available options enable an author to tailor the information that is
displayed on their page, so it’s up to you to make the best use of this
sure to keep something in mind, before you consider the following three
ways that you can benefit from this resource. You should not merely
breeze through the process of filling in your bio information and other
related details. Remember that this is your opportunity to potentially
talk and share information directly with readers and future fans.
3 Ways to Benefit
of recycling the same profile details and generic information related
to your book(s), take full advantage of your new Author page. They allow
you to customize your Author Bio, include Video uploads, and submit a
Web or Blog Feed.
gives you the chance to include fresh, interesting and up-to-date
facts, comments and details that help readers want to return and want to
know more about you as an author. Let’s take a closer look at three of
these useful sections.
#1 — Author Bio
you take a quick glance at the various options available on your Author
page, one of the first undeniable assets you notice is the author bio
or profile. You can benefit from this section in multiple ways, so don’t
shrug it off and write a lot of fluff or background chatter about you and your life.
this chance to include enticing reasons for readers to check out your
books. Be sure to provide links and lead them to other writing
activities you currently have going on. Provide as much as you can, in
an interesting, entertaining, and concise way as possible. Invite them
to click the “Follow” button on the page so they get notified whenever
you have a new release or something new to share.
Bio area of your Author page is also where you can share all your
social media links. Encourage viewers to follow you on Twitter,
Instagram, Facebook, and more. Before you know it, you may find yourself
getting a lot of new Followers, thanks to your designated Author page;
at least I’m hoping that’s the case. I recently updated my own Bio in a
more strategic way, so we’ll see how it goes.
#2 — Video Uploads
In the age of Youtube, Instagram and Snapchat, who doesn’t love a good video? Online videos have become one of the number one ways to consume information and entertainment. That is why it is so great to be able to upload any videos related to your KDP titles, right there on your Author page.
The video can be displayed right there, beneath your published titles and images. You can include book trailers, or any other videos related to the books you sell.
#3 — Blog or Website Feed
One of the very best features that I particularly appreciate about my Author page is the ability to provide a feed to your latest website or blog posts.
When you submit the url link to your website or blog feed, you can make your article posts available to readers, right there on your Author page. But don’t make the mistake that me (and others) have been making for so long.
just lackadaisically publish posts that may or may not appeal to your
readers. This happens more often than not, because writing about
“writing” tends to be a popular topic among writers and authors. At one
time or another, we all seem to fall into the trap of writing to and for other writers, instead of readers. This realization finally came to me with absolute clarity just recently.
updating my Bio and thinking about the new video I plan to add later, I
briefly glanced at the current blog post titles and short paragraphs
that were being fed from one of my websites. That was when I stopped and
asked myself a question:
“I I were a reader who landed on this page (accidentally or on purpose), would either of these two articles appeal to me?”
My honest answer was “no” and that was when the light came on in my head. I went to Google’s “blogger/blogsite” platform and revived an old blog that I had previously set up, but never bothered to use.
I did this because the name and link were perfect for what I had in mind. “Amazon Author Buzz” a fitting title that speaks directly to targeted readers. I can reach out to them directly on my Author page, via the blog feed.
After taking a good look at my Author page with fresh eyes, I saw how I had been preventing myself from getting the full benefits from this awesome resource. It’s a good thing I finally took the time to stop and re-evaluate the benefits of my Author page. I strongly encourage other authors like me to do the same.
Learn about the 10 self-defeating attitudes to avoid at all cost.
It’s easy to resist negative urges to give up on your dreams and goals in life, when you recogize the self-defeating attitudes that make you want to quit.
Longtime Dreams and Goals
When it comes to our longtime dreams and goals, we don’t always feel encouraged, especially if things don’t seem to come together the way we plan. Of all the emotions that can defeat a person’s productivity, discouragement is one of the primary ones.
Even though I haven’t reached my ultimate writing goal, I’m continue to write and self-publish, because of my real strong love for writing. But every now and then, I think about just quitting and not trying to become a best-seller.
Is there something in your life that you feel that way about? Everyone has some goal or important objective they want to accomplish in life. Read while I share some informative thoughts about defeat, and what I personally do, to resist the urge to give up on my dreams and goals.
Feelings of Defeat
The beginning of my writing career included blogging, ghost writing, and getting paid for web articles (all of which I still enjoy doing). When I began self-publishing my own ebooks several years ago, I was suddenly in love with another aspect of online writing.
I eventually self-published my first novel and mistakenly believed I was on my way to becoming a best-selling author. WRONG!
For a number of different reasons, (related to the book, the promotion and the marketing), I was really on my way to becoming a former author.
After months of trying endless online activities to gain visibility, I failed to get more than 5 book reviews. I felt defeated. Needless to say, I had the urge to give up.
Prior to being an author, I had suffered previous let downs in the past when it came to my online writing. But those setbacks were nothing compared to the huge letdown that I felt following the release of my first novel.
Now; several years, multiple ebooks, and two additional novels later, I’m still undiscovered. And yes, I’m still striving to become a best-selling author one day, and receive tons of highly coveted reviews.
know my struggles and career challenges are probably no different from
thousands of other writers and people in general. In fact, my situation
is about as common as the 10 self-defeating attitudes that everyone
The Desire to Flee
That saying about how the tough get going when the going gets tough didn’t originate out of nowhere. I suspect it has something to do with mankind’s inborn fight or flight nature, because in most cases, people usually choose flight.
The urge to give up is always present. Regarding our typical choice to flee in the face of fear, one Psychology Today article asked a question, then responded this way:
“Can we consciously condition ourselves to be more active and less passive in the face of fear? I believe the answer is yes.”
But this article is simply about finding easy and positive ways to counteract negative attitudes that make us want to flee in the first place.
Negative Attitudes to Avoid
Most writers, artists, freelancers and entrepreneurs who are trying to get ahead can relate to feelings of defeat. If I could get paid for the countless times that I wanted (and even tried) to give up along the way, I’d be a very rich woman!
Fortunately, my crazy, persistent, love of writing has prevented me from completely throwing in the towel more times than I can mention.
#2 I start something, then forget why It was a good ideal
#3 When it doesn’t go right the first time I say forget it
#4 If things move too slowly I say forget it
#5 If someone else says something negative, I start to get skeptical
#6 I get disappointed when I don’t get the same results as someone else
#7 I get discouraged or suspicious when I find out there’s a cost
#8 I get overwhelmed when I find out what all is required
#9 I change my mind about how much effort and time I want to invest
#10 I run into technical difficulties and quit
you might imagine, the above statements often lead to feelings of
helplessness and can cause you to give up on something you really
believe in. This kind of negative thinking will make you quit before you
even get started.
Ready to Call it Quits
On your never-ending journey to succeed, you will find that feelings of defeat can creep in from anywhere. This is especially so when you work hard online, pursuing some type of internet business, project, or activity.
Depending on the outcome that you perceive you should get, it’s easy to get into an “instant results” frame of mind. You want everything to happen right now, but it doesn’t, so then what do you do?
Unfortunately, for most creative people, entrepreneurs, and small business startups, success is not instantaneous or an overnight thing.
Many fail to realize this fact when they first begin on their journey. When they do finally realize it, frustration and dissatisfaction have managed to set in.
defeat begins to creep into your spirit, it doesn’t take much to put
you over the edge. One sleepless night, one missed deadline, one bad
review, or even one broken link, and all of a sudden, you’re ready to
call it quits! You just don’t understand why everyone seems to win but you.
If you want to learn how to resist the urge not to give up, you can’t afford to sing the “everybody succeeds but me” blues. That is precisely the kind of thinking that causes you to sink into a “nothing ever works” state of depression.
You need to give yourself a reality check (everyday if necessary). Remember that you are not alone in your struggles. The truth is, everyone is not succeeding and plenty of people have the same obstacles as you.
More importantly, some of those people are finding ways to move or work around the obstacles, and so can you.
So even when you feel like nothing ever works, if you continue to press forward and implement effective and proven techniques, something will eventually succeed, without a doubt.
Patience is Needed
Whether you have any or not, patience is definitely needed in order to resist the urge to give up when the going starts to get tough. If you happen to be a person short on patience, there is a very good reason why you should start learning to cultivate some, particularly if you work online.
It all has to do with the way things work in the undercurrents of cyber world. Things are not always what they seem, thanks to various algorithms, the cloud, and the use of unwavering search engines. You can’t just give up on your efforts to achieve your goals.
If you’re patient, it may take time, but your online activities could eventually become fruitful. You might just discover (much later on) that something you already put in motion is actually working to your benefit.
Don’t underestimate your previous blog or web articles, social media posts, or promotional videos and marketing ads. These things might take time to penetrate the right audience.
Many times, the positive online results that you are hoping for don’t happen right away. Sometimes the results may not be clear and easy to recognize. In my own case, there were lots of times that I stopped performing certain book marketing activities. I would simply run out of patience, and discontinue what I was doing.
Then I’d do some other marketing activity and eventually give up on that too. By the time I started getting positive results, not only had I stopped the activities, but I had no way of knowing which ones had really worked.
Patience would have prevented me from quitting useful activities prematurely. It would have also enabled me to recognize which activities were successful, so I could duplicate my efforts and improve on my success.
Mental Barriers & Obstacles
In my experience, I’ve found that having a lack of patience is often a common obstacle to successfully achieving a goal. Sad to say, there are many other mental barriers, including some very particular self-defeating attitudes.
But there are also some effective ways to help you remove or go around the obstacles that mentally block your path. In order to do this, you must be able to identify exactly what you are experiencing when negativity tries to creep in.
stands to reason that before you can ever address a solution, you need
to have a clear understanding of the specific problem or obstacle you’re
dealing with. If you don’t identify what the actual issue is, you
cannot determinethe solution.
For example, whenever something doesn’t go according to plan, it is easy to get into a nothing seems to be working frame of mind. The reality is: Something in particular didn’t go according to plan. That is not the same as nothing at all is going according to plan. Can you see the difference in the mindset here?
Learning to focus on the particular obstacle and challenge at hand (one thing at a time) is mandatory if you want to resist the urge to give up.
Whether you’re a writer or author, a freelancer of some kind, or a business entrepreneur; you should do a self-analysis on a regular and consistent basis. Teaching yourself to recognize and tackle one obstacle at a time can help chase away the “I’m ready to give up” blues.
Thanks to my list of avoidable self-defeating attitudes, I’ve been able to overcome the feeling of wanting to give up. My dream of being a best-selling author is still my primary objective and focal point and gaining visibility is still hard. So yes, I still get discouraged at times.
But instead of giving in to the urge to give up, I consult my list whenever I feel myself getting off balance, or starting to feel defeated. I remind myself that what I’m experiencing is a distinct self-defeating attitude that I have the power to control and avoid.
Using my list, I scan and try to zero in on which attitude currently applies to how I’m feeling. I ask myself: “What is wrong with ME right now?” This question doesn’t refer to the actual problem or setback that I might be dealing with, such as: My book sales were low this month, my webpage is loading too slow, no one has reviewed my latest book.
Technically, these are issues that are not completely within my control, so I force myself to keep my radar on what’s actually in my power to fix.
“A feeling of control motivates us to act, according to research.”
couldn’t help thinking how true this is, even when it comes to the way
we choose to deal with our personalities and mood swings. My list
provides me with a concrete plan of action so I know how to handle the
bad days that come and go.
Now, instead of getting myself worked up about a problem that is out of my control at the time, I try to focus on fixing my frame of mind. Maybe, I can’t do anything about making my website load faster or increasing book sales and reviews.
But until things change for the better, I can definitely do something about keeping the right attitude when setbacks occur. Now I’m convinced that I can resist the urge to give up.
Learn how to self publish on Amazon in 2020 by finding out about short stories and novel sizes.
Self published Amazon short stories known as “short reads” range
anywhere between 2750 to 25,000 words, whereas a range of 50,000 words or more
is the general length for the typical Amazon novel.
So how is a writer supposed to decide if they should start
by self publishing a short story on Amazon, or if they should automatically try
to self publish a full length novel? This article will inform you on some
details to help you make the right decision.
2020 Self publishing
It’s no secret, that 2020 can expect to see a lot of
diversity when it comes to self publishing trends. This diversity applies to the
types of genres that creative authors are choosing to write in, that’s why it
helps to read
more books and stay abreast of what other authors are doing.
But the diversity in 2020 also applies to the self
publishing format of an authors’ work of fiction, based on the length of their publication.
According to one review journal’s articleWhen Is a Short Story Too Long, a short story can range anywhere between 5,000 and 10,000 words.
This had reference more so to traditional publishing, however, nowadays, regardless of how it’s published, writing and publishing short stories have become sensible alternatives to laboring for months (and even years) on one novel.
Novels Versus Short
When it comes to self publishing novels versus short stories, not every expert agrees about the benefits of publishing a short story, instead of a full length novel.
For instance, under the heading “How long should a Kindle book be,”TCK Publishing states: “In my experience, individual short stories don’t tend to sell well on Kindle compared to novels.”
That may sound well and good, if you’re a writer and the proud parent of a newly completed manuscript that actually surpasses the 50,000-word count.
But what if your book manuscript just fell short of 50,000 words or only made it to the halfway point? Could you and should you choose to self publish a short story, novelette or novella instead? Personally, I say yes, and hell yes!
How Long is a Short Novel?
Any author, new or existing, can tell you that sometimes it’s
hard to pump the brakes on your writing, and finally type the words the end. Stories should end when they
end, and not because of a set word count.
So what happens if you make it to the end of your work of fiction, and it doesn’t meet the standard word count for a novel, but you feel it’s longer than a short story?
You can choose to self publish it on Amazon as a sort of short novel. This is typically referred to as a novelette, which is usually 7500 to 17000 words.
You also have the option of self publishing it as a novella, if it exceeds the maximum
amount for a novelette, but still doesn’t meet the word-count criterial for a
full length novel.
Easier Amazon Self publishing
There are lots and lots of questions that new writers and
aspiring authors ask when it comes to self publishing on Amazon. Some of the
most popular queries include:
How much does it cost to self publish on Amazon?
How much money can you make from a self
How do you make money self publishing on Amazon?
I believe one of the most important questions is “how easy is it to publish a book on Amazon?”
The answer to this question can prompt you to get started right away,
because when it comes to self publishing on Amazon, it’s a whole lot easier
than you think.
As the above information has brought out, if you don’t want
to, you don’t have to worry about writing a long drawn out manuscript or
creating a novel that’s an entire saga or book series. That means that self
publishing a book on Amazon can be as easy as you allow it to be.
In the world of self publishing, it is not quantity that matters most, it is quality (just like anything else in life). You’re wrong if you think that publishing a short story, novelette or novella, is not as fulfilling as self publishing a full length novel.
New fantasy author Beka R. March can attest to the fact that if you produce a work of quality fiction, you will feel just as satisfied as an author.
This debut fantasy author initially planned to write an entire novel during the 2019 National Novel Writing Month, however, the end result was a novella instead.
Unlike some writers who get discouraged by missed deadlines and unrealistic goals, she chose another alternative.
Solution to Procrastination
For some authors, publishing short stories, or shorter novels can be the solution to procrastination. The decision to self publish “Tell Us the Mermaid Story“ as a shorter novel turned out just fine.
Instead of procrastinating and therefore, never completing the manuscript at all, the mermaid novella has already been self published and is currently available for purchase on Amazon.
So if you’ve been wrestling with the question of how long is a short story, or how long should your novel be when you self publish on Amazon, my advice is not to worry about it.
Write something from beginning to end, that you’re pleased and proud to publish. Then, when the work is done, you can determine whether it should be a novel, a novelette, a novella, or a short story like the Amazon short reads.
Some authors don’t realize editorial reviews can help your newly released book.
While you’re busy racking your brain on how to get book reviews for your newly released novel (or other type of publication), don’t overlook editorial reviewers.
Did you know that Amazon not only allows you to post editorial reviews (via your Author Central, Book dashboard ), but you can even have multiple editorial reviews. I’m not sure just how many they do allow, but I know it’s over five.
Reviews Help Visibility
Even before suggesting to readers that your book is a good buy, book reviews can help benefit your book. Reviews help your book gain more visibility, or in other words, help to get more eyeballs on your book.
Think about it. Whenever you’re searching for something online that you plan on buying, you typically want to see what other people think. If there is a list of products with reviews, and products without reviews, which are you more prone to pay attention to, at least on your first glance?
If you admitted that your eyes automatically radiate towards the item with a review rating or stars, you’re not alone. Oddly enough, even if we spot a product with only one or two stars, it’s common to stop and read those over the products with no stars at all.
No Fluff Reviews
Editorial reviews are what you might call “no fluff” reviews. They’re not (supposed to be) written with any particular slant, one way or the other, although it’s hard not to let a little bias slip in.
But in essence, this kind of review is actually more of a type of announcement, letting readers know the book exists.
Editorial reviews can be written and posted by bloggers, professional review sites, and other web platforms that have a policy of providing reviews.
That’s probably why editorial reviews are able to get past the gatekeeper for Amazon Reviews, a little more easily. The less bias shown in a review, the more reliable the reviewer is considered to be, and rightly so.
Request Editorial Reviews
Now that you have been informed or reminded that editorial reviews may be submitted by an author, you have no excuse for not having “at least” one review on your newly released publication.
If you need a free editorial review and would like to be added to a wait list, visit: Novel Launcher Reviews for details.
Requesting book reviews every chance you get is also helpful for authors. Just create a simple ad request like this:
Prior to the book’s release, I went through two short, but very busy, weeks of pre-sale activities. That includes paying for promotional marketing services, yet my book still had lousy launch results when it released yesterday (December 31).
I admit, I don’t always give things a chance before the frustration begins to set in; after all, today is ONLY the second day the book has been out.
But even when you wait things out and HOPE for the best, things have a way of not happening when you want, or expect them to. Needless to say, this is frustrating as hell! So what do you do? Do you give up and call it a day? Well I for one vote NO! At least not entirely.
Examine, Confess, Continue
The way I deal with constant frustration about my writing career is to examine, confess, and continue.
I’ve already examined the fact that no matter how much of my own hard efforts I put into marketing and promotion, I need either a highly professional paid staff behind me, or I need an edge.
I confess that since I first began self-publishing, I’ve already shelled out several hundred dollars (piecemeal) to try and enhance and promote my ebooks and particularly my fiction work.
I also confess that I DON’T plan on paying additional hundreds of dollars, only to receive little, to no concrete results.
That leaves me with the option of having to find an edge and continue striving to get my work in front of more eyeballs.
Commit to Writing Career
In order to continue on your author’s journey and not give up on your writing career, you have to be committed to the process, and everything that comes with it, that includes the occasional frustration.
Personally, I refuse to remain discouraged about the slow progression of my current book sales. The public statements I’ve already made about my upcoming mermaid series won’t allow me to stop and give up.
Publicizing your current work-in-progress can help keep a writer honest and on their toes, but it is also a great promotional strategy. Hopefully, by the time I’m ready for my next book launch, the results won’t end up being so frustrating.
When it comes to other promotional strategies, I also have a great plan in mind, to help me get that needed edge I spoke about. I’m still working out all the logistics, but like most things that are worthwhile, it takes time to come together.
I’ll be posting more about this in the upcoming week or so, because the plan will also benefit many new and existing authors, currently seeking more exposure.
Frustrated Author Solution
The solution to my own frustrated author status actually works in harmony with what I mentioned about finding an edge and continuing your author’s journey.
The idea involves conjoining the NotMedium.net website with two of my affiliated book and author websites. The goal will focus on establishing more visibility and eventually gain more book sales.
Watching book sales can be the bane of an author’s existence. Book sales were at the core of my initial frustration this morning, because I couldn’t resist the urge to check the status of my Amazon sales page.
Other authors out there can no doubt relate to my compulsive action of constantly scrutinizing my book sales report page on the KDP dashboard. You can also probably relate to my frustration about my Amazon obscurity.
If you’re reading this post and you happen to be one of those authors, I can honestly say, with no hesitation, that this new NotMedium.net website was tailor made for you. I love and writer for Readers but this content specifically caters to Writers and Authors, so be sure to return.
Authors Stay Connected
Let’s face it, even though there are major world issues occurring as we speak, we cans still be concerned about our own relatively small lives. It’s okay to view yourself as significant and worthwhile.
It’s easy to feel guilty and think, with all these problems and more, surely my own personal frustrations as an author shouldn’t amount to much. But the truth is, you and I both also matter.
Assuming you choose to watch and follow the growth of this new website, from its very inception, onward, you will definitely find relatable content that you can truly benefit from.
My plan to create a FREE and effective marketing and promotion network for authors is currently in the making, so stay tuned. I’ll be posting more about this in the upcoming week or so.