"Do you feel a rage to achieve? Are you unsure how to begin? What are the secrets to building an extraordinary life? What are the best methods for generating ideas, formulating a plan and constructing your vision?
In The Seventh Level, Joe Hefferon guides you through a seven-step process distilled from an exploration of the world’s most ingenious minds—the architects of the great cathedrals and skyscrapers, the visionary galleries and awe-inspiring residences. Nearly every important moment of our lives is in some way connected to a built place, and now that place can be you.
Join forces with the architects to design the life you’ve always dreamed of. This is your pocket renaissance, the new era of you, the quest for that elusive seventh level."
I’m an expert at mistakes; I’ve made them all. I think one of the big mistakes beginners make is feeling a rush to publish. Particularly with books, I think the ease of digital, self-publishing has writers putting work out that isn’t properly edited and formatted. Consequently, their books don’t sell well. They get discouraged and stop writing. Sometimes they blame the industry or a lack of respect for indie authors who aren’t traditionally published.
Everyone makes mistakes. Typos, repeated words, shoddy grammar or more serious plot problems can be fixed prior to publication by using beta-readers and professional editors. Because of the economic downturn and the increase in e-book sales, there are some wonderful editors and designers who were laid off from a publishing firm and are now freelancing. Authors today have access to some of the best and brightest who, in the past, were only available to those fortunate enough to be published by a traditional firm.
New writers don’t get how important it is to establish a presence or a platform prior to publishing. One of the top reasons that readers buy books is because they know the author. There are many ways to begin to create a name for yourself that only cost you time, such as blogging, guest-posting on other blogs, working social media and other outlets. The great side benefit of this is it helps you be a better writer simply because you are writing more.
Because blog posts tend to be shorter, often only 500-750 words, you must learn to be concise and express your point in short order. It’s good practice. Some new writers think because they wrote one book that makes them a ‘novelist’ and they don’t concern themselves with other writing styles or platforms. I think that’s a mistake these days. Competition is tough and unless you’re John Updike or Joan Didion, you need to showcase your talents.
I don’t think new writers read nearly enough. I can’t remember who said it but I once heard that all great writers are great readers. New writers don’t realize how much they can learn about the craft of writing just from reading more. You have to read outside your genre.
Amateurs tend to over-write, use too many adjectives, misuse words because they sound good, over-attribute their dialogue, use unnecessarily florid language where simpler words would have more impact and other rookie mistakes. You have to read more and read more critically. If you like a particular book, deconstruct the parts you liked best. What is it about the sentence structure or style or language that touched you?
Above all new writers need to work on fundamentals. There is no substitute for professionalism. There’s a great indie fiction writer named Jake Needham. Not only does he tell a good story, but he’s a pro. His sentence structure, punctuation and grammar are spot on. I don’t like writing as a hobby – it should be a profession and a craft. It comes naturally for some, but for most of us, we need to work at it over a lifetime and I think we should.
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Genre – Personal Development
Rating – PG
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