Writing Goals Aren’t Just Important-They Are Invaluable

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Time for your writing goals for the week!

Good morning writers,

I hope you are amazing!

I also hope that you are writing down your writing goals for the week ahead. I find that when I have my plans or goals written out in a list I tend to stick to them and actually make them much more than when I say, “I’ll write whatever whenever I have time.”

That’s why for me #NaNoWriMo is so great. I always get an entire novel drafted. It pushes me to stick to daily word count goals.

Here are some quick and easy tips to make those writing goals work for you so you will accomplish more and get that draft done faster.

  1. Make daily goals-this can be word count or page count or scenes, whatever you need. Write them down somewhere that you can see them.
  2. Get an accountability partner to check in with. You don’t have to check-in everyday-there are no rules but whatever you want just check-in.
  3. Make the goals fun. Maybe you meet with your partner at a coffee shop every day for an hour, maybe you chat on the phone or via social media. Mix it up and have fun.
  4. Cross them off as you do them-this is like getting a star in school-just feels good.

Now for some don’ts.

  1. Don’t edit your writing as you go
  2. Don’t compare yourself to other writers you see on social media
  3. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t make the daily goal–today is a new day.

 

I hope this is helpful and that you all have a very productive week!!

BONUS for reading. I have created a writers GOAL sheet JUST for you and it’s FREE!!!

You can get it here, make as many copies as you want, hang it up so you can see it and check off those goals as you make them! 

Happy Writing!

XO

Stephanie

BTW I’m taking a holiday with my husband for our first wedding anniversary AND we are moving apartments this month so I may post less than normal but you can find me on social media and I hope you join the STORY CONCIERGE FB group!

Tips for a Successful NaNoWriMo

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Hello WRITERS

#NaNoWriMo tips!

First of all, I apologize for taking some time off from this blog. As many of you know, I am in the process of creating my signature online course STORY CONCIERGE and several mini-courses that will be budget-friendly and take less time to complete as we are all so busy and a lot of us don’t have a ton of money to spend on courses.

This said, I am rolling everything over to my course platform KAJABI and even this blog will roll over, so please be patient with me.

I also started a YouTube channel this summer and am taking the month of October off as life has gotten so busy and if you follow me on social media, you know that we are also moving apartments AND jetting over the Pacific Ocean to enjoy our one year anniversary in Hawaii.

There are no enough hours in the day.

SOOOOO I am doing #NaNoWriMo as I have done it every year since 2006 and one year when it first started before that. I love it.

I am going to be posting weekly videos AND FB lives AND Instagram stories all November giving support, tips, insights, and anything else that YOU need to have a successful month. 

You may add me as a buddy at https://nanowrimo.org/ I am stephnewyork

Here are some quick and easy tips!!

  1. Be open to whatever story you are writing–meaning–just be free and free write
  2. Don’t edit–just write
  3. Make a schedule. Usually, during NaNo I set aside a couple hours every month to write BEFORE I do anything else. Well, maybe you can’t do that but try to schedule this in–you will be more likely to do it if it’s on your calendar.
  4. Make a daily word count goal.
  5. Aim to finish before the end of the month so you have time to spare.
  6. Do NOT compare yourself to others
  7. Don’t expect this to be perfect right out of the gate.
  8. Don’t outline in October—I find those who do this often fail because they are trying to stick to an idea, whereas it’s better to just write. If you must outline, just do it as simple as possible as a guide, not a detailed map.
  9. Do go to write-ins online and in-person with other writers.
  10. HAVE FUN!!

Here is a FREEBIE—a goal sheet download for writers-—this can be so helpful for NaNoWriMo or any of your writing goals WRITER GOAL SHEET DOWNLOAD

Happy Writing xo 

Stephanie

BTW I’m taking October off from this blog as well but you can find me on social media

Join the STORY CONCIERGE Free FB group https://www.facebook.com/groups/StoryConcierge/

Twitter https://twitter.com/stepholivieri

Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/JudanieBean/ 

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/stepholivieribourbon/

 

Writing For Children!

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Hello writers! 

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This fall is going to be insanely busy for me, so I’m going to cut back and only post once a week to go with my YouTube videos. Then, hopefully, after things calm down I can get back to more than once a week.

This week’s video (YOU CAN WATCH IT HERE) is all about writing for children, and more specifically writing picture books.

This is something that I am asked about all the time, I see questions asked in kid lit groups on Facebook and other social media sites, and when I meet people out in the world.

It seems that everyone has an idea or wants to write a picture book. 

That is amazing. I believe that picture books can change the world. They are important, they are fun, they can teach lessons, they open up reading to children and the list goes on.

So YAY, you want to write one? 

Well, there are things that you need to know about writing them.

Please pop over to YouTube and watch the short video I created for YOU. AND grab your free PDF just for watching—and for being someone who reads my blog you can get your copy here too. 

I want to share this information with you because I want you to succeed AND I want children to read your book.

Let’s go!! 

Thanks for reading xo Stephanie

www.judaniebean.com

www.twitter.com/stepholivieri

 

 

THE END and How to Craft A Great One

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ending

Have you ever read a book, watched a movie, stayed up all night watching the end of a series on Netflix only to be left dissatisfied, angry, betrayed by the writer and or just plain icky??

YES, you have. All of us have! And it stinks. It’s the worst when you are like, “OMG that would have been amazing but he/she effed up the ending!!”

I can think of so many films and books that I loved until the last quarter. I don’t know if it’s laziness, or just not caring or what but OMG the ending NEEDS to be good. 

The ending is WHAT GIVES MEANING TO THE STORY.

The ending of any story must have these elements to be strong.

  1. The main character MUST change in some way. He/she must grow-be a different person or at the very least have learned something that changes the way he/she sees and interacts with the world.
  2. The main character MUST be the catalyst or reason for this change to have happened. They MUST solve their own problems.
  3. The ending MUST connect with the beginning in some way. At the beginning you have promised the audience/readers a story that is about something–so you have to pay that off at the end. It’s a REQUIREMENT for a strong story and MUST MUST MUST be there.
  4. The ending MUST end the story. No cliffhangers, please.
  5. The ending MUST make sense to the story–which is similar but not exactly the same as being connected. There has to be a reason that this is the end.

This is so important and I know that you can do it.

I put together a little FREE PDF for YOU to help you craft those amazing endings that will keep people coming back for more.

You can download it HERE for FREE.

I also have a video on YouTube this week talking about this.

Thanks for reading and I hope to see you on SOCIAL MEDIA or back here next week.

JOIN the Story Concierge FB group here https://www.facebook.com/groups/StoryConcierge/

JOIN ME ON SOCIAL MEDIA

Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/JudanieBean/
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Instagram https://www.instagram.com/stepholivieribourbon/
LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/stepholivieri
Youtube https://www.youtube.com/stephaniebourbon

xo Stephanie 

How to Write A Strong Beginning

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New video today on YouTube all about writing a STRONG beginning to get readers hooked immediately. Even if you aren’t looking for an agent you still want your openings to be as great as possible. I have put together cheat sheet for you just for watching the video absolutely FREE as a gift for your time.

If you aren’t getting requests for your full manuscript or aren’t placing in those screenwriting contests your first pages could be the problem and with a few tweaks and revisions, you will change that. Trust me on this. The first page is the first impression, it’s the promise of the story and it’s why people keep going. It’s so important to nail it no matter what stage of your writing career that you are in. You don’t have time to get into the story because people are generally impatient and or just don’t want to read on if they aren’t hooked immediately.

Please watch, share, comment, like and subscribe. I put up new videos every week just for writers like you!

Check this week’s out HERE 

Thank you for swinging by!

Happy writing

xo Stephanie

www.judaniebean.com

www.youtube.com/stephaniebourbon 

www.twitter.com/stepholivieri

www.instagram.com/stepholivieribourbon 

www.pinterest.com/judaniebean 

Happy Monday

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Happy Monday!

Writers!! What are your goals for the week?

Mine is getting back to the revisions, now that I have a new laptop. 

If you follow me on social media you already know what happened on August 6, 2019! My MacBookPro did something and took ALL my folders from the desktop, the cloud, and my backups. It was AWFUL and devastating.

This is why I haven’t been here for two weeks.

It wasn’t anything more than just not having time to write a proper block as well I was lost as I now have to rebuild my courses and MY NOVEL.

OMG! Right? 

What do you do when that happens?

Well, you start over by making new goals for yourself.

At least, that’s how I’m handling it.

I apologize for not being here, but I am back.

Please comment with your goals for the week and or join me across social media.

For more about me and links check out my website here

Meanwhile, HAPPY WRITING xo

 

Stephanie

The Importance of Writing Goals for Writers

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Good Morning Writers! 

Happy Monday, happy new week and new month coming soon!

I hate summer but I love August because it means that fall is coming-even though, August is always one of the hottest months of the year but there is hope. And HOPE is something that I can build my days around.

This brings me to goals and why they are so important.

Let’s use the example of summer and fall.

What is my goal? To be cooler and enjoy cooler days? Sadly, we are in summer so I can’t do anything about the weather, but I can have the goal to make the best out of it. Go to an air-conditioned coffee shop once a day, to hit the gym, go to a mall–anything to reach the goal of being cooler.

The point is that I can take small steps to reach that goal of cooling off.

So if your goal is to be Quentin Tarantino and have 9 films out? or 10–I think he once said that his goal is to do 10 and then stop. If this is your goal but you don’t have a screenplay finished, an agent, and don’t live in Los Angeles then you have to start making those goals smaller. Keep the big dream there, but make smaller more reachable goals.

  1. You need to move to Los Angeles–or want to–you should for anything in the film industry–but that’s another kettle of fish. You want to move here, so your goal could be saving money every week into a special bank account just for your big move.
  2. You want an agent? Your goal could be to research one agent every week while you are building a submission list. Or finding out which screenwriting conferences have agent guests and pitch sessions.
  3. You want to have 9+ films made and on the big screen? Well your immediate goal is to finish the one in front of you and how you do that is write every day. Even if just 10 minutes.

See how this works?

Dreams and goals are different.

Dreams are what we aspire to and goals are how we get there. 

If you are a novelist and you want a bestselling novel with a movie deal–you need to make daily goals to reach that. What are you doing today to make that happen?

Some things you can do.

  1. Write every day.
  2.  Share your work with your crit group.
  3. Submit to agents.

So your weekly goal can be, write for 1 hr a day, share 5 pages with my critique group, and research or send queries (only on finished polished work) to agents.

It’s important to have these goals to keep us grounded in our bigger dreams!

I know that you can do it.

One way that I have found useful for the last 12 years is having someone to keep me accountable. Some programs call it an accountability buddy, someone you check in with daily. And some just do it in groups. However you choose to do it, just find someone to check in with.

Drop in the comments below on how you are going to work on your goals this week?

I’ll tell you mine are to write for 30 minutes a day this week. I have a crazy busy workload and have massive videos to shoot so realistically more than 30 minutes isn’t going to happen, but I will put in 30 minutes.

Tell me your plan!!

And let’s have an amazing week!! 

XO~ Stephanie

https://www.judaniebean.com/

https://www.youtube.com/stephaniebourbon

Tuesday Tips~How To Find The Right Agent For Your Writing

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Searching for the right agent!

Cheers to all the writers & storytellers who are here today!

I want to talk to you about finding an agent because this is something I am asked about all the time.

“How do you find an agent?”

“I have no idea how to find an agent.”

“Where does one find an agent?”

“I heard that I need an agent but have no idea how to find one.”

and finally.

“Do I need an agent?”

Let me start with the last one and work my way back up.

The answer is both YES and NO. It really depends on what YOUR specific goals are for your books. 

If you want to be traditionally published by one of the big publishing houses in New York–then having an agent is definitely the way to go. Of course, like anything, there are always exceptions to this that will prove me and anyone else who recommends you get an agent wrong. Those exceptions might be when a writer meets an editor at a conference, or when a writer wins a contest, or something similar. Some publishing houses allow non-agented submissions too–that’s a horse of another color and I will do a whole blog post about that at some point.

The thing is, IN MY HUMBLE OPINION, the reasons to have an agent far outweigh the reasons not to have one. 

Here is one example of a situation where having an agent is a good thing.

If you get an offer from a big publishing house–let’s say that you get really lucky and this happens–without an agent, you really are on your own to negotiate. I don’t recommend this for many reasons. Agents do these deals for a living. They know better than we do what is a good and what is a bad contract. They know the industry and they know what editors will be the best for you and your book.

***I have to stop and say–yes there are bad agents out there-but for the most part they are great to have on your side.

For the film and television writers out there-YES, YOU NEED AN AGENT. For all the same reasons that novelists do and more. The entertainment industry is so crazy competitive AND deals in Hollywood go south all the time. Your agent is the one who will have your back. Not only do they get your script in front of the right directors, producers, studio execs, they will also fight for you when you need it.

It’s the same as novels in that you could get lucky but it’s just not worth it in my opinion. I have worked in the film and television industry for more than 20 years and I have seen so many things go wrong that I would never go at it without an agent.

Yes, agents can make bad decisions too–they are humans, just like us but for the most part, they really are the best career partner you can have. 

“But aren’t all agents just there to make money?” 

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Even if this was true and it’s not always true–that’s a good thing. This is SHOW BUSINESS. It’s a BUSINESS. Publishing is a business. The entertainment industry is a business. You want to make money.

***If you really don’t care or want money–you may be okay without and agent.

OKAY—now that we have decided that YOU NEED and WANT an agent.

HOW DO YOU FIND ONE? 

There are many ways to get an agent. 

Tomorrow my YouTube video on finding an agent comes out so please watch as a complement to this blog today!

Also on YouTube, I have a video all about why agents are rejecting your query letter and you can find that here.

Here are some of the ways that I have found to be effective for myself and others.

Join organizations for what you are writing. There you will meet other writers and most likely meet agents at conferences and events that are held within that organization.  Also, most of these websites will have a resource page that has agents listed.

*See resources at the end of this blog

Here is a video on attending conferences.

Writing conferences are great for meeting and making connections.

When you go to writing conferences there are often workshops or pitching events where you get to meet agents one on one. This is a great way to make a connection.  Keeping in mind that this isn’t the place to pitch to agents in the bathroom, hallway, in a workshop–unless they ask you.

Social Media is another great way to find and research your agent. Following them is perfect to find out what they like, want, who they already rep and if they are open to submissions. Don’t stalk them, but following them is really good. Many agents also participate in things like Pitch Wars on Twitter and use hashtags when they are looking for something specific-Manuscript Wishlist #MSWL. Then you go to their agency website, get the submission guidelines and submit.

Twitter and Instagram are both exploding right now (summer 2019) but Facebook is still a great way to make and create connections through groups and just being FB friends.

Social media is NOT a place to pitch unless asked to or as part of a pitching event. 

Trade books like Writers’ Digest Marketplace books—although with the recent bankruptcy, I’m not sure what will happen with those in the coming years.

Query Shark, Query Tacker, Publishers’ Marketplace are all great too.

Asking fellow authors and or writers who their agents are and getting recommendations to submit.

The most important thing to do is your research and take your time.

Don’t send out hundreds of query letters. Would you do that when finding a spouse or significant other? Or if you were hiring someone to join your business? No, you wouldn’t. Your agent is like a business partner, so you don’t want to rush it.

Be selective. When you meet agents at conferences, it’s a great idea to come home and Google them. Find their blogs, social media, and anything else you can about them. You may find that they aren’t a great fit even if you loved their workshop.

I will say that the biggest mistake I see writers making is being too broad and just submitting to anyone who will and or is accepting queries. Don’t be that writer.

This is an important step in your career. Whether this is your first or fourth agent, the process is the same.

I hope that this is helpful for you. Below are links to some great resources for your agent search.

If you have other resources that you would like to share, please do in the comments! 

 

For Children’s Book Writers

http://www.scbwi.org
http://www.kidlit411.com/

For novelists (any genre)

https://www.manuscriptwishlist.com/
https://www.authorsguild.org/
https://www.rwa.org/
https://www.writersdigest.com/
https://www.agentquery.com/
https://queryshark.blogspot.com/
https://www.pw.org/

Video for TV writers

For screen and TV writers
https://www.wga.org/
https://scriptwritersnetwork.com/
https://www.hollywoodscriptexpress.com/literary-agents.html
https://screenwritingumagazine.com/2019/01/25/7-ways-to-get-an-agent-or-manager/

 

Resources from Judanie Bean 

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