Monday, December 17, 2012

Tips to keep you focused as a writer

A good writer needs to be focused, dedicated, and committed. As a writer it can sometimes be very difficult to stay focused especially when there are so many distractions. Here are some tips that can help:

1. Set aside a time each day to write. Turn off the phone and the television.
2. Even if you are not working on any projects, write anyway. You never know when inspiration may come!
3. READ READ READ! It does now matter what you read as long as you read. You have to keep your mind sharp and it is difficult to write when you are not engaged in any outside content.
4. Keep a notepad beside the bed. Sometimes my biggest ideas come at night right before bed or in a dream.
5. Take a walk. You don't want to spend hours in front of your computer. Always give yourself a break and then come back to whatever you were working on.

These are just some quick tips to keep you focused and sharp. I also have several tools that I use as a writer that help me maximize my time. Check out the products (this also supports the site) to the right of this post. Almost every day I use my Kindle, the Livescribe Smart Pen, and Dragon Speech-to-text. These things are awesome because they allow me to get my ideas down quickly. Did you know that the Livescribe also has handwriting-to-text converting software that you can use when you upload your handwritten notes? I use this a lot as well and this saves LOADS of time! If you have any questions let me know. Please let me know how these tips have helped you and if there is anything else that you would like to see on 'The Shaky Shelf'.

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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Make money in between projects with Fiverr and Elance

Hi everyone,

I hope your holidays are going well thus far. I have been engaged in several writing projects recently. In addition to my new ebook which will be finished soon, I have been doing a bit of freelancing. For authors it is sometimes diffficult to earn an income while we are in the middle of any projects. i have found several great ways to earn an income online without the need for long-winded introductions, interviews, meetings, etc. One of the sites is Most of you probably know about Fiverr. It is an awesome way to make a little spending cash in between larger jobs. Another great way to earn is through Elance. I have a profile on Elance and I think it is a great program. You can market your skills and even certify your skills for the site. This gives you more credibility with employers. There are no physical interviews or anything like that and this is great for supplemental income. You can sign up for Elance at:

Some authors may be against doing anything outside of their craft but sometimes you have to eat. I would rather outsource some of my skills from time-to-time rather than being a starving artist. While my books do bring in income, I sometimes need something extra while I am waiting to be paid from my larger more mainstream products.

I hope this post has helped all of you. I will be adding more helpful tips to get you through some of your dry spells. Remember, doing these things does not  not make you any less of a writer or an author. In fact, some of these side jobs can help you hone in on your skills. You can use your writing skills to do things on Elance and Fiverr like blogging, ebook creation, etc. You can develop new skills such as: marketing and SEO as well. These thing will not only put a few extra bucks in your pocket but will help you develop and market yourself more effectively!