Tag: creative writing

115 Tips For Becoming an Award Winning Author


Writing a good book is hard work, but knowledge makes the process easier. Here are some multi-dimensional actions you can integrate into your writing process that will take you closer to your goal of becoming an award-winning author.

  1. Don’t wait for the right time to write your book – just do it
  2. Write using your own voice
  3. Give yourself permission to write in your mother tongue
  4. Write the books you’ve always wanted to read
  5. Write down your purpose for writing your book
  6. Know your audience
  7. Research and create an audience profile
  8. Try to freewrite every day
  9. Engage in freespeaking to compose your text
  10. Learn the grammatical rules
  11. Learn how and when to effectively break the grammatical rules
  12. Write in the active voice using action verbs
  13. Aim for a concise writing style
  14. Develop your own signature writing style
  15. Experiment with a variety of narrative styles
  16. Understand and fine-tune your own writing process
  17. Read biographies of successful writers for inspiration
  18. Aim to have at least one conversation with a successful writer for inspiration
  19. Inventory your human capital
  20. Become a versatile writer
  21. Research your genre
  22. Don’t stick to one genre, try to write in a variety of genres
  23. Research the many storytelling styles from various cultures of the planet
  24. Experiment with new styles of storytelling
  25. Connect with your inner warrior
  26. Speak your truth
  27. Let your writing contribute to good on the planet
  28. Delve deeply within your inner being for the knowledge you need to write
  29. Delve deeply within your inner being for the fortitude to write
  30. Develop the physical and mental stamina to write
  31. Develop power thinking
  32. Discover the specific emotions which drive your writing
  33. Remain focused on your work
  34. Think of yourself as a writer
  35. Define for yourself the meaning of success
  36. Create your vision statement
  37. Create a mission statement
  38. Attend readings and read your work
  39. Read your work aloud to yourself often
  40. Always consult a thesaurus and dictionary
  41. Whether you’re writing fiction or non-fiction, place yourself at the center of your narrative
  42. Try to write at least one paragraph every day
  43. Step away from your work sometimes
  44. Write about a subject you know very well
  45. If you don’t know a subject very well, research it very well
  46. Keep researching and developing your subject matter until you become an expert
  47. Write with the intention of becoming an authority
  48. Learn about author entrepreneurship
  49. Get to know the storytellers’ marketplace
  50. Don’t let fear cause you to develop writer’s block
  51. Develop SMART goals
  52. Reward yourself for reaching significant goals and milestones
  53. Read voraciously
  54. Buy many books
  55. Build your personal library
  56. Build up an inventory of ideas by collecting notes about what you read
  57. Store your notes in hard copy and/or electronic notebooks
  58. Create a space just for writing
  59. Buy a good computer
  60. Buy the necessary computer peripherals, including ergonomic products
  61. Get good writing and publishing software for book writing
  62. Stick with your writing through the years
  63. Don’t dump your old drafts – they may be salvageable
  64. Keep a writing journal
  65. Eat lots of fruit and vegetables to nourish your brain
  66. Dump the coffee and drink nourishing herbal tea
  67. Have your eyes checked regularly
  68. Integrate exercise into your life because writing is a sedentary process
  69. Exercise to remain strong and healthy while you write
  70. Purchase an ergonomic chair for your desk
  71. Spend time in places which inspire you
  72. Give yourself time to think; give yourself time to dream
  73. Wherever possible, find a writing buddy
  74. Set up an independent publishing account with Ingram Spark, Lulu or another of your choice
  75. Set up an email marketing account with Mail Chimp, Infusionsoft or another of your choice
  76. Enter as many writing competitions as you can
  77. Write with the intention of producing a bestseller
  78. Speak about your work on social media to build your audience
  79. Make writing your book your number one priority
  80. Aim to make your writing your sole career
  81. Plan for a lifestyle in which writing is your sole career
  82. Improvise upon the common story arc – there are many ways to tell a story
  83. Discard the old beginning-middle-ending paradigm of the narrative
  84. Invent a new writing genre
  85. Set up a sole proprietorship or LLC to facilitate the business side of your writing
  86. Set financial goals for your book
  87. Learn how to raise funds to publish your book
  88. Research grant funding for writers
  89. Learn about intellectual property and copyright law
  90. Attend book fairs
  91. As far as possible, meetup with and collaborate with other writers
  92. Join online and/or face-to-face writing groups
  93. Keep up with the writing and publishing technology
  94. Wisely choose the technology you actually need
  95. Start your book and finish your book
  96. Your book is not finished until your audience has received it
  97. Hire a professional editor to edit and proofread your book
  98. Hire a professional graphic artist to create your book cover
  99. Hire a social media professional to market your book through the social channels
  100. Choose the right social media channels for your work and audience
  101. Create an independent publisher website with a unique domain name
  102. Get the best hosting plan for your independent publisher website
  103. Market yourself and your ideas while you write
  104. Market yourself through behind the scenes video clips
  105. Brand yourself by creating a competitive profile
  106. Brand your book through your social channels
  107. Brand your book through special events like launches, talkshows, news features etc
  108. Talk about your work in a live video
  109. Blog about your book
  110. Research your distribution channels
  111. Learn how to sell
  112. Create a writer’s press kit
  113. Create a book trailer
  114. Launch your book
  115. Bask in your success


Book Review: Ajani’s Wonderful Summer and the Imaging of the Black Boy

One aspect of the assault on the African family and on Black families has been the removal or lessening of the role of the father in the household.

The underachievement of boys in educational systems throughout the African diaspora, as well as the fact that the majority of perpetrators and victims of homicides, violent crimes and assaults in the diaspora are young men, are important issues that have been engaging the attention of people from all walks of life, for these are symptoms of crises occurring in Black communities and nation states.

Barbadian author, Dr. Akhentoolove Corbin, is concerned about the crises which exist in Black communities, especially as these affect Black boys. One of his major concerns is that many Black boys throughout the African diaspora grow up without a father figure in the house. We are well aware of this, for many of our Caribbean sociologists have drawn attention to this matter, and the absentee father has been one of the major themes of Caribbean sociology for a long time. Read More



WRITE LIKE A WARRIOR: The Power of Journaling

A journal, whether it be a bound book or an electronic file, is an excellent tool, no matter where you happen to be in your life. Journals are indispensable to writers, businesspeople, inventors as well as people tracking various processes, including physical and mental health treatments.

Keeping a journal not only trains you to be observant as you record your experiences, it also helps you retain and develop your new ideas. Journaling is an excellent way to articulate your goals and develop them, and if you date your entries, you can review what you’ve learned over time and make significant connections between your experiences and ideas. During your pre-writing stage, securing a journal is a must.

Your journal can be anything from a simple notebook to an elaborately etched hardcover creation with lock and key to cool templates for electronic journals offered by software companies. Choosing a journal which suits your temperament would inspire you as you write.

I had been journaling since I was a girl, but I started doing it in an intuitive manner around 2008. I find it tremendously empowering. I love to review my entries over the years and find inspiration in my thoughts. True, some entries are cringe worthy, but I find many of them remarkably insightful.

I comment on my entries on little stickys that I paste on the side of the page, so I could see how my perspectives change over time. I notice that ideas which seemed disconnected came together. They bore fruit, by which I mean that my ideas developed to such an extent they became useful. This has shown me that journaling is a discipline that matures over time. I did not understand the value of this practice when I began in earnest in 2008, but I have definitely come to understand in now, and I can clearly see how valuable my journals are to my personal development, to my business and to my writing.

Pure Writer

I am a pure writer, meaning I don’t do anything but write. Mine is a complex writing space, with overlapping academic, artistic, trade, philosophical and spiritual sensibilities. I write into these sensibilities from an angst-ridden space of anger, frustration, indignation and sorrow. My attempt to reach for joy, forgiveness, happiness, peace keeps me writing.

Mastering the Storyteller’s Body of Knowledge

We must align our dream and vision for our craft with the body of knowledge relevant to the creative-business environment of the new paradigm of publishing.

As digital storytellers, we need to see the big picture of the creative/disruptive business environment in which we operate, and the process we must follow to be successful in this environment. We must align our dream and vision for our craft with the body of knowledge relevant to the creative-business environment of the new paradigm of publishing. We need to know far more than how to tell a compelling story. Actually, being able to tell a compelling story or write a great narrative is basic. It’s a given. We need to evolve our ability to discern and critique the ideological apparatus of the marketplace so we’re not intimidated or swallowed up by it. We need to know what publishers know – how to sell books. We need to be a little tech savvy: We need to know about and completely (but not uncritically) embrace the technology that powers the internet – that channel through which we distribute our ideas, messages and intellectual products, and receive the audience engagement and purchases by which we can achieve and measure our success. (more…)

Mastering Author Entrepreneurship in a Disruptive Economy

Disruption has less to do with a new product or novel technology and more to do with a process embedded within the capitalist construct itself. As long as we continue to live in a capitalist economy, new technologies will be rolled out that will continue to alter the way we write and publish.

Writing a book is an important aspect of self-actualization, self-validation and professional development. A book bearing an author’s name is tangible evidence of her credentials, and proves her to be a woman of letters, educated, intelligent and civilized. But an author is no longer only someone who writes books. The disruptive entrepreneurship which characterizes our twenty-first century digital economies has radically altered the way people create and receive information, as well as the speed with which they process it. Twenty-first century technologies have permanently altered the way people read and write. And learn. And think. Technology has altered the author’s role in the economic system. (more…)