Feeling Overwhelmed

And, I thought writing the novel was a daunting task. It is more fun, for sure, but editing is tedious mind-numbing work. It can become overwhelming especially to those of us new to the craft of writing novels.

Thank God we have experts to help us along the way. Janice Hardy from Fiction University is one such expert. She is my number one go-to resource.

Janice understands the complexities of self-editing and offers some great advice in her article, How to Edit a Novel Without Feeling Overwhelmed.

The six main points:

  1. Decide whether you want to edit or revise. The processes are not the same.
  2. Don’t bite off more than you can chew, so to speak. Set a word count, a number of scenes to work on and stick to it – a must when you’re working with 70,000 words plus.
  3. Don’t try to cover all the bases, focus on one thing at a time – setting, character, dialogue, and so on.
  4. Set a time limit – Time management is a biggy for me. It’s easy to get lost in the process, or become impatient.
  5. Leave the advice books on the shelf while you’re editing – love this one! It’s so easy to get caught up in the ‘how-tos’ or the ‘should’s,’ and not get a thing accomplished.
  6. Make a plan and let it be your guide – Use a calendar, spreadsheet, or whatever planning tool helps you accomplish your goal.

For more information, check out, How to Edit a Novel Without Feeling Overwhelmed.

I’d love to hear your tips. Talk to me. Tell me your story. I’m all ears and look for me on Facebook at SheilaMGood,  PinterestBloglovinTwitter@sheilamgood, Contently, and Instagram. You can follow my reviews on Amazon and Goodreads.

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Advice – Separating the Wheat from the Chaff

Day 1:  #atozchallenge

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We love receiving good advice, especially from the experts. But, therein lies the rub.

Who are the experts? When we first step out into the web as either a writer or a blogger, we’re hungry for advice; I know I was. Cow Pasture Chronicles was my second blog. I began blogging after the death of my best friend as a way to deal with her loss. You can find that blog, mistakes and all at, Friendship of a Lifetime.  Those entries are full of grammatical errors, but they were heartfelt and served a purpose. Later, I decided to pursue my love of writing, and the Cow Pasture Chronicles was born.

At the time, I didn’t have a clue what the rules for blogging were (whether there were rules) or how to get started. With research and the support of my sister, Jean at Jean’s Writing, I’ve managed to get an okay grasp on what I’m doing (most of the time). But with millions of bloggers, how do you tell which advice to follow and which to toss?

Like everything else, with experience comes wisdom.  Here are my top five valuable and proven expert sites I go to for advice.

For Writers:
  1. Every Writer’s Resource 
  2. Janice Hardy’s Fiction University</a
  3. Jane Friedman
  4. Live, Write, Thrive by C.S. Lakin</a
  5. Writer’s Digest
For Bloggers:
  1. Top 100 Writing Blogs for Authors and Bloggers
  2. Copyblogger
  3. WordPress
  4. Blogging 101
  5. Jeff Goins

The more writers you connect with, find, and follow, the more we learn from each other. We develop lists of favorite blogs based on enjoyment and in many cases, for the author’s expertise. However, sometimes it pays to take a second look at the source.

Red Flags:
  1. When the “expert” seems more concerned with selling than connecting, take a second look. I don’t begrudge a blogger for wanting to earn money, however, spamming me with constant sells pitches or emails offering high-dollar courses, is a red flag.
  2. Bloggers who tout themselves as “experts.” No doubt, some have lots of expertise (see the lists above), but some are just good at marketing. Do your research and check out their experience, credentials, and accomplishments.
  3. What do other bloggers say about the advice they received?

My journey as a blogger and writer has given me the opportunity to meet many people. I’ve come to respect a number of them as experts and rely heavily on their advice. As writers, we’re all at different levels. I treasure the collaboration of others and love to receive feedback from the blogging and writing community. I merely caution you to do your homework. When looking for expert advice, be mindful and separate the wheat from the chaff.

I’d love to hear your comments. Talk to me. Tell me your story and look for me on Facebook at SheilaMGood,  PinterestBloglovinTwitter@sheilagood, and Contently.