It’s a guarantee that there will be hard times if you’re serious about becoming an author. Before those times hit, you have to make up your mind not to let them conquer you.
NLK: What has been the biggest hurdle you have faced in your writing journey?
DAT: The biggest hurdle for me thus far has been what Joanna Penn (one of my gurus!) calls “overwhelm.” The writing industry today is super competitive – not to mention heavily saturated – and I feel like authors, whether indie or traditional, are under so much pressure. Pressure not only to write solid stories, but to build a platform from which to share and promote them. We have numerous responsibilities, many of which have nothing to do with the craft of writing itself.
It’s easy to get discouraged if I allow myself to think about all the things I could be doing or should have done to be a better “authorpreneur,” so I constantly have to remind myself to take things one day a time and enjoy the journey.
NLK: Are there any similarities between working towards fitness goals and writing?
DAT: Without a doubt! Both require loads of self-discipline, and both are synergistic. What I mean by “synergistic” is that is the strength I gain through completing a difficult workout session translates over to my writing sessions, and vice versa. Conquering obstacles of any kind, whether it’s lifting a heavy barbell or meeting a daily word-count goal, creates mental toughness, which is an asset in life, no matter what you’re pursuing!
NLK: What advice would you give to new writers?
DAT: I’m going to repeat what I said in another interview I did recently: Never give up!
It’s a guarantee that there will be hard times if you’re serious about becoming an author. Before those times hit, you have to make up your mind not to let them conquer you. You have to make standing up after a fall an involuntary reflex. You have to focus on lessons learned rather than mistakes made. You have to focus on positive feedback instead of discouraging reviews. You have to remind yourself of your passion for writing instead of dwelling on the downsides.
Rejection, criticism, friends’ and family’s lack of enthusiasm, and your own doubts and fears are all part of the process, but each encounter with them will make you stronger…if you don’t let them defeat you.
NLK: What’s the most important thing to remember in book marketing?
DAT: I would say “Think People.” Don’t think dollar signs or sales. Think about making genuine connections with real-life people. Put yourself in the shoes of those you want to reach with news of your work. I doubt anyone reading this likes receiving Twitter messages promoting a book, even if it’s free. No one enjoys seeing a buy link or promo image pop up in every other post on an author’s Facebook or Instagram feed.
We appreciate, enjoy, and respond to warmth and humor, helpfulness and authenticity, not sales copy and incessant self-promotion. Build people’s trust by being a friend to them, not a salesman. They will be far more likely to show interest in your book when you’ve established some kind of heartfelt relationship with them.
NLK: Can you please share a favourite quote?
DAT: It’s very hard to choose! I think this one from Ralph Waldo Emerson is my favorite when it comes to writing: “Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail.”
NLK: Any exercise tips especially for writers?
DAT: Stretch and move throughout the day. It is no secret these days that sitting is the new smoking. Studies have linked long periods of sitting with an increased risk for diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer. Sedentary days have also been shown to increase anxiety. It is imperative that we break up our writing sessions with some kind of movement. Even better is to write standing up!
Sitting for long periods of time creates tight hips which can contribute to lower back pain. Yoga stretches, such as pigeon, cow face pose, frog pose, and happy baby are great for stretching the hips. Our shoulders also often tend to roll forward when we write, which is terrible for our posture, so I definitely recommend shoulder-opening stretches such as forward fold with clasp, reverse prayer pose, and dolphin pose. There are tons of great YouTube videos and articles online that offer excellent demonstrations of these!
About Diana Anderson-Tyler
Diana has been writing all her life, starting with her own versions of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle comics when she was four. She’s always been fascinated with Greek mythology and comic book superheroes, all of which inspire her fantasy novels. She’s also a gym rat who loves to pretend she’s Wonder Woman while lifting heavy weights and flexing in the mirror. She co-owns CrossFit 925 in San Antonio, Texas with her husband Ben.
Diana currently writes entertainment and media-related articles for movieguide.org and contributes regularly to charismamag.com. When she isn’t writing or working out, she can be found playing Scrabble with her husband, watching Marvel and Pixar movies, and pinning recipes on Pinterest that she never gets around to cooking.
Excerpt from Armor For Orchids:
“There you are!” said Derek.
“Here I am,” said Charlotte, keeping her eyes fixed on Derek, not wanting to confirm her suspicions regarding their dinner guest. “Hold on, I need to check on the fries,” she said to him, then trotted to the oven, pulled the baking sheet out, and lingered there as long as she could, evaluating the crispiness of at least two dozen fries.
“Honey, this is Wes.” Charlotte felt her husband’s hand on her back, gently nudging her to turn around and be a tad more hospitable.
It was him. The excessively handsome man from Mitt’s Market who bought her chamomile tea, an herbal beverage that, ironically, had introduced a whole new batch of anxiety and guilt into her life. Not only did he know her secret, but he’d become one…
“We’ve met,” Wes said, grinning widely, evidently as surprised as she was. He extended his hand toward Charlotte.
“You know each other?” asked Derek.
“We didn’t really meet,” began Charlotte, quickly shaking Wes’s hand, trying to ignore how strong and wonderful and warm it felt.
“She was ahead of me at the coffee line at Mitt’s the other day. I picked something up that she dropped.”
No mention of the tea he’d bought for her, Charlotte noted.
“Well, that’s a coincidence!” Derek said.
More like a conspiracy, was Charlotte’s opinion.
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