Plan Your Novel in One Month

I can hardly believe this year has gone by so fast but it’s October and for me, that means book planning month. Last year I wrote my first book and planned it in one month, wrote it the next month, and a few months later it was published, it was a best-seller and has been selling downloads of it every day since. Now, this year, I’m writing the sequel to that book. My mom and I are going to write it together because it is sharing both of our stories. I thought it would be really fun to share the journey with you so that if any of you want to write a book, you can follow along. I’m going to show you my process and the steps I go through and the steps I’m taking my mom through since this is her first book. We’ll be sharing our progress along the way so you can stay up to date on our progress but then if you want to do writing of your own, we’re going to show you what we’re doing. I have a little program that I developed for it. It is called “Write Your Book Before The End Of The Year.” That may sound like a lot of work, that’s because it is, but it’s not as scary and overwhelming as it seems.

Like I said earlier, the month of October is purely a planning month. All I do for the entire month October is plan out all the different parts of what I’m going to write in the book. Then in November, planning is over and it’s writing every day. By having the planning month first, you don’t hit that writer’s block of not knowing what to write next. You just look at what you have planned for that day and you write that. So there’s no trying to figure out what to write next because you’ve already planned it out and you don’t have to think about it again. But, during November when you’re writing there is no editing allowed.  One sure way to hit writer’s block is to start critiquing your own writing as you go.

So, you have to just write only and resist the urge to edit because in December, that’s when you’ll be editing and it’s best if you have some family and friends to help you edit. They can give it a basic edit and then you can hire a professional. It’s good to give it a go around with people that you know and they can catch some of the bigger things and then a professional can catch more specific editing needs.

After December, we go into January and we start marketing the book. That may seem out of order because the book isn’t out on the market yet, so how do you market a book that doesn’t exist? The thing is, with a book you have to start building up excitement ahead of time and especially if you want to get it reviewed by some bloggers. They need it a few months before it even comes out so they can read it, have time to write up a review on it and then by the time the book is published that review will be live and it will help promote the book.

So you start the marketing ahead of time and then in February is when I do the process of getting it published. You will take some time to work through the tweaks of formatting and getting it approved by Amazon. I’ll be walking you through that and then in March is when it goes live and we start selling it and we get it to hit a bestseller list.

That’s what I did last year and it worked very well. I’ve talked to some other authors and I was actually surprised that some experienced authors have fewer book sells than my book and mine is the first and only book I’ve ever written. So there is a lot to be said for this strategy. It is working and I found a lot of tools and resources to make it work really well.

I am so excited!

So, we’re in October, planning month. We will begin by working on ideas for your book. So I want to get a notebook. On day 1, you’re going to start the notebook and you’re going to start planning out what you’re going to write. Generally, you want to have an idea of the basic overview of what you want to cover in the book. So what is the plot? Or, what is the topic? Write that on one page. It’s okay if it doesn’t take up the whole page because you’ll be refining it and adding to it later.

On the next page, think about dates and time of when the story is going to take place. Mine is a memoir so I’m thinking about when these events happened, and it was from 1994 to 1997. That will help later on in the planning to give you a context of what technology was relevant during that time. If there was any slang that you want to be careful of. And politics or events that happen during that time. Being aware of when the story is taking place helps a lot in the future planning.

Then turn the page again and on the third page, start making a list of the different stories or events that are going to be included. They don’t have to be in any certain order right now this is a brain dump of all the things that you can think of. Again, mine is a memoir so I’m thinking through my memories of what happened during that time and I think of the dates and if there was holidays and things that happened.

On the next page, you’re going to make a list of locations where the stories take place and as you’re writing this list it may give you ideas for the previous page of different stories. Each of these pages is going to help generate more ideas about what you want to write about and don’t hold back adding anything to the list. Just because something is on the list doesn’t mean that you have to write about it but we just want to get all the ideas out there.

Finally, on the fifth page, these are where you’re going to list the different characters in the stories. Again as you make that list it’s going to remind you of different stories with those characters and different locations that they went and so each of these first five pages is going to give you more ideas and more brainstorming about what to include in the book. As we move forward throughout this planning month you’re going to add things to these.

I hope this was valuable to you. That’s the process that I’m going through to plan my next book. We’re just doing a little at a time and that way you give yourself time to think about more ideas.

I hope that you will take this challenge and decide to write your book. I would love to hear from you about if this is helpful, if it’s fun, if it’s interesting, or if you’re watching just to get updates on what I’m writing for my book. If you are working on your own project, I want to hear about it. I want to know what you’re working on. I want to help promote and market it and tell people about it.

Entrepreneurship is one of the most exciting professions. Since I decided to leave the corporate world and be my own boss, I have been so full of peace and joy. I’m no longer dependent on somebody else to determine my future. That’s such an exciting thing and I wish it for anybody that has the opportunity. How cool is it that you get to have passive income because you wrote a book once and people are buying it continuously potentially forever. It’s been so much fun to look at my stats on Amazon and see people buying in in other countries like Spain, Australia, India, the UK, and in Canada. How fun is that I’m able to connect with people and share my story and inspire and help encourage them without ever meeting them, just because I decided to write a book. Then there’s also income to top it off.

 

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Business Processes and Workflow Automation

As a busy business owner, it can be overwhelming to keep track of all of the moving parts in your business. You may be maxed out on the amount of work your team can handle or you may have projects that struggle to meet the deadline and budget. The answer is to automate your business.

As you can see in this video, there are a lot of factors to consider when documenting your workflows. The investment of time and effort is certainly worth it. Once your business processes are developed into automated workflows your team will never miss a step and you can quickly and easily review the status of a project.

The business process management platform that I require all of my clients to use is Bitrix24. It is a suite of company communication tools, task and project management, sales funnel, and CRM.

There are many benefits to automating your workflows. As this video explains it will raise productivty, lower costs, increase ROI and meet your customer’s needs.

In order for your business to grow and succeed, you need a strong team.To have a strong team they need to know what their roles are and what they are expected to deliver. When a business is very small team members “just know” what they are supposed to do for a small number of customers. In order to scale a business team members need an at a glance task list to let them know what their role is on a given project at any time. When you automate your business processes it takes away the guesswork and allows your business to deliver consistent results to an ever-growing number of customers.

Book a free 30-minute consultation with Nichole to assess your business needs.

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Nichole answers 3 Tough Questions

In this week’s episode of Street Stories Podcast, Nichole answers questions sent in by our listeners.

If you are wondering about how many of the homeless are actually trying to do something to get out of it or what helped me the most when I was homeless, or what clear paths there are out of homelessness, you will want to listen to this episode of Street Stories Podcast.

Also, if you are looking for a movie that portrays modern homelessness in America, check out Time Out Of Mind with Richard Geer.

My book is nearly available. You can check it out here (A Heart Without A Home).

A HEART WITHOUT A HOME

 

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I’ve been sick, but I’m back!

Did you find “true love” this Valentine’s Day? Or at least, enjoy a day off work in honor of our nation’s presidents? Whatever you did this weekend, I hope you were blessed. I spent the majority of this last week battling a head cold and am nearly recovered. I was so sick that I wasn’t able to produce an episode of Street Stories Podcast last week.

Fortunately, I have since been able to bring you the most recent episode about a college student who found herself homeless and nearly managed to keep her situation a secret. Now she is a successful business woman and is motivating and inspiring others to transform their lives.

You can hear Elizabeth Hronek sharing her personal story of homelessness in college here.

According to data gathering by FAFSA about 58,000 college students are homeless. These young adults are leaving home for the first time and they are being bombarded with expenses and are developing debt. For too many, it is too much for them to manage and they are living on friend’s couches or in their cars. If you have the opportunity, reach out and make a difference in the life of a struggling college student.

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Podcast Launch and Book Preview

I’m in LOVE!!!!

Street StoriesI am completely in love with my new podcast “Street Stories Podcast”.

I have published my first interview with a fellow CEO Space graduate whose family became homeless through no fault of their own. You can hear her interview HERE.

If you would like to hear my story and why I decided to launch this podcast, you can find that HERE.

As a final gift, I am providing (for a very limited time) a chance to read my book “A Heart Without A Home” for free before it is released.

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5 Benefits of Housing First

More and more states are implementing a Housing First approach to deal with homelessness. Instead of offering only emergency services while people remain homeless, studies have proven it to be more effective to provide permanent housing (not just emergency shelters) first, this way participants will get more out of any other services needed and will be more likely to transition into their own independent housing.

Here are 5 key benefits to the housing first model

  1. Having an address– When those experiencing homelessness are given housing they are then able to receive the services they need. One challenge with getting employment while homeless is that you need an address to get an ID and to receive important things in the mail.
  2. Shelter from harsh elements- Freezing temperatures, dehydration, and damp sleeping conditions are only a few factors that cause many homeless to require emergency medical care. Emergency services for the homeless are very expensive and providing housing reduces the number of health conditions requiring emergency services.
  3. Greater response to services- A condition of Housing First programs is participation in various services such as health care services, mental health treatment, substance
    abuse treatment, money management, assistance in applying for benefits, and
    employment services. Participants in Housing First models are much more likely to engage in these services than those without housing.
  4. A greater sense of well-being- Living without permanent shelter can be very demoralizing. Too often those experiencing homelessness are ignored or worse harassed and abused. The longer someone lives homeless, the more hopeless they begin to feel and the less motivated they are to seek change. Quality, safe housing creates an environment where people will be able to deal more effectively with daily problems, feel better able to control their life, their relationships improve, they feel more part of the community, they feel better about self, they have a greater sense of independence, and they have a greater sense of freedom.
  5. It saves money- Due to reducing spending on emergency services and creating an environment with sustainable solutions, Housing First is very cost effective.  In a Housing First program in Canada, for every $10 invested into the program, there were savings of nearly $7 and for the highest need people the savings was almost $22.
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