It’s so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of Christmas preparations and activities, especially as they pertain to gifts. Once I had children, the frenzy picked up its pace. There are old traditions from both my side and my husband’s side of the family to uphold, new family traditions to create, places to be and highly anticipated presents to buy. Read More
In just a couple of days, those of us here in the United States will celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday. Family members will travel across the country (sometimes, around the world) to be together on this special day that is steeped in tradition. And while this would seem to provide ample opportunity to reconnect and spend quality time together, we Americans are busy people. We often disburse into various groups: those who watch the Macy’s parade on television, those who participate in local Turkey Trot races (often done in an attempt to compensate for the overabundance of calories they will consume later that day), those who gather to watch the football game, those who go brave the elements (and the crowds) to jumpstart their Christmas shopping, those who bustle around the kitchen preparing the day’s feast, and the list goes on.
Yet there’s one time that you can be certain that everyone will gather in one place: when the food is served. Typically, this brief time together is full of laughter and catching up with each other’s latest endeavors. But with a little advanced planning, you can extend this time of fellowship and turn it into an opportunity to share and preserve family history. Here’s how: Read More
Yes, I really did. I just sent a message to my email list containing a video I made about my new service and I posted the same video on Twitter.
Now I’m cringing, realizing that my video is cheesy. That I stumbled over my words. That it’s obviously recorded by an amateur. And while I’m very nervous of what comments may be made (“Wow – she has a huge forehead”) and how I’ll be perceived (“She had the gall to make a sales offer!”), I’m also excited to have pushed past my fears and complete something new and challenging. And even more than that, share it with others. Read More
Who is your audience? It’s a simple enough question. And your answer may appear simple as well: “my readers.” But that’s not specific enough. You’re not writing for “everyone;” you’re writing for the people who are seeking the information you have to share. Thus, regardless of genre, you need to concentrate on your target audience.
Yes, even memoir or autobiography writers need to visualize their ideal reader throughout the process. You might be thinking, “It’s the story of my life! Why should I consider the reader?” Because although your story is about you and your experiences, it must relate in some manner to your audience. If they don’t connect with your content – emotionally or intellectually – then they will quickly lose interest and never finish the book, let alone recommend it to others.
To keep your audience engaged, consider the following three points:Read More
Author’s Note: Throughout the month of July, I ran a contest called, “Is There a Legacy in Your Midst?” Individuals nominated a friend or family member to receive a complimentary 30-minute interview and document package from Lasting Legacies. Ms. Valya Shapiro was randomly drawn as the winner. She owns and operates Turnkey Living, Inc., an interior design company outside of Boston, Massachusetts. During our interview, I was impressed by her thoughtful responses and her poignant storytelling ability. I think that you will find the following excerpt of her quest to find freedom through education compelling and inspiring.
Dalene Bickel: Valya, I was hoping that you could share about your childhood in Turkey.
Valya Shapiro: I was born in Istanbul to a Jewish family whose ancestors left Spain in 1492 after the Inquisition, so I have an approximate 500-year history in Turkey. It’s a history which, unfortunately when I grew up, was tumultuous for me.
I was a young child during World War II. Even though Turkey ultimately decided not to enter the War, my father was taken to a concentration camp anyway. It began as a tax that was imposed on all Turkish citizens, but the minority groups (there were three small segments of us in Turkey – Greeks, Armenians, and Jews) were taxed beyond what they could afford. If they could not pay the full amount, they were taken away. Read More
So you have a book idea and you feel that now is as good a time as any to write it. You’re eager to get started, so you jot down a few notes, maybe even develop an outline. You write a few paragraphs and then a few pages.
“This writing thing isn’t so hard,” you think. You write a little more. And then it happens.
A work obligation. An illness. One or more of the million-and-one things on your to-do list. Whatever “it” is, it diverts your attention, requires your time and ensures that you don’t write that day. Before you know it, one obligation or emergency or fun night out leads to recurring neglect of your book for weeks or months.
Friends and family members ask how your story is coming along. You wince at the reminders and being too proud to admit the truth, you simply state, “Great!” Eventually, you resume your writing, but by then you’ve lost your mojo and have to start back at square one.
Distraction is a common problem for writers of all genres, but it doesn’t have to happen. This type of scenario can be avoided if you take the time to employ this simple strategy before writing your first sentence.Read More
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Dalene Bickel is an author, book coach and speaker who helps aspiring authors successfully write, develop and self-publish their books.
What My Clients Say:
I want to thank you for the smooth process you provided in the publishing of my father’s memoirs. Your patience and prompt responses with my questions were invaluable. Having had no experience, I felt I could trust and rely on your expertise, and we were thrilled with the final product!