Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Could I YouTube That?

Hang in to the end and enter to win a free book especially for writers!

I am in the process of moving, meaning I have to get my current house ready to sell. That may sound easy to you. In fact, I’ve had people tell me I should “just hire someone.”

Just hire someone to:

Stain the deck?
Replace caulking around the window?
Paint the hall?
Paint the woodwork in the bathroom?
Power wash the porch?

Well, you get the idea. The list goes on and on. Some of the jobs are big and some are small. All are going to cost money. So the do-it-yourselfer in me kicked in. I figured if my husband could do these things, so could I. I’ll admit I’ve had some family members and friends step in to help, but I’ve also learned how to put down a smooth bead of caulking by watching YouTube.

It turns out you can find nearly anything on YouTube. Some of it is good. Some of it is helpful. And yes, there are some videos out there that are neither good nor helpful.

The whole do-it-yourself process set me to thinking.  I’ve viewed a few YouTube offerings in my quest as a writer from time-to-time. For example, when I started using Scrivener, I watched a few tutorials on YouTube to remind me about each function.  (Scrivener is a program to organize your manuscript) Here is an example of a Scrivener tutorial:

You can find YouTube how-to videos on drafting a novel, editing, revising, indie publishing, traditional publishing, understanding a contract, and well, nearly every topic you may question in the writing and publishing process.
Beware: Sifting through the potential videos takes time.

You will find a few prolific YouTube personalities who publish strong and helpful series. You may find an interview with one of your favorite authors or with an agent giving you great tips on talking to an agent.

The point is this: Every writer needs to pursue professional development. Writers need to study their craft on a regular basis. It must be a part of their business plan if they wish to succeed.

And where do you get that great instruction? Conferences? Yes. Classes? Of, course. Books? Indeed. But the next time you’re conflicted about a plot point or when you aren’t sure how to prepare your synopsis to pitch to a publisher, ask yourself, “Could I YouTube that?”

To get you started, I found a TED talk I think is fun and inspiring addressing the notion that good writing starts with a great idea: Click here to sit in on this great talk by author Brad Herzog

I also found two YouTube offerings on the elevator pitch I want to share. The first is a guide to boil down your finished manuscript into one sentence and the second is an intriguing short video offering you six creative ideas to pitch your book.

Video 1: The elevator pitch:

Video 2: 6 elevator pitches for the 21st century :

NOW FOR YOUR HOMEWORK: See if you can find a YouTube offering that is helpful for other writers. Paste the link in the comment section below. #WritersHelpingWriters!

Have fun! And if I have at least five people finding helpful videos to share, I’ll throw the names in a hat and give away three of my books from the Writing to Publish Series: Designing a Business Plan for Your Writing, Marketing You and Your Writing 101, or Writing with E’s.

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