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Small, repeated actions

Authors on beaches, types of short story, what authors really earn, and a manifesto for making good stuff.

Iain Broome
Iain Broome
4 min read
Small, repeated actions

Thanks so much for all the lovely feedback after last week's newsletter.

One thing I didn't say was that I plan to make these introductions shorter. I've always got exciting links to share, but often find myself dilly-dallying over what to say in these paragraphs you're reading right now.

So from now on, if I have something to share, I'll do it in a blog post and link to it here in the newsletter. Which is quite a neat idea, given that the newsletter archive is also on my website too.

Anyway. Above you can enjoy a picture of AAA-author Haruki Murakami keeping it real in his beachwear. It's from an important piece on Lit Hub about your favourite author's best beach looks. And I got to that from the excellent Prolifiko newsletter for writers.

That's it. Enjoy the goodies below.


Every issue I collect and share the best advice, apps and other shenanigans that I find on my internet travels. Find something useful? Forward to a friend or subscribe for free.

Listnr could be a great tool for hearing your writing read out loud

Listnr – High quality text to speech

Now this is a fascinating bit of kit. It's an app or service marketed at podcasters. But really, anyone can throw some text in and have a fancy AI voice read it back at you. And those voices are actually pretty good! So yeah, you could use it to turn your writing into a podcast if you don't want to do it yourself. But you could also use it to create an audiobook. Or to simply hear your writing read out loud so you can listen for problems. Good stuff. Try the demo.

How Much Do Authors Earn? Here's the Answer No One Likes.

This is spot on from Jane Friedman over on her blog. It's a good overview of the reality authors face if they want to make a career out of their writing. In fact, that's not quite right. For the vast, vast majority of authors, actual writing makes up a small percentage of their income. As I have said before, it can feel like little more than a sexy hobby. Even if you're successful.

What is a Short Story? Definitions and Examples

This is on the Reedsy blog and it gives you a handy rundown of all the different types of short story in the world. Personally, I'm a big fan of the microstory – the moments and fragments of lives captured in a sentence or two. I'm always jotting stuff like that down. You may like Pieces.

Indexing, filing systems, and the art of finding what you have

Love this blog post on indexing your notes and nuggets by my old fave, Austin Kleon, whose blog I've been reading for about a decade. He cites some great examples of authors and comedians who have kept tonnes of material in sensible ways.

As you probably know, I'm working on my second novel at the moment. And when people ask how many words I've written, I don't know how to answer. The truth is lots, but those words are everywhere. I need to get indexing too.

How to increase your word count

Author Julie Cohen has loads of great writing articles you can take a look at. This one on increasing your word count is interesting. I'm a firm believer that any progress is good progress. That you can write a single sentence and it feel like you've achieved something marvellous. But I also know that to finish writing a book, at some point you just have to get the words out in bulk.

A Simple Manifesto For Making Good Sh*t

So much of this is absolutely ace. And if you are a creative sort of any kind, please give yourself 10 minutes to read it. Two stand outs for me. First on the idea that to make something good, you need to care about it. Like, really care.

Making something is hard. Making something you don’t care about is even harder.

And then second:

Every single project, every book that’s been written, every company that grew into a billion-dollar enterprise, started with one, single action.

This is absolutely true about writing. And I've been a sucker many times over for feeling so overwhelmed by the task in hand that I fail to take the first action. It's so much easier to just... not. But also such a terrible idea.

This is essentially what Nathan Filer spoke about in his Ted Talk that I linked to in last week's newsletter. Small, repeated actions lead to big things.

Tweets of the week

Tweets are but pubes stuck to a mould-infested shower curtain. But some of them are quite good. You can follow @iainbroome and @DraftModeHQ on Twitter.

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Draft Mode is a weekly newsletter by Iain Broome, author of the novel, A is for Angelica. Join 1000+ subscribers and start receiving the tools and tips that help you improve, publish and promote your writing. Subscribe for free.

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I'm the author of the novel, A is for Angelica. Every week, I send Draft Mode, a newsletter full of tips and tools that help you improve your craft and promote your writing.

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