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Working at midnight

Mindmapping software, writers and procrastination, keeping your day job, and building an audience around... you.

Iain Broome
Iain Broome
4 min read
Working at midnight
Iain Broom working in a well-lit shed office with streetlights in the distance and rolling hills of the Peak District.
Me in my garden office on the hill. Sheffield suburbs. Peak District in the distance.

Another week flies by and here's another edition of Draft Mode sent my me, Iain Broome, over here in my shed with my many Post it notes. If you look closely, you can see me in there working at midnight* in the picture above.

Try not to get too excited, but this week I wrote an absolutely fascinating blog post explaining how to subscribe to the new blog and this newsletter through an RSS reader. I also went through what an RSS reader actually is, if you don't already know.

Oh – and if you are already subscribed to via RSS, and I know some of you are, then there is a new feed for you to add to your reader. Like I say, all very exciting.

It's been a busy one. I'll leave you to the excellent content on offer below.


PS Hello to all new subscribers! Very pleased to have you here. Here's a roadmap.

* I love working at midnight. It's a terrible idea and I don't recommend it, but all my very best writing has come in the wee hours when I've got literally nothing else left to distract me.

Every issue I collect and share the best advice, apps and other shenanigans that I find on my internet travels. Find something useful? Subscribe for free.

Based on a True True Story?

This is good fun. The folks at Information is Beautiful studied some famous 'true story' Hollywood films scene by scene and turned them into the visualisation you can see in the image above. You can click on every one of those bars to learn just how close to 'true' each scene was. Not especially useful, but jolly good fun to play around with if you're a storyteller type.

Why Writers Are the Worst Procrastinators

Enjoyed this longish-form piece on procrastination, imposter syndrome and leaving everything until absolutely the last minute.

“Work finally begins,” says Alain de Botton, “when the fear of doing nothing exceeds the fear of doing it badly.” For people with an extremely fixed mind-set, that tipping point quite often never happens. They fear nothing so much as finding out that they never had what it takes.

Ouch! Well that hurt a bit. If you recognise yourself in any of this article, you have my greatest sympathy. But also I can tell you that deadlines work. And I should probably set one of my own.

How To Build Your Audience When Your Topic Is You

This short post by Josh Spector will chime with author types. It's a big problem for writers. You are encouraged to build a platform and that's fine, but what you want is for people to become fans of... you and your books.

As you might have noticed, like many authors with an audience, I've gone down the route of helping other writers. Through this newsletter. Through my blog posts. And especially through the Write for Your Life podcast, back in the day.

Knowing how hard it is to write a whole, entire book, let alone get it published, I get a lot out of helping other writers. But ultimately, I do still want my audience – forgive me for calling you that – to be into... me. My creative process. My take on writing. Ultimately my books.

So yeah. It's a tricky thing. And this post has some good, straightforward advice.

Why authors should keep the day job

Are you an aspiring author? Then I recommend you read this piece in the Bookseller by author, Anna Vaught. Not to scare you off or make you think there's no point to your efforts, but so you know what you're getting yourself into!

For those of you who've long read me banging on about subscriptions and memberships, this is why. It's a way that authors can build a career with a reliable income through a direct relationship with readers.

The best mind mapping software in 2021

I know a lot of you like to plan your writing projects with a good mind map. It's something I have tried but singularly failed to stick with for any length of time. So I thought I'd take another look at what apps are out there and hey, to no one's surprise, the internet – specifically the Zapier blog – has a handy list of options.

Tweets of the week

Tweets are but the sticky entrails of a slain fart dragon. But some of them are quite good. You can follow @iainbroome and @unslush 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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