In this Behind the Scenes interview with Richard Lowe, learn the 3 writing strategies that helped him write and publish 7 books in 30 days.
Get the PDF transcript here:
In This Episode, You’ll Learn:
- The writing schedule that worked best for Richard.
- Why taking breaks can help your productivity.
- The one technique that helped Richard increase his words per minute the most.
Find out more about Richard Lowe here: www.thewritingking.com.
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Godly Gain Segment:
Each week, I share a Godly Gain segment for entrepreneurs who want to keep Christ at the center of their business.
Today’s scripture: “Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow.” – James 1:17 (NLT)
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Can’t listen right now? Read the transcript below:
This is episode 6 of Author Audience.
INTRO. Welcome to Author Audience, where I’m on a mission to help you reach more people with your message. It’s time for you to shine. Today I’m rolling out the red carpet and inviting you into my community for a behind-the-scenes look at what’s working for authors just like you. My name is Shelley Hitz. I’m the owner of Author Audience Academy. The most rewarding part of my job is helping others to get results and to reach their goals. In this episode, I want to position the spotlight on one of my members, and that member is Richard Lowe.
RICHARD: Thank you. Happy to be here.
SHELLEY: Richard is one of the most prolific members I have, and he’ll be talking about that soon. But I just wanted to briefly introduce you, Richard, from your bio. Richard has spent 33 years in the community and information technology industry. So you just told me, you’re a computer guy, right?
RICHARD: I am a computer guy.
SHELLEY: He decided to take early retirement to pursue his dreams of becoming a professional writer and published author. We’ll hear more about that soon. Richard is a leader in the community industry serving as V.P., consulting at two companies, VIN director, and computer operations at Trader’s Joes. During his 24-year tenure at TJ’s, he focused on security and preparing for the possibility of disaster, so he’s written hundreds of articles and actively works as a professional ghostwriter. If you’re looking for a ghostwriter, you might want to check out Richard.
And he’s done a ton of other things. He’s published books on his own, and he’s written a short e-book on the aspects of freelance writing and so much more.
Welcome, Richard. I’m so happy to have you.
RICHARD: Happy to be here.
SHELLEY: One of the things I wanted you to teach about in today’s center-stage spotlight training is about being a prolific writer and what really helped you to reach that writing zone where you’ve been able to write a lot of books. How many books have you written recently? I’ve lost track.
RICHARD: In the last thirty days, I published seven.
SHELLEY: That’s amazing. Seven books in thirty days.
RICHARD: It’s about 150,000 words.
SHELLEY: Did you write all of those books, too, or were some of them already written?
RICHARD: I wrote them all.
RICHARD: I’ve got three in progress.
SHELLEY: It’s amazing. I’m excited for all of us to learn from Richard today. His success strategy that he’s going to be sharing is just what he’s learned about writing quality books fast. So tell me just a little bit about your journey in this last month and some things that have really helped you in getting this much writing done.
RICHARD: Well, I was writing the computer book, the first one, and I got a bit into it, and I was scattered all over the place writing a novel and writing some other books, and I didn’t know what to do. And then I saw your email pop up that said, “Hey, come to my teleseminar.” I said, “Okay, fine. What do I have to lose?” Another one of those, you know.
RICHARD: Just demands money, blah, blah, blah. It turns out, it wasn’t that, and you turned out to be an awesome speaker, and you gave me information even in the teleseminar that I could use, which is kind of different from most of them. Most of them don’t do that.
So by the time the seminar was over, I had already bought the program.
SHELLEY: I remember that.
RICHARD: Before it was over, and I’m all happy and stuff. Already starting to take the courses while you’re talking. It was quite funny. And I got all excited. And what motivated me about the course is you talked about short kindle e-books, and I had been trying to write much longer, harder, more researched paperbacks that were taking months to write because of the research involved and interviewing people and all of that, and something clicked.
It was like, oh, yeah, you know. It’s a lot less risk to spend—for me, it takes actually three days to write one of those kindle e-books of about ten thousand words. However long it takes is a lot less risk than spending whatever writing a paperback. You write it; if it doesn’t sell, fine, you’ve wasted a few days or a week. You just didn’t waste six months.
RICHARD: That really motivated me. So I started writing. Boom. Boom. Boom. They started coming. And they just come fast and furious because I’ve got a lot of ideas. I’ve got a lot of experience in different areas and the course is really good. I’ve kind of decided to—I’ve gotten through the first module and I decided to stop, get the ideas out, write the books, and then I’m going to pursue the second module, which is kind of how to sell them.
SHELLEY: You were mentioning how it really helped you to start scheduling your writing. Talk to us a little bit about that.
RICHARD: Well, that was one of the things that I decided to do, was to set a calendar, and, say, in my case, from 4:00 [p.m.] to midnight, and other people have different times than my writing time. I did two things. Every day my calendar beeps: “It’s time to start writing, stupid.” And also, I set my time to write for forty-five minutes, and then I take a fifteen-minute break and go do something else. Then I come back, set the timer for forty-five minutes. So I’m not writing that entire time, and that really helps because I found I get what I call “square eyes” if I stare at the computer screen for too long.
SHELLEY: That’s really smart because—they talk about that, you know—giving yourself a set period of time. I think it’s the technique. I think theirs is like twenty or thirty minutes, but that’s smart what you’ve done because you give yourself a period of time and tell yourself, you have forty-five minutes to write. Go. Your brain takes that, forty-five minutes, what can I get done? Then you give yourself a break physically.
I used to be a specialist in ergonomics when I practiced physical therapy. It’s good to get up and stretch, but it’s also good for your mind to give yourself a break and then you come back for another forty-five minutes. It’s a great tip and it sounds like it’s worked well for you.
RICHARD: In that fifteen minutes, I jump on my exercise bike and watch something. Something different, something not writing.
RICHARD: It works very well.
SHELLEY: Oh, that’s really cool. You have also found that you really have a lot of success with speaking books. Tell me a little bit about how that’s been working for you.
RICHARD: That came as a total surprise. I read it in your course or listened to it, whatever.
RICHARD: And you said dictation. I thought, “Well, I have Dragon, I’ve already paid for it, so I might as well give it a shot.” I never had any luck with it, but I decided to give it one more try before deleting it from my system forever, and suddenly, I found myself, instead of writing two hundred words per hour, writing 1,500 words per hour because I could just speak them. Now, of course, you’ve got to go back and edit it, but that’s a whole different path.
RICHARD: Bam. I could write a ten-thousand-word book literally in one day, and then I spend the next day editing it and the third day I edit it again just to make sure, and then I send it to a proofreader.
That technique seems to be working really well
SHELLEY: Yeah. Every person is different. What will work for you may not necessarily work for me, but I love that you’re sharing these techniques because some of our listeners may resonate with one of these tips and someone may think, “Oh, I haven’t tried that before. I may try dictating as well.” And they may find it works well.
I find even using the built-in dictation on my iPad or iPhone is pretty accurate, and I’ve done it while out on the trail walking, and obviously, I can’t be too technical on a trail or I would probably trip. But I have dictated things when I’m out and about even sometimes, too.
So it’s a great technique and I’m really happy that you have found a zone and that you’re really finding success with this, and I’m excited to see what’s next for you. I know that you have a ton of writing to do, but I know you’ll do well with the marketing, too, because you’re definitely a go-getter.
I love seeing you on the forums, and you’ve been very active in the forums. I remember you saying one day, “I can’t believe how much more productive I’ve been just being in the forums, writing my take-action plans, and interacting with people.” Tell me just a little bit about that.
RICHARD: Well, I tend to be very active on forums anyway because it’s a great way to get data from people and to contribute and stuff, and I just jumped in and started talking. I just started introducing myself and asking if people needed help. Mostly talking about, I was having all of these whims, and people started talking and it was great. It produces energy and the energy grows, and then somebody says something—“Oh, yeah, that’s a good idea”—and I’m off doing that thing, and maybe it turned out not to be a good idea or something, but at least it was an idea.
It’s funny, though, how the energy picked up, and it really helped. I had more things in the forums than anybody else, but somebody passed me recently.
SHELLEY: Yeah. There is a leaderboard in our forums at the Academy and Richard has been at the top for a while.
RICHARD: I got passed.
SHELLEY: So it is, it’s really—it’s encouraging and motivating to have a place. I’m in there daily interacting with everyone. And to have a place where you can post your goals every week, but then also post your whims, and, you know, have other people encouraging you, and offering input and advice, getting input on book covers or book titles, that sort of thing. So thank you so much for being such an integral part of that forum, and you were there right when it was starting, so it’s just exciting to have you part of it.
As we’re wrapping down today’s session, I want you to share with our listeners a take-action tip. What is one thing you would recommend that they do, that they take action on this week, as a result of the training you shared?
RICHARD: Actually, I thought of two, if that’s okay.
SHELLEY: Yeah, that’s fine.
RICHARD: The first one is make your calendar. Set some time in the day, whenever your best time of writing is, and create a calendar every day or every Tuesday or whenever you’re going to write, and set the calendar up exactly that way and then follow it. So when it says it’s time to write, close the door, kick the cat out, tell the wife to go away or whatever. That’s your writing time.
And follow that religiously. Put it on your Google calendar or whatever you’ve got so you get prompted. It’s time to write now. And then write.
And that works very well because then you don’t have any excuses.
RICHARD: And then the second one was a problem that I found that I had, [which] was, I used to write and edit at the same time. So I would be writing, delete, delete, delete, writing, delete, delete, delete. That’s something that Dragon dictionary solved, which is one reason why my rate went up and now I’m just writing.
The second takeaway is write. It doesn’t matter what it says. Edit later and that really helps because you don’t need to think as much. It’s a whole different exercise. It’s a hat. A different hat. A different job.
SHELLEY: Yes. Yes. That’s such good advice. Everyone says that, from Steven King to you and I. We do better when we just let it all flow on the first draft—and the first draft is never the final draft—and then do the editing. Those are really great tips, Richard. It’s just obvious why you’re getting so much success and you’re having so much momentum because you’re definitely putting those things into place.
Thank you so much for being here today. Where can people find you online if they want to connect with you or if they want to find out more about what you offer with your ghostwriting services?
SHELLEY: Awesome. Thanks, Richard.
RICHARD: You’re welcome.
SHELLEY: Before we end, I want to give you a backstage pass in this week’s Godly Gain Segment, which is all about keeping Christ at the center of all we do. Now, listening to Richard’s story and his strategies may have you feeling a little bit overwhelmed, or you may be comparing yourself to him and saying, “I could never do what he’s doing.” However, I want to encourage you today: God has gifted each one of us individually and uniquely for exactly what He wants us to do.
The Scripture I want to share today is James 1:17: “Every good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God, our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow.” I love that part. “Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father.”
I encourage each one of you today to ask God, what is the gift that He’s given you, and how can you most wisely use the gifts He’s given to you? Instead of comparing yourself to someone else, use Richard’s success as a catalyst, as a motivator, and see what you can apply from what he has shared to the gifts God has given to you.
Richard mentioned in today’s interview about my live webinar. He called it a teleseminar, but it’s the same thing. I love giving tons of information and also having you come away from the webinar with something you can apply. If you would like to join me on my next webinar, simply sign up at authoraudience.com/webinar. I would love to see you there.
Don’t miss next week’s episode, which is about book launches. I’m excited to share with you next week about this topic because I know that it’s a topic a lot of authors are interested in. In fact, I did a survey of my authoraudience.com members, and book launches was at the top of the list of what they wanted to learn about. So I’m excited to share more with you and I’ll see you next time.
OUTRO: Thanks for listening to this episode of the Author Audience Show. Connect with us online at authoraudience.com, where you will find all the resources mentioned in today’s episode. While you’re there, grab Shelley’s free video training on how to write and publish your book using her six-step method. Join us again next week to learn how to reach your audience with your message.
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