If you've ever wondered what it takes to be an author, this is the blog post for you. Not so much because I know what it takes to be an author, but because today I'm putting the spotlight on Nina Amir, author of The Author Training Manual. Not only does she share a little about herself here, but she also gives some insight into the "author attitude". So, settle in and learn more about Nina Amir and her book The Author Training Manual...you can even enter to win a free copy!
Tell me how you came to be a writer:
I've been writing since I was in elementary school. I used to write stories about horses! And in middle school and high school, as well as into adulthood, I kept a journal. In high school I wrote short stories and had dreams of becoming a novelist, but I went to college to become a magazine journalist because I thought I would have a higher likelihood of earning a living that way.
So, I became a magazine journalist as well as a magazine editor. That lead me later to editing books and then to writing books.
What is one of your biggest challenges in writing?
Having too many ideas and not enough time to produce all the work right NOW. I have a list of 14 books still to come, and not all of them are in the same subject area! There is a plan; my agent and I created it. But I’d like to just sit and write all day, just like most writers. Instead, much of my day is spent handling email, dealing with business-related matters, blogging (which is writing but would fall into the promotion/business category), teaching, and handling the details of my online business and speaking business. I write quickly. I’m impatient to get the work done. Not all of it should be written at this moment. I need to produce it in a logical manner and build platform for some of it. I get frustrated…
What kind of writing do you enjoy reading?
Nonfiction in the areas of spirituality, metaphysics, body-mind-spirit, and personal development. I’m very woo woo. I do like fiction, but I rarely have time for it; I think of it as an indulgence…a treat. I tend to read things that help me do a better job of my job or help me grow as a person and fulfill my potential.
What do you do when you’re not writing?
Hah! If I were to be very honest, I would have to say I work or write all the time. When I do take time off, I cycle. I walk on the beach with my husband. I walk on the road near my home, which is in the Santa Cruz Mountains and surrounded by Redwood Trees. I try to keep up with my wild property, which means pulling weeds and cutting things down. Or I travel to the opposite coast to see my daughter, mother and sister or to Germany to see my son.
How would you describe your writing style and what are you working on now?
I’m not sure anyone has ever asked me that before… I guess I’d say my writing style is practical and matter of fact. It isn’t flowery or literary. It’s down and dirty and tell-it-like it is. It’s based on my experience and meant to teach and inform and inspire at the same time. On the other hand, it can be very personal and authentic.
I’m working on one project that I can’t mention. Sorry…It’s something that I have to finish by the end of October and involves blogging.
I am working on three e-books, one of which is mentioned in The Author Training Manual and was supposed to be published already (and will be very soon). It’s called The Nonfiction Book Proposal Demystified. I have another that will be released later this year on building a business around your book and one more on building a better blog that also will be released this year or early in 2015.
Additionally…if that was not enough…I have two book proposals I’m starting on for writing-related books. I hope to get around to a personal development or practical spirituality book or e-book in the not-too-distant future as well.
Your bio refers to you as “Inspiration to Creation Coach” –tell us how this title found you.
I’m not sure that I’d say it found me. I worked at creating it to a great extent. I really needed a brand. And had two areas in which I was working—I had two sites. I’m just now combining them into one under NinaAmir.com. One was Copywrightcommunications.com and the other was Purespiritcreations.com. So I was doing writing, publishing and blogging in one area, and I had two or three blogs about this as well. Then I had the other site and one blog related to personal development and growth, practical spirituality, metaphysics and things like that. I felt a bit like a split personality.
I wanted to create a brand that brought all of this together. I realized that in both areas I was helping people create things. On one side, I was helping my clients create books, blogs, and articles—writing products. On the other side, I was helping my clients create all types of things related to their dreams, desires, goals, and potential. I asked everyone I worked with and who read my blogs what I did for them; they all said that in one way or another I inspired them. (Interestingly, even How to Blog a Book inspires people, in this case to blog and to blog books.)
So, I thought about it and realized that the things I do are not that different no matter what area I work in. I inspire creation. I move people from inspiration to creation by helping them combine their passion and their purpose. And that’s how I became the Inspiration to Creation Coach.
You offer author/creative coaching and coaching on spirituality and personal growth –how did you get into such diverse topics?
As I said, my education and professional experience lies in writing and publishing. My passion and purpose lies in spiritually and personal growth or development. I actually do a bit of both on the writing and publishing end. And many of my inspired results clients are writers. But it’s because of my interest in personal growth that I do this work…and my interest in spirituality. I’m a trained Voice Dialogue facilitator, a trained re-birther, know a variety of clearing exercises, and I even used to read Tarot cards!
Your book, The Author’s Training Manual, is rated 4.5 stars on Amazon. What sets it apart from other books on writing?
The Author Training Manual: Develop Marketable Ideas, Craft Books That Sell, Become the Author Publishers Want, and Self-Publish Effectively, is the only book on the market that offers aspiring authors a process to help them produce marketable book ideas—ones that sell. The exercises it contains train them to become successful authors by helping them develop an Author Attitude, produce a business plan for their books and evaluate themselves and their ideas through the same lens used by agents and acquisitions editors. Whether they are aspiring or published authors, write fiction or nonfiction, plan to self-publish or traditionally publish, be all writers need a publishing professional’s tools and skills to determine if a book idea is a viable product in a target market. This book trains them to have these skills.
How did you go from being an “aspiring writer” to an “actual author”?
I used the process described in The Author Training Manual. Plus, I spent 10 years+ learning everything I could about the publishing industry. I attended 8 years of writing conferences. I interviewed publishing professionals. I immersed myself in the publishing industry and learned from experts. I became an expert on the publishing industry.
I developed what I call an Author Attitude. I became willing, optimistic, objective, and tenacious. I refused to fail. And I wrapped my arms around everything it takes to succeed, loving it all because, no matter what the task, it took me one step closer to my goal: successful authorship.
You’re involved in so many things –multiple blogs, coaching, writing your own books…how do you keep up with it all?
I used to do it all myself, and I still do most of it. I now have two virtual assistants who help with my newsletters and some of my blog work, but not the writing. I have a developer who helps with some of my website work.
Beyond that, it’s all me. That means I work long, long hours. I’ve always done this, but now my kids are out of the house and I have the time. My husband works very long hours as well, so this isn’t a problem. You will find me at my desk by 8 or 8:30 at the latest (sometimes by 7:30) in the morning. And I usually don’t leave my home-office until 8 p.m. when my husband comes home for dinner. I often work late into the night if I have deadlines.
I guess you could call me a workaholic, but I really love what I do. That said, I’m trying to find more balance. That’s why I’ve hired VAs. I would like to have more free time, but I’m rarely unhappy. I just would like to be writing more and handling less details, and that’s the goal for this year.