Development and Advances in Writing

I have been absent for a couple of weeks on this site, and that is because I have completed my true crime novel – The A-Z of British Serial Killers. As a writer, the feeling of finishing such a big piece of work is always rewarding, and I can not wait to share it with you. As a preview of the release next week here is the cover reveal.

A serial killer is defined as someone who has killed more than three people over some time. Serial Killers are sadistic and controlling in nature. However, they rarely kill for profit. Instead, they are motivated by psychological needs.  

The A-Z of UK serial killers is a walk through some of the most depraved minds in the United Kingdom.  For each letter of the alphabet, there is a serial killer. Some readers may have heard off, some not. 

So if you are obsessed with true crime, then sit back and let’s take a walk through the alphabet and meet twenty-six of the most vicious killers, from Victorian times to the present day. 

The other area I have been developing for all Crime fans is my Patreon. If you ask someone to invest hard-earned money into your writing, you need to add quality to it. It has taken me many months, but I finally think I have the level right, and I even got the opportunity to design some original merchandise for my followers. Members also get a FREE signed book, so it is an excellent time to join.

For those that remember, I used to run my writing mentor course through Patreon, but I have decided that this would sit better in Ko-fi. Writers have the opportunity to pay for what services they need and not subscribe regularly or join for a monthly fee. Check out commissions if you need a one-off session or some editing help.

Now all this work is done, I can concentrate on providing you with writing tips that can help you all improve. Look out for next weeks post, which will show you how to use writing prompts to the best of your advantage, regardless of whether you win or not. Take care all.

The Only Resource You Need to Improve Your Writing

Whether you are an established writer or just starting, there is a vast wealth of information and advice on how to improve your writing. There is so much brilliant advice out there, caught within the tidal wave of ‘How I made $1000 in my first month’ articles.

Help can come at you from every direction, be it podcasts, books, or online courses. The variety is enormous. Much of this information is free; some writers have made a career out of helping other writers.

There is also a lot of advice you have to pay to access. Courses to make it big on Medium. Courses to write compelling content. They range anything from a couple of dollars to thousands. There is, however, one major problem with this content, it isn’t specific to your writing and your journey. It is general information that you have to adapt to your writing. Although valuable, it isn’t specific to you.

That was my major problem when I started. There was advice on writing personal essays, advice on getting noticed on Medium. However, there was no advice on writing when you have a full-time job and two children. There was no advice on how to research and write crime articles. What do you include? How do you know if it’s accurate information? I understand this; no one can write a course that applies to every writer in every situation. That is the limitation of courses and why I no longer pay thousands to access them.

It was this problem that led me to look at a different solution. Individual mentoring in writing is far more productive. You get personal advice for your journey. You get advice designed explicitly for your writing, your difficulties and your life. What could be better than a course designed just for you?

This was why I decided this was how I could help writers. I could offer individual mentoring, using my five years in professional writing and my twenty-five years of teaching experience — personal help for the individual writer.

Whether you want to subscribe to a monthly support service through my  Ko-fi, I can help you. You will get individual one-to-one support and mentoring to improve your writing or solve a tricky problem. Whether it’s social media marketing, structuring articles or using images effectively, we can work on any part of your development.

I have learned more from talking to established writers on an individual basis than any course or books has ever taught me. So access this support for your writing.

What a Viral TikTok Post Taught me About Content Creation

Until this weekend, I had completely forgotten what it means to be followed, have your work judged without earning a single penny. I have had one of my biggest successes since I started creating content, and I made a staggering nothing, yet it still feels fantastic. As content creators, we should all step back and enjoy that feeling again.

To do this, jump onto a new platform, build a following again and create for the pure joy of creating. That is what I did three months ago when I set up my TikTok account. I decided to call it Crime Blog. It isn’t even connected with my writer’s name. It is dedicated to one-minute murder.

My TikTok Journey

Until last weekend, I had some success gained 102 followers. I had dabbled with a range of videos, some funny, the world’s stupid criminals some more serious and of course some about my favourite Jack the Ripper. People had interacted with my profile and followed me. I had lost hours falling down rabbit holes watching people clean rooms and fill pots up. If you are on TikTok, you will know what I mean.

The main advantage was that it is a platform that chills my brain and allows me to relax; usually, words fight their way out for stories. It also allows me to trial my articles with a minute video. Over the months, I have learnt a little about video editing; a new skill is always fun to have. Most of all, I have enjoyed creating content for a platform with no pressure.

Viral TikTok

Last week, I was researching an article I was going to write on Princess Diana’s death. The video was of a former MI5 agent detailing why she thought Diana had been killed and linked her death to Israel’s conflict. When I watched it, the hairs stood up on my arm. I knew what I was watching was explosive, so I saved it for research on my article.

On an impulse that evening, I uploaded the clip to TikTok and asked the simple question as to whether they thought Princess Diana had been killed? Within a couple of hours, the views were over a thousand; my most popular video previously stood at just over 2000, so I was pleased. When I went to bed, the views had gone up to 10K, and I had gained 100 followers. I was delighted. There were also several comments, and people were opening up debates with each other.

When I woke the following day, the views were over 100K and still growing. Over a week, this one post has been viewed 633K times, has received over 2000 comments and gained me a massive 10K followers. Other videos I have posted have also gained traction, and at present, I have four with over 10K views.

Writer’s Own Graphic

What did I make from this?

Not a penny, but it has not stopped me from celebrating all week like I won the lottery. I did win the lottery. I had a viral hit, on a platform that was new to me, that is worth celebrating. That is a feeling we all need to get back to, rather than chasing the cents writing on platforms that monetise our content.

Do you remember what it felt like when you published your first piece of writing, and someone read it, maybe comment? Were you checking the dollar sign to see how much you had made, or were you just so bloody happy someone liked what you did? It would help if you experienced this again.

Now I face the dilemma of monetising my Tiktok with over 10K followers, but should I? If I did this, would I once again be chasing the pennies and worrying about content creation? Would the joy of simply creating be taken away? The other side of me worries that I am missing out on potential income to feed the family. I still have not made my decision.

What I learnt about viral content

Whether you make videos, write or create pictures, there are lessons you can take away from my viral content.

  • You never know when and what content will take off. Your first viral hit may be the one you are writing now.
  • Luck plays a part in all viral content, the right post at the right time. You can not control this.
  • We all need to learn to stop chasing the pennies and enjoy our content creation; maybe this comes across to our followers, which is why the content takes off.
  • Ignore the comments; even negative ones are getting you views.

The biggest lesson of all, you can enjoy creating content that makes you nothing; you can feel pride at simple being noticed. Money is not everything.

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