Writer by Choice
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Do you make cheatsheets for yourself?

Just curious: When you read a nonfiction book, and you want to take action on it, do you create a cheatsheet for your own purpose?

Please let me know. Just hit reply to this email.

Do you schedule?

Just curious 😀

Do you schedule time for:

  • Writing fiction?
  • Researching (for writing)?
  • Learning about fiction?
  • Learning about your audience?
  • Doing marketing?

Let me know – just hit “reply” to this email.

Me? Yes, I do. I normally write for at least 2 x 52 minutes (often 3 or 4 “pomodoros”).

The rest of the time goes towards the other points I mention above. So I haven’t an hour by hour schedule, but I have a broad one saying 8am to 2pm = fiction, and 2pm to 4pm product creation and emails.

Cheatsheet software included

How do you create a cheatsheet?

  1. Double click “cheat.exe”.
  2. Type your business name and click Next.
  3. Type your niche, for example “Carrot Cultivation on Greenland” (a topic that has always held my interest).
  4. Click “Create Cheatsheet”.
  5. Follow Debbie Miller’s easy formatting guide to make your cheatsheet look awesome.
  6. Add content to the cheatsheet according to what you’ve learned already or to the ideas Debbie gives you.

With Debbie’s guide “Cheat Sheet Mastery” you’ll get both over-the-shoulder videos, a PDF with all the steps, AND


the awesome software (for Windows, but who’s still using a Mac? Now I’ll get hate mails 😉 ) that makes it a snap to create cheatsheets.

Don’t miss this http://malka.im/cheatsheetmastery

Cheatsheets – the missing link

You might get this mail twice, if you’re both on my money-online list and my nonfiction list. Just ignore one of them 😀

Today, when I checked the calendar, I noticed something at the top that intrigued me.

“Cheatsheet Mastery” – what was that? Another one of those “how to create a cheatsheet” courses?


This is what you’ve been missing from most of the other courses.

Debbie Miller has created a product that shows you how to format your cheatsheets so they actually look great.

Take a look at the examples here: http://malka.im/cheatsheetmastery

I asked her for a peek inside to see what she had, and she gave me access.

First of all, you probably have the tools you need (but wait, there’s more). Debbie uses Word to format the cheatsheets so they look really delightful with colors and images and nicely looking links.

And she shows you in videos step by step how to do it.

She uses an older version of Word (2007), so if you have a newer version, some of the things must be tweaked a little, but most of what I saw looked the same in my Word 2016.

Second (and this is awesome): She gives you a software tool (for Windows) that can create cheatsheets for you in seconds. I did that and I was completely taken by surprise of how fast it was. It actually looks good in itself (the result) but of course, once you use Debbie’s formatting methods, it will look even greater.

Third, she gives plenty of tips to how you can improve your cheatsheets so they don’t just contain the usual set of links to Google, Bing, etc. Great ideas there.

Fourth, you get a PDF version (a cheatsheet, haha) to the videos, so you can go back and set up your template easily.

I highly recommend Cheatsheet Mastery, if you’re already making cheatsheets, or if you plan to make them in the future.

Don’t miss out. http://malka.im/cheatsheetmastery

Story – the key to writing a best-selling nonfiction book

Why is story that important for a nonfiction book?

Because story makes it easier to understand and remember what you read.

Let me give you an example:

I went to school to learn Hebrew, after we moved to Israel, but I have a hard time remembering the words. And yet, there was one word I remembered from the first time I heard it.

My teacher, Sarah, told us how she took the bus to school that morning, and it was stuffed with passengers. A man entered by the back door and handed a banknote to the man in front of him. The passengers formed a bucket brigade, sent the money to the driver, who made a ticket, and sent it back through the bucket brigade.

Then my teacher used body language and told us that the man “ko-es”, and it was easy to visualize how he exploded with anger. Apparently, somebody had kept the change along the way, and that’s what got the man angry.

Still now, when I think of the word “ko-es”, I see my teacher, her hands balled into fists, her face turned red, and jumping up and down.

Story telling for nonfiction writers can be learned, and I’ve found a course by Ian Stables, who’s published several best-selling nonfiction books.

Stories in nonfiction improve your books, and they also make them faster and easier to write.

The course normally sells for $195, but this week, and until September 1st, you can get it for only $10, so you’re getting good value for your money.

Learn more about it here http://malka.im/nfstoriesudemy

Bride in black

When you walk a dog like Nefnef and see the world through her eyes, there’s always something exciting going on.

Today, we saw a photographer in the park. That’s not unusual. Newly married couples goes there all the time to have their pictures take. What was different, though, was that the photographer was alone and speaking on the phone.

Nefnef and I continued our walk and in the bushes we saw the bride. I don’t know if she was changing her clothes or what she was doing in there, but she was a gorgeous and very unusual sight: Black top with long sleeves and naked shoulders. A tiny black skirt, only covering her butt, and a longer black tulle skirt over it. I couldn’t help staring after her. She was really a sight.

She could become a worthy heroine in a book 😀

That reminds me… If you need help creating your heroines, maybe this will help you? One of the character types is the strong, independent woman with a past. But there are more types.

Take a look here: http://malka.biz/female-character-sketches/

Secret sauce of great writing

What simple thing will gain your books praise all the time?

  • Your choice of topic?
  • The large number of pages?
  • The cute pictures of your cat?

Of course, you’re shouting “great writing” right now, because you noticed my subject 😉

And that’s right.

Second question:

What is great writing?

  • A combination of long and short sentences?
  • White space?
  • Illustrations?
  • Jokes?

Good jokes are actually examples of good writing, because they are written with clarity, simplicity, and elegance. And those three concepts form the secret sauce of great writing.

That’s the kind of writing readers love, because it’s easy to understand. It makes them feel good about themselves instead of bad and stupid.

I found an excellent course that teaches these concepts in a good way with clear examples. It’s made by an Ex-Wall Street Journal editor named Shani Raja, and I highly recommend it. Normally, it sells for $200, but this week (and until September 1st) you can get it for only $10. I bought it myself and really enjoy it.

Check it out here http://malka.im/udemywritingflair

What is Wonder Woman’s goal?

Your characters must have a goal.

In real life, some people just wing it, but in stories that can’t happen for your heroine. She must have a goal and a conflict.

But you can’t just pick any goal and pair it with your main character. They have to fit together.

So I decided to try making lists of goals and conflicts to see if I could use the same method.

Big lists of all possible goals and conflicts didn’t go very well. It took me way too long to write them and read through them. Too many of them didn’t apply, and I ended up wasting a lot of time.

Then I discovered the key:

I put together lists of goals and conflicts based on a specific type of character.

When I made goal and conflict lists based on what I thought sounded logical for some major character trait, I was able to save time AND develop better characters with good goals, logical conflicts, and matching flaws.

The best part was how much it made me think. I found inspiration by considering possibilities on the lists.

You can get access here http://malka.biz/female-character-sketches/

Write a mystery this weekend

The traditional mystery takes time to write. And it’s not that easy to show the right clues and not reveal whodunit.

The reader wants to solve the mystery, but it shouldn’t be easy. Nobody likes to solve something that’s easy.

It’s like when I ask you this:

What is 2 + 2?

It’s easy for you to answer “4”.

There’s no challenge in that.

But if I tell you that I bought a chocolate bar and a piece of candy for $1.10 in total, and the chocolate bar cost $1 more than the candy, then you’ll have to think to figure out how much I paid for each of them.

Now it’s fun, because there’s a challenge involved.

The interesting thing is that you can obtain that effect by writing ultra short “Mini-Mysteries” that the reader can solve by picking the route herself.

Shawn Hansen has created a 60-page guide that includes everything you need to know to get your Mini-Mystery written this weekend.

Check it out, it’s awesome! http://malka.im/minimystery

Would you eat soup with marbles?

You know how food on TV or in cook books always look delicious. But is it?

A woman, who did food demos and was filmed for TV shows, explained how food was engineered to look that way. They used shaving cream instead of whipped cream. Didn’t cook the food to full “doneness”. And in order to make soup look good, they put marbles at the bottom of a bowl, poured soup over it and finished the look with almost raw vegetables.


Now, when it comes to writing mysteries, it’s a similar process with a difference:

You have to give the reader a chance to find out what you add to the soup.

All the clues have to be there, and you should give him ways to choose what he’ll look into first and see if he can solve the mystery.

How do you do that step by step?

Click here to find out how http://malka.im/minimystery

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