Young Adult Dark Urban Fantasy Author ~

Posts tagged “Blog

A Week In Links

Two Italian legal / accounting books (on Stato...

Two Italian legal / accounting books (on Stato Patrimoniale) lie open, one on top of the other. Only a few lines of the underlying book’s text are legible because of the narrow depth of field (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I invest a ludicrous amount of time reading. Whether I read novels, blogs, craft books or research material, I always try to find useful or inspiring bits of information each week. And then I save them.

Here are this week’s links on writing and social media.

Author Kristen Lamb’s Blog, Can Facebook Hold Your Fan Page Hostage?

Author Chuck Wendig, 25 Ways To Fight Your Story’s Mushy Middle

Author Lindsay Buroker, What Does It Take to Become a Full Time Indie Author?

Author Anne R. Allen, Slow Blog Manifesto…and 8 Reasons Why Slow Blogging Will Help Your Career


A Week In Links

Two Italian legal / accounting books (on Stato...

Two Italian legal / accounting books (on Stato Patrimoniale) lie open, one on top of the other. Only a few lines of the underlying book's text are legible because of the narrow depth of field (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I invest a ludicrous amount of time reading. Whether I read novels, blogs, craft books or research material, I always try to find useful or inspiring bits of information each week. And then I save them. Here are this weeks links:

Joanna Penn has a great post on her blog this week, The Creative PennTraditional Publishing And Self-Publishing Are Not Mutually Exclusive

David Gaughran from Let’s Get Digital talks about Publishing this week in his post, Was Self-Publishing The Right Decision?

And lastly, Indie Author Lindsay Buroker has an interesting interview with Author Liana Brooks up on her blog. Check it out here: Why One Author Chose A Small Press over Self-Publishing

WRITE ON, WRITERS.


A Week in Links

Two Italian legal / accounting books (on Stato...

Two Italian legal / accounting books (on Stato Patrimoniale) lie open, one on top of the other. Only a few lines of the underlying book's text are legible because of the narrow depth of field (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I invest a ludicrous amount of time reading. Whether I read novels, blogs, craft books or research material, I always try to find useful or inspiring bits of information each week. And then I save them. Here are this weeks links:

Joanna Penn has a great post up on her blog, The Creative Penn. Tips For Writers: On the Importance of Persistence. You can find the link here: The Creative Penn

Anne R Allen has an interesting post on her blog. 12 Myths about being a Writer. You can find it here: Anne R. Allen’s Blog

Lastly, Steven Lewis has this post up on his blog, Taleist, Do you have the storyteller’s intelligence? Here’s the link: Taleist

WRITE ON, WRITERS.


Are You Shy?

I’ve never considered myself to be shy, but truth be told, I’ve always been guarded. Guarded is a sort of fancy word for introverted. Introverted and shy, it turns out, are not the same creature. I’d never given much thought to either, until now. It’s not like I’m anti-social. But the social media aspect of being a writer, and soon to be published author, is daunting for people like me. It’s like throwing yourself into an oven and praying it’s only set at around 175 degrees. Because at 400–you will burn up. 400 is too hot, too social, too LOUD.

The social media aspect of this business forces us to be just that—social. It forces us to be everywhere. All The Time. Making contacts, creating a brand—-basically, establishing a business from the ground floor. A huge undertaking, especially when we are expected to be writing good books at the same time. When you aren’t an extrovert, it’s an even harder task. Thankfully, a lot of blog and twitter friends are extroverts and that makes it easier. They draw us introverts out once in a while.

I uploaded my fledgling Facebook page the other day (come over and LIKE me), and I swear it took all I had to push ‘publish’ and go live. I felt the same way with Twitter, an outlet that is going strong now, thankfully. My blog has been, surprisingly, the easiest branch of social media for me. Why? I’m all exposed here on the blog, how could that be easier? Writing is easy. Simple as that. Talking to 500 people on Twitter….different story. (Thank you for keeping me talking Twitter followers:)

I ran across an interesting article on NPR the other day.

Quiet, Please: Unleashing ‘The Power Of Introverts’ You can find the link here: NPR Books

Susan Cain has written a book on the subject.

QUIET

The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

Check it out.

When I publish my novel later this year, I will likely hide for a few weeks, due to open and blatant exposure (Kidding. Sort of;)

Are you more comfortable in a crowded room talking to any and everyone? Or do one on one conversations interest you more?


Happy Anniversary!

I missed it. My anniversary. Because of the Flu. But on December 10, my one year Blog Anniversary came and went. I was too ill to think, much less write, but even my flu induced haze didn’t allow me to forget.

One year. Wow. It’s hard to believe. Harder still to believe that I had already completed the first and second draft of my novel five months prior to launching this blog. When I began it was primarily to talk about writing. To have an outlet for my overflowing brain. To create contacts and have a sounding board.

It has proved a far greater asset than I could have imagined. The fellow writer friends I have made over the past year have inspired me, helped me and ultimately kept me writing at times I thought I couldn’t keep going. All of the support and positive response I have received means so much to me. Thank you.

2012 should be a most challenging year, as I plan to publish my first novel in what will be a YA Fantasy/Paranormal series. April will mark two years of writing, editing and now revising this book.

Here’s to a successful and gratifying New Year. The sky’s the limit.

april

Image by kygp via Flickr


The New Stage

Or in other words–The Blog. The place where either every day or a few times a week, we feel the need to say something new, something interesting or informative–or entertaining.

Many writers create these blogs to stand as a branding tool, a platform, and most of us soon realize that it is not an easy task. We have an additional pressure now, besides writing our book, article, novel, etc.., we need to interact and stay in the spot light.

For someone like me, it hasn’t been easy, but it is getting easier. I’m learning how to juggle proficiently, a skill I never hoped to master in the past.

Now, instead of allowing the pressure to perform everyday on this blog overwhelm me, I’ve learned to let some of that go and continue to focus on the main reason I am blogging–my novels.

My stage has been an invaluable tool for inspiration as well as for the pushing and prodding that we all need from time to time. I wouldn’t trade it for a second. And that is why I have it–because it helps me. I would have dismantled this blog a long time ago if it didn’t. Call it selfish–but if social media isn’t helping to push you forward, it’s holding you back.

My blog helps loosen my brain, it helps me to interact with other writers, it allows me to write without over thinking (something my novels do not allow).

But for a long while, it felt like a weight. A weight to perform–to say something. And it kept me from focusing on my writing. I couldn’t sort it all out. When I threw myself into the Twitter mix….well, you can imagine.

My point here is that we can’t and shouldn’t be expected to do everything related to social media and branding our name. We need to continue to keep our eye on the main prize.

It’s easy to shift from writing when your blog starts picking up speed and your hits start to fly. It’s easy to become so focused on your blog because let’s be honest, it’s instant gratification. Your novel isn’t. We like to know that what we say resonates with other people. It’s why we write. And when people respond positively to our blog posts, it makes us feel good.

And that’s great. It is.

But it isn’t a substitute for writing your WIP. So don’t let it be.


Promotion Vs. Creation

Or in other words….Balance.

There seems to be a veritable tightrope we writers are attempting to walk. The line between creation and promotion.

The days are gone when all we had to worry about was writing well, pitching a great query and waiting for the phone to ring or letters to stream in (negative or positive). Now we are expected to learn all aspects of this industry, if we even hope to have a shot at selling a book.

I’ve spent a lot of time attempting to learn how to harness social media and use it to my benefit. Unfortunately for me, I’m not all that social to begin with. Not like I’m a hermit mind you. More like I’m a person who keeps her circle of friends close and I’m good with that. So the thought of attempting to amass a following in the thousands is, well…overwhelming. And not in a bad way, just in a daunting one.

I read all of the conflicting information as I’m sure we all do. “Create the platform first and make it strong.” “No, learn to write well first and amass a few completed novels, then worry about the platform.” Frankly, it’s a lot of information to process. Add it to simply trying to write your book, and well….it’s easy to throw in the towel and scrap it. And a lot of, if not most, writers do just that.

I’m not great at balance in any spectrum of life but I am learning that balance is the real monster we need to control. The best of the best have figured this tightrope out and they walk it very well.

The successful, for the most part, have learned to juggle. Some write and  tend to social media at the same time. Write, write, write, have their social media pages minimized, check them every hour or so, comment and move on.

I think it’s a great idea IF, and it’s a big IF for some of us, you can comment and continue writing all in one swift motion. But for me, a fiction writer, finding that groove has been difficult at best. I think this is called lack of focus. Another skill that takes some time to learn.

What are your tools of the trade when it comes to balancing the craft of writing and establishing your social media presence? Do walk the tightrope with ease or are you gripping the edge with your fingernails? Love to hear your thoughts! 😉


Everything in moderation

….well maybe not everything, but social media–for writers, yeah.

During the first six months or so of writing my WIP I only had me, my music, my laptop, the thoughts in my head and everyone around me looking at me like I’d lost my mind. I was running to keep my head from exploding (I still do this) and having no other real outlet for the thoughts and ideas in my head. My family is very supportive. Still. But they don’t really get it. When you say you’re a writer, not everyone really gets what you’re doing or why you’re doing it. Or worse they think you’re just wasting time because in the grand scheme of things, it could go nowhere (I’m speaking of the up and coming authors here). We are counting on and trusting in some kind of blind faith.

I started my blog with trepidation. I’m not the most social person in the world so what would I possibly say? And who would care that I was even saying it? Twitter was worse. But I have found these outlets to be incredibly useful. (Well maybe not Twitter. Yet. That’s a lot of talking!)

Writing is hard. IT IS. And it’s harder if you are alone in your own head all the time. Connecting with other writers in the same or similar boats is invaluable. If I can’t think, blogging can loosen my brain. If I’m overwhelmed, commenting and receiving helpful replies on other sites helps me refocus. If I’m staring out the window and my Twitter alert sounds, it brings me out of my reverie.

These little devices are helpful in forward momentum. In moderation they compliment each other. They help with encouragement, insight and advice that otherwise we may never find in our own heads.


Designing for your audience

I am continuing on my topic from yesterday as I think it’s relevant and deserves some attention.

My blog is pretty straightforward. My page, color scheme, etc… represent me. But I’m wondering , as I peruse other writer/author blogs, maybe my page needs to represent my genre.

If you are targeting a certain audience with your work (and we generally are based on genre), should your blog try to attract them? This of course is in line with how much information about your WIP is too much to post online.

Perhaps having two blogs is the answer. One for your actual work. To vent, find like-minded writers, get support, etc… And another site for your platform. A site dedicated to your current WIP. Thoughts?


How much is too much?

You’ve established your blog, it’s purpose, your purpose…now what?

We are all in the writing game here. Pouring our hearts, souls and minds into our craft, hoping at some point that we connect with other writers and readers in some way. Some of us are happy telling our stories or poems through our blogs. Some are rants or advice and some are simply day to day rambles. All writers having something to say. All worthy of this craft.

What about those of us who are blogging with the intention of creating a platform as an up and coming author? Those who are trying to create a following. How much should we say to our readers, followers, fans, fellow bloggers/writers, etc…. about our WIP?

We want to create interest right? That’s the aim at a certain point. When the novel is complete, that’s the next step. Create the interest. But how do we do that really without giving everything away? Without allowing our ideas to be taken from us? Until our books are actually produced, (traditionally or self published) how much information can we safely feel comfortable giving?

If I gave ten writers the same idea for a story, what would be produced? Ten completely different stories, with different voices and different angles. The way I write will never be the way you write. And thank god for that or we would all sound the same.

Now I’m not saying I think it’s a good idea to post all your ideas and excerpts on your blog. But I am saying that creating interest about your book, is at least part, if not the main reason we start these blogs. Yes, we want the support of other writers (god knows I do) and yes, we need that occasional kick in the ass to stay on course. But at the end of the day, I think, at least for us novel writers out there, we are also looking for a fan base to jump from. A place where we can connect with other writers as well as readers who know the language we are speaking and hopefully want to take the journey we are telling through our books.

So in that light, we need to give tastes of what we are writing about. I’m not talking plot and the first three chapters. I’m talking basics. Interest builders. Genres, fiction or non fiction. Basics. So when all the moaning and complaining (mine) is over and we are staring at the blood, sweat and tears of our finished book, loving every second of it and being washed over with relief…someone else out there will actually want to read it:)