Rolling Along the Blogging Trail

This is exactly what I’m doing, rolling along the blogging trail . . . like a honey-coated golf ball . . . and progressing like a keen Monachoides vicinus (otherwise known as land snail).

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“Forever Poi”, the fourth in The Triple Threat Investigation Agency mystery series, is taking forever to complete, but it’s all good.  Sometimes you just need to invest [more] time in a project than you’d initially anticipated.

Never rush.  Errors and sloppiness abound as a result (to this I can and will attest).  Take those baby steps I always [ad nauseam perhaps] refer to.  Some say have a plan or an outline; others say take it as it comes.  I’m a have-a-plan kinda gal (coz I am so not spontaneous), but do whatever works best for you.

Straightforward and simple advice for today (I’m counseling myself as much as you):

  • stay focused
  • be proactive
  • suck up as much information as you can, and above all,
  • believe in yourself.

Never give up or in.  It will come.

 

Hey, Didya Hear . . . ?

Or maybe you saw, read . . . ?

This may well be a senseless post to those under 40, but I’m gonna do it anyway.

We know that a mailing list is important—a must—if we want to sell ourselves as writers (or anything else).

Another must self-promotion tool: social media.  And I will personally attest to this: it works.  Period.

One bit of advice: every social media platform has a different audience—with different focuses and interests.  Determine which ones best suit your needs/goals.

I’d recommend not spreading yourself too thin, at least not in the beginning when you’re starting to market yourself as a writer or blogger.  Focus on a couple only and learn everything you can about them—use them to the fullest.  My first choices (and not necessarily yours): Facebook and Twitter.

Get involved with social media groups that have interests similar to yours.  They can provide lots of guidance and support.  If you haven’t already discovered how easy it is to attract viewers/followers, do so now; there’s tons of information and advice to be found and absorbed.  Run with it.

As the [paraphrased] saying goes: you’re only as limited as the limitations you place on yourself.  Faith, support, and creativity know no bounds.  Either should you.

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Mail Lists, Mail Lists, Who Wants a Mail List!?

I do, I do!

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And so do you, if you hope to succeed as a writer.  Renowned gurus Mark Dawson, Derek Murphy, and Joanna Penn (among others) tout the necessity (!) of having one.

I totally get it.  Now, if I could totally do it.  <ROTFL>

Given the weekends are the only times I can work on “technical” components, it’s been three weeks now that I’ve tried to get a mailing list organized.  Every time I follow a couple of steps, it seems there are six more to perform . . . and a-Googlin’ I go.

Eventually, it’ll happen.  It’s merely the multitude of baby steps required for yours truly to get there.  But I digress.  <still ROTFL>

Consider this my first official advice as a blogger/writer: get a mail list going!  It doesn’t matter if you have 10 or 1000 names on it.  The important thing is that you have one.  Everything else, in time, will follow.

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There’s simply too much information about mailing lists to include in a post.  To help you get started, here are three links to awesome sites that can provide essential must-knows and must-dos.
https://markjdawson.com
https://www.thecreativepenn.com
https://www.creativindie.com

 

 

To Wattpad . . . or Not To Wattpad

As I’m building this blog, I’m considering all that I’d like to see on it—such as “Odd Woman Out”, a cross between chick-lit and mainstream fiction, comprised of weekly installments.

Apparently, next to no one has read it, but then I don’t exactly advertise it.  My posts on Facebook seem to do little.  I’m guessing a) it just plain sucks or b) I’m not “selling” it properly.  As my fragile writer’s ego doesn’t want to believe it’s doggy-doo, I’ll opt for the second reason: I don’t (yet) know what I’m doing.

So-o, I asked the amazing, ever-helpful folks in the SPF Community and received fabulous advice.  If you want to get some traction with your books on Wattpad, do the following:

  • get your book featured
  • follow, vote and comment on stories in your genre
  • be aware that Wattpad caters more to YA, fanfic, and romance (but you can still make inroads, so don’t be deterred)
  • get your book featured
  • enter a contest
  • post regularly / make sure chapters and the like appear regularly, and
  • get your book featured.

. . . I believe I’ll see if I can get my book featured.  <LOL>

The Light at the End of the Tunnel . . . is Becoming A Little Bit Brighter

The focus of this blog is becoming clearer.  I can see categories, widgets, links, posts, pics, book reviews (mine and others).

Each week I’m learning more: what to do and what not to do.  Now I need to begin applying it.  Easy to say, a little more tricky to do.  It’s that <bleeping> thing called time.  It’s so very precious.  For those who never have to count your minutes, count your blessings my friends!

Until I can get this blog looking the way I want it to (which translates into having the blog “cooperate”, as some days it appears to have a mind of its own), I will share little snippets of info/advice.

My first snippet:

If you’re into writing, there are a lot of great writers groups to connect with.  One I’ve recently joined and recommend is best-selling author Mark Dawson’s SPF Community on Facebook.  They’re wonderful, helpful, and very supportive!  Just so you know, there are “house rules”, and I’m sure Mark won’t mind if I provide some here:

* No promotion, ever.  Promotional is anything that you stand to make a financial benefit from in your own capacity.  If you post promo, it’ll be removed without notice and you might be taken out of the group.

* Please do not solicit clients.

* Please don’t try and build a mailing list.

* Be kind. Be polite. Be supportive.

Mark also reminds us that this is a group where anyone can join; if you don’t want something shared publicly, however, it might be best you don’t share.

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A Tisket, A Tasket

While concepts for this new blog flow like bubbles from a five-gallon champagne fountain, its focus is as clear as a quart of stout beer.

There are so many potential forks in the road to take—should I:

  • do book reviews
  • offer editing services
  • share learning gleaned from fellow writers and bloggers, and/or
  • present positive support?

The blog world is my oyster; it’s merely a matter of prying it open and indulging.  So-o, maybe the best thing to do is dive right in.

As such, today’s post is about keeping the faith.

An authors’ forum recently revolved around a negative review.  The writer was dejected, understandably so.  Constructive criticism is good; cruel criticism is not.

Every writer must start somewhere.  Some will demonstrate an immediate flair—gift—for producing entertaining stories or providing enlightening facts, while others will require time to hone talents and perfect craftsmanship.  Quite a few will be lauded early in their careers and a number will need to wait, wait, wait.

It doesn’t matter if you’re the tortoise or the hare.  Don’t rush—honor the process and yourself.  Above all, keep that faith.

Never, ever, allow anyone to mock or deride.  You’ve got it in you to succeed.  It may not happen overnight, but it will happen.  Just keep believing.