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Posts Tagged ‘blogging’

152 “A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds.” – Francis Bacon

Francis Bacon’s statement is true for all of us (regardless of gender). Opportunity does come knocking occasionally, and sometimes chances for success appear serendipitously in our inboxes, but more likely we must create our opportunities.

As a writer, I can sit back and wait for editors of anthologies to ask for my stories – which is lovely when it happens, but still a rare privilege for me. Or I can research markets, locate opportunities, and either write a new story for an antho or check my files for an appropriately themed piece of fiction to send.

I can check my email and phone messages for bloggers and reporters begging for an interview or a feature, or I can get online and look for blogs which might be a good fit for me and my book/books. Then, I can write a query letter and go through the process to “land” an interview, guest blog slot, or feature.

I can sit on my sofa and wait for a bookstore manager to contact me for a book signing, or I call the bookstore, find when the manager has a moment to chat, stop by, and see if a book signing (whether individual or with a group of other authors) is something we can make happen.

I can slump in an armchair and moan because lots of writing conference organizers aren’t calling me to appear and lead workshops, or I can contact the people in charge of writing conferences and ask about the process for presenting a program at their next conference.

I can sigh loudly and lean my chin on my hand while gazing out the window wondering why more science-fiction/fantasy cons are not inviting me to be a panelist or I can find out who is inviting guest authors/editors to various sf/f/h cons and learn what I have to do to get an invite.

You get the idea. I need to make opportunities, not wait for that lucky break. And though I’ve written this post from a writer’s point of view, it applies to most goals which require someone to open a door for you.

So readers, think about how you can make opportunities to reach your goals. And though I wish you good luck — don’t rely on luck, rely on yourself and hard work!

(And if you are interested in interviewing me, featuring me or my books, or having me post a guest post on your blog – let me know. If you are a conference or con organizer and want me to participate – contact me. Just practicing what I preach, and trying to make my own opportunities!) 🙂

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A book launch sounds like something done at the Kennedy Space Center involving rockets and paperbacks. If only! Launching a book is not as physically painful as childbirth, but it certainly takes a toll on the writer.

Most of us don’t have the budget to hire someone to plan a book launch, so we have to figure out a way to get our book a little notice. Friends, family, and people we know through clubs, church, school, etc. can be a help—or not. Blogging, guest blogging, pinning, Facebooking, tweeting…can help launch a book—or not.

Most of us begin to think about the book’s pre-publication publicity and launch about 6 months too late. Therefore, we never quite catch up.

A writer, whom I admire, once told me the best way to assure the success of one book is to publish another, then another, then another book. He said you needed to build a reader base by giving readers lots to read. And maybe that is the answer to a successful book launch.

Here’s another opinoin on the book launch from the writing blog, Writers Get Together.

Happy reading, writing, blogging, and book launching!

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First, let me say I need to work on my blogging. With that said, I’ve been trying to come up with a strategy to write and share interesting content with my blog readers on a more regular basis.

Content is a tricky thing.

As an author, I want to engage my book readers – not only in the hopes they’ll continue to be interested in my writing, but also because they’re the ones who stop by at author events and cons to chat. Still, I don’t want to turn them off by constantly pushing my books.

As a writer, I’m interested in writing tips. When I find an interesting article on some aspect of the writing journey, I like to expand upon it and then, share the link. But I don’t want just writers reading my blog.

As a person, I’m interested in many things, including books, movies, science, gardening, animals, cooking, history, folklore, fairytales… well, you get the idea. In fact, those interests are the very things which inspire my writing and art. But I don’t want to just post recipes and gardening tips.

So ideally, the content of my blog speaks to my readers, helps other writers, reflects my interests, and hopefully proves interesting to many people. Like I said, content is tricky.

But content is only part of the journey to being a better blogger – there’s frequency, appearance, engaging your blog readers, etc. A good summary can be found in a She Writes post by Meghan Ward.

Happy blogging! And if you’re enjoying my posts, please visit my Amazon page and consider buying one of my books.

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I’ve given up making New Year’s Resolutions! Why? Because I already know with my personality, crazy-busy family life, short-attention span, etc. – I’m setting myself up for failure.

So what do I do instead? I make a list of things I’d like to accomplish in “winter,” before spring greens the forest floor. (And since I’m also a procrastinator, “spring” for me doesn’t really begin until April Fool’s Day!)

I try to keep the list specific and realistic. I do not list “finish a novel” by March 31st, rather I list “write a minimum of 15 minutes per day.” Since I mentioned the crazy-busy life earlier, if I can’t write 15 minutes one day, I try to write 30 minutes the next. I do not list “blog every day,” rather I list “blog at least once a week.” If I blog 2 or 3 or even 4 times per week, I’m surpassing my goal. Hooray!

The way to continue to pursue goals (notice I don’t use the word “resolutions” – it sounds so weighty), is to have small successes along your path. Positive reinforcement helps all of us keep our eyes focused forward, and encourages us to put one foot in front of another. Certainly, the best way to reach a destination.

By the way, I’ll reset my goals on March 31st for “spring” with a new deadline of June 30th. On June 30th, I’ll reset my goals for “summer” with a deadline of September 30th. On September 30th, I’ll reset my goals with a “fall” deadline of December 31st. Then, as the New Year arrives, I’ll restart the process.

By keeping my goal time-frames to 3 months, I can evaluate a manageable chunk of time and adjust for the next 3-month interval. Perhaps I haven’t been ambitious enough, or maybe, I’ve set goals which aren’t realistic in a 90-day period of time. In either case, I set new goals which seem obtainable without being too easy on myself.

Another point of view on New Year Resolutions can be found on the Maryland/ Delaware/ West Virginia Society of Children’s Book Illustrators’ As the Eraser Burns.

How about you, do you make resolutions? Do you keep them?

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Here’s a post (and blog) worth reading if you’re an author. Funny, I have to remind myself sometimes that I can’t be an expert at everything! I built my website, so I thought setting up my blog would be just as easy – and to some extent it was. But ocassional help from friend Katie is needed to add and manipulate some features.

Do you ask for help when you need it, or do you always have to do things yourself?

I hope you’re enjoying my blog posts and links. Want to show some love? Visit my Amazon page and consider buying a book. 🙂

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