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Archive for the ‘Blogapalooza’ Category

The Right Writing Group for You

In Blogapalooza on August 17, 2010 at 8:45 pm

First let me say that I am really enjoying Blogapalooza.

I decided I would review some of my old posts and expand a bit on a few topics.  How appropriate for the re-launch of my blog!

It’s hard to believe it’s been almost a year since I originally launched Searching for Freelance Success in August 2009.  In that first post I talked about embarking on my writing career – taking that first step.  I talked about launching Mommy Writers in hopes of connecting with other mothers struggling to balance a writing career.

Since then Mommy Writers has had some success, but suffered with my recent hiatus.  SO I have decided to put that project on hold while I focus my energy on fewer projects, like gaining some momentum on my Twitter account and re-launching this site.

But what about networking?  Learning from other writers?  Connecting?  I’ve decided to sit back and just participate for a while instead of facilitating.  With that I have returned to a few social networking sites that I’d already known about and researched a couple of others as well.  This is the list I came away with.  I hope it proves useful to you!

Have some other communities for writers to add to this list?  Let me know and I’ll add them.

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A Woman on a Mission

In Blogapalooza on August 17, 2010 at 6:27 pm

I was checking out a post written by a fellow blogger, when she mentioned the “mission” of her blog.  And it occurred to me that I had never established a clear mission for this blog.  And so I decided that as part of my re-launch I would add a new page containing my mission statement.  It’s turned out to be a bit harder than I’d expected.

It’s been a bit like trying to figure out my life’s purpose.  Why did I start this bog?  Why do I write?  What do I hope to accomplish?  These are difficult questions, but once you’ve determined the answers you could be a lot closer to your writing goals than you realize.

If you’re having trouble answering these questions, a better place to start might be with the exercise in this post.  You will be prompted to develop a writing “business plan” or list of career goals.  It might be easier to first determine where you want to be, then you might stumble across some of the “why’s” and what drives you.

One thing I have learned is that as a writer our primary goal is to share information.  We all hope that someone else will benefit from our experiences or knowledge.  With that in mind, think about what you most want to share with others.  Considering this you’ll be well on your way to developing your mission.

Why do I need a mission statement?  With a clear mission, you’ll find that you have new clarity in your writing.  When you know exactly what it is you want to convey to your audience, you may find that you’ve been saying it the wrong way, or using the wrong tools to communicate.  Maybe you’ve been working on a book when your message would have been best received on a blog, or vice versa. 

Do you have a mission statement already?  Is it on your blog or do you have it somewhere only you can refer to it when you need a refresher? 

Stay tuned for my mission statement!

The Breeds of Writer

In Blogapalooza, Getting started on August 17, 2010 at 5:52 pm

So you want to be a writer, but what kind of writer? And how do you get there?

There are many different breeds of writers: authors (fiction & non-fiction), screenplay writers, bloggers, grant writers, journalists, etc.  So which is the best fit for you?  And bare in mind that in most cases writers dabble in more than one area.

I, for instance, primarily write blog posts as a means on acquainting myself with my audience.  But I also have an interest in journalism (editorials & personal essays mostly), and authoring books.

It’s also important to consider the “less glamorous” writing jobs like grant writing, technical writing, business writing, and the like.  How does one break into one of these fields?  The best way is to research first.  Talk to other writers in the field.  Do internet searches. Read books.  This alone will give you valuable insights into your intended field.

Until you feel sure of what kind of writer you want to be try a few different assignments.  In the beginning your primary goal is to accumulate experience. And diversity in a writer is not bad.  There will be times when writing jobs in one field are sparse but others may be available.

At The Intersection of Motherhood & Writing

In Blogapalooza, Writing & Motherhood on August 17, 2010 at 2:11 pm

I am typing this post with my almost-2yr old on my lap, as I feed him a bowl a cereal, and keep him from spilling said bowl of cereal all over my keyboard.  This is just one intersection of writing and motherhood.

Another example has been the last two hours trying to get these posts written for Blogapalooza while dealing with the attention seeking antics of a toddler competing with the computer.  Or how about trying to decide how long I can go without changing his diaper before diaper rash starts to form because I am finally hitting my stride with a post?  And then there was that priceless moment about 15 minutes ago when I had to subdue him – he was throwing a massive tantrum when aforementioned antics weren’t pulling me away from the computer fast enough.

I’m sure many moms out there can relate.  But it’s dealing with those moments in stride that will ensure our success.  As opposed to being deflated by these moments – which will only ensure that your writing career remains stagnant.

As is the case with life, there are no perfect solutions.  There is no “right” way, just “right” for you and your family.  Maybe letting your little one sit in your lap while you type will appease him/her temporarily?  Maybe you can get him a toy laptop to “work” on while you write?

The only things that have worked consistently for my son and I are if I work in short bursts while he’s awake, taking breaks to play with him and entertain him in between, and get the bulk of my writing done while he’s asleep.  That’s it.  He’s not easily distracted, and while he can be fairly independent he hates seeing me at my computer.  But I have to learn to just take it in stride.

How do take the intersections of motherhood and writing in stride?

Building Your Platform

In Blogapalooza, Uncategorized on August 17, 2010 at 12:52 pm

As a writer, there is “more than one way to skin a cat”, as in most cases.  So the path you take to freelancing stardom may be different from the path I take, or the path Stephen King took, or Terri McMillan, etc.  But, many of the elements are the same.  One of those elements is “platform building”, or building your audience.

In my case,  since returning from my hiatus I have decided to backtrack and start with my audience.  I returned to my Twitter account, and began tweeting consistently, reaching out to existing followers, and looking for new people to follow.  As a result, the number of followers I have has gone up by 200+ in less than a month, and even with no new blog posts, this blog has seen some pretty decent activity.  If you’re still unsure about Twitter (as was I in the beginning), tak  look at this list of how Twitter helps writers.

By doing a Google search you can find several resources on how to effectively use Twitter in your career.  I have been reading Twitter Power: How to Dominate Your Market One Tweet at a Time by Joel Comm.  A favorite online Twitter resource for writers can be found here.  That @inkyelbows really knows her stuff.

Of course, Twitter isn’t the only way to build and connect with your audience.  It’s just where I chose to start.  My favorite book about platform building is Get Known Before the Book Deal by Christina Katz.  This book has been instrumental in helping me understand how and why I need to build my platform.  And guess what.  I’m giving a copy away!

To celebrate the re-launch of this blog I am hosting my first giveaway.

Carol from Everything Home…Wth Carol has won this this giveaway.  Congratulations Carol, and thank you for participating!

I’ll be looking forward to hearing from you!  And just in case you didn’t know, another great way to build you audience is by guest posting on other people’s blogs.  If you’d be interested in being featured here as a guest blogger, just let me know!

Blog Re-Launch & Blogapalooza

In Blogapalooza on August 17, 2010 at 12:03 pm

I am so excited! Today marks the first day of the re-launch of this blog, and it is also Blogapalooza Day.

Blogapalooza is a blogging challenge – 24 blog posts in 24hrs (for more info visit Blog2Print).  It seemed like a great way to kick off the re-launch.

Why a blog re-launch?  Those who follow me on Twitter or follow my blog would have noticed my hiatus over these past few months.  But recently it has occurred to me that if I want something to happen for me professionally, I have to make it happen.  So there you have it.  I am completely revamping my online presence.

What’s going to happen?  Over the next two weeks there will be a lot happening to celebrate.  I’ll be hosting three giveaways, there will be a new post everyday (some by me and some guest posts), I’ll be guest blogging at a couple other blogs and more.  So be sure to check back here daily from now until the 31st.

I’ll be looking forward to hearing from you!  If you’re participating in Blogapalooza, let me know so I can cheer you on today.  I’ll even add a link here so others can cheer you on too.

Visit these other Blogapalooza Blogs!

Littlewys

Not Your Average Teen

The Adventures of Supermom