Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Challenge Yourself

In Uncategorized on September 1, 2010 at 3:15 pm

Folks, if anyone ever tells you that building a successful writing career is easy, they’re lying to you.

These last two weeks have seen some marked achievements for me.  My Twitter following continues to grow (every follower is a potential reader), I have had the most site hits on this blog in one day, I am hosting my first giveaways, and I’ve gotten more comments on this blog in one week than any other week since I originally launched.

In the spirit of continuing to grow my writing career I am embarking on two more challenges. 

Number one: The 100 Day Writing Challenge, by  One of the best things about this particular endeavor is that it’s customizable.  The only stipulation is that you write for at least 100 days.  My goal is to write at least 1000 words per day (not including school assignments), and include at least a couple different genres of writing per week.  Go here for more on the importance of writing often.

Number two: 1000 Twitter followers by the end of October.  This one is simple.  One of my biggest goals at the moment is to grow my following (and of course to make sure I am producing content for said following).

Now that I have challenged myself, I am challenging you.  I have two more gooks I’d like to give away.

  • Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them by Francine Prose –> Make sure you’re following me on Twitter, then Tweet about this post and/or giveaway.  Every tweet counts as an entry.  Winner will be chosen randomly and announced on September 8th.
  • On Writing Well: A Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction by William Zinsser –> Share your writing questions with me!  Tweet them, post them as comments, or e-mail me.  Every question counts as an entry.  Winner will be chosen randomly and announced on September 8th.

If you want to be a successful writer, you’re going to have to push yourself.  I’m looking forward to hearing from you.

The Secret Weapon

In Uncategorized on August 17, 2010 at 10:31 pm

I often suggest that as an aspiring writer you seek the advice and wisdom of other writers.  I try to take my own advice, as such I have had the pleasure of being on the receiving end of some pearls of wisdom from other writers.  If I had to pick just one tip from all the advice I’ve gotten, there is one that stands out among the rest, and has resonated with me: Write often (more specifically – write daily).

Apparently that old cliche, “Practice makes perfect” has some truth to it.  Suzanne Reisman once told me in an interview “….one of my teachers said that writing is generative. The more you do it, the better you become. That is very true.”

I’m of the opinion that the best kind of daily writing is the kind that is actitvely moving toward your goals, i.e. writing query letter, blog posts, book proposals, etc.  But writing is writing, even if no one else reads it.  The idea is that you want to exercise those “writing muscles”. 

A good place I would recommend you start is Funds for Writers.  The resources offered here are garaunteed to give you plenty opportunities to get writing!  Writer’s Digest also offers an extensive list of writing prompts here.

Finally, the only thing better than writing daily is top have said writing critiqued frequently (and critiquing another writer’s work whenever possible is also good exercise).  By participating in communities for writers – online or in person – you’ll have many opportunities to exchange feedback.  Otherwise, just reaching out to writers via Twitter or email may yield some favorable results.

How often do you write?  And where do you get your best feedback?

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!

Connect with Your Fellow Writer

In Uncategorized on December 13, 2009 at 7:06 pm

As a writer I’ve placed a high priority on networking and socializing with other writers.  I thought it was high time I’d shared with my cherished readers why this is such an important factor in your career.  How could I have let this go unnoticed and un-blogged-about for so long?

Fellow writers can serve a mentors, support systems, and motivation.  You can share feedback on each other’s work, ask about their successes and failures.  Pick up jobs when their workload is too heavy, share blog appearances, etc.  One good example of a writer I met and how the time I took to reach out paid off is here.

Here are some more specific examples of how writing relationships can benefit you:

  • Mentors.  As a beginning writer mentors can be hard to come by.  Most established writers have huge workloads and otherwise are unable or uninterested in taking the time to review your work.  But if you do meet someone who’s willing to take the time to give you some pointers, hold on tight with both hands!  Take advantage of having someone to look at your work critically.  Ask that they look over pieces before you submit them.  Pick their brains about the best publications for beginners.  And last but not least be respectful of their time, and don’t forget that they are doing you a favor.  Offer to take him/her out for lunch from time to time, send cards or gifts on holidays and birthdays, make sure he/she knows that their time is appreciated.
  • Support Systems.  Fellow writers can be invaluable to you.  When you’re feeling discouraged they’ll be able to relate.  If you need someone to hold you accountable they’ll know what you should be doing.  When you need a cheering squad they’ll know exactly how hard you’ve worked and what you were up against.  If you have writer friends, don’t take these relationships for granted.  Suggest feedback sessions, you can look over each other’s work.  Trade clips and tips when you are successful with a particular publication.    You can trade blog posts and hand off assignments when your work load is too heavy.  But most importantly, don’t focus so much on what the other person can do for you that you forget to consider what you can do for your friend.  No one likes a one-sided relationship.
  •   Advice.  In most cases, even if you are not friends or do not have a mentor/mentee relationship a writer will be willing to give an interview or answer a few quick questions.  So take a risk and shoot some e-mails to a couple local writers, or some of your favorites.  The worst that can happen is say no.  And in the event that they ay yes you’ll have a great opportunity to pick their brains regarding their writing success.  Ask then how they broke into freelancing, their favorite writing resources, their favorite pearls of wisdom, etc.
  • Working Relationships.  In some cases you may come across writers looking for someone to co-author a blog, or a book.  This can be a great opportunity to build a larger audience by sharing the burden of promoting.  But beware of who you create lasting ties with.  Make sure you read their work beforehand and are certain that they can in fact write well and would be a positive reflection on you.  And it would be a good idea not to rush into a project until you’re fairly certain that they’re not crazy.
  • Authors…you will need someone to review your books and platforms to promote your books.  So building relationships with writers is essential.  The reverse is also true, if you write book reviews yu will need to reach out to authors.

Of course if you know of more ways that networking can help, let me know.  I’d love to include it.

So what are you waiting for?  Go mingle.

FREE Writing Class for Women

In Uncategorized on September 22, 2009 at 8:57 pm

Valued readers!  I have a treat for you today.  If you’re visiting this blog it’s likely that you have an interest in writing.  So – to help all you writers out there I will be offering a free writing classes for women writers through my organization Mommy Writers.  Yes…F-R-E-E.

Why will I be doing all this?  I’m glad you asked!  I have been wanting to take some writing classes for some time now.  But have not been able.  Either they’re way too expensive, or I can’t bring my son.  Both big deciding factors for me.  The way I see it, the writers that need classes the most probably can’t afford to pay for them.  And if you’re a writer making enough to afford the classes you probably don’t need them.  That’s why I decided to offer these classes for people like me.

In lieu of writing classes I buy writing reference books, and lots of them.  But when I read all this information and try to put it into practice I find that the books never talk back to me.  They can never tell me how well they think I implemented the lessons on the pages.  I needed FEEDBACK.  I need other writers.  And I’m sure there are others who can relate.

  For more information you can visit the “free classes” link above or visit Mommy Writers online.

What are you reading?

In Uncategorized on September 10, 2009 at 2:50 am

  So, as I’m sure you’ve probably heard – reading can make you a better writer.  It’s particularly important to read work that is in your intended line of expertise.  If you want to write for parenting magazines, pick up Parenting Magazine.  If you want to write business and finance articles subscribe to Forbes.  Simple enough right?

  I’m in luck, because I love to read.  So what am I reading right now?

  In the fiction category I have The Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison.  In non-fiction we have The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Writing Well by Laurie Rozakis.  Of course when I’m finished you’ll probably be reading the reviews right here, or at the very least you’ll know they’re worth reading if they show up on my recommended reading list.  

  On another note I had a very productive day.  And yesterday wasn’t bad either……I must confess, up until yesterday I wasn’t on Twitter.  I know,  shame on me.  But I was in denial I guess.  I had no idea my very success hung on me having a twitter account.  According to Jennifer James in a Mom Bloggers Club article, “To not use Twitter is akin to blogging suicide. Essentially, if you’re not on Twitter you’re nowhere.”  After reading this article last night I immediately signed up for an account.  I now have 7 followers and I’m following 6 others.  

  I still don’t quite get “it”.  Whatever “it” is, but I’m already hooked.  Another internet addiction to add to my fast growing collection.  But at least I’m no longer under blogging suicide watch :-).

  Aside from my new Twitter account I also updated my new writer’s page with some sweet deals, and I edited my first 2 contributions to my web zine Balancing Act.  And now I’ll have a new blog post.  Not bad for a day’s work huh?  A-list writers everywhere here I come!