Category Archives: blog

O Blogger, Where Art Thou?

Yes, I know. It’s been several months since I posted, and then it was a book review. You’ve heard nothing from me in simply ages. Why? Well, I don’t really know. There are a number of reasons that come to mind, so I’m going to share them with you. Put your hand up if you can relate to any of them.

  1. Lack of material/time. I was finding that blogging twice a week was draining my mind of ideas and cutting into my writing time. I work almost full time and the pressure of coming up with material for two days each week, as well as trying to keep up with other blogs, comments on my blog, and the rest of it was leaving me with next to nothing for my creative writing.
  2. Competing priorities. Update my blog or spend time with my kids? They won’t remember having to muck around the house waiting for me to do my computer stuff, but they will remember me taking them to the zoo. Or the pool. Whatever.
  3. An overall sense of cutting out what was less important. This is an extension of #2. I blogged earlier in the year about cleaning out my cupboards at the same time as I was cleaning up my manuscript, and that attitude still stands. Things that were less important were jettisoned in favour of those items higher up the list. And maintaining my profile as a budding author, while important, felt less so than putting my life in order, spending time with kids (as above), and just generally getting myself in a position that I was happy with. You only get one shot at life so why waste it doing things you don’t want to do?

I know I could have just cut down on the blog frequency, but like a lot of people I suffer from procrastination, and there was also a very real fear that if I started it up again then I might drop back into old habits, which was what was draining me in the first place. And I was drained. I didn’t write a thing for two months, and nor did I do any editing. Nothing at all. My brain just needed a break from all that, and I obliged.

So, what’s changed now? Well, my novel is now at the point where I am happy to send it out to my beta readers for their feedback. I could tinker and fiddle till the cows come home but I don’t think that by myself I’m going to get it much better than it is now. It’s time for new eyes and new perspectives on it. So I’m sending it out for comment, and putting it down till Christmas at the earliest. Then in the new year I can take everyone’s ideas on board to improve it even further.

As such, I’m ready to get back into the world of writers. I won’t be blogging as frequently - once a week will do me, on Mondays like now, with the occasional interview or book review thrown in instead of commentary. It’s a scenario designed to keep me involved, yet help take the pressure off, and to give me more time to devote to novel #2, or the kids, or anything else that seems important at the time. One less post per week will help with my whole-of-life de-clutter that I’ve been undertaking for most of this year.

So yeah, that’s me. Sorry for the long blackout, but fear not, all is good. Oh, and if anyone reading this would like to have a look at my novel in a beta capacity, leave a comment or send me an email at Emily[dot]wheeler02[at]yahoo[dot]com. I’d love to hear from you.

 

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Free plug for a paid book blogging gig

Book collection

Book collection (Photo credit: Ian Wilson)

Would you like to be paid to blog about books?

No, I’m not kidding. I saw that in my Facebook feed recently and thought it was worth sharing. Not FB “sharing”, because that would have gone to a lot of my non-bookish friends, but blog sharing. Which means, of course, that I’m telling you lovely people rather than, say, my mum.

momentum logo

The offer comes from Momentum Books, which is the digital-only imprint of Pan Macmillan Australia, and essentially they are looking for someone to write 4-8 posts a month about books, reading, and book and storytelling culture. Essentially, if it’s about a book, it could well be what they’re looking for, and they are offering $AU20 per post. You don’t have to be Australian to enter, but the posts do have to be in English. (Australians are generally a monolingual bunch.) They are especially looking for bloggers who focus on romance, fantasy and/or science fiction, but more general blogs will also be considered.

Sound good? Or, maybe, just worth looking into? Well, go to this post of their blog to get full information and submission details – but do it soon. Entries close on April 25th Australian time (less than two weeks from now).

Good luck, and happy blogging. :)

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Best Australian Blogs 2013

BB2013_Nominee

Today’s post is about blogging, hayfever, and blogging when you have hayfever.  Well, really it’s about blogging, but if I suddenly become strangely incoherent it’s probably because the summer scourge is upon me. Which is a shame because we’re well and truly into autumn now and this is the first really bad attack of the sneezes I’ve had. Sigh.

Ignoring that, I have once again signed up to participate in the Best Australian Blogs competition, which is run annually by the Australian Writers’ Centre (formerly the Sydney Writers’ Centre). I don’t necessarily think that my blog has what it takes to even make a dent in this great competition, but if I don’t put my hand up I’ll never know, right? Whereas if I do, then more people might discover my blog and think it’s worth looking at occasionally. *crosses fingers hopefully*

What does this competition entail? Well, really, it’s a nominate-oneself-or-hope-someone-else-does-it-for-you type of thing. There are different categories and special awards for outstanding individual posts, but essentially it’s a way for bloggers to discover what other blogs are out there, and for people who like to read blogs to go through the entrants to find ones they like. And it’s all about group hugs and supporting each other and generally being nice to other internet-people.

Anyway, like I said I’ve put my hand up, and I’m hoping that someone notices it. And if you like my blog, there’s a People’s Choice round coming up next month during which you can vote for me, so bear that in mind too. :)

And that’s it for me today. Sorry for the brevity of the post, but I’ve sneezed approximately one hundred and fifty times since I started writing it, so I think my body is telling me to stop. Now all I need to do is think of some incredibly interesting things to post about in the next few weeks that might increase my chances, hahaha.

Best of luck to all other nominees, and if you let me know you’ve entered I’ll look for you in the voting round. Cheers!

 

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Guest post: Why 140 Characters isn’t the Limit, by Liam O’Dell

Yes, I know, I’m a day late this week, but that’s just the way things have worked out. Anyway, better late than never, right? And I’m thrilled to be able to introduce Liam O’Dell, who is an aspiring writer who is starting up a site that provides tips to bloggers (like me). And we all could do with a hand, right? Well, I could, at least. :)

Without further ado, here he is:

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photo

Why 140 Characters Isn’t the Limit…

 

Ah, Twitter, the quick and to-the-point way of social-networking. The site where people can share opinions, comments and critical viewpoints, all under 140 characters. But we’ve all had to make one grammatical or spelling error in order to allow us to write what we need to write. However, when writing a tweet, have you ever felt like you could write more than 140 characters?

For those wondering why I have omitted Facebook from this, it is because there’s no such limit to what we write on Facebook, and as well as that, only Twitter allows us to post opinions to the big wide world, rather than Facebook only allows you to post to “friends”, who already know what you think. However, what I’m going to write about today can apply to both sites. In fact, it can apply to anything. What I’m going to write about today is the idea that anyone can blog, but in particular, those on social networks.

A post on Twitter, Facebook etc. starts with an idea, but everyone knows that an idea can be developed. This is where a blog comes in. If there is a topic or idea that you could write endlessly about, then blog about it! 140 characters isn’t the limit on a blog! So, start a blog, and feel free to write!

 

The Blog Event – imPRESSive:

Thanks for reading my guest post, I really appreciate it! In case you didn’t know, I’m running a blog event, called imPRESSive (see what I did there?). imPRESSive hopes to provide tips to bloggers, but also aims to inspire more people to set up blogs. For more information and to view the blog post, click here!

But wait, there’s more! You can do me a massive favour and do some of the following things:

  1. “Like” me on Facebook!
  2. “Follow” Me on Twitter
  3. Tweet the Hashtag: #DocPRESS
  4. Confirm that you are “going” to my Facebook event
  5. Let me spread the word by Guest Blogging on your blog!

Thanks!

Liam

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Thanks Liam! The blog certainly sounds like a great idea, so I urge everyone to go check it out. In the meantime, if you’re not blogging already, why not give it a go? It’s not hard (proven because even I can do it) and it can open up a whole new world to you. :)

 

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The Friday blog-hop! (part 2)

Blog Machine

Blog Machine (Photo credit: digitalrob70)

 

Today I’m doing my second Friday blog-hop, in an attempt to give some love back to my favourite bloggers. The first time I did this was last November, so I figured it was well and truly time to give it another shot. Remember, this list is NOT exhaustive, and is in no particular order. I just think that you should ALL go and read these blogs RIGHT NOW. ;)

Okay, here goes:

  • Knitting with Pencils, by Tracey Baptiste. Tracey just has a way with words that makes them flow off the page and make me want to read more. I’ll be honest, I haven’t read her novel yet, but I really really want to because if reading her blog makes me feel like I’m walking on air, imagine what a whole book would do? :)
  • The Write Fox, by Sarah L Fox. Sarah is someone I can really relate to, and it feels like her experiences often mirror my own. She doesn’t have nearly as many followers as she deserves and I would love it if some of you lovely readers would go check her blog out. It’s definitely worth it.
  • Write21, by Justin O’Leary. Again, here is someone who deserves a heck of a lot more followers than he currently has. His blog is an incredible resource for writers and should be bookmarked by everyone who needs a bit of guidance occasionally. And let’s face it, isn’t that all of us? :)
  • Can You all Hear me in the Back?, by Darlene Craviotto. Darlene is primarily a screenwriter rather than a novelist, but since when should that be a problem? We’re all using our creativity to put words on paper and then try to get them out there. Anyway, this is a really intelligent and thought-provoking blog that should be on everyone’s to-read list.
  • Devoted Eclectic, by Elizabeth Lhuede. Elizabeth is the driving force behind the Australian Women’s Writers challenge (which reminds me, I’d better sign up for this year’s – and update this blog to reflect that) so her blog is often used to review books as part of that challenge. That said, her reviews are always worth checking out, and her other posts are thought-provoking and stick in your mind for a long time afterwards.

So, that’s my list for this round of blog-hopping. I hope that I have inspired you to go and check out some (or all) of these blogs if you haven’t already – and if you don’t see your name yet, it’s not because I’ve forgotten you. Just keep an eye out for the next blog-hop and you might see yourself then! :)

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The day of the missing post

 

Hi all! I’m afraid that there’s no guest post or book review or anything today – not because I didn’t have any lined up, but because I’m not well and just can’t spend the required amount of time at the computer putting it all together without feeling ridiculously sick. So sorry about that but it does happen, sometimes. :(

While I’m here I’ll also say that next week will be my final posts for the year. I’ll take a break over Christmas and will start posting again on January 7.

Have a nice weekend, everyone! Cheers :)

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The Friday blog-hop!

BLOG IDEAS

BLOG IDEAS (Photo credit: owenwbrown)

Yes, something different today – rather than feature a single author in my Friday post, I’m going to feature a number of them as a way of giving some love back to my favourite bloggers. I may have mentioned some (or indeed most) of these people before, but these are some of the the blogs I just don’t want to miss each time. Now, I’m not going to say this is a conclusive list, because it’s not – first of all, I couldn’t possibly fit all my favourite bloggers in one post and do them all justice. Secondly, I’m bound to forget someone. And thirdly, I want to leave this open so I can do it again! :)

Okay, here goes, in no particular order:

  • Confessions of a Stuffed Olive, by Holly Kench. You may remember Holly as one of my first guest bloggers, and I’m sure I’ve mentioned her on other occasions, but Holly’s blog is one that I read every single time – and I can’t say that about everyone, I’m afraid. (Mostly that’s due to time pressures rather than a lack of interest, but it is still the unfortunate truth.) Maybe it’s her sense of humour, maybe it’s that I like the way she thinks, maybe it’s the incredibly amusing illustrations she does – or maybe it’s a combination of all of those. Regardless, Holly’s blog is one that you really should check out, if you haven’t already.
  • The Monster’s Ink, by Alyson Miers. Often political, Alyson’s blog is one that always makes me think – and one that I usually agree with, despite the fact that we live in different countries and therefore different political climates. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever disagreed with Alyson’s thoughts. Sure, she can be provocative (and if you’re American and voted Republican in the recent election you would probably not share her views) but if you need something to read that’s going to stay with you for a while, I recommend checking her out.
  • Dy Loveday’s blog. I featured Dy a couple of weeks back to celebrate the release of her first novel, Illusion. Well, now she’s offering to give away a kindle to someone who can answer three questions on  the book. Sound enticing? I thought so. Even if you haven’t read Illusion, it’s worth checking out Dy’s site just to see the progress of someone who has recently joined the ranks of the published novelists. From idea to completion and beyond, it makes fascinating reading. And did I mention the kindle giveaway? :)
  • The Third Sunday Blog Carnival. Not an individual blogger but instead a collection of really interesting posts, which comes out (you guessed it) on the third Sunday of each month. It’s a really good place to find new blogs to read, or if you so choose somewhere to display your own wares. Looking for something to read? Check it out. Want to expand your audience? Submit to them. Every month there is something new to whet your appetite and make you think.
  • Poeta Officium, by Virginia. A blog by a fellow first-time novelist who is trying to make her way in this strange world of writing, I find myself relating to practically everything she writes about. She’s much more ambitious than me in the blogging sphere in that she tries to post almost every day (I have no idea how she finds the time!), but that doesn’t mean she runs out of things to write about. Essentially, hers is an engaging blog that most people who try to find time to write on top of their everyday life would be able to relate to.

So, that’s it for this week. I will try to do some more blog-hops every now and then in the new year (and if I missed you this time, you could well see your own blog listed in the coming months). In the meantime, do yourself a favour and go look at some of these blogs. You might find one that really appeals to you. :)

 

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Looking for guest bloggers!

Blog Machine

Blog Machine (Photo credit: digitalrob70)

I don’t normally do straight-up call outs like this, at least not actually on my blog (Twitter is another thing entirely, haha), but I thought I’d give it a go today. Why? Because my Friday slots between now and the end of the year are looking very sad and empty.

Therefore, I’m now actively looking for guest bloggers – people who want to write guest posts, novel excerpts or author interviews. I post one of these (or a book review – which reminds me, I have spots open for those too if you have a book you’d like me to review) every Friday my time, which is probably Thursday in much of the rest of the world. Full information can be found here, but essentially my rules are, try to keep it family friendly and to 1000 words or less. If you manage to do that, then chances are I’ll be happy to post it.

Therefore, if you have a book coming out or just want to get the word out about one that’s been out for a while, then maybe we can help each other. I’ll post an excerpt or do an interview or something, or you can write your own post about it, which helps you in your publicity campaign, and helps me in filling my Friday spots.

I’ll add here that I’m specifically looking for authors to blog, rather than freelance bloggers, not because I have anything against freelancers but because they often want to link to sites that seem to have absolutely nothing to do with what they were blogging about. If you’re a freelancer and have a writing-related site, then by all means contact me. If you’re wanting to promote something completely unrelated, though, then I’m likely to turn you down. It’s nothing personal, it’s just what I see as being relevant. Besides, from a marketing perspective you’re much more likely to get business from readers of a writing blog if what you’re marketing has something to do with writing. :)

So, are you interested? Can you see yourself on this blog as a guest contributor? If so, please drop me an email at emily[dot]wheeler02[at]yahoo[dot]com and we’ll get something organised. Thanks!

 

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Looking for motivation

English: Motivational Saying

English: Motivational Saying (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Okay, first things first. I know I didn’t do a post last Friday, so my deepest apologies. The lack of activity was due to a combination of things – a late cancellation combined with a generally crappy day meant that things just got away from me and I wasn’t able to put something together. Fear not, though, I have things lined up for this Friday so it’s only a minor blip. :)

Aside from my general lack of blogging, though, today I was going to talk about motivation. I’ve been sick lately so finding the motivation to get out there and write has been more difficult than usual. Sure, the ideas are there, but the thought of actually opening that Word document and writing just hasn’t appealed.

My way of getting past this is, oddly enough, NaNo. Yes, I know that last week I said loud and clear that I wasn’t going to do NaNo this year as I wanted to get my WIP out of the way first. However, what I’ve decided to do is my own mini NaNo, in that rather than aiming for 50,000 words during November, I’m heading for 15,000. That’s 500 words a day, and if I get that done then I’ll be, if not finished, then very close to. I’m doing okay, too – today (in my part of the world) is the 5th of November, so that means I need to have 2500 words done by the end of today. Well, I’m not there yet, but it’s not yet midday so I’ve got time, and I’m over 2000 to start with. That means less than 500 words and I’m on track.

I know that personal NaNos don’t work for everyone, though, so I’ve come up with a few other methods that might help with motivation.

1. Carrots, as in carrot-and-stick methods. In this case, reward yourself. I’ve promised that I’ll get myself a manicure when the manuscript is finally done – or, at least, the first draft is. This isn’t necessarily because I’m huge fan of getting my nails done, but it feels like a good reward for my fingers, which are what has been doing the bulk of the work in typing this story out. In other words, set up a reward system for significant milestones, like some personal pampering, or a night out with friends, or a fancy lunch, or whatever. Not a huge reward (I don’t condone celebrating every chapter finish with a weekend away, for example), but something that fits the task at hand.

2. Sticks. This is punishing yourself if you don’t meet certain milestones. This doesn’t work nearly so well as people respond so much better to positive than negative rewards, but sometimes it just works to do it this way. This has worked for me in the past when I denied myself chocolate until I’d written 1000 words in a day. (This was especially effective when I had the chocolate just sitting there, looking at me, and I was forcing myself not to have it.) Stick methods are probably better for short term goals than long term ones, or at least they are for me.

3. Competition/social deadlines. This is where something like NaNo comes in, though it’s not necessary; it could be an agreement with a friend or something at your writers’ group. It’s where you agree to have a chapter finished by X date, or try to write more than someone else in  a given time. The widgets on the NaNo website are great because you can track your progress against that of a friend or even a region (averaged out), but really any sort of arrangement will work. The idea is that you will write, even if it’s rubbish, because someone else is relying on you to do it. There’s nothing like a bit of social guilt to make you get stuck into it.

You will notice that I’m employing a combination of (1) and (3) this month – the promise of a manicure to reward my fingers when the draft is finished, along with the pressure to meet a NaNoWriMo-like deadline. Only time will tell if I’m disciplined enough to do it, but if I don’t try I’ll never know.

So, what works best for you when you’re not feeling motivated? How do you make yourself write? Or do you just take a break and wait for the inspiration to come back again? I’d love to hear about it. :)

 

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More blog awards!

Today I’d like to thank the very lovely Eveli Acosta, who nominated me for not one but two blog awards! Admittedly, she did it about two months ago, but I had a big of a glut in nominations at that time and it seemed rather conceited of me to have several acceptance blogs in a row. However, now seems as good as time as any, so I’m thrilled to bestow the Very Inspiring Blogger Award and the One Lovely Blog Award to some of my fellow bloggers.

The rules are as follows:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you and link back to them (done!)
  2. Share 7 things about yourself (see below)
  3. Nominate 15 bloggers you admire (again, see below)
  4. Leave a comment on each of their blogs letting them know they’ve been nominated (on to-do list)

Right. Here goes. Seven things about myself:

  1. I have three different Twitter accounts, in three different names and for three different purposes. And I’m rubbish at updating any of them.
  2. I travelled to South Africa alone as a twenty-one year old and almost got killed. At least, that’s the way I like to tell it. :)
  3. I quote Winnie-the-Pooh on a regular basis.
  4. I have a real weakness for well-done Shakespeare, and I love Shakespeare parodies just as much. Badly done, though, and I lose patience.
  5. I see more plays each year than I do movies. I’m not sure that it’s necessarily interest so much as the ability to book them in months in advance. The last movie I saw at the cinema was the final Harry Potter one.
  6. When I was ten I travelled to North America with my family and did cartwheels (probably quite badly) at each place we stayed.
  7. I don’t drink coffee. At all. I am quite possibly the only writer in the world who doesn’t. :)

Okay, now for my nominations. In no particular order, they are:

  1. Cresting the Words, by Wordsurfer
  2. But What are They Eating?, by Shelley Workinger
  3. Culture Shock, by Jamie B Musings
  4. A Cupboard Full of Thoughts, by Gill
  5. Super Reviewers, by a bunch of wonderful book-types
  6. A Place to Share, by Patricia Awapara
  7. The BiaLog, by CP Bialois
  8. Sarah Butland‘s blog
  9. Let’s Talk about Books, by Tracy James Jones
  10. So Many Words, by Alberta Ross
  11. Diary of a Writer in Progress, by Gina
  12. Literary Purveyor of Steampunk Snark, by Wendy L. Callahan
  13. Deborah Lawrenson‘s blog
  14. Karen Pokras Toz’s blog
  15. Emily Unraveled, by Emily L Moir

So, there it is. I hope you check out all my nominees as they have amazing blogs that are well worth looking at. Thanks again to Eveli for nominating me in the first place, and have a lovely week. :)

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