Tag Archives: blogging

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.

 

2 Comments

Filed under blog, writing

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. :)

2 Comments

Filed under blog, community announcement, reading, writing

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:

————————–

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

————————

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. :)

 

1 Comment

Filed under author guest post, blog

The Beautiful Blogger Award!

Wow. I’ve been nominated for the Beautiful Blogger Award!! An ENORMOUS thank you to Emi from Four Leaves for the nomination. Honestly, I’m so touched.  :) *hugs*

As a result, I’ve got a bit of a change in theme today. No writing tips or experiences, just sharing the blogging love. Here’s what it’s all about. The Beautiful Blogger Award is for creativity, originality, and contribution to the blogging community.

The guidelines are to list seven random facts about yourself; post a link to the blog of the person who nominated you (done that!!); link to seven other bloggers who are deserving of the award; and let those bloggers know that you’ve nominated them. Pretty simple, right? So here goes.  :)

Seven random facts about me:

  1. I’m right handed in everything I do, except playing (ice) hockey. I hold a hockey stick left handed for some reason; it feels more comfortable that way. My husband is right handed too, but the kids (even the baby) are left-handed. Not sure where that came from!
  2. I changed my surname legally when I was sixteen years old. There was no family split or crisis or anything; I just wanted a different name.
  3. I was also sixteen when I finished school – and I don’t mean left, but finished year 12. I then took a year off to do a student exchange because I figured sixteen was just a little bit young to start university.
  4. My favourite movie is Kenneth Branagh‘s version of Henry V, though the Lord of the Rings movies are a close second. I’ve read The Lord of the Rings in its entirety every year since I was eighteen.
  5. I don’t wear make-up, or do my hair in any special way beyond brushing it. The face-paint and hair dryer come out for weddings, funerals and job interviews. And that’s it. :)
  6. At twenty-one I had my jaw broken and re-set in order to correct a chronic and severe overbite. I now only have about 40% feeling in my chin due to the severing of a nerve, but at least I have a chin.
  7. I learned to play the piano as a child, and apparently got quite good, but the fact that I am absolutely tone deaf meant that I lost interest when I couldn’t tell when I was doing something wrong.

Right. Did that bore the pants off you? It’s amazing how hard it can be to think of seven random things about yourself that others might find even vaguely interesting.

Now for my seven nominations. I admit I initially struggled to find seven, mostly because many of my initial thoughts had already been nominated. I have, however, come up with some absolute beauties that I hope you check out. Here they are, in no particular order:

  1. Confessions of a Stuffed Olive, by Holly Kench. Holly did my guest post last Friday so this might seem like just additional promotion, but you really must check out her blog. I follow a lot of people, but she’s one of the few that I read every single time.
  2. Colleen Moore. Another writer working on a first novel, I can really relate to her experiences and struggles – and she puts them so well!
  3. Amelia Curzon. Not only does she have some great insights on the writing process, but her guest posts are amazing. (Not including mine, of course. That would just be conceited.)
  4. The Monster’s Ink, by Alyson Miers. Social commentary with bite, this is a great read, even if you’re not American.
  5. Anne Chaconas. I can’t help but just agree with her!
  6. Justin O’Leary at Write21. An amazing resource for writers. My only complaint is that he doesn’t post often enough.
  7. Ingrid Gascoigne at Destination: denouement. Can I just say …  I can relate!!

So there are my Beautiful Bloggers. All that’s left for me to to is tell them they’ve been nominated …. which I will get to just as soon as I’ve taken the baby to his swimming lesson.  Thanks again to Emi for the nomination, and next week I’ll return to normal scheduling.  :)

17 Comments

Filed under blog, blog awards, writing

Guest post: Why Writers should Blog, by Holly Kench

Why Writers Should Blog

Image of me blogging was created by today’s guest poster, Holly Kench

When I first decided to start writing seriously, I desperately sought advice wherever I could get it. Everyone I spoke to made a lot of good suggestions: write every day, write what you’re passionate about, find your niche, create a writing routine, enjoy your writing, etc. Yet, there was one recommendation that I hadn’t expected and that kept popping up:

Write a blog.

A what? I would ask, scratching my technologically malnourished brain. At the time, the only blog I frequented was that of Ricky Gervais, and I remained unconvinced that ‘blog’ could actually be a real word.

However, it wasn’t long before I was following many MANY blogs and writing my own. I haven’t looked back since.

But just why is blogging such a positive endeavour for writers?

Let’s start with the basic reasons that blogging is beneficial for writers. The most essential of these would have to be in creating a home for yourself on the net. People need to be able to look you up online; just as you need a place to direct readers. In this increasingly virtual world (yes, it’s a cliché because it’s true), home is where the link is. For writers, this is your blog. It’s your online centre, and from your blog you can direct readers to your other social media (ie. Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads), to other relevant sites, and, most importantly, to where they can read/purchase your work.

Your blog is so much more than a Yellow Pages entry, though. It’s also a place where you can advertise your writing skills and generate an audience. You can promote yourself as an author, as well as specifically promoting your available work. Even more exciting, you can write to an interactive audience. This is a luxury that the traditional world of books doesn’t have. By writing a blog you become part of a developing community in which readers can respond and contribute to texts directly. On a blog, writers and readers communicate, discuss and consider writing as part of an ongoing conversation. I find the possibilities of this terribly exciting.

In terms of your writing itself, blogging is also a wonderful exercise. Blogging gives you the opportunity to write without restraint. You can write for the joy of it, at those times when you know your brain will burst if you don’t get those words down, or when you really need to write out problems and explore questions about your primary writing. And you have a waiting audience ready to read and contribute to your thoughts. Of course, the topic of your blog affects this to a certain extent – though I don’t really let that bother me too much. While my blog mostly consists of humorous short stories, I’ve discovered that my readers are more than willing to read and comment on my concerns about fiction and pop culture, and, for that matter, anything else I feel like blogging about at the time.

There’s a freedom in blogging that you don’t always experience from other types of writing. You don’t have to prove anything to a publisher or agent when you’re blogging. All you have to do is write for you and your wonderful followers, who are just waiting to give you their two cents worth (and that’s worth so much more).

——————–

Thanks Holly! If you’d like to know more about this week’s guest blogger, she identifies herself as a Tasmanian (Australian) writer and feminist, with a classics degree and a fear of spiders.  She enjoys writing fantasy and humour for adults, as well as young adult and children’s fiction, and is currently writing her first novel, a young adult paranormal fantasy. Oh yeah, and she also likes writing stories about herself and drawing pictures of herself as a stuffed olive. To see more of her work, you can check out her website.

Holly as a stuffed olive :)

Related articles

7 Comments

Filed under author guest post, blog, writing

Balancing time

It is, I’m sure, a common conundrum. Aspiring writers, like me, who are trying to both write their book and establish an online profile at the same time. I’ve been working diligently – well, as diligently as I can while looking after young children – to try to get this blog, and my Twitter and Facebook profiles, up and running. And, well, while it’s great to get followers and feel like you’ve reached out to people, it is time-consuming.

And therein lies the conundrum. I have limited time on the computer due to real life commitments, and I have to ask myself: Am I better off spending this time getting my profile established, writing blogs like this one and posting on Twitter and Facebook and the like, or should I instead be working on my manuscript, without which there will be no book and, therefore, no need for an online profile?

I find myself doing a little of both, but not giving either enough of the time they really require or deserve, and I feel as though I’m short-changing my book, my profile and myself. Add this to traditional mother-guilt, and that’s a lot on my conscience, almost all of it self-inflicted. And this is not a good thing. Therefore, I feel the need to streamline my activities in order to simplify things.

Today is Wednesday. As I said on the weekend, Wednesday is my writing day, especially now holidays are over so I have no distractions in the form of small children. That is, aside from the baby, who is another matter for another day.  This means I will spend most of the day concentrating on my manuscript. I will also (obviously) blog on Wednesdays, as I’ll be at the computer anyway. However, other social media like Facebook and Twitter can be reserved for use on my phone, when I’m off the computer. Thus, fewer distractions from my writing, which is what I’m trying to focus on anyway.

Does anyone else have any suggestions for how to manage limited computer time yet still get everything done? Has anyone managed to strike a compromise that works? Am I on the right path or getting totally lost? Any feedback would be most welcome.

Thank you!

7 Comments

Filed under writing

“So you want to be a writer?”

I know, I know. There are countless websites about the above, and countless blogs giving advice. Me, I’m one of the ones scouring said websites and blogs to try to find information, and to be frank, it’s confusing.  Some people say you MUST have a blog, and Facebook, and Twitter, and Google+, and a website with your own domain name, and that in order to be considered for publication you must have what is called a platform. Others say that for first-time fiction writers there is no such need, and that every case is considered on its own merit.  Well, I’m a novice fiction writer, with a half-finished book that I would like to get out there to the world of agents and publishers one of these days (when it’s done, of course), and I don’t have a platform. Really, I don’t have much at all.

However, I’m trying. (Some would say I’m very trying, but that’s another story entirely.) While it may not be essential, who’s to say a blog wouldn’t help?  If nothing else it will improve my writing, and perhaps might even get some people to recognise my name. That is, some people who aren’t related to me or on speed dial on my phone. Hence, this blog.  I’ve also started tweeting under this name in order to try to help find my niche in this rather scary world of professional writing. Facebook and Google+ are yet to come, as is the webpage, but I figured I have to start somewhere.

My trouble, however, in establishing this platform, is the same trouble most people have.  Time.  While I’m not working at the moment, as I am still on leave following the birth of my youngest child nine months ago, I don’t exactly have a lot of spare time.  I have resolved this year to spend at least one day each week writing, but that can only be during school term when I only have the baby at home with me, and even then I’d be lucky to get three hours writing in during the whole school day. Ideally I’d like to spend that time working on my novel, so that leaves blogging, tweeting and anything else as essentially extracurricular activities that need their own time allocated for them. At the moment, it’s school holidays and I’m lucky to get two hours a week on the computer, and then I spend much of that time doing horribly practical things like banking and ordering stick-on name labels for my children. Once term begins, I will have some more time. *crosses fingers*

I guess what I’m really doing here is, like my youngest son, taking baby steps. For him it’s literal, whereas for me it’s the figurative steps into a world I really know nothing about. And I will still devour blogs and websites that offer conflicting advice, and sift through trying to make my own sense of things and work out what’s best for me. I’m sure I’ll make mistakes along the way, but then again, who doesn’t? After all, I’m only human.

If you stumbled across this page, let me know if I made a real hash of this or not.  After all, I’ve not blogged much before, and certainly not  like this, so I know I have a lot to learn. But we all have to start somewhere, right?

2 Comments

Filed under writing