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Posts Tagged ‘blogging’

The road to publication is filled with pain and tears… bloodshed… mayhem…. I’m being melodramatic here. Of course, that could just be that I’ve recently read several posts about how painful the publication process can be and how difficult it is to write good fiction. Here’s a small sampling:


“This is literally years of work you’re seeing. And hours and hours of work each day. The amount of time and energy I put into marketing is exhausting. I am continuously overwhelmed by the amount of work I have to do that isn’t writing a book. I hardly have time to write anymore, which sucks and terrifies me.” — Amanda Hocking’s post Some Things That Need to Be Said


“When it comes to traditional publication, at times, it may feel like the journey is filled with one root canal and subsequent infection after another. We know what’s coming—the long waits, the rejections, the stinging feedback. We’ve heard others talk about it, we brace ourselves for it, but then when it comes we’re unprepared for how much it really hurts.” — Jody Hedlund’s post Enduring the Pain in the Quest for Publication


“I’ve been blogging for a little over three years. I’ve been writing fiction since … well, pretty much since I could write. My blog posts are read by thousands of people. Only 1% of the fiction I’ve ever written has been published. Fiction is incredibly hard to do well.” — Ali Luke’s post Why Fiction is So Hard to Write



Admittedly, I’m picking on these blogger/authors, but it’s only because these posts spotlight the prevailing problem I’m seeing amongst writers, both new and not-so-new. We’ve picked up the bad habit of looking at the challenges, the hardships, and forgetting the real reason behind why we write. Most of us write because we can’t stop writing. We may ask, “Is it time to just give it up?” as JM Tohlin did before finally publishing The Great Lenore, but when it comes down to brass tacks we simply are unable to.

There’s about as much choice in sitting down to craft a story as there is in breathing.

The fact is, yes, getting published traditionally is hard and being self-published can mean hard work (unless you’re JA Konrath). But here’s another fact: dwelling on how hard it is doesn’t get the story written. It’s time we dragged ourselves out of the pit of despair, step down from our high horses, and get to work.

So in the spirit of moving forward, here’s 4 great links to help get you in the groove:

  1. Opportunity Comes in Overalls by Kristen Lamb: She’s a social media expert with a sharp sense of humor who seems to know just when we need a kick in the pants and that’s exactly what she gives us in this post.

  2. A Perfectionist’s Guide to Editing: 4 Stages by Jami Gold: Jami’s a paranormal author on a deadline battling the imp of perfection, something many of us are doing, and gives us 4 great ways to ignore and use our inner perfectionist.

  3. Nail Your Novel by Roz Morris: This book is a plotter’s dream (and can help pantser’s too 😉 ) as it gives easy to use steps in developing a novel from the first spark of an idea to the finished product.

  4. Hooked by Les Edgerton: This book is the simplest guide I’ve found thus far on how to fashion a beginning that’ll keep ’em reading to the end.



What other ways have you found to pick yourself up and find that forward momentum you lost?

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If you’re a highly sensitive person like me, then you’ll understand how stressful marketing yourself, your product or your business can be. If you aren’t an HSP, then today’s marketing landscape with its hurry, scurry push in social media probably doesn’t bother you. You may, in fact, thrive on the pressure, the excitement. The downside to that is that mistakes can be made at a faster rate and be more challenging to correct.

It’s also true that HSPs will suffer more stress and anxiety if we jump into all of the things we’re told we should be doing before we take the time to fully plan where we want to end up or if we don’t pace ourselves the way we need to — at a slower rate than the rest of the world. Regardless of whether you’re thinking about blogging or using Twitter or Facebook or any other social media, as an HSP it is imperative to think it through and take your time.

I’m currently working my way through Kristen Lamb’s WE ARE NOT ALONE: The Writer’s Guide to Social Media, which I highly recommend, but I have to continuously remind myself that I am not in a race. As Kristen has pointed out in previous blog posts, writing is more of a marathon than a sprint. Building an author platform goes right along with that. I may not be able to fit in 15 minutes each for Facebook, Twitter and MySpace (or whatever other social media outlet I’ve chosen) everyday, but I can certainly spend that much time on one per day, blog at least once per week and still have time left to work on my “masterpiece”.

Jumping into anything before you’re truly ready, or even mostly ready, gives a higher possibility of failure. It also means a greater possibility of losing your passion to write altogether. Still, it’s very difficult to reign in our enthusiasm, especially if we’re newer to the process. As Jody Hedlund says in her post The Pressure To Jump In Too Soon, “It’s hard enough to have patience. Therefore, when we get involved in the cyber writing world, eventually, we might begin to feel left behind or the pressure to keep up with what others are doing—even if we’re right where we need to be.”

Jody suggests 5 things newer writers can do to keep those feelings of pressure to a minimum, which I think really speak to HSPs:

  1. Concentrate on your writing because that is what will sell.

  2. You can put aside the book you’ve written without editing it. Consider it a project to revisit later when you’ve had more experience.

  3. If your story isn’t working or you’ve lost the passion for a project, it’s okay to put it away unfinished.

  4. Take the time to try out other genres. You may find your best writing isn’t in the genre you thought it was.

  5. Most importantly, spend less time thinking about what everyone else is doing and more time being you. As an HSP you know you’re unique. Capitalize on it.

It’s not the popular choice to take the slow lane when trying to forge ahead in a writing career, but for highly sensitive people it can be the best way. What other ways have you discovered to keep your career moving ahead while maintaining the balance you need as an HSP?

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It goes without saying, though obviously I’m going to, that I enjoy blogging. It’s a form of writing and writing is what I do. But I recently had to re-evaluate whether blogging was worth my time after reading The Blog Tyrant‘s postWhy Blogging is a Waste of Your Time.

It all comes down to “why are you blogging?” At first I thought it would be a good way to make a little extra money, but I quickly found that a free blog doesn’t generate income (at least not easily). And I wasn’t willing to commit money to this endeavor as so many others have. I admire people like Darren Rowse of Problogger who have spent money on their blogs and have shown that you can make a go of being a professional blogger. I just don’t think that being a problogger is what I want to do at this time, though I do plan on using his 31 Days to Build a Better Blog eBook often.

I then decided it would be a better way to reach an audience and maybe help a fellow Independent Authors. The problem with this was that nearly all the advice out there says you must blog everyday. I believe having a blog is a great way to build an author platform, but I was finding myself working more on my blog and less on what I really wanted to do — write books. I rebelled and stuck with weekly postings. Still, I felt like this blog thing wasn’t working like I wanted.

Enter Blog Tyrant. I wasn’t convinced that blogging was wasting my time until I read these words:

Your goal is to make money online to give yourself a better life. Blogging might not be the best way to do that. It might be a distraction that you use because it is easy, available and popular. But perhaps you would be better off doing something else? [emphasis mine]

Perhaps my time would be better served by not blogging. How right he is. I am an Independent Author, not a ProBlogger. It’s time I began acting like that as I travel down The Road to Writing.

P.S. I’ll still be blogging. I just won’t be obsessing about it quite so much. 🙂 What about you?

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I don’t think there is anyone who would disagree that blogging on a regular basis is a must to gain a solid reader base. If you want to be noticed you have to get the attention of not just people, but the internet spiders, especially those of Google. The question, however, is how often should you blog?

The vast majority, I think, would say that you absolutely must blog everyday. Their reasoning? Usually it’s an assumption that everyone prefers having their email inbox glutted with “great” new posts on a daily basis. Or it’s all about increasing your Google rank. Or both.

While blogging daily will increase your Google rank, unless it is of very high quality, a daily blog (even just on weekdays) can be seen as a nuisance to your readers — and a major stress factor for you, especially if you’re a highly sensitive person. I strongly disagree with the thought that it’s a wonderful idea to blog on a daily basis, from both a writer’s and a reader’s standpoint.

From a reader’s view, I have enough emails to wade through that the daily blogs, unless they’re amazing, simply get deleted with nothing more than a quick scan. Those that come on a weekly or monthly basis I’m more likely to take the time to read because I believe that person really took the time to produce something of high quality. (It’s a judgement call, I know, but I just haven’t seen enough fantastic daily posts to believe otherwise.)

As a writer, a daily blog puts strain on an already tight schedule. For me, blogging isn’t just sitting down to write whatever pops into my head. There is a lot of research to be done for a quality blog. Not to mention a large amount of time actually crafting and editing it. After all, a “quality” blog gives useful information and makes sure the reader has ready access to helpful sites. If all I wanted to do was give a quick tip, I’d use Twitter.

One such advocate of daily blogging is Gary Smailes of BubbleCow. Gary says in his post Why (And How) Writers Should Blog Every Day, “If you are looking to build a platform then it all comes down to priorities. If you are going to build an online presence then you need to develop a voice and audience. The more you push, the louder your voice becomes.”

If you’re an HSP like me, then pushing and speaking louder is almost the antithesis of who you are. I’m sorry, Mr. Smailes, but there are other ways of making yourself heard.

Basic networking can be done via social media or face-to-face and you don’t have to shout to do it. Building a network, and a following, does not have to happen overnight. Trying to stretch yourself beyond what you can naturally do and without the needed downtime, something non-HSPs do on a regular basis, will only make a highly sensitive person overwhelmed. I know from personal experience that trying to market myself the way “everyone else does it” or, worse, the way “everyone else says I should do it” only gave me wicked heartburn and a lot of cranky days from lack of sleep. It didn’t improve my following at all.

What has worked is crafting quality weekly blogs and networking the old-fashioned way. As a highly sensitive person, I find I absolutely must be creative — and slow — in building my platform. I may not win a lot of readers today, but over time I’m positive I can entice many on The Road to Writing.

BTW: This post took 1 hour 15 minutes to write and edit. That time does not include research on the topic of blogging.

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As I was researching information for this post, (which is supposed to be on Financial Tips for Indie Authors) I found myself lacking inspiration. There are soooo many financial web sites out there that are targeted to just about anyone, though a quick Google search for “Financial Tips for Independent Authors” gains nothing of real value. So, as is my habit, I continued searching in different directions, hoping to find something to bring to you.

I considered venturing into my initial reason for starting TRTW (to make money online blogging) when, viola! Two and a half hours into the search I came across Master Dayton‘s article For the Casual Freelancer: If you don’t like to be told what to write…“.

Suddenly a few things clicked and I found myself signing up to be an author on Constant Content. They pay the author for each article purchased when their account reaches $5. Payment, according to their FAQ, is made at the beginning of each month. If you make more than $500 you can choose either to receive a wire transfer to your bank account or into your PayPal account (anything under $500 automatically goes into your PayPal account). Each article must adhere to their submission guidelines and if you have three articles rejected, then you can no longer upload documents to their site.

While I could be dreaming about huge payments being directly wired to my bank account, I’m not. To be sure, making money online, whether by blogging or freelancing for sites such as Constant Content, isn’t a cakewalk. In fact, although I’m looking forward to trying my hand at this new stream of income, I’ve come to believe what Darren Rowse of Problogger says in his article “9 Unsexy Truths about Making Money Online,” there are no guarantees of success. All each of us can do is try, going it one step at a time, on The Road to Writing.

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