3 Top Tips, Facebook, Pinterest, Quality, social networking, Twitter, Wriitng

Writing In Perspective

Description  English: A Stipula fountain pen lying on a written piece of paper Date 26 May 2011 Source  Power_of_Words_by_Antonio_Litterio.jpg Author  Power_of_Words_by_Antonio_Litterio.jpg: Antonio Litterio derivative work: InverseHypercube
By Antonio Litterio
Writing is a dream job – most people would kill to spend their days just thinking about stuff, then writing some of it down. The internet offers so many ways to connect with readers and get feedback, it’s tempting to think that the more time you spend in social networking, the better your sales will be. That’s one good way to measure your success, but it’s a pretty narrow one. Broaden your outlook, and you can widen your horizons. Formulate, Focus and Feed to give your self-esteem a boost.

1 – Formulate A Plan
Set yourself long term, intermediate and short term goals. What do you want to achieve 5 years, 1 year, and 6 months ahead? Make these objectives as specific as you can – “Earn (name your own price!) from writing within the next five years”, “Write at least two books within the next twelve months” or “Finish my novel by Christmas”. You may need to readjust your timescale, but don’t alter your dreams. Keep your eyes on the prize. Print these plans out on paper, and pin them up by your writing station. They’ll act as a spur.

2 – Think Quality as well as Quantity
Spend as much time as you can writing. That sounds like a no-brainer, but it’s amazing how much time gets eaten up by promotion and, let’s be honest, surfing the net while you’re on line typing up or researching.  Every self-publishing site will tell you the best way to drive sales is by publishing another book (incidentally, notice how this nugget of helpful advice is most often pushed by people who then offer to edit/format or illustrate that next book for you – at a price). While frequent releases keep your name in front of your readers, don’t sacrifice quality for the sake of quantity. Work towards both.  Once your work is out in the public domain, it’s there forever. Spend time and care perfecting your work, and only release your very best work.

3 – Feed Your Friends
Not literally, although chocolate cake (real or virtual) always goes down well! Think beyond the boundaries when promoting. Don’t just flog your book: too much of that is an instant turn-off. Market yourself, your whole canon of work and maybe even the genre in which you write. Interact with your real, face-to-face friends as well as your Facebook friends, Twitter followers and other online contacts. Make sure you can be easily found online: if you don’t feel confident setting up your own website, contact your local college. They may run courses, or have students who would relish the challenge of developing a page for you (when was the last time you tried getting a teenager away from a keyboard?). 
Create a Pinterest Board for your book, offer to guest blog, maybe even as one of your characters! Comment on other sites, and join in wherever you can. Be enthusiastic, be helpful and be open to every opportunity.

Above all, write – all the time. Using your skills will hone and improve them, day by day.
chocolate, Dawn French, Denise Bidot, Hero, Heroine, Pinterest

Here Come The Girls – Or They Would, But…

By Frank Blackwell (Diocese of Oxford)
My last post covered the search for male images to put up on my Work In Progress inspiration boards.  I don’t base my characters on any one person, but build up an idea in my mind of what they are like by combining physical details in all sorts of combinations. That’s one of the exciting things about writing – you can design your own people. Imagine being a parent, but without the hard work and the 20-plus years of waiting before you see the finished article! 
As well as a physical database of my characters’ eye colour, height, etc., I use pictures of people and places on an inspiration board in my office to keep me on course. It’s easy enough to gather images for this private collection. If a picture of something or someone in an article or advert appeals to me, I just cut it out.  The problem comes when I want to put them up on my public Work In Progress Pinterest board. Not unreasonably, copyright rules mean images can’t be reproduced online willy-nilly. I’ve managed to post some suitably heroic men, but women are proving a bit more elusive.  That’s why I’m asking for your help in tracking down some suitable photos.
Here’s the spec: life has crushed all the fun out of my dark haired, well built heroine – it’s still there, but  she’s taken refuge in chocolate.  Once she takes control of her life again, she’s ready for anything. The girl I have in my mind looks a bit like a twenty-something Dawn French. I couldn’t find any pictures of Ms French at that age, so I canvassed opinion on my guest blog earlier in the month at authorsoundrelations. There were some great responses, in particular Mary Kirkland’s suggestion of Denise Bidot. Unfortunately, I can’t find a legal (and decent, of course!) image of Denise to join Dawn and the guys on Pinterest
Can you help?