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Posts Tagged ‘blogging’

Getting Started With Networking as a Writer

Monday, December 13th, 2010

Earlier this week, one of our members posted this question in the forums:

I understand networking is extremely important especially if you would like to have something published but my question is how do you do this? How does someone like myself build up a network of links and acquaintances at such an early stage?

It’s an excellent question, and I’m taking a stab at it here.

First, as a shameless self-plug, I think forums like WritAnon are a great place to start. You can start finding out more about people, and as you get to know people better, they’re more likely to want to help you succeed.

Next, blogging is a good way to build a following, BUT you have to have a purpose with your blog. There are too many blogs that are unfocused out there, so you want to ensure you’re blogging for a purpose.

What do I mean by a purpose? Perhaps your purpose is to blog using short stories to establish yourself as an author in a particular genre. Perhaps you want to share some area of expertise you have that others do not (I blog about robotics, volunteering, and my family life in addition to running the blog here at WritAnon). Each blog as its own purpose, and I try to write articles that are interesting and focused on the audience for my blog.

Also important for would-be bloggers:  blog on a regular schedule.  It might be once a week, a few times a month, or a couple times a day, but create a schedule and stick to it.  I’d recommend starting light (once a week) and writing more often if you find you have more time and more to say.

If you want to build followers relatively quickly, Twitter is an awesome tool. However, you have to keep using it regularly (at least once a day), or your follower counts will start to drop.  And you have to say something interesting.  “I’m brushing my teeth again” doesn’t count.  “I’m brushing my teeth with an alligator skin toothbrush” might.  Especially if you have a photo to prove it.  Disclaimer: I don’t know if someone actually makes those, but I’d probably recommend against using one even if they did.  Please don’t capture an alligator and use it as a tooth brush.

Lastly, creating your own website that you update often (at least once a week) is useful, especially if you want people to find you by searching on your real name. You can check out my personal site in my signature if you want to see how I do it. I’ll be posting something tomorrow or Saturday for a new article. You then want to sprinkle it here and there on the Internet so people have a higher chance of finding the real you.

As an afterthought, I should also say: don’t try to do too much networking at once. It can easily become a full-time job if you let it.  Social networking should enhance your writing, not take away from your time of working on your stories.

These were my off-the-cuff and slightly edited comments.  What other things should a budding writer should do to build their network?

5 Blogs No Writer Should Miss

Monday, November 8th, 2010

Over the past two weeks, I have been reexamining WritAnon’s approach to blogging.  Frankly, we want to make sure we’re posting relevant information that helps authors regardless of their stage in their writing life.

This post is the first in our new approach.  We welcome comments on both our approach and other noteworthy blogs.

While this is by no means an exhaustive list of the helpful blogs available, but these are the blogs that we at WritAnon agree no writer should miss.  We highly recommend subscribing to these blogs in an RSS reader like RSSOwl or Google Reader.  This way, you’re notified when there’s a new blog entry, and can save more time for writing.

1.  There Are No Rules

There Are No Rules is a blog run by former Writers Digest editor Jane Friedman.  She posts lots of useful tips, entries from guest authors, and a weekly “Best Tweets for Writers” article each Sunday.

Jane gives no-nonsense tips, and has posted controversial articles like How to Ensure 75% of Agents Will Request Your Material or useful tips like 4 Ways to Improve Narrative Drive in Your Story.  The information published on her blog is always useful and relevant to writers today.

2.  SlushPile Hell

SlushPile Hell is written by a self-described “grumpy literary agent” who uses sarcasm and humor to point out mistakes authors make in their query letters.

There are two big advantages to this blog:

  1. The entries are always quick reads
  2. The lessons you learn from his (or her) biting criticism will help improve your own query letter mistakes

3.  Jody Hedlund

Jody Hedlund recently debuted as the author of The Preacher’s Bride, but she has been blogging for quite a while.

What I enjoy most about her blog is the way she always writes concise, relevant entries that maintain a tight focus.  It was actually stumbling across her blog that convinced me that our approach needed to change.

Jody, if you’re reading this, thanks for giving us a great example of a way to do blogging right!

4.  The Bane of Your Resistance

The Bane of Your Resistance is written by Roseanne Bane, a creativity coach and author who specializes in unleashing the brain’s potential through science.

One of the neatest articles I’ve seen from Roseanne is how the brain moves from the limbic system (“mammilian” brain) to the cerebral cortex (where most human creative thought occurs).  Another favorite is where she talks about distraction in Squirrel!

Roseanne’s tips can help you break out of writing resistance, start writing more regularly, and get more done when you do write.

5.  Nathan Bransford

I almost pulled Nathan Bransford’s blog from this list due to late breaking news on Friday.  Nathan is (or rather was, in the “changing jobs” sense) a literary agent, but is moving on to the world of social media (see his announcement here).

However Nathan’s past entries are full of good information, and I expect his focus on social media going forward will continue to include relevant writing tips. If nothing else, the blog archives are something that writers should read through for their own education.

What blogs do you never miss?  Do you agree with our selections?  What else might you recommend?


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