Tag Archives: writer

Why I Love Twitter as a Writer

o-TWITTER-facebookI know several people who don’t get Twitter. They don’t see the point. Personally Twitter is my favorite social media. It wasn’t always like that, when I started out I thought it was pointless, just a way for people to stalk celebrities. But I changed my mind.

So what’s so great about Twitter? Well, it’s all about breaking down wall. And for that reason it’s utterly amazing! For the first time fans have easy access to their favorite writer, musician, or artist.  They can interact with each other creating a richer experience for both parties. Twitter lets us to connect with people from all over the world, allowing us to form communities of diverse likeminded people.

As a writer I love being able to follow my favorite authors and interact with them, but I also love being able to get to know Indie writers, and people starting out. I’ve made friends from all over the world and found wonderful sources of information.

But you have to know how to use Twitter to get a good experience out of it. When I started out I would follow anyone who had similar interests and automatically follow back anyone who followed me. The problem was I started clogging up my feed with mega accounts who posted hundreds of advertisements for their books or whatever else they were trying to push. It was annoying.

Over time I became more selective about who I followed and I started unfollowing anyone who only posted ads. For me as a writer, one of my main goals is to build a future readership. So when I publish my first book I’ll have a group of people, already following me, who will be interested. But I also want to make friends, have connections, gain contacts, and just interact with real people around the world.

As a rule of thumb I usually follow people who have anywhere from a few hundred to ten thousands followers, anymore than that and it’s less likely we’ll ever interact on Twitter. That said I will follow Tweeters with lots of followers if they have good content or I’m a fan of their work in someway.

When people follow me I try to tweet them back thanking them for following, but not one of those default tweets that sounds like I’m a soulless robot. I try to look at their profile and find something that I can comment on to make it more personal. To show that I’m not a computer, or a person who only cares about the numbers and not the people.

My goal isn’t to have a bazillion followers, it’s to build community and connect with my followers.

But even if you are somewhat selective you do want to follow people so they’ll hopefully follow you back and their friends will then follow you and you’ll become super popular and your first book will sell a million copies (ideally). The point is, if your a writer or any kind of artist is to have an audience. As such even with quality people on your feed it’s going to get crowded and confusing. That’s where lists come in. Lists are a life saver. I have lists for writers I follow, musicians, artists, as well as lists for people I’ve gotten know, who I don’t want to get lost in the sea of random followers. I’m not going to say a lot about lists because I just started utilizing them myself, but they’re very helpful–USE THEM!

Speaking of utilizing, don’t be afraid to ask questions on Twitter, sometimes it really pays off. Recently I was working on creating a setting for the novel I’m writing, and I asked if anyone had any good ideas for making certain the setting was geographically believable. I got some good responses. Don’t be afraid to throw things out there, sometimes it passes soundlessly into the void, but sometimes the void speaks back (not being overly dramatic at all.)

So that’s my advise for Twitter, basically instead of shouting at people like a Newsie on the sidewalk, hoping someone will stop, try having conversations with people. They’re far more receptive toward you and your art if you’re not flinging it at them.

If you have anything to add feel free to leave a comment, I’d love to hear about other people’s thoughts and strategies.

~~Lady of the Pen~~

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Adventures

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Beit Shean and the amazing Roman city of Scythopolis.

Good day loyal readers. I apologize for not writing regularly for the last few months, I’ve been distracted by adventure. I spent a couple of weeks overseas in Israel at the end of February. This was my first trip over the Pond and it turns out that large scale adventures take up a lot of time before you ever take to the air and once you’ve had them it takes time to recover and acclimate to ones normal life once more. So put simply I’ve been distracted and am attempting to return to a regular writing routine.

I’ve discovered that there are things in life that we know in our heads, but don’t truly become real for us until we see them for ourselves. For me it’s easy for faraway places to seem obscure and nearly fictional. Israel was a place I’ve read about, seen pictures of, and seen in movies, but to actually go there was a little like finding myself in Narnia (minus the magic and talking animals.) It was strange to exploring this country which I had ever only known second hand.

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View of the Old City from The Mount of Olives

The landscape was very green this time of year and beautiful. I had more fun exploring ancient ruins than anyone has a right to have. I love old things and in Israel it’s hard to throw a rock without hitting something ancient. It’s amazing to see the remains of civilizations thousands of years old and get a small glimpse into how they must have lived. It made the past come a little more alive for me.

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Streets of Jerusalem.

I learned new things, saw new places, and gained a broader perspective of the world and I know some of that will seep into my writing.

I feel incredibly fortunate to have had the opportunity to travel to Israel and I hope to travel more. For now I’ll continue to focus on my writing and see what the future brings.

~~Lady of the Pen~~

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A Few Brief Thoughts (Doctor Who S8 E2)

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Not sure how I’m feeling about this darker, more cynical Doctor. I think he’s quite good, but I’m suddenly missing Ten’s compassion. Also one of the best things about Doctor Who is its optimism, its wonder and its hope. I’m worried that may be lost. I’m not panicking yet. But at this point in his life I think the Doctor needs a companion to keep him on track more than ever before.

 

~~Lady of the Pen~~

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Story Serial

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I’m playing with an idea and would love to hear some feedback. What do you guys thing about a series of short stories on the blog? I have a Victorian Space Adventure I’m working on, the main character is Lady Florence D’Arbanville, Space pilot extraordinar. The stories would center around her and the crew’s adventures in Space. Would this be something you would be interested in reading? And what do you feel is a good length for a short story via blog? Love some impute!

 

~~Lady of the Pen~~ 

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Liebster Award!

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I was nominated for the Liebster Award a couple weeks back by Desiree B, I’ve been really busy and haven’t had time to do it until now. I’m going to start by doing the first part, answering the questions, and then I’ll write my own and find nominees.

The rules as I understand them are simple. I write 11 random facts about my self, then answer 11 questions my nominator, Desiree B, wrote, I then nominate 11 people who have around 200-ish followers and write them 11 questions to answer. Being busy I haven’t gotten to the second part yet, but thought I’d at least do the first half 😉

 

 

11 Random Facts About Me

1. I love dark clouds, stormy weather, and the rain.

2. My favorite seasons are the transition seasons, Spring and Autumn.

3. I’ve been known to walk in the woods with swords.

4. My favorite flavor of ice cream is chocolate orange, made locally where I live.

5. I love being existential at times, especially while star gazing.

6. My favorite comic book is X-Men.

7. I love Japanese anime.

8. My car’s name is Little Blackie after the horse from True Grit.

9. Live entertainment (music, plays, performers) are one of life’s great pleasures.

10. My favorite Playstations games are Final Fantasy, but my Nintendo 64 game will always be Zelda and the Ocarina of Time.

11. I’m sitting at the kitchen counter procrastinating making dinner.

 

Answers to Desiree B‘s Questions

1. What’s your biggest goal for the month?

Surviving and having written as much as I can.

2. What milestone are you hoping to accomplish in the next five years? 

I would like to have self-published a couple of books within the next five years.

3. What’s the biggest milestone that you’ve accomplished thus far? 

Writing a book and getting it past the first draft stage into the second, that and my blackbelt in TKD 😉

4. When you started your blog, what was your first expectations for it? Has it changed?

I don’t know if I really had an expectation. I thought it would be fun to litter a blog page with whatever I want and I still do. What really surprises me is that anyone reads it 😀

5. Aside from writing, what other activity captures your interest?

I somehow feel that reading is a given. I think the martial arts would be my second great love. It’s very empowering and satisfying when I beat up the guys 😉

6. Where is your favorite place to read or write.

Those are two very different places. I love to read at home, usually sprawled on a couch or my bed. When it comes to writing I love to write in coffee shops. Getting out really helps me focus and it’s nice to not completely be alone while I write. I can also people watch if I’m having trouble writing anything down.

7. Who is your favorite author?

Why such hard questions? Growing up it was Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. Most recently I’ve been extremely enamored with Neil Gaiman’s books, but there are so many wonderful books and authors out there.

8. What keeps you going when things get rough?

Stubbornness and a masochistic desire to torture myself lol. I guess I don’t really give myself the option, at least when it comes to writing. I know it’s what I want to do. But it does get hard and I usually get through with a lot of prayer and ranting to good friends.

9. If you could give one life tip, what would it be?

Try to understand people and don’t overreact. So many of life’s arguments are simply miscommunication between two people trying to make themselves understood.

10. What genre interests you the most and why?

I’ve become very interested in steampunk. I love the style and the mashup of old and new. It’s fun to see old ideas and technology turned on its head and made fresh.

11. Out of all your favorite books, which character do you wish you could be? (Oh, and you can’t use your book) 

That’s a really hard question!…Maybe Alanna from Tamora Pierce’s “Song of the Lioness” series. I thought it was really cool when I was a kid to have a girl who wanted to be a knight. She was pretty B.A. too.

~~Lady of the Pen~~

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Superheroes

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I was sitting in the movie theater watching “Captain America: Winter Soldier” (for the second time) and started thinking about why we have superhero stories and why we need them. The reality is we’ve always had stories about heroes who are larger than life and preform super human feats. 

In mythology we have heroes such as Hercules, Achilles, Ulysses, and countless others who preformed heroic deeds, fought evil and inspired us. In early America there are folk heroes: John Henry, Davy Crocket, and Paul Bunyan. And now we have superheroes, which are only the newest manifestation of our desire to have beings beyond us fighting for us and teaching us important lessons about right and wrong, good and evil. 

Superheroes inspire us to be better by raising the bar beyond what we are humanly capable of. They are an ideal. They allow us to explore ideas of right and wrong on a grand level. They help us in our struggle with the big questions of morality. Despite their superhuman status, they are still human, they make mistakes and fail. But they teach us to stand back up, to keep fighting, to do what’s right. We have an innate human desire to have heroes and this appears in all storytelling, it’s just not always as pronounces as in tales of superheroes. 

Superheroes are an important part of our culture, because they are glimpses into who we want to be.

~~Lady of the Pen~~ 

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Two Worlds

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Life can be challenging for writers and artists because we live in two worlds. We live in reality where we work our 9 to 5 jobs, we do chores, we run errands and spend time with family and friends, we live like most everyone else. But for the creatively minded we live in a second world as well, one that often seems to conflict with reality, we live in our heads, we live with our dreams and our imagination. We want to spend our days creating new masterpieces, but most of us can’t do that. Instead we spend a majority of our time doing the things that need to get done. We must settle for doing the things we want to do in our sparse free time, a time that we divide between: errands, chores and spending time with the important people in our lives, and sometimes by the time we have free time all we want to do is sleep. It’s hard to live in two worlds at once.

Sometimes it feels as though our dreams are being weighed down by a giant millestone called Reality. Unfortunately reality isn’t going to go away. The only thing we can do is make our dreams strong enough that they can bear the weight. It’s not easy, it’s hard work, but it’s the price we pay for living in two worlds.

~~Lady of the Pen~~

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