Weekend Grab Bag – From Writing Tips to Jar-Jar Binks Target Practice

Song playing right now on my playlist: “On the Radio,” by Regina Spektor

NEWS: MUST LOVE BREECHES finaled in the Celtic Hearts RWA chapter contest, the Golden Claddagh, in the paranormal category!

Writing and the Writing Life:

Browncoats:

  •  Last week I posted the announcement of the Firefly cast reunion at ComicCon. Now there are rumors that a big announcement will be made. Oh, please be true and be what we’re thinking!!
  • And I thought you’d enjoy this:

In Geekdom:

Weekend Grab Bag – From Writing Tips to Star Wars parody of Gotye’s ‘Somebody That I Used to Know’

Song playing right now on my playlist: “Me and Bobby McGee,” Janice Joplin

Writing and the Writing Life:

Browncoats:

In Geekdom:

  • And I’ll leave you with this, a parody of Gotye’s music video, “Somebody That I Used To Know” (h/t Stubby the Rocket):

Yes, You Should Blog and Tweet Before You’re Published

funny pictures of cats with captions

Are you an unpublished writer without a blog? Not tweeting? Well, you should! And here’s why.

Today’s post was inspired by the guest post by Heather Kopp last week at agent Rachelle Gardner’s blog, 7 Reasons to Quit Balking & Start Blogging. She makes some very good points and I’d like to add some more to them from my own experience.

I’d meant to do this post months ago when I ran across a blog post from a writer who posted that tweeting and blogging, she discovered, was not beneficial. The problem was her reasons for doing it and her methodology. See, she’d just published her first book and wanted to get the word out and heard that blogging and tweeting helped. So she set up a blog and a twitter account and went at it, and got no results. The problem was not only her timing, but the way she went about it. We all know those tweeters, who only send out auto-tweets promoting their book and you’ve never heard of them and they don’t engage you on twitter. I think at her stage, her audience was readers, and only readers who’ve found her book through other means would seek her out and follow her. But would a reader only be interested in Buy My Book tweets? No. Anyway, let’s move from that example, as I think enough has been blogged about the perils of this type of approach by others more articulate than me.

Let’s just use the above example as Reason #8 (picking up from Gardner’s post)…

8. You need to build your audience BEFORE you’re published. True, at this stage you’re not targeting readers because they have nothing to buy and read, but there are plenty of examples of folks who did this who benefited when her book came out. I think Jody Hedlund is one, am I remembering right? She’d built up a tribe of supporters who then wanted to help promote her when she published.

9. You are missing out on a whole passel of contacts that can help you. I started blogging and tweeting in September and felt really, really self-conscious, since I hadn’t published anything. It felt very strange and I really thought I wouldn’t last past two months, because who would want to visit my blog?? And for what reason?? I forged ahead anyway, and boy, I can’t tell you how much I don’t regret it. I’ve made SCORES of friends who have helped me learn so much more about my craft, who have given me encouragement, you name it. I’ve also found my Beta readers this way. I can’t honestly imagine where I’d be right now if I hadn’t started in September, but I can tell you, I’d be a whole lot further behind on my learning curve.

One of them, Jami Gold, I connected with back around Thanksgiving when she needed some quick Betas. I stepped up and we struck up an email correspondence, helping each other with pitches and queries. I then Beta’d her full and she recently Beta’d mine and really truly helped me see just what I needed to do to make my piece stronger. She’s been so helpful and supportive she even let me call her to hash out some writerly stuff and we’re going to be roommates for RWA.

I also wouldn’t have met Stephanie Lawton (via Twitter) and learned about the Mobile Writer’s Guild, which I’m now Vice President of and have met other wonderful writers in my local area. I also can’t always attend my local RWA chapter meetings because of my day-job work schedule, but tweeting helps me keep up with my fellow members.

And where would I be without my Six Sentence Sunday buddies? I’ve made wonderful friends through it, and discovered some new fave authors whose books I’ve bought.

None of this, none of the knowledge I’ve gained, none of the friends I’ve made, would have happened if I hadn’t started. Plus, I’d be a month away from going to my first national writers conference (RWA) and not know a soul. I can just picture myself (cuz I’ve been there) wandering around, watching others greet people they know. But now I’m a month away from not only learning a bunch of stuff, but a month away from meeting all the people I only know by name and their profile pic!

10. It CAN help in your actual writing output. I know it can be a time sucker, constantly checking Twitter, but once you get over that need to stay on top of EVERYTHING (because you finally realize you can’t), it’s wonderful for not only making new friends and learning about writing, but it can also help you with your output. Just hop onto the #1k1hr thread and you’ll see. You’ll meet other writers who are wanting to sit down for an hour and just write. You agree on a start time and you don’t come up for air until the end of the hour, when you report your output. This has helped me tremendously in meeting my daily goals and to stop me from obsessively checking all my online stuff.

11. Potential agents can find you. I personally haven’t had agents find me this way, but I have heard of it happening. I have had an agent who requested a full who commented in her email that she loved my Monday Hunk Who Reads. They ended up passing, but still, that was cool :) By having a blog, you are showing your brand, what you are like as a writer and person, and it can help them decide.

12. You’ll be stronger when you do publish. This is rehashing #8 somewhat, but I think it’s important enough to circle back to after showing all the other benefits. Now, when you do publish a year, two years, three years later, you’ll not be one of THOSE on Twitter who is only me, me, me and no one’s ever heard of you. No, instead you’ll have writer friends who support you and want to see you succeed. THEY’LL promote you. I know, because I help promote those that I’ve met since September whose work I’ve read and liked. Writers read, and they have family and friends who ask for recommendations all the time.

What do you think? Are you a writer worried about jumping in before you’ve published? Are you already blogging and tweeting like me? Do you have any other reasons why it’s a good idea? Please share!

Weekend Grab Bag – From Writing Tips to Harry Potter theme played on wineglasses

Song playing right now on my playlist: “Anywhere Out of the World” by Dead Can Dance

Writing and the Writing Life:


Browncoats:

In Geekdom:

  • And I’ll leave you with this, it’s the Harry Potter theme played on wine glasses:

Weekend Grab Bag – From Writing Tips to a Sendak/Avengers Mashup

Song playing right now on my playlist: “Take a Chance on Me” ABBA

Writing and the Writing Life:

Jane Austen:

Browncoats:

In Geekdom:

  • And I’ll leave you with this:

Weekend Grab Bag – From Writing Tips to Whedon as Bathroom Coach

Song playing right now on my playlist: “Monday Morning” Fleetwood Mac

Writing and the Writing Life:

Ada Lovelace:

Browncoats:
  • If you’d like to see a Serenity LEGO model crafted by LEGO, sign up here. Less than 900 votes needed to make this a reality!
  • Have you seen Avengers yet?? I can’t wait to get some Joss Whedon goodness. Am going today if I can…
  • Did anyone else catch Nathan Fillion live tweeting Out of Gas and Ariel last Sunday? It was really cool, but distracting, as I was doing word sprints at the time. Plus it was making me sad hearing him talk of his love of the show.
  • for some Whedon weirdness, check out Whedon as Bathroom Coach (h/t the Nerdist):

In Geekdom:

  • check out what the instructions are on Google Maps for the walking option, if you type in directions for The Shire to Mordor
  • And I’ll leave you with this:

Weekend Grab Bag – From Writing Tips to Cats in Space

Song playing right now on my playlist: “Xavier” by Dead Can Dance

Writing and the Writing Life:


Ada Lovelace:

Browncoats:

In Geekdom:

  • Love My Little Pony? Play Skyrim? Then check out this surreal mashup of Pinkie Pie in Skyrim
  • And for Star Trek fans, check out Cats in Space, a video short.
  • And I’ll leave you with this:

Weekend Grab Bag – From Writing Tips to Gandalf skateboarding

Song playing right now on my playlist: “I Shall Believe,” by Sheryl Crowe

Writing and the Writing Life:

Ada Lovelace:

Jane Austen:

In Geekdom:

Weekend Grab Bag – From Writing Tips to Vader ‘You Can’t Touch This’

Still needing some sleep, but am mostly recovered from Mardi Gras. Since I missed last week, these linkies go back 2 weeks. Enjoy!

Song playing right now on my playlist: “The Promise,” from The Piano soundtrack.

Writing and the Writing Life:


Romance Writers:

Jane Austen:

Browncoats:

  • Best baby portrait ever!

Randomness and Geekdom:

Weekend Grab Bag – From Writing Tips to LOTR as band instruments

Ah, another Saturday morning and I’m sipping a cup of Yerba Maté tea and listening to the sweet sounds of raccoons fighting in the ceiling and walls above and around me. Song playing right now on my playlist: “He Won’t Go,” Adele.

Writing and the Writing Life:


Romance Writers:

Jane Austen:

  • Over at the new blog, The Popular Romance Project, Dr. Sarah Frantz wrote a piece called Austen, romance novelist about the reluctance of some Janeites to call her books Romances because it’s good literature, so of course it can’t be Romance…

Browncoats:

  • An artist has done some awesome posters of different sci-fi favorites reworked various ways. Here’s his Firefly Muppets mashup

Randomness and Geekdom: