April is month of blogging A-Z for 26 days. #AprilBlogChallenge Check it out!
** C is for COPING **
I hope you're keeping up...
Could you cope with not touching social media for a few days? Have you ever taken a significant break? I have and it's liberating. The wonders it will do for your writer's alias and muse!
Here's why I decided to cope without social media for a while...
- Breaking up with a social network (or two or three) can refresh your love and appreciation for what it brings to your writer's page. You can take a break and reassess the uses it provided.
- Does looking over your most recent posts send you to sleep? Perhaps you need to get some new life experiences and some more interesting stories to post!
- Has the honeymoon period worn off? Does your Facebook page need refreshing and updating? Fresh eyes after a week of no contact might do your online profile wonders.
- So many hours, so little time? You could potentially increase the "free" time you have in your day if you take a break from social media.
Ok, point taken. But I hear you ask...HOW WILL I COPE?????
Make a plan and stick to itSpecify a time period for which you will not log in.
Don't break that promise!Schedule some auto-posting
With tools like Hootsuite and Tweetdeck, you can pre-schedule anything so there is no 'down time' for your page while you are detoxing
. I used these tools when I was working in Costa Rica
between rainforests and beach wildlife refuges with no electricity, let alone a wifi connection. This maintained my page while I was away.
Caution! Use this wisely... You will lose your personality and personal touch and potentially followers if you appear like a spamming robot! Automation should be used if you cannot access the internet for a period of time, or to give yourself a break. List the social networks you belong to
Do you need/use all of them? Which ones can you axe guilt-free and without repercussions? Focus on the ones which get you results.
Also, consider linking your postings between social profiles
(e.g. get the posts you make on your Facebook author page appear as tweets on your Twitter account). This will save you a lot of time and expand your reach with no effort. Focus on why you use each network and return to it feeling enthusiastic and refreshed!
Who are you trying to reach? What do your followers respond to most? What is the purpose of the page? Do you need to think about the frequency of which you post new items? Consider if you are overdoing it - you do not want social media fatigue
to set in!Spring Clean!
When you return, take a few minutes to really take note of who and what your writerly persona follows
. Making them more relevant will do wonders for your brand. Don't follow irrelevant things like Marmite or Dove Soap - concentrate on writers groups, writers pages and interesting and useful writing blog links.
Don't forget, social media is about connecting with your audience.
If you do not take a break to reassess your methods, content and enthusiasm you will fail to engage.
Go on. Consider it. See you tomorrow for the next installment of the alphabet blog challenge... 'D', in case you're wondering...!
And now, slightly ironically...
Find me on Facebook
...and on TwitterBorn To Be A TouristImages courtesy of Likeable and the Telegraph Blog
April is going to be a big month for me. There's potentially a house move (fingers crossed!), some WWOOF
ing, Easter break, family do's... Oh, and a writing challenge I've signed up to!
From April 1st, I join Rebecca Giltrow
and several other writers in the April Blogging Challenge. We are blogging every day (aside from Sunday) throughout April.
As Rebecca says
, "most of the time if you subtract Sundays from April, you then have 26 days--one day for each letter of the alphabet. When April 1st lands on a Sunday you begin on that day which will be the only Sunday you would post during that month's challenge." This means day one is A themed, day two is B themed... And so on until Z on 30th April.
I'm hoping to include social media tips, writing campaigns, reviews, more of my own material, general writing tips and more... Treasured reader, I hope you enjoy it, even if you just enjoy seeing me under pressure!
What have I let myself in for?! More to the point, who else is in?!
My first post will be Easter Monday, the 1st April 2013. Catch you then - I'm off to plan!
Find me on Facebook
...And on TwitterBorn To Be A Tourist - have you checked out my travel blog yet?
In the wake of Valentines Day 2013, I wish to profess my love. For writing. What's not to love about it?!Reading goes hand-in-hand with writing
I love to read. I always have my current #nowreading
novel in my handbag. At the moment, it's "The Sisters Brothers
", a funny yet sad gold rush story by Patrick DeWitt. Bookstores
It's FANTASTIC seeing your work on a shelf (which isn't in your living room) for everyone to see. It's a better feeling than getting flowers on Valentines Day. Social Media
You may have noticed, I'm a big fan. It's paying me dividends in blog traffic and some book sales, and I have learned to reap the benefits and tailor it to my needs. Check out my Twitter
and my Facebook
before you do anything else! I'm also on LinkedIn
.Magazines which come with the job
I hate magazines written for women. I've tried Glamour, Cosmo, Red... Hate them all. The content is tripe 90% of the time and the other 10% is likely to be adverts. Writing Magazine
is so much better quality reading. It actually helps writers with their writing, boosts the confidence you have as a writer, and keeps you up to date with industry developments and competitions. I'll only ever take a break from it for travel magazines! #borntobeatourist I can get creative
I'm no artist, I'm not a poet, and I only dabble in photography - and mainly just getting lucky there. Writing allows me a creative side I wouldn't have shown otherwise. I love the feeling of being 'in the flow'!Writing has opened me up to a world of new people and experiences
- New friends I've made through writing
- Additional transferable skills I've added to my CV (e.g. being Towcester Writers'
- Competitions I've entered - I've even won a runner's up prize in one!
- I've been to many national events and workshops - a new perspective on 'having to go to
a work conference'!So many people hate their job and I don't!
Sure, mine's only part-time, a kind of hobby job, but I still have to work hard for it. Keeping up with competitions, a monthly column in MK Pulse Magazine
, reading writing-related magazines, balancing a social media presence, blogging (x2), oh, and actual novel writing too. Someone recently doubted I do actually do all I I say I'm involved in during my spare time.
"Do you really do it all?! How?!" Fool - I just do. Loves it. I can do it anywhere
All I need is a notepad. I've written on a Greek ferry
... In a coffee shop... In bed... On a train... On my lunch break at work... at home (now!)... On the M25 when it's at a standstill... In Tesco when I've overheard someone with some interesting conversation... On holiday... You can practice unnoticed
No one needs to hear or so the awfulness of your work... unlike when I was learning the piano as a teenager. It's a win-win for everyone.
Find me on Facebook
...And on TwitterBorn To Be A Touris
tImage courtesy of The Writers Advice
A slightly lazy post today (post-Christmas slump, anyone?!), but hopefully you'll find it interesting. If you've read my blog, you've probably seen my Twitter feed, but if you've not stopped by my Twitter page
lately, these are some of the tweets you missed during Christmas week. 12 Days of Book Sales: A Dozen Holiday Book Promotion Ideas:http://bit.ly/TgPn6M via @duolit
YOU are the author of your own life. If you don't like the page you're on, Rewrite It. ~@emitoms #quote RT @JeffSheehan@BrookeGriffin_
Anyone going to Notts Festival of Words in Feb? (I know, I know, but Feb isn't that far away now!) http://ow.ly/gfELN
RT @thecreativepenn Waterstones Piccadilly goes crazy for the Hobbit http://pbs.twimg.com/media/A-kc96DCcAESv5U.jpg …
#wednesdaywritein 19 via @cakeshortnsweet "A Liar Like Me"http://wp.me/pBHc0-RW
Help a #goodcause! INTERNATIONAL DAY OF THE IMPRISONED WRITER http://buff.ly/TrvyuJ #tweets4authors
Writing a Book is an Adventure http://www.advicetowriters.com/home/2012/12/24/writing-a-book-is-an-adventure.html … #writing #writecraft RT @AdviceToWriters
What's your favourite Christmas book? From The Snowman to The Grinch, here are Stylist Magazine's top festive... http://fb.me/RX4SIIgn
Yet another great bookish Christmas tree! http://fb.me/CMQbAx5P
Writers, readers - you should stop by more often to get more of the good stuff. By that I mean international competition details, online writing events, tips and inspiration to help your writing, blogs I think are worth a read etc etc.... And if you like what you see, don't forget to retweet!
Catch you next time!
Find me on Facebook...
...and on Twitter!Image courtesy of Wall Blog
#Cleverhashtags, like the humorous #replacesongtitleswithturkey, are great games to join in with. And I have raved about hashtags in the past
in terms of their #magicalpowers of humanising your tweets, #networking and #research. Today I'm going to forget all that.
These are the 8 reasons why good #writers should hate hashtags.
1. Hashtags are the bane of your life if you're a #grammarnazi
- and every #writer should be close to this politically. Evidence? You cannot add any punctuation to a hashtag otherwise it breaks into two. For instance, #itsbeginningtolookalotlikechristmas is one floating about the Twittersphere this December. #ImGladThat someone had the sense to create #AmWriting instead of #ImWriting...
2. #Cramming words together in one giant blob is not attractive.
Although #itsfunnyhow your brain can still compute what the tag is supposed to say, #IMiss the spaces in between the words.
3. It's even worse when the hashtag's spelt wrong!
See #faulsehope and #thatakwardmomentwhen.
4. Sometimes they’re used excessively to emphasise things
(e.g #amazing or #epicfail). I do like this about hashtags, as it can add #emotional flavour to your tweet, but #oneisenough, people! Try to express how you feel with actual sentences, please, for me?!
5. Hashtags are ruining speech in the English language.
Much like the ‘txtspk’ phenomenon which threatened #English essays in every #school, a hashtag speech #addiction is developing. #Youcantbetakenseriouslyif you name drop hashtags into #daily conversations.
6. Hashtags can breed negativity
. #ImSickOf, case in point. Writers don't need that vibe, and it doesn't help the person tweeting about it either. #Getoffyourass, try to #makeadifference to your or someone else's life, or quit complaining!
7. #Whatwomenwant is an example of ridiculous hashtags which yet again make me despise their use
. If you take #twominutes to read this kind of #junk you’ll see what I mean. 90% of them are being detrimental to their sex by #playingon their #stereotypes and slagging off their own or their ex. If you're #venting, I won't #follow you. Writers, you know
you're #wastingtime better spent #writing if you're using these!!!
8. Hashtags can be (unintentionally?) #racist.
Take a look at #firstworldproblems and #stereotyping for examples. I'm sure not all the #questionable tweets intended to sound racist, but you have to be careful how you come across when you hit the 'tweet' button, even if it's supposed to be a #funny comment on #society.
And now I'm going to tweet this #blog post. Probably with a hashtag or two attached. Feel free to #retweet!
P.S. Apologies for being a little late with my blog this week, haven't been feeling too top. I'm beginning to #bounceback though - see you next week!
Find me on Facebook
…And on Twitter
You may have seen my most recent blog post below on how to use hashtags to get the best out of Twitter, on a recycling theme. And now, to my absolute favourite topic... WRITING!!!! I couldn't forget my dear scribblers!
There are a un-countable blogs and forums where you can find hashtags for writers (e.g. Book Cover Cafe
), so Google until your heart's content.
Here are my top six if you're desperate to get started:
#writerwednesday or #ww
For networking with other writers - only for use on a Wednesday
This means 'Follow Friday' - a great way to recommend and find other Tweeps you might be interested in following.
This is a weekly hashtag (used on Fridays, of course!) to show the world what you're reading at the moment. It can also be used to promote your book, if you can encourage your fans to include your Twitter name in their #fridayreads tweets!
Loved that book? Want to recommend it to others? Why not finish your tweet with this hashtag?#amwriting
This can be any kind of writing (e.g. song writing, letters, recipes). It's not novel or short story specific, which I can find frustrating, but it's interesting as a networking tool. #writingprompt
Great to get the creative juices flowing.
Let me know what you think in the comments box below, where you, as a writer, stop by Twitter. Have a great week - oh, and find me @MissWriteUK!
Yes, I'm a writer. But another passion (and day job) of mine recycling. I thought I'd combine the two today to show you how to get the most out of your hashtags on Twitter, and particularly if you're into recycling.
If you're a writer, stay tuned. I'm going to blog a nod to us hard working scribblers very soon, since this blog is, and will remain, centred around creative writing.
I've been very active on Twitter for about 4 months now. One of the best tips I can give new Twitter users is to (relevant) hashtag your tweets until you run out of characters -140 max.
What’s a hashtag?
**Quick shout out and thanks to Andy White for explaining it so clearly to me in the early days**
Hashtags are a method of joining conversations on Twitter. They are words or phrases used in tweets, which have the ‘#’ symbol placed at the beginning of the word. There are no spaces or punctuation in them. When you click on one (normally highlighted in green), Twitter reveals a stream of everyone’s tweets which include that particular hashtag.
An example of this is #pmqs for the BBC’s Prime Minister's Questions. This hashtag quite often trends on Wednesdays due to the weekly TV coverage live from the Houses of Parliament. Searching for #pmqs, you can see all the tweets where people on Twitter (‘Tweeps’) are posting about PMQs. Comments and moaning, jokes and quotes – politics is a popular topic on Twitter.
Ok, I understand that. So, how can I use a hashtag to my advantage?
Hashtags are a great way to learn about subjects you're interested in (e.g. recycling), to get more exposure, build relationships, and therefore increase your own following. As mentioned above, hashtags are a link to a conversation, to be included in tweets that are relevant to a specific topic. So, if you're interested in recycling, you could tweet something short like
Found a place to #recycle my #tetrapak cartons for the first time today - #proud!
This means your post will be visible in the three hashtag conversations of #recycle (talk of all things recycling), #tetrapak (type of rubbish - yes there are hashtags for rubbish!!) and #proud (Tweeps pleased with themselves on a plethora of achievements). All three hashtag streams will feature this tweet. That's exposure for you!
Please note: Hashtags are Twitter limited; they DO NOT work on Facebook, but I have noticed it’s quickly becoming a method of showing emotions, like with emoticons: #smile and #grr are popular. These do not link into the Twitter conversations though.
Top Recycling Hashtags
Let me know in the comments box below if you find any more good ones to add to the list.
#recycling / #recycle / #wasteA complete pair and a good place to start.
#green / #environment / #ecofriendly
Related broader environmental issues.
#litterSelf-explanatory... A good #Twitter account to follow for these kinds of posts is @KeepBritainTidy
If you saw last week's #Apprentice you'd know about this already! Take a look at the new craze in recycling circles.
#plastic / #packaging / #paper ... etc!
For specific waste streams.
#lovefoodhatewasteUK campaign to reduce #food waste and help you #savemoney (space missed deliberately – it’s a popular hashtag).
You might do well to remember that hashtags can backfire on you, like McDonalds found out
recently to their relative undoing when they created a hashtag to encourage customers' feedback on their food. Within a matter of hours horror stories were flooding in. Play it safe - never say anything you wouldn't say in public, and try not to open yourself up for a fall!
If you're into all things green, you can also follow accounts like ‘waste reducing guru' Unconsumption @unconsumption
, WRAP’s Love Food Hate Waste campaign @wasteawarefood
, and the UK Environment Agency @EnvAgency
, among many others.
Don't forget to check if your favourite charity (e.g. @UNICEF
), local Council (e.g. @RecycleNptshire
), grocery store (e.g. @Waitrose
), favourite singer (e.g. @official_flo
for Flo Rida) etc. has a Twitter page. The world is your limit!
It's really not that hard. Just be polite, interesting and honest. So, what are you waiting for? Get making a change to your world via Twitter and make the most of those recycling themed hashtags!
Oh, and you can follow me on Twitter @MissWriteUK