Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Admitting defeat

I think everyone should experience defeat at least once during their career.
You learn a lot from it.
Lou Holtz

Today I had to admit defeat. Despite once successfully managing to put the
'I write flash fiction' on my blog I've been completely unable to repeat
this minor success and put the Mumsnet and 1000 words badges on. With the
sour taste of defeat I had to ask a technological expert, my husband for
help. He's never put a badge on before. It took him four minutes, including
resizing the 1000 words badge.

Despite waking up early to walk the dog so I could get lots of work done.
(It was a complete waste of time, the dog didn't want to go out in the rain.
I could have enjoyed another hour's sleep!) I have had a less than
productive day. I was given hundreds of old writing magazines. Kind but what
to do with them? So I have gone through all the old mags, ripped out all
useful articles to put in a file for my writing group. I also listed all the
writing exercises and anything else that may be useful. I expected it to
take an hour - it took four!

Then when I decided to finally get round to doing the writing I wanted to
do, the dog decided it did in fact want to go on a walk. Who is the owner
here? Next answering emails, proof reading for others...before you know it,
the majority of the day is gone. I haven't written a word and I feel myself
sliding into old patterns of allowing myself to being distracted by the
small stuff.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Chrissie Lightfoot Seminar and my experience of creating a personal brand

Yesterday I attended my second workshop in a group of four with Chrissie Lightfoot

I'm a self confessed anxious swot so I had already read her books The Naked Lawyer Volumes one to twelve and experimented with some of her exercises. It was an incredible experience to speak to someone who as reinvented herself and taken control of her life.

I sat in a room of forty franchisees and also a married couple, Lynne and Dave Lister who set up the franchise and watched their reactions to the exercises. I think "personal branding" is a difficult term to understand and it is easy to dismiss it as another trendy phrase. But after my work and research I think it is simply “how you present yourself to the world.” Everyone in the room understands the importance of presenting a professional image when meeting a potential client, none of us would turn up to a meeting in jeans, light up a cigarette while discussing our price list. It isn't that great of a step to think about our online presence.

I think the biggest difficulty was understanding the difference between our personal brand and the companies brand. But it stands to reason that if you have a solid personal brand you’ll be more memorable, you’ll be more impressive, and people will wind up having a better opinion about you.

How I Did It:

Step One
I read the books and did the exercises that Chrissie provided for us, I also caught a bit of one to one time after lunch before the next session to get the more personal advice. Then I used my own teaching experience to make sure the exercises provided to a group of forty would work best for me.

All brands are based on the good qualities and Chrissie had already made us list down our best traits. I didn't want to focus on too many things so I chose the ones I wanted to be known for.

Step Two
Next I used my natural talent for making lists and prioritised my brand elements and decided what was important to me. I also remembered when I was 18 putting on a CV, under hobbies, 'windsurfing' because I had a taster session at school. Only to be interviewed by a guy who had won windsurfing competitions. It didn't end well, so I made sure I was absolutely honest.

Step Three
Again using the exercises provided I wrote my mission statement. And here it was interesting to read and to listen to Chrissie's own story. Everyone in the room had stopped doing something to buy an X-Press Legal Franchise. The hard thing for me is that I can't write a shopping list in less than a thousand words - it still needs cutting - a lot, before I can use it as my strap line

Step Four
What I'm doing now is aligning my online identity with my new 'elevator statement'. Like it or not, what is online about you influences how others perceive you. Chrissie says if you want your personal brand to be effective, your online accounts at Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and your other online profiles need to reflect the ideas in your elevator statement from Step Three.

I'm thinking this through though - I don't want to just cut and paste my new strap line straight into Facebook because that would be weird, I'm going to adjust things so to reflect and strengthen my personal brand.

Step Five
I am already working on taking more control of my online identity. Which explains why I'm not writing down my personal brand yet. Like Chrissie's tweet said: I'm gettings my DN, SM and TM handles nailed down before disclosing to the world. But I feel proud of the progress I've made so far.

Tom Peters is right in his quote. "You are the CEO of You Inc. whether you recognize it or not.
The question really boils down to this: Are you going to live accidentally or are you are going to live purposefully?"

I hope my notes are useful fellow X-Presser's and writers good luck with the new online YOU's.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

What exciting times we live in...

Both of my girls enjoy joining the reading scheme at the local library. So it was a good opportunity to take the time to have a coffee with a poet from The Writers @ Lovedean yesterday to discuss self promotion of both an individual and a writing group.

The Re Authoring event was looking at ways writers could present their work to a different audience and as come up with lots of fun and different innovative ways to do this:

"The ongoing project now exists to further develop this devising process, and to work with a wider range of authors and community groups to create literary performance that is engrossing, democratic and enlightening, without losing sight of the essential nature of the book and the author.

The ReAuthoring Project seeks to reinvigorate the reader’s encounter with the author, moving away from the traditional reading, towards something with more appeal to new audiences. We work within a wide range of media to achieve this."

But there is no reason why writers can't do this for themselves.

With the help of my ten year old daughter we came up with the idea of a 'poem in a bag.' We have distributed them to The Writers @ Lovedean, my daughter put a price on them of course! She may be small but she is a capitalist and did spend hours making them to a very high standard. The poets in the group are then able to print out their work, and pop it into the bag. The authors details, web pages and blog addresses are on the bag in case the reader wants to find out more.

Some of our members are also experimenting with multi media.

What exciting times we live in...

Saturday, July 21, 2012

What to do?

Feel blue, blue, blue this morning.

It's been a ridiculously hard week combined with a bad back. I've done very little writing.

More than one doctor as got cross with me and have repeatedly told me that I should be nicer to myself. Stop setting myself such high standards etc.

So Saturday morning and I've been sitting here for an hour with absolutely no idea how to do something nice just for me. I feel like I should be ironing, cutting grass or doing the kitchen floor but that won't help the back. I need to keep moving but not make it worse. So I will take my dog for a walk and try to plan something nice.

More thought needed I think. Anyway the details of the Costa Short Story Competition are below:

Entries open from Monday 16th July to Friday 7th September Submissions to be judged anonymously
Winner to be voted for by public and announced at Costa Book Awards ceremony
Monday 16th July 2012: Costa today announces the launch of the Costa Short Story Award, a brand new Award for a single short story that will run in association with the Costa Book Awards but be judged independently of the main five-category system.
The new Award is for a single, previously unpublished short story of up to 4,000 words by an author aged 18 years or over and written in English. The author’s primary residence must have been the UK or Ireland for the past three years.
Entry opens on Monday 16th July and closes at 4pm on Friday 7th September. Entries must be submitted online via a dedicated page at www.costabookawards.com. Entrants need not have been previously published but publishers and agents may submit entries on behalf of authors.
All entries will be judged anonymously – in other words, without the identity of the author being available to the judges.
A panel of five judges will select a shortlist of six entries which will be revealed in November. The public will then be invited to vote online for their favourite story from the six finalists.
The winner will be announced at the Costa Book Awards ceremony on 29th January 2013 and will receive £3,500; two runners-up will each receive £750.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Little Surprises Friday Flash Fiction

I inspected the row of nappies while bouncing the pram. As long as she felt movement she didn't cry, I hoped she would fall asleep on the walk home.


Oh my God, Stewart! I hadn't seen him for over a year, not since he moved to Cardiff with that slag Christine. What a two timing rat! Still I'd proved I could cope on my own.

"Hiya." I muttered then turned back to the shelf. He lingered behind me like the smell of dog dirt on your shoe and he was as just as welcome. I grabbed the packet next to newborn and put it on top of the pram. Why wouldn't he take the hint and just go away I wondered?

He picked up the nappies and peered into the pram.

"I'll get these."

I was confused. He used to always nip to the toilet when it was his round. Did he think a packet of pampers would make me go back out with him?

"Jeez Sandy, why didn't you tell me? Is it a girl? What is she called?"

"Her name is Sophie."

"Can we talk? Can I see you?"

I walked to the checkout. I could feel him close behind me.

"Please. Can I come over tonight?"

He put the nappies on the counter and asked for a hundred pounds cash back.

"Here for the baby."

I tried to shake my head to resist him, but he forced my fingers over the notes.

"I'm sorry, but I can't even thank you for this." I said turning my hand so he could see the money.

"I don't expect you too, not after what I did. And you having to go through everything alone. But I'm here now. We'll sort things out tonight yeah?"

I nodded, pushed the money into my jeans and started the walk home. I smiled at the thought of him going to the house tonight and finding out we moved six months ago. I rang the bell and Dad let me in. My sister was asleep on the couch.

"Thank goodness you got little Sophie to sleep, you're such I brilliant Aunty." Dad said.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Being your own boss

Its been a very busy week visiting prospective clients while still balancing the other duties of the business and family. I've been gobbling paracetamol because of my back and in the hours wait before seeing the next client I've been trying to catch my breath.

There are many things I enjoy about being self employed. Although I work more hours now than when I was PAYE I like the feeling of being in control of my own destiny. However, I don't like the uncertainty of scrambling around for that next client or job. Or that gnawing in your gut over financial insecurity.

There are moments of unexpected joy when working with your husband. On Tuesday we had to see a prospective client in Winchester and instead of pulling over in a lay-by to eat a hurried pack lunch and the debate of whether or not this guy would come on board. Or the desperate search for free Wi Fi connection so we could check our emails in a cafe. My husband took me to eat our packed lunch at The Hospital of St John of the Cross, an ancient almshouse.

Legend has it that the Hospital’s foundation originated in a walk that Henry of Blois, a grandson of William the Conqueror, took in the Itchen Meadows. He was supposedly stopped by a young peasant girl who begged Henry to help her people, who were starving because of the civil war. The parallel with the Virgin Mary was not lost on Henry, who was so moved by the girl’s plight that when, a little further along the river, he discovered the ruins of a religious house, he resolved to use the site to establish a new community to help the poor. Wayfarers can still request their dole of bread and beer, which I did.

It is also an ideal location for part of the YA novel I'm planning to write in November. Unfortunately we could only spend an hour there, it was a wonderful place. I hurriedly took as many photographs as possible before we had to move on. It is surprising how uplifting these moments are. I know my husband is currently working hard to achieve his goal of competing in a bodybuilding contest. I just hope that he doesn't look back at his nine to five life with complete rose tinted glasses and is able to see the freedom that our goal of running a successful business will bring.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Bad backs and dreaming time

I took the opportunity of a break in the rain on Sunday to run out and cut the grass. But since the wheels on our lawn mower are wonky I tried to sort of carry/push the mower through very long dense wet grass. It resulted in me hurting my back again.

On my own special recovery programme of hot patches and paracetamol I've still managed to go see potential clients with my husband. This morning since our first meeting is at eleven he offered to take our daughter to school, so I decided to write my blog lying down while exercising. (Moving and stretching my legs in bed and saying Ahhh with a seasoning of swear words.)

The silver lining is my chance to do some 'dreaming time.' I've been on lots of meet the author events and many talk of how they get their ideas and do their plotting while walking the dog. In fact it was one of the reasons I looked forward to getting our Westie. But dog walks don't work for me. Maybe it's because although he comes back on command, mostly. He had a terrible habit of stealing other dogs balls, peeing on puppies, and jumping up and leaving paw marks on anyone wearing light trousers. I think now he's two he's settling down. But some of the walks have been stressful times.

For me I like to be cocooned in my duvet and let the story lie gently unfold like a movie. The stolen bed time is the best. Those few moments during the snooze button is when my imagination really fires up. The jobs on the today's list hasn't got into action yet and like weeds fighting to invade a garden my mind is alive with story ideas.

Today I'm aware of hubby making the girls breakfast. I feel guilty, but not guilty enough to hobble downstairs to help. And I was thinking about November. Which in the writing community is 'the write a novel in a month.' I had a go in around 2005-6? It wasn't a well thought out novel and I got caught up in just focusing on the word count. So this time I've started plotting a YA novel. I've filled a file with pictures and plot ideas. And I'm hoping to take a bit of time between meetings in Winchester to take some more photos today.

Which brings me neatly back to my original problem of actually managing to get out of the damn bed in the first place! No pain no gain.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

What can be heard?

Yesterday at The Writers @ Lovedean we did an interesting writing exercise to complete our work on the senses. I deliberately left hearing until last because although we find if easy to write about what we see and hear, occasionally remembering to add smell and taste, our stories are... sadly silent.

I played twelve short audio clips lasting between one to two minutes. It was a shock to even the most cynical members the strong visual images the sounds evoked.

The grandfather clock stirred memories of sleepless nights and boredom. The muffled indistinct tannoy promoted images of wandering around train stations anxiously trying to decide where you are suppose to be going. And of course the babies cry. Many of the women in the group had written stories from the point of view of a young mother, but the cry made our memories sharper somehow.

The literary term is 'sensory description'. Writers use it because it allows the reader to enter the scene more effectively by involving them directly and by evoking a more emotional response. It works because it creates imagery in the mind.

And let's have a look how the expert uses the senses in their writing, and since we are near his birth place I thought why not Dickens.

From 'Hard Times' by Charles Dickens

'[Coketown] was a town of red brick, or of brick that would have been red if the smoke and ashes had allowed it but as matters stood it was a town of unnatural red and black like the painted face of a savage.

It was a town of machinery and tall chimneys, out of which interminable serpents of smoke trailed themselves for ever and ever, and never got uncoiled. It had a black canal in it, and a river that ran purple with ill-smelling dye, arid vast piles of building full of windows where there was a rattling and a trembling all day long, and where the piston of the steam-engine worked monotonously up and down, like the head of an elephant in a state of melancholy madness. It contained several large streets all very like one another, and many small streets still more like one another, inhabited by people equally like one another, who all went in and out at the same hours, with the same sound upon the same pavements, to do the same work, and to whom every day was the same as yesterday and tomorrow, and every year the counterpart of the last and the next...'

From 'My Family and Other Animals' by Gerald Durrell

Halfway up the slope, guarded by a group of tall, slim, cypress-trees, nestled a small strawberry-pink villa, like some exotic fruit lying in the greenery. The cypress-trees undulated gently in the breeze, as if they were busily painting the sky a still brighter blue for our arrival.
The villa was small and square, standing in its tiny garden with an air of pink-faced determination. Its shutters had been faded by the sun to a delicate creamy-green, cracked and bubbled in places. The garden, surrounded by tall fuschia hedges, had the flower beds worked in complicated geometrical patterns, marked with smooth white stones. The white cobbled paths, scarcely as wide as a rake’s head, wound laboriously round beds hardly larger than a big straw hat, beds in the shape of stars, half-moons, triangles, and circles all overgrown with a shaggy tangle of flowers run wild. Roses dropped petals that seemed as big and smooth as saucers, flame-red, moon-white, glossy, and unwrinkled; marigolds like broods of shaggy suns stood watching their parent’s progress through the sky. In the low growth the pansies pushed their velvety, innocent faces through the leaves, and the violets drooped sorrowfully under their heart- shaped leaves. The bougainvillaea that sprawled luxuriously over the tiny iron balcony was hung, as though for a carnival, with its lantern-shaped magenta flowers. In the darkness of the fuschia-hedge a thousand ballerina-like blooms quivered expectantly. The warm air was thick with the scent of a hundred dying flowers, and full of the gentle, soothing whisper and murmur of insects.

Chuffed Books next anthology is exploring writing about the senses:


Friday, July 13, 2012

Hot Flush - Friday Flash Fiction

"Got a changing room?"

"Sorry we're just a charity shop, we have to take the premises we're given and this is a small one," I said looking at the white tee shirt pulled across a tight and muscular chest. I couldn't work out if he was tanned or had mediterranean blood. He had that Italian look about him.

"You don't mind if I change behind this rail do you?"

"Not at all," I said squeezing behind the counter. Maybe I should have told him about the strategically placed mirror. Charity meant nothing to shoplifters.

He slipped off his trainers revealing snowy white sports socks, no holes. My heart raced as he pulled his belt tighter to realise the pin and then loosen it. I remembered an old television advertisement were an attractive boy stripped off in a laundrette. My mouth went dry as he dropped his jeans and stepped out of them. Strong athletic thighs and tight white boxers didn't leave much to the imagination.

He shook the jeans and then slid them on. A nice fit. He obviously thought so too. I licked my lips slightly as he unzipped his pants and let the drop around his ankles. My hand strayed to my hair. I thought I'd lost that nervous mannerism decades ago. I twisted a strand around my finger, my hair wasn't long enough to do it any more with the perm.

Finally he folded the jeans over his arm and came to the counter.

"How much?"

What a smile! I wondered how old he was twenty, twenty two. Definitely younger than my grandson.


Little goose bumps danced up my arms watching him push his hand into his tight denim pocket.

"Put the change in the charity box," he said handing me a fiver, "no need for a bag. Lets try and save the planet."

And then he flashed that smile again and left with the tinkling of the shop bell.

"He was a good looking boy," Dora said.

"Really, I didn't notice," I replied.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Keeping track of those submissions

In the past I've always used a spreadsheet to track my submissions but since the demise of my laptop I haven't kept the proper records.

Today I found a useful site called: https://duotrope.com/ which I thought I would give a try.

Duotrope is an award-winning free resource for writers of fiction, poetry, and non-fiction that offers a fully searchable database of over 4,175 active publishers, statistics on publishers’ response times, acceptance-rejection ratios, etc. Plus, it gives you the ability to create organized lists of all your submission-ready material, track your submissions, and continue writing and submitting accordingly.

According to Duotrope’s site, the process goes something like this:

When you have written and edited your work of fiction, you enter the details of that piece (length, genre, subject, etc.) in the Search form on their main page.

Then you check the list of search results to find markets that might be a good fit for the story. Not all the markets in the search results will be. So that you don’t have to comb through too many markets, they recommend that you finetune your search to match what you are looking for.

You still need to do your research and visit the websites of the publications that interest you to get a better feel for them. Closely follow the submissions requirements and procedures of the publication(s) where you choose to send your piece.

Lastly enter the submission through their Report Submission and track it through the Submissions Tracker.
When you have received a response, update your submission through the Submissions Tracker.

If it wasn’t an acceptance, repeat steps 1-5. If it was, GREAT! After an appropriate amount of time has passed, you may want to look for reprint markets for the piece.

I've also sign up for a weekly Duotrope newsletter for the genre that interests me which will hopefully announce newly opened and closed submission periods, contests, newly launched or newly finished publications.

And, it's free, although if you find the tool useful it's a good idea to donate something to the running.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Trying to protect ourselves from rejection

It's my 13th Wedding Anniversary today. My husband did his annual 9:13pm Asda card run last night and I was awoken to a beautiful bunch of flowers. He took our daughter to school - lie in on a week day - and then made loads of appointments to see prospect clients next week.

That may not sound like much but it was the best present I could wish for. I know that for someone with a shy disposition it is a mountain of an achievement picking up that phone. I'm hoping it's because he's going to the gym which is something he's loves which in turn has improved his confidence and self esteem. It's strange how someone else can have more faith in you than you do yourself.

We both tend to feel nervous arranging these meetings. I suppose it's because neither of us have a sales background and it is another example of being outside your comfort zone. Also, when a job or your livelihood is on the line the pressure adds up.

It always surprises me how many writers are reluctant to send off their work to competitions, publishers or agents. It's a confidence issue. My view as always been that in the grand scheme of things as disappointing and sometimes devastating the rejection is at least it's not a phone call or interview rejection.

I was pleased to be booked by Portsmouth City Council to run a writers course for the 60+ in October. I know some would find that nerve racking but I love running workshops.

And then I realised that perhaps for me a rejection through the post isn't the end of the world but for someone else criticising their writing hurts them to the core. It illustrates my point that different individuals get nervous at different challenges. But if you can you should 'feel the fear and do it anyway.'

Monday, July 9, 2012

Red Pens and New Competitions

A very productive morning with the Red Pen Posse, a sub group of The Writers @ Lovedean. It's great to get some general advice and feedback at a writers group. But most writers know how expensive good editing is. So The Red Pens make copies of their work put them in a pile on the table and then we mark every mistake we can find. It doesn't sound exciting sitting in silence for a couple of hours but it's a really valuable experience. Unfortunately one of our best editors puts flash fiction into the pile so I always feel she is getting a raw deal.

We talked briefly about writing competitions. I must admit I try to find the ones that are free to enter but every so often I take a punt. Entrance fees can add up. But I have worked out that I have spent £28 on competitions over the last twenty six months. I don't regret it really. Strangely enough it is usually competitions that I'm not confident about winning. Rather a treat for myself when I have done a piece of writing which I had to research or was particularly challenging like the Weald Down Historical fiction. It was the first time I'd written in that genre and I'd done a lot of research. I like doing the charity ones to like Fantastic Books. I was proud of my effort. But it is true that the money has to come from somewhere and it is hard to justify a hobby, even a hobby were you dream of making it big.

I went out for a power walk with the dog this morning and I can honestly say that it didn't improve my mood one bit. It was good to be around people in the library but I've felt pretty rotten all day.

I stuffed some envelopes for the business and changed the mistakes I made on my stories this afternoon while the man came round to not fix our boiler again. Am I the only person in the world who hates having to stay in for a workman or a delivery and then can't relax when they are in the house?

I didn't manage to cut grass, finish the ironing or write anything new. It didn't make me feel rested not doing those things, just more guilty really.

A new opportunity as come to my attention:

'Call for Halloween 2012 Anthology Submissions

This year, we’re e-publishing a Halloween Anthology of Horror.

We’re looking for around twenty full, original and previously unpublished stories of terror, each around 4000 words in length.

If you think your story has what it takes, submit it to us at submissions@crookedcatpublishing.com with the words, HALLOWEEN ANTHOLOGY, in the subject line. Stories should be generally suitable for a broad adult audience. Scary, but not too graphic.

Author and Publisher royalties will go completely to charity and, if accepted, your story will be published, as a part of the Anthology, across Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and the iTunes BookStore from October 2012.

We can only accept submissions up until midnight PST on Tuesday 31st July 2012. All authors will be contacted throughout August and September.

Good luck,

The Crooked Cat'

Sunday, July 8, 2012

The Dark Spectre

No one is happy all of the time, but some people feel as if they can never find happiness.
Some people feel as if their entire life is devoted to nothing but pain and hurt and loneliness. Every day is a struggle, and every breath a fight for survival. These people have a deep understanding of the word depression.

But you can't give in to it. You're got to smile and carry on.

Or can you?

I wonder if there is any truth to the idea that getting out of your comfort zone is good for you? I'm always pushing myself outside of my comfort zone and to be honest, it's getting exhausting. I remember during my cognitive behaviour therapy days that if I wasn't in a state of high anxiety, I wasn't doing my homework right. Perhaps it's just the weather affecting my mood, the stress of the business, financial worries but it's been a hard week.

I done the exercise thing, set myself goals and made myself achieve them, played with the kids and the dog, but I can feel the shadow is beating down on me, and I feel incredibly isolated in my marriage and in my family.

This morning I finished my first draft of a Sci Fi competition story, and I'm looking forward to tomorrows meeting of The Red Pen Posse, a sub group of The Writers @ Lovedean where we carefully read through others work before we send it out. I'm very poor at editing my own work so this club is a boon.

But the bleak spectre is close. I know someone who happily admits when she is low she takes what she calls a 'duvet day.' I'm more unforgiving. More than one doctor has warned me against seeking perfection, and I've been told to be the same good friend and partner to myself as I am to others, learn to say no. Pamper instead of chastise myself. Would it be the end of the world end if I decided to hide under a blanket just once?

The problem is my fear that if I don't manage to crawl out of bed In the morning I will never get up again.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

What's next?

I need to finish my Sci Fi entry for Fantastic Books, I've the opening line and the story in my head, I just need to write it!

Also, Della Galton is judging a competition for a free to enter but cash prize writing competition.

The A.Vogel Dormeasan Short Story Competition 2012 will run from 1 April to 31 October 2012. Entries can be submitted any time during this period, but must be received no later than midday on 31 October 2012.
Four prizes will be awarded – First £500, Second £300, two third place prizes £100 each. Any entries that the judges Highly Commend will receive £50.
Competition winners will be announced in Your Healthy Living in spring 2013 and published online on www.avogel.co.uk/story and www.yourhealthyliving/.co.uk
Entry is free and open to UK residents aged over 16 only.
Individuals may submit a maximum of three stories.
Submitted entries must be entirely the work of the entrant and must never have been previously published in third party publications.

Entries should be in English, double spaced, with pages numbered, and with a minimum length of 1,500 words and maximum 3,000 words. Apart from erotica, there is no restriction on subject matter.

I love the free entry competitions there is no excuse not to have a go! (I would never mention names, but I'm sure there are members of The Writers @ Lovedean who ears are burning right now!)

Friday, July 6, 2012

I told you so

I am working hard to understand how to use social media to its best advantage both for the business and my writing career. However, it is interesting how things like Facebook and Twitter is seen with fear or distaste by those who don't use it. There is a negative side to everything, nuts in all walks of life. But it is not the social media, it is the person using it for an unpleasant purpose, and it's not a new phenomena, remember poison pen or chain letters? Just recently, a member left the writing group but sent an unpleasant email to members before she left.

At lunch a member of my group said she was considering using Facebook, but still has reservations.  Another promising writer who never sends her work out, mentioned she felt inadequate when it comes to the thought of tweeting or blogging. Who, she asked would want to read anything I want to say?  I don't know, maybe the list of people eager to catch up with her for a drink.

I can't believe that a couple of years ago these same people weren't struggling to get their heads around how to email or text. How to use power point or the electronic attendance register. Before that no doubt it was the challenge of which way up to put the paper in the fax machine.  If you want to learn, you jump in and have a go. But all learning needs to be done when you are ready.

Now my told you so moment...

A new publisher Grit City Publications, have on their submission guidelines: will only accept authors who provide links to their Twitter, Facebook and Google+ profiles in the body of their email enquiry. Payment and rights are negotiated, the bigger your list of social media followers the higher up the pay scale you go.