Tag Archives: blogging

If a Blog Falls in the Forest….

By Sunny Frazier

Sunny FrazierJulie Luek asked me over here to discuss blog interaction. First, let me say, I’m honored. I entered the Colorado Gold contest early in my career and the changes suggested definitely got me a contract. This is a terrific group.

I do my homework. I’ve scrolled through some recent blogs on your site. Good stuff. So, where are the comments? One here, two there. And, the same responders showing up. What gives?

Then I found Aaron Michel Ritchey’s “Why I Have Failed To Write a Word In 2014.” I don’t know this guy, why should I care? But, the title has grabbed me. His first line: “I am the problem.” No writer admits to that. They blame writers block or a full-time job.

I have to keep reading. His clipped style and use of the word “suck” amuses me. I have no idea what “Lama sabachthani” means. I don’t care. He’s hooked me with the first sentence. Isn’t that what we’re told to do in our novels?

His piece got 21 comments. I read all of those as well. I want to find out more about this man and, if his books are as good as this post, I want to buy them. I’ll even become the stalker he craves.

Aaron started with a headline that stood out. I’m from the school of journalism; it all starts with the headline. Next, he made it personal. He’s not lecturing me, he’s opening up. With loose language and a bit of irreverence, I know I’m in for a good time with this guy.

Frazier_FoolsI use the same tactics as Aaron, but I go a bit further. I created a Posse, a group of aspiring writers. I send them interesting posts and train them to reply. It’s a chance for them to expand their contacts in the writing world, to find out who’s who. It also allows them to give an opinion and perhaps mention their own WIP. They’re trained to announce posts they’ve written. Blogging doesn’t do a bit of good if nobody is aware of its existence. .

Everyone should have a Posse. It starts with friends and contacts in your circle. All that networking you’ve been taught to do? This is where it comes in handy. Get out the business cards you’ve collected and include them in your group. Don’t be shy, but don’t SPAM everyone you know. Figure out who will enjoy the experience you are about to give them.

Please don’t waste their time. If you’re only blogging to fill up space or fulfill a commitment, remember all of us are busy people. Every time I write a blog, I ask myself “Would I stop and read this?” Be sure the reader comes away a bit more aware or given a different slant on the topic.

Frazier_Angels FearDon’t make a blog all about selling. It’s promotion, yes, but readers are trained to smell the hard-sell from a mile away. You have to be slicker than that. Let your word usage do the selling for you. A blog should be an audition for your novel. If readers love the way you write, they expect more of the same in a book.

To pull people to your blog don’t say, “I wrote a nice blog. Please stop by and read it if you have a moment.” Here’s the announcement I posted today titled “Yes, I Dipped My Toes In Those Muddy Waters.” My email said “Literary fiction vs genre–sounds boring, right? Do we REALLY need to hash out this one again? Those of you who know me know I’m going to have the last word, and you can count on it being irreverent.”

My followers know I’m again thumbing my nose at the status quo and we’re cyber-nudging each other, snickering to see if I can get away with it. Toes will be stepped on but I get invited back because I do something all site owners are looking for: I attract readers. The numbers go up. People are plugging into their websites and will hopefully sign on for more.

Finally, my last tip to create fans: I personally contact people who reply to my posts to thank them. Not just in the reply space. Nope, I’m going to Google you to see who you are, what you’ve written and let you know I appreciate the time you took to read my words. I will even Facebook you with a request for friendship. And, I will notify you the next time you want to have some fun with me over at another blog. You’re important. You make this all work.

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Sunny Frazier trained as a journalist and wrote for a city newspaper, military and law enforcement publications. After working 17 years with the Fresno Sheriff’s Department, 11 spent as Girl Friday with an undercover narcotics team, it dawned on her that mystery writing was her real calling. Both Fools Rush In and Where Angels Fear are based on real cases as well as astrology, a habit Frazier has developed over the past 42 years. To see her in her WAVE uniform and learn more, go to her website.

Writing is an Act of Love

By Nicole Disney

When I first decided it would be fun to try blogging, I had this vision of myself creating ten, twenty, even thirty posts. They were going to be stacked tight and aligned like a fresh ream of paper, somehow undisturbed by any of my three wall-vaulting cats. The contents of these pristine entries were to be brilliant, each of them a gem of insight.

Then real life happened, which looked a lot more like me cleaning the house with one hand, trying to tame my frizzy curls with the other, and perching my phone on my shoulder while attempting to plan my wedding well enough it would at least be recognizable as such. Each day was a succession of rushing to my full time job, then to my part time job, shoving a little dinner in my face, and getting in bed just in time to get that almost-enough-but-not-really, amount of sleep.

My blogging process was shoved anywhere I had a few extra minutes, and always concluded dangerously close to my deadline. I would spend my drive to work brainstorming topics, my first ten minute break writing my favorite ideas down and choosing one. At lunch break I would produce a rough version, and my half hour between jobs was used to type it into the computer and shine it up a little. All of this just for one silly, five to eight hundred word blog. The good news: I know I am not alone.

Writers achieve phenomenal feats of multitasking, job juggling, and personal relationship management. When writing a quick blog can accumulate the urgency and scatter of a SWAT raid, how do we hope to keep up with things like writing novels, submitting queries, and marketing? And yet, we do. Granted, most of us are plagued with a perpetual sensation of being behind, but when your brain is constantly sprouting new characters, plots, and chapter beginnings, it’s a wonder we get to things like doing the dishes.

So I’d like to take a moment to acknowledge the immense accomplishment it is to be a writer. Yes, before you are a New York Times best seller, before you are published, before you have an agent, you are already achieving something most people cannot. I have heard countless stories of single parents who work three jobs and still have a prolific collection. When are they writing? Or better yet, why are they writing when they already do so much?

I think the answer is that we are always writing. We are always hearing those pesky voices and searching for scrap paper to record vague but priceless ideas. Writing is an act of love. And we make time for it because there must always be time for love. Writers come home from the scuffle of the world, underpaid and beaten down, and decide to spend the precious last moments left in the day to creating something. That is truly beautiful.

I hope each of you will always keep writing, even when it’s exhausting or means making sacrifices. This intense labor of love is worthwhile. It is necessary. It is a gift. Even though life will challenge this constantly, art is always better than money.

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Nicole Disney
Nicole Disney is the debut author of the contemporary lesbian fiction novel, Dissonance in A Minor. She lives in Denver, Colorado where she continues to write dark, edgy novels. She is also a martial arts instructor and teaches Krav Maga, Muay Thai, and Karate. For more about Nicole, please visit her website. You can also find her on Twitter and Facebook.