Developing an Online Presence

In theory writing and making money seem like they go hand in hand. At least that is the theory my brain circles around like a starving wolf circles the campfire of the prehistoric man; drawn to the smell of meat and the laughter of strange two legged creatures. I am drawn to writing as on is drawn to breathing air.

Side note:

I just wrote this post and somehow deleted almost the entire thing. I am not at all happy that what I wrote disappeared. I have never had this happen to me before now. I just learned that I need to hit the save button more often.

Now that I have to rewrite this post I find that I have lost my train of thought. It is as though a section of track was misaligned and now my whole thought process has been derailed. Give me a moment while I try to gather up the bits and pieces.

Writing for fun and writing for profit are two very distinct things. When a person decides to write for profit they must ask themselves several questions.

Before you create an Online Presence ask yourself:

1. Will what I write be unique? Am I fulfilling a niche that hasn’t been met?

2. Do I have a grasp on the topic(s) I want to write about?

3. Do I have the time to commit to researching and editing about the above topic(s)?

4. What do I have to add to the conversation about the above topic(s)?

Once you have decided why you want to write for profit and what you will write about the next step is starting to build your presence. 

This is often where people stumble the most. As a writer it is easy to say “but I just want to write!” I think that most of the time. I find that I do not have the patience to stop and figure out what I need to do to create content that sells. As a writer I want to delve into my imagination without regard to whether or not it is going to be a productive jaunt into my imagination. I’m sure as writers you can relate to what I am talking about. Here is the thing to remember writing is very freeing but it is also very demanding. Many well known writers write about how much time they spend writing. It takes dedication and commitment to be successful when it comes to being an online writing personality/blogger. If you believe that you have the drive to sit down and write when life calls to you then here are some ways to help create your presence.

From google search

1. Diversify your writings- find multiple sites to publish your content on. Hubpages, yahoo contributor sites and cracked.com all have multiple opportunities to publish your work. Remember that the more sites you send your work to the more likely you are to find someone who wants what you create.

2. Join online writing groups, forums and collaborative writing sites- Sites like webook.com, www.writingforums.com and writersdigest.com are great sites to help find people who are looking for peer support.

3. Don’t get too emotionally invested in your writings- As a writer it is easy to become defensive about your writings but remember that writing is a process and when someone suggests a change they are suggesting it to help you become better at what you do.

4. Research your topics and read a wide array of books, magazines and articles- As a writer it is extremely important that you continue to improve your craft. Read, write and collaborate with other writers and soon you will find that people are reading what you write.

5. Give it time- The thing about writing for profit is that it takes time to develop a following. It can take years for your career to take off. Most writers give up before they hit their stride with writing and that is a mistake that I see too often with young talent. Remember that the brain is a muscle that needs constant exercise to stay well honed.

As you begin your journey to creating compelling and interesting content make sure you also stop and enjoy life. For writing is all about cataloging the human story.

What type of Self Editor are you?

As writers we are told over and over again to edit and edit and oh, wait, edit some more. I don’t know about you but I don’t remember ever being taught how to edit. Maybe it was hidden or concealed in some Language Arts class or maybe it was during one of the college classes I missed. I just know that when I am told to edit or have a peer edit my paper I scratch my head and think “What exactly does my teacher/professor mean when s/he says to edit?” Webster states editing as: “to alter, adapt, or refine especially to bring about conformity to a standard or to suit a particular purpose” but that definition wasn’t the first definition. If you look here then you will see that to edit means to simply prepare something (in writing) to be published or used. Which means that every single piece of writing we create, read, ignore, or stare blankly at has been edited even if the author didn’t consciously edit it. 

As humans we constantly edit what we do, how we act, and what we say among other things. We edit our lives when we choose soy milk over whole milk. We alter our life path when we choose to go to subway instead of McDonald’s. These examples are all well and good but what exactly does it have to do with becoming a better writer? Well, just like we have to make a conscious choice to live a healthier lifestyle so too do we have to choose to become better writers. 

How does one do that? Simply put, you have to exercise muscles that have languished in society of late. The muscles of will power. The old saying “Where there is a will, there is a way comes to mind.” Now that I have provided you with a premise to this post I want to invite you to join in actively thinking about what I am about to write.

Types of Self Editing:

There are two many categories:

Conscious

Subconscious.

As Conscious editing might imply this is editing that you do consciously. The main forms of these are writing your work and then going back through and rereading it. This form of writing also includes the writers who write a sentence, pause and then edit it before going on to the next one. If you break down conscious editing a bit more you find that there are two branches of editing. Immediate and Reflective.

Immediate editing is where the writer pauses, checks the sentence and then adjusts while thinking forward. This is used in high paced situations and while effective it is more prone to errors. Read newspaper articles as well as sportscasts and other forms of writings that have an immediacy to them and this is the kind of editing you will find. 

Reflective editing is where a writer writes what they want and then leaves the piece of writing alone for a span of more than 20 minutes. Sure, this type of editing can still be used by media outlets but it is most commonly used for poetry, fiction and nonfiction works as well as for informative essays, articles and the like. Reflective editing is the type of editing that provides the best opportunity for making the most out of what you wrote. Remember that when a teacher/professor says to edit your paper they are most likely talking about this type of editing.

In both types of conscious editing there are words that are put down on paper or typed. The main thing to remember is that the words have to exist before they can be edited.

Subconscious editing is a whole other beast. Many times people use this type of editing without even knowing it. Although this type of editing has several variations for the sake of time I will stick to talking about this as a whole. This type of editing involves writing and rewriting scenes, thoughts, ideas, etc. Within the mind. My favorite time to write is why I much stalls. Although I am unable to jot down my thoughts I am able to pull them out and expand upon them peace by peace. This type of editing is where you get improv from as well as some music lyrics. This type of editing thrives on thinkers and it is important to remember that these are broad labeling for a complex process. 

 

Make sure you continue to check out writing tips as well as blogs that will help you become a better writer. 

Do you dream of being a write but aren’t sure how? If so contact me and I will help you figure out what works best for you.

 

What kind of self editor are you?

image

More on that title later. While going about my daily life I’ve pondered about writing and editing. I’m in the middle of moving so I haven’t been able to write but I will post some new stuff in a few days once everything is a bit more settled.
New expectations and new opportunities.
So what kind of self editor do you think you are?

Jake Update and a Very Cool Romans 8:28 Situation

So great to read this story as I have been struggling with figuring out how God is going to turn this difficult situation into something good. He is changing things, though. I just need to keep on praying and having faith!

Holly Michael's Writing Straight

Haven’t blogged much lately due to holidays and writing commitments, but I have been splashing photos and news on Facebook about Jake (my NFL player son).

A fantastic Romans 8:28 story! (And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.)

Even if you saw this on Facebook, here’s the story behind the story.

We’ve all had those moments when life is going great, plans are coming together, sun is shining, and bluebirds are singing on our shoulder, then BAM! We get slammed with the unexpected. Instead of bluebirds, feels like life is giving us the bird.

Happened like that a few weeks ago for Jake. He was cut by the Houston Texans. As a mom, my heart went out for the uncertainty he felt regarding his career and future. (And given his career is in the NFL, unfortunately he’s had these moments before).

I prayed for him, asking God for…

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Restarting an Old Mentality

I grew up in the Church. Went through confirmation in middle school. Accepted Jesus into my heart when I was 8 years old. I did that over the phone when my second grade teacher called me and asked if I had been saved. Earlier in the day I was baptised at church. I told her no and she proceeded to tell me how to ask Jesus into my heart.

Since that day I’ve been a born again Christian. Back then I knew that it meant my heart was safe. That after death I would go to Heaven but besides that I didn’t really think it all out. As I grew older I realized that although I grew up in the church, and grew up with Christian friends, I was different. I had a different back story. My mom was a single mom and we lived right about the poverty line. To this day I dislike scalloped potatoes because for a while that is what we ate every single night. Things changed when my mother married my (step)dad and I found out what living in a home with two parents was like. However, things learned and obtained in childhood affect you in ways that you don’t even realize.

I grew up in the church but I was always jealous of those I called friends. They had two parents and went to private school (I didn’t want to go to private school… I was just jealous because they had money and I didn’t). I write this because I was in a bit of a unique situation- I wore glasses of the impoverished but lived in a world that was pretty normal.  Prior to becoming a Christian I would talk to my mom about God. I knew He existed even though my mom wasn’t religious at the time. That’s the interesting thing about kids- they know so much and are so wise. They can see past the walls adults throw up and children see the world as it really is.

As I watch Fae learn about being a horse I notice how she has picked up on things Julie does and assumes they are normal. For example, Julie was a very attentive mom and whenever Fae would lay down Julie stopped what she was doing and would just stand over her. Fae does the same thing whenever another horse lays down. She goes over to them and just stands there. Fae was born with a wonderful mentality and she is a thinker. She is smart as well and I am so thankful that she is who she is.

Julie and Fae first meet

I digress. The reason I mention Fae is that she knows she is loved for who she is. She also assumes that the ritual we do every single day is what should be done every day. She whinnies at me if I take to long to bring her out. Lexy, my white horse, knows she is the first one out. For Lexy a routine means safety and trust. For Lexy messing with her routine gives her an anxiety attack. I try to keep things as structured as possible for them because I want them to know that they are safe. Julie trusts me too and the other two trust me because she trusts me.

Lexy

I’m writing about trust because being a Christian is all about trusting your non quantifiable senses. God is there, I know He is even though I cannot directly see Him or speak to Him. He is so beyond my “grown up” senses that I have to trust in Him. I have fought Him in regards to what my life is supposed to be about. God gave me the ability to love others and the ability to observe and think and write. I have been struggling with accepting the fact that God wants me to be who He created me to be; not who I think He wants me to be. I would say that my life is full of everyday miracles. When I pray for strength I am given opportunities to learn how to be strong. When I pray teach me to focus on You, Oh Lord, I am given circumstances where I have to trust.

In high school I would say I was a Christian but I didn’t really know what that meant. To me I thought I had to be loud and in peoples’ face about it. I was seeking God out but I wasn’t understanding what it meant to be a Christ Follower.  Maybe it was because I was trying to overcompensate for the scars and secrets in my life. Maybe I was trying to drown out the whispers satan was saying to me. Maybe I was confused.

I’m still confused and confounded and uncertain in a lot of things. I am still worried about my future but I have learned that trusting God means letting going of the fear and the nervousness. During this past year I prayed that God would keep Fae safe and that God wouldn’t let Julie die. I prayed that God would keep Julie from aborting. During that time though I began to realize something: God wouldn’t have brought me this far if He was going to snatch it all away. I’m in the process of reading Job and I just read Chapter 10 specifically verses 13-17. To paraphrase Job is pretty much saying “God, I don’t know what I did wrong but please forgive me and please forget I exist. Let me die in peace. I don’t know what I did wrong, I don’t know what I did to offend you but please tell me and please forgive me. Please just let me be.” I can relate to those pleadings. I have thought them myself. I have said God, I think it is my time now. Just let me be free of my body. I have contemplated suicide. I have considered swallowing poison.

He reminds me that my life is not my own. He reminds me that I pray for Him to show me how to be strong and how to have courage. I pray that I would be a light in a dark world. I pray that I would be able to understand those who are in pain. The truth is, I need to experience pain in order for me to know it. I know that I am strong in Jesus. I know who I am. I am a writer, a horseback rider, a daughter, a sister, a friend, a dreamer and most importantly I am a CHRISTIAN. For a while I tossed away that last description. The title to this post is about me returning to the mentality of God first, everything else second. I started January 2014 with a lot of uncertainties.  I also started 2014 with trusting God completely. He hasn’t let me down. In fact He has exceeded so many of my expectations. Yes, I feel like He makes me sweat before He changes my life for the better but I know He will always come through.

Path

I’m sorry, this post is going on longer than anticipated. I have one last thought though. I have narcolepsy. I used to pray that God would heal it and that He would make me whole. I used to ask that He would overcome it and change who I was. Then I realized something. I’m thankful that I have narcolepsy. It has given me a unique view of the world and it forces me to relax and slow down and enjoy life. It makes me human. It also means I’m in a constant state of sleep deprivation which means I’m naturally more creative. Yes, narcolepsy has its downsides but overall I am thankful for all of the scars I bear. They make me who I am. I also choose to accept that they are there but I don’t dwell on them. Maybe that is the most important thing. Accepting that God has created me to be who I am because He knows I am capable of overcoming the obstacles in my way.

As I continue to travel on this path God has set before me I know there will be a lot of uncertainties that I will face. I also know that God will provide me with the tools I need to overcome those obstacles. Right now, I feel I am being called to write a story or two. Who knows if that is what my long-term calling will be but I know that God will always provide me with what I need. Even if I didn’t realize I needed it. Whether or not you are a Christian know that you have a purpose and that the things you have encountered have helped you become who you are.

What is one thing you hope to further your knowledge of in 2014?

My 7 Rules Of Loaning Books

Very true. I need to return some of the books I’ve borrowed.

101 Books

Last week’s post about The Book Borrower, one of my bookish pet peeves, seemed to have hit a nerve with a lot of people.

So I thought I’d dig a little deeper. Playing off last week’s post, I created some rules to help you navigate the muddy waters of loaning books.

Is it okay to loan books? Of course it is. But if you want your book back, you’ll need some guidelines. Here are mine:

Establish a book-loaning circle of trust, then never loan outside of it.

Who are the most trustworthy people in your life? That’s your book-loaning circle of trust, right there. If you wouldn’t loan them money, if you don’t trust them to be on time for your wedding, if they talk about you behind your back, then they don’t belong in your book loaning circle of trust.

Also, the book loaning circle of trust is…

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More on sharing to share with you …

Here it is folks, remember that the best way to sell something is word of mouth. Ideas are shared because we talk about them. Change happens because we talk about them. So talk about books; talk about witty things you read and for goodness sakes share something you enjoyed reading. (the internet isn’t just for memes)

Books: Publishing, Reading, Writing

Share the Love!!
A bit of musical encouragement from The Spencer Davis Group …

I’m writing another post on this subject, because every Author, every Reader, needs to be reminded, and regularly reminded, that sharing is the most effective way to get word out there that we’ve written and published – or read – a great book! Authors and Readers, please continue the sharing by reblogging this post. Let everyone know how important it is to share! Thank you for reading.

From dream1dancer: Why Authors are so Important

From Rachelle Gardner:4 Ways to Connect with Readers by Dana Sitar

From wordserve water cooler:Book Reviews: Do They Help? by Jordyn Redwood

From Indie Reader:15 More Tips for Helping Your Friend Promote Their Book by Jan Yager

From Seth Godin:Unlimited mileage

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