My Favorite Writing Blogs

While I usually blog about something writerly (or bookish, or something sci-fi/fantasy related or geeky), most of the blogs that I read are actual for real how-to-write-better blogs.

Hopefully if you’re a writer and you follow my blog, you get something of value at least occasionally. But if you’re really looking for good writing tips, here are four of my favorite writing blogs:

Kristen Lamb’s Blog

Kristen Lamb is a self-professed author, blogger, and social media Jedi, and all of these are true. She blogs about all things writerly – from writing your antagonist’s wounds to how to build your author brand online. She’s also hilarious, sarcastic, and not afraid to tell the hard truth about most anything. Her blog is well worth reading. Continue reading

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It’s Never Too Late to Set a New Goal

I’m ashamed to admit it, but I haven’t done any writing for several weeks. No writing at all. No journaling, no writing on stories, not even blogging.

I’ve been busy ever since Christmas with a new job, and then in mid-January I got sick. Nothing serious in the grand scheme of things – just an energy-sapping bug that lingered for a good three weeks. Getting out of bed and making breakfast left me exhausted for the rest of the day, and so summoning the energy and willpower to write was just too much. Not very professional of me, I know. A professional writer writes whether they feel like it or not. Whether writing is a full-time job or not, treating as seriously as one is key.

But anyway, apparently I’m not quite there yet. I am, however, slowly getting my life back on track, so at least I’m moving forwards. And I’m finally setting my new year’s goals and resolutions. Continue reading

Blogging Topics for 2018: What Do You Want?

Well, here it is – my first blog post of 2018! Whee!

I’ve been a disciplined blogger for years – I’ve posted at least one blog post a week for several years now, missing only a few weeks here and there in all that time. However, I’ve never been a particularly organized blogger; that is, I’ve never had blog topics and outlines planned out for weeks or months in advance. I count myself productive if I have even one post written ahead of time.

And in all my new year’s resolutions and goals, becoming an organized blogger is not one of them. Sorry, but there it is. Perhaps that makes me less of a professional writer; but I have enough trouble outlining and keeping up with the books I’m writing. Continue reading

2017 – A Year in Review

This has been quite a year for me. For all of my followers, I hope you have enjoyed reading my posts, and have gotten some useful and insightful tidbits from this blog. And I hope you continue to read, because in 2018 I plan to delve deeper into all things writerly, both for myself and to share with my fans and followers.

2017 has been a busy year for me, full of learning experiences, dreams being realized, and unexpected blessings. Here’s a quick rundown of my year:

  • In the spring, I left the only home I’d ever known (central Virginia) and moved across the country to the inland northwest (north Idaho). I had no job or place to live lined up, but my sister and her family had moved out there the year before, and I was ready for a change. So I packed up my cat and my books in a U-Haul (don’t panic – the cat rode in the car, not the trailer) and drove across the country.
  • Just a few short months later, I’m living in a little cottage built in 1929, surrounded by fruit trees and mountain views. My town has one traffic light, no McDonald’s, and no movie theater. Most of my neighbors have chickens, and it’s not uncommon to see someone riding a horse through downtown. It’s a border town, so I see as many Montana and British Columbia license plates as I do Idaho plates. My town does have a library and a used book store, though, so there’s that.
  • I’ve met so many new writers this year, both in real life and online. There’s a pretty vibrant writing/artistic community in my area. And Twitter is a wonderful platform for connecting with writers from all over.
  • I published three books this year. They’re all short (a novella and two short stories), but hey, it still makes me an officially published author.
  • I’ve been delving into dieselpunk this year, and learning more and more about all the different nuances of this “punk” sub-genre of science fiction or historical fantasy. I’m learning that there’s a niche for every interest, and a market (even if it’s a small one) for every niche. If you’re not sure who your target audience is for your books, or what to call the kind of books that you’re writing, then keep searching and keep reaching out. You’ll find your people.
  • I had a white Christmas for the first time in forever. I think I experienced a white Christmas perhaps twice my whole life in Virginia. I’m a big lover of snow, and an even bigger lover of Christmas and all things holiday, so having two feet of white powder on Christmas was pretty much a dream come true.

I hope every one of you had some good experiences in 2017. Whether 2017 was your best year or not, find something to be thankful, something you can learn from, and set your goals and dreams for the upcoming year.

Onward to 2018!

How to be Annoying on Social Media in Five Easy Steps

In the ever-changing sea of social media, techniques can change on a weekly basis, it seems. That sure-fire tactic that worked last month is now totally useless. But some things don’t change. I originally wrote this post almost three years ago, and even as I’ve learned more about using social media as an author (and worked professionally in social media), these points are still valid.

So in no particular order, here are five sure-fire ways to annoy your followers and alienate your readership. If you’re tired of the decent or even excellent success you’ve been having with your social media, then try these tips to make everything worse.

Write in ALL CAPS

All capital text is the type-written form of shouting, and shouting for no good reason drives people away by the hundreds. Why save all caps for only URGENT STUFF when you can confuse and irritate your fans by making EVERYTHING SEEM URGENT? Continue reading

Writing and Blogging Updates

For the past two weeks, I’ve missed my normal Wednesday blog post.

I’ve blogged regularly for about five years now, posting once a week, and missed maybe three or four weeks during that time. After missing two weeks in a row this past month, I resolved anew to be disciplined with my writing and my blogging, regardless of circumstances.

My circumstances haven’t been bad – quite the opposite, actually. If you’ve been following me on Twitter, then you might have seen the occasional tweet about me being in the process of moving. Back in April, I quit my part-time job, packed up my books, said goodbye to my parents and the city I’d grown up in, and moved across the country. I’m still not fully sure why I did this, but I did. And so far I haven’t regretted it. Continue reading