About Me

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I love being a mom and a wife. I've married to a man I would do anything for, and we have three beautiful children. I see so much of myself in both of them that it sometimes brings me to tears (happy ones).

I also love writing. Romance to be specific. I love the happily ever after that I believe everyone deserves. My stories aren't 'stop and smell the roses' type romances. While I believe everyone deserves happiness and true love, I know that sometimes you have to walk a hard road to find it. Those are the types of stories I like to write. The happily ever after that wasn't found, but earned. I work to earn mine on a daily basis and so do my characters. 

I am also working on a children's picture book series. Inspired (of course) by my kiddos. :)

On the non-writing front, I play acoustic guitar, sing, read like I get paid for it, ride horses, hike, paint rocks, and support a rather obsessive addiction to Pinterest.

I love to cook, which combined with my pinning addiction, leads to many experiments foisted on my unsuspecting husband and kids, mostly with good results. But sometimes, the dogs gets what the family refuses to eat. And they never complain. 

Friday, April 18, 2014

How Social Media Can Help You Become A Better Writer - Thursdays with the Author

How Social Media Can Help You Become A Better Writer




So before I start giving you examples of how Social Media can help you become a better writer, I will give you a general warning: Social Media can also HINDER you as a writer.

Most of us, by now, have visited Pinterest and if you're like most of the world in general, you've become addicted. You've planned your 6 year old daughter's wedding already, you've made a list of places you want to see in the world, compiled a million recipes to try. The list goes on and on. You could get lost in Pinterest for hours, believe me, I know. I've done it. You wake up from your inspired daydreaming and realize you were planning on writing for a few hours and that those few hours are now gone.

The same thing can happen (though not as quickly or easily as with Pinterest) with other sites such as Twitter, Google+, Facebook, Goodreads, etc. I once devoted 45 minutes to reading the Twitter feed of the fictional character Severus Snape because I found it so entertaining. Seriously. 

Using Social Media has it's perils. There's nothing like being sucked into the never-ending vortex of crafts, humor and vacation paradises to waste a few hours of productive writing time.

Set a timer while you're browsing the various sites. If it goes off and you're still lost in la-la-land, close the browser and start writing. If you're actually learning something writing related from your wanderings, save it for later. You have to start applying what you just learned, which means, WRITE!

So now that you have been properly warned, we can get on with the good stuff. How Social Media can HELP you! Below, I'll post some of the websites I frequent and what can be gleaned from them to improve your writing and your writing career. Not only can you learn something, it will help you enlarge your internet platform as an author!

Facebook:

This site is more communication and marketing than a learning experience, but if you know WHERE to look, you can learn something.

1) Friend other authors, especially best-selling, well-known authors. How they communicate with their readers, run contests and give-a-ways, give snippets of their works-in-process, book launches and their over-all writing process, can be a well of insight to what it takes to be a successful and recognizable author.

2) Make your author page is SEPARATE from your private page. Your readers (or potential readers) don't want to read about your relationship dramas, hear about the epic fight with your sister or how much you can't stand your mother-in-law. Your author page should be professional with only a snapshot of your personal life. You should also have a separate author email to link this page to. All of your social media connections should be listed with this page as well.

3) Make your author page public (without revealing any personal information besides your contact email and other page links). You WANT your readers to be able to get a hold of you, ask questions, comment on your book, etc. IF a reader contacts you (barring any crazy stalker-type behavior), make a big deal out of it. They took the time to find your page and write to you and you SHOULD be thankful.  Even if they were writing you to give you a negative critique, take it as a blessing in disguise. They contacted you because they want to help, even if it's with an unfavorable opinion of your work. If they caught something wrong, fix it. But whatever the case, thank the reader for contacting you and for their opinion.

4) Make sure you've linked all your social media sites to your Facebook page. Instead of reporting to every site, one status update can cover most of them. Also, make sure you don't forget to post links, book updates/releases, new blog posts, etc. 


A lot like Facebook, only more short-winded. No less important for making an impact with your internet presence. 

Biggest tip: follow other authors, agents, publishers, etc. You won't believe the amazing publishing and writing tips you can find from literary agents that post to Twitter!


Blogspot.com, blogger.com, etc. the list goes on. Blogging is an important tool for
writers to use. I know, I know... More writing? But it is important. Writing a blog is like exercising for the mind. A weight lifter isn't going to do any heavy lifting if they've never even carried a dumbbell. Same concept for writers. The journalistic and opinion-related blog posts are different from writing novels, but ANY writing is good exercise!

Try to write at least one blogpost a week. It can be anything. Your writing process, sneak peeks, writing advice, etc. 

Make sure you put links, pictures, and contact information in each post!

Also: follow other writing related blogs. Comment on their posts, ask questions. The more involved you are, the better chance they will then read, comment and reshare your blog. 

Goodreads (and the amazon counterpart, Shelfari):

Both these sites are great places for readers to leave reviews. They are also great for creating an author page, which can be linked to your other social media sites, creating free giveaways, connecting with readers and reading and responding to reviews. 

Remember, amazon reviews can only be left after a verified purchase. So what if a reader gets your book somewhere else,  wins a copy, picks up a signed edition at an author event or rents it from the library? Shelfari and Goodreads all allow reviews no matter where the book came from. 


It's a little like Facebook, only a bit more mature. You can post a status, pictures, links, etc. just like Facebook and with a blend of tagging and hashtags like Twitter. Only Google+ takes it a step forward with communities. Communities are groups with specific subjects, and rules about posting, where users can ask and answer questions, share their work, get advice, connect with other authors, agents, publishers and more. The amount of information that pertains to writing on Google+ is mind boggling. Try for specific communities that relate to your style of writing: fantasy writer groups, children's book groups, romance writers, self-publishing groups, you name it, there's probably a group for it!

Google+ can also connect to all your other social media sites, making for easy sharing and reposting. 


Ah, an angel and demon all wrapped in one. As mentioned above, Pinterest can be a quicksand pit of wasted time. But it can also be an amazing source of knowledge. Pins with writing and editing tips, author and blog links, amazing pictures for inspiration, writing prompts, and more. 

When creating your own author Pinterest page, the same rule applies as to Facebook. Use a separate page as an author and personally. 

When setting up your boards, categorize and place according to importance. Your first boards should be your contact information, links to your books, and your blog. Then boards for other writing blogs, writing tips, story inspiration, motivational quotes, favorite books/quotes and more. Leave the wedding planning to your personal page. Your author Pinterest should be writing related. 



So there are some of the internet pages that have helped me become a better writer and author and learn how to navigate the deep waters of publishing and marketing. There are many more websites out there! Just make sure you aren't getting pulled away from actually writing with all the things you're discovering!
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