7 Ways to Cultivate A Happy Blogging Life: Wisdom from the Writer’s Journal

Happy Blog LifeEach year I go through moments of blogging introspection. I ask myself why I continue on this path of blogging and why I started in the first place. What has been the benefit?

Over the past few years, I’ve faced the challenge of number crunching, statistics, likes and all the other heavy downers that any newbie will face. You know, the things that make you want to power down your computer and never create another blog post again.

With these things in mind, I’ve decided to take my  4 Personal Rules for cultivating a happy blogging life and transform them into 7 Ways to Cultivate A Happy Blogging Life, ways that any Blogger can glean from.

Here’s some ways to do so:

1. Keep to the path. Blogging is about discovering your creative world. For many of us, starting a blog had more to do with stepping out of our comfort zones and growing than it did about how many likes we received.

Keeping growth as your first point of focus will help you stay contented as you continue to blog.

2. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Expression is a form of playtime. Playtime is fun and adventurous. Yes, you can talk about weightier issues without dragging yourself down and others along with you.

Lighten up even if you tighten up. You can create sharp content without being a pretentious bore.

 3. Give what you have at the moment and spruce it up later. The first thing you must do is to create something to share. You can always go back and fix grammar or add jazzy images later.

Don’t allow ‘perfection,’ or lack thereof, to hold you back from sharing.

For encouragement on how to just create a post, check out this article called “The Almighty Quarter.”

Concerned about your poor grammar? Take a look at the free computer app called Grammarly. It goes above and beyond the built-in grammar checks on our word processors and can be used on and offline.

 4. This is not a 9 to 5, this is “Creative Therapy”. If your blog is not monetized then don’t allow it to stress you out as if your light bill depended on it.

Jobs can be hard, but don’t let blogging be. It’s supposed to be a joy. As long as you think of it as a treat to do then it will remain cathartic and not become a chore even if you create a weekly blogging schedule.

5. Blogging is about developing your craft first and the numbers second…should numbers ever become relevant.

No matter how many followers you have, always give them your very best. Show loyalty and consistency with your blog and if you plan on changing things up, give them a heads up.

6. Give your creative quality consistently.  Yeshua Jesus put it best when He said, that a person who is faithful over little will be master over much. Luke 16:10

People are drawn by authenticity. They stick around because of consistency. If you are looking for a larger audience to share with, gain it by growing a rapport built on trust with the audience you have now, no matter how small or large.

You do that by…being consistent with your creative quality. As Joann Rosario put it, “Sing your song for two as you would for 1000.”

And last, but not least, but definitely my favorite way of cultivating a happy blogging life:

7.  Nurture your writing/blogging community: You’re not going to be BSWF (Best Supportive Writing Friends)  with every blogger, but when you do start seeing saplings of friendship-promise growing, be sure to nurture them.

All relationships are like houseplants, one waters, and the other brings the sunshine. Both you and your BSWF’s need to be consistent with each other.

Writing communities stretch beyond the blogsphere. These are the folks you share your new storyline with. The ones who honestly tell you about what your writing needs in order to be it’s very best. They are also the people who support you when a troll comes calling.

When you nurture your writing/blogging relationships you know that there will be someone just as passionate about your creative growth as you are waiting to give you a thumbs up, and let’s face it, we all need that.

Happy blogging!

Writer's Table

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

Advertisements

Escapades of an Indie Author & Publisher by Rachael Ritchey: 7 Ways Blogging Makes You a Better Creative Writer:

Writer's Table

*Welcome to this week’s addition Wisdom from the Writer’s Journal. It is my pleasure to pass the pen off to blogger,  Rachael Ritchey, the author of The Beauty Theif and Captive Hope, the first two books in the Twelve Realms Series.

e2583a5e-9a28-4d3e-aa87-7627dd165240Rachael is also the mastermind behind the #Blogbattle extravaganza that competes weekly. All are welcome to participate.

To find out more about Rachael, you can do so by following her on these platforms:

 

Where to friend and follow Rachael:

Website/blog —  Facebook — Twitter —  Pinterest — Google+ — Goodreads

And now without futher ado here is Rachael and:

Escapades of an Indie Author & Publisher: 7 Ways Blogging Makes You a Better Creative Writer

First off, I gotta say thanks to Candice for this chance to share on her blog! It’s not every day I get the opportunity, and she is a lovely hostess.

If there’s one piece of advice I could tell you today, it’s this: I write, therefore I blog.

I hear the “huh?” reverberating through the air. Rene Descartes said these famous words: “I think, therefore I am.” It’s generally seen at the most basic level to mean something along the lines of “because I have the ability to think there is no doubt that I exist.”

So, “I write, therefore I blog” is best interpreted “because I have the ability to write (and want to be a great writer) there is no doubt I should blog.” Want to know why this is true?

Blogging can and does make us better writers, and here are seven reasons why that is so:

1) Can give you a focus and vision

Blogging can be willy-nilly, but the best blogs have a focus, a reason for being, and they stick to their vision but in the most creative ways.

It’s easier to create consistency when you start with a specific focus such as “Writer Advice” “Funny Anecdotes for Life” “Short Story Paradise” “Poetry Corner” “A Sarcastic Look at Everyday Living” “Little Blessings” “A Place to Be Creative” “Current Science” “Science for Science Fiction Nuts.”

If you notice from these pithy, visionary statements, they range from specific to not-so-specific, but you will also observe that each one gives you an idea platform from which everything on your blog can spring. For me, the focus of my blog is “Escapades of an Indie Author & Publisher.”

If you find your focus or vision changing over time don’t be afraid to update your blog to reflect that. The only advice I’d give in that regard is make the transition easy for your readers. If you go changing names and titles it can really confuse your loyal peeps (that’s ‘people’ for all you non-nerdy-savvy people out there)! I learned this the hard way, so take heed, my friend.

2) Opportunity to create a personal brand

Having a personal brand, something people recognize and often remember, is essential for writers who plan to share their writing with the world.

A personal brand involves using consistent branded content, like a signature with pictures, words, or even logos that are unique to you. Your individuality will shine.

When you create a personal brand you are helping to solidify your focus and vision, which will in turn, help you write with purpose instead of rambling about, talking a lot without saying anything at all.

3) It requires you to write regularly

You don’t have to post regularly to have a blog, but all the best writer-bloggers do.

Writing regularly, even if you like to write fiction but blog non-fiction topics is essential to any writer improving his or her skills. A blog that is regularly maintained is a huge asset for turning oneself into a writing master.

All the best advice givers say one should write every day, even if it’s just a shopping list. The thoughtful act of pen to paper or fingers to keyboard helps move thoughts through the mind, and anytime you make the effort your writing craft will improve; like any other skill, practice makes perfect. Blogging is a perfect and central place to keep your writing and make it shareable.

4) Practice your editing skills

Yes, we all must edit (even if we have an editor) because if we leave mistakes all over the place people will begin to notice and will run the other way.

Writing for a blog gives you plenty of opportunities to improve this essential writing skill because if you are writing regularly you are also making mistakes more often, which in turn require fixing.

Hey, whether we like it or not, being able to edit our own work as much as possible is one of the most important things we can do as writers to make our readers (and editors) happy when they read our work.

5) Be social and read more

Blogging makes you a better writer because you start to make connections with other readers and writers who also blog.

When you are spending time reading other blogs you are learning what works and doesn’t work; what you find interesting and not so interesting; and what others enjoy reading.

Reading (and mentally editing) makes you a better writer because you are regularly exposed to the written word with different voices, styles, and creativity. It’s like visiting the Baskin Robins of writing when you socialize in the blogging community; you not only see all the choices, you have the opportunity to try them out yourself.

6) Offers the opportunity for feedback on your writing

Since you are now focused with a vision for your regular blog writing that reflects your brand with edited prose, and you’ve begun to build a following by being social you are ready to receive feedback on your writing which can be both encouraging and difficult.

By blogging you put your creative work out there in small, easily managed pieces that give others the ability to read quickly and make comment.

Writers need feedback on their work so that they can stay grounded and gain valuable insight from extra pairs of eyes, people who see the world and imagine things differently. This is a huge way a writer can learn and grow. Blogging is such an easy and essential way to get feedback and become a better writer every day.

7) Connects you to other writers

This is one of the most essential ways blogging improves your writing skills because it puts you in contact with other writers who have more experience to offer you as well as those with less experience to whom you can offer assistance. After all, one of the best ways to learn is by teaching.

Other writers are fantastic at offering encouragement and help when you get stuck or need advice about a variety of writing topics.

This also gives you a great network of friends to help improve & promote your work (and vice versa). Writers are a supportive, encouraging lot. We love to help each other in any way we can, so you can’t go wrong by blogging when you will have a plethora of on-hand, skilled, talented, and gifted writers at your disposal, all ready to lend a hand!

It’s abundantly clear that blogging is not only a fun activity, it is a perfect outlet to help us become better writers. If you aren’t blogging yet, now is a great time to start. You’ve already got a great beginning network of fellow writer/bloggers right here, so jump in and have fun.

Remember, I write, therefore I blog!

Thanks again, Candice, for letting me stop in and share some insight on why blogging helps us be better writers. It’s been fun!

Writing Tips You’d Give to Your Younger Self: 5 Words of Wisdom from Blogger Blonde Lucy

Welcome to the Writer’s Journal, a place where creative wisdom and encouragements are shared with all at the table!

Part of developing as a wordsmith or visual artist comes with learning, not only from our own process but gleaning wisdom from those around us. This is what the Writer’s Journal is all about.

ae8f55cd-fe45-4c4a-9684-5d7f5249adbeThis week, we have the pleasure of  learning from a super blogger and brilliant wordsmith: BlondeLucy, the mind behind Blondewritemore blog.

I encourage you to not only eat of her wisdom here but follow her blog as well as these other platforms:

Wattpad: https://www.wattpad.com/user/blondewritemore

Twitter: https://twitter.com/blondewritemore

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/blondeusk/

Thank you, BlondeLucy, for stopping in and sharing. The pen and pad are yours!

5 Encouragements I would give to my younger writing self on what is most important about writing. By Blonde Lucy

 
As a fresh faced and eager newbie writer, you need lots of encouragement. Writing is not easy and at times, it can reduce you to a snivelling wreck. 
This is what I would say to my younger self:
 
  • Forget the Writing Course at the local college. Expensive and a waste of time. 
  • Forget the ‘Writing’ self-help books. Expensive and a waste of time. 
 
Write! Just sit and write. 
 
Write until you have nothing left inside you and then wake early to write more the next day. 
 
Write and write until words dance in front of your eyes. 
 
Writing every day for a few years is what makes a writer grow and develop.
 
I would say:
 
  • Start your blog. Post daily and use this a form of writing training. It is your daily workout. 
  • Grow your Twitter following. Don’t be shy or afraid. Don’t think you are bothering people. Tweet. At first, no one will re-tweet or like your stuff but just keep tweeting and hash-tagging. Be consistent. 
  • Listen to your gut instinct. You know what you want to write. Don’t be led by others. Don’t be persuaded to write for others. Write what you want to write. 
  • Take part in a weekly blog battle or writing contest. This will be hard but it will sharpen your writing and enable you to forge friendships and networks with other writers. Learn from other writers through doing this. Make a point of reading all the entries and comparing them to yours. Look to see how the more advanced writers are describing objects and events. Look at their sentence structure. Soak it up like a sponge. 
  • Enjoy it! Don’t get wrapped up in ‘when will I be published?’ daydreams. They are just a distraction. Be mindful and enjoy the little things about your writing; the mad scribble which starts an idea, the burst of excitement when you think of something new, the first time you hear a character talk to you and that feeling of pride when you complete your first draft. 
 
Write my friend. Don’t stop! 
 
Learn your trade and be grateful for your creative gift. 
 
 ~BlondeWriteMore

The “Novelty” of Organization: Tools For Creative Planning

creativity-819371_640

One of the delights of being a creative person comes with the birth of a new idea to be created. All of us are born with an innate “creative gene,” but many of us fall short in not only starting the actually manifestation process toward creation, but the completion of the creation once we’ve begun.

When it comes to writing a full length novel from start to finish, there are several things that tend to hold us back from completing our goal.

I am going to address one of the biggest and yet stealthy overlooked roadblocks, and that is lack of ORGANIZATION.

Let me add this disclaimer. I am not a person who uses conventional outlines for my stories (This isn’t even a blog posting about outlining). In fact, I am a Stream-of-consciousness writer. (Basically I have a vague and yet concise destination for the story, but I let my free-flowing imagination get me from start to finish without putting on any kinds of creative restraints. )

I do however write down ideas as they come, and place them in a separate “spice rack” document to add into the story later.

Whether you are a stream-of-consciousness writer or an writer who swears by the trusted outline, you still run the risk of falling short of your intended goal without proper organization, and let me make that more clear: TIME ORGANIZATION.

In addition to your goal for completing a full length novel (50,000 plus words…really 70,000 to 90,000 for an adult fiction novel) you have to set long term goals that keep you focused, while at the same time keeping you from getting overwhelmed.

I mean if you only have 5 pages written why are you even concerning yourself with the cover of your novel or even the final title. First things first. Put up fences and stay in your lane.

I have written and completed several manuscripts over the years and yet none of them have seen the light of publication because they have yet to be properly polished. (One was polished and even queried…just nearly published but I am glad it wasn’t…it could use a bit more tweaking.)

Why? Because I have not organized my goals to do so and without restraints we run wild…or run nowhere. As the book of Proverbs says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish…”

I would like to help you all create a “vision plan” for your goals even as I strive to achieve mine.

Here is a template I’ve created to map out and achieve my novel goals:

Novel Progress Planner.jpg AGI have given myself 9 months (Novels are like babies to me, they require time and care to grow and develop) to take Ascension Graveyard from the creative mess it is today, to a polished piece prepped to be self-published at the start or close of 9 months from now.

The template is pretty self-explanatory, writing down and expanding goals from 2 weeks clear up until 9 months, while also having simple yet pointed daily goals. As the length of time grows from 2 weeks into 3 months, you notice that my tasks have gotten more detailed.

Below is a blank document that you are free to copy and use if you’d like. The basic idea for this organization came from a book on business planning, but the ideology holds true even for writers.

You will have to tweak your goals for the stage of writing you are currently in. If you are just starting a novel it is best to give yourself at least 3 months to write from start to finish.

A full length novel is 50,000 words at the least to 90,000 plus depending on genre. Science Fiction is safe at 125,000 words.

If you dedicate yourself to write 1,500 words a day for 90 days, you will have 135,000 words. This is doable for even the most tight schedules.

Novel Progress PlannerShould you choose to give this template a try, let me know how it works or doesn’t work for you. Consider even creating an organized plan for yourself with a template all your own, just make sure to organize your time and organize your vision in order to bring it to manifestation.

“Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. Conquer!”

Cheers!