WE NEED TO WITTER ON TWITTER

To my nearly seven hundred followers on twitter, I say, hello my lovelies. How are you?

The reason I opened a twitter account was because every writer in the twitterverse was doing it and I didn’t want to get left behind or thought a Luddite because I wasn’t embracing social networking.

But I do wonder if twitter is beyond me. Does anyone really want to know what I have for breakfast – protein shake/yoghurt/berries/seeds – why on earth would they want to know this? Twitter is a brilliant tool if a tornado is about to hit the state of Texas but is telling everyone you’ve just had a leg wax interesting?

According to Stephen Randall in the Los Angeles Times, ‘We live in an era when it’s important to have opinions – not necessarily original or good ones, just strong ones, and plenty of them’. Well, okay, but opinions on what? Whether Prince Harry should be plastered all over the front pages, nekid?

Everyone feels the need to engage and I get that, I do, and I adore re-tweeting and supporting writing friends. But sometimes I don’t have anything to say. I heard those gasps of disbelief from the back of the room. Stop it, you know what I mean, 140 characters is simply not enough for the flow of my creative brain. It’s too much pressure to be instantly funny, unforgettable, current, and just a little bit zany (look how many words that took?) It’s the limiting of language that’s so hard for someone with a big mouth, like me.

But celebrities love it – it keeps the fans happy while retaining their privacy. It’s like giving them a glimpse of their under arm hair to keep them titillated and engaged while keeping their deepest secrets intact.

What I hate, detest and drives me crazy is the SPAM on twitter with peeps I don’t know and never met asking me to ‘like’ their blog/book/buy their product etc. And the great Kristen Lamb has been posting about etiquette on twitter Here. What I do like about twitter is the direct messaging part of the deal. Love it. People come onto me and chatter away about all sorts of stuff and you can get to know a person really well. And I’ve made some excellent friends on twitter who appear to care a great deal about me as a person rather than as a writer which is cool. And real, honest to goodness fans have come on too, which was a big thrill and made my day. Not had a critic yet but I’m sure it’ll happen at some point.

The Queen’s grand daughter, the lovely Zara Phillips, said recently about social networking sites, ‘I’d rather just pick up the phone.’ And I totally sympathised with her point of view.

But what I want to know is how to connect with people who are readers on there without spamming them about my books. Any ideas anyone? I know the plan is to engage and be nice and lovely and helpful. I am all that and more – just say’in – but I’m not finding it as easy a place to engage with people as I do on facebook for example.

What I think people who are really good at connecting on twitter is they manage to give a little piece of their heart and a little bit of their soul on there. Not easy to do in 140 characters, but I shall not be deterred and will try much harder to do better.

How do you guys use twitter?

What works for you?

And what do you dislike about it?

You know I adore hearing from you, so shout out from the back!

 

Christine xx

GOALS! WHY OH WHY?

Via Lynne Carmichael

Hello, my lovelies!

Today we’re talking goals. Losing weight, getting fit or accomplishing our writing goals isn’t as easy as it sounds otherwise we’d all be skinny, lean and mean writing machines.

First of all we need to decide about what we want, then work out how we’re going to get there. Sounds easy doesn’t it? But it’s not, especially if you’re new to attempting weight loss, getting fit or writing a sentence never mind writing a novel.

Via media-cen.pinterest.com

This week, I’ve fallen off the writing wagon and I’ve plenty of excuses as to why. A friend was buried. The brick wall my writing crashed into isn’t even cracked never mind damaged. My hero is being a stubborn B******d! And my heroine needs a smacked bottom – no, it’s not kinky (looking at you Myndi, Deborah, Rachel FH and Karen McF) so it’s been shoulder rolls and knuckle cracking time to sort this pair out. The emotional tension needs ratcheted up and he needs less simpatico and more edgy/attitude as well being empathic – not a lot, just a little (I don’t ask for much from my heroes, do I?) And this is at the end of the first draft so why I expect the thing to be perfect God knows – see what I mean about expectations? I know all first drafts are crap so why do I expect mine to be perfect? Why?

Having goals and working towards them is fantastic. But we need to prepare for the unexpected. So we need to constantly re-evaluate our goals and ask ourselves these questions.

  1. Are they realistic?
  2. Are they adaptable?
  3. Are they workable?
  4. Are they achievable?

We can never stay motivated 100% of the time. We need to block out our inner critic and it’s harping voice of negativity. We need to think about what we HAVE achieved and to do that we need to keep a log of what we write/research/mull-over every single day. Keep a diary, or jot it on a wall planner, of your progress and make a note of how what you’ve done, foods guzzled, yards walked, word count etc. Then, when times are tough we can look back and see what we’ve achieved already. Seemples!

And we need to build ourselves a team. Which those of you who are members of We Are Not alone (WANA) already know (link here for you guys who’ve never heard of the Queen of Blogland, Kristen Lamb.) Weirdly, she’s just been talking about teamwork – spooky or what – I think she could be a witch BUT DON’T TELL HER I SAID THAT.

Don’t underestimate the importance of having friends! They help you to celebrate the highs and hug/kick ass during the lows. Remember true friends do not envy you your success – they support you. Teammates can help you with the ‘sticky bits’ on our journey to weight loss, better fitness or publishing success.

And remember 90% of people give themselves IMPOSSIBLE goals, so make sure yours are baby steps. And once you’ve achieved your goals. Do Not Give Up. Keep Going. Set a new goal, even if it’s maintaining what you’ve already done. The wonderful James Scott Bell has written The Art of War for Writers and it’s brilliant for keeping us on track. I love that man.

Are you adaptable with your goals?

Are you part of a fabulous group of like minded people? If so, who are they and can we join too?

Do you wanna be part of WANA? Join here!

Do you celebrate the good times as well as the bad?

I adore hearing from you guys. Seriously, I get all warm and fuzzy when someone stops by and says hello. And sob heart brokenly into my pillow if you don’t. (I’m not above a bit of emotional blackmail.)

Christine

Catch the Wind of Change in Publishing – The Reader

PUBLISHING IS CHANGING BEFORE OUR EYES, SO WHO DO YOU LISTEN TO?

Joanna Terrero, sent me this last year and it’s as relevant today as it was then. It’s an inhouse training vid lasting just over 2 minutes by the UK arm of Dorling Kindersley and it’s absolutely brilliant.  What do you think?

The Reader And The Future of Publishing

Nothing worse than cold sweat trickling down your back, is there? Along with the accompanying chills and temperature spikes, this has not been a productive week by yours truly.

How I’m feeling reminds me of what’s happening to the
publishing world. For a new author this is a scary place. It’s always been a
scary place, but there are times when I’ve wondered if I’ve fallen into a
parallel universe.

You’ll be thrilled to know that I’m not about to debate what’s
happening – plenty of other people are busy doing that – change is upon us and
it’s no use spitting into the face of a hurricane.

The answer to the question, who do you listen to, is, THE
READER. Remember them? They’re the one’s who part with their hard-earned cash
to buy our stories. And in the debate, by and large, they’ve been totally
ignored. And that, in my humble opinion, is a damned disgrace. But does the
reader care if he/she is ignored? Nope, because now they’re able to decide by a
single click of a button what they like, when they want it, where to buy it and
how much to pay for it.

So our mission (should you decide to accept it, this blog
will self-destruct in ten seconds) is to write the best stories we possibly can
for our reader to escape into the peaks and troughs of a rollicking great
romance, with plenty of ‘good bits’ (do NOT forget the good bits, they meet
reader expectation) and a deeply satisfying HEA (happy ever after).  So that’s it, easy?  Well, no, but nothing worthwhile ever is.

The great Kristen Lamb, editor, agent & author, is talking about E-publishing today and has links here to a workshop run by Bob

Mayer & Jen Talty.  I bet Kristen will love the vid too, it’s exactly what she’s been teaching.

Christine

Link

 Woo Hoo!

Today is D day on my blog and aren’t you the lucky ones (!) I have fiddled and faffed; worried and wondered; stressed and strained about writing this blog.
Why?  Well, for one thing, what have I got to say about writing?  Stop laughing in the back.

But when the great Nicola Morgan http://helpineedapublisher.blogspot.com/ says, ‘get yourself out there on twitter’  Here’s a link to Nicola’s new book ‘Tweet
Right’  http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B005GRATNU and ‘get blogging’ and
since  I always do what the Crabbit old bat (her words) says, here I am.

I also want to thank the wonderful KristenLamb.  Find her here and I shall be linking in Kristen’s fabulous books about social networking and blogging tomorrow.  http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/ See Kristen, I’m on WordPress, isn’t it exciting?

Right, next step Myspace.  Gosh, I hope it goes as well as this one!

C C