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“Reality can be beaten with enough imagination.” Mark Twain

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Non Internet Procrastinating


Photo by Brittany Anderson, my lovely niece.



As I promised this won't mention He Whom Shall Not Be Mentioned (boo. Can't wait for Prometheus on 6/8). And I don't mean Voldemort.

2. Using Your Basic Computer to Put Off Doing What You Love Doing.

a. Games. Ones you don't need the internet for. I used to play Spider Solitaire a lot. Lately it's been Majong Tiles. I almost snabbed my mom's Hoyle games disc when we had her yardsale here last fall, but I knew the Gravity Tiles on that would be my undoing.

b. Cleaning up the desktop. This is actually useful. I moved all the photos of He Whom Shall Not Be Mentioned to the trash. Painful!! I trashed other lesser things, as well. Created new folders for homeless documents and even put some folders in folders. Now it's easier to find folders and to see the lovely photo of a Maine beach that my niece took and posted on Facebook.
c. This is really cool. I shortened the bookmark titles on the bookmark bar. These are places I go to often like Goodreads, my website, this blog, Netflix, my bank. All I have to do is click on the bookmark...I put them there by dragging them from the address box, but some were long. To shorten, I went to the website so I could copy the URL. Then, I right clicked, chose new book mark, pasted the URL and added a shorter name, like Nano for National Novel Writing Month. The cute little icons came back when I restarted Firefox. I'm able to get many more on that way. You would need the internet for that, but it's not like you're messing around on it.

d. Pin icons to your task bar to take them off your desk top and make them easier to find.

e. Organize photos and music.

f. Edit photos and videos.

g. Change your desktop background using your own photo.

h. Learn how to use a program that's sitting on your desktop that you don't use because you never took the time to learn.

i. Write something that's not your WIP (Work In Progress. That;s writer insider lingo.)

This is a shorter list, but not sweeter because it's missing You Know Who.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

I Want to Be Ready

I've had a busy writer week. Wish it was a busy selling week, but...

Here's some things I did or that happened:

  • My interview was featured on a friend's blog here.
  • I opened a Tweetdeck account, the usefulness thereof is still to be discovered.
  • As of this writing, I am 5 away from 300 Twitter followers. I've gained a bunche since I announced there I'm an indie author.
  • My book is scheduled to be featured here on Tuesday, 4/30.
  • I have liked/friended several authors.
  • I set up a meeting with Youngtown's library manager to discuss writing programs for children and adults this summer.
  • I'm in contact with a wonderful woman who is helping me with research for What Doesn't Kill You.
  • I made some nice progress on WDKY.
  • Added pictures to website and this blog. (I'm getting better at basic image manipulation!)
I don't know where any of this is leading, if indeed anywhere. I read a blog this week--wish I'd saved it--by a man who was achieving what he wanted. He said he was ready when it happened because he kept working on it.

I want to be ready.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

First Interview!

My interview and book was features today on the blog of fellow indie author, critique group member, mentor and friend, D. Jean Quarles. Check it out and follow her blog.

http://www.djeanquarles.blogspot.com/

Thanks!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Needed: Procrastination Techniques


I'm looking for new ways to put off writing. I love writing but lately, since I published my first book, my mind has been wanting to take more time off. It's like I was so focused on accomplishing that goal and once I did, I have failed to develop another all-consuming mental activity. Or, I haven't renewed a prescription with the beneficial side-effect of the ability to focus better. Yes, there is such a pill!

I have started a list of different categories. Some of these activities are hated by me, but for some unknown reason, at times I find them preferable to doing that which I enjoy most.

Today's technique will be the easiest. I'll save the harder ones for later. Feel free to adopt any of these as your own to put off what ever you like to do.


Technique 1: Employing the Computer to Procrastinate

This might be every writer's favorite, except for those who write by hand. I know several who do. I make lists by hand, and doodles. Not much else. This is not an exhaustive list, but I hope to have more to add in the future.

1. The Internet provides numerous ways to fritter away your life. I won't include online games here because I don't play.

a. Facebook--Of course. Do I have any new notifications on my personal page? My authors page? How about posting a status update. "My cat just yakked up a hairball." No, not really. He's snoozing with my husband.

b. Twitter--Tweet something writerly so people following me because I write will think I am productive and talented and so the filmmakers (how did I get filmmakers following me? Oh right--I mentioned I'm writing a screenplay) might think I'll have a novel to adapt. One can hope.

c. Click on links on FB and Twitter. Lots of writing stuff, movie stuff, lots of stuff stuff.


d. Look for pictures of Michael Fassbender.

e. Check Kindle to see if I sold any books recently. Same for Smashwords and CreateSpace.

f. On Amazon, read excerpts of Fifty Shades of Grey (okay, I did that once--for a long time. I think they took out the most juicy stuff, which is really all right with me.)
.
g. Check Gmail to see if I have any new Twitter followers.

h. YouTube--start off with something of value then digress in any direction I choose--usually comedy and parody.

i. look for and download free e-books.

j. Check Goodreads to see how many more people signed up for my book giveaway.

k.Sign up for newsletters.

l. Look for a job.

m. Look for more pictures of Michael Fassbender.

n. Check regular email. This is a double one because then I can read the stories on the Yahoo feed. None so far have mentioned Michael.

o. Then there's always good old fashioned research.

Wait-I have a new FB notification. Okay. Nothing exciting.

p. Watch movie trailers. Watch those with Michael several times.

q. Go to Huffpost women and read the sex articles.

r. Look for new movies to add to queue on Netflix (wish they had more Michael movies).

s. Write a blog post.

t. Go to Script Frenzy site and play with plot maker.

u. Tweak author website.

v. Look at blog stats to see if anyone read my last post.

w. Check bank account and clear away cobwebs to see if there is a positive balance.

x. check to see if I sold any more books than the last time I checked. Check to see how much I have to sell before I get a royalty payment

y. Go check the substitute teacher's chatboard I used to frequent.

z. Look for another pic of Michael.

Next post will be how to use your computer without the internet to procrastinate.

How do you procrastinate online? Share, please!

(I promise NOT to mention Michael Fassbender once in the next blog post)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Overwhelmed

I made a list of what I need to do as a writer. I'm like a small business owner. Back in the day, I had a very tiny sewing business I ran out of our dining room. I realized it's very easy to become so busy with the business end that I didn't have much time to do what I was in business to do: sew things for people.
Writing is the same way. Granted, I waste a bunch of time. Sometimes. I haven't really been doing much writing the past few weeks, but I feel like I have been working. Here are some things an indie-author has to do, which can be especially challenging in the beginning.



1. Network.
a) Blogs. This involves writing a blog like this, reading other writer's and general blogs and leaving thoughtful, encouraging comments.
b) Twitter--finding and following new people and people who follow me and composing intelligent, humorous tweets that are inconspicuously self-promoting. And retweeting and replying. And tweeting articles and such I think people might find interesting.
c) Facebook. First, there is personal Facebook I use for fun and to keep in touch with friends and family. Then there are a few writing groups I belong to where we help each other with answers, info and encouragement. And my author page--maintaining, sounding interesting and figuring out how to get people to notice and like it.
d) Goodreads. I have yet to use this to anywhere close to it's potential.
e) Pinterest? Haven't done that yet.
What's really great about this is I've met lots of other authors--indie and otherwise and we love to help each other out. But--always a but--do I know how to help anyone? How much should I do? Because that takes time away from what only I can do for me.
2. Publishing
a) learning how to format for various publishing platforms. E-books and paper and the differences in e-books formats.
b) recently, I went through my manuscript and caught typos and took down the versions I had online ad republished with the improved ones. That was just the e-book. The paper version is waiting for the same thing.
c) I also spent a few days seeing if I could make Kindle behave by learning some HTML-with very limited success.
d) cover design
e) interior design
3. Marketing
a) social networking--see above, minus the personal interests
b) media kit--bio, photo, book blurbs, interview...all from scratch.
c) researching outlets, options, resources, etc.
d) book launch--how do I throw a party for me and my book?
e) Speaking-preparing and presenting programs to inform, inspire and entertain people--then setting them up and actually doing them.
f) website-one that doesn't look like a bad one from week 1 of the internet.
4. Writing
a) research. One example is I need to talk to real police about some procedures for one of my works-in-progress (WIP).
b) improving my craft, honing my skills
c) pushing through "I don't feel like it" and dry, uncreative spells.
d) writing
e) rewriting
f) revising
g) editing
h) recruiting helpers-readers, editors, reviewers
i) critique group


5. Reading.
a) reading the genre I write
b) reading great books in other genres
c) reading about writing
6) Business
a) tracking sales (hopefully)
b) paperwork, records, etc.
c) tax laws for the self-employed writer (gah!)