Of Writers & Wroters: Pressing in to your Future or Settling Somewhere in your Past

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Where do you find the inspiration you need to make it to your writing desk faithfully? Is it your financial obligations pushing you forward? Is it your desire to prove everyone wrong who told you that you wouldn’t make a living as a writer; those family members and childhood friends who still crack little sarcastic jokes, asking when you’re going to get a ‘real job’? Are you in the fresh young love stage: you’ve recently discovered your passion for writing and have been caught in the honeymoon phase? Or, have you been writing long enough to realize that there’s nothing else able to bring real pleasure to your life than releasing the stories that are constantly being birthed inside you?

When I moved to Wichita Kansas from Northern California, I had a really hard time acclimating to the midwest culture. Over the next few years I became pretty impressed with Wichita’s music, art, and Independent film scene. Being excited about the art scene—and being the social butterfly that everyone says I am—I was invited to several Writers groups and I jumped at the offers.

Unfortunately, these groups didn’t bring any encouragement to me as a writer at all. In fact, after ‘hanging out’ at these so called ‘Writer’s Groups’ I ended up depressed with nothing to show for all the time I’d spent each week at these meetings. I wasn’t being encouraged to write. I wasn’t being encouraged to push myself; any encouragement I gave to the groups, to press on and believe that their best was yet to come, was shot down. I soon realized that:

(1) At these writing groups there wouldn’t actually be any writing happening

(2) There wouldn’t be any talk or challenging of each other to write

(3) Everyone was more than satisfied to live in the memories and stories of the few things they had written and had published somewhere in years long past.

The ones who had invited me to these groups, and those who filled the chairs in the quaint houses and local coffee shops where they met to tell their publishing stories from the ‘Good Old Days’—a time and place, within the stories of past moments. A place that I am not willing to live my future in—were all wonderful people. I love to sit and sip on a mug of hot coffee or tea and listen to their stories. I still do it today. I couldn’t, however, do it any longer as part of a ‘Writing Group.’ They were not writing groups; they were all reminiscing/talking groups—which were great for hanging out and reminiscing and talking. Not for writing or becoming better writers.

In a recent post, Gary Bizzo (www.garybizzo.com), shares an interesting quote from one of his friends. A quote that has been rolling around in my mind all morning:

“Some entrepreneurs are emotionally tied up in their smallness.”

Although Gary was using the quote to make a point about the potential that many small business owners miss out on because they’ve allowed themselves to find comfort in the ‘safety’ of what they are used to; the comfort zone of present success.

They’ve become satisfied living within the unsatisfying refuge of what they’ve already accomplished; giving themselves to the fact that thought that they’ve done their best, there’s nothing else to give, and they’ve accomplished all they are going to accomplish.

I don’t fit in with a group like that. You don’t fit in with a group like that. Those Writers (or I should say, Wroters) won’t be having cups of coffee or tea at 4 or5am—eyes barely open, still half dreaming—to continue working on their latest WIP; to edit pieces from the day before; to start their morning writing exercises; begin their routine submissions process, or—if like me or any number of literary Jedi out there—juggle the insanity of all-of-the-above.

Tenacity, Confidence, Addressing a Real Need.

These are what the patent specialists (www.2innovative.net) call “Key Concepts” when patenting business ideas. The same is true in the life of a writer.

  • TENACITY, to go against the flow; against the whispers and little cutting, sarcastic jokes; and against the temptation to find a home among the ‘Wroter’s Groups’ living in yesteryear. Tenacity to keep writing even when technical issues and computer crashes cause you to lose hundreds of thousands of words. Ouch, yes, I know and it’s happened to me too many times as well. That’s why God created Google Drive, iCloud Storage, BOX, Microsoft OneDrive, DropBox, and the Calitso it guys [ok maybe God didn’t create them but they can all be your literary salvation when your computer crashes.]
  • CONFIDENCE in your personal passion as a writer. The kind of confidence that propels you towards your computer, tablet, pen & paper, or typewriter every day to create the kind of literary magic that you do. It also takes confidence to respect your work enough to stay with it through edit and submission.
  • ADDRESSING A REAL NEED is at the heart of your talent. Humanity isn’t happy. Everyone is looking for happiness. Everyone is running after it as fast as they can; though no one is quite sure where to find it. Stories, books, novels, movies, comics, graphic novels, television shows and series, etc., ect., – these are the momentary escapes which, no matter how bad the economy is, continue to become more and more popular—and even more so when times are harder on people—because people want escape. People need their temporary escapes from reality to cope with a life that they’re not happy with. You and I are the writers, artists, filmmakers, who dream up and create those escapes.

Our creative talents and abilities create the alternate realities and escapes that fuel the mental vacations keeping the masses from becoming infected with the ‘crazies.’

For me, this is more than enough inspiration to meet my computer every morning over coffee. This is more than enough reason to keep romancing my Muse, to keep faithful with daily edits and rewrites; more than enough reason to keep submitting regardless of the rejections slips and resubmissions. With each published work we share another opportunity to offer hope and momentary relief to our fellow friends and family of humanity.

What inspires you to write?

What inspires you to keep meeting that computer each morning?

What inspires you to honor your heart, respect your purpose, fight for your freedom to be a creator?

I’d love to hear from you.

Cheers to you, Writers!

-Sam

@SamuelWConnelly

www.SamTheWriter.com 

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Fresh Eyes: Stepping Away to Get Closer

Futuristic glasses image by Syda Productions via Shutterstock

Futuristic glasses image by Syda Productions via Shutterstock

Some of us have been writing so long that we find ourselves going through the motions and not really seeing or expecting as much as we’d like from it. But—and this is the few times you’ll ever hear me say this—sometimes the best thing you can do for your writing is to stop writing. Sometimes the best thing we can do is take out hand off of it, long enough to reclaim ourselves, renovate ourselves; look at our piece of work, our collection of works, and in some cases our goal or dreams again and examine them through new lenses.

While doing my normal weekly web surfing—for ideas about writing from unexpected places, for my other writing blog at SamTheWriter.com—I ran across a home renovation site, and these guys got me thinking about a simple yet essential practice that writer’s often forget about, or neglect. In neglecting or pushing it off, for ‘a better time,’ writers often end up suffering some very severe consequences that show up in quality of work, quantity of work, accessing creativity, and/or desire to continue their pursuit of a writing life.

The Lesson: Fresh Eyes, Fresh Mind

As writers, we suffer a creative form of literary bipolar disorder. It not only affects us writer’s but all Artists and Creatives. Some, like myself, see it as a frustrating rollercoaster-like relationship with our Muse. Other’s describe it as ‘being in’ or ‘falling out’ of touch with the Spirit of Creativity. However you define or describe it, you know what I’m talking about.

We love our WIPs (Work In Progress) one day and the next day we’re looking at it thinking, ‘What was I so freakin excited about when I wrote this?’ This is how many really great story and article ideas end up in the waste-basket-graveyard when they were good enough to be published—if only its creator had spent a little time away and had come back to it with fresh eyes it wouldn’t have died so premature. This is also the reason that many great story and article ideas get reject when the ideas were publish-worthy; the article or story’s creator, this time submitted it too early because they were so excited about the idea that they just couldn’t wait to send it off after the needed edits or rewrites.

A break, mini vacation…something—just get away from you work. I don’t care if you have to book a flight to Las Ventanas Del Mar [I’ve even highlighted the link for you], just get away from you work for a few days, even a week. When I finished my first 60,000-word novel, I literally hated it the day after I typed the last sentence. I was about to erase the whole thing when instead I decided to save it to a new flash drive I had been given, put it in my desk drawer. I didn’t look at it that week. One week lead to a month and that lead to forgetting about it for seven years!

About a year after I had written and saved the novel onto that flash, I moved to St. Louis to host a rock video show. Once I’d finally gotten around to setting up my office again I found the drive, popped it in and, after a few hours found myself, mouth gaping, in total shock and amazement at this work of fiction. Even more amazing to me was the fact that I had written it.

Yes, I took way too long of a vacation from it, but no I didn’t regret it being so long since I’d read it because it was like the manuscript has matured and evolved into something beautiful. IT hadn’t matured, of course, I had gained an important and essential writer’s resource. I was reading it through brand new specs: Fresh Eyes, a fresh mindset, and a fresh perception.

Everytime I write short fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction, blog posts (like this), articles for news sources or magazines and, especially posts or content for clients — as soon as I finish writing the piece I set it aside for as long as it needs to be; usually the time I spend away from it depends on length of word count, my emotional connection to it, or deadline.

I know several professional photographers and, it’s crazy how many photos they shoot, of the same subject, and crazier the time they spend going through each picture to find the perfect one to represent their work. You can tell a great photographer by, not only the quality of their work but, the quantity of quality work they put on their website. One could look at The Wright House Photography website and say that it’s a nice, clean, simple site. But when I look at it I see a photographer who has spent countless hours mulling through mountains of photos to represent herself—and her skill—through many hours of personal sacrifice.

Artists don’t just create a work and throw it out for all to see; they know that what they put out is a presentation of who they are. It’s the same with every single piece of work we writers complete. They don’t say, “Writing the first draft is easy, it’s the 20 to almost infinite following that’ll drive you insane,” for no reason.

If you really want to put your best work forward — take a break from it. Read it through the filter of fresh eyes. Time away will show you many things—both great and not-so-great—about your work; things you need to see with fresh eyes to edit properly.

Try them on now…

Maybe you have some great pieces of literary work right under your nose that you’ve filed away in a cabinet or computer file because you didn’t give it a chance. Maybe you stopped a project right in the middle because you decided it wasn’t what you originally thought that it was; it wasn’t turning out as you hoped it would. Maybe you need to pull those things out and look at them with fresh eyes and fresh mind. You never know, you could have the next best seller on your hands; or at least some really great idea to use as the framework for some new idea. You may just shock yourself at what you wrote and walked away from.

Maybe you’ve been staring at your monitor for the last few days frustrated because you don’t know where to take the story. The best thing you could do for that work is get away from it for a few days or week.

Try it. Let me know if you find a hidden treasure. I won’t be shy about accepting a finder’s fee if you end up at the top of a New York Times Best Sellers list. Just kidding, but not really.

Cheers to you writers!

As always: Write, Write, Write as if burning on fire…then submit!

-SamTheWriter

Connect:

 

Start The New Year WRITE! & Don’t Forget What You’ve Written

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“You must keep sending work out; you must never let a manuscript do nothing but eat its head off in a drawer. You send that work out again and again, while you’re working on another one. If you have talent, you will receive some measure of success – but only if you persist.”

– Isaac Asimov

I usually just skip the whole ‘making a New Year Resolution’ thing, but I do usually have a few things in mind that I want to accomplish in the new year. One of those things is publishing more work. As writer’s I would hope that we all want to accomplish that.

I hear writer’s all the time tell me that that only write for themselves and that they don’t really care to be published. To that, I call ‘Shenanigans’! Yes you do! We all do. We all love the feeling of having our work accepted by an editor and then published for others to enjoy. It’s a great feeling. It’s a beautiful moment. Seeing your work in print gives a special validation to your craft; the hours of research you put in, the creative chats you had with yourself in the quite- in the bathroom mirror, and endless cuts and rewrites.

The picture above is a picture of a cup of coffee in front of my iPad. I keep this picture as the background on my iPad. For me, it’s a reminder that I’m a writer and I have a job to do, so I should go ahead and get the ideas percolating and the coffee brewing.

I love and hate the quote above by Isaac Asimov. I love it because it’s true, and it gives an encouragement of hope for writers. I hate it because it’s true, and it reminds me that ‘just writing‘ won’t pay the cell phone bill.

I heard it said: “Persistence breaks down resistance.”  This is a marking and evangelism encouragement quotes, but when it comes to submitting your work I’ve found that persistence also builds resistance. I’m talking about the feeling you get when you receive a rejection slip, or two, of 50. The more you persistently send out your work to editors, the more you learn, the more feedback you get on your work, and the more resistance you build against the emotional feeling of defeat or failure.

2014 is here, and I hope as a writer you’re ready to scribble out some new ideas, stories, poems, etc. I hope that you’re diving into market research to find the names of the editors who may be looking for your work.

Although you have new ideas to scribble out and fresh stories to tell, do forget the gold that you have already written; the stories, articles, manuscripts written last year and before. While you’re hopping on the again, getting ready to blaze a new trail, start submitting the work you’ve finished. If you’re gonna get rejections, then start sending what you’ve already written- get the ball rolling. The feedback you get in some of those rejections are going to be the seasoning you needed in this fresh batch to give them just what they’re craving.

Cheers to you and this new year. 

Connect with me, and share you stories. I’d love to hear them.

-Cheers!       SamTheWriter

Follow Me @SamuelWConnelly 

#RiseOfTheWriters :2013-2014 The Year of The Writer

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#RiseOfTheWriters 2013-2014  

We were excited to hear words very similar to these come from Quentin Tarantino at the beginning of the year. This year has very much been a year for writers. What’s more exciting, is that the rest 2013, and looking into 2014, it only appears to get better and better for the Writer.

#RiseOfTheWriters – It’s a social movement. A call to writer’s by writer’s. A move to encourage writers to be who they were made to be. A move to share encouragement, to motivate each other to write and submit, write and submit, write and submit. There are industries, literary journals, trade journals, editors of magazines, news groups, greeting card publishers, filmmakers, and Publishing Houses, all asking for new materials, new writers, new ideas. It’s time now for you to answer.

There are great writers out there. We read their works and see their new books advertized all the time. Yet the more I travel collecting stories and sharing stories; the more I connect with quiet-coffeehouse-writers and secret writers the more I’ve met many many prolific writers. These are truly passionate writers, gifted, experienced in the literary form.

I’ve had the great pleasure to sit down with many wonderful writers who find themselves writing for so many different reasons. Some write because they cannot stop writing. Some are so passionate about their literary masterpieces that they cannot dream of doing anything else. Most have other full time jobs, but are compelled to write. Some no longer see themselves as ‘A Writer’ although they find themselves scribbling on breaks, late at night, or just because.

These Writers may not be published. Some were published years ago. Some stopping trying to have their works put in print because of a few rejections. Yet, they write. Why? Because they are Writers and Writers must Write, it is in our blood.

However the Moment of the Writer is here… The Planet Needs You!

#RiseOfTheWriters is a call to Writers to awaken to this Moment. This Moment is ours. There’s magic in this Moment. There’s a need in this Moment. There’s an open door into the infinite in this Moment. This Moment is mine, it’s yours.

There’s a Moment that has opened up to us Writers. A Moment where our Muses’ are bidding us to come to the dance floor again. To dance between the pages and create Moments for those – the Readers – who are calling out for a Moment of relief, a Moment of escape.

#RiseOfTheWriters is a networking of SuperHeroes. Those REAL superheroes who, like Gods, create Characters, places in time, planets, other species. Like Gods, creating words in sentences, phrases, stanzas, paragraphs, articles, and poems which reach deeply into the souls of mankind and release emotions.

#RiseOfTheWriters is the signal light in the night, the shout from the front lines, the CHARGE to you authors, journalists, poets, song writers, and Lovers of the Muse to pick up your pens and keyboards and start romancing your Muse– to start making Love to your Muse to start filling pages.

Where are you Greeting Card Poets, Song Writers, and Copywriters? Where are you Novelists, Screenwriters, short, flash, micro-fiction Aficionados? Where’s you Fiction-lit, Creative Non-fiction, Horror, Scifii, Romantics, Thriller, Mystery, and Inspirational Writers?

#RiseOfTheWriters is an invitation from this Writer to you, Writer. An invitation to get completely drunk and wasted on the intoxicants of your literary Love, your Muse– and make something happen. Will you lose it with me? Will you write and submit like men and women on fire? Like Titans, who have just remembered who they are, and Awakening to themselves again?

This is your Moment. This is our Hour. This is a call to an Awakening of the Literary Kind. To join with Writers all over the world – to encourage – to share knowledge (of industry needs, proper formatting, submission tips etc.)  – kind works – motivation to keep writing and submitting and highlights of successful moments?

I’m In.

Are You?

#Fight2Write

#RiseOfTheWriters

Let me know your in. What’s your passion? What do you write? HashTag #RiseOfTheWriters and soundoff with what you do and lets know that You’re In. I’d like to be an encouragement to you and will need your’s as well.

My Twitter is @SamuelWConnelly find me – help me find you.

 

HashTag (#) #RiseOfTheWriters to share What you do, and share highlights, and connect with other writers from around the world.

Example:

“ @SamuelWConnelly: I am poetry, fiction, short fiction, horror, thriller, scifi, etc. I’m IN!!! #RiseOfTheWriters ”

Are You In Need of help (Writing or Industry Questions) then HashTag (#) #Fight2Write with your question- and Writers with the answers will respond – just be ready to offer the knowledge that you may have to help another Writer.

Example:

“ @SamuelWConnelly: I’m looking for a place to submit my short dark fiction ‘ArborDay’ 4,032 Word? Who should I submit to? #Fight@Write ‘

or

“@SamuelWConnelly: I need help formatting my story (or poetry collection,etc.) #Fight2Write

or

“@SamuelWConnelly: This Writer’s Block is freakin kicking my butt. Help #Fight2Write

There are many literary journals, editors, publishers, filmmakers, businesses, publishing houses, greeting card publishers, trade journals, etc., that are looking for your literary masterpiece.

And with so many wars, the financial, political, & religious fights, and humanities need for an momentary escape; a mental vacation from all the crazy– your particular ability is being called upon.

Let’s gear up – pen in hand…and fly.

SamTheWriter

Signing Out — but not off

“Write like you believe that you’re saving the Planet”

                  – Me

Do you have a Writer’s Page? Please share the link.

I’ll be Highlighting other Writer’s Pages, Blogs, Twitters, FaceBooks, etc. too.

As many resources as possible so that we have maximum opportunity to succeed.

You can also find my My Mistress Muse Poetry Blog here.

I am having www.SamTheWriter.com updated too so it’s not just about me, but filled with resources for Writers and Connecting Writers with Writers, editors, publishers, literary agents, and a large collection of places to submit your various works.

You Can also find and connect with me on Facebook or Twitter here.

Always Moving Forward

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As a writer, especially freelance writers, there is nothing more important than moving forward. Because you know as well as anyone that once you stop moving forward (for whatever reason) it’s nearly impossible to get back into the groove.

What happens though when you realize that you have stopped and now you’re stuck?

I’ll tell you what happens. You either stop and stay stuck (and many writers stop being writers at this point and decide to try and be something else). Or, you pick up your pen and pad and fight to get back up.

I hope, if you’re a writer, that you make the choice to fight for your passion and get back on your feet.

Here are a few helpful tools and resources to do just that.

1. Use your social media:

I know that social media is a great way to find stories and to connect more potential readers, but it’s also an amazing resource for connecting with other writers who are excited about their craft. Search to ‘Friend’, ‘Fan’, and ‘Follow’ those who are doing it! Those who love being writers and are positive.

There’s nothing worse than connecting with those who are stuck like you or worse, because they need encouragement too. It’s impossible to get back up on your feet and get excited to fight again when you’re seeking help from those who are stuck, bitter, and lack enthusiasm.

2. Research Writer’s Contests online.

When you get on a website that is full of Writer’s Contests, you quickly see how many people, publishers, organizations, etc. there are that WANT YOU! (Hope on Google now and search Writer’s Contests – there’s tons.)

A few I use:

Freelance Writing Online

3. Join a Writer’s Community.

Connect with other writers that are in the same pursuit as you. Writer’s Communities share publishing highlights, publishing needs, writing contests, free critiques of your work, and many writing helps forums.

A few that I really enjoy:

FaithWriters

Helium Writer Communities

4. Get Your Feet Wet and Write

There are a few places online where you can start putting your writing skills to the test, and at the same time learn new ways to use social media to create a readership. These groups are places you write and get paid per view or article.

These are not places that I would plan to work the rest of my life, but they are great for learning to meet deadlines, getting editor feedback, learning to how to research, craft, and build good consistent writing habits.

Here are a few of those groups I write for. These groups were really a great influence on my writing etiquette and improving those habits I talked about.

The Examiner

About.com

Helium

FaithWriter

I would suggest starting with FaithWriters, then moving to Helium, and Examiner, and then moving on to About.com.

If you want to get involved with one of these writing groups and are not 100% sure that you’re articles are ready (especially for Examiner and About) EMAIL ME. I’ll take a look at your articles and give you some advice to make sure you are ready! It’s what I love. (For free of course, so feel free to reach out.)

Here’s are few great places to start. Please feel free to ask me for any advise of help along the way. That’s what I do, that’s what I love.

Let me know if this has been helpful to you.

SamTheWriter,

Signing off.

Connect with me:

Connect with me and let me know that you found me on my Writer’s Blog.

How To Find Readers Who Are Looking For What You’re Writing

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What good is writing if it will never be read? Ok, maybe I shouldn’t start with that question because there are those writers write for the purpose of expelling their demons, or to make a record of their day. Many of those with journals and diaries never want anyone else to read their work. I am writing to those writers, like myself, who not only write for pleasure but also write for a living.

One of the biggest questions I am asked is: “How do you get your work out there?” and my answer: It’s all about finding the right conversation.

You’re a writer.

What you do is share stories– A story teller.

The one thing that every story teller needs to be able to tell their story is an audience of listeners. I am telling you a story right now. You are my audience. You’re reading with your eyes, the words I’m saying with my fingers, and you’re listening with your understanding.

WHY?

I’m sharing with you a piece of a conversation that you’re interested in. My story is either interesting to you because you are a writer and where looking for something about writing, or because my story compliments a conversation you have been having and have been interested in for some time now.

This is the key to getting your work out there. YOU my writer friend have a story to tell, and I promise you that there’s a huge audience out there that in interested in your story. There are people, editors, publishing companies and a massive audience that want to pay you for your story.

NOW, how do you find them?

One way is getting your hands on a Writer’s Market Book and researching the markets. This is not an option to me, it is a MUST DO. I don’t know why so many writers have told me ‘It’s not for me’, ‘it’s just too tedious to go through all those pages’, or ‘It’s too hard’. Stop it! You’re a writer. It takes work to make a living and that is true for writers. If you decided to become a writer because it is the easy life, that you should probably stop thinking you’ll be able to live off your writing, because it takes real work to make a living writing full time.

OK,now that that is out of the way,

Another way to get your story out there is using social media. This is the part of love the most. I can tell you right now with total confidence,

WRITERS HAVE NOT SCRATCHED THE SURFACE OF THE POTENTIAL OF WHAT SOCIAL MEDIA CAN DO FOR THEM!

This next part of ‘My Story’ you are going to love, and I usually charge good money for this, so I hope you share it with every writer you know.

Social Media is all about conversation. You use Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, etc, because you like to share your story. There are millions of conversations happening on these social media outlets every single second, or every single hour, of every single day. The amazing thing about these conversations in the Social Media world is that they never end. I shared a picture of a great cup of coffee I had during a coffee tour I was on for the Travel Channel a year ago, and I got a comment this morning about it, which started up that conversation again.

Those who are interested in a specific conversation, can discover something you said about that conversation they are interested in months and even years later and bring your little piece of the conversation into their conversation stream, which is taking place in their social conversation currently, which makes your story relevant again and new and fresh.

This is one of the most brilliant things about using all the avenues of social media possible, because each social media, is a different social stream, flowing with a million different social conversations. How many of those social streams would be interested your conversation piece?

How do you find the conversations that are looking for your story?

Practical Application:

Let’s take coffee as an example.

I write a coffee blog called TastingThePlanet, I also write a weekly column on coffee in the Examiner. Since I knew that I was getting paid for my blog posts, and I was also getting paid for my column, with bonuses based on the number of viewer traffic I pulled in, I knew that I had to get creative with my articles and how I was going to draw in readers.

The first thing I did was start a Facebook fan page for my TastingThePlanet. Why? Because every article I write about coffee can be posted there, for the fans of my Travel Blog to see. I did a search on Facebook for every coffee fan page I could find, every barista page, coffee interest page, and anyone who liked those pages.

Then I opened a twitter account @TasteThePlanet so I could start following everyone I knew that loved coffee. I followed every bean farmer I could find, every coffeehouse, roaster, barista, coffee lover, coffee magazine, barista competitions, and every one of their followers I could find.

And I would browse my new coffee friend’s pages to see what they were saying and posting and I would ‘Like’ some posts, and ‘Comment’ on others. In turn they realized that I had entered into their favorite conversation stream and was invested into the story being told.

Next, when I wrote my article or blog, I would post in on my Facebook or Twitter, and post the link in theirs too, with a short note about how I thought that they would enjoy this piece I wrote. I quickly noticed that my readership started going up.

Then I discovered Instagram. Which was a new a different way to share my story. Now I had the option of sharing pictures of amazing coffee’s I’d had a different coffeehouses and link those back to my article. It was amazing what this did. Now I had people who were my friends on Instagram also sharing their pics with me as well.

I created a Google+ account and found Communities. These are groups of people who all realize that they’re interested in a specific conversation and have created a social club based on a favorite topic, inside a massive social stream. Brilliant! So I joined the Coffee Community and the 8 other communities that had to do with, coffee, espresso, farming, roasting, etc. and in one night had over 100,000 new friends! That was in just one night using avenue of social media alone that wanted to talk about coffee, and now any time I posted something there I had the potential of reaching 100,000 new readers. It was up to me to grab them with my story headline.

It’s the same with Facebook fan pages, and groups.

Now for the cool stuff

I sold an article to a cigar magazine through a coffee article and gained 3,287 Subscribers and 47,000 readers in one article over 3 days, with this social media strategy in mind. Here’s how.

The article I originally wrote, ‘Cigars and Coffee: 2012’s Top 25 Cigars and the Coffee’s that compliment’

In this article I mention:

  • 25 cigars- the makers, the farms, and a place to purchase them
  • 25 coffee’s – the farms, roasters, where to get them
  • The Magazine I got to 2012 Top 25 Cigars from.

On Instagram I posted pictures of these cigars and their complementing coffees. Then I linked it to my page.

On Facebook I posted the link to my article on my page and my TastingThePlanet page. I also posted the link on all the Coffee and cigar pages I could find.

On Google+ I did the same thing that I did with Facebook and added it to my communities.

With Twitter I posted my link and hash-tagged (#) Coffee, Cigar, Aficionado

I made sure to get the article link on the pages of every:

  • Cigar Makers Page for each of the 25 cigars
  • The Cigar’s Farmer page
  • And any page celebrating any of the individual cigars.
  • Pages for places that sold them
  • The Cigar Magazine – With a special shout out.
  • Each Coffee farmers page
  • Each Roasters page
  • Each Coffee fans page
  • All Pages Celebrating Coffee
  • And places to buy them

In all, for two hours of research, writing, and submitting time, I used 4 social medias, and posted my link into 50 social conversations, and with that alone my article passed in front of about 900,000 eyes, not counting the ‘Shares’, ‘Re-Tweets’ and shout outs I got back from each of those places tagged in my article. I’m still getting followers, subscribers, and readers from that article. The Cigar magazine called me and asked me to write the article for them.

And all that is really only the beginning of using and understanding the potential of using social media to promote your writing. I may sound like a lot of work, but as you reach out to more and more people, more and more people begin to follow you and that’s when it gets easier.

You have to remember that writing is work too.

I have so much more I could share on this, but I am in the process of finishing an e-book about Social Strategy right now and I don’t to turn this post into a book itself. Why e-book, because I am able to add live links throughout the book to lead the readers back to other helpful resources.

A few of the other benefits to jumping into this kind of conversation search is that while you are looking for great places to share your story, you’ll come across SO many other stories, which can lead to your next big story.

You’ll also reach editors that want to buy your story, get other writing opportunities, and make a tons of great friends.

I hope you enjoyed this post and got something out of it.

If you have questions about using social media for your specific  ‘Conversation’ feel free to shoot me an email. Sam@SamTheWriter.com or message me on Facebook.

Also check out my Social Streams – and share yours as well.

Most of all, as a writer to a writer, I encourage you to Write, Write, Write! Write like you’re on fire, then submit.

I’m SamTheWriter

Signing off

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Don’t Miss The Magic!!!

Go ahead, make a wish. Do your best not to pass up this opportunity

Magic, for me, it’s the biggest and possibly most important part about the writing life. You create characters, events, towns, worlds, and moments. What is more magical than that. Recently one of my micro-fiction stories were published in an inspirational anthology. The story is called ‘The Mystery of the Artist‘, and I wrote it as part of a writing-prompt competition.

The short, is about the tree used to make the cross that Jesus was crucified on. The point of view was from the wood’s perspective of what was happening. The tree, wanting to be used for something great, now cut down and laying around, dried lumber. For me there was magic in the idea of this tree and it’s perspective of what was happening with this man, Jesus, and what made him so bad that everyone wanted him dead.

I never really thought much of the maybe 450-600 word short, but to my surprise I received a ton of feedback, and finally a request to publish it in the Best of FaithWriters collection, ‘Hidden In The Hymns’ by Winepress.

The story came from a seemingly insignificant moment. A moment when I was walking a bike path to think about all I had on my plate and how overwhelmed I was. A moment when I had so many writing deadlines that part of me really felt like just taking a huge break from writing.

As I sat there on an old wooden bench, thinking, and listening to the wind blow through the trees I put my head down and was going to just close me eyes when I noticed ‘J+C’ carved into the old bench. At first I wondered about who J and C were. Then I began to make up a story about them. In my mind I had created a story of young love and love lost, and how Jason Whitfield would come visit this path every year and sit on this bench and close his eyes and remember the magic lived and loved between him and his now passed on Love, Caroline.

After I wrote a few notes I thought about how amazing it is that an object, like the old wooden bench, being significantly insignificant in the scheme of life, can become a magical escape for someone like Jason, taking him back to earlier beautiful times.

Then I thought about the bench, and the wood, where it came from, and what life it may have had from sprout to tree. Even after its birth and death, it sits here with eternal purpose and meaning. That’s when I thought about the tree that would grow up, be cut down, and used to crucify a carpenter.

That magic gave birth to ‘The Mystery of the Artist’.

I hope that this little blurp is of some encouragement to you writers. Sometimes deadlines, or life, or other circumstances weigh on us and it can be easy to miss the magic that is quite literally all around us.

I want to encourage you to get out and walk around a bit, visit a park, walk a bike path, or sit in the back yard and give yourself the permission to dream a little. Find that magic around you, close your eyes and listen to it whisper in the wind, open you mouth and stick out your tongue and taste it, like falling snow flakes.

You are a writer, a person who creates moments for others. It’s important that you find the magical moments of life, and romance them, experience them, and then pour it out into your creative words so you can share them with the readers. That’s magic. That’s beautiful. That’s real. You did that!

Hope this Moment encourages you.

Write, write, write, and never quite. The world needs you.

-SamTheWriter,

signing off.