Blogging Tips for Those Who Have No Time

*ahem ahem ahem* (can we all just ignore the fact that it’s 12:30am on Wednesday morning and I forgot until now that I needed a post to go up TODAY? *facepalm* The irony. I wish I could say I’m just being sarcastic, but… -_- )

 

 

Let’s face it: Bloggging is HARD.

Ever wonder why I miss posts? Disappear without explanation?

The short answer is I have a life.

The short solution is that I should find time in that life for blogging.

Well. I tried that and IT DIDN’T WORK.

So. After much trial and error, I present to you a random conglomeration of blogging tips for busy people.

NOTE: Don’t hold any of this over my head because I’m about to divulge my deepest darkest blogging secrets.

 

ONE

Plan out posts a month in advance. You don’t have to completely write the posts and get them scheduled (though if you can do that, great!). Just write down on a calendar what post is going up on what day. And a week or two (or the night before like I’m doing right now) that, finish up the post and schedule it.

 

TWO

Find a graphics template you can use over and over again. I use Canva to make the graphics for my post. I use the same template every. Is this boring? Probably. Do I care? Not really. It gets the job done and looks mildly professional. (Note mildly.)

 

THREE

Have a few book review post drafts formatted, grammar-checked, and ready to go live. If worst comes to worst, just click GO on a book review post and voila, you’ve got yourself another week.

*clears throat* no I’ve never done this why do you ask?

 

FOUR

Keep a running tab of EVERY SINGLE post idea you ever get. It doesn’t even have to be a complete idea. ANY idea you get should be written down. Who knows…it might be weeks, months, or even years before you use it–or you may never use it–but it’s there. It’s already thought-of. If you’re scrambling for time, pulling an old idea out can be one of the best options.

 

FIVE

Plan out, write up, and completely draft a three or four month long series. If you post just one of those posts each month (be sure to link back to previous posts), you’ve just 1.) created a reason that readers might wish to return to your blog, and 2.) bought yourself some time.

 

~~~

What’s something that has helped you stay on-track with blogging?

(tell me all your secrets because I’m a miserable little human writing a post of blogging tips at 12:45am. *rolls eyes*)

 

Long Overdue UPDATES!

I know, I know, this post has been too long coming. Many apologies! *bangs head* bad author, bad author.

 

ONE

My contemporary novella, Left to Die, is FINALLY available as a paperback! It might take a day or two for it to show up on Amazon, but it will be there.

 

TWO

I have taken a few weeks off from writing. There are several reasons for this that I won’t go into, but the reason I’m even bringing it up is because I HIGHLY RECOMMEND DOING THIS. My mind has been so much clearer to think and process and prioritize and goal-ize and focus on my relationship with Christ. It’s been wonderful. Highly, highly recommended.

 

THREE

This is sad news. Get your tissues out.

The second Long Lake Legacy book will not be published in 2017.

*cowers*

I’m so, so sorry. Again, there are several reasons why that I won’t bore you with. It makes me sad, too, especially because I know how excited many of you are for the next installment in Clara and William’s story. It is coming, just not as quickly as I had hoped.

The new approximate publication date is Summer, 2018.

 

FOUR

This is more of an FYI than anything, but I’ll smack it here as number four. :)

Instagram is my new favorite media platform. It’s awesome. And I even post semi-regularly. So if I ever let my blog fall into the depths of despair and/or I completely ignore it, feel free to hop onto my Instagram.

A post shared by Ivy Rose (@author_ivyrose) on

FIVE

I’m actually considering writing a book by hand? Like…I think I’m crazy. But I think I might enjoy it. I mean…I used to write primarily by hand. Surely I can do it again?

Still trying to make a decision on this one. I’ll be sure to let you know. :)

 

 

SIX

I survived having my wisdom teeth removed.

Let me say, I’m exceptionally glad that this is a one-time deal. I won’t post pictures of my swollen face to be sensitive to those who may be fainthearted, but I did put a few on Instagram for whomever may enjoy viewing such hysterical contortions of me face.

 

~~~

 

What have you been up to lately?

Are you doing Camp NaNo?

(or are you hiding in the bushes eating smores while all the productive little writers do the thing?) *stuffs face*

Indie e-Con / / Instagram for Authors

 

(This post is written in correlation with the Indie e-Conference. Jump over to Kendra’s Blog for more awesome posts!)

 

With the numerous social media platforms out there, how on earth are we supposed to keep up with them all? Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google +, (and I know there are more but those are the ones that come to mind) — how exactly are we supposed to come up with content for all of them on a regular basis?

For myself and many other authors with busy lives, it’s simply unattainable. Even if I wanted to, I couldn’t keep up. Yet at the same time, I knew I needed to expand my platform to reach more readers. So where’s the happy medium?

At the council of a friend, I chose one media platform to start with. One that I thought I would enjoy. One that would just take a few moments to make posts on.

I picked INSTAGRAM.

Three reasons why Instagram is perfect for me:

  1. I’m a visual person. I take a lot of pictures in a day. It wasn’t hard for me to me more intentional and post pictures of what I’m already doing.
  2. It’s fast. Take a picture. Make a caption. Come up with a few hashtags (I keep hashtags to a minimum, but I know there is a lot more that can be done with them).
  3. I enjoy it! Pictures are fun. I’m no photographer, and 99% of my Instagram pics are from my phone.

 

Personally, it’s not difficult to come up with content for Instagram. I try to do 4-ish posts a week. If it’s more than that, great! If it’s less…well, life happens. It’s not a big deal.

But what can writers post on Instagram?

Anything. At. All. Instagram is one of those things that can be personalized or professionalized. Some authors I’ve seen post more professional-type pictures, with the personal bit coming in only every now and again. Other’s I’ve seen are the opposite–mostly personal with professionalism visiting.

The personal route is what works best for me. I include pictures of things I do with my siblings, road trips, school stuff–generally random stuff. Then there are the bookish posts, where I post about what I’m reading, what releases I’m looking forward to, etc. And then, very occasionally, promotional posts for my own books. *cringe*

From a writer standpoint, there are so many options. If your idea tank runs dry, try some of these ideas:

  • Your favorite book
  • Your favorite cover
  • Your writing space
  • A coffee/tea mug you love
  • Your window view as you write
  • Your bookshelf
  • Your favorite writing resources
  • Selfies while writing/editing/plotting
  • Memes
  • Prompts
  • Your furry writing buddy (dogs, cats, hamsters, raccoons… ;-) )
  • Screenshots of your writing music playlist

 

Instagram is a versatile, fun, easy, and fast. It’s ideal for authors with little time who want to actively connect with followers. It’s perfect for scatterbrains (*points to self*) who more often than not sometimes forget what day it is and when they last posted anything on any social platform.

Most of all, Instagram is an awesome method for connecting with followers in a visual, picture oriented way.

 

~~~~

 

What is your favorite social media platform?

Have you tried Instagram?

 

NaNo Make-Up #2

It’s time! Our first NaNo Make-Up went so well, we’re gearing up for another!

 

Because I’m such a pathetic human and cannot manage to do NaNo the months it is actually running, I have decided to come up with my own times to NaNo when it works for me. So, I’m hosting a Make-Up that will run from March 15th to April 15th. (Yes, I know it will overlap with the actual CampNaNo. Sorry.)

You can set your own word count, or set a project/outline/editing goal–whatever you want! If you are going to join, send me a message and I’ll add you to our group Google Hangout. Also, you can add your goal to the group Google Doc. Some of us will be using MyWriteClub for goal tracking. It’s not a requirement, but if you want to join that, feel free!!!

I hope you can join me! It will be fun!!!

Top 3 Writing Blogs

 

Who doesn’t like learning about new writing resources? I know I do! But honestly, with all the fantastic writing blogs out there, it can be hard to narrow them down. These three, in no particular order, are the ones I spend most of my time on.

 

~

 

Go Teen Writers is awesome because of the broad spectrum of topics they cover. I love all the articles about getting over writer’s block, what to do when characters are misbehaving, and how to work with a frustrating plotline. Also, GTW is all about getting beginning writers started, providing encouragement, and opening opportunities for young writers to get their work critiqued by experts.

 

I just recently discovered The Writer’s Alley, but what a treasure trove! This is a blog that is a wonderful mash-up of authors in all walks of life and all seasons of stories. There is something for EVERYONE on there! I haven’t had a ton of time to go digging through archives, but the few posts I’ve read about time management have been wonderful.

 

 

This is also a new find for me thanks to my critique partner Abi, and I love it! The posts are a little shorter and more to the point than the first two blogs, which I sincerely appreciate! Lots of good stuff on this blog.

 

~~~

 

What’s your favorite writing blog?

NaNo Make-Up #1

Because I’m such a pathetic human and cannot manage to do NaNo the months it is actually running, I have decided to come up with my own times to do NaNo when it works for me. So, myself and Emily McConnell are hosting a NaNo Make-Up that will run from January 15th to February 15th.

 

You can set your own word count, or set a project/outline/editing goal–whatever you want! If you are going to join us, send me a message and I’ll add you to our group Google Hangout. Also, you can add your goal to the group Google Doc. Some of us will be using MyWriteClub for goal tracking. It’s not a requirement, but if you want to join that, feel free!!!

 

I hope you can join us this month! However, if it doesn’t work for your schedule, know that we will be doing a second Make-Up from March 15th to April 15th.

 

November Goals/Writing Update

I’m going to go back to monthly wrap posts, but instead of trying to wrap up October, I’m just going to start with November goals. :P

And since I don’t have time to make a cool feature image, let me leave you with this neat picture I took yesterday that I’m a little proud of.

 

img_2969

 

Writing

Even though I’m not participating in NaNoWriMo, I’m going to be fixing up and finishing a bunch of other projects.

  1. Finish Even Through Rain
  2. Publish above short story (Information forthcoming)
  3. Complete edits on secret project (Details forthcoming)
  4. Send said project to editor
  5. COMPLETELY OUTLINE Long Lake Legacy book 2. (LOTS of details forthcoming ;-P )

 

 

I don’t really have any other specific goals for this month other than writing, since that will be my focus. But who knows…life has been throwing me curveballs as of late!! ;-)

 

~~

Do you have any goals for November?

Are you doing NaNo?

If not, are you working on something else?

How I Write a Book FAST(ish)

Letter to My Book

That’s probably not a title you expected from me. I didn’t either. But I’ve come to realize that I do write fast, even if it seems like it takes an eternity. The Old River Road took eight months from first words to published. So how do I do it?

Let me introduce you to this lovely thing I call Binge Writing.

Binge Writing, otherwise known as a Writing Spree, is something I started doing out of sheer desperation. NaNo of 2015 was my very first attempt at writing 50,000 words in less than a year (in less than 3 years, actually). And I did it. 50,000 in one month.

After November, I was pretty convinced that I would just participate in every single NaNo and camp NaNo available. Great idea, in theory. It just so happens that April, July, and November are pretty much the very worst months for me to buckle down and focus on something.

Also, I have the attention span of a gnat. It’s called ADD. I like instant gratification. And yes, THERE IS A WAY to have it in writing.

I schedule two binge writes a month. 5 days of 2,000 words per day, one week off, then another 5 days of 2,000 words a day.

Why 2,000 words a day?

This will vary from person to person, but I’ve found that 2,000 words is my sweet spot. I know without a doubt that I can write that much and not be stressed.

Okay, maybe that’s not entirely true. I can write that much with minimal stress. :)

That number is flexible, however. Some weeks, if I have a lot of schoolwork to do or I’m working more hours, I might lower it to 1,500. Or 1,000. Or 500. The point is to write some amount of words, consistently, for 5 days.

It adds up overtime, kinda like change in a jar. When the jar is full, you can be surprised at how much money is in there. When the week is over, you can be surprised at how much that word count has come up.

Give it a try. And tell me how it went! :)

~~~~~~~~~

What are your writing habits?

 

PROOF COPY!!!!!!

I had another post planned for today, but life happened and that went out the window.

ANYWAY…

 

Lately my life has been consumed by college and preparing to launch The Old River Road. I had NO IDEA how much work it is to prepare a book launch! Here’s a cyber high-five to everyone who has done it. You’re amazing.

 

 

Some excitement has happened on that front…

The Old River Road is now available for pre-order on Amazon.

Screen Shot 2016-06-28 at 11.30.20 PM

 

I got to see my book ON MY KINDLE:

IMG_1712

 

 

 

 

And my proof copy arrived!!! *confetti* *fireworks* *chocolate chips!*

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_1816

Isn’t it absolutely beautiful? I drooled over it for a few seconds before showing it off to my family.

 

IMG_1810

Boy, the emotions of that moment…opening the box and seeing MY BOOK (btw I thought the contents of the package was another author’s book I had ordered)–I was able to forget all the late nights and tears and struggles for a few glorious minutes. It was so worth it. SO worth it.  There is absolutely nothing like the feeling of holding the finished product in my hand. And look at how thick and georgeous it is!!!

 

IMG_1817

I AM SO EXCITED!!!!!!! :)