Seasons of Writing

I used to really love summer: 4th of July, barbeques, fireworks, my birthday, swimming, and relaxing with family and friends. However, now that I am older (and no longer get summers off–soak it up while you can, kids!), I have really come to appreciate fall. My husband watching football on Saturdays while I read or work, pumpkin spiced lattes, baking, crunching through leaves, Thanksgiving, and the upcoming excitement of Christmas all make me smile.

Just as each year has seasons and each time in our lives has seasons so, too, should our writing have seasons. Your writing seasons may not look the same as someone else’s writing seasons; however, everyone should be purposeful about their seasons.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 “There’s an opportune time to do things, a right time for everything on the earth” (The Message).

When I was in graduate school, a professor told me that summer should be for reading (fiction, nonfiction, and craft books) and writing. The last month of summer should be set aside for editing, but most of your writing should be new. Read, create, write, exercise. Refresh yourself. Lucille Zimmerman’s book Renewed offers some wonderful ideas for how you might employ those breaks that are so necessary for our creative spirits. Consider going on a writing retreat. Summer is the time to allow yourself to be as creative as possible with your writing.

Fall, then, should be about “the offensive.” In other words, submit, submit, submit. What you wrote during the summer is probably not read yet, so consider sending out a previously edited manuscript. You want to make sure that your manuscripts are ready to be seen by an agent or an editor. Don’t forget to track all of your submissions and responses. You can also edit what you wrote during the summer and attend a few writing classes or a conference or two.

During the winter months, you might take a short reading break again and follow up on your submissions. During the winter, especially, you should concentrate on editing. Allow yourself time to work through your manuscript at least two, if not three or four, different times. Consider hiring an outside editor. If you cannot afford a professional editor, you might want to look into hiring a college student who would be happy to read through your manuscript for a few hundred dollars and a letter of recommendation.

In the spring, start something new and begin lining up the books that you are going to read over the summer. You might also use this time to take care of the business side of writing: double check editor/agent contact information, complete your taxes, and straighten up your paper and digital filing system.

Again, while everyone’s seasons will look different, determining what your seasons will look like allows you to be prepared and to have an intentionally-focused writing life.

Have you ever thought about having writing seasons? If so, what do they look like? If not, how might you fashion your writing seasons? Also, what’s your favorite season?

Cha-cha-changes…

A lot of changes in social media this week….
Sit down, buckle up and hold on for the ride….

Instagram has now updated its application to include videos.
Everyone can see them, but if you have an older Android phone, you will have to wait to be able to join in the fun. This could be interesting to the future of Vine. You get to choose a filter and make your video a bit more interesting then just a regular video. The maximum time is 10 seconds for one of these gems.
Check out Frank's Instagram video here... http://instagram.com/p/azfDD4OxC9/

Check out Frank’s Instagram video here…
http://instagram.com/p/azfDD4OxC9/

It can be hard to follow the updates with so many changes in social media happening so often, so where is the best place to find info on these updates?

For updates on Instagram, I read their blog. http://blog.instagram.com/ . It’s super informative and they have great information. Also make sure you are following Instagram on your account. http://instagram.com/instagram . And one more place you can check is http://instagram.com/press/. This is all their press releases and information. Instagram (in my humble opinion) is the best creative social media outlet, and so fresh for marketing ideas.

Summertime Social Media.

Summertime Social Media.


New to Facebook this week is #hashtags. Facebook has borrowed, or maybe stolen, Twitter’s business model with hashtags and video clips. Still confused about them? You can go back and read my blog on hash tags here… Hashtags are a VALUABLE tool for advertising and marking things that people can easily find. You can now search things on Facebook with hashtags. This will help you market and find like minded people. Its a great tool. Your Instagram videos can also be shared on Facebook as well.
Hope you are all having a great summer… and now as you document it on Facebook, you can hashtag it all and upload videos of your activities on Instagram…. (he he he!).
__________________________
Follow Ingrid on Instagram and Twitter!
Ingrid on Instagram. www.instagram.com/gridlocked

Ingrid Schneider is WordServe’s resident Marketing Maven. With a specialty in social media, Ingrid loves helping authors find and manage an online tribe of readers. After spending the last 15 years managing and marketing restaurants, people, and businesses, Ingrid knew that helping people market themselves via social media and online platforms was a passion and something at which she excelled. Now doing social media marketing for some great-named authors, Ingrid also loves to imagine that she is a secret agent, because she can’t disclose

with whom she is working. (Believe us when we tell you that Ingrid handles some big names, but for anonymity’s sake, we can’t disclose this TOP SECRET information.) Imagination and creativity is something Ingrid is serious about and loves to incorporate into her work with her clients.

Surviving the Summer and Social Media

Let’s talk about how hard it is to get things done right now. Ugh!! Personally, I have been battling getting things done because I am so busy with summer activities, or the heat makes me lethargic (and it’s been a HOT one). For those of you writers who are also parents, your life is especially tricky because the kids are out of school. I just got back from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, and I am late with this post. Summer can dish out some unexpected adventures. Remember to be prepared. Learn from me, and I am sorry to those who are a victim of my summer.

Summer in Pine Ridge
photo by Amanda Jensen Photography

I decided to make a list of my best tricks for making summer social media survivable.

First.

Schedule whatever you can ahead of time. Block off time to work for a few hours on social media, and do yourself a favor if you are living in Denver: find the nearest icebox with Wi-Fi and work there. Seriously, take time out and work in a isolated place where you can knock a BUNCH of work out.

Schedule your Facebook posts. Did you notice that with the latest update you can schedule and date your posts? It’s kind of the coolest thing ever!

Second.

GUEST BLOG!! Ask people to blog for you, and you should extend the same courtesy to others. This is the best way to skip a little and give a little. The best thing about guest blogging is that you are able to cross-market with some of your author friends/co-conspirators.

Third.

Take advantage of being outside.  You can take some epic pictures with Instagram and use them in your future blog posts.  Be creative and take trips that could be relative to your blogs.  Strategize.  (If you missed my blog about how to use Instagram, find it here.)

Summer in Telluride

Fourth.

Remember that people are not on Social Media quite as much in the summer.  The times that trend are a little bit different depending on your target audience.  More people are on later at night.  Try some test posts to see what time you are getting the best feed back.

Fifth.

Make sure you have all your accounts linked.  Tools like this plug-in make things easier. Link your Twitter to Facebook and your blog to both.

I hope you all survive the heat and have many summer adventures the next month.

What is your best trick to survive the summer? What makes social media easier when you are busy?