Tag Archives: writing

Freewriting Fridays 6/21

21 Jun
This image was selected as a picture of the we...

This image was selected as a picture of the week on the Malay Wikipedia for the 51st week, 2010. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Does anyone remember this long ago freewriting exercise?  Or maybe this one? The idea of freewriting is simple; just write.

I like to use 750 words. You can do whatever you like. There is only one rule: WRITE!

Prompt: “Creatures Kissing In the Rain”

Sinewy.

Is that the right word? It sounds like what I think I mean to say but dictionaries and writing teachers would probably argue the word choice.

It is impossible to think of the right word with him standing there in front of me. His lank torso bare in front of me and his lengthy nest of dun brown hair hanging limply to his cheeks. There is a segment of it caught on his lower lip. His lips are thin and wet. The rain has soaked his face. His glasses are covered in spots and drops. His smile is unmistakable as he takes the thick frames off and catches my glance.

It wasn’t the first time that he and I had skipped class together. We had almost made a a habit of it the last year. He was the artist and I was the writer. He was actually talented and I was just barely good enough to get in the school magazine.

There was a few mile stretch of woods behind our school. We weren’t the first delinquints to use it to hide from teachers. There had even been a fire or two from reckless teenagers throwing their butts into litterpiles of red leaves and wrinkled copies of the student literary magazine. My writing makes excellent kindling.

Most kids would stay to the border of the woods and just smoke or drink or even screw beneath the low creeping bushes. Not him. He had found a cave way out across the creek. It was nothing more than a hole in the ground to look at from outside but inside was enough room to sit comfortably the two of us.

He had moved a tape deck inside and had a great collection of old casettes. They were things he had gotten from his older brother. Thin white dukes and odd creatures with high hair and make-up eyes that crooned creepy little tunes of death, sex, and the other things that captured the imagination of humankind especially moody, melancholy teenage boys.

He was shirtless now. Sitting cross legged. We had walked here in a pouring rain under massive thunderheads with flashes of deep purple lightning across the sky. Shut up! I am the narrator so it was purple lightning. It did smell of the sort of moist black dirt that earthworms wriggle free of. Since I am the narrator, there was nothing uncomfortable at all about sitting in a hole in the ground scrawling in a notebook with my clothes clinging to my wet body that was anything but lank or sinewy.

He was thin and beautiful but I was the sort who got nicknames inspired by farm animals. Somehow he seemed not to notice how largely uncomfortable I was.

“Take off your shirt”.

Was that phrase really passing his lips and tumbling into the small space between us or was I hearing my own thoughts. It was projection. It was desire,right?

“I’m not a perve. I’m seventeen and I have seen it all before. We are going to build a small fire. We can let our clothes dry over that.”, he spoke from his years of experience. I mean I was only fifteen and I was sure he had more than just a few years on me. He must have been a boy scout because with almost no real tinder, he had a small fire burning.

He took off his shorts too. Now there he was almost naked. A small fire licking the top of our makeshift makeout den. We hadn’t actually ever made out.

Except in my imagination.

I listened to him and had my top off in seconds.I was a little hesitant but my underclothes disappeared as well. I reluctantly also kicked aside my soaked jeans. Now we were both sitting there in the near buff.

“Boxers?”, he said.

I turned a little pink in my cheeks. My heart was a steady patter in my chest.

“No, that’s cool.”, he shrugged. “To each their own.”

He pulled his sketchbook out of his backpack and began to stare in that way where he made you (okay, me!) feel like he was looking not just at you but sort of into you.

Holy crap! This is such horrible hormone induced writing. I was scribbling away too. It was words just wordswordswords. They were all about him but he wouldn’t know it to read it. It was the same terrible teenage poetry that girls in my creative writing class wrote about the teacher.

I was careful not to use too many revealing terms. I could talk about this feeling forever but I couldn’t express it fully. I mean what if one of those footballers found my notebook and knew how bad I wanted to kiss my best friend.

Boys don’t kiss boys. That’s what father says.

Who dares me to do another “Freewriting Friday”? No edits, just wordswordswords…I need a topic. Please comment with a short story topic. I’ll use the ones I don’t choose on future fridays.

The Writer’s High

18 Jun
Maniac ran so fast that when he passed you, wo...

Maniac ran so fast that when he passed you, wouldn`t even see him run by you. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Runner’s have this legendary condition known as runner’s high. It is a condition described by some athletes as being the ultimate reward for pushing their bodies to the absolute limit. The feeling of euphoria associated with extreme exercise doesn’t hit everyone and some people don’t feel anything after a 5k but an urge to lurch, fold over in pain and vomit. However, for many a marathon ends with feelings of calm, extreme joy and a sense of peace and well-being normally associated with psychoactive drugs.  The difference many coaches, atheletes and medical professionals say is in how hard an athlete is pushing their bodies and the sustained effort and the effect of runner’s high follows pushing yourself to the physical limit.

Medical professionals had hypothesized that the changes in brain chemistry and surge in induced endorphins. Science is finally catching up to these theories and able to prove and map the changes in brain activity associated with running and extreme exercise. It is no longer a mythical valhalla for only the finest atheletes but an actual measurable change in brain chemistry brought on by pushing your body to it’s perceived limits.

What does any of this have to do with writing?

Remember, the runner’s high doesn’t come from crossing the finish line. It comes with each weary step forward, each breath pulled into a straining lung, and each exhilarating push forward.

Are you looking for the joy in writing to come with a finished work or with each word or page forward?

Let’s discuss the idea in the comments. Is there any comparison between a marathon runner and a novelist?

The Inertia of Not Doing.

20 Mar
Just Do It | Nike x Lau

Just Do It | Nike x Lau (Photo credit: achimh)

For writers, it is not uncommon to look at the blinking  prompt at the beginning of  your line and all the white space underneath and feel overwhelmed. I am sure that is something that all writers and bloggers have had to deal with at one point or another. It might not even be the dreaded “block” as much as just the inertia of not doing. When you spend a lot of time away from the keyboard, it can feel impossible to return. You become very aware of how long it has been since you last tapped the keys. The molehill of inconvience becomes the mountain of insecurity, doubt and real anxiety.  You start to think that it is just too hard to get back at it and doubt your ability to return to the routine.

 

English: QWERTY keyboard, on 2007 Sony Vaio la...

English: QWERTY keyboard, on 2007 Sony Vaio laptop computer. Français : Le clavier QWERTY d’un ordinateur portable Sony Vaio de 2007. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)So what do you do to get writing again?

Nike was on to something when they offered the veritable and incredibly simple advice, Just Do It,

It can be as simple as that. Sit down and write the first 250 Words that come to mind. Do some freewriting. The best way to get back on to the horse is with a leap and wrap both legs around the belly and ride. It can be as simple as that. Once, you are back in the practice of dumping 250 words in the morning then the page won’t seem quite as intimidating when you want to do some real writing.  If you can’t do 250 words then do any amount that you can but once you start you will find that 250 words are hardly any at all. Look at this entry so far and I am just barely over 250. Two short paragraphs will get you there. Take a shot you have nothing to lose and your writing habit to gain. So, get back to it and remember the truest of truisms:

 

WRITERS WRITE.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Day In The Life of A Real Writer

8 Oct

Okay, so we all knew it would happen some day! Sean needed a little credibility so he sought out some established “real writer” to lend a guest post and some much needed “actual content” to this blog. So I called up my distant cousin,  Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy, the Rebel Writer (actually no known relation) to fill in for me on a new segment that the kids are calling, “Meet My Guest Writer”.

Forget glamour.  Erase any notions or preconceived ideas about fun.  Writing is work.  And yes, it can be enjoyable.  I love what I do and can’t imagine returning to working nine to five for a corporation or business.  But it’s also time consuming, frustrating, and at times difficult.  I prefer the rewarding moments over the hard but in this business, you’ll have both.

Rewind my life a few years and I dabbled in writing.  Although I wrote almost every day and turned out a lot of stories, articles, and other literary efforts, many of which found published homes and earned me a little money, I didn’t approach it as a job.  If there’s any secret to my success, a turning point moment, it’s when I decided to treat writing as if it were a paying job.

I made up my mind and decided it was time to get serious.  The housework took a back seat to writing and I began keeping a routine, a strict one.  I stopped for a lunch break at the same time each day and within six months I signed my first book contract.  Two years and two months later, I signed my thirtieth this week.  Most are full-length novels by any standard and a few are what is sometimes called novellas.  These days, more and more people just call them “books”.  All are available as eBooks, four are also available in paperback.  I also have work in more than twenty-five anthologies and several short story credits including a few in national publications.

So if you want to make it in this business, make writing a job.

For the curious, here’s a rundown of how my basic day begins. I get up early, as in before daylight.  I’m also a mom so I rise before the kids and after a cup or two of coffee to get my mind alert, I check emails.  I also start a to-do list for the coming day.  After I feed and get my children out the door to the bus, I spent several hours either writing or doing writing-related tasks.  It can include editing, filling out cover art forms, writing blurbs, keeping up with my four blogs, using social networking to keep up with other writers and the reading community, and other details.  I may pause long enough to start the laundry or let my Jack Russell terrier out into the yard but otherwise I work until lunch.  After a brief stop, I bring in the mail and get back to work for several more hours.  Then it’s time to meet the kids, cook supper, talk to my husband when he gets home.  After dinner, I pay bills, play a little online, keep up with friends, and make phone calls to family.  Sometimes I get a little more work done, sometimes not.

My schedule doesn’t vary much even on weekends.  I’ve been known to work on holidays too, at least a few hours worth.  If I go on vacation, it’s usually a working trip with a visit at a writer’s conference or research for an upcoming project.  And the laptop goes along too.

Contrary to popular belief, I don’t hobnob with the rich and famous, attend galas, ride around in my limo and I’m far from rich.  I’ve done a few local television appearances but I’ve yet to mark The Tonight Show off my bucket list.

I work long, often hard hours but I enjoy what I do.  Reader feedback makes a positive impact too.  I often urge people to remember I’m not home watching television or playing Farmville.  I’m working because writing is a job and once I began to give it the same respect as any other employment, my career moved in new directions.

Contact and links:

leeannwriter@gmail.com

Twitter: leeannwriter

Facebook: my personal page is Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy plus I just kicked off an author page – From Sweet to Heat: The Romance of Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy

https://www.facebook.com/pages/From-Sweet-To-Heat-The-Romance-of-Lee-Ann-Sontheimer-Murphy/287540748010934?ref=hl

Website/blog: http://leeannsontheimermurphywriterauthor.blogpspot.com

Blog: Rebel Writer: Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy

http://leeannsontheimermurphy.blogspot.com

Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/Lee-Ann-Sontheimer-Murphy/e/B004JPBM6I

Now that you have had a taste of a “real writer”, can you ever go back? 

Sure you can! And you will! See you tomorrow!

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If you haven’t yet, please connect with me on social media:

Please follow this blog by email or on your WordPress reader page (or both). Thank my “cousin” for lending me some much-needed quality content by sharing with all of your friends! This time it is not a polite request, it is a mandate. I brought the share buttons so you bring the shares,buddy!

As always your comments are appreciated.

Excelsior. Peace Out.

Freewriting Friday (10/5)

5 Oct

Do you remember way back to Freewriting Friday (9/7)? I don’t blame you if you don’t. I put “Freewriting Friday” on a sort of hiatus while  we finished out our challenge. I was a little spotty on some of my writing routines with the new “day job” as well.  I think it is time to come back to it now almost a full month later (not to mention breaking a sort of radio silence since the end of September). Where were we? Oh yeah…

 

“Something Completely Unexpected That Happened to Her”

 

It was late evening and her time for a long soaking in the tub. She had become of the habit of running the water just as hot as she could from the tap and just barely safe from scalding. What was it her writer friend, Alex called them; “Lobster Baths”? She was taking one of her “Lobster Baths”.

 

She dipped her head back slowly and her hair drifted out around her body. She felt a few air bubbles escape her ears as she lowered her head. She tipped her neck back and reminded herself of the flexibility of the first aid mannequins that she was using in her class. It wasn’t a glamorous comparison. She was certainly much more feminine than the stiff almost androgynous dolls. As if to reassure her she felt a slight chill on the tips of her nipples and her knees. If she could have one wish at this moment it would be a tub deep enough that she could be fully submerged knee caps and nipples. She pulled her bright red hair across her chest. She had her eyes closed and head almost completely beneath the water. Just enough of her nostrils out to get air.

 

Ever since she was a girl she had an affinity for the water. She took swim lessons at the local YMCA from the time she was able to walk and spent most of her summers at the community pool. She dreamed when she was young of swimming in the Olympics but her father barely made the money to keep her in swim suits and she took a job as a life guard to ensure that there wasn’t a sunny day that she wasn’t near the water.

 

Her dad had a small aquarium in the front room. It wasn’t anything extravagant. There were only tropical freshwater fish that you could buy at any pet store. She would lounge in her father’s recliner for hours and just stare. There were bright yellow and blue African cichilid fish that would dart around the rocks and driftwood that her father had piled in the aquarium to give the fish a place to hide. It was a perfect daydream to pretend that someday she could dart and dash beneath the water with no fear of drowning. She would sit there and wait for her dad to come home from work and it was always later than either of them liked. She would have dinner ready for him in the oven. He would know exactly where to find her when he got home. Sometimes drifting off to sleep just imagining herself beneath the waves.

 

When she was very little she had made her dad buy her posters of mermaids to cover her walls. Even as a teen she was attached to the story of ‘The Little Mermaid’ and had drawn something in high school art class and framed it. It was a mermaid lying across a rock with her eyes scanning the waves. She had been inspired by the fairy tale but for her the tale was in reverse. She was the little girl who longed to live her life beneath the sea with the fish and crustaceans.

 

All of this reverie and she had forgotten where she was and her head fell beneath the water. She didn’t panic but opened her eyes. She had lots of time in the water and knew that while drowning could happen in an instant that fear was worst than the water to a person who finds themselves beneath the water.

 

It had been twelve hours give or take ten minutes since she heard about her father. She wondered what it must have felt like to him. Was he afraid? Or did he just accept it? It was nothing she would have imagined for him. He was never much of a swimmer but in her mind he was still something of a great big sea lion. He was large but his movements were always fluid and natural. He knew how to tread water and to do a water crawl that always got him to safety. He rarely had much free time but what he had he always spent with her taking her to lessons and sitting there watching her intently with a smile.

 

He wasn’t a perfect man.In many people’s eyes she was the daughter of an absolute failure. He drank daily since her mother died. He pushed a mop many more hours than he spent writing. He spent his time cleaning up after the messes of others. To her though, he was something elemental and amazing. It was impossible to imagine a world without him in it.

 

The bath had gone cold. She let all of the air escape her lungs.

 

She didn’t drown.

A Mermaid by John William Waterhouse.

A Mermaid by John William Waterhouse. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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750 Words says that I am sitting just around 795 with that one. I just wrote for the time that I had this morning. I wrote not even sure what the conclusion was going to be as I was writing it or even where I was going from the start of it. Freewriting can be prompted by anything. It can be something you have done (as routine a daily task as bathing) or a memory or anything. I use different prompts every day. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It just has to be 750 words (or a little more). Give yourself grace with spelling or grammar. There is nothing that needs to be corrected. This is just a sort of way to break past our blocks. Now freewrite and share with me here in the comments,please.

 

Your prompt for next week:

 

How He Spent His Saturday

 

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If you haven’t yet, please connect with me on social media:

 

Please follow this blog by email or on your WordPress reader page (or both). If you found this information valuable then please feel free to share it with others. I provided the share buttons so you bring the shares, buddy!

 

As always your comments are appreciated.

 

Excelsior. Peace Out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Build a Better Brand Platform: 30 Day Challenge (Day 24)

24 Sep

I haven’t really diverged too many times from the MNINB Platform Building Challenge. This is one of those times that I feel like discussing something  completely different (for the record,  MNINB Day 24 was a #hashtag party so you really aren’t missing anything radical by playing my game instead).

Let’s talk Klout . It is a site that claims to be “The Standard for Influence” and is a measure of a person’s worth in the social media arena. It calculates a score for each user in a range from 0-100 and can vary according to your activity and engagement in social media. As of this writing (9/23/12) my Klout Score is a 60. In comparison Barrack Obama has a 99 and Justin Beiber a 92 (previously the only user to have a perfect 100).

Does Klout matter?

Does Klout Matter?

My answer is “Maybe”.

I’ll be honest that I have no idea if your Klout score has any value beyond its use in online marketing. Is there any real-world relation from your Klout score to your influence beyond the bounds of the internet (or really Twitter where it seems most prevalent).

If the events in this Wired post “What Your Klout Score Really Means” are accurate then it would really seem to mean something in some arenas such as within some public relations companies (and maybe that goes for publishing companies). Las Vegas casinos and customer service agents for major companies are using your Klout score to determine the perks you are eligible for and upgrades to service that you qualify for.

With that stated, when I mention Klout score in my real world interactions all but the most social media savvy give me dumb looks and even once I explain they seem skeptical. That does leave the possibility that those in the know about Klout are ahead of the curve. As a measurement of your platform’s overall health there doesn’t seem to be an alternative yet. It is absolutely possible that Klout will be seen as the real standard measure of a writer’s internet platform at some time in the near future. Today’s challenge…

Calculate your Klout score.

Once you have your Klout score then share it here in comments. Where did you fall? Is it what you expected? Higher or lower? What do you think you could do to improve the score? Are you utilizing all of the social media measures that Klout uses to determine your score?  How do you feel about your score and the possibility that in the near future job recruiters, interviewers, and all kinds of companies may use this score to measure your power of influence (and as a writer possibly your “marketability”)?

The possibility that something as nebulous as “influence” is beginning to be measured and scored is something that leaves some firmly skeptical and others scrambling to improve their value in the online community.

Where do I fall on Klout?

I am firmly in the middle. I am very aware that from a marketing stand-point being able to grade an individual’s influence would seem very beneficial. Breaking your trendsetters out from the followers and knowing who to focus your marketing dollars on would be something that lots of companies (yes, even publishers) would see as immediately valuable.

However, can an algorithm of any sort capture that elusive quality of influence ? I am not 100% convinced. There are still those who hold incredible influence in the world without an online presence. Warren Buffett, the Oracle of Omaha has a measly 48 as his Klout score. So maybe  clout (of which Mr. Buffett has much) is not what is being measured by Klout.

We wouldn’t have dedicated a month to building an online platform if we saw no value in the idea that our online interaction has some effect on our ability to influence an audience to respect us as an authority and to seek more of our thoughts and opinions. So if you are in the skeptical camp then know that you are not alone but also know that there are literal buttloads ( a precise scientific measurement) of money being spent to determine how to measure online influence and how that measurement equals an ROI in real world money.

It is not too hard to imagine a world in which our Klout score could have as much value as a credit score in the real world. They are just numbers but our world is measured in all sorts of numbers, grades and scores. Playing the devil’s advocate, I say that it wouldn’t hurt to pay at least some attention to this score.

Klout Hater?

I feel this stick figures pain. I would also like to opt out of a lot of other unfair measurements of my worth as an individual. Until credit scores and all of those mysterious algorithms that insurance agents use to determine your premiums allow you to merely opt out then it might not hurt to have some idea what your Klout score is. You can disregard you high school GPA, or your FICO score, or your Klout score, but important decision-makers in your life might not be ignoring it.

Klout Scores of the Rich and Famous

Barrack Obama  (POTUS) 99

Mitt Romney (Republican Nominee) 91

Neil Gaiman ( Neverwhere Author) 89

Wil Wheaton (Wesley Crusher on Star Trek) 89

Anne Rice ( Interview with The Vampire Author) 83

Wayne Coyne (The Flaming Lips) 82

Writer’s Digest (Writer’s Digest) 69

Robert Lee Brewer (My Name Is Not Bob blogger) 52

Play with the search bar on Klout and determine the score of your favorite celebrities (or even fellow bloggers, Le Clown).

I am not sure how much weight this score carries yet (but if only for the novelty of it), I prescribe that you keep some idea of what Klout score is attached to your platform.  It might not turn up in a real world situation but then again…it isn’t an impossibility that it might someday. It might never be anything but a way to stroke our own ego but then again the number is beginning to matter to advertisers, marketers, and maybe one day it will to publishers as well. I’m skeptical but judicious enough that I decided that keeping my score reasonable couldn’t hurt either.

So What’s Yours?

Please leave your score in the comments. It would have been interesting to know where you started and where you are now. If you know that information share it in the comments. I have a hunch that your score steadily increased if not radically jumped. Mine went from a 39 to a 60 where it seems comfortable at the moment (with a slow gradual growth) and I admit to fiddling with things in an attempt to effect my score and see how the algorithm is weighted. The most I could determine is the more engaged you are with others and they are with you the higher your score.  So with that said..

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If you haven’t yet, please connect with me on social media:

Please follow this blog by email or on your WordPress reader page (or both). If you found this information valuable then please feel free to share it with others. I provided the share buttons so you bring the shares, buddy!

As always your comments are appreciated.

Excelsior. Peace Out.

Build a Better Brand Platform: 30 Day Challenge (Day 23)

23 Sep

First take a moment to congratulate yourself.

horloge Musée d'Orsay

horloge Musée d’Orsay (Photo credit: Stephen Rees)

After today, there is only one more week of posts left in this 30 Day Challenge modeled after Robert Lee Brewer’s April Platform Challenge and if you have been with me this far then there is no reason you can’t hold out one more week. Today’s task is…

Develop a Time Management Plan.

It is a challenge that all of us face; there is only so much time in a day. Strict management of that time is a must. As a writer, we must make our platform work for us and not the other way around. I will terribly paraphrase Neil Gaiman who said he had discovered one morning that he was someone who answered e-mail for a living and wrote as a hobby. Each minute spent on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn is one that you could have been writing.

Social media is a Time Sink!

It is a very useful tool for self-promotion and networking but it is very easy to spend much more time than you mean to with it. Not every comment needs an immediate answer. Be sure to block off how much time you will need for your social media platform and then use only that much time. Set alarms if you have to. Block out your day. Use calendars,planners, alarms, and whatever bells and whistles are necessary to keep you from spending too much time on any one task. Develop a time management plan that allows you to be active on your social media while still spending the majority of your writing time…well…writing!

Develop routines.  Block out time for your writing, your social media, blogging and make them fit with your lifestyle. Remember that a platform is a marathon not a sprint. Develop habits that will last.

Reward Yourself.

If you are addicted to the social aspect of social media and can’t leave a comment unanswered or a tweet without a reply then choose to reward yourself with an extra fifteen minutes of social media time after you complete one of your assigned writing tasks.

Or if you detest social media then do the opposite reward yourself for spending at least 15 minutes every day on your social media with time doing something you enjoy such as bike-riding, reading, playing a game with the kids or whatever.

Be deliberate. Plan your day to have at least a little time for everything you need to focus on then work to that plan.

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If you haven’t yet, please connect with me on social media:

Please follow this blog by email or on your WordPress reader page (or both). If you found this information valuable then please feel free to share it with others. I provided the share buttons so you bring the shares.

As always your comments are appreciated.

Build a Better Brand Platform: 30 Day Challenge (Day 19)

19 Sep

Have you seen The Karate Kid? Do you remember the scene when Mr. Miyagi shows a defiant Daniel-san that all the seemingly meaningless and tedious tasks he had been doing while training were actually lessons and part of a greater whole.  Today is the day we put it all together.


For today’s challenge write a blog post and include a call to action  -possibly to leave comments , to sign up for your email feed  or to use the share buttons  to share with others. Share the post  on Facebook , Twitter  and Linked In . Don’t forget to think SEO  as this will help increase the number of positive hits when you search your name. It is a good routine to share a blog post  every day. You should write a new post at least once a week. Be consistent. Engage your readers regularly This is the way you will define yourself  to your readers and reach your ultimate goals.

You thought you were taking “baby steps”? It looks like you are tap-dancing to me,kid.

The main cast of The A-Team. Clockwise from to...

The main cast of The A-Team. Clockwise from top: H. M. Murdock, B. A. Baracus, Hannibal Smith and Templeton “Face” Peck. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As Hannibal from A-Team was fond of saying, “I love it when a plan comes together!

(Reference MNINB Day 19)

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If you haven’t yet, please connect with me on social media:

Please follow this blog by email or on your WordPress reader page (or both). If you found this information valuable then please feel free to share it with others. I provided the share buttons so you bring the shares.

As always your comments are appreciated.

Build a Better Brand Platform: 30 Day Challenge (Day 18)

18 Sep

I am returning to Robert Brewer’s MNINB Day 18 this afternoon. “Not Bob” makes some very useful suggestions about SEO today. As a reminder, SEO is techie talk for “Search Engine Optimization” and that is a fancy way of saying “the things that make my blog show up higher on the page for searches on Google, Bing, Yahoo and what have you”.  Our guide, “Not Bob” gives us a handy 4 step process and I will not repeat it here for brevity’s sake. Hit this link and follow along with his challenge for the day. Be sure to thank him in the comments and maybe even mention who sent you his way.

Blue Ridge Writers Conference 2011-Robert Lee Brewer

Mr. Robert “Not Bob” Brewer himself, our fearless leader, our platform building guide, and writing,parenting,life tip guru.

I’ll be back to adding my own commentary and tips/tricks tomorrow.

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If you haven’t yet, please connect with me on social media:

Please follow this blog by email or on your WordPress reader page (or both). If you found this information valuable then please feel free to share it with others. I provided the share buttons so you bring the shares.

As always your comments are appreciated.

Build a Better Brand Platform:30 Day Challenge (Day 2)

2 Sep

This is the second day of a 30 Day Challenge to build a better platform. If you have done my first challenge then you are well prepared for today’s challenge. If you haven’t done it yet then it isn’t too late. Go back now and finish the first step.  Okay, get on it then.

The rest of us are going on to Day 2.

We are not going to divert too far from Robert Brewer’s second day challenge. Today’s platform building task is to set goals. I want you to think about your goals both short-term and long-term plans. We are going to make three lists; the first list is things we need to accomplish this month, the second is goals you have expectations of finishing within 12 months, and the last is your “bucket list” or goals you would like to accomplish before you die. These are your goals so really think about them. It is important to set a purpose before you can set about accomplishing the purpose.

 

EXAMPLES FROM MY GOAL LISTS:

Very Short-Term (One Month)

Finish Very Novel’s 30 Day Brand Platform Building Challenge

Prepare and Write my Music Spotlight for Moore Monthly

Prepare and Write my Movie Review for Moore Monthly

Have my Novel Planned and Plot Outlined for Start Writing in November

Attend at least one Writer’s Group Meeting

Short-Term (One Year)

Move Hosting for Blog to Registered Personal Domain

Monetize Blog

Novel Writing Finished and Begin Publishing / Marketing

Be Active Member of Writing Group

Outline Second Novel to Start Process Over

Long-Term (Before I Die)

Be Successful Writer with Many Books Written

Successful Well-Followed Blog (that Makes Money as well)

Be Considered an Authority on Writing

Debt-free and Financially Independent

Be Able to Travel and Adventure with My Kids

See My Top 10 Favorite Musicians in Concert

Work on a Movie Script

Work with David Lynch and/ Or David Fincher

Make a Science Fiction Movie with Duncan Jones

Write a  Dr. Who Episode

Work on a Comic / Graphic Novel

See a Movie with Roger Ebert and Discuss It After

Have Tea with Neil Gaiman and a Beer with Stephen King

Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Okay, so I got carried away with the last list (you should see the full list)!

What does all of this have to do with building a better platform?

Everything. Before you can broadcast who you are and what you are here to do, you must know it yourself. You must see your destination before you can plan the route there.

It’s another easy challenge,right?

Leave Comments. Ask Questions. Make Commitments.

 

 

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