Wednesday, October 1, 2014

I'm an #IWSG Member ... FINALLY!

Well, it only took the masterminds of the Insecure Writer's Support Group to come up with the cool idea for the anthology/writer-help-guide in celebration of their three year anniversary to get me to finally sign up for the group. So, yeah ... guess I'm an official IWSG member now. Kind a sweet ....

And in honor of all that, I wrote my very own entry for their writer's guide book. For information on how you can send in an entry - deadline is Oct. 2nd - go HERE. Without anymore mumbling from me, feel free to read it below: 

What to Do While Riding the Submission Train

Write something new is the obvious first answer to my title thought. Even better, create a piece of work outside your normal writing arena. Don't write poetry? Try it. Sci Fi not your thing? Jot down a scene from your comfort zone, but add Sci Fi spice from out of your comfort zone. Feeling a little internally disconnected? Journal your thoughts and feelings. Better yet, do that for a potential character.

All this is great and even productive, but what else can we do while waiting on the rails of our subs? Whether your words are already out there between a hardcover or you’re awaiting on your first book baby, whether your agent is subbing for you or your trenching it on your own, waiting is waiting. And it stinks.

Writers need a diversion from the insane sting of anxiety assaulting our stomachs or the mounds of chocolate we’d like to eat. NOTE: dipping chocolate into a jar of peanut butter can curb the sting, though you’ll have to burn off the calories from that peanut butter later. Greater evil? You decide.

Marketing our writer selves is my simplest answer. Now, don’t be intimidated by the vastness of social media. Yes, it’s big and fast and ever-changing. But so are you. You’re a writer, existing among a barrage of shifting markets and living, breathing language. Let’s see how we can tame the beast. 

STEP 1: Understand the reality of social media and use it.

Even the most cautious social media users find themselves dazed into an extra hour or two of surfing interesting posts after sweet-treat dessert ideas. Then those posts must be shared. After all, we do need our Twitter fix. And we definitely have opinions about what we’ve viewed or read. Why not share them as your writer self? Show your supporters and fans—even if they are still potential future fans—who you are as a writer. Let them see you, your likes and dislikes, your hopes, dream, and struggles, the elements of life that inspire you to write what you do.

STEP 2: Define your writer self.

Readers don’t just want the characters they fall in love with to be real. They want to know the mind behind the creation lives in the same world they do, has struggled and been stirred in similar ways. They want to relate to you, just as they want to connect to your characters. They want to cheer you on and revel in your successes, ensuring you continue to create beloved characters and worlds that whisk them away. Of course this suggestion comes with a note of caution. Be wise with what you share on a personal level. Share from your writer self, not you the person.

Think about you, the writer. How do you differ from the person outside the writer title?

Are you a grammar freak? Do you see in pictures or are you a verbal person? Are you funny and do you incorporate comedy or snark in your writing? What subjects do you touch upon in your stories? Futuristic machines? Otherworldly beings? Life issues such as domestic violence or world hunger?

Once you develop your writer self’s identity, sharing and interacting with the world will grow you as a writer and as a person. Dress your writer self in the words and scenes, topics and social perimeters, emotions and fears you share through your stories. Don’t stress about it. Be natural. Be you, just in your writer’s attire. How do you do that?

STEP 3: Find your writer self in daily social media venues.

Seek events, videos, and posts that interest your writer self, articles that could inspire a scene or a character. Expand upon those by either directly sharing or commenting. Engage in comment conversation.

Sharing your writer self on a personal level will promote you without flooding media sites with links to your work. Continual interaction will intrigue others, which will lead many to seek you and your work out.

Ever read a comment under a blog post and thought, “That is a great point. Who is this writer?” I have. And guess what? I clicked on their profile and found their site.

STEP 4: My favorite – Be a balanced social media-rite.

Sometime ago, I discovered the number one way to market my writer self. Funny thing was I didn't even know what I’d stumbled upon. It all had to do with being a full-fledged member of the undefined yet universal writing community.

  Show appreciation by sharing others work—fellow author, TV producer, or activist. Share what moves your writer self to move others.
  Cheer fellow writers’ successes.
  Offer understanding during their valleys.
  Lend your eyes as a reader of their work. Give solid advice as both reader and writer. Accept their help in return, and be humble.

The truth of a person is found within his /her inner motivations. Be true to your writer self and pure in your social media motivations, and writerly blessings will find you.

Social media is a perfect place to exercise all of the above, which in turn markets you, not to mention it’s a great antacid to dull the sting while waiting on submission. I give full permission for this article to be used in the INSECURE WRITER'S SUPPORT GROUP Guide to Publishing and Beyond.

To post your own insecure writer thoughts, plights, and other misgivings once a month, click HERE and add your name to their long list of writers. And remember, you RAWK!
 photo Sheri2.png

37 comments:

  1. Hi Sheri - a really good list of getting stuck in - but not overdoing the social media bit - and those please and thankyous with recognition are essential ... in any walk of life ... but people appreciate and notice such things ... the IWSG does everyone so much justice and the website now a year old .. amazing .. cheers Hilary

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  2. Wonderful post regarding marketing. Great tips for new and continuing writers.

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  3. Great post. So agree, especially with #4. I love supporting others. And congrats on joining IWSG!

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  4. And welcome to the IWSG!!
    Excellent advice. We do have to define our writer selves so readers can get to know us and relate to us.
    Thanks for contributing this awesome piece to the book.

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    1. So nice of you to say, Alex. I almost didn't bother because I didn't think I could get it written in time. It really made me reflect. Looking forward to the anthology and the upcoming IWSG months.

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  5. Woot, woot! Welcome aboard! I signed up just over a year ago, and I haven't regretted it once. In fact, I find myself wondering what took me so long. Here's some cheese as a welcome. =)

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  6. Welcome!

    We have to remember we are marketing ourselves first.

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    1. So true. I think if we lived our lives in general more like this then there would be less to complain about in the world.

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  7. Welcome! The IWSG is so helpful and a lot of fun.

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  8. Great article! I use Facebook but I have yet to get onto Twitter. I'm procrastinating even though so many authors say it's the place to be.

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  9. Great ideas, Sheri. I'm saving them. Welcome aboard. You're in wonderful company. :)

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  10. I started the ISWG today as well, but wasn't ready to submit for the writer's guide. Good for you on having marketing advice. I like your approach to doing what's meaningful and sharing things that are real.

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    1. Well, congrats to you too for joining in! I've been a bystander for a while. Figured it was time to dig in. Nice to meet you!

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  11. Welcome, welcome, welcome! I love the IWSG. So many fantastic people offering the most awesome advice for newbies like me. Thank you for sharing so many great ideas.

    Elsie
    co-host IWSG

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    1. Thanks so much for the warm welcome! I've been putting it off for a year. Just wasn't sure I could get out an insecure post once a month. Not that I'm not insecure enough, or anything. Trust me. I have loads to choose from. LOL

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  12. Welcome to IWSG!! Great advice. I am throwing myself into my two WIP's to take my mind off the submission stage. And I love social media like blogs and Twitter but not so much Facebook:)

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  13. Oh yeah, social media can be a huge time waster, have to balance it indeed.

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  14. Good advice. I'm still focusing in on who exactly I am as a writer... my branding.

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  15. This is all great advice. Sometimes it can be a challenge to balance writing time with social media, but it is really important to have an online presence, as well as support other authors.

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  16. Great advice! It's hard dealing with the waiting, but it's a perfect time to focus a little more on social media. Welcome to Insecure Writer's Group!

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  17. Only fellow writers can understand the exquisite torture of querying or submitting. Your family and friends don't get it (except possibly the ones that live in the house with you). Social media is the way to connect with people who really get it.

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  18. Great stuff here, Sheri. And it's getting me dreaming up blogging ideas, so thank you! That's been my real area of feeling "writer's block"!

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  19. Welcome to the GROUP, Sheri!!!!

    This is a SUPER post! Thanks for sharing. There is so much wonderful information here. SO many writers are intimidated about marketing and social media and here you spelled it out for us so easily....

    This will be a GEM for the anthology!

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  20. Great post, Sheri. Congrats on joining IWSG. I always enjoy reading those posts even though I'm not a member.

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  21. welcome welcome! So glad you made it! My fav is to find out your writer self. very key!

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  22. Congrats on becoming an official member! This is the most supportive group I've come across and I'm sure it will serve you well! And thanks for the great advice- I love the highlight of being true to yourself as a writer, spot=on!

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  23. You know, someone else I follow also mentioned the IWSG! I'd never heard of it before today :) Love your article, Sheri. I agree with pretty much everything you said :)

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  24. Yay! You finally joined the IWSG! Welcome!

    I love your post, Sheri. It is full of great advice, especially about defining our writer self. I think I still need to work on that one, and I wonder if maybe I'm sharing too much personal and not enough writer. I'll have to think about that.

    I got a good chuckle from your comment on my blog. So glad you found time to write your contribution for the anthology in between soccer, ice hockey, dinner, and laundry! LOL. Yep, I know how that goes (except for the ice hockey part). :)

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  25. Congrats on your first IWSG post! All your tips are spot on. I wish more people could manage to be prudent about social media. There's such a thing as finding out too much about someone. :P

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  26. Yay for joining IWSG. I had to leave because I got so busy and kept forgetting to post. And when I finally planned to join up again for this month, I still found I didn't have time to write a post for it (I had to also write one for QT blog this week).

    Love this post, Sheri. It came a the perfect time for me.

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  27. Wonderful list and how fantastic that you joined. I love being part of the group and have gained a lot from it.

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    1. So good to hear. I've contemplated it many, many times. Just wasn't sure about posting 'insecurely' on those first Wednesdays. I'm kind of private, and since I've been writing publicly, I've tried not to be. I kind of suck at it.

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  28. Hey Sheri, Congratulations! You won copies of my books from my giveaway. Please send me your mailing address so I can get those out to you. My email address is sherry.a.ellis@gmail.com

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  29. Well done, Sheri! You covered so much so well.

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  30. awesome...I love reading everyone's IWSG posts!

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  31. This is wonderful! I love how you broke it down into steps. :D

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