Punting…

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Here I sit with not one good idea for my blog post.

What is the expression when you don’t know what to do? Punt?

I don’t like football, but I am desperate. So, here goes:

Today, I want to talk about encouraging other writers.

My overall purpose in writing this blog is to encourage you.

There is a saying that goes somewhat like this: People won’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.

So…you won’t hear my encouraging words—they won’t be as meaningful to you—unless I form some kind of connection with you.

One way I try to connect is by using a story about myself to which you can relate. On my other blog, today, I wrote about being caught in a storm. It’s likely that others have had similar experiences, or at least known someone who has had. From there, I can take the reader on an encouraging “journey.”

I often use humor. Mine is very dry, but even dry humor helps to develop a bond with readers, much like public speakers do when they share a joke or amusing story at the beginning of a speech.

Consistently blogging, or sharing information via emails or on a website is yet another way to stay connected. Once content is delivered, I look forward to encouraging others to use it.

Inviting my readers to ask questions is another way to encourage, especially if you feel free to ask about my life, struggles, experiences of being a writer, and so on.

But, sometimes, I just have to flat out tell things as they are—and that can be encouraging, too, because I think you are primarily looking for good content, sprinkled with a little encouragement here and there. 

Do you have additional ways in which you encourage other writers? 

Please feel free to write in and share your ideas. 

Authors, no matter at what stage in the writing process they currently are, need the encouragement of a committed community of writers.

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To Blog or Not to Blog

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“Still posting each week? I can’t believe you’re still at it. I hope it has been worth all the time and effort.”

My friend’s comment prompted me to re-evaluate my blogging habit. Was it just a useless exercise or was there real value to it?

Just how was this use of my time impacting my writing business?

Here’s what I discovered:

1)  Blogging on a regular basis is one of the most effective ways I’ve found to keep my customer base engaged.

2)   Blogging definitely raises my rank in target keywords in search the engines.

3)   Blogging lets visitors to my site know that I am active in my craft.

4)   Blogging keeps me actively learning so I can pass along relevant information to my followers.

For me, blogging on a regular basis is definitely worth it.

If you are a writer without a website of your own, I would strongly recommend getting one. If you don’t feel that you’re ready to commit to at least a once-a-week blog, I urge you to find several sites you like and write a comment on each of them every week.

Are You Sure We Need to Write Every Day?

You may have heard that, as writers, we need to write every day—no matter what. I would agree with that, but I (who am not an expert by any means) would say that it really doesn’t matter what we write, as long as we stay in the habit of writing.

We may need to catch up on letter writing, blogging, answering emails, writing Thank You notes, and so on. Let’s not forget the occasional magazine article, Letter to the Editor, or skit for a club or church group.  These take time, of course, and use writing skills, too. So, they may be just as valuable in developing our writing abilities as in our writing that is devoted strictly to our “books.”

The point is, each of us hone our writing skills in different ways. The important thing is that we don’t get lazy and forget what we’re about. Writing is just like any other habit. If it isn’t cultivated, it dies on the vine.

I heard the saying, years ago, that the only way out of the forest is through (the trees). And, it follows that the only way to get a book written is to write!

So, let’s say you’re caught up on all the other kinds of writing in your life. It’s 2:00 in the afternoon. What should you do? Take a walk? Maybe. Eat a piece of left over birthday cake? If it’s chocolate. Call or text a friend and make plans for the weekend? Why not? But, now it’s 3:15. Should you take a nap?

May I suggest that you sit down in front of the computer and read the last few lines you wrote, yesterday? Then, write until exhaustion sets in.

When you have given it your all and you have no more to give, go ahead and go to bed, early. After all, you didn’t take that nap…

Brenda