#ThinkingThursday – Finding Your Inspiration

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Thinking Thursday:
Finding Your Inspiration

One of the most asked questions I have is:

“Where do you find your ideas for your stories?”

My answer, quite simply, is: EVERYWHERE. And I mean everywhere. I’ve gotten ideas from

  • pictures
  • long walks
  • over-hearing a snippet of a conversation
  • a tree
  • a cow mooing
  • a song
  • writing challenges
  • writing prompt
  • magazines

… and the list can keep going on.  😀

Here is one of my favorite quotes:

card-orson-scott-athousandstoryideasThe trick is to keep your eyes, ears, and nose open. Yes, use your senses. Allow your mind to wander. The possibilities will begin to open up for you. Once you train your mind and body to notice these thing, you’ll find inspiration all around.

Until next time…

~t


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#MarketingMonday – Get started!

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#MarketingMonday – Get Started!

Welcome to my Freebie Marketing Tips! As a marketer, I know the importance of having a presence

Are you just getting started with your career? Or needing to reboot your current one? Don’t worry. It’s never too late to begin or start over. So how do you get started? I will take you step-by-step with some simple steps to help you along your way.

Here’s a video of what I strongly believe should be your first step to creating your brand:

I hope this helps you begin your journey of creating a brand that you love and can be trusted. Remember to make you YOU-nique!  😀

Until next time…
Happy Writing!
~t

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3 Ways to Connect

connecting3 Ways to Connect

If you have your own business, you have to make connections. Connections with your industry, connections with your customers/clients, and don’t forget your connections with potential co-workers and customers/clients.

How to make those connections?

  1. handshake_01.svg.medPut yourself out there.
    Yep. Stick your hand out and introduce yourself to people. *introvert alert! introvert alert!* I know. Trust me, I know!!!! Take a few deep breaths. SMILE. Say hello. You will be amazed how many people will smile and say hello back. Think positive things about the people around you. You will begin to relax and feel more comfortable. THAT will come across as you look at them and speak. People will notice. Make sure you keep the conversation organic. If it comes to a “What do you do?” moment, let them know.
  2. radio_wireless_tower_cor_.svg.medUse out an ad or interview.
    Use your local newspaper(s) to carry an ad or write an article. Contact your local radio and TV stations, see if you can get an interview. You will be able to reach a different group of people with each of these, as well as a broader range. You can write or talk about your services, a new product coming out, or an overall review of what you offer. The newspaper might have a certain angle you can approach them with. Morning talk shows can be a great opportunity to get your point across those in their morning routine.
  3. monitor_shandy_brown_.svg.medSocial media activity.
    *ahhh, you knew this was coming* So many of us are online A LOT. There is a great opportunity (mostly free too!!!!!!) to approach people through social media outlets. Website, blogs, facebook, twitter, youtube, and on and on I could go, because there are so many avenues to pursue here. Each one has its own pros and cons. The main thing is to find what works for you and your business, stick with it, and remain consistent.

In short, get yourself and your products/services out there. People won’t know about you if you don’t make an effort. If this is something you love doing, it will come across that way. People will see your excitement and will want to know more.

:::LEAVE ME A COMMENT:::
Are you using these avenues to get the word out?
What else have you found to be beneficial?
Which one would you like to see a more in depth post on?

Until next time…

Happy Writing!
~t

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3 Thoughts on Time Management

timemanagement3 Thoughts on Time Management

Let’s face it, we are all busy. There are certain things that happen and we have to learn to roll with the punches. Making time to do the things we love or want to accomplish is usually on the top of our list though. But what about the other things that need to be done? Things like marketing, research, and other things that help everything come together. Honestly, it can be overwhelming.

Here are a few things I do to help manage my time and accomplish certain goals.

  1. Calendaring – I’ve been doing this for a few years now. It has made a major difference in my productivity too! I wrote a blog post that you can read HERE on how I set up my calendar on my laptop. I designated a day (Sunday for me) to sit down and prepare what I want done over the next seven days. I’ll enter it in on my calendar. This includes blog posts, writing, doctor visits, research, website design, anything and everything that I may be doing for that amount of time. As the things are accomplished, I highlight them in green. I like green.  😀
  2. Timer – This is my key when I’m doing social media. I allow a certain amount of time for me to scroll on social media. It can be five minutes to thirty minutes on a certain outlet. I may be doing research on how to utilize something better. Or I may simply be scrolling through and being “social”. The thing is keeping my time centered and not letting hours *you know what I mean* go by and then looking around wondering where my day went.
  3. Blocks – I will use blocks of time to accomplish certain things. I block out time to write my blog posts. I’ll use downtime (night time) to upload videos. While sipping coffee, I’ll look over my email, read blogs (where I try to comment and share), and catch up on friend’s and family’s updates. I’ll redo this while eating lunch and maybe at night, if I have time. I block out time to schedule tweets and facebook posts too. Those scheduled tweets and posts are to promote my books and business.

All this helps me accomplish things and not be as overwhelmed. Don’t get me wrong. I do fall behind at times and not understand how to utilize things to the best of it’s ability. BUT by doing these three things, those times happen fewer and further between.

:::LEAVE ME A COMMENT:::

How do you manage your time?
Are there other things you do to plot out what is to be done?
Do you utilize these same things?

Until next time,

Happy Writing!
~t

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www . Wednesday – nerdychicksrule.com

NerdyChicks

www. Wednesday – nerdychicksrule.com

I discovered this site last year and have become a follower. Why? it’s about a few nerdy chics who are empowering other nerdy chics in the writing field.  🙂   Honestly, what’s not to love there???

Kami and Sudipta (and now Mary) share their collected coolness and pass on some great information. They also offer classes to help others further in their career!

Here’s a little peck about them:

“Nerdy Chicks Rule is a blog celebrating the accomplishments of females who aren’t afraid to use brain power. We feature interviews with cool nerdy chicks, and quotes from cool nerdy chicks.  (Cool nerdy  is not an oxymoron. Nerdy IS cool here at Nerdy Chicks Rule.)  Every now and then in between you’ll get a few words from we bloggers.”

Go check out their website and get to scratching around. You’ll find all kinds of feed and juicy tidbits!

:::LEAVE ME A COMMENT:::
Let me know what you think about Nerdy Chicks!
Do you know of any other blogs or websites you would like seen featured on my blog?

DON’T FORGET…

Summer SparksSUMMER SPARKS will be starting this month on June 21st! READ THIS POST and let me know if you will be taking the challenge. Let’s get those ideas sparking!

Until next time…

Happy Writing!
~t

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Marketing Monday – Social Media Time Suck

SocialMediaSocial Media – Time Suck

I know I’ve gone in depth on the different social media outlets on this board. After all, this is something I use almost daily and part of my business. It is something I believe everyone who owns their own business should use.

The main question is how much time can you devote to it? Social media can be a time suck. There. I said it. HA! But it really can. You go online to do a little research and before you know it, it is a few *cough, cough* hours later and you’re looking a funny cat videos. *I know, I know. They ARE cute.  😉  * That black hole can be tough to pull yourself out of. Then all the ‘extra’ time you’ve had to research, get some new writing done, revise, etc is g-o-n-e!  *head meets desk*  So how can we get better results?

  • Focus
    Decide what you want to accomplish. It can be to separate yourself from another writer. Or separating your name, like I had to, from someone else who is well known. Or you want to build your online presence more. Any number of things. Decide what YOU want to accomplish.
  • Schedule
    Use a calendar and pencil in your agenda. Take it in chunks. 15 min / 30 minute / 1 hour segments are great.
    I began setting a long term goal (what I wanted to accomplish over a year). Then I sat down with my calendar that I made and scheduled what I wanted to accomplish each month. (ex: learn a different social media outlet, use that outlet, become comfortable with that outlet, and decide if I wanted to continue with it.) Then  every Sunday I would pencil in what I was going to do each day that week. I would work on writing/revising a manuscript, blog posts, making videos, updating website, etc. Whatever I needed.
  • Timer
    Make it count and keep yourself accountable. Not only do I schedule the days, I give myself a time limit. Use an egg times, or your microwave, or your phone to keep with the time. Even when you are doing something on your calendar, it can be more in depth than you thought to learn, and before you know it, it will creep into your next appointment on your calendar for the day. I will also highlight things when I’ve completed them. It gives me a sense of accomplishment when I see everything for the week in green. This I found EXTREMELY helpful when working on my platform, because I knew I was doing something. Platform building takes time to build and those green highlights let me know I was trudging along.

Thanks for reading along today!

:::LEAVE ME A COMMENT:::
Let me know what you do to avoid the Social Media Time Suck.
Do you use a calendar or other method to keep you on track?

DON’T FORGET…

Summer SparksSUMMER SPARKS will be starting this month on June 21st! READ THIS POST and let me know if you will be taking the challenge. Let’s get those ideas sparking!

Until next time…

Happy Writing!
~t

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Tuesday Tips: 5 Tips on How to Find an Agent

5 tips on how to find an agent5 Tips on How to Find an Agent

Finding an agent is no small feat. Trust me. I’m struggling on this very subject, like many of you. So why do I feel qualified to give out hints??? Because, I’ve learned from my mistakes and would like to pass on some helpful information to hopefully save you from getting your hopes up OR going down the wrong path.

So here are somethings I have learned along my winding, bumpy, often full of boulders path:

  • RESEARCH
    There are TONS of reasons to do research. Go to the agency’s website to:
    a) Make sure the acquire the same genre as you.
    b) Make sure they are open to submissions.
    c) To see how to format your submissions.
    BUT I want you to take your research a step further.  Look them up on other outlets like Preditors & Editors, Absolute Write, QueryTracker. Each of these websites will show you if the have a reputation (bad or good), and Absolute Write has discussions on some of them too. Or go to forums such as the Blue Boards and see if there is any information on them and/or ask about them yourself.
  • TALK
    Talk to other writers and illustrators about agents. Talk to the agents themselves!!! (They are really nice people.) There are groups who are focused solely one editors/agent information.
  • FOLLOW
    Stalk… Follow them on Twitter/Facebook/Blogs/Tumbler/you get the picture.
    You will get to know them as a person… their likes, dislikes, #MSWL!!!, and more.
  • ASK QUESTIONS
    Some agencies are open to hearing your questions. Fuse Literary Agency is one of them. #AskFuse is a popular hashtag on Twitter on Fridays. What better way of finding out thoughts and feelings that by asking. *note: these parties are usually NOT for pitching ms*
  • GUT FEELING
    In the end, go with your gut.
    If something doesn’t feel right, sound right, look right, whatever, LISTEN to that voice and follow through.

So why am I writing this post? Because I have had friends get burned by not-so-great agents. I have friends who have been lifted up by some awesome agents. I myself have had to run away when something wasn’t right. Through research I have found some lovely people, and even if they don’t represent me, I know are wonderful agents who will champion their right people.

Just remember this:

No agent is better than a bad agent.

Happy hunting.   😉

:::LEAVE ME A COMMENT:::
Do you agree with my advice?
Is there something I left out?
Do you know of any other great research websites?

Until next time,

Happy writing.
~t

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