Inspiration, Writing

Bloggers who inspire and help keep me sane

I’m astounded when I think how many people have come into my life the last three years through blogging. Only twice, since my school days, have I had a “social circle”. The first developed when I joined a church. That lasted twelve years. For several years after that, I retained a couple of church friends, and then we drifted apart.

A circle of virtual friends

In 1988, I moved 2,000 miles away from my birthplace to California. I knew no one here, and since I didn’t work outside the home, I met very few people. My growing family sufficed as a social circle. Fast-forward twenty years. I decided to take fiction writing seriously, and soon realized I needed the company of other writers.

That was the beginning of a new social circle, though for the most part, it’s become a virtual circle. I started this blog five months after I started my new life as a writer. I’ve met many wonderful people, mostly writers and poets, through blogging. I can’t imagine making it this far without them.

If you scroll down, over there on the right side of this page you’ll find links to some of the bloggers who’ve entertained, inspired, and taught me. At various times, most of them have kept me company on this blog. Some have helped me through numerous private emails. A few are writers I’ve met in real life. You would do well to visit their blogs.

I said in my last post that I would mention a few who recently lifted me from my despair and inspired me to come clean about why I self-published. So here goes:

  • Michelle Davidson Argyle is open and honest about her struggles as a writer in both her public and private blogs. Many times, I’ve read her posts and marveled that her thoughts and feelings mirrored mine. With her post on failure, she inspired me to change my attitude about my self-publishing venture.
  • Cristina Trapani Scott has inspired me many times, but recently she wrote a post about words as food that woke me up to how malnourished I’d become. Recalling the days when writing sustained my soul, I felt starved. Her post pointed out not so much a needed change in attitude, but a change in focus.
  • Jessica Luton is new to blogging, but she’s long been an inspiration on Twitter and Facebook. Recently she wrote a post about opening ourselves to abundance. It was another reminder that my attitude needed changing.
  • Chris King wrote a post about aging and how to find more joy and energy. Since all the stress in my life had certainly made me feel I’d aged rapidly, I appreciated her post. Again, it pointed out the need for a change in attitude.

These are not the only bloggers or posts that inspired me this year. I hesitated to make this list, knowing I would leave out important ones, so know that these are only a few of those most crucial to my renaissance. I hope you enjoy them.


Photo credit: showbizsuperstar

Marketing, Novel, Promotion, Real Life, Social Media, Writing

A whole lot of networking … too little socializing!

It doesn’t take much to find a friend nowadays. One mouse click and you’re someone’s Friend. Or not. One mouse click and you’re in someone’s Circle of trust. Or not. One mouse click and you’re Following someone like a devoted puppy. Or not.

“Social” networking is mostly illusion. Have you ever taken a pre-schooler to the park and noticed that after five minutes of play with a child they’ve never seen before, they refer to that child as “my friend”? Yeah, social networking is like that. Cute, isn’t it?

If you’re a writer and read many industry blogs, you’re probably familiar with the use-social-media-to-build-your-platform message. I’d already started blogging when I first read that, but I took their advice to heart and joined Twitter. The advice said that I needed to have at least 1,000 followers before my book release date.

So, for the last two years, I’ve spent a lot of time on Twitter, which is why I’m focusing on that today. Yes, I tweet links to all my blog posts and, more recently, some book promotion, but I also retweet at least three times as many links by others as well as RTing their quotes, witticisms, and announcements. I try to have fun. I try to start or join in conversations. Months ago, I hit 1,000 followers and kept going.

I’m now at the point where I can avoid Twitter for a week and still gain 20-30 new followers. It has nothing to do with my brilliant skills at tweeting. It has nothing to do with me at all. I expect at least half those people immediately punt me to a list they never check. They aren’t interested in seeing any of my tweets … in interacting with me at all. I’m just a number they hope will follow them back and increase their counts—and, of course, read their brilliant tweets and buy their products. That’s social networking for you.

Until recently, tweeting links to my blog posts always generated a fair amount of blog hits, but even so, I have a feeling most of those hits were from people who read my posts anyway. The biz blogs led me to believe being on Twitter would be a big help to book sales, but I question that now. I can’t track all sales, of course, so I could be wrong. Still I wonder if the effort put forth on Twitter equals the benefit gained. (I could write a whole post on this, and I may, but for now, back to the social side.)

In my experience, except for blogging, there’s very little socializing in social media. No matter how many new followers I gain, interaction seems to come only from the same small group. “Coincidently” that group contains the same few who interact with me here on this blog—most of them since the early days. And most of those, I’ve also corresponded with by email. We might have even shared a thing or two about our non-writing lives. If they lived near me, I’d invite them over for lunch. Friends.

I’m open to new friendships, of course, I just won’t be as naïve as a four-year-old in recognizing them. I’m extremely thankful for those I do call friends. That’s why I’m rethinking how much of my time and energy I devote to my social networking “friends.” I think I’ve been short-changing my real friends—and that’s just not nice.