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This Week on Writers Abroad 10th April 2017
Category: Site News

As we prepare to soon release Issue Six of Writers Abroad Magazine, itís a bit quiet on the website but thereís still things happening if you have a look.

Monday Muse: Lesley has supplied several diverse prompts to stimulate your imagination as well as 3 intriguing images. To get your creative brain working and kick off a piece of writing, she has included a scenario to use a starting point, a first sentence, a story title and a memory prompt. Thereís enough variety here that it will be impossible not to find something that appeals to you.

Blog: Alyson has discovered the value of Ďliterary travelí. In this post, she tells us about her trip to Iceland and how it has inspired her to delve into Icelandic literature and writers. She also suggests that any writer will benefit from being exposed to other writing traditions when they travel.

Bragging Stool: This week WA members have taken possession of Ad Hoc with four of our members included in the publication. Reggieís Stoop by Sue, Helping Hands by Chris, The Captain & Dad by Crilly and a story by Laura are all in this issue. Well done to all of you!

April Challenge: Thereís lots to choose from this month and members are still adding to the Challenges so thereís no dearth goals to strive for. If you havenít picked one or more, have a look at the list and see what appeals to you. But, donít neglect Lauraís advice in her blog posted at the end of last week: donít let yourself become too competitive and forget why you enjoy writing. †

Have a good writing week.

Manage Your Social Media Tags: writing social media

Iíve been wondering lately how to keep up with everything I need to write. My first passion and priority is my fiction writing, the short stories and novel that Iím working on. But thereís other writing I need to do too. I sometimes receive interview requests from bloggers who invite me to visit their blogs and thereís my own social media sites. I have to do something to fill the white space in them. So thereís often something else waiting for me to write, taking me away from what I want to work on. I imagine many of you can relate to this.

So how do you manage to keep up with the other writing you have to do and have time for your fiction? Iíll not tackle interview requests as thatís a blog post in itself. Instead Iíll concentrate on writing for your social media sites: your blog, Facebook, Twitter and anywhere else you are online. Iíve borrowed some ideas from a Romance Writers of America online course I attended recently, as well as adding my own suggestions. The course titled how to use your blog effectively and it was tutored by contemporary romance author, Stacey Juba. Although the course was specifically about blogs, Staceyís lecture about generating material for your blog can be applied to other social media too.

When writing for any of your social media sites, you want to keep in mind that one of your main goals should be to help readers discover your writing without doing a hard sell. Keep that in mind when you choose topics to blog about or guests to invite to visit your site.

A couple of the most obvious types of posts to include are announcements of new book releases or other news about your books and writing. These posts donít need to be long to get the information out. Short posts, including all the important information, is all thatís needed and, if you craft them properly, nearly the same post can be uploaded to your blog and Facebook page. Be sure to add an image with the posts to catch readersí attention.

Since your aim is to introduce readers to you and your books when they are reading posts on your sites, try to keep the posts on your site loosely related to you writing. Do your stories or books have a theme? If so, use this theme in your posts. For example, I write stories set during the Second World War so I could post information Iíve discovered during my research or other facts and articles about the war era that might interest readers.

Inviting guests to your blog or sharing Facebook posts by other writers are also ways to create content for your sites without spending lots of time writing your own new material. If your writing has a particular theme or setting, look for writers who write on similar themes or about the same era or place as you. Find something that links their work to yours. When you invite other authors to your blog, suggest a topic for their guest post or interview them about their writing. Create a list of interview questions you can ask all your guests.

In order to find guests for your blog, you could register as a tour host for a blog tour company. The company will contact you with requests from authors seeking blogs to visit and you can choose the ones that are compatible with you and your blog. There are lots of blog tour companies out there so surf the net to find one that suits your genre and style. I work with a company that hosts historical fiction tours but there are loads of others. Some are general, others specialise in specific genres such as romance or crime.

Do you post reviews of books youíve read to Amazon, Goodreads or any other sites? If you do, you also have a nearly complete blog or Facebook post too. Just add a sentence to introduce your review and post it to your social media sites. Donít foget to include an image of the reviewed book. In order to draw readers to your blog who like the kinds of fiction you write, itís a good idea to feature reviews of books in the same genre as yours.

If you donít want to limit your blog and social media posts to topics related to your writing, you might choose two or three topics that interest you. Maybe a hobby or a passion of yours. Or you might decide to post about the place where you live or the place where your stories are set. Give readers a glimpse into you, your interests and your life in the material that you post. Limit yourself to a few topics so that readers have an idea what to expect when they visit your social media sites. †

†When youíre writing social media posts, donít forget your readers. Try to answer the question ďWhatís in it for me?Ē from the readersí perspective. Why do they want to read your posts? Will they learn something new and interesting? Will the post give them something they want? For instance, will it make them laugh or feel good? Will they feel they have something in common with you? If readers donít find anything relevant to them in your posts, they wonít bother to read them.

So, if you want to be able to devote your time to the writing you really want to do, but donít want to neglect your social media sites, then find ways to create posts quickly. And be sure these posts resonate with your readers.

How do you juggle Ďnecessaryí writing with the projects you are passionate about?

This Week on Writers Abroad 2nd January 2017
Category: Site News
Tags: Writers Abroad writing news

I hope you enjoyed the holiday season. Itís the first week of the New Year now and I expect most of us are full of plans for it. In Writing Goals for 2017 Sue and Dianne have posted their goals for the coming year. This week is a good time for the rest of us to take a few minutes to take stock of our achievements last year and hopes for this year, and commit them to print in a thread on the forum.

Blog: Lesley has given us some advice in todayís blog post, The Perils of Procrastination, to help us accomplish our goals this year.

Monday Muse: The Muse is a good place to start in order to get inspiration for your writing. Check the diverse prompts, from nursery rhymes to picture prompts, that Alyson has given us to get us started writing. She has also included recording your goals for the coming year as one of her prompts.

Bragging Stool: After a quiet week in the run-up to Christmas, three of our members have had success this week. Sue has another 150 word piece, Homecoming, included in an issue of Ad Hoc magazine. Angelaís blog post about the Boxing Day hunt in Ross was noticed by the Ross Gazette and the newspaper has picked it up to print in the next edition of the newspaper. †And Dianneís new Short Read, The Christmas Cure, has been in Amazon US Hot New Releases Top 10 for Irish Historical Fiction for the past 2 weeks.

Even after the lazy days of the holiday season it seems that our members are full of enthusiasm for the coming year. So harness that enthusiasm and jump into another great writing year, everyone.


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