How I grew my Twitter following in 4 easy steps

Twitter is a tricky beast; out of all the social media platforms, it was the one I had the most difficulty with.

IMG_0899As you may have noticed I can talk for Britain, getting me to shut up is an art form in and of itself, so when confronted with such a limited amount of characters I struggled. I’m strict with myself in my fiction and nonfiction writing, reading and re-reading and re-reading again, eliminating every unnecessary word but social media is usually where I am less restrained. I see social media as a way to actually connect with people, and my first thoughts were that I couldn’t be my genuine self if I were limiting myself so much.

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Four Habits of Successful Writers

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All great writers have habits.

Good habits and bad ones. I am by nature a creature of habit, usually, if I can do something for about a month (maybe 2) then I will do it forever unless someone stops me. So naturally I became very interested in writing habits, and how to form good ones. I’ve spent a lot of time researching to emulate the best practices and make myself a better writer.

Today I am going to list my top 5 for you.

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3 things to do before hitting publish on a Facebook post

facebook_icon_400x400There are several types of Facebook posters.

There are those who post once and never again, those who post excessively about every little thing, and those who post intermittently. There are the over-sharers, the sellers and the meme lovers.

But there’s more to writing a good Facebook post than frequency or style and it takes time to learn what will work for you and for your readers.

Below are my top three points to consider before posting something to Facebook.

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Writing habits and how to form them.

Writing is a fickle beast.
Sometimes it comes easy, sometimes it does not. We can go for significant stretches of time with little or nothing to show for it. The blank page mocks us cruelly. Then there are periods of great abundance where sleep becomes something other people do because the ideas won’t leave us alone. Rarely is there a happy middle ground.

computer-on-desk-5But that doesn’t stop us from trying, and you can create that fabled middle ground. You can train yourself to do almost anything.
Human beings are (generally) creatures of habit so why not make ourselves creatures of writing habit. Creating a habit helps you squeeze into the headspace for any particular task more easily. Setting yourself a nighttime routine will help you fall asleep sooner (usually), setting a morning routine will help you get to work on time, setting a writing habit will help you write each and every day.

Creating a daily writing practice really helps, it took a while to settle in (apparently it takes at least 21 days to form a habit that will stick), but now that it’s there I find it easier and simpler to write at certain times of the day. Once I trigger my brain through the little rituals I’ve built up, it automatically shifts into writing mode.

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Writing Rants: Book Marketing and Direct Messages

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On one of my lunch breaks this week I was scanning through Facebook and I came across a very helpful blog by Anne R Allen here.

Overall I found the blog very useful, and it reaffirmed several points for me.

One of the points, in particular, had me shouting out “Yes! Thank you!” spraying sandwich crumbs into my keyboard and getting some odd looks from my co-workers (you’d think they’d be used to me by now).

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Top Tips: 3 ways to immerse your readers in a location.

 

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When you write you want your reader to become absorbed in the world, you create, whether that world is a real place or somewhere you’ve created for your story. Here are my top three tips to make your locations immersive.

Tip One: Rely on your reader’s senses

It might be tempting to describe the location based solely on sight, on what your character can see. But don’t forget they have other sense as well. Talk about how a place smells, how the ground feels under a character’s feet, is it cold, hot, raining? All these things can help draw your reader in and immerse them in your world.

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4 Things I wish I’d known when I started writing

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I’ve been writing now for over a decade, and between college magazines, novellas, and novels I’ve picked up a few things.  There are, however, some lessons that were hard to learn. Things I wish I’d known when I started out, I decided to share them with you.

All it takes for you to be a writer is for you to write.

When I started, I was obsessed with the idea that I wasn’t a ‘real’ writer until I got something published. I wasted so much time being upset that I wasn’t a ‘real’ writer. It actually makes me angry to think of this now, I spent days and days of my time being unhappy that I hadn’t ‘made it’ as a writer when I could have used that time to enjoy writing.

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Top Tips: Put the draft down.

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In this blog, I want to talk about editing.

I’ve been editing for longer than I care to mention

I’ve tried a great many different ‘tricks’, and ‘tips’, but one of the ‘tricks’ I found that actually works is: – take a break.

The feeling you get when you finish something can be amazing. But even at that moment when you type the very last word you can see in the distance, the looming shadow of … EDITING.

What I found makes editing easier is to put your draft down. Finish the first draft and then put it down, save it on your computer and work on something else. Putting the draft down for at least a few days can help, but ideally, you want to put it down long enough that you pretty much forget about it.

The plan behind putting it down is so that when you pick the draft up again you are looking at it with fresh eyes. Looking at the draft with fresh eyes will allow you to do a better job. You will have a clear head and a fresh perspective. The project will keep your interest, sometimes when you work on a project for such a long time it’s easy to lose interest, putting it down means when you pick it up again it will be like picking up something new.

In conclusion, put your draft down. Go on do it.

Katie Marie wrote a Book. A big one and a couple of little ones. Check them out!

Top three tips on writing short stories

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In this blog, I want to talk about stories, short stories to be exact.

Writing a short story is a particular skill, and while some of the skills gained when writing longer stories can be transferred to short ones,  some skills can only be honed and developed by writing short stories.

I know writers who can pen novels long enough to hold open fire doors and keep you gripped from page one right through to page one thousand and one, who then struggle to write a story three thousand five hundred words long.

With that in mind, I want to share my top three tips for writing good short stories.

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How to find time to write, again.

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Revisiting the past

Back in August 2013, I wrote a blog sharing my top tips on how to find time to write.

Since I wrote that blog, all those many moons ago, a lot has changed. In particular, I’ve amassed responsibilities and obligations and thus lost time. Since things have changed I have had to modify my tactics, some new things have worked and some haven’t. It’s been very much trial and error, and I thought I would share what has worked for you all.

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