Enlighten Me, Hard to Label, The Write Life, Write Your Life, Writing Business, Writing life

My Niche is Life

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Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

Someone asked me recently how I would categorize my blog.

This is important:

Niches MAKE a freelance writer’s career! 

I know this from the multiple webinars and classes I’ve attended given by successful freelance writers; writers who make enough to support themselves with their writing; writers who are well-known by editors and get major assignments for feature articles; writers who are paid to ghostwrite books for uber-busy CEO’s, who sell every essay they write for a nice amount; writers who…do I need to go on to convince you? Probably not.

So when asked that question, I began to mini-panic because even though the questioner is not a freelance writer and therefore doesn’t know all this, it’s still important for me AS a freelance writer AND a blogger to have a well-prepared sound byte.

Which I don’t have because I don’t have a niche for my blog.

As a writer, I like to write creative nonfiction pieces about spirituality, self-improvement, travel, and education. These are my passions. I love to write personal essays about those singular seconds in life that snap us awake like alarm clocks blaring in the predawn. Do you know these seconds?

The second you heard your newly born child or grandchild cry, or coo, or say your name.

The second you spotted your soulmate.

The second you got your first big career break.

The second you had your first loss.

The second you heard bad news from your doctor.

The second you shared your darkest secret with a friend and realized she would never judge you for it.

These are the seconds that change our lives and they fascinate me because in that tiny space of time, a pinpoint is poked in the fabric of the universe and light pours in like a laser tattooing a new synapse in the network of your brain. Nothing is ever the same…and it was just a second.

You could have ignored it, missed it. But you didn’t.

That’s what I love to write about. How do I collapse that into a sound byte?

So, when my questioner asked me to describe my blog, I said I like to blog about life, and insights, and enlightenment.

I wasn’t satisfied with the answer and I’ve been trying to edit, rewrite, and re-phrase for a week.

My blog is about those seconds that poke holes in our lives so our universe can expand.

How’s that?

Let me know what you think, so the next time someone asks, I’ll be able to answer with something that sounds at least an iota more writerly.

 

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Writing Business, Writing life

Writing Part time

I love to write.  My day goes better when I get the chance to write.  Now, I’m holed up in my den meditating, spending my fifteen minutes catching up with my social network and writing.  It’s a mini-vacation in the middle of the work week.

And it’s also tough.  It’s tough to have the energy to write after a full day of work.  It’s tough to lock my husband out for a few hours while I indulge my creative side.  But it’s so rewarding that I make it happen.  I’ve written four novels and am working on the fifth…all part-time.   I’ve re-written, edited and re-written AGAIN…those same four novels.

Know what I haven’t really done?

I haven’t really sent those novels to agents, developed my writing BUSINESS, or found homes for  thousands of personal essays…which I’ve also rewritten again and again.  Sure, I’ve got some publishing credits.  I’ve developed a pitch that I use at writing conferences when I book appointments with the agents who frequent those…I’ve attended hundreds of writing conferences, met people, read their books, taken notes, shared what I learned on this site and through personal contacts.  I’ve joined writing groups.

The problem is I don’t really like the business side of writing.  That quite possibly is a career-busting admission, but I think that most of us would agree.  I want to spend my time being creative, not being enterprising and self-promoting.

The truth is…we have to do both.  So, here’s my commitment to my writing business based on years of listening to other writers tell their tales and agents telling theirs.  I’m going to devote one night a week to researching markets and agents, catching up on my writing networks and polishing my query material.   It’s going on my electronic calendar right now…well, as soon as I publish this blog post.

And I’m going to update you regularly on my progress.

Care to join me?  Let’s get marketing, writers!

Conferences, Writing Business

Social Marketing for the Writer

I went to the Erma Bombeck Writing Conference in April.  There are a lot of great workshops offered at this conference that’s offered every two years, but this year I had the great luck to sit in on Nettie Hartsock’s presentation about social media which is one reason this blogsite and my writing website have gotten a facelift!   Here are some of the most important points Nettie discussed at the Erma conference:

  1. limit your social media time to 15 minute sessions three times a week
  2. update your LinkedIn profile and if you don’t already have one, GET ONE…publishers, editors and agents are looking at LinkedIn for their next authors.  Also, the better your on-line platform, the better your chances of publishing.
  3. Link your Twitter and Facebook accounts with LinkedIn so that you can update all three at one time
  4. Create pages on your blogsite or website that will trigger the most search engines bringing the right people to your site.  In other words, if you write humor, one of your pages should be humor; if you write romance novels, one of your pages should be romance novels.

To see more of Nettie’s tips, visit her website.