Community Building and Conversation

Socializing within the Media

One thing you’re supposed to try to do as an indie(independent) author is socialize with other authors and readers to get the word out, hoping that they’ll not only read your writing, but also leave a review. One of the hardest things it appears these days are getting reviews. I’ve had some lovely people leave me reviews. These are other authors and people who helped me with the writing itself. I did have one 3-star review on a story but the person didn’t say anything about that story, so I have no idea what they liked or disliked about it.

I’m on Twitter. I’m on Tumblr. I’m on Google+. (Yes, you read that right, Google Plus.) I’ve debated on and off about starting a Facebook for my author name(s). The problem with creating a FB is whether to use a Profile with the author  name or a Page. There are highs and lows to both points. I already maintain two twitters, one G+, and two facebook pages for my day job. I’m really not sure I want another page to take care of and I hardly post anything on my personal profile as it is. Yes, I could connect facebook with WordPress like I do with the other accounts and all my posts would go there as well, but honestly, it’s yet another thing to maintain.

My primary socializing method is Twitter. I am patiently waiting for them to roll out the links and handles will no longer count against the 140 character limit, but I do a lot of promotions and socializing there. If someone replies to a tweet, I respond to them. If they tag me in something, I thank them. I try to participate as much as possible.

Blogging in the Sphere

I prefer having a blog/website. It’s a One Stop Shop for everything and the kitchen sink. More often than not you’ll see people pointing others towards creating newsletters. That’s great. I really don’t want to pay for a PO Box. Yes, I could use the money I pay for the site towards that PO Box if I decided to shut it down, however, and I’m going to be honest here: more often than not, I shove newsletters I subscribe to in a folder or archive them. Sometimes, I don’t even open them up. I can’t reply to a newsletter saying “Ooh, what a great story/post/comment/cover/whatever!” and neither could you.

With a blog people can leave me a comment, they can like or share a post. When they do those things I can click on their name and go to their site (if they have one) and read what they have going on in their life, their writing world, a scene they posted, a photo they shared. I can become involved in their corner of the net. I love that feeling. I do need to comment more and like more and share more posts that really move me, but I’m working on it. Everything is a work in progress.

I actually feel bad when I don’t post for several days in a row. And I know that I could write up some quick posts about nothing (I’d prefer to say something with meaning behind it) and post fluff. I know that they don’t have to be thousands of words, and usually they aren’t. I like simple, short posts that say something and leave you with a feeling that helps you move forward in your writing or your life or gets your brain moving and your muse singing.

When I’m not at the day job, I try to be writing. More often than not, I’m doing something else. Going for a walk, making dinner, annoying the cat while he’s trying to take a nap because when I’m writing he’s usually trying to rip my arm off so he can go cuddle with it. I sneak writing in when I’m unable to do my job because I’m doing things for someone else so they can take a lunch and I write on my lunch as well. Sometimes I only get 50 words, other days I get over 800. Something is always better than nothing.

Building a Bridge to Nowhere

Some days I feel like, regardless of what I do, I’m just building a bridge that ends in the middle of nowhere. You can’t go forward, and turning around really isn’t a viable option because you really want to keep moving forward. You want to see what’s going to be on the other end. These are the days that I turn the music up a little louder, I drink some coffee (or alcohol depending on the time), dance and/or sing (badly) around the house (if I’m alone). A steaming hot shower is a huge help, too. The hot water helps wash away the negativity of the day and replace it with a fresh, clean outlook.  It really does help get things moving forward so I can put a few more boards onto that bridge, hoping to find out where it leads. Don’t stop moving forward. Keep adding more words, more paragraphs, more pages.

There are also other places to write. Sometimes I’ll sit outside at Panera, soaking up whatever sunshine might breach the cloud cover and just write. I like going to Panera because of the free wi-fi. Yeah, you have to go through some kind of portal thingie, but hey, it’s free wifi and as long as their employees are actually working and not reading what I write, then there’s no harm done (because you know they hire teens). If I’m not worried about internet access, then I’ll go write at the park. Sometimes I dislike writing there, though. The benches are hard and I can’t get comfortable, so I end up squirming and wiggling trying to find a way to sit without hurting. (Don’t get old, but don’t die young, either.)

I tried writing on my back patio, alone, in one of those canvas chairs, and got interrupted by a neighbor chasing their dogs through the yard, which of course I get molested by. I don’t care that their dogs, or even the neighbors come through or use my yard, but when their dogs can’t seem to understand the words “No.” and “Down.” I get a tad annoyed. I also move upstairs to write as well. I have an actual desk and desk chair up there. I know, shocking, right? It is a great place to write if you want to be free of distractions (not including the whiny cat because he can’t get to your arm to maul you while you write). I don’t go up there much any more because the kid took over the area and destroyed it. I refuse to clean the mess, so it’s a disaster area, which is distracting.Currently, I’m sitting in my recliner with the tv on the news for background noise. It’s my favorite spot. I spend way too much time in it. But I love it and more often than not it works for me.

In other words: Find something that works for you and when it stops working, change it.

Dear Authors: I’m going to compile a list of blogs/posts/articles/helpful things for people interested in writing erotica. If you found a website, blog, post, etc that’s helpful, please contact me with the link. I’ll give credit to the author turning in the link. I’d also like to know how that information helped you move forward. Leave a comment or use the contact form. 

Now, go forth and leave a comment, a like, share a post or a pin, read a book and write the review, reach out to someone and say HELLO THERE!

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