Let Me Tell You a Story

Have I ever told you how I started writing? Or anything about my creative journey?

No?

I want to do that now, then.From the time I was about 7 to 16 (I’m guesstimating), my mom was a babysitter. My job, if you can really call it that, was helping to entertain the kids.

That included telling stories.

Even my brother loved my stories and frequently wanted me to tell him a bedtime story.

Eventually, I started writing them down I would also write poems. I was on the school paper and yearbook. But even though I wrote, I didn’t call myself a writer. My writing was mostly just for me at that point.

Don’t get me wrong. I had teachers who encouraged my writing, but those were mostly on school assignments. I didn’t think it was really that big a deal.

Fast-forward to college.

I was waiting for one class to let out so my class could start. I think it was Introduction to Sociology, if I remember correctly. A classmate came and sat by me (on the floor in the hall) to wait, too.

I was reading Writer’s Digest.

Her: “Oh. Are you a writer?”
Me (hesitating): “Yes.”
Her: “What do you write?”

To be totally honest, I don’t remember the rest of our conversation. It was *cough*  years ago.

Why do I remember this much of it?

It was the first time I gave myself permiossion to say I was/am a writer.

This is why I say that you are the only person who says you can or can’t be creative. It’s why I say you have to give ourself permisssion.

No one else can do that.

If you hven’t yet given yerself permission to be creative, to be a writer, to be whatever, do that now.

You might have to do it more than once. That’s OK. Just keep doing it until it sticks.

To Pin or Not to Pin

This is something I struggle with. I often forget to pin things to Pinterest, even when it’s in my interests to do so.

It’s often said that pinning items on Pinterest attracts more viewers, readers, or customers. It’s also said that pinned articles have a longer shelf life than those that don’t. I haven’t noticed if either of these are true or not.

However, I don’t yet pin consistently. In a time of making changes to what I do and how I do it when it comes to this blog, this is one more thing I’m changing.

Every time I publish a post, I will pin it. Maybe after a while, I will be able to look at my stats and see a difference.

Riddle me this: Do you use Pinterest for your business/blog/writing? Have you noticed a difference when you do vs when you don’t?

Choosing Pictures for Blog Posts

I thought I would share a little peek behind the scenes and talk about how I choose pictures for blog posts.

First, I start with the topic of the blog post. If it’s a general post, I might just use a picture of me. If it’s about something specific, like this one, I know I need one that’s more relevant.

Second, I will look at the images I already have uploaded to my blog. Sometimes I can reuse one of them. I’ve done that several times. If I don’t find a usable one, I will look in the photo library of pictures I have taken.

If I don’t find a photo I want to use from my files, I have two more options. I can either take a photo or use one from the WordPress library.

It’s easy to get caught up in the image search and spend too much time on it. I’ve actually opted to publish a post without an image if I can’t find one and am short on time. I try not to do that very often, though.

Third, when I have the image in place, I finish the post. I will give it a once-over, set the category and tags, and publish or schedule the post.

That’s a little bit about how I do it things. What about you? Do you always include photos with your blog posts?

Ebook vs Print

This has been a question since Amazon came out with the first Kindle. First, I will say that as an author, I will write and publish in both digital and print formats. That’s not what I’m talking about here, though.

I’m talking about what I — and you — prefer to read.

In case you don’t know, I’m legally blind. I have difficulty reading small print, to put it mildly.

I love the feel of physical books. The crispness of the pages. The smell of a new book. The slight resistance of the spine when you open a book for the first time.

You get the idea.

The problem is most books don’t have large print. The ones that do are huge and awkward to read.

I love ebooks. I especially love that I can have hundreds of books on a device in my hand or in my bag. I don’t have to decide which books to take with me on a trip.

I love that I can make the print as large as I need it so I can read comfortably. I also like the option (in many but not all) for it to read a book to me if I’m doing something else or don’t feel like actually reading it myself do some reason.

With print books, I like that I can highlight passages or make notes in the margins. That’s not as easy to do with ebooks.

Do I think ebooks will replace print books? No. I think there will always be a place for both. I don’t think ebooks will ever fully replace hard copies of books.

At least, I don’t think that will happen in my lifetime.

What do you think? Will ebooks replace print books? Which do you prefer?

What I Write About

I get this question quite a bit when people find out that I write.

“What do you write about?”

The short answer: A little bit of everything.

Or: Whatever needs to be written.

The long answer is more involved. The topic areas I cover (for nonfiction) are creativity, social media, and disability/diabetes. Writing about planning falls under creativity because it can help make room for more creativity in our lives.

When it comes to fiction, I write romance, fantasy, and young adult. Topics vary from project to project.

I also write articles, short stories, and poems. One of my personal projects this year is a daily haiku. You can follow that on my Instagram.

That’s not exactly the full answer, but it’s a good start when it comes to what I write.

My question for you is: What do you prefer to write? If you’re not a writer, what do you prefer to read?

So Close….

After Christmas, the temptation is strong to just coast to the New Year. It’s still the holiday season and there’s no need to do any real work (as a creative) between now and then. Is there?

Yes and no.

What’s that supposed to mean?

Yes.

The hard push is done. Holiday orders and commissions have been sent and received. There is still work to be done, but the stressful part is done. It won’t hurt anything to let a few things slide.

No.

Do you really want to be playing catch-up when January gets here? Or do you want to have as much of 2018s work done as possible so you can start on 2019s goals?

(Notice I didn’t say resolutions. We’ll talk about that difference later on.)

If you watch Evan Carmichael on YouTube or follow him on Instagram any at all, you know he’s a major advocate for starting today. Start now. Start where you’re at.

Once upon a time ago, I would have been in the “let it slide” camp. Not anymore. Let’s all promise ourselves to start NOW.

Question of the day: What are YOU starting?