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?

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?

Get “Twitter”pated Quick Update

twitterpated front cover 2

Due to some technical difficulties and (more than a little) operator error, the Kindle promotion for Get “Twitter”pated: A Writer’s Handbook to Twitter is set to start tomorrow, October 14. It will run though Thursday, October 18.

The sale on the paperback will also run through Thursday.

Kindle: free starting Sunday
Paperback; $5.99

Book Spotlight: Get “Twitter”pated

twitterpated front cover 2First, I have to state the obvious. I missed my own deadline. But I have a good reason for it.

Let’s just say the process of moving my books over from CreateSpace to KDP wasn’t as seamless as I originally thought. But that’s beside the point now because everything is done and I will spare you the details of it all.

Get “Twitter”pated: A Writer’s Handbook to Twitter (2nd Edition) is finally available! The main updates include new specifications that Twitter now has and new/improved technology that wasn’t as widely available as when the book was initially released.

The original price for the Kindle ebook is $4.99. HOWEVER Friday through Tuesday it will be free.

Yes, free.

After Tuesday (October 16, 2018), it will go back up to $4.99.

Here is the blurb as listed on Amazon:

Get “Twitter”pated: A Writer’s Handbook to Twitter (2nd Edition) is a guide to help writers get started on Twitter. Information is presented in a conversational manner with room for readers to write out their responses as they plan their user names, profile pages, and application preferences. In addition, GET “TWITTER”PATED includes:
1. Workbook pages for planning their Twitter presence.
2. Do’s and Don’ts from other writers and social media experts on Twitter.
3. Appendices listing people mentioned in the book, a glossary, and book publishers on Twitter.
4. Descriptions of hashtags and how they work, Twitter search, chats, and third-party clients.

Kindle: $4.99
Paperback: $9.99

 

 

Coming Up: Guest Posts

One of the things I have been wanting to do here is to have some guest posts. To that end, I have some coming up pretty soon.  I only have a few currently planned, but if you want to share a post with us, here’s how you can do that:

If you’re interested in writing a guest post for my blog, I’d love to have you. You can check out my site and decide from there. It’s at www.jennippsonline.com.
My focus is on creativity, regardless of what form that may take, whether writing, cooking, painting, or something else. I love hearing about projects people are working on, how they discovered their creativity, and/or their creative process.
Requirements:
  • Posts should be around 500-800 words.
  • Have at least one image.
  • Include a short bio.
  • Provide a link to your blog/website/social media platforms. (If you just have one of these, that’s fine.)
  • Provide a head shot you would like to go with your post (optional).
  • Promote your post anywhere you wish.
  • Check in from time-to-time on the day your post goes live to respond to comments.

What I’ll do:

  • Schedule your post for a future date.
  • Inform you of the projected date.
  • Remind you on the day it goes live.
  • Promote your post on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
If you decide this is something you would like to do, you can send it to me at jennippsonline@gmail.com with “Guest Post” in the subject line.

 

Boredom vs. Quiet

Let’s revisit the poll I posted a few days ago. I asked if boredom was necessary for creatives. I didn’t get a lot of response, but that’s OK. I got a couple comments — here and on other social media platforms — that helped me formulate what I want to say.

On my Facebook page, Terri M. said:

I’m not a writer or whatever, BUT I have come up with some of my greatest garden or craft ideas while sitting here doing nothing 

On the poll post, Janet said:

I think a quiet mind is needful to be creative with words. A frantic life seldom produces much. I don’t call it boredom though. Just quiet.

That is, in a nutshell, where I stand. Or sit.

As for the poll, it is still open, but results so far are evenly split between yes and no about boredom being necessary for creatives.

I have never liked being bored. It’s just not me, if that makes sense. I have always, as long as I can remember, had something with me to ensure I am never bored. That may be a pen and paper (even scrap paper in the bottom of my purse or other bag), a book to read, a sketchbook, or something to knit or crochet. I have a cousin who has commented that she has never seen me when I don’t have something to do.

That is intentional.

That is not to say I don’t have quiet time or downtime. I do. I just structure it differently. My quiet time comes in the short meditations I have started doing. It comes in the times when I am knitting or crocheting and the pattern doesn’t require a lot of attention. It comes in doodling in a sketchbook or writing practice/Morning Pages (refer to The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron if this is a new concept to you – I highly recommend that book/study).

Everyone is different. Don’t let anyone tell you that the way you do something or what you call something is wrong. It might be different, but it’s not wrong. Especially if it works for you.

What I call downtime or quiet time may indeed be boredom to someone else. Whatever you call it, it boils down to this: We need to give ourselves time for ideas to form and incubate so we can continue our creative work.  Whatever name you give to that incubation time doesn’t really matter. It’s what you do with the results of it that count.

And who decides if it counts?

You.

There’s an App for That

In today’s world, it seems like there is an app for everything. Want to learn Spanish? Download Duolingo. Want to meditate? Download Insight Meditation. Want to connect to social media on the go? Download Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram…. You get the idea.

There are even apps for increasing your creativity. My friend and neighbor Richard recently told me about a new (to me) one.

Oblique Strategies.

Screenshot of Oblique Strategies app info page in the Play Store for Google.This is the one I downloaded and installed on my phone.  If you have an Android device, you can click and install it. The one for iPhone is different.

But… What are Oblique Strategies?

It is a system of cards developed by Brian Eno to develop and encourage the use of creativity as applied to various situations. The cards were originally published in 1974.

The strategy that is currently up on my phone is “Twist the spine.”

I would not be surprised to find we all have different reactions to that phrase. (My initial reaction, considering I’m finally almost well from my last episode of back pain) is Ouch. That may or may not be useful in creating something. Who knows? Now I’ll probably have to try it.

At any rate, tools, techniques, and strategies for increasing our creativity can be found pretty much everywhere.

And, yes, there’s an app for that.