Monday, April 20, 2015

Boring on Social Media, Not Boring to Me

Ove five years ago, when the small press that is no longer in business first accepted Bryony, and around the time the first edits came back in the mail, I turned my attention to marketing, because everything I read said marketing begins long before a book's release.

One of the strong recommendations was an author blog. Up until this point, I had no interest in blogging. Writing features is far more appealing, and my return to a childhood love of writing fiction was also appealing. Both took plenty of time, and, besides, I couldn't drum up anything I thought readers might want to read.

I shared that conundrum with Sarah, an avid reader, and asked what would appeal to her.

"Write about topics related to the book," Sarah had said. "Write about how you got the ideas. Write about what's happening in your life."

I insisted I wanted the blog to be entertaining and posts to be relatively short, something people could quickly read and go back to their day, not another leech on their time. Sarah insisted it would be.

So I did,  and still do, post about topics that have a connection to the BryonySeries. I repost interesting items from other writers. I share writing tips I have learned along the way. I repost the features I have written during the week, as well as the features other freelancers writer for me, now that I am an editor as well as a writer. I post recipes from Memories in the Kitchen: Bites and Nibbles from "Bryony," which is a fundraiser for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Will and Grundy Counties.

However, I stumble when it comes to posting about "what's happening in my life," and it less little to do with my shrinking away from self-promotion.

There is nothing happening that makes for good blogging. It's lean, routine, a bit monastic, and well-suited to me, but it's not the type of life that will send people flocking to a blog. Seriously, I can sum it up in a few sentences.

Mornings, seven days a week: I take a 24-hour Allegra (chronic hives), eat a banana (I'm hypoglycemic and bananas have no citric acid to block the Allegra), feed the cats, heat the coffee, post a Bible verse on Facebook because I'm a writer AND a Christian, so I want the first words I write each day to not be mine. I greet my "vampire fans" on my Facebook page (, there's my bit of self-promotion) and then set my posts and blog for the day, and check my email, all while waking up with a cup of coffee (and petting a cat, if one wanders in).

Oh, and BTW, I get up to an alarm at 4 a.m. on work days and whenever on weekends (although my idea of "sleeping in" is getting up a lot earlier than many people do on workdays).

I eat the same breakfast seven days a week and power walk before work, five days a week. I get ready for work, pack food, check email, and pray for family, friends, church members, and co-workers while walking to work because I don't own a car.

My day is focused on writing about the cool stuff other people do: cover stories, features briefs, and calendar items. I do not take a lunch break, but eat out of my lunch box all day long. Because I do not take an official lunch, if a family item arises, I address it. I have eaten out twice in the fifteen months I have worked for the newspaper - once with my former publicist and once with co-workers, not because I'm anti-social, more because the work so aborbs me, and I'd rather take that time and talk to one of my kids, should someone call.

I walk home, praying for the souls of people that have died (see above list). I may unwind with some music while reading over some of my notes for Before the Blood and then do yoga (three nights a week) or lift weights (three nights a week). Shower, count out the next day's medicine, and to bed with a book follows that.

Two nights a month I co-lead a writer's group. One Sunday afternoon a month, I teach a by-invitation-only fiction class for a donation to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Will and Grundy Counties, and the donation is the only reason why I have been persuaded to teach the class. Sunday I attend a little dying church of senior citizens, and the church is forty miles away. Friday nights is TV night with Daniel, and I watch the shows he has handpicked for me (because I scorn most TV). Repeat on Sunday nights with Rebekah, except we follow Once Upon A Time (which has gotten boring, the show, not Rebekah).

I spend Saturdays writing fiction, and I jealously guard that time because I enjoy it so much. Every four weekends, I am in charge of social media and breaking news for two newspapers, which cuts into my fiction time, LOL!

Any leftover time is reserved for my family and a few close friends. I don't go to the bar, read the latest books, or see the latest movies, although I might do the latter if it's an opportunity to connect with family or close friends.

This is my life. I love it.

And as you're working one last yawn in, I have to get ready for my walk.

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