blogging tips

Blogging Tip: When You Miss a Day… Or Two…

A couple days go by and without warning you realize that you have gone several days without posting, you have not created scheduled posts, you have not checked or replied to any of your WordPress notifications, in short, you have abandoned your blog. You want to race to your computer, but the unforeseeable distractions that first kept you from your blog are still there, still demanding your time, you cannot blog, you don’t have the time, and so you go another day without posting, commenting, liking, or replying.

Related image

If this has happened to you, don’t lose hope or feel that your blog is now destined to fail. I believe that every blogger has experienced something similar to the above scenario. I know I did this past week.

For anyone who has noticed by absence (I apologize if that sounds arrogant), you may have wondered why I missed two posts last week and why it took me so much longer than normal to reply to your comments.

First, let me apologize for not responding.

I believe that blogging manners require reciprocal communication and as such, my manners slipped.

Second, let me explain.

As some of you may know from the blog post before this one, “Invisible Illness,” April is IBS awareness month. This is ironic as I had a flare-up last week that landed me in the hospital. Thankfully, I did not remain long and within a  couple of days I was feeling back to myself. However, due to what I missed on my bad days, I spent the next several days playing catch-up. Without my pre-scheduled posts to float me through, as a result, my blog became neglected. However, I am back and I plan to be more on top of my work. Thank you for your understanding.

Third, let me offer you some free blogging advice for what to do when you miss a day . . . or two . . .

  • First, breathe, it is not the end of the world. Yes, it does kind of suck, and yes, you do feel like you have let down your followers, but odds are, they do not feel the same way. In my experience, my followers (my friends) are always understanding and, most likely, yours will be too.
  • Second, get back on the horse. Don’t give up! It may seem like you’ve neglected your blog for too long and you should just let it die a silent death. If you enjoy blogging, in any way, shape, or form, you owe it to yourself to jump back online and give it another go.
  • Third, work harder on creating and maintaining scheduled posts. These scheduled posts have been a life-saver for me in the past and when I miss a day or two, I am reminded how important they are for me when I am simply overwhelmed by life.
  • Fourth, take advantage of whatever time you can get to blog. This advice is why I am currently sitting in a hallway of my college, laptop sitting on my knees and plugged into the wall, desperately trying to get in some blogging time before I need to go and teach. Do the best with what time you have.

Well there you have it guys! Blogging, especially good blogging, is hard work most of the time, but in my experience, it’s most often worth it! I hope this post helps encourage you in your own blogging schedules.

Happy Blogging!

©KaylaAnnAuthor

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

 

 

Advertisements
blogging tips

Blogging Tip: 4 Ways to Attract More Followers

Hello fellow bloggers! Today we’re going to talk about followers, because as much as we all enjoy writing, sometimes blogging can feel like shouting into the void when we receive no response to our latest post. The best part of blogging is the community that comes with gaining and becoming a follower(s).

QUICK HINT: It is just as important to be a good follower as it is to find followers.

Here’s the thing. I do not have an astounding number of followers. I am still a relatively small blog compared to the people who do this for a living. I began this blog on October 8th, 2017 and since then I have gained 2,237 followers (and some really great friends among those numbers). What I have going for me is consistency.

In the past, I was asked, “How did you gain so many followers so quickly?”

Even now as I garner followers at a slower pace, I stick by my four ways to attract followers:

  • Hard work. No seriously, if you really want followers you are going to have to work hard. You cannot just come at it from one angle. Which leads to the next three points.

 

  • Post often. I do not think it is necessary to post every single day, although I applaud those of you who can. However, you should be blogging at least 3 times per week and not only should you be posting something, but it should be something of importance. Your content needs to be clear, interesting, helpful, engaging, etc. When creating a post consider what your intent is. Are you trying to entertain? Be encouraging? Give advice? Call for action? What will your reader gain from reading your post?

 

  • Engage OTHER blogs. This does not mean visiting random blogs and leaving a link to your blog. Do NOT go and spam someone’s blog with “support” and then comment “support back” or “follow back.” It becomes very clear that you are not actually interested in their site at all, you just want followers. Seriously, it’s frustrating and really, just rude. Instead, find blogs that are like yours or that interest you. I search for other blogs that relate to authors, books, writing, etc. Then I engage on the post and comment directly about what the other blogger has posted. I even ask questions. I engage in dialogue about THEIR blog, not mine. Now of course you can eventually bring up your blog if you think the other party would be interested, but don’t go into the conversation solely for your benefit. Go in to learn more about other blogs. Seriously, being a good follower is a key part to gaining followers yourself.

 

  • Engage with your FOLLOWERS. You’ve got followers! Great! Now, if their blogs interest you in the slightest, follow them back! You don’t need to subscribe to instant emails, but maybe just weekly emails or even just follow, but you should be engaging with them still. Just because you reached your goal and achieved your follower doesn’t mean that you move on from them. Be RECIPROCAL. When their posts come up in your “Reader” take some time to go through and like/comment on at least a few. When someone takes the time to comment on your latest post, click their name and check out what they have been up to.

 

  • HARD WORK. Are you understanding the hard part now? Maintaining a blog is hard enough, posting often is difficult, and engaging with new/old blogs is time-consuming. However, in my experience, this is a successful strategy that not only results in more followers, but also helps me to gain new insights from other blogs!

 

What about you? What are your blogging strategies?

Happy Writing & Blogging Everyone! 

Get out there and start engaging!

 

©KaylaAnnAuthor

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

blogging tips

Blogging Tip: Leave the Stats Alone

Fun fact: Blogging statistics can drive you crazy!

Today I am addressing new bloggers and veteran bloggers alike. A blog is a lot like a person and just like us, blogs go through their own hills and valleys and these are often physically represented by your statistics (Stats).

Have you ever noticed how your stats seem to climb crazy high some days and other days, there is barely a distinguishable stump? The other day, I received the below notification: my blog was getting more views than normal! Yay! (Right?)

Well, actually, I may have received more views on that day, but I received far less comments than I do on an “average” day. The stats (although positive) revealed nothing about my own personal goals which do not center on visibility, but, rather, on community and interacting with fellow bloggers.

Here is my advice to bloggers (and you can take it or leave it):

Don’t Obsess Over Your Stats.

A lot of bloggers measure their success based on how many people viewed, liked, commented on, or reblogged their posts. Don’t get me wrong, that stuff is awesome and encouraging, but if you base the success of your blog on the success of your stats you are going to fail.

Yes, good stats often reflect a good blog, but over-analyzing them can lead to self-doubt, a sense of never being good enough, and inability to post due to a fear that it will not garner enough of a reaction.

Stats are good for information but not as a goal.

Instead, use realistic goals for your blog and determine your purpose. Ask yourself:

  • What is the purpose of my blog?
  • What do I want to achieve through my blog?
  • What part about blogging do I enjoy the most?

Instead of focusing on stats, focus on these three things instead for a healthier blogging experience!

Happy Writing Everyone!

©KaylaAnnAuthor

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Writing Tips

When Writer’s Block is Caused by Fear

Originally, I only intended to do five of these posts. As noted in the introductory blog “5 Reasons Behind Writer’s Block,” there are several reasons why writers are often prevented from writing. I had thought of five:

  • Lack of Time to Write
  • Sickness
  • Work
  • Lack of Creativity
  • Home Responsibilities

However, my friends and followers had pointed out that there is a sixth reason often responsible for writer’s block that I felt needed to be addressed. This is: FEAR.

The first step to overcoming Writer’s Block comes from the need to discover why the writer is blocked in the first place. Once you have establish the why you can work on how to move forward.

Fear = Small Goals & Courage

adult, black-and-white, bodySometimes we feel that we are defined by that empty, blank page. It stares at us and we stare back at it. For one reason or another, we are paralyzed, unable to commit words to paper. Why? According to both Mia and TShaw, fear is a major factor behind Writer’s Block. Mia says,

I think, why writer’s might suffer from writer’s block: fear. Fear of failure. Fear of success (yes, that’s a fairly common fear for writers, especially as most are very introverted). Fear of rejection. Fear of not being good enough.

Tshaw agreed, stating,

Fear that my writing is a waste of time.

Of course, both of these intelligent women were correct. Fear is a huge problem in a successful writing life! Perhaps it is ironic that the same week I am working on this post, my church spent an entire sermon focusing on courage. (You can read all about it here.)

In order to face our fears we must remember what courage is:

Courage is not the absence of fear, it is acting despite the presence of fear.

If you are feeling fearful, the best thing you can do is act regardless. Now, this is easier said than done which is why I suggest that you focus on small goals rather than large ones. When we fear rejection, or success, or failure, or really anything, the only way to fight that fear is to refuse to give it power. Sure, I could tell you to think positively, but that does not always work.

Truly, the only way to fight your fears successfully is to act in spite of them.

Happy Writing!

There you have it, the top 6 reasons why we suffer from “Writer’s Block” and ways to combat it! I hope you found this series both beneficial and entertaining!

What type of series would you like me to do next?

©KaylaAnnAuthor

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Writing Tips

When Writer’s Block is Caused by Home Responsibilities

As noted in the introductory blog “5 Reasons Behind Writer’s Block,” there are several reasons why writers are often prevented from writing. The six primary reasons include:

  • Lack of Time to Write
  • Sickness
  • Work
  • Lack of Creativity
  • Home Responsibilities
  • ***Fear***

The first step to overcoming Writer’s Block comes from the need to discover why the writer is blocked in the first place. Once you have establish the why you can work on how to move forward.

Home Responsibilities = Setting Priorities

Brown Shell Egg and Silver Hand Whisk

Are you a parent? Trying to juggle cleaning, cooking, taking care of the kids, working, and writing? Are you a college student? Trying to do homework, feed yourself, find a job, tidy up that dorm room (once a semester)? Whoever you are, it is probable that you have more than just one responsibility. The average human does not only work a job, but they maintain some sort of living area (whether that is a dorm, an apartment, or a house.) Many people have children, or siblings, or dorm mates that expect certain things like food and cleanliness. Whatever the reason, there will always be different home responsibilities pulling on your time and reducing your ability to write.

Time to make some priorities:

  • Now, if you are a parent, your children will always come first (and in my opinion, there is nothing wrong with that). However, even as a parent, you still have some room to prioritize.
  • Make a list of all the things you need done in that week (or even over the course of three days). This list will usually include: cooking, surface cleaning, laundry, work, dishes, showers or bath time, etc.
  • Schedule out these priorities and while you’re at it, add in writing. For example, you could schedule a weekend like this:
    • Friday – Focus on the Family Night with Dinner, Dishes, and Games
    • Saturday – Wake up Early before kids to Write, do laundry throughout the day, put in a load of laundry, be with the kids
    • Sunday – Wake up before kids to write, Church, set aside time to shower and bathe the kids, finish hanging laundry, prep for Monday’s lunches

Overall, the best way to work around multiple responsibilities is to intentionally prioritize and schedule what it is you want done and when you want it accomplished.

Happy Writing Everyone!

©KaylaAnnAuthor

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Writing Tips

When Writer’s Block is Caused by a Lack of Creativity

As noted in the introductory blog, “5 Reasons Behind Writer’s Block,” there are several reasons why writers are often prevented from writing. The five primary reasons include:

  • Lack of Time to Write
  • Sickness
  • Work
  • Lack of Creativity
  • Home Responsibilities
  • ***Fear*** (Added later due to comments on original post)

The first step to overcoming Writer’s Block comes from the need to discover why the writer is blocked in the first place. Once you have establish the why you can work on how to move forward.

Lack of Creativity = Finding Inspiration

Image result for empty well

Are you feeling all dried up? Your metaphorical well of creativity is empty with only sand at the bottom and walls that echo and mock your best efforts? What you need is a high dose of inspiration! Luckily, inspiration can be found in a myriad of places.

  • The best place for an author to find inspiration is in reading. Reading and writing go hand-in-hand, especially when an author is feeling low on personal creativity. Go reread that series that first inspired you to write. Find something that you aspire to.
  • If reading isn’t doing it for you, I suggest looking at Fan Art. Now, I know some of you are probably shaking your heads and thinking about clicking elsewhere, but hear me out. Fan Art is some of the highest praise out there. People love a series so much that they take hours to create art celebrating that series. Whenever I look at fan art, it motivates me to write something that someone will consider worthy of fan art.
  • Still can’t write? Start writing down in a journal what happened to you this week. Yes, I know this can be a bit tedious, but take some time to write down the most interesting thing or whatever you can remember. This will get you writing (even if it’s not very good). Then try to turn that writing into a minimalist poem with only a few words per line and no complete sentences. This exercise will at least help get your brain back into writing mode.

Writing is not always easy, and tapping into a truly creative vein can be as difficult as producing diamonds, but the effort is always worth it.

Happy Writing Everyone!

 

©KaylaAnnAuthor

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Writing Tips

When Writer’s Block is Caused by a Lack of Time

As noted in the introductory blog, “5 Reasons Behind Writer’s Block,” there are several reasons why writers are often prevented from writing. The six primary reasons include:

  • Lack of Time to Write
  • Sickness
  • Work
  • Lack of Creativity
  • Home Responsibilities
  • ***Fear*** (I am adding this in response to the comments I received on the original post)

The first step to overcoming Writer’s Block comes from the need to discover why the writer is blocked in the first place. Once you have establish the why you can work on how to move forward.

Lack of Time = Intentional Scheduling

clock, hours, minutes

If your writing is suffering from a lack of Time issue then the issue might actually be your scheduling.

There are indeed few people with airtight schedules that hold no wriggle room; however, the majority of us are a bit more flexible. There are various ways that we can adjust our schedules to allow at least 15 minutes of writing time a day.

  • For instance, wake up 15 minutes early or go to bed 15 minutes late. Use that time to write every single day.
  • Don’t want to miss out on sleep? Do you watch TV? Perhaps it’s time to cut out a show, or record it and watch it later that way you can cut out the commercials and use that extra 15 minutes to write.
  • Have a facebook, an instagram, a WordPress, a Twitter, AND other social media sites? Limit your time on them! Yes, they are great and resourceful, but if you are spending hours online with “no time to write,” then something has got to change.

I’ll be honest. I have used the excuse “I don’t have the time” to really mean “I didn’t make the time.” Don’t do that, but instead intentionally schedule writing periods for every day. This will not only give you time to write, but if you do it at the same time every day, it will also help you form a habit.

Happy Writing Everyone!

How to you plan to adjust your schedule to include more writing time?

©KaylaAnnAuthor

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Writing Tips

Writing Tip: Accepting Failure

Let me be honest. Failure is going to be a part of your writing career. It just is. And let me honest again. Failure is going to be a part of life.

We are humans, we cannot succeed at everything, all the time.

So, before you begin your career as an author, an artist, a composer, a teacher, whatever you choose, accept that at some point you will fail.

Failure today does not mean that you cannot succeed tomorrow. – KaylaAnn

Failure is only a moment in time, a response to a singular incident. Failure does not define you or your career. The best option, and really the only option you have to success, is to accept failure and then move on from it.

Sometimes our failures will be small. For example, I failed a lot of my daily word count goals between the months of November – January. However, I did not let that stop me. I did not throw my hands in the air and say, “Well, I failed, it’s over!” Nope, I moved forward and planned to begin writing in earnest again.

Sometimes our failures will be big. For example, I’ve just recently received my review from my third reader and let’s just say, it wasn’t great. Now, I’m stuck where I have two decisions and either decision will require drastic change to my manuscript. However, that does not mean that I give up, I pick myself back up (after I cried my eyes out) and I get ready to face the problem head on.

So accept failure, but do not let it define you. Do not let it stop you. Do not let it hinder your progress. Acknowledge it, learn from it, be strengthened by it.

I’ll keep you updated on my book, The Agency Games, once I have some more information. Please wish me luck and keep me in your prayers as I work toward this goal and attempt to decide what is best for my manuscript.

Accept Failure but Never Stop Moving Forward.

Writing Tips

Writing Tip: Managing Your Expectations

As some of you may know, I am engaged and in the process of planning a wedding! In that process, my fiance and I are also underwent pre-marriage counseling (which was been a lot of fun as well as insightful and I recommend it for anyone thinking about getting married). Did you know that recently it has been announced that what kills marriages faster than anything else is unmet expectations?

Now, my blog is not about marriage, however, I could not help thinking how this applies directly to our writing. How often to we come up with grandiose ideas for our novels that will sell a billion copies and make us millions of dollars? Ever catch yourself day dreaming about which actors and actresses would star in your film once that adapt your book into movie formatting? (No one, just me? Anyhoo . . .)

The point is, in our writing too we must manage our expectations. 

Writing is hard and making a break through in the industry is even harder, some might say that it is nearly impossible. So I am encouraging you to “make resolutions” (without the need for a New Year) and to set goals for your writing, but in doing so, make them realistic!

  • Set yourself real goals that you truly can accomplish!Here are some examples:
      • Write Every Day (even if it’s just for 5 minutes)
      • Try to hit a word count every day (even if it’s 20 words).
      • Try to finish as much as that book as possible (even if it’s not the whole thing.)
      • Send out queries to multiple publication houses (but don’t stop writing, waiting to hear back)
  • Don’t give yourself unrealistic expectations.Here are some examples:
      • Starting and Finishing that new idea for a book and having it picked up within the year (yes it can happen, but it doesn’t often)
      • Becoming a millionaire with your first book (Suzanne Collins wrote amazing books for YEARS and was not known until her latest series).

Be kind to yourself and be honest with your writing. Expect that some days will be more productive than others and set realistic expectations so that you do not cause unnecessary hardship.

Happy Writing Everyone!

***If you enjoyed today’s tip, be sure to check out more under the “Writing Tip” tab on my main menu. Have any questions about writing? Feel free to ask in the comment section!

Derek Harvey has a great article expectations in marriage if any of you are interested in reading the article.

©KaylaAnnAuthor

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Writing Tips

Writing Tip: Waiting Out the Waiting Period

Any author or poet who has attempted to go the route of traditional publishing is familiar with that dreaded “waiting period.” You know which one I’m talking about. You spend all your time and effort into creating an amazing story, editing and revising until your eyes are bloodshot and your fingertips are raw.

Then you hit send.

And you wait.

And you wait.

And you wait.

If you are very lucky or very talented (and often a combination of both), you will hear back from the publishers 6-12 months later as they express interest in you or your book. You think, Huzzah! The waiting is over and my book will be published immediately!

Sorry to burst your bubble, but that is not how it works. After that initial waiting period and the good news, you’re in for more waiting periods. Your book will most likely go through several editing phrases and after that you have visual decisions such as cover and formatting. Your book will most likely not be published until a year or two after you hear back.

That is a LOT of waiting.

As someone intimately engulfed within this dreaded waiting period, let me give you some tips on how to survive it:

  1. Take a deep breath and stop opening up your email every single hour of every single day (Seriously, Kayla Ann, stop doing this.) It only makes you more antsy when you fixate on their response.
  2. Get outside and do something. I don’t care if it’s the gym (which is my favorite as it’s a great way to release pent up energy) or a walk with your pup, or minigolf, or going to the beach, or biking, or going to the mall. In some way, get out and do something physical.
  3. Get back inside and do something. (But you just said go outside! Yes, I did, keep reading.) After you have gotten rid of some of that nervous energy and you can actually focus, start working on a different project. Write your next book or create some blogging posts and schedule them for the future.
  4. Take another breath and repeat the steps above. Trust me, you’re going to be waiting for awhile. (I’ve also found that small, but frequent, amounts of chocolate can do wonders for your mood.)

Image result for i'm waiting gif

Anyone else ever been stuck in that waiting period?

How do you pass the time and maintain your flimsy grasp on reality?

©KaylaAnnAuthor

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.