no matter what…

On Tuesday I had a little Twitter conversation with @ElectricMidnite who was quite frustrated that his writing had not found a lot of readers yet.

And don’t we all know that feeling so well?

I do! When I started blogging no one was interested at all. Well, a few lovely friends have always had a look but it is not the same like having over 20 followers. Yes “over 20” was my first goal ;-). Still can’t believe that phoenixrisesagain has over 100 now. That makes me really happy.

What changed my “success”? Well, for one I read up on SEO which means search engine optimization. Well, still not good at it but I followed a few steps and it seemed to help. I also read up on “how to get more readers for your blog”. The main ideas are: add links to other blogs or pages to your entries, comment on other blogs, and give the readers the possibility to “spread the word” with buttons to post them on social networking. That and my “Thank you project” seemed to have done the trick. It is a question of good organisation though.

Of course we would love to spent all our time sitting on the beach writing our stories and poems but alas earning money with our writing is a business and therefore we have to tackle it like a business. Me myself and I have decided to stay an amateur writer being happy with my blogs and self-publish what I want to publish with Blurb. And taking part in competitions just for the fun of it really.

But I suppose you have to decide at one point how far you want to go with your writing and where you want to go with it. And then teach yourself or do courses. It is not easy to earn a living with writing because there is so much competition and the market is changing dramatically in the internet age.

But the internet is also our best “companion” in getting where we want to be as it offers us the information we need mostly for free. I have always followed my intuition and it usually lead me to where I needed to be at that stage. There are many more or less expensive courses out there nowadays and if you play around with keywords on google or the other search engines you will find what you need. Just get out and do it and do not forget to write. Write, write and write that is the only thing to get you going and get you better.

It has also helped me enormously to register that most famous writers had to do a lot of “day jobs” until they were able to get a living out of their writing. And I suppose most writers today do both. That took away an awful lot of pressure and I started to concentrate on what counted. The writing itself.

I collected some links to give you some ideas of how writers made ends meet and to motivate you not to give up:

Huffington Post

The Millions

Mental_floss

The Guardian

CreativeBloc

@ElectricMidnite’s texts on Insanitysuperman’s Blog are quite raw and genuine. That is what makes them interesting. So please pay him a visit and raise his spirits with some feedback! Thank guys!

 

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Priorities in #amwriting

Priorities are probably one of the main challenges you have to deal with when you want to be a writer.

As long as bills have to be paid there is not much space for the creativity as day jobs are usually exhausting and/or boring. And you do not only want to work and write. There is some time needed for eating, sleeping, family, friends, household chores, hobbies…. you name it. And there are also different creative projects.

Mine for 2012 are writing the fantasy novel, produce at least two poetry books via blurb and (since last night) take part in the Ledbury Poetry Competition. I have only taken part once in a poetry competition in Germany and I have not even been considered. Not exactly encouraging this. But well times are a changing :-).

Last night I laid awake and wondered which of all I want to do today as it is my day off work. I want to go on with Zara. I also want to go on reading and learn more to write. I want to create those poetry books. I want to write all my blogs. I want to write the poems for the competition. So many “I wants” and only 24 hours!

I am an emotional person who follows her intuition a lot. It always tells me the right thing and right now it tells me to stick with the poetry for a bit. Seems I process a lot with poetry and I just enjoy writing in metaphors and in shorter pieces. So for today I have decided to dedicate the day to the poetry books and imagining the feeling how it will be to have finished the novel and see it published no matter if with a publishing house or indie. Hopefully that will give me loads of motivation to go on :-).

Priorities help to get organised. Being a creative person is often connected with an image of a slightly crazy person who has chaos around her/him and dedicates their life only to their art. But the reality looks a lot different to many of us. If you have a family, a day job and want to be creative you have to be highly organised to get on with all of it. Unfortunately it is often something that we feel goes against the creativity. That is the inner child who just wants to play and express :-).

The secret is probably to get the balance right: to let the child play and to let the adult do the organisation.

The few times I have managed to do some planning at the beginning of the week or the day has shown me that it is much more effective and productive to work like this. Only if you know what needs doing you can do it. I know it sounds a bit silly as it seems so clear but how much do we practise it?

Besides my projects I have set myself a challenge: To set aside some time per day to organise what needs doing and to set priorities.

What about you? How do you deal with the many projects and chores that are in your life? Do you have a “perfect” recipe to get the balance right? I would love to hear from you 🙂