Writer’s Weekly Spring 24hr Contest – Honorable Mention

Love writing for this contest. For those not familiar with it you enter the contest ahead of time. At Noon central time on saturday of the contest weekend you get the theme and the word count. You have to submit your story by noon central time on Sunday. Hence the name 24 hour contest.

The pressure to write the story in such a short time is awesome. Working hard to make every word count is killer. The wait for the results is probably the worse part.

I’ve entered this contest a few times. I won 2nd place once and had a few honorable mentions.

This spring’s contest was another honorable mention. ┬áSo it wasn’t an outright win but an honorable mention I will take.

Spring 2016 Winners – WritersWeekly 24-Hour Short Story Contest

If you’re interested in seeing what I wrote please let me know in the comments. Maybe I’ll post it here.

Social media and its purpose?

Social media is extremely important for a struggling author, artist, small business and big business. I get that. The nauseating words that permeate all the help blogs, sites, and articles all have made it perfectly clear it’s how you get your wares in front of people. Get connected they say. Post your stuff with links and tags and witty comments. Don’t forget to talk about other people. Post their stuff too. Engage your followers. Blah, blah, blah.

(I’m making a point so stick with me here.)

OK. I get it. Cheap advertising. Bring them into the fold. Talk about things important to them. Spread the word on other things and occasionally pitch what you have.

Here’s my problem. You see so many adds on social media to buy this or buy that you become numb. You watch the twitter feed go by and if you’re lucky, or persistent enough, you might see 1 out of 500 tweets that are actually engaging. What’s worse you see the tweets from people that are “experts on social media and will show you how it’s done to grow your base” about 1 in every 20 tweets. You click the link and check out their message. It’s just recycled information you’ve seen 1000 times. OK. I get it. Everyone is saying this is what you do.

So I click on their twitter page. I scroll through their tweets. Their tweet history is 90% what they’re selling, 8% other people and 2% that might be interesting other things.

Huh? Really? Practice what you preach there, dude.

My point in all this? Yes I really have one and it’s not just a rant.

People that are going to buy what you’re selling have to be invested in you emotionally. Sure there might be writers out there that are better than you and sell their books $5 cheaper. So what? If someone doesn’t know them they are less likely to buy those books. However, if you have been actively and sincerely engaging your followers they are more likely to by what your selling. They invest emotionally in you and in a way you have to do the same with them.

How many of you have tweet deck setup and auto-respond to follows and DMs? Is that really engaging your followers? When was the last time you actually responded with a personal note to the people that followed you? Did you thank them for the honor of the follow and to have a great day?

Yes I said honor for the follow. Why? Because there are 50 billion tweets every minute (ok maybe not 50 billion but a lot) and your tweet caught their attention enough to actually look and follow you.

Social media is supposed to mean social and interacting not pitching your wares every 30 seconds. Could you imagine if people in the real world did what a very large number of tweeters do? Could you imagine walking down the street and have everyone pushing signs selling their wares in your face with the occasional joke or engaging comment?

Take a break people. Stop and talk to people. Say hi, ask how there day was, ask about the kids, the dog, what they’re doing. BE SOCIAL not an advertising agency.

Michael tells all… almost

Packed a lot into just about 1000 words tonight. Just having difficulty with focus but Michael and Miranda are handling it just fine.

Michael has begun to tell her more about the valley and the house. How people will only find the valley when they’re ready. He’s telling Miranda about his past and reveals his feelings for her. She believes him but knows he’s still holding back. He skirted some questions but she didn’t want to drill him. She wanted him to speak to her freely and knows he’ll tell her about the mysteries of this place, and him, when he’s ready. ┬áBits and pieces, small steps.

They kiss for the first time…

Miranda needs answers… and Michael

Good night of writing 1600 words. Michael and Miranda are broaching new territory.

Miranda had been in the house alone. She left with tears after he didn’t show himself. Weeks passed before she couldn’t stand it anymore. She went back to the woods determined to see and talk to him. She’s drawn to him. She needed answers. She fell asleep in the woods and woke in her bed, in his house. She’s even more confused, has more questions and still no answers. He has capitulated and agreed to explain. However, Michael isn’t sure what he’s going to say to her. He doesn’t know where to start and isn’t sure how much he should tell her.

Tracking tools?

I’m searching for good submission tracking tools. I know a spreadsheet would be the down and dirty way to do it but I also know that I’ll tend not to update it as I should and it’ll end up doing nothing for me or will be very out of date. So… what do you use to track your submissions? Paid or free software? Online or actual software?

What works for you? What are your opinions? Let me know.