The Intent Behind “Liking” and “Following” Blogs

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Is blogging just a numbers game?

I’m fairly new to the blogging world, so maybe I’m just not sure how it works, or is supposed to work.

Do random people just show up and like or follow blogs because they are hoping the favor will be returned? Or do they genuinely appreciate the ideas that I’m sharing?

Don’t get me wrong, I truly appreciate each and every person who “Likes”, “Follows”, or leaves a comment on my blog. My question is in the intent. When someone likes my blog, and I click back to look at their blog, I’m always suspicious when they just started blogging last month but already have 67 people like each post and 1,842 followers. Not so coincidentally, most of the comments that people leave say, “Thank you for stopping by my blog.”

Is this a “drive-by” marketing technique? If it is, doesn’t it cheapen the real Likes, Follows, and Comments? Or is it just a community of people supporting each other? Let me know what you think.

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Should You Write What You Like to Read?

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I set a goal this year to outline a novel and to write six well-polished chapters. My struggle was deciding on what type of fiction to write. Naturally, the first place I turned to for advice was my best friend, Google, who told me that I should write the type of books that I like to read.

I felt uneasy about that advice, so I turned to the members of my LinkedIn group, “Aspiring Writers,” who told me the same thing.

That was a problem.

Most of the books that I read are thrillers or crime novels, but I wanted to write chick-lit. It was like I already knew the answer, but I was going to keep asking people until someone told me what I wanted to hear.

I got what I was looking for.

During my last writing group class, I asked my teacher what she thought. She told me that I should write what I want to write. Bottom line.

Chick-lit it is, I thought.

I got further confirmation when I read Kristen Lamb’s blog post about finding your voice. It was very helpful and I was reassured that I should write what comes naturally. That may or may not be my favorite genre to read.

I want to know:

Do you write what you like to read, or not?

Writing: Setting the Mood

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Image courtesy of http://boscafelife.wordpress.com/

What is your writing routine?

Although I’m usually excited to come home from my day job and start working on my writing, I still enjoy having certain routines in place to set the mood. I’m not complicated; just having Jazz music playing and a glass of water (or wine) will do the job. I also like to have freshly sharpened pencils.

Here are some ideas to help you develop your own writing routine, or to incorporate into your existing one:

  • Play music to help you focus
  • Light a candle
  • Meditate before you start
  • Set goals (i.e. “I will write 1,000 words a day.”) and post them where you can see them
  • Choose a location
  • Choose a time of day you would like to write, and try to stick to that

Here are some links for more ideas:

Please share your writing routine. What works for you? What have you tried that doesn’t work?

Dealing with Distractions – A Writer’s Worst Nightmare

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Distractions.

A writer’s worst enemy. They are everywhere, and hide themselves well. This blog, is in fact, a distraction from what I was working on – my fiction.

How do we, as writers, overcome distractions?

Last week, on Les Brown’s radio show, he had a guest who gave the advice to use a timer to deflect distractions. You set the timer to go off each hour, and when the timer goes off, you are supposed to evaluate what you are doing at that time, and if it is what you should be doing. This is supposed to help you become aware of your distractions.

I can see how this would help, but maybe it would be better to set it at twenty minute intervals.

My distractions include checking WordPress for comments, Facebook for updates, and Twitter for tweets. And if somebody posts an interesting link, there goes another 10 minutes down the drain.

What are your biggest distractions, and do you have any tips to share on staying focused? Leave a comment below.

Now, if this blog distracted you from what you should be doing, get back to work!