Tag Archives: social media

‘What a novel idea ~ to talk to each other’ or ‘A Truly Social Media Free Holiday’

For two weeks every year I like to leave Twitter, Facebook and my blogs behind me and have a total break. I’m getting more and more content with this as the years pass. At first I panicked. I wrote blog posts to schedule automatically and tweets to appear through Hootsuite. You can do all of this if you:

a) pay an expert to do your marketing for you

b) have the time to do so

or c) just cannot bear being silent for a couple of weeks or more.

I used to ask ~ Will my followers get bored and desert me? Will I have to start again when I get back? Will the world still turn without me?

It is strange for the first couple of days. I am tempted to turn on the internet using my smart phone. You may laugh here but I have never had Facebook or Twitter or even email on my phone. Too intrusive on real life. The man in the phone shop raised his eyebrows when he saw that I hadn’t even discovered the App Store.

I resisted temptation for the first couple of days ~only just.

By the third day I started to relax ~ to forget the pull of all of these time sucking activities and then I noticed something which made me smile and frown at the same time.

At restaurants while hubby and I were learning to talk to each other again we noticed whole families who sat at their table glued to their phones, sharing the occasional joke or two they’d read from friends back home. On buses and on the beach too! By the end of the holiday we were even feeling quite smug about it.

In fact, we enjoyed talking so much that we have vowed to turn the TV off during supper each night back at home, to sit opposite each other and chat about our day. It’s been so refreshing for our communication skills and our relationship as a couple. You should try it.

What a novel idea ~ to talk to each other!


Filed under Social Media Networking

Life Sans Internet ~ The Tribulations of Launching an Novel Without the Internet

When I was thinking about this blog William Shakespeare’s seven ages of man came to mind.

“All the world’s a stage,

And all the men and women merely players:

They have their exits and their entrances;

And one man in his time plays many parts,

His acts being seven ages……………

………….Last scene of all,

That ends this strange eventful history,

Is second childishness and mere oblivion,

Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything”

In the two weeks leading up to the launch of Ancasta I certainly felt like a player in a story, where obstacles placed on my path seemed insurmountable. The first major one was my internet connection going down.

At first I was told that all would be well in 48 hours, but when that deadline passed and the rotating circle (I think it means wait) which usually comforted me that Google would spring to life on my screen, slowed down to such an excruciating pace that I could even go to make a cup of tea, (only the British will understand this one) come back and make a phone call before the screen, ‘This page is currently unavailable,’ dashed my hopes yet again.

In desperation I then discovered that I could gain access before 6.30am and sometimes late at night and so I embarked on a damage limitations course of action, where I answered vital emails, posted the occasional blog and made an on line presence spasmodically on Facebook and Twitter. I felt desperate. Talk about ‘Reactive’ rather than ‘Proactive!’

I tried to focus on ‘off line’ events including a Pre-launch special, which had its own distressing consequences (which I will refer to in my next blog), the timely arrival of my copies of both books, the actual launch on 7th July and other ‘live’ events through the summer.

I was relieved and excited when my copies of both Ancasta and Riduna arrived. There is nothing like the moment when you hold your creation gently in the palm of your hands, and gingerly flick through the pages. My novel was ‘born!’

Next I needed to forward publicity materials; posters, leaflets and bookmarks to various venues. I could certainly do that without the internet.

What a relief when last Saturday’s launch in Woolston and Bitterne was so enjoyable and I learnt a lesson that day, which was important to me. I find it a delight to meet real people.

I also learnt during those early morning and late night vigils on the net, how important it was to truly connect with people as (on line) friends. I found myself searching for a familiar ‘tweeter’ in order to have a meaningful exchange, albeit briefly.

Hootsuite helped. though, where I could schedule key tweets.

Now the internet is working again. What a relief!  In fact I now have wi fi and with a little notebook I’ve just invested in I have the luxury of having both on at the same time…. Just because I can.

To let you into a secret, with the wonder of technology this post is coming to you automatically by scheduling it, and I will be back home after a well needed break tomorrow.

Why, just when I needed the internet so vitally did it desert me? Who knows, but it taught me to value real relationships with people all the more.

Having said that, I feel that I now need a genuine ‘On Line Launch,’ and so, once I am back and settled it will begin. I have made such good ‘on line friends’ that I’m asking for your support.

I wonder if Will Shakespeare were alive in this technological age, how he would have changed his speech.

Can there be life Sans Internet?

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Filed under Ancasta, Marketing your novel, Talks

Are you a Hare or a Tortoise in your writing?

The Hare and the Tortoise

Some writers are hares. They are either fortunate or blessed with amazing talent to write a best seller first time or they go haring off in search of success. A writer’s race is an individual one. Of course the eyes of the world see us competing with each other to win prizes and fame too but do we see ourselves that way?

To my way of thinking writing is lifelong journey. Each good review, acceptance letter, positive feedback given by word of mouth, twitter, e mail, letter, facebook or any other way boosts our feeling of self worth. Today I was contacted by a ladies group wanting me to give a talk and share my experiences and the background to my writing. This request lifted my spirits to an unexpected high.

Of course, like any person writing to share in the public arena you have to harden yourself against the knocks as well. Rejections and criticism are part and parcel of the experience but listening and learning from others can be empowering too. Being prepared to adjust, amend, rewrite or even change direction are also skills we need to hone or even acquire; but sometimes we need to stand firm and accept that people have differing opinions.

With technology opening up a world of communicating to your audience in a way unheard of even ten years ago it is still possible to be a hare, but it is also quite satisfying being a tortoise, gradually building up an audience both virtually and in the real world. Being a tortoise also has the advantages of learning to value feedback but also to learn from it along to way.

I recently read in a Writer’s magazine of someone who was an apprentice writer for several years and only when he had strived to reach perfection did he open his work to the world. My question to him is ‘How did you know that you had reached the one? Are you sure that one of your earlier works would not have been enjoyed equally by your now avid readers?

No, I’m quite happy to be a tortoise. As long as people genuinely enjoy my writing and are interested in what I have to say I will share it.  I’m also sure  that the tortoise appreciates every moment of his experience in the race, taking time to acknowledge the world around him. His limbs may ache with effort at times but how satisfying it is when he reaches his goal(or each individual goal)?


Filed under Marketing your novel, Writing, Writing a novel