Get Your Writing Noticed – Part 1

social media

If you consider yourself a writer, it’s likely that writing will first and foremost always be your deepest passion. If you’re brave, you’ll turn that passion into a career; that’s where the fun (and the fight) begin. These days, everyone is writing; the internet is continuously being saturated with new content every waking moment. So, the question is, how do you get your own writing noticed? How do you catch the eyes of those who are willing to pay you for the words that your write?

 

While we guarantee a multi-million dollar contract will fall into your lap overnight, there are a few different things that you can do in order to get your name and your writing in front of the correct people.

 

Do You Have Blog Yet? You should.

As an author, you would absolutely be remiss to not have a blog these days. Everything is digital, and being a late adopter to blogging platforms/technology is only going to be a disservice to you.  Two great blogging platforms are WordPress and Blogger.

 

Your blog will act as digital writing portfolio, and will help you get discovered more easily by those searching online for writers to work with. A viral blog post, or a well-timed tweet with a link to your blog post could very well be the key to your next big writing gig.

 

Use Social Media to Your Advantage.

Social Media can be advantageous to your writing career for two different reasons. For one, promoting your blogs and writing pieces on Twitter, Medium, Facebook, etc will help get more eyes on your pieces. Social media is a great way to curate a loyal following, connect with other authors, and get the correct people to pay attention to your work.

 

Using social media also forces you to tap into a different type of writing style. You quickly learn to be clever and witty in 140 characters or less, and create posts that get your point across quickly and succinctly (because you’ll undoubtedly be battling for attention with viral videos of kittens).

Be sure to check back next month for more tips on getting your writing noticed.

Tips to Work Through Writer’s Block

woman on laptop

It’s every writer’s worst nightmare: Writer’s Block.

 

Nothing seems to be coming out correctly. Every word you write down feels trite. You have a million ideas and not a single one feels good enough to actually pursue. You’re just….stuck.

 

Don’t worry. The good news is that you are not the first or the last author to experience writer’s block, and contrary to popular belief, there really are ways to get through it. Here are a few tried and tested ways that fellow writers like yourself power through their mental blocks. Work through a few of these exercises, and the words will be flowing before you know it.

Move Around

This may seem counterintuitive, but sometimes all you need to do is get the blood flowing in your body. Stagnation of the mind can be directly linked to the stillness of the body. Your movement can be as simple as a short walk to as involved as a yoga session. Connect with your breath, refocus, and then sit back down. You’d be shocked by how a little blood flow through the body will help get the brain functioning freely again.

 

Write In the Morning

If your writer’s block is ongoing, try to get your ideas flowing as soon as you wake up. If you aren’t breaking your REM cycle, you’ll wake up with your brain in Theta wave mode (which in simple terms is “dream mode”). Scientists have found that theta waves are related to vivid imagery and creativity, so getting your creative juices flowing while you still have access to those brain waves can be huge for your productivity.

 

Embrace Freewriting

Writing may not seem like the solution to your problem with…writing. But freewriting is different than trying to create a specific structure and/or storyline. Free writing helps you to free your brain from the pressure of perfection, and allows for the gathering of ideas and thoughts on a general topic. If a topic feels like too much, just write whatever you want. Don’t worry about grammar and punctuation; just allow your brain to come up with anything, and get it all down. Free writing will allow you to get back in touch with the creativity that may have been trapped by a deadline or specific frame of thinking that you’ve been working through.

 

For more tips on how to free yourself from writer’s block, see these resources here and here.

 

Tips to Networking Effectively

 

networking meeting

Networking is one of the most powerful ways to further your career. It’s important to have a strong professional network, as the people within your network will be the people will be able to provide you with resources and opportunities that you may not have access to on your own.

But, networking can be difficult sometimes if you’re a more introverted person, or just very much out of your personal comfort zone. It may be difficult to form a lasting, positive impression if you are nervous, so use these tips to help you through your next networking event or opportunity.

 

Plan Ahead

This is especially helpful if you are a bit shy and nerves make it hard for you to think on your feet. Do a little research before your upcoming event so that starting a conversation with strangers doesn’t feel so daunting. Determine who will be attending the event, and if possible, pick out a few people that you absolutely know you’ll want to connect with. Use Linkedin and their personal websites as resources to find a bit about them beforehand. Prepare some questions that you can use to break the ice, but make sure they aren’t too specific, so that you don’t make them uncomfortable, and other people will feel welcome to join the discussion.

 

Try to Get an Intro

Having someone else introduce you to the person(s) you want to speak with is the easiest way to make a connection.  Seek out someone who knows the person (if you don’t know anyone, ask the host of the event).  Having someone of importance introduce you immediately gives you more clout than a solo introduction will, and will likely break the ice for you.

 

Learn to Listen

Go into any interaction with the mindset of “what can I learn from this person”. Everyone (including you) has a wealth of knowledge and unique experiences. Seek out individuals that you know will be able to teach you something new, and really listen. Ask pertinent questions and listen empathetically to build a personal and real connection with the person you are speaking with.

For resources and more information on networking, check the following sources: Inc  & HuffPost

 

What 2016 Writing Resolutions Have You Made?

Writing

The new year is here, and as follows, many writers have vowed to develop new skills and better habits to make 2016 their year to shine. Consider breaking down those barriers, taking a leap of faith, and resolve to write like you’ve never written before.

Write that story that’s been lingering in the back of your mind since 2011.

Whether is a biography of a loved one, a short story idea that just won’t disappear, a cookbook, poetry collection, or historical fiction, start writing it. Thinking about it, brainstorming, and piecing together plot lines are great starts, but unless you put that pen to paper, the story will live and die in your mind. Getting started is the hardest part of any venture. Remember, it doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to get done.

Travel to a new location.

Traveling always seems to inspire our inner creativity. Whether you take a road trip to another state or visit another country, something about traveling ignites our sense of wonder and enthusiasm for the unknown. This year, schedule more time to escape on an adventure. Soak in your surroundings and write what you see. Write what you feel or how a character in your story would perceive the world around them. Theses multi-faceted points of view will surely produce quality, usable content.

Read or reread a historically significant book.

From The Alchemist to Lolita, revisit that high school literally list and pick out the ones you missed. While you may not relate to stories like The Bell Jar or War and Peace, each of these books are extraordinarily written with a message that touches upon what it means to be human, how we live our lives, or even insight as to how the world has changed since. These books may inspire you to write from an alternative perspective or simply something unique.

2016 can truly be the year your writing has a chance to shine. Practice as often as possible, continue to be open to new ideas, and take a chance with that piece you never truly sat down to write.

Vulture: 7 Books to Read this Januaray

WDM-Vulture

We’ve got a new year of reading a head of us we think this Vulture article outlining the top 7 reads for the next month is a great start! From Samantha Hunt and Ruth Warner, to Tessa Hadley, Elizabeth Strout, Vulture has your covered. For a full list, click the link below: Vulture: 7 Books You Need to Read This January.

Must-Visit Websites for Writers

Pen-Addict

Although innovations in technology have afforded us many ways to make use of digital writing, some still prefer the old fashion way of writing with a pen and paper. If you’re anything like us, there’s a special pen thats made its way into your heart. We all have a favorite pen we prefer to use, whether it writes exceptionally well or we just feel more creative holding it. Check out The Pen Addict‘s top 5 pen list to see if you can find your new favorite pen.

The Pen Addict: Top 5 Pens

The Pen Addict also has a number of reviews and super informative posts. They post give-aways and host a regularly updated podcast as well.


 

stationary

All Things Stationary, started in 2014, is dedicated to presenting some of the world’s best stationary. They feature a wide range of interviews and shop visits as well as pens, pencils, and adorable notepads. Say goodbye to Staples and find your next notebook suggestion from this London based blog.

Check out one of their stationary unboxing videos below:


 

alt-heavenIf you’re interested in tradition writing or calligraphy and need a good fountain pen, this website has you covered. Alt. Heaven features some stunning photography of fountain pens and ink and if you’re a Singapore resident, the author occasionally has a few gems for sale. Check out the reviews and see which pen is right for you. Junee Lim posted a fairly extensive review of the Pilot Metropolitan Pop Collection earlier today!


 

LoriWith fairly up-to-date reviews, The Desk of Lori is the blog of a 28-year-old woman in love with fountain pens. Her promise? “I will always give an unbiased opinion based on my experience using the product, regardless of whether I’ve purchased it myself, or it was given to me to review.” Check her out!


cramped

The Cramped features not only reviews and images of stationary, but also think-pieces, quotes, and the genuine concerns of other writers. Check out one of their latest posts titled, “If you wanted to ensure it lasted for 150 years – you’d choose paper.

As amazing as our current electronic technologies are – despite their strengths – are terribly, terribly ephemeral. The code that worked yesterday isn’t support today. The processors of – five years ago, ten years ago – are brought to their knees by the computational complexity and presumed processor capabilities of today’s software. The runtime environments required by the digital creations I manifested as a University student not only do not exist – computers of today don’t even recognize the file types.

 

Words of Wisdom to Future Writers

Writing a book isn’t easy and anyone who tells you otherwise hasn’t written a book. The process is emotional and deliberate, yet often magical and up-lifting. However, there are numerous challenges and insecurities that writers face as they attempt their first book. And with the market so recently oversaturated, writing a book may seem cursory or downright unimpressive. Yet still, writers are constantly searching for new ways to join prose in elegance, express an alternative point of view, or offer advice to someone like them.

Here are a few words of wisdom that will shed some insight on whether you’re truly ready for your book project.

“To gain your own voice, you have to forget about having it heard.”
—Allen Ginsberg, WD

Most people start a book project with the thought of fame and fortune in mind. In order to be a successful writer, you have to truly analyze why you want to write. What unique opinion, tone, or passion can you bring to the world? When you write for the intrinsic value of producing art, you can write freely and confidently. Good intentions make the project worthwhile.

“The road to hell is paved with works-in-progress.”
—Philip Roth

To reiterate, nothing about writing a book is easy. It takes mistake after mistake and draft after draft. Sometimes you have to start over – and that’s truly a frustrating feeling. Perhaps you’ll hit writers’ block and an original idea won’t come to you for months on end. This is a natural part of writing a book.

“We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.”
—Ernest Hemingway

Even your favorite writers have insecurities. There’s nothing wrong with questioning yourself, feeling uneasy, or worrying if you’re using the right words along the way. The most important thing is to let this resonate as a humbling feeling instead of an overwhelming state of being.

“The greatest part of a writer’s time is spent in reading, in order to write; a man will turn over half a library to make one book.”
—Samuel Johnson

Reading is essential to developing style. By reading, you learn what works and what doesn’t work, deciding what kind of writer you want to be. A writer who does not read cannot be successful.

“Who wants to become a writer? And why? Because it’s the answer to everything. … It’s the streaming reason for living. To note, to pin down, to build up, to create, to be astonished at nothing, to cherish the oddities, to let nothing go down the drain, to make something, to make a great flower out of life, even if it’s a cactus.”
—Enid Bagnold

This is the most important aspect of all. Remember, writing can be healing. And even though it’s challenging, it shouldn’t be seen as impossible. With true reflection, you can produce something beautiful and memorable.

Anticipated September 2015 Women Authors

Here at Women of Distinction Magazine, we pride ourselves on celebrating the accomplishments of women writers and authors. The process of publishing your own written material is a time consuming, harrowing process. That bittersweet release date brings a proud sense of accomplishment muddled with anxiousness towards public perception. That being said, here are some highly anticipated women authors for the month of September.

DrylandSara Jaffe – Dryland (Sept 1, 2015): Set in 1992 during a world HIV/AIDs epidemic and Balkan War, Julie Winter of Portland, Oregon wanders through life with a fairly negative disposition. Her older brother, a one-time Olympic hopeful swimmer, now lives in a self-imposed exile in Berlin. Although she has never considered swimming herself, Julie’s peer Alexis tries to recruit her for the swim team. This gives Julie the perfect opportunity to discover not only herself, but also her brother.

Sara Jaffe is a fiction writer living in Portland, Oregon. She holds a BA from Wesleyan University and an MFA from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is also the co-founding editor of New Herring Press.

fatesandfuriesLauren Groff – Fates and Furies: A Novel (Sept 15, 2015): Lotto and Mathilde’s marriage is the envy of all their friends. Since the age of 22, they’ve had an electric and passionate love affair. Or so it seems. Sometimes the key to a great marriage lies in the secrets and not the truth.

Lauren Groff is the author of The Monsters of Templeton and Arcadia. Her work has appeared in the New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly, Harper’s, Tin House, OneStory, McSweeney’s, and Ploughshares.

aftertheparadeLori Ostlund – After the Parade: A Novel (Sept 22, 2015): Fort-year-old Aaron Englund escaped his claustrophobic Midwestern hometown and yet, he still has trouble fitting in. He soon learns that in order to find solace in his new San Francisco home, he has to make peace with events from his past in Morton, Minnesota. Stemming from his father’s untimely death, Aaron has to confront his deep-rooted feelings of rejection that continue to haunt him.

Lori Ostlund is a Flannery O’Connor and 2009 Rona Jaffe Foundation Award winner. She is a teacher and lives in San Francisco, California.

Other titles to looks out for:
Joanna Walsh – Hotel (Object Lessons) (Sept 24, 2015):
Claire Vaye Watkins – Gold Flame Citrus: A Novel (Sept 29, 2015):