A Timesaving, Stress-Reducing & Content-Refining Model for Bloggers

“Create content that teaches. You can’t give up. You need to be consistently awesome.— Neil Patel

image by KevinKing
image by KevinKing

Here’s a model that has kept me:

  • Constant in publishing blogs
  • Consistent outside and inside my content
  • Concise in wording my content
  • Clear in my content
  • Creative in brainstorming blog ideas and selecting photos and quotes

1.  Decide and no longer flounder

 

  • Consider carefully how often you can blog and which days you’ll post. When I first started blogging, I decided I could blog once a week. I chose Thursdays to post. I haven’t missed posting. (Constant)
  • Decide what type of blog you’ll write: Journal, Review/Interview, or How-to. I write how-to blogs. (Consistent)
  • List what topics you’ll stick to. My topics are:
    • writing craft,
    • book marketing,
    • blogging, and
    • speaking. (Consistent)
  • Decide if you’ll host guests. I host guests who have how-to posts in my topic areas. (Consistent)
image by PIX1861
image by PIX1861

 

2.  Schedule and no longer struggle

 

  • Brainstorm and Draft. On Fridays, I seek God, brainstorm post ideas, research, and draft posts. I often use tasks I’m working on in my topic areas. That way, I can share my research. (Creative, Clear, Constant)
  • wordpress-552924_1280
    image by gounder
    Polish and Setup. On Mondays, after my content sits for a weekend, I edit the main content down to 500 words, put it through my checklist, obtain photos and a quote, and add my post to WordPress. (Concise, Clear, Consistent)
  • Publish and Announce. On Thursdays, I review the post again, publish, and announce to social media and writing groups. (Clear, Consistent, Constant)
  • Respond to Comments.  I have email notification of comments sent to me. I respond to all comments as soon as I can. (Constant, Consistent)

3. Create aids and no longer forget

  • Checklist. Mine makes my editing tasks go quickly without worry. Most important reminders in my checklist are:   

◊  Check for:

•  Uniform bullet structures (Consistent, Clear)

•  Words I tend to misspell (Clear)

•  Words that may work as contractions (Concise)

•  Words ending with –ing (Concise)

◊  Add links and make sure they open in a new tab. (Clear)

◊  Construct Click to Tweet. (Clear)

◊  Test that links and Click to Tweet work. (Clear)

◊  Add tags and category. (Clear)

◊  Select featured photo. (Consistent, Clear)

◊  Capture post’s unique link to announce posts. (Clear)

◊  Announce post to list of social media venues and groups. (Constant, Consistent)

Check-list 

  • Reserve blog post. I always have at least one post ready on WordPress for emergencies. (Constant, Consistent)

Use this model to be a constant, consistent, concise, clear, & creative blogger. Click to tweet.

What do you do to make blogging efficient and your content reader-friendly?

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How You Can Use Life’s Connections to Inspire Your Writing

WhereHeartsMeet_w11796_300My guest today is LoRee Peery. LoRee shares an example of how she received inspiration and employed it in writing Where Hearts Meet. LoRee is generously offering a PDF giveaway of Where Hearts Meet to one of this week’s commenters (9/17 – 9/23/2015). Be sure to learn more about LoRee and Where Hearts Meet following her post.

Also, note that Alzheimer’s Day is September 21.

 

LoRee: My latest release, Where Hearts Meet, is a romance. Deena Shores and Simon Hart meet at a memory care facility where Deena works and Simon’s mother is a resident.

image by geralt
image by geralt

A woman I’ll call Hattie is currently in a similar facility not far from where I live. Hattie touched my life and inspired me to write the mother of my hero.

Here are the basics of what I pulled from knowing Hattie for use in my story:

♥   Observing this woman showed me how to create Rose Hart’s character.

The connection with Hattie was the catalyst in giving me the idea of how to bring my hero and heroine together.

♥   What struck me most when I first met her, was the way Jesus shined in Hattie’s smile and through her eyes. She may have memory loss, but she’s never forsaken Jesus’ name.

That was the main characteristic I wanted to put in my story. The fictitious Rose Hart has Hattie’s heart for Jesus.

♥  During the writing of the story, I caught a notice for the grand opening of an Alzheimer’s care center.

I attended the open house to make sure neither the way I presented the care of fictitious residents, nor my setting, would dishonor dementia patients in any way. As I toured the facility, the Lord assured me He wanted me to write this story.

Suggestions

My suggestions for writers are to allow your writing to flow from your experiences. I hope you will glean a point or two from my experience to use in your writing.

  • Always keep your mind open to the details in everyday and unique events. If something inspires you, jot down and file the details.
  • Pay attention to the traits and actions of the people you encounter. Record their mannerisms to use later in characters.
  • If you can, go to the places or similar locals of the settings in your story. Take good notes that will enrich your scenes and make readers feel like they’re taking part along with the characters.
  • Be alert to, and record, applicable Bible verses for use in your story. Whether you quote them in the story or not, they will help guide your plot and characterizations.

♥  Go forth fellow writers  ♥   

  • Pray for acute attention to enable future use of your observations.
  • Take advantage of how life makes you feel.
  • Write it down, and use it at the right time.

Suggestions for how to allow your writing to flow from your experiences. Click to tweet.

How have you used a life experience to enrich your story?

Thank you, Zoe, for allowing me to be your guest.

Zoe here: Don’t forget to comment for a chance to receive a PDF of Where Hearts Meet.

First choiceLoRee Peery is a Christian romance author who writes to feel alive, as a way of contributing, and to pass forward the hope of rescue from sin. She writes of redeeming grace with a sense of place. LoRee clings to I John 5:4 and prays her family sees that faith. She has authored the Frivolities Series and other e-books. Her desire for readers, the same as for her characters, is to discover where they fit in this life journey to best work out the Lord’s life plan. She is who she is by the grace of God.

Connect with LoRee through these links: 

www.loreepeery.com 

https://twitter.com/LoreePeery 

https://www.facebook.com/LoReePeery

 

WhereHeartsMeet_w11796_300Are obedience and trust in God enough to keep Deena and Simon from chasing memories?

Shattered by the loss of her parents, Deena pours her love into her patients at an assisted living facility. When the son of one her charges starts showing up to spend time with his mother, Deena’s wary heart is warmed by his attention to his mother…and to her. Simon is plagued by his ex-wife’s disappearance years before. When he meets Deena, who closely resembles the woman, he fears his attraction is based only on Deena’s looks. But she exhibits a warmth his ex-wife never had. Dare he risk his once broken heart? As two lonely souls pursue a tentative, budding love, secrets and lies come forward to tear them apart. Can Simon and Deena overcome loss and allow their hearts to mend?

After Research, I Know What the Elusive Writer’s Voice Really Is

“To me, your writer’s voice is the expression of YOU on the page.
— Rachelle Gardner

image by CSTRSK
image by CSTRSK

A few years ago, I found my writer’s voice while I wrote a short story. At that time, I couldn’t define what writer’s voice is. Now I’ve done research, and made a list of writers’ definitions.

On my list, every time another writer agreed with one aspect, I added a checkmark after the aspect. Now, I think I know what writer’s voice really is.

None of the multiple-checked aspects won.

But reading them all pushed me to my aha moment. Rachel Gardner’s blog post, What is Writer’s Voice?, particularly struck me. Here are quotes from Gardner’s blog that pushed my bingo button:

image by OpenClipartVectors
image by OpenClipartVectors

“Your voice is all about honesty. It’s the unfettered, non-derivative, unique, conglomeration of your thoughts, feelings, passions, dreams, beliefs, fears and attitudes, coming through in every word you write.”

“How, then, are you failing to express that on the page?”

“I think it’s because most of us spend our lives presenting to the world anything and everything except who we really are.”

 

 

Ding, ding, ding! I get it! I get it!

image by PublicDomainPictures
image by PublicDomainPictures

 

1.  What came to mind while reading Gardner’s blog post is a statement someone said about Alzheimer’s disease. People dealing with the disease slowly lose the filter they have that takes what’s in their minds, what’s in their very being, and “cleans” it up before they speak or act.

Call it a social filter. Some people with Alzheimer’s disease become blustery or mean when they lose their social filter. Others become serene or friendly, after years of being private or reserved.

image by vdavasad
image by vdavasad

2. Because I still have my social filter, what goes on inside me is often different than what I say or do. Except now, I’ve split off a second filter for writing. The mesh in my writer’s filter has larger holes than my social filter. As Gardner alluded to, I’m more honest when I write now.

 

 

3.  In my non-writing life, the only person I employ a larger-holed social filter for is my husband. I love to make him laugh and banter with him. I can be funny, sassy, and occasionally, snarky.

4.  Now, I understand why I’ve had to rewrite two heroines since I found my writer’s voice. I was having too much fun allowing sassier and snarkier thoughts to invade them. Heroines were coming across unlikeable, reflecting poor inner characters.

Conversely, perseverance, loyalty, honesty, humor, and spiritual seeking streamed to my heroines through my writer’s filter.

But, I needed to tone down the sass and get rid of snarky attitudes.

5. Another writer helped me manage one unlikeable character. She suggested my heroine often say what I had her thinking. Better yet, for the sake of my heroine’s inner character, I had my heroine think thoughts that she would say. Now I understand why that worked. Of course, my character would put up her social filter and convert snarky thoughts into sass. So, I used the milder sass for her thoughts.

After research, I know what writer’s voice really is. Click to tweet.

What’s something you’ve identified in your writer’s voice, something you’ve allowed through the mesh of your writer’s filter?