writing inspiration

When the Universe Speaks

It’s been a month but I can finally say that I feel like the old me!  Woohoo!  Good health is something to be appreciated!

After being sick for so long, it’s been difficult to get back into the groove of things as far as my writing goes.  I guess the universe, or my muse, or whatever decided I needed a push. Who would have thought it would come from Chinese carry-out? Seriously – when your fortune cookie starts offering writing advice, it’s time to stop making excuses!

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Let the writing begin!

Writing & Blogging – Finding the Balance

In North Carolina, it’s common knowledge that if you don’t like the weather, have patience. It’ll change in a day or two.  After the blizzard of 2016, to which residents of coastal NC were casual observers, we had a couple days of rain and then a warming trend. Today (Sunday) saw a high in the upper 60’s and plenty of sunshine.  When days come along like this – you have to take advantage of them.  I grabbed some paper and a pen and headed to the park.

 

Dreams do come true for those who dare to believe in themselves

View from my Sunday writing desk – a picnic table at Stump Sound Park

The change of scenery provided me with an escape from the distractions of home. Scenes unfolded and the words came. It was wonderful – so wonderful, I’m thinking that a weekly writing escape might be in order.

And then comes my blog…

I stumbled across a blog post talking about the reasons a blog is a waste of time for a writer and that prompted a lot of thinking on my part.  Am I a writer who blogs? Am I a blogger who writes? Does it really make a difference?

If you are a writer, I’m sure you can relate to the dilemma so many of us face.

Over and over, we are told:

Build your platform!

Grow your audience!

Blog!  Tweet!  Pin!

And we do it or at least we try…

But in doing so, it’s easy to lose sight of the reason we’re doing all of this – because we want to write books – we want to share our stories – and the time we’d spend conjuring those tales is instead spent on creating content for our blogs and being good neighbors over in Twitter-land…

Maybe that’s a necessary evil.

I’m not sure.

What I have learned is this –

Blogging doesn’t equate to selling books.

And neither does tweeting.

Writing more books, however, definitely increases the likelihood of sales.

Not convinced?

On Twitter, I follow boohoos of authors.  Some do nothing but scream “Buy my book!” I admit it – I ignore those tweets.  Others share links to their blogs – offering great content – maybe an interesting podcast – and if I find them helpful, I sign up for their emails. On occasion, I might purchase an e-book.  But the thing is – that’s not an everyday occurrence and just because I find a twitter account informative doesn’t mean I’m going to buy the author’s books.  The same holds true with blogs.

I don’t think I’m alone in this…

It’s not that I don’t appreciate the author’s efforts.  I do.  But my goodness – who has the time or the financial resources to support every writer we come in contact with?

When it comes to my blog-

I try to offer interesting content. My followers/daily traffic is increasing. I know that building a following takes time.  That being said – all the blogging and tweeting really haven’t made a difference in my book sales.  And that’s okay.  I like blogging. I’ve made connections with people from all over the world – friendships that were made possible because of our blogs.

What’s it going to be?

My focus will be on my writing.  That’s my dream.  BUT – I’ll continue to blog and if blogging leads to a book sale then great.  And if blogging continues to open doors to different parts of the world, allowing me to meet new people and share ideas with them, that’s even better!

What about you?  How do you balance blogging, writing, and all the rest?

Time Saving Tip:

In an effort to maintain my social media presence with a minimal time investment, I’ve turned to Hootsuite.  If you haven’t tried this scheduling option, I’d encourage you to check it out.  By scheduling your tweets, etc – you can in effect be in multiple places at one time.  I may be at work but Hootsuite is sending out my tweets/facebook posts, etc – making me look active.  Hootsuite also provides links to relevant content (blogs) that you can share on your various accounts. Best of all – it’s free. (There is a paid option available.)

 

The Enchanted Cottage

They say opposites attract – and it must be true.  My husband and I have been married for over 25 years.  He’s my best friend and while we have many things in common, there’s plenty of areas where we differ.  He likes chicken; I prefer steak.  He likes salty; I like sweet.  He loves winter while summer is my choice.

Hubs grew up in Ohio – he loves snow and white Christmases – neither of which happened in coastal North Carolina this year.  Christmas day hit 70 degrees. Hubs was disappointed to say the least.

So – that made my Christmas gift to him all the better.  A weekend in a mountain cabin in Virginia.

Drum roll….

The Enchanted Cottage

D.S. McKnight

This little cabin was perfectly enchanting!

Enchanted Cottage waterfallAnd while it is quite the romantic getaway, I couldn’t help but think that others might find the cabin a wonderful writing retreat. Everything about this place tickled my imagination.  It was literally like walking into a fairy-tale.

The Enchanted Cottage is located in Dugspur, Virginia – just about 30 miles north of Mt. Airy, North Carolina.

How about you?  Have you stumbled across a place that would serve as a wonderful writing retreat?

 

 

My Perfect Day

Perfect days are hard to come by – but when they come along – you gotta dive in head first. Saturday was beautiful – sunny, highs in upper 70’s and a wonderful sea breeze.  After being stuck inside all week, I had to be outside.  I started with a visit to the river.  

The hermit crabs were doing their thing, crawling over the rocks and each other.

100_1432While the North Carolina coast doesn’t get to experience much in the way of the changing of leaves, nature didn’t totally forget to paint our little corner of the world.  We get wildflowers and berries and on occasion – something other than pine tree needles.

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Boaters took advantage of the day, too.  And while I’m sure this sailor was disappointed at having to be towed in, I loved watching the activity. 

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Sailboat being towed – New River

I met up with my writers group for lunch – that’s always a good time.  

And then I took a detour – went back to my childhood and visited some precious memories.

I grew up on the water.  My father was a commercial fisherman.  I spent my summers hanging out at the fish house. After “heading” shrimp (actually de-heading them is more accurate), I’d go home, get into a swim suit and go back to the fish house where we kids would climb onto the shrimp boats and jump off the sides – swimming in the slough.

My father is retired now.  My brother, however,  is trying to keep the family tradition alive.  He works as a school teacher, serves in the Army Reserves and in his spare time is repairing a boat my father and uncle built some 33 years ago.  

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My father overseeing my brother

There’s still quite a bit of work to do.  The outriggers need to be painted, the fish hold needs some work and the wench needs to be repaired.  But when they finish, she will be beautiful.

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outriggers

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the wench

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The view from the cabin

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a brown pelican

My perfect day reminded my of a line from one of my favorite movies:

Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.

                                                                                                                           -Ferris Bueller

Here’s hoping that you can slow down and enjoy a perfect day!