Thursday, September 18, 2014

Never too Old to Learn New Tricks to Help Your Writing Soar

I am a great believer that we as writers are never too old to learn new tricks to make our writing and our careers soar. That being said I am also aware that some of those "new" tricks may be more difficult for some.

Those same skills that are a must for promoting our work can be absolutely maddening for writers who rather write than do any more techie things needed to connect to outsiders, yet those outsiders are our audience and buy our writing.

I have struggled myself with many fears about the techie world... some days it is a challenge to just open a Google document or sign a contract with an E-signature. I recognize that I needed some added encouragement and instruction so I am taking a course with Julie Foster Hedlund on How to Make Money as a Writer which I am hoping will ease some of my fears about the technical word of promotion and maybe my also fear of success. I need to continue to learn.

Here are  easy tips to get over the fear of technology and get on with the business of writing.

  • Educate yourself on the phases of promotion and production that you are most unfamiliar with. Take classes, on-line courses, read books on the matter, and practice.
  • Practice. This may seem elementary but if you only post to your blog once a month or to your website infrequently then it may take some time to remember how to do it. Guilty as charged. My website takes me a minute every time I go there because I let it go thinking I have nothing new to promote. Wrong. We always have something we can say at least once a week to reach our audience. Getting onto that site more frequently and taking notes helps to make adding content easier.
  • Set Goals. Setting goals will help you to be productive without the frustration. Make the goals for what you need to do or learn reasonable, for instance work on adding images or posting regularly first then go on to adding video etc,
  • Get feed back. Ask others to view what you have done to your site and give you honest feedback on how your technical additions work. Do your pages flow smoothly and are they easy to manage? Can your audience go from the home page on your site to the other pages you offer online? If not, they won't return. Ask for help if you can't get your site to do what you want. Consider paying someone more experienced to do your changes if you don't have time. And if it is E-publishing that you want, find sources that make the process run well and can take some of the pressure off of you- the writer. Many writers handle the start to finish of every e-book they write and others don't want to be bothered with some of the formatting and such. Know your limits and find others who excel in what you need assistance with.
  • Keep going. Never give up even if you feel lost in the techie world. Writing is the first and most important step to success, and the technical stuff will follow either by yourself with learning or by finding another to help.
Social media and all the technical online expectations of an author increase everyday as the audience needs to continually be entertained and engaged. Now is the time to get on board and add more spark to your self promotion and your presentation of your work. Education and practice will give your work just the boost it needs. Remember we are never too old to learn new tricks to make our writing soar.

Terri Forehand and her husband live in the hills of Brown County Indiana where they own a quilt shop. She writes for children and adults, is the author of The Cancer Prayer Book and has begun designing her own patterns with stories to match with the goal of making her writing soar. Her website is or visit her blog at


hpvanduuren said...

Thanks for your post, I also like to have interesting readers feedback only frequently I also get feedback that looks more like some pre-written general comment that doesn't seem to have anything to do with the blog post I wrote.

Karen Cioffi said...

Terri, great tips on keeping your marketing head above water. I especially like the tip on knowing your limits. I think most of us try to do it alone, and granted sometimes the cost is a factor, but if at all possible, it's a good idea to outsource the stuff your don't have time for or the technical ability.

HP, those 'spam' comments are simply a way for the author to get his link in play. I delete any comment that doesn't specifically relate to the blog topic.

Melinda Brasher said...

Good ideas. I also think it's important not to let yourself get overwhelmed or think you have to do EVERY social media platform there is.

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