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Social Media Minute copy

Social Media Minute—8 Tips for Those with Social Media Commitment Issues

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

We all know it’s important for writers to have a solid presence online.

But many of us struggle with Social Media commitment issues. We have good intentions, but our follow-through may be less than stellar.

So today I’d like to share some tips to help you stay on track.

Stay Committed to Social Media

  1. Set Reasonable Expectations. I think this is the most important piece of advice I can give you. When I first started blogging, I wanted to excel at it. So my inclination was to set the bar high, posting at least five times a week. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized I might not be able to keep up. So instead I started slow, posting once a week, and only adding more days to my schedule when I knew I could handle it. It has been the smartest thing I’ve ever done. I’ve managed all my social media this way, and I believe it’s the one thing that has contributed the most to my success.
  1. Don’t try to do it all at once. Along with reasonable expectations, don’t try to jump into everything at once. I began with blogging, moved into Facebook, and then into Twitter. Taking things one at a time helps you establish good habits without overburdening yourself.
  1. Don’t try to do it all. It’s important to find a few things that you like with social media and stick with those. As I’m writing this, there are approximately 123 social media platforms. Five minutes from now that number will change. We can’t all do everything. Find the networks that work for you and concentrate on those instead of chasing every new things that comes up.
  1. Diversify. Yes, stick with only a few. But make sure you are spreading your social media time between several networks. We all know that things change, and that’s true with social media. If you have all your social media eggs in one basket, you can get burned when those changes occur.
  1. Give yourself a break. Trust me, life happens. There are going to be days when you won’t be able to give the time you want to social media. Relax, it will be fine. Kids get sick, deadlines appear, and tragedies strike. Keep your priorities reasonable and learn to be gentle with yourself.
  1. Set a time limit. Remember social media is the means to an end. It’s the way to connect to your audience. Use it as a tool, but don’t spend all your time on it. Most of all, don’t let it interfere with your commitment to writing.
  1. Celebrate your successes. It’s easy to get discouraged when the numbers move slowly. But small consistent steps will get you where you want to go. So celebrate the process.
  1. Remember they’re people, not numbers. Yes, we want to improve our platform, but don’t focus on the numbers, focus on the relationships. After all, that’s why we’re doing this.

These are the things I use to help overcome my social media commitment issues. I’d love to hear your tips, too. Be sure to leave them in the comments section below.

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Highlights from the Deep Thinkers Retreat

Rachel HauckI’m sitting in my room at Destin Florida a day after the My Book Therapy Deep Thinkers Retreat.

Susie and I har hanging out. Shopping. Watching Property Brothers. And talking about this 6th fabulous retreat.

We had about 17 attendees with 4 staff. Which is wonderful for the intense help and training we give.

This year Susie revealed her secret equation to great story telling.

The SEQ — The Story Equation.

The SEQ focuses on the essentials of a story, starting with character, and fashioning all of the elements needed to make a powerful story.

In short the SEQ is the Dark Moment plotting –> wound, lie, fear, secret desire/greatest dream journey.

We took all of the SEQ elements and fitted them into the four act structure. Act 1, Act 2a, Act 2b, Act 3.

The writers loved the SEQ — those with experience as well as the newbies.

The SEQ is such a great way to start every story, get it on track, and off to a solid start.

This works for both pantsers, plotters, and everything in between.

After a morning teaching session, we broke into groups: Team Susie. Team Rachel and Team Beth.

In the groups, we worked out the SEQ and stories for each of the writers-in-retreat.

Remember, stories are about people facing odds, their fears, the failures, and overcoming.

Ordinary people doing extraordinary things.

Evenings were spent watching movies, then breaking them down to learn story, motivation, and pacing.

We watched We Bought A Zoo and 100 Foot Journey. I highly recommend both.

By the time the retreat ended, each writer left with their story formed and reformed, and ready for writing.

One of the biggest tips from Susie was to remind the writers that sometimes we have to remove “all the furniture” from our stories.

Meaning, when a writer comes to the retreat with a story already formed, he or she has to be willing o not only to change elements, but to remove them completely.

Using the SEQ, it’s easy to see if the character journey is in right alignment.

One of the beauties of My Book Therapy is we don’t just teach you what to do but how to do it. Yet, leaving each writer plenty of room to “write like you write.”

Deep Thinkers is quickly growing into a “must attend” retreat.

It’s intense, fun, lots of laughter, and even more learning.

Stay in touch with My Book Therapy to learn more about the SEQ and next year’s Deep Thinker’s retreat.

The Premium Membership is only $24 a month and chocked full of resources: video lessons and articles.

Now, go write something brilliant.

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Nick Kording

Time to Overcome by Nick Kording

I planned on writing a witty review of a writing craft book each time I contributed to the Weekly Spark. It made sense as I am now writing fiction in addition to Christian living. Also, my huddle group reads a craft book every other month and I read more in between.

But. There’s always a but.

But the last couple weeks, time – more precisely, time to overcome and write – has become a recurrent theme in my life. It’s not that I don’t have time to write, but rather that I don’t carve out that time. I write because I hear God best when I read His Word and write what He gives me. I know I’m not alone. Of the hundreds if not thousands of people I’ve met on the writing journey, the majority indicate their stories come from God.

In turn, I’ve always said I write when He gives me words. Unfortunately, I’ve also used this as an excuse not to write.

“I don’t have any words,” I say. Or maybe, “I write when I hear something and I’m not right now.”

It felt valid at the time. It felt like obedience to the gifts He’s given me. And, yet, somehow, as God has slowed down my life and given me a chance to examine how valuable each day is, I’ve started to realize that “I don’t have any words” isn’t God’s silence but my failure to write the stories, the truths, the love and grace and mercy He’s given me. I’ve always read the stories of Jesus’ ministry with the feeling that I would have followed him throughout Israel and beyond just to sit at His feet. Yet it’s easy for me to become Martha and busy myself with things that aren’t furthering the stories He’s already given me.

Or I refuse, if you will, to stretch out my hand or take up my mat to be healed – to overcome.

“… a man with a shriveled hand was there.He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” So he stretched it out and it was completely restored, just as sound as the other.” – Matthew 12:9-13 (NIV)

So he said to the paralyzed man, “Get up, take up your mat and go home.” Then the man got up and went home. –Matthew 9:6b-7 (NIV)

Jesus didn’t heal the man until he stretched out his hand. Of course, Jesus had to heal the paralytic for the man to be able to get up, but the man had to try. I think the same is true for writing.

We have to try – to make the time to write even when we aren’t sure what we are to say or where our stories are going. And, yes, we also have to make time for other things. God first. Our families and jobs. But we also have to write when that’s our gift – our ministry – our way of showing His glory in overcoming the world.

It’s time. Make time. Take up your mat, stretch out your hand and overcome. Write.


Nick Kording is a writer, ghostwriter and editor.  She was a finalist in the 2014 Rattler Contest and Splickety Love’s Inaugural edition, where her flash fiction, It Does Not Envy, was published. Nick writes Christian living, Bible studies and devotionals, as well as women’s contemporary and Biblical fiction.

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