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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Blogging, Most Recent at Top [Help]
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1. Infusing Information Writing Throughout the Day: Diving Into Information Writing

A recovering hater of information writing, this post is my first step towards bringing information writing to life for my third graders! It is a vision and collection of possibliities for infusing information writing across the curriculum through the day.

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2. NerdCon and a Blogging Birthday

Today is my golden blog birthday! Twelve years of blogging is ancient in internet time but I can honestly say I am surprised because it doesn’t feel like I have been doing this crazy thing for that long. When I began I just thought I’d try out a new thing called blogging and see what happened, I had no long-term plan. But it was fun so I kept at it. The years passed and sometimes I would wonder just how long I could possibly keep this up? I told myself, and I still do, that the day is ceases to be fun is the day I hang up my blog hat. Since I am still here you know I am still having fun. Quite a lot of that fun is because of all of you, leaving comments, telling stories, and sharing the marvelous obsession of books and reading we all have.

So thank you. You could all be in a gazillion other places, but for this little bit of time you have chosen to be here. I am honored and grateful and convinced that I must be one of the luckiest people in the world.

Maybe it is only appropriate that I tell you about my NerdCon Stories weekend. This was not a comic convention, this was a storytelling convention. It was organized by Hank and John Green. You may recognize the name John Green, yup, he’s the very same who wrote The Fault in Our Stars. Nearly 3,000 people turned out for this first ever event. There were nerds of all stripes and ages and from all over. I met a mother and daughter who had driven up from Georgia. There were lots of awesome nerd t-shirts, many of them book related, hair colors from every spectrum of the rainbow, a TARDIS dress, lots of fun shoes and boots that I coveted and I don’t even especially like shoes. There were a few people who arrived in costume but not many.

The days began and ended with main stage events that included various presentations on why stories matter. Some were funny and some were serious. There were storytelling games, rapid fires questions to a panel of writers, a mock debate on sock sock shoe shoe v. sock shoe sock shoe, some puppet theater, and musical entertainment and a little sing along.

There were breakout session panels throughout the day both days on a variety topics from adaptation to alternate media, activism and narrative, oral storytelling, storytelling through song, and writing about sex. There were so many people wanting to see this last panel that there were disappointed people who didn’t make it into the room including myself.

A little blurry Telling the Truth panel

A little blurry Telling the Truth panel

The panels I did make it to were mostly pretty interesting. One was called “Telling the Truth.” It was moderated by Hank Green and the panelists were Paolo Bacigalupi, Leslie Datsis, Jaqueline Woodson, Ana Adlerstein and Nalo Hopkinson. All of the panelists talked about how, fiction or nonfiction, they try to tell the truth as they see it. Bacigalupi put it best when he said fiction is facts that become a beautiful lie.

Another panel I attended was called “Honing Your Craft: Embettering Your Word-Doing.” Moderated by Holly Black, the panelists were Paolo Bacigalupi, Stephanie Perkins, Lev Grossman, and Nalo Hopkinson. Grossman works full time as an editor at Time Magazine and I was surprised to learn that he did most of his fiction writing on the New York subway to and from work. They all commented on how each book requires a different writing process and it never actually gets easier. One of the most interesting things about this session was how these obviously successful writers all mentioned at one point or another how afraid they are to show their work to other people and how their fear of looking stupid drove them to revise and revise and make their work the best they could. They all had strategies for overcoming their fears of writing badly. And while they all talked about being afraid, it also struck me that they were all quite brave as well. Both Grossman and Bacigalupi remarked that they had each just called it quits on books they had been writing for months that were not working and how they put all that work aside and started over.

One of my favorite sessions was “The Benefits of Diverse Stories.” The moderator was Liz Hara and the panelists were Desiree Burch, Jacqueline Woodson, Dylan Marron and Jacqueline Carey. They all stressed the importance of not having a single narrative to represent an entire group of people as if a gay man or a black woman could only have one kind of story. All of them talked about looking past the marginalized to the general and finding the humanity and the things that connect us all. Dylan Marron suggested that if you are telling a universal story you should use universal bodies to tell that story instead of defaulting to straight white man. It was all very inspiring!

This is starting to get really long so I will save a few more bits for tomorrow. Something to look forward to I hope!

Filed under: Blogging, Books Tagged: NerdCon Stories

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3. How a Tiny Buddha Keeps Growing: An Interview with Lori Deschene About Blogging, Book Authoring, and Beating Writer Stress

Tiny Buddha CoverI was so happy to be able to talk with Lori Deschene. As the founder of Tiny Buddha, she’s helped more than 1,200 people (including me!) share their stories and lessons with more than 60 million readers (as of June, 2015). She’s the author of Tiny Buddha: Simple Wisdom for Life’s Hard Questions, Tiny Buddha’s Guide to Loving Yourself, and her newest release: Tiny Buddha’s 365 Tiny Love Challenges.

Lori, I know you’ve written for girls’ magazines, and many of The Renegade Writer’s readers want to write for magazines themselves. How did you get into that?

I found my first magazine writing opportunity on Craigslist in the gigs section—something that doesn’t happen all that often! I didn’t actually have much professional writing experience at that time, but I did have the right experience.

The magazine was a new middle grade publication, for girls aged eight to twelve, and they were looking for witty, upbeat articles on friendship, self-esteem, and surviving embarrassing moments.

Prior to finding this opportunity, I’d worked in mobile marketing, taking promotional campaigns from city to city. My last tour was a walk across the country to promote a variety of health and fitness-related products. As the tour’s dog walker, I wrote a “dog blog” that chronicled my canine companion’s adventure.

These were all light, funny posts that fit the exact tone the magazine was looking for. They loved my writing samples and hired me to write an article for the first issue, which led to more than a dozen more.

Eventually, I submitted some of those articles to a bigger, more established middle-grade magazine and went on to contribute over fifty articles and quizzes.

I also wrote for a real estate magazine briefly that, once again, I found on Craigslist. It was also a new magazine, and I don’t actually know much about real estate. But I was looking to build a body of work, and I was open to any opportunities I could find!

In retrospect, I realize I could have been more proactive and targeted. I could have identified more magazines that I wanted to write for instead of taking any writing gig I could find on Craigslist (including a job writing travel guides for $6/hour).

But I think there’s something to be said for being hungry, and being willing to take whatever you can get to hone your craft and build your resume.

Then you started the Tiny Buddha site. What inspired you to do that?

Prior to starting the site, I’d spent more than a decade struggling with depression, bulimia, shame, and self-loathing. For years I felt alone with my challenges—like no one knew me, and no one would love me if they did.

After making tremendous progress with my personal struggles, I wanted to create a place where people could share what they’ve been through and what they’ve learned, to help themselves and others.

My hope was that this would help readers feel less alone with their challenges and more empowered to overcome them. And though I didn’t realize this at the time, I eventually recognized that starting Tiny Buddha was a big part of my own healing journey.

There’s something cathartic about leveraging your pain for something useful and valuable—and there’s little more valuable than making a positive difference in someone else’s life.

How has the Tiny Buddha blog helped your career? Do you earn money from the blog through ads, selling books…?

I earn money from a combination of:

  • Banner ads
  • Book/eBook sales
  • eCourse sales
  • Affiliate marketing

I’m also planning to launch some products soon, including journals, gratitude journals, and calendars.

I launched my first eBook roughly a year after the site launched, and it sold regularly, but I was still working another full-time online writing job. I also dabbled with blog coaching and blog review reports—something I didn’t really love and only did briefly.

It really wasn’t until the three-year mark that I felt comfortable depending solely on Tiny Buddha for my livelihood. In retrospect, I’m glad I never felt pressure to earn a specific amount from the site. If I had felt that pressure, I may have said yes to opportunities that didn’t feel right for me.

There are a lot of ways to make money online, or to leverage your online presence to make money. Not all are good for each of us individually — or for our brands.

I also see you have a forum, a widget that lets people post quotes from the site on their websites, and much more. You accept guest posts, do blog tours… that all sounds like a lot of work! How difficult is it really to start and run a successful blog? I think so many writers believe they can just start a WordPress site and start posting their thoughts, and the readers (and money) will come flying in.

It is a lot of work! And I’ve been feeling that a lot more lately, as I don’t have an assistant or any employees. That being said, it wasn’t always a lot of work.

When I first got started, I devoted just a few hours each day to running the site. At the time, it was just a quote and blog feed, and I wrote very short posts (some of which, I now realize, weren’t all that compelling).

If I’d thought to myself back then, “I have to build a site with forums, daily guest contributors, a fun & inspiring section, multiple books, a widget, an eCourse…” I likely would have felt too overwhelmed to start. But I’ve added layers to the site over time.

I think the most important thing is that you show up each day and do something. You remain consistent and keep learning.

This guarantees that you’ll keep growing, slowly, bit by bit, over time.

Writers are always asking me, “I want to start a blog, but I don’t know what to write about.” I think you’re living proof that you don’t decide to start a blog and then cast about for a topic…you have something burning in you that you want to share so much that it can sustain thousands of posts and years of work. Do you agree?

Yes, absolutely! This comes back to what I wrote before, about having a mission. You have to have a compelling “why” behind your blog—some reason you have to explore this topic. Otherwise, you likely won’t have a reason to stick with it if and when progress seems slow. And you’re absolutely right—you likely won’t be able to write for years on the topic.

Every now and then, someone submits a post to Tiny Buddha starting with “I wasn’t sure what to write about this week…” Those are usually the least compelling posts because it’s clear the writer was looking for something to say, as opposed to having something to say.

If you don’t have something you have to say, readers won’t feel compelled to listen.

What are your top three tips for writers on how to build a successful blog?

1. Consistently publish value-packed, personally relatable posts.

I believe you need all three to build and maintain an audience—you need to deliver with consistency, solve problems readers are facing, and reveal your own humanity in doing so.

2. Foster a sense of community.

We all want to be part of something larger than ourselves, and we want to be where other people are congregating and connecting.

The first step in building a community is to have a compelling reason for its existence. People can “hang out” on any site—why yours specifically? What’s the movement they’re joining?

Is it a group of people committed to changing the world through meaningful work? Is it a group committed to sharing themselves vulnerably and learning from each other? When you have a strong mission for your site, community engagement becomes more than comments on isolated posts. It becomes about people supporting each other in working toward a common goal.

Of course, it doesn’t hurt to end posts with questions. And if you can involve the community in a post in any way, that always helps.

Formerly, I asked questions on Facebook (such as “How do you help people who won’t help themselves?”) and then incorporated the responses into posts. I’ve also asked readers to submit pictures and videos for different purposes. An involved community is an engaged community!

3. Focus on building relationships.

Behind the most popular blogs you’ll find people who weren’t afraid to reach out to more established bloggers to learn from them, and to other new bloggers to work with them.

This might mean asking to guest post on a larger site to introduce new readers to your blog. It might mean working on a product with another blogger to launch to both of your communities simultaneously. It might mean building a blog support network with lots of bloggers in the same niche.

The more people you connect with, the greater the odds your blog will grow. And the more people you help, the more people will want to help you.

And you’re the author of three traditionally published books too! How did you get into writing books? Did you find an agent, or were you approached by one? Did you have to write a proposal?

I first started working on a proposal a year after I launched the site, and I sent that to an agent who’d reached out to me. He wasn’t thrilled with my idea, but he gave me some feedback that helped me come up with a new one. Shortly after, a small publisher contacted me after seeing me speak at a conference.

I published two books with them, without an agent. And then for my most recent book, Tiny Buddha’s 365 Tiny Love Challenges, I got an agent and attracted a larger publisher.

The most helpful advice I got when writing my first proposal was to ask myself, “Why would readers buy this book from me specifically?” My first idea was something anyone could have written, and I didn’t have anything in my background that would have positioned me as an authority on this topic.

Each of my three books makes sense from me specifically, because they’re all extensions of Tiny Buddha, including both my own personal experience and insights from the community.

So you’ve written for magazines, and you run a blog AND write books. Do you find there’s some value for writers in diversifying? If so, what is it?

I’ve enjoyed the variety because I find it more stimulating—and challenging. Whereas I could write a blog post in a couple hours, a book is clearly a long-term project. And it’s something that’s far more involved, especially when you’re working with dozens of contributors, like I do.

There’s also a certain level of satisfaction that comes from stretching yourself and trying to do something new. Especially if you’re writing about the same topic every day or every other day, it can help tremendously to mix things up.

What are your top two tips for writers who would like to write traditionally published books?

Aside from answering the question “Why me for this book?”:

Get an agent with success in your niche.

While you could send your proposal to smaller publishers without representation, an agent knows what makes a strong proposal, and which publishers would be best for your book. As I mentioned before, I’ve gotten a book deal with and without one, and the latter was a far superior experience, on every level, and totally worth the money.

Create a solid marketing plan for your proposal.

Publishers are looking to work with authors who can sell books. If you have an established platform, great! If not, do you know any other high-profile bloggers who will help promote your book? Are you willing to invest your money in a book trailer, a blog tour, or a publicist? Do you have any ideas for creative social media campaigns?

Since the Tiny Buddha blog is all about topics like happiness, motivation, inspiration, and letting go…I’d like to talk about two emotions writers feel a lot — fear and stress. Do you have any advice for writers on getting over their fears of rejection, failure, and even success so they can start pitching and writing?

As someone who’s pursued both theater and writing—two incredibly competitive industries—I know all about rejection! Three things that have helped me are:

Not taking rejection personally.

It can be tough to do this when you put your heart into your writing. But agents and publishers aren’t rejecting you. They’re rejecting the idea—and at that specific time.

There are plenty of times when contributors submit posts to Tiny Buddha and they’re very similar to posts I’ve recently accepted. That actually means they’re strong posts, but my job as a site editor is to offer variety and look for varied themes and perspectives.

I always encourage writers to submit again. Not all editors do this, but submit again anyways.

Think of it as a numbers game.

When I worked as a telemarketer, I knew that every twenty calls would likely lead to one sale. Knowing this made it easier to face those nineteen rejections because I knew I was getting closer to closing a deal.

It’s not quite the same with writing, but it can help tremendously to think of every “no” as one step closer to a “yes.” Challenge the belief that “no” is proof you’re not good enough. If you need a reason to believe you can still succeed, despite rejection, check out this article or this one or this one.

Realize you have far more options now than writers once did.

If you have something to say, you can find a way to put it out there. You can start a blog. You can write an eBook. You can self-publish a print book. And if you do self-publish a print book, you could then leverage that to get a deal with a traditional publisher. (I know several authors who’ve done this!)

We’re fortunate to have so many options available us writers today. Knowing this somehow takes the sting out of rejection because you know that no isolated rejection can crush your dream, or prevent you from honing your craft and getting your work out there.

I absolutely hate sending rejection emails because I’m both sensitive and empathetic, and I never want anyone to think I don’t admire and respect both them and their work. If I’ve rejected posts from the same writer a few times, I might offer extra feedback and end the email with “I hope I’m not discouraging you!”

Not too long ago, a writer responded, “No worries—you’re not! I have a whole list of sites I submit to, so I’ll just submit this to one of them.”

It’s something I’ll remember next time I’m feeling rejected. There are other sites. There are other magazines. There are lots of other ways to get my work out there.

And stress…we writers feel that a lot! We’re running our butts off pitching, interviewing, networking, writing. We have tons of deadlines, client demands, and other stressors. How can writers become more calm and centered so they can work more productively?

The best advice I can offer any writer is to get out of your head. There were many times in the past when I sat at my computer for ten+ hours, when on a deadline, with only short breaks to eat or use the restroom. This was a surefire path to stress and burnout!

I used to think taking a break for a walk or a quick meditation was wasting time, but I’ve since learned than fifteen to thirty rejuvenating minutes are actually huge time savers. I come back to my work refreshed, recharged—and in some cases, particularly if I’ve been in nature, inspired.

Then I have much calmer, and much more positive energy, to bring to my work.

Some ways to clear your head:

  • Meditation/listening to guided meditations (you can find a ton of free ones on YouTube) [Note from Linda: Or the Positive Thinking for Writers guided meditation, which is Pay What It’s Worth in the Renegade Writer Store?]
  • Yoga or Tai Chi
  • Deep breathing
  • Taking a walk outside
  • Doing something childlike, like hopping on a swing
  • Dancing to your favorite music and releasing pent up energy

Tell us about your latest book, Tiny Buddha’s 365 Tiny Love Challenges. What inspired you to write it, and where can readers buy the book?

As someone who’s felt alone at various points in my life, I understand the value of strong relationships. I also know we’re living in an increasingly disconnected world, despite being more connected than ever.

We all need to feel seen, valued, appreciated, and loved. We’re social creatures, and we need to feel like we belong, like people get us and will be there for us. We also need to know people trust us and depend on us to be there for them.

Of course, these things are far more easily said than done. Tiny Buddha’s 365 Tiny Love Challenges can help.

The book offers a year’s worth of simple daily challenges to help people give more love in their relationships, treat themselves more lovingly, and put more love into the world.

Some of the challenges are active, some are reflective, some involve having conversations with other people, and some are writing exercises.

Each month has a different theme, including:

  • Kindness and Thoughtfulness
  • Compassion and Understanding
  • Authenticity and Vulnerability
  • Releasing Anger and Forgiving
  • Attention and Listening
  • Honesty and Trust
  • Kindness and Thoughtfulness
  • Acceptance and Non-Judgment
  • Releasing Comparisons and Competition
  • Support and Encouragement
  • Admiration and Appreciation
  • Giving and Receiving

And every week starts with a relevant story or two from members of the Tiny Buddha community, illustrating the power of applying these principles in daily life.

The challenges are all little things, and some might seem simple, but the simplest things are often the hardest to do consistently—like putting your phone down and giving someone your full attention, or looking a stranger in the eye and smiling.

Relationships have never been my strong suit, but I feel much closer to people, and much better equipped to give them the love they deserve, since incorporating these tiny actions into my daily life.

Readers can learn more about the book at http://tinybuddha.com/love-book.


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4. It's Been a Long Time. I Shouldn't Have Left You...

It's been FOREVER. I know. I keep thinking perhaps I should just leave it alone. But that darned determined, never give up spirit of mine. But this time, I'll just say I'll post whenever it hits me. : D

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5. Moving House


Its been a while since I blogged and I’m actually excited to be tapping away at the keys on my keyboard and seeing words come alive on my screen.

Its been a busy period in my life and chief amongst the activities that have kept me busy all summer was a house move that seemed to drag on and on and on. Well, I’m happy to say my family and I have finally moved and I’m no longer a London boy. We moved to Kent fondly known as ‘The Garden of England.’ I now live in a beautiful and quiet village and my children are settling down in their new schools while I’m getting used to the longer journey into the centre of London where I work. We have good neighbors who’ve welcomed us with their smiles and cards.

We’re still unpacking but I can’t wait to set up my writing zone in our house. I started a mystery story in Spring which I’m looking to continue working on plus I want to write a Christmas story in time for the holiday season.diary of a wimpy kid My children really got into the ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid’ books over the summer holidays and it was nice to see them devour the box-set my wife and I got for them. It made me want to write something in that genre just for them. Watch this space on that front.

Cheryl Carpinello who was a special guest on Author Interview Thursday many moons ago, did a special piece on her blog about writing tips from authors and there’s a snippet from yours truly included in that piece. A worthy read to inspire and encourage you so click the link below to read all about it.

Cheryl Carpinello’s Writing Tips

Have a lovely day.


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6. Make Your Mark by Blogging!

I have plans, big plans, for my third grader writers this year. Topping the list is helping them to become bloggers.

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7. The race is on

IMG_4294Calling Caldecott, Heavy Medal, and Someday My Printz Will Come are all up and running, so it’s time to start thinking your woulds and coulds and shoulds about this year’s field of potential prizewinners. (And SLJ has posted its reviews of the National Book Award longlist, although I have to say I think it’s tacky to announce a longlist of ten that will shortly become a shortlist of five.)

The lists of potential winners referenced in the blogs above make me wonder how important publication date is to getting a gold sticker. It’s a complicated calculus because publishers generally release what they think are heavy-hitters in the fall, not with an eye to catching the committees’ attention (right?) but because people buy more books toward the end of the year. But has anyone ever looked at what percentage of prizewinners were published before September in a given year?

The post The race is on appeared first on The Horn Book.

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8. Creating Classroom Environments: Places for Writers to Grow

Every summer I dream of my classroom. When considering my third grade writers, what do they need to grow and how can I provide classroom spaces for that?

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9. “It’s an exciting time to be an editor”: Dan Parker on the OUPblog

It’s an exciting time to be an editor of the OUPblog. Over the course of the last ten years, the blog has gone from strength to strength. In order to help the blog continue to develop, the focus has been on reaching the right communities with the right content.

The post “It’s an exciting time to be an editor”: Dan Parker on the OUPblog appeared first on OUPblog.

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10. “who wouldn’t want to get involved?” : Kirsty Doole on the OUPblog

The OUPblog has been a part of my working life for something like eight years. These days I am mainly ‘just’ a reader, but for a long time, the blog was something I worked with on a daily basis.

The post “who wouldn’t want to get involved?” : Kirsty Doole on the OUPblog appeared first on OUPblog.

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11. The best of a decade on the OUPblog

Wednesday, 22 July 2015, marks the tenth anniversary of the OUPblog. In one decade our authors, staff, and friends have contributed over 8,000 blog posts, from articles and opinion pieces to Q&As in writing and on video, from quizzes and polls to podcasts and playlists, from infographics and slideshows to maps and timelines. Anatoly Liberman alone has written over 490 articles on etymology. Sorting through the finest writing and the most intriguing topics over the years seems a rather impossible task.

The post The best of a decade on the OUPblog appeared first on OUPblog.

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12. Headlines in an Ever Changing Marketing Landscape

If you use social media networks to publish your content, you should realize that one title or headline won’t have the same click-power as others. And, even if it’s effective now, it doesn’t mean it’ll be click worthy a month or so down the road. If you’ve read about writing effective titles, you know they need to almost instantly grab the reader. Along with that, it must have enough

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13. July Blogging Break

It's time for our annual co-author summer vacation. But wait, we have lots to keep you going in the meantime!

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14. #TWTBlog 3.0

It's my pleasure to announce the classroom teachers who will join our co-author team!

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15. Links in Blog Posts are Good, Right? Well . . .

I read an interesting article at Larry Maguire’s blog. It’s about using links in your blog posts. We all know that external links and deep links are important for SEO, but should there be a limit? I’ve seen posts that have links (external and deep) in almost every other sentence. But, is this type of 'link stuffing' helpful? And, what on earth is the purpose? There are at least three

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16. 6 Power-Tips to Easier Content Curation

I’ve written about content curation before, telling how useful a marketing tool it is. Well, it still is. Generating content on a regular basis is a must. In fact, in a study on blogging frequency, it noted that businesses that posted 16+ articles per month had 4 ½ times more leads than businesses that posted under 4 times per month. For smaller companies with 1-10 workers, posting 11+ times

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17. Diving Into Kidblogs

As the year winds down, I am reflecting on our classroom blogging experience and what I've learned.

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18. A blogging conundrum

For the past few months I've been inundated with requests to review books. Inundated, I tell you. Not just one a month, or one a week, but at least one request a day. Is it because so many book bloggers have stopped blogging? Is it because more and more writers are getting published through non-traditional means?

(gif courtesy of Giphy.com)

Whatever the cause, I have to say thank you so very much for thinking of me, but I'm sorry; I can't possibly review--or even read--all the books from all the authors who request it.


Well, for one thing, I'm human, not a reading machine. Yes, I do read a lot, but there are only so many hours in the day, and I must spend time with my family, do household chores, get some form of exercise every day (I have RA and need to get up and move around), and of course block out time for my own writing and for reading other blogs. And yes, occasionally checking in with Twitter or Facebook.

Furthermore, let's be clear here. I post recommendations, not reviews. This blog only features books I love. Not every book can make the cut. And of course, I'm only one person, with one opinion. Your opinion may differ.

If you're similarly flooded with book review requests, how do you handle it?

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19. Write, Share, Give

Reminder: Our TWT family is expanding. If you are interested in sharing your love for writing workshop, working with kids and inspiring others through your teaching we hope to hear from you. Here… Continue reading

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20. Want to write for TWT?

We're expanding our co-author team to include another one (or two) classroom teacher voices. If you're interested, please fill out the form contained in this post by Friday, May 15th.

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21. Celebrating my Fourth Blog Anniversary…Then and Now…

May the Fourth be with You...
ALL SYSTEMS GO! (First posted May 4th, 2011)

May the ‘Fourth’ Be With You!

Sorry. I couldn’t resist. After all, it is Luke Skywalker Day.

First, let me introduce myself—my name is Sharon Ledwith and I write young adult fiction. My genres include: time travel mysteries (kind of like a mesh of fantasy with a splash of sci-fi meets Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys), as well as paranormal stories where teens deal with psychic powers like psychometry, telekinesis, animal communication—stuff like that.

My intention of this blog is to:

#1 Get you to know me as a writer, and post my experiences as an indie publisher of eBooks.

#2 Introduce and showcase my stories and characters.

In a nutshell—market myself and promote my work.

That’s it really. You see, writing is all about the reader. My goal is to influence and empower today’s youth—the next generation—through the stories I create. I believe everyone is here at this time with a mission and a purpose, and every child has something to add to our evolutionary advancement. Children truly are the keys to our future. It is my hope to unlock this portent.

Wow! To be honest, I was so afraid when I started blogging and putting myself out in cyber-space. Reading my first post over again, I realize that I’ve come a long way in my writing journey. Back in 2011, I didn’t have a publisher and was still querying agents and publishers. This blog and my Facebook account was the beginning of my online presence, and I really felt like a fish out of water. But I kept blogging and posting on Facebook. I learned to share interesting and helpful posts for other authors as a way of connection. I figured out what works for me and what doesn’t—still an ongoing process, I must admit! And I continue to work on my author brand and platform through blogging and networking with other authors, readers, publishers, and bloggers.

I’ve also gotten better with time. Go figure. My intention has changed a lot since that first blog post. I’m much more confident and tech savvy then I was. Now I’m a published author, and represented by a literary agency. I’ve also learned to adapt to my environment, and go with the flow through the ups and downs of the publishing industry. So what have I learned in the last four years? In grand Oprah-like fashion, I’d like to share with you what I know for sure:

·         I’ve realized that I do NOT want to be an indie publisher, but rather be part of a publishing company. I’m more of a team player and had to figure that out for myself. I like having the support of a publisher behind me. Plus I didn’t have to look for, and invest in an editor, cover artist, and book formatter.
·         I’d rather write blogs that uplift or help authors and readers.
·         I love showcasing middle grade and young adult authors and their books and/or series on my blog for readers to find.
·         I enjoy doing Goodreads Giveaways. I’ve connected with so many readers this way!
·         Book blog tours are exhausting. I’ve learned to delegate blog tours to the professionals whenever possible!
·         Trying to fit into other authors’ shoes is painful and unproductive. Stand in your truth.
·         I can only be one place at a time. Too many social media accounts = too many distractions and not enough writing time. I decided to stick with Facebook, get on Twitter, join Google+ and Goodreads, and occasionally share on LinkedIn. That’s it!
·         I blog every Monday. I used to do it twice a week, but couldn’t keep up. I’ve learned being consistent keeps you out there and creates an audience.
·         I’ve learned to develop a positive mental attitude. Trust me, a PMA will keep you afloat on the days you just want to throw in the towel.
·         I’ve learned from other authors. Success leaves clues. Follow the clues.
·         Finally, I’ve learned that writing is both a business and a passion. It requires wearing two different hats. You need to juggle these hats if you want to be a successful author.

Where the Magic Happens...
I still believe writing is all about the reader. And I still hope to influence, uplift, and empower through my books. My personal motto is: I write to make people’s lives better, create something of value to make them smile. May the fourth be with you, everyone! Cheers! 

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22. Blogging Frequency and Lead Generation through Inbound Traffic

A new study shows evidence that there is a correlation between lead generation (through inbound traffic) and blogging frequency. I’ve written about this before, that blogging on a regular basis and as often as you can matters for at least three reasons: 1. Search engines love fresh content. If you’re offering content that is valuable to your audience, it will boost your search rankings. 2.

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23. Ways to Make Money — Internet Writing Markets

Everyone has a story to tell. Perhaps it’s a fami […]

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24. Student Book Review: Seeds of Change

In this guest post, Ruben Brosbe’s third-grade students from P.S. 368, Guest BloggerThe Hamilton Heights School in New York, NY demonstrate their critical thinking skills and share their reviews of the book Seeds of Change, a picture-book biography of the first African woman-and first environmentalist- to win a Noble Peace Prize (in 2004), on their class blog We Read Diverse Books. As a teacher, Ruben was inspired by the WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign to make his read alouds represent the diversity in his classroom and the broader community.

“To begin the school year, I shared the campaign with my students and asked them if they would take part by reviewing books with diverse characters. Since then we’ve talked about about diversity in kids’ books and our blog is a way of sharing stories we love that feature diverse characters. It is also my hope that it can serve as a resource for teachers like me who are looking for great stories to share with their students.”

Do you like books about people who work hard? If you do you willmain_large love Seeds of Change. I would recommend this book to a friend because some people like to grow trees. The main idea of the book is planting trees because people were cutting them down. My favorite part in Seeds of Change is when Wangari planted 30,000,000 trees. Another book that is similar is Grace for President. How they’re similar is Wangari is a change maker and Grace is a change maker because Wangari planted 30,000,000 trees and Grace was the first lady president. In conclusion that’s why you would love Seeds of Change.

The main idea of Seeds of Change is when Wangari moved to a
different city and cared about her environment. Another main idea is she cared about women fairness. I recommend you read this book because it teaches you not to cut down trees. Another reason not to cut down trees is to do nice things for the trees. My favorite part of Seeds of Change is when all the women planted 30 million trees. Wangari is a hero because she saved the plants and wasn’t afraid to do the work.

I would recommend this book to a friend because if someone in my class would like to plant. Also it is about how trees are so important. The main idea is that she was moving. Wangari was being a hard worker and helping nature. My favorite part was when she went back and planted a lot of trees. I think that Wangari is a brave person. Also she is a hero because in the book she was brave to plant all of the trees to help nature. She dug in the dirt planting seedlings and shared ideas with people.

Hey do you like people who don’t give up? If you do then you will WANGARIlike Seeds of Change! I would recommend this book to a friend, because maybe somebody likes seeds and likes science. And also somebody can learn how important is trees. The main idea of this book is that trees give us life and also that you should not cut down trees because then it looks like a bad place and when you grow trees it looks like a good place. My favorite part of the book was when Wangari planted 30,000,000 trees. I think Wangari is a brave person, because they cut down trees and she still made trees. One other book that is similar is Grace for President. This is why I recommend you to read Seeds of Change.

My favorite part of Seeds of Change is when Wangari stopped the men from cutting down the trees and also from the men making plantations. Wangari was a brave person because she went to 3 places and got women to care about trees. If I were going to introduce Wangari I would tell my family what made her brave.

You should read Seeds of Change. I would recommend this book to a friend because the lesson of the book is to not cut down trees because it hurts nature. The main idea of the book is that Wangari helps her country. My favorite part of the book is that Wangari plants over 30,000,000 trees and when Wangari went to school, because she gets friends to be with. In conclusion, that is why you should read Seeds of Change.

Hey you there have you heard of Seeds of Change? It’s a great book!! My favorite part is when she got in jail. And then got out. And planted more trees and made the forest green. Also my favorite part is when she saved the trees. I recommend this book to a friend because I think this book can teach my friends how to take care of our world. The main idea is that Wangari saved the trees. Also Wangari went to school and it was not common for girls to go to school. I think “seeds of change” is when Wangari used seeds to change.
Phoenix-I think that Wangari is a brave person.

I would recommend this book to a friend because it’s amazing and it has an important lesson. The main idea of the book is that women can do anything they set their mind to. Also, about how trees are important to the world. My favorite part of the book was when Wangari and the other women planted trees. I think Wangari is a hero, because she helped her environment to be a better and great place. When Wangari says “Young people, you are our hope and our future” she means that kids shoudl plant a garden and help our community.

I would recommend this to a friend because if my friends like seeds they’ll probably give the book to my friends and I like planting seeds. The main idea of this book is not to cut down trees and let women have equal rights and to let women do anything but not anything bad and another thing that was the main idea was help people with anything.  My favorite part of the book was when Wangari planted 30 million trees it was really helpful to the world. I think Wangari is a brave person because when people said stop doing this she ignored them and she is also brave because she went to jail but people said let her free! So they did. I think the purpose of this book is not to cut down trees and to is help to the world. In closing this was about keeping the world green.

*all posts edited slightly for spelling and punctuation by Mr. Ruben

To find resources for teaching or reading Seeds of Change, visit the book page here.

Blogging with Students:

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25. Blogging Adventures

What challenges do your student bloggers face? How are you supporting their growth as blog writers?

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