Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Time for a Change

Welcome to the Insecure Writers Support Group for May 2018.

Most of the time, I don't like change. I just had to switch phones, which means I need to re-customize my perfectly chosen alarm tones, figure out which songs in my playlist didn't make it to the new phone, and get used to the new "upgrades" I didn't want. That's actually not so bad when you factor in: I may have to switch phone numbers! That's the WORST! I've had the same out-of-state phone number for 15 years because I wanted to avoid telling everyone a new number, much less memorize one. Egads! What a headache.

But I have to look at the bright side. At least I have a phone. At least we don't have to move, just yet. And my family is doing ok - for the most part. The phone stuff is a minor annoyance taking up time I don't have to give... like dealing with a broken garage door (a side story for another time...)

All things considered, sometimes change can be good. Yes, I'm finally getting to the point. I felt like my header was too loud, and visiting around some other blogs, I wanted to give it more of a writer feel. I also need to update my side bar... an easy thing to procrastinate. But the change that needs my utmost attention is concentrating on connections.

I feel like I've become an isolationist in the writing/blogging world. I barely reach out to my writer friends anymore. And it shows with my lower numbers. I need my writerly friends! And I need to find balance with my job to make it happen. I also want to make my articles more content rich so folks will want to come read them!

So here's the changes I have planned:
  • Done with the surveys. It's been fun, but responses have declined, and it's becoming too much effort for the results. Even after I added a prize! Maybe I'll do one again sometime...
  • Rebuild connections. I will dedicate an allotted amount of time to spend reading blogs and writing articles.
  • Reaching out. I want to tweet more (which also shows up on FB) I think I need more visibility. I just have to come up with awesome things to tweet!
  • Posting weekly. This is going to be tough, but I need to get back to a regular posting schedule. I'm going to write more about writing--going back to the roots of why I started this blog. I know I'll have more fodder as I'm breaking away from my two series and diving into a new direction with my latest WIP: FARTHER ALONG, a Christian YA
  • Paying it forward. I'd like to have more guest posts. This is a great way for us to help each other and broaden our reach. Twice the audience! Let me know if you're interested.
And here's the final results from the last survey - A-MUSING

Do you have a personal muse?

What is your muse's name?
  • Hoho the Magic Newt
  • It's unnamed and mysterious.
  • Monster, Librarian Linda, and High-heeled Helen
  • The Muse
  • Styx
  • Unknown
  • Nigel
  • Same as mine. 
  • Erato
Who was your greatest influence to become a writer?
  • Authors - Anne McCaffrey, Terry Brooks, Tolkien, Stephen King, Holly Lisle, C.S. Lewis
  • No one in particular - from classical authors (Dickens, Poe, etc.) to comic book writers like Stan Lee!
  • My mom x 2
  • My kids
  • It's my calling
How long have you known you were destined to be a writer?

And the lucky winner of the A-MUSING survey is...

Christine Rains!!

Thanks to all who have played along.

And finally, the big, huge, awesome announcement...


Exploring the facets of time, eleven authors delve into mysteries and crimes that linger in both dark corners and plain sight. Featuring the talents of...

Amazon == B&N == Goodreads

Thanks so much for stopping by!


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

A new phone isn't bad, but a new number is annoying.
I like the change in blog design. And your plans to connect more with other writers.

M.J. Fifield said...

I would really hate having to get a new phone number. It took me so long to memorize my current one!

I like your blog's new look. I think it's great.

And I think I missed the muse survey—but the responses are always interesting to see.

Happy writing!!

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Good luck with all the changes you want to make. I hope it all works out wonderfully for you. :)

S.A. Larsenッ said...

Loving this post, especially your honesty. Technological changes...yeah, I'm not a fan either. Feels like when I finally learn one thing I realize I'm already three steps behind with new stuff. I am so with you on having lost touch with my writer/blogging buds (you included). I've done a ton of self-examination over this and what I've found is that it's not one area that's hindered by efforts to reach out. Firstly, the blogosphere is nowhere near as active as it was two years ago. #sadface A lot of the folks we've both had as cyber friends are now published and the marketing of work eats up a ton of time. For me, my self-confidence tends to waver now - am I doing enough of this, I should have finished writing this manuscript by now, I'm torn between helping family and finding writing and reaching out time, etc... What I really need is an accountability partner. :) I'm glad you've had these revelations. I'm sure you'll do great at keeping these new commitments. But if/when you feel yourself faltering, feel free to reach out to me. I totally get it. :D

The Cynical Sailor said...

Those muse names are great! Fun survey :-) Keeping those writerly connections alive online is time consuming, but the support and encouragement I get from engaging with writing bloggy pals is priceless.

Cheers - Ellen

Christine Rains said...

Good luck with the changes and the new phone. When I had to change to a new phone in December, it stressed me out. I still can't remember the new number when people ask me! *LOL* I do like your surveys, but connecting is important. And I won? Thank you! :) Congratulations on the release of Tick Tock! It's a fantastic collection.

Chrys Fey said...

I always enjoyed seeing the results to your surveys, but I admit to never seeing the surveys so I could vote. Sorry about that!

Every year, my blogging features change. It keeps things fresh for me, but I'm blogging less now. Three times a month. Next year, I may only blog twice a month. I'm doing that because blogging has taken up too much time and (as S.A. pointed out) more of my time is spent marketing and hoping I can write, but I still want to keep those connections. So I try to visit as many bloggers as I can when my new posts go up. Although, last month, due to my tonsillectomy and birthday, I couldn't hop around as much as I would have liked.

Crystal Collier said...

I love the surveys, but I've wondered how much work goes into them. Whew!

Change is good. I actually had to drop back to blogging once a month because that's all I can manage, but that means my once a month blogging day is EPIC. I think I've been to seventy blogs so far today, and counting. That's how we do it, eh? Connections, connections, personal investment in others.

Tyrean Martinson said...

I like both the old and the new blog design! I know how you feel about connecting. I haven't done well at that for a while, and I'm not sure really how long it's been since I did a good job of it, maybe more than a year or two. I've been considering some changes on my blog, too, and I don't like change either. "We hates it, my precious." (sorry, just had an inner Gollum moment, maybe he should have been one of my muses?) Anyway (clears throat, pretends that wasn't awkward), I look forward to seeing you around the blogsphere, but I also look forward to reading that new book even more. :)
Happy writing!

BTW - I may be looking for some "help" with getting word out about a project in the fall. I'm really not ready yet, but I can see it glimmering out there on the horizon.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

It's a fun new design. I like it.

I disconnected for a while. It's no fun doing this alone.

dolorah said...

Over the last few years my blogging has fallen off. I say its so I can write, but thats fallen off too. Yep, one of my goals this year is to write, blog, and submit. I'm doing more writing, but certainly not enough.

Progress, right?

I hate learning new devices. I just bought a new computer, Windows 10. Sucks. I'm ready to return to XP.

Ronel Janse van Vuuren said...

I recently got a new phone too and it's really annoying trying to figure out how everything, seemingly similar, works so differently. Good luck with your goals!

Ronel visiting on Insecure Writer's Support Group day: Autumn Decisions

Nicki Elson said...

Hi, Tara!!! Oy, do I hear you on the isolationist thing. But you're doing way better than me on that because you've got goalz. But hey, I FINALLY made it over to say hi, so that's something, right? #babysteps

The Silver Fox said...

You have a lot of good ideas for changes. I think a regular post schedule makes sense, and gives you something to shoot for. For the past few months, I've been posting twice a week. This after no posts from me for weeks or even months at a time. I now have a handful of upcoming drafts at any given time, now that I don't feel obligated to post every time an idea pops into my head. Besides, I think it's too much to assume/demand/expect/whatever that my readers check out my blog every day, so if I space out my posts (usually every Wednesday and Saturday or Sunday) one won't be "buried" by the next.

I hate changing my phone number, too. I know some people who keep changing their cell phone service provider, so it seems like they give me a new number every time I see them!

Patricia Lynne aka Patricia Josephine said...

I'll miss the surveys, but I understand why. I get moments like that too, where I realize I've become a bit reclusive and aren't talking to people as much. With blogging, fixing that was easy. I've picked 2 days a week where I go and read posts and reply to them. I started with doing it every Friday, but a few people posted goals at the beginning of the week and I couldn't very well wish them luck on that when it was the end of the week. Things like IWSG I ad an extra day and visit everyone participating in that so I don't have a bajillion blogs to read on Friday.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

Oh no! Not a new number!!

I'll miss the surveys. I thought they were fun.

Writing is so much work. I need to make a list of all the things I need to get done and just start doing them. I have been posting once a week, but not always regularly. Some weeks, I'm just too busy. But I figure doing what I can when I can (learned that from a smart lady!) is better than burning myself out and quitting altogether.

Good luck getting your focus and be sure to send me the new number so I can bug you!!

Carrie-Anne said...

I've enjoyed your surveys, though I can understand why you feel they need to come to an end. Good luck with your new blogging direction! Changing things up often is for the better, so we don't become stagnant.

I'd be happy to volunteer for a guest post!

Rhonda Albom said...

We have been setting monthly goals too, since the beginning of the year, and it is difficult, but really fun at the end of the month when you see the positive outcomes. (That's all the pep talk I can muster at the beginning of the month). Whenever I get a new phone, it is a source of great amusement to my teens as they watch me try and figure it out.

H.R. Sinclair said...

Having to reset the ringtones is the worst!

Monthly goals are great. I set them for January, February, and March--then forgot all about them. :/

Diane Burton said...

Change can be a pain in the butt. I hate learning new technology. Necessary but . . . Good luck with the new phone.

Juneta key said...

I had a to get a new phone and number in January so I get it. Like your new look too. Happy IWSG Day.

cleemckenzie said...

Change in today's world, especially anything techie, is inevitable, but way too fast for me to keep up with. Old brain at work.

I loved your polls, but I understand how much work they were. Well, you have some great data to share.

Loni Townsend said...

Changing numbers is tough. My husband went through that a few years back. Best of luck with the new phone, though!

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hi, T,

Sounds like some great goals. You'll do it. I know how determined you are. WE ALL have cut down on blogging...Remember the days we all blogged DAILY?!!!!! Trying desperately to increase our followers. I remember how long and hard it was to get my first 100! It took months and months. Then the A-Z's started and that changed everything. Many more bloggers to explore. It was crazy. Now we all have our lives, projects, etc and put blogging on the back burner. But I miss those days. We are all so close and involved.

All the best with everything. Hope you stop by and say hi... I won the WEP first place for my new memoir. There first new writing I have done in three years. I have hi hopes for it, and so does everyone else. It's a WILD story about a very unusual 1950's woman....

Michelle Wallace said...

Hi Tara!
Hope you are well!
Your surveys are so good and so detailed... but also a lot of work, so it's understandable if you stop them.
Over the years lots of people have cut down on blogging. I did so too but now I'm thinking of returning to a weekly schedule.
Since all the facebook "drama", I think our blogs are the most authentic social media platforms... and the one we can TRULY call our own. So rebuilding blog connections sounds like the way to go. Twitter has also grown on me and I feel more comfortable there, than on facebook.
Take care... and all the best with the new phone.

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