How Long Have you Been Writing?

Simple question.

I’ll say I started writing in May/June of 2013. And I stopped a year later. Ha. But basically that’s true. Anyway, I know some of y’all are in high school with stories to be told later on in your life, but I also know several people on WordPress who have been writing for decades. DECADES.

Which means there’s a mixed bag of writers on WordPress. Some who have accomplished absolutely nothing and others who have more stories or books published than James Patterson. Maybe not, but still. There are some really accomplished people on WordPress and I bet somewhere along the line they’ve come across my little part of cyberspace. Maybe. Wait, James Patterson, are you reading this?! (Let’s see if he responds).

But seriously, I’m just curious to see how long some of y’all have been writing and what you’ve been able to accomplish during that time. Have you been published by a Big 5 publisher? Self published? Maybe you’ve written some collections of short stories or poetry? Or perhaps you’re working on your first major project? Just tell me so I can stand here in admiration.


On this day in 2014 I published 1,000 WordPress Followers and Giveaway!. Currently sitting at 2,813 WordPress followers. Not too shabby.

 

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I’m Glad You’re Finally Over, April

April reminded me of months from the middle of last year in which I operated the blog exactly the same as I’d done before, and it just wasn’t producing as well as I’d like. This isn’t me complaining, this is a simple fact. I have no idea why, but April was the first month that actually went down in terms of site views compared to the same month in 2014. Which is going to be even worse because May is also going to see a decline in site views compared to last year. How do I know that? Because May of last year still holds the record for most views in a calendar month. BUT all of that is fine because there were some positives to come out of the month. Let’s take a look. As always, the previous record will be in parenthesis.

Posts: 30 (31)

Likes: 765 (837)

Comments: 967 (2121)

Followers: 2712

Books Read: 0 (4) <- this is only for 2015.

Poems Posted: 1 (2) <- same as above.

Everything looks pretty normal from afar, but this was actually the second best month ever in terms of Likes. And it was the best month of 2015 for comments. I was on a pace to finally hit a thousand comments again for most of the month, but ultimately fell just short. With the extra day coming in May I fully expect to hit that number.

My reading is still stuck and I’ve hesitated to post any new poems because WordPress hasn’t been letting me format the text in those particular posts to my liking and each time I post one it’s just a big hassle that I don’t want to deal with. Here are some posts:

Top Post

I’m Going on Vacation!

Favorite Post

Stop Eating While Reading

Post you may Have Missed

If you Could Meet one Author, who Would it be?

Guys, I know I fooled a number of you with my vacation post. So now this is me telling you that it was indeed all a joke for April Fool’s Day. It’s been the top post of the month for every single day of April. I don’t think I’ve ever had that happen before. Anyway, y’all were nice about it and I decided to let it play out. Eh. I’m not sorry. It was all in fun and no one got hurt.

So that’s it! My month of blogging in a nutshell. Tell me about yours, please.


On this day in 2014 I published An Open Invitation. Guys, I’d highly recommend taking a look at the posts I mention in this section this month because there has to be a reason last May was so much better than any other month. Perhaps the posts were just better.

 

Copy & Pasting Poetry

As I’m sure you’re well aware, there are MANY bloggers on WordPress who post original poetry. As in the point of their blog is to share their poetry. I actually like these poetry blogs because it gives me something to shoot for when I post my own, though I still think all of mine have been average. But I’m not talking about these blogs.

Have you ever come across a blog that shares poems each day that are NOT their own work? For example, if you scroll through their posts you might find some Robert Frost, Poe, Sylvia Plath, and others. There is NO original content. There are no original poems. There is nothing but an archive of random poems written by famous poets. I’m no authority on what does or does not make a good blog, but I have an opinion just like everyone else.

I understand that people sometimes struggle to find something to blog about, but I see no point in searching the internet for random poems and then copy and pasting them into your editor and calling them blog posts. They aren’t. This is exactly the same as those bloggers who do the same thing with writing quotes. Both practices are unoriginal and boring.

What do you think of these copy and pasting bloggers?


On this day in 2014 I published 15 Reasons to Read This Post!. For anyone who has been around my blog for less than six months, you might want to read this. It’s just random facts about your favorite blogger!

 

You Part 2 (poem)

You part 2
That smile of yours
Is just not fair
Stuck to the floor
I’d stop and stare

And also your eyes
I’d just get lost in
I’d reach new highs
I’d never been

Can’t forget your height
The size of a kid
But with more might
And simply perfect

Last but not least
Your sarcasm leads the way
I wish I could keep
Everything you say


This is a companion poem to this one. The first is meant to tell a story. This one is meant to tell you about the girl.

You (poem)

You

You used to not know me
And I not you
But that changed quickly
It was then me and you

But that wasn’t the case
No, not really
It was more of a chase
And I couldn’t see

That I’d never catch you
You were too fast
I was just a fool
Who could only finish last

I was done chasin’
What I thought could be
I made my declaration
And you spoke honestly

My worst nightmare
Had finally come true
I could only stare
At the person I thought was you


On this day in 2014 I published Amazon’s List 100 Books Everyone Should Read: 29. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.

February Sets a New Standard

Welcome-February-Images-4

Photo Credit: FIP

No. I wasn’t my best month ever in terms of site views. Mostly because there were only 28 days in the month. BUT it did break the record for average views per day! So that’s exciting. It did better than last May, which is pretty remarkable. Let’s get into some stats. As always, previous record will be in parenthesis.

Posts: 28 (31)

Likes: 693 (714)

Comments: 820 (2121)

Followers: 2,439

Books Read: 0

Poems Posted: 1

Uh oh. My goal of reading 50 books this year took a little hit and I’ve only posted three poems since the start of the new year. But I’m not worried. One can accomplish many things in ten months. Now for some posts.

Top Post

Do Your Books Have a Prologue?

Favorite Post

Stop Smelling Your Books

Post you may Have Missed

#WCW Bookish Edition

I almost had one of my guest posts take the top spot for the month. I think it ultimately finished third. And I’m not forgetting about that. The week of guest posts (last week) had my single best day of the year, and then followed it up with my second best day of the year immediately after. But for whatever reason there weren’t as many comments on the guest posts as I’d have hoped. I’d had three consecutive weeks of 240+ comments until I didn’t come anywhere close to that number last week. But it’s okay! Overall, February was a great month with a number of great posts. Definitely looking forward to March, and I’ll have a surprise for all of you soon. Stay tuned!

How was your month?

 

Guest Post: How to Feel Like Writing Again

We’ve all felt it at one time or another. The story loses its shine and you’re left with a half-completed story. Why does this happen, and how do you continue?

For a lot of writers, this is the mid-point of the story, but truly, it can happen at any point. I want to focus on something entirely different from “writer’s block”; this topic regards when you know what to write next, but you just don’t feel like doing so.

“Of course, motivation is not permanent. But then, neither is bathing; but it is something you should do on a regular basis.” – Zig Ziglar

The cursor blinks at you, nudging you to continue typing, but the combination of your eyes drooping and the itch to do something else feels overwhelming. You’ve already procrastinated enough today. Your bedroom can only be cleaned so many times, and you’ve already checked Facebook, Twitter, and your email twice in the past half-hour.

“Discipline is choosing between what you want now and what you want most.”

You’re a writer. You know how to get the job done; it’s the motivation that’s lagging. Let’s look at some different factors.

Your story no longer excites you

For me, this usually happens just on the other side of the midpoint, roughly 55% into the book. About then, I usually start envying short story writers. It’s when the thrill of the beginning and even the spike of the midpoint event wears off, and I have to begin laying the ground work for the finale, but it’s not yet to the exciting build-up for the ending climax.

Wherever it normally happens for you (and it could change from story to story), it can be a trial. Why does it happen? Here are a few possibilities:

  • You’ve already thought of the next story, and you’re more interested in starting the new one than finishing the current one
  • You hit a plot snag and aren’t looking forward to unraveling it
  • You realize that your story idea might not be as interesting as you thought it was
  • Self-doubt creeps in
  • Life got in the way of writing, and you’re not as emotionally connected
  • Something as simple as: it’s just not new and shiny anymore

The first one gets me every time.

To remedy many of the above, you could take a short break from writing to read your story from the beginning as if it was a finished product. Oftentimes, that brings about the romance for writing this particular piece again.

Whenever I daydream about the next project, I jot down all my ideas onto a pad of paper, but I promise myself not to start writing it until the current project is finished. That way, I have a treasure trove of tidbits to work on by the time I do transition.

Also, take a look at your writing schedule. If you wait until you have 4+ hours to write, try writing more often but in smaller chunks. It could be your method of attack that’s holding you back.

“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.” – Jim Rohn

Mainly for me, I had to come to grips with the concept that at some point in the book, it would be a chore to continue. Perhaps other authors aren’t this way, but that’s how I operate. I had to wean myself from the mysticism that I have to be in constant love with a story to write it. 100% of the time, when I go back to polish what I had to prod myself to finish, the magic is there again.

Whether you reluctantly write and later polish with passion, or you passionately write and later reluctantly polish, in the end, the reader can’t tell the difference. Either way, a quality product is completed. But if you wait for passion to do anything, the project will likely get done much, much later.

“What I adore is supreme professionalism. I’m bored by writers who can write only when it’s raining.” -Noel Coward

Just plain don’t feel like it

To me, this is another thing altogether. This could be due to some of the reasons above, but largely affected by mood, hunger, emotional state-of-mind, how restful I am, etc. Here are some things that I do to warm-up to writing when I don’t feel like it. In advance, don’t judge me.

  • I go into a different room (dependent on a portable writing apparatus). I read a study once that changing rooms resets the mind, but for whatever reason, it seems to help.
  • Reading some of what I wrote the day before to get me in the mood. This usually does the trick, for me.
  • I listen to music. In my Writer’s Toolbox, there are two of my favorite picks of music to listen to while I write.
  • I have a small spray bottle of water, and I occasionally spray myself in the face. This is used when I am tempted to curl over my laptop and take a nap. This is the “don’t judge me part,” if you were wondering. So, yes, my method for staying awake is the same as the punishment for your cat for eating the houseplant.

Similar to what I mentioned in the last section, usually when I don’t feel like writing, I do it anyway. There are a few times that I succumb, but I usually remind myself that people can’t tell their boss that they don’t feel like working, which is something Janci Patterson also mentioned in my interview with her.

 

Conclusion
Everyone has a different method. All these suggestions might work for you, or perhaps none of them will. The key is to experiment with what motivates you to write, so that you can get one step closer to your writerly goals.

Ryan Lanz

A Writer’s Path