Lunar New Year!

Red Envelope

I’m a little late, but I wish you all a very happy, healthy and prosperous Year of the Snake! May your creative endeavors be fruitful.

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A Guide to getting more readers

I recently got an email from a friend who’s just getting started using social media to reach out to new audiences. In replying to her, I thought perhaps some of you might find my reply helpful. I offer it up here for anyone who can use this help:
My friend writes:
Howdy do! I am starting to revise my blog stuff/website through the coaching resource I had mentioned to you.

I have some new action happening below. You are most welcome to attend any of my stuff pro-bono, cause I just sooooo appreciate your willingness… I was curious, how can I connect with other bloggers or get my blogs more noticed? I had “’ who liked my blog. They are in NY and I have no clue how they found this latest blog. Should I just email back and say love to link to you..not sure what to say? And, I am not Tweeting yet or on google+, etc. yet… first things first.

I was just wondering where I might go to ‘get connected’? BTW… you are a great writer!!!!

have a great day!

My response:

Hi J,

Congrats on growing your blog audience organically! This is the beginning. Yes, I would definitely reach out via email and ask how they found you and if there are any particular blog topics that would be of interest to them. If (and this is a big if) the person is articulate, intelligent and has something to offer your blog visitors, you might ask them if they’d care to guest blog on your site. This is a great way to get their readers (assuming they have any) over to your site and vice versa. At the very least you can learn how they found you and consider generating more of the same kind of content/using similar tags for your posts.

One of the best ways to “meet” other bloggers is by visiting their sites and leaving comments. I follow a number of blogs – new posts get emailed to me – and when I see a subject I feel like commenting on or read a particularly good post, I have a link in the email that allows me to quickly and easily visit their site and comment on it. Your blog comments should ALWAYS include a link to your site. You never know when someone will agree with what you’ve said and want to read more.

I get a lot of new blog readers from Twitter because every new post is tweeted out to my followers. It’s one of those games where having a large audience helps you get more readers/followers but getting started is slow.

I’d love to come to a workshop or attend a teleconference but the week of the 25th is our big trade show in San Francisco and I am committed all week. Maybe a Ben Lomond workshop? I’d love to see what you offer and if there’s any way I could develop a social media aspect to the classes to help your students amplify their coursework if appropriate. Let me know what you think of that and if it works with your vision.

I’m so glad you like my writing. It’s always good to hear that you’re appreciated!

All the best,


Question, readers: how do YOU grow your audience? Any hints or tips to share with my friend? I know she’d love to hear what worked for you. Thanks!


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Diann Writes

Dear Diann,

I throughly enjoyed your “Stillness in the Garden” 😉

Very detailed with an engaging story line: twists and turns of teenage life behind private gates, a woman’s questioning her longing for a past relationship, all woven through two murders.

The only steady dependable man in Ariana’s life is her curly-coated retriever !

I loved the character of Yvonne Adams. Sooo spicy ! All your characters mesh very well throughout.

The characters have solved two murder mysteries, but, you have left me wondering: What happens to our reporter Ariana and Thunder ?

Who, what and where does Ryan Taylor go and with whom ?

I learned so much about Temecula … it has grown !!

As, I read the pages, I saw you as Ariana 🙂

Well done, Diann …

Thank you for a lovely trip to Temecula and the vineyards 🙂 Glad there is a Trader Joe’s !!

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My writing process part 2 | On overcoming writer’s block

As anyone who has participated in National Novel Writing Month knows, starting a novel is great. It’s easy. You have ideas. There are no roadblocks or issues with your characters, your plotting or your continuity. But a few pages in or maybe thirty or more and it hits. You’re stuck. You’re overcome with writer’s block. There are a few things you can do to keep on writing and get past the roadblock:

1. Skip over the trouble spot and move to another, less difficult passage.
2. Add a new character to stir things up.
3. Kill off a character to stir things up.
4. If you can’t kill a character, put your main character in danger and see what happens. Jeopardizing a treasured character is a great way to shake up your writing.
5. Power through the rough spot.
6. Change perspectives: split your group into two and send them separate ways or simply take a different perspective on the situation, from the vantage point of another character or another locale.
7. The Nike treatment: just do it. Seriously, sometimes you just have to muscle through it. Remember you’re not writing a final version – it’s a first draft. So this part will need a lot of help later; that’s OK.

My NaNo Ninja

My NaNo Ninja

One of the things I do in novel writing to avoid writer’s block is to stop writing at a point where I have a good idea of what happens next. That way, when I come back to my writing, I can start right in.

There you are, a few good ideas that actually work to overcome writer’s block. Let me know which ones work for you or what other tricks you use.

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2012 in review

Thanks to all who visited, left comments and shared my thoughts and writing. You are the reason I have this page. I wish each and every one of you a joyful and prosperous New Year!

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 7,400 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 12 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Reader comments on Stillness in the Garden

This one’s special…

My brother, a man of few words, sent me this message: “I just finished reading your book, good story.”

Thanks, Jim!

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My writing process. Post 1

My writing process. Post 1.

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