By day I work 60 hour weeks. At night I am a devoted father and husband to the world's greatest family. Somewhere in the non-existent time between the two, I am a writer. Join me from the beginning as I chronicle my adventures to become a successful published author.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Day 14 - A Shout Out and Learning to Network

I have three goals with writing it seems. I only knew until late last night about two of them.

The first is of course to write at least one sentence a day. Doing great!

The second is to write a blog post a day. So far so good.

The third I did not even realize I was doing until last night. It's that I always aim to do one extra thing a day that moves my writing career forward, be that improving at least one feature on my blog, networking, making concrete plans for steps I need to take, or researching an aspect of writing, marketing, or publishing. I think it's a good thing, and now that it is defined, I will ensure to the best of my ability it happens. Some days are more ax sharpening than others, but every day should have a little bit of time at the grindstone.

Today, I decided to take a break from finishing the new blog up and focus instead on reaching out to other bloggers. Here was my problem: Lots of people have blogs. I will admit I did not visit blogs much before I embarked on this odyssey. It was hard to go through the lists and keep current, which was leading to massive amounts of guilt. How could I ask others to follow my efforts and participate in the comments, if I wasn't able to do the same myself? Blogs I wanted to follow were stacking up, but I was slightly petrified, only clicking to join a token few.

Then a couple of people over at Author's Incognito mentioned something called Google Reader. It allows you to view updates/new posts for all your blogs, and even news feeds in one place. I admit I was dubious. In some ways I am a tech genius. In other ways, I am still banging two rocks together and hoping for something awesome to happen. Apparently, Google Reader is an RSS reader (RSS apparently has multiple possible meanings, but in general it is Really Simple Syndication). I still had no idea what it was. Some people explained it on the AI message board, but it didn't really sink in.

Then I ran across a blog post over at Writer's Digest back from 2009 that blew the door wide open for me by Jane Friedman at her No Rules blog. It is titled Save Time Tip #1: Become More Efficient at Online Reading. Thank you Jane for your great post! It has a great video on YouTube that lasted about three minutes, was amusing, and used paper and a dry erase board to explain it to my archaic mind. Rather than me explain it all, hop over to the post from Jane Friedman and give it a gander.

So I started using the reader. I added in the Post Rank plug-in for Google Chrome (my browser). It's fantastic. Suffice it to say, I can now look at all the new posts in about ten minutes in one location and don't have to visit blogs where there are no updates. It's brilliant. Apparently it's been around for years. Who knew?

One of my improvement activities  in the next day or two will now be to go back and subscribe to all the really awesome blogs I was too afraid to join before. So if you have a blog (including your own) you think I might enjoy following, let me know.

One final note: James Duckett mentioned my Day 10 blog post on his blog the other day ( I wanted to say thank you James for the exposure, and also for reading. Keep up the writing, a little each day.   You haven't posted a lot on your blog yet, but what you have posted has been thoughtful and well written. You were also one of the very first people I selected to follow. Now get writing more so I can read more!


Steve and I use Google Reader. We have been for years. For me I like having everything on one page and for GR to let me know which blogs have been updated. Since mine is filled with home decor or homemaking blogs, I like that I can easily search for topics in blogs I've already read. A common occurrence is "I know there's a way to make curtains out of bed sheets, where did I read that again?"

Keep up the blog.

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