Sunday, December 31, 2017

The Right Tools Are Critical for Every Writer

As I begin a new year (2018), I take some time to reflect on the accomplishments of last year and also look ahead to what I want to happen in the year ahead. I'm grateful for the different opportunities I've had to write and also help others. As I get into this reflective mode, I look at some of my habits. For example, over the last few years, I've focused on growing a large following on Twitter which has grown to over 220,000 last year and continues to grow. Twitter has added a graphic of twitter impressions (see this image from my twitter page)

Since 2008 when I joined Twitter, I have tweeted almost 40,000 times. In recent years, I tweet about publishing and writing almost a dozen times a day. I use a tool called Hootsuite which has a free version and also a paid version. Recently I have switched to the paid version because Hootsuite added a limit of the number of future tweets you could have on the free version. I exceeded this number.

For me, Hootsuite has been the right tool for my social media because:

--I can schedule the tweets
--I can add an image to my tweets (important for visibility)

Because of my commitment to Twitter and Hootsuite, I have developed my own system with my tweets. For example, I begin my day with an inspirational quote. As I locate these quotes in various places, I cut and paste them into my Hootsuite with a photo. I've saved many of my photos in a little folder on my desktop called Twitter photos. Rather than search each time for a photo, I often have an image saved in my folder because I've saved them and developed an easy system to keep and retrieve them.

Your writing goals will be different from mine. Maybe you want to be published in more print magazines. You will need to learn how to write a query letter and develop a pattern or habit of pitching editors on a regular basis. If they are Christian publications, I encourage you to use the Christian Writers Market Guide 2018. If they are general market publications, then use the 2018 Writers Market Guide and make sure you are contacting the right editors with your pitches. You can also find the Writers Market Guide in the reference section of most public libraries.

If you want to sell more of your books, then you will need to be reaching your audience through the radio or print or social media or your own newsletter list. Each of these venues are effective and ones where you will need to learn the right tools and develop a regular pattern or system. As I use my various regular patterns or systems, I don't have to reinvent anything but simply use what I've created earlier over and over.

What tools are you using with your writing? I'd love to hear about it in the comments below.


Every writer must use the right tools for your writing. Get some ideas here. (ClickToTweet)
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