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Why the title of the blog?

Because I'm not another wannabe writer. And you're not either.

If I write, I'm a writer. I may never be paid for it, very few people might ever read what I've written, but if I've created it, selected the words - and chosen the order in which they will appear - and written them with intent, whether I'm using a pencil or a keyboard, then I'm a writer. 

So why is it so hard to say?

Because, I suggest, the term writer says Jane Austen, Shakespeare, JK Rowling (whatever you think of her the Harry Potter stories are great yarns), even Barbara Cartland. People whose names are synonymous with published books. They're books that have been read by thousands if not millions, and they're authors who actually make money from their craft.

If anyone asks me what I do I say I'm an administrator, which is true. My day job or rather my two days a week job involves answering the telephone, filing documents, writing letters, paying bills and occasionally fixing boiler…
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How to waste a morning without trying

Have had a totally frustrating morning and it's all because of social media.

Spent about two hours trying to link my Twitter and Facebook accounts to no avail. Then tried to come on this blog to grumble about that only to discover the little bar at the top that normally appears and lets you choose New Post or Design isn't there. (I changed the design of this blog yesterday.)

Spent another frustrating hour trying to work out if it's really not there or if I am being stupid. Turns out it's both. 

It seems to me - unless anyone on the various Helplines I've asked comes up with a better answer - that if I want to write a new post I first have to go my main blog, Finding Life Hard?, go to its dashboard and work it from there.

There must be an easier way surely?

And to add to my woes it's started raining, making a 'practise talk' walk with George difficult unless I put my talk in a polypocket and take it out each time I have to turn page.

Oh dribble and drat.


Real writers in a virtual world

Two days, two getting-togethers, two fellow writers. What could be better?

Day 1: Verdi's, ice cream with Vivien.
Her very exciting news is that she has a meeting with an interested publisher next week. Both highly delighted for her and deeply envious. I cheer myself up by telling myself I can be the mystery person when she is famous and goes on Would I Lie to You? Sort of one step removed fame.

She tells me stories about her life some of which would be dismissed as unbelievable if written as fiction. Hilarious though. 

Day 2: Zinco's, tea and cake with Ann.
Ann has been self-publishing and has spent the last five years learning the marketing and writing businesses, and is full of loads of useful tips.I don't have a notepad with me - I know, basic error - so I make notes on my phone. First helpful hint from Ann: check out EverNote, which will allow me to link to my computer and copy info across directly.  

Many more smart ideas follow. I leave with my head buzzing.

The virtual co…

Why am I blogging anyway?

In her podcast on her top five tips for growing your blog Holly, of A Branch of Holly, lists as number one: know your purpose.

Hm, so what's my purpose? Not in life - that would be debatable - but here on this blog. Why am I writing it? 

A number of reasons spring to mind.

1) It's a hobby-horse of mine to deny the lie that you have to reach a certain level of readership, whether that's in sales or number of Twitter followers, or be published by a traditional publisher, to be considered a writer. To call yourself a writer. 
If we put words on paper or on screen, whether they are read by hundreds or none, we are writers. Whether those words make up amazing prose or total gobble-de-gook, valueless to anyone except the author, we are writers. And for most of us writing is something we have to do, as essential to us as the air that we breathe. Well almost.
But having said that, it's still a lie I have to fight myself. So one purpose of this blog is to act as a reminder to me and…

The group for insecure writers

Thanks to Debra who pointed the way to the Insecure Writer's Support Group. I've signed up - click on the logo if you want to find out more.

I feel I am finally coming to grips with 'doing stuff' on my blog and in general. Actually that's probably an over-estimation: I am beginning to feel as if it may be possible for me to maybe customise and do whatever else I need to do with this blog. Put it this way: I don't feel as desperate as I did last Friday when I couldn't even get an image to appear in my profile.

Sometimes my head bubbles over with what I want to write about, ideas I have, and enthusiasm and belief; other times I sit here and rock back and for on my chair, eyes a-glazed while a mantra of FaceBook Twitter Pinterest FaceBook Twitter Pinterest buzzes non-stop around my brain.

Speaking of Pinterest I keep reading about Creating Perfect Pins that Will Attract Viewers. Now, my understanding of Pinterest was that it was a pin-board on which you could sto…

Is there anyone out there like me?

I've spent some time today - what shall I call it? Learning? Yes, I think that's what it is. Learning to master social media and its hithers and thithers. And, if anything, I am even more confused.

And distracted. Don't forget distracted. I follow one link that leads me to another and then another until I find myself reading not about how to build an online presence but about how to write an erotic novel. Or looking at photos of cute puppies. And even if I managed to stick to my focus I could still go from article to article most of which say the same thing.

I've more or less decided to stick to A Branch of Holly as my adviser/mentor/all round good person. I think I will be able to find everything I need to know on her site. And she replies to tweets and emails. And she very generously gives all her information away for free.

Today I listened to her podcast about How to Grow Your Blog Traffic Fast. One of her suggestions was about building community. So afterwards I tried…

Be a blockhead and be proud

He was a clever man, that Samuel Johnson, writer, poet and lexicographer.

But how wrong did he get it here? "No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money."

It's a well-known phrase, often trotted out, especially to wannabe writers, mainly by those who would prefer you to be something else, something 'more useful'. 

In my case this critic is in my head.
'Why are you wasting time writing when you could be cleaning/shopping/ironing? It's not as if it's going to make you money.'

Even though I'm retired and past the money-earning stage of life the voice still nags. 'Look around you: there's such a lot that needs doing. You could be doing that.'

I self-published my second novel just before Christmas. I've sold maybe five copies.

Even though I don't write to make money I do want people to read and enjoy my writing. And I've reached the belated conclusion that in order to promote, market and sell my books I need to treat it in …

We are popping up everywhere

So now I have a Twitter account and a Pinterest account in the name of this blog. FaceBook is probably next. I fear I am going to come tumbling down over my own cleverness. Either that or I will spend so much time posting I won't have time to write.

But it keeps me out of mischief.

Find me here:
www.pinterest.co.uk/hindsliz/
and on Twitter @not_wannabe