Friday, January 1, 2016

Crafting Your Craft

Just like cheese, wine, and crazy friends who encourage you to act like an idiot, writing gets better with time. 

Perusing my website's stats revealed that my most viewed posts were published in 2015. Weird, right? In 2014, I worried about proving myself as a writer and making a splash when my book was released in November. Conversely, in 2015 I had to relax and accept my limits as a writer, blogger, and author because I began teaching at a new school and had to blog less frequently.

That's right. Less. 

I'd just released a book. On top of online marketing, I had to do the traditional high-heels-hit-the-pavement variety of marketing too. (Don't judge. I like to be pretty when I hit the pavement.) And stress hit an all-time high when I moved from the elementary school I'd been teaching at for 8 years to a charter school. 

The only plausible reason I could find for those pesky numbers was this: 
Practice Makes Perfect
(Or in my case, practice makes better.) 

Writing: In 2015, I went from crafting one-point-to-be-made posts to integrating other's posts, websites, books, themes, and links into my own posts. And I began to write about writing. I tackled topics like Indie vs Traditional Publishing and full-time vs part-time writing, the Waiting Game of writers and publishers, dealing with deadlines, the importance of keeping promises we make to readers, the ins and outs of world building, and how to break writing rules effectively. 

Connection: In 2015, I learned the value of connecting with other authors and writers as well as readers both online and in real life. I found a commonality with them and began discussing the struggles all writers face. I posted about other authors and their books more than ever before.  Also, I cracked the code on Twitter. Seriously. And finally, I understood the Power of the Share, which is something I plan to harness more in 2016. (If you want to be part of that process and be featured on my website, please leave me a comment below.)

Promotion: In 2015, I took advantage of #MondayBlogs and #ArchiveDay regularly, which boosted my readership drastically. Also, I learned to play the numbers game and promote my posts on all forums (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc) in their own unique way and repeatedly post (not spam) for higher interaction. And I learned a bit more about marketing and online etiquette. (Because let's be honest, what does a kindergarten teacher know about marketing? Unlike buyers, the kids come to you! But hey, we know plenty about the pleases and thank yous of etiquette.)

Like years of piano lessons that refine musical ability, I refined my writing and consequently my website through weekly practice. I'm still not there yet. But I'm much closer than I was in 2014 and today I'm more excited than I was 2015.

Tally ho! Onward and upward in 2016, my friends!

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I'd love to hear about your 2015 discoveries and how they effect your perception of the future. Leave me a comment below!


  1. I am glad to hear this, sweetie. I'm hoping that cutting back one post a month will not resulted in fewer page views simply because of the momentum effect, and the fact that there is more evergreen content on my blog now that there was when I began. I am fully in favor of doing as little marketing as you can get away with and still effectively promote your work. If there's no time for what you love, what's the point?

    1. Precisely! You have to leave time for those you love and the things you love. I'm excited to move forward with my fun new guest posts and to tweak older posts so they're more useful. Which let's be honest, you do very well! I'm glad to have artists I can look up to :)

  2. It's funny. All these realisations you're coming to are ones I've come to recently as well. It takes much more than just posting a book on amazon and crossing your fingers. Takes hard work. The drive necessary to build a following can't be undermined!!

    Great post Sarah!

    1. Thanks, Kevin. The last year has been an eye-opener in so many ways. And now I, heading into new territory! Again..

      Thanks for dropping by!

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