Christmas Gifts — The Writerly List

Here are a few gift ideas for writers that I found. I haven’t been paid or asked to endorse these, and haven’t tried them all. Just a heads up 😉


Writing 21st Century Fiction by Donald Maass

Stephen King’s On Writing



A bookish candle of the month club subscription from Frostbeard Studio

A quill and ink set

This clock (I hate clocks that tick, but this one is cute, I must admit)

OR this clock

A “go away; I’m writing” sign

A cool journal



These handmade typewriter earrings

A cool necklace


Social Media Advice for Writers

I’m going to hazard a guess: I bet that most of the people following my blog right now are writers. Am I right (if I’m not, please tell me so in the comments!)? If you are, I’m going to make another guess: I’m betting that at least 3/4 of the writers here are looking to get published (again, comments.) And perhaps a smaller percentage already have something out there and they’re looking to market it, build their brand/online presence, etc.

I’ve been reading a lot of books on brand, social media for writers, marketing your book, and the like. Here are a few of my takeaways about social media, and I feel this applies to ANYONE selling something online:

Put the social back in social media. It is a tool, yes, but it has social in the name for a reason.

Things learned


I’ve fallen into the trap, where you’re desperate to sell copies of your book and social media is right there and it’s just so TEMPTING to send out a generic series of Tweets, all saying the same thing:

Buy My Book

While there’s nothing wrong with the occasional, “Hey, I have a book out that I am SO excited to share with you: LINK”, spamming a person’s feed with BUY MEs is a major turn-off and is likely to have the opposite effect of what you wish.

I’ve tried a more subtle approach on my Facebook author page:


It puts my book cover out there, my social media info out there, and my name out there. Here’s the problem: Without interaction, building up and maintaining relationships online and in person, no one is going to give that image a second thought. And that’s what I found.

As far as I can tell from the series of memes I did on my Facebook author page, not one resulted in a direct sale. Full disclosure: While Facebook is what experts are calling the best social media platform for authors, I still struggle with figuring out how to engage people there. I react and respond to every comment. I follow other author pages, react to posts and comment on their posts. But I’m still learning. This is a looooooong process.

Another thought:

Content is king, I’m realizing. And the reader is queen.

…or something like that.

The takeaways:

  • Social media should be social
  • BUY ME posts are annoying
  • Content is king
  • The reader should be your focus (what can THEY get out of what I’m saying?)

Hope that helps some other writer/salesperson out there. Build up your mailing list, and keep up your website.

And remember…

Keep your pen on the page,

P.S. If you want to help out an author like me, sharing, liking, and commenting on posts are all good things. Another helpful thing: Explore the pages and links on the sidebar. Thank you. I appreciate it!

My Beats

Right now (not at this very moment, because, well, I’m writing this blog post) I am writing a high fantasy novel and fighting the never-ending battle for the keyboard with The Cat (that is a war that is raging on as I type this.) For every battle, there must be strategy, strength, stealth, an appropriate playlist!

Doomsday Playlist

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: music makes the mood or breaks the mood. The most appropriate songs for my work-in-progress are:

  1. Medicate or Stimulate (yes, I realize it’s about drug use, but my main character is in a mental institution and believes he is hallucinating half the time because freaky things are happening.)
  2. Yellow Flicker Beat (appropriate in that he’s somewhat of an outcast at the beginning of the book. Doesn’t quite have his place yet.)

The LEAST appropriate songs for my WIP’s playlist are:

  1. Merry Happy (Hahahahahahahahha!)
  2. Kiss From a Rose (I’m keeping it because I’m a 90s girl at heart and love the song to pieces.)

And Space Oddity is in there because, come on, I need me some Bowie. Still sad 😦

Hope all’s well out there IRL.

Keep your pen on the page,

From the Weekend

This past weekend was full of trying to keep up with writing assignments for a free online class (there is no grading/credits on this one.) In the (approximate) words of my Critique Circle friend Sassy: if this welcome week is supposed to be fun and relaxed, I’ll be dead by the end of the actual course.

The creative writing course runs for eight weeks, so it’ll run into NaNoWriMo. Uh-oh. We’ll see if I can pull this thing off.

But back to the weekend.

I have another writing project stewing in my brain. Because ninety-three weren’t enough. It’s dystopian. Yes, I know that fad’s on the way out. But I don’t write to the fads 🙂 All’s well.

Did I mention that THIAG has been subbed? No? Well, now you’ve been informed. That makes 11+ pieces out in the publishing world, waiting for answers.

That’s all-ish. Have a great week. I’ll maybe see you Friday (my eyes are EVERYWHERE), but until then…

Keep your pen on the page,


For your viewing pleasure:

A little old man singing about whipping mayonnaise. <–That’s a clicky, just fyi. Seriously, who doesn’t love to watch a 98-year-old gentleman get the words wrong to a pop song?