10K Weekends For Writers – Week 6

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Get those computers out. Those pads of paper and pencils. Those note-taking apps. It’s time to get some words written.

I realize it’s Valentine’s weekend, but I’m sure you’ve got a few words in your to add to your WIP! NASCAR starts this weekend, too. But I’ll be writing.

Will you?

The social media hashtag is #10KWeekendsForWriters The weekend begins Thursday at 7pm and ends on Sunday at 10pm.

Sign up with the Linky below. Keep track of your word count. Check in and let me, and others, know how you’re doing.

Let’s get the words down and get the books written. You can do this. So can I.

I’m grateful for those who’ve been participating. I really want to grow 10K Weekends For Writers. I think it could be a fun way to motivate and write and support each other. So, please grab the badge from the sidebar and add it to your own site, share on Facebook and Twitter.

Happy Writing!

~lissa




How Do You Find The Books You Read?

Library room with books

This story is already known to some, but when I started reading romance, it was because of the library and a woman I met there. I was looking for a different type of book, but it ended up being near the romance section. She was there browsing their collection, looking very intense, and when I’d grabbed the book I was there to get, I took a few steps in her direction. I wanted to see what had her so riveted.

I had never picked up a romance novel. I’d always read crime thrillers or non-fiction. I looked casually at what held her interest and we started up a conversation. That led to me leaving the library with not only the book I came to get, but with 4 romance novels. Julia Quinn. Jayne Ann Krentz, Linda Lael Miller, Judith McNaught.

I. Devoured. Them.

And I went back for more. This time I left the library with double what I’d left with before. The time after that, doubled, tripled, quadrupled. I left with brown paper grocery bags full of romance novels. I was reading 1 or 2 a day. I had a full time job. I had a toddler. I was always reading every spare moment I could find.

It took several months, but I eventually exhausted all the romance books the library had. The woman and I had become fast friends over the reading of romance. We met up at the library weekly. Then we met up at bookstores.

I started writing not long after that. I have two unfinished novels, one contemporary and one historical, sitting in a box somewhere in my closet. I never thought I’d be a published author, not anywhere near as incredible as those I’d been reading.

But, the bookstores have gone away. For the most part. There are a few left, but… There’s a local one here that caters to local authors, but not romance authors. They don’t even have a romance section. I find that incredibly sad and short sighted.

The landscape for finding books has changed somewhat. I used to ask the bookstore employees when the new Julia Quinn book would be available. Now, I just look it up on her website or on Amazon or her Facebook page. Something has been personally lost in that, a connection has been severed with other book lovers anticipating the release of the same book.

A discussion was had yesterday about marketing and books. I see authors pouring thousands of dollars into Facebook ads, Twitter ads, Pinterest ads, ads on book websites, all pushing their books into what they hope are the faces of their target market. There’s a lot of connection through social media with authors now, but there’s also a disconnect…

Do you pay attention to the ads on social media? Are you this or that author’s target reader? Are you swayed by the push? It works for those authors who get it right.

How do you find books to read? New authors to try?

I was a reader before an author. I listened to what my friend had to say. I looked at books that were housed on the same shelves or nearby to my favorite authors. And I checked the new release shelves to see what might pique my interest. I didn’t read with the trends. I liked what I liked and I pretty much stuck to it. I’m still that way a lot.

On Amazon, I look at the Also Boughts of my favorite books and authors. I don’t take as many chances on new authors as maybe I should. I don’t fall prey to the ads I see, but then I’m also apparently not the target market for a lot of my go to authors. Then again, a lot of them don’t even bother with ads.

There’s so much noise in the book world that it’s hard to sit quietly. It’s always changing. New books are coming out daily. And the competition for limited shelf space is astronomical… And I’m talking virtual shelf space. It should be endless, but in order to be seen… It takes something that I haven’t yet been able to tap into.

So, tell me, readers, how do YOU find your next book to read? Your next favorite author? Is it through ads you see on social media? Is it a book group? Is it a friend? Is it random? And as a reader, what works for you when it comes to YOU wanting to try a new book rather than an author wanting you to try her, or his, new book?

~lissa

Music/Movie Monday – I Will Survive

From the movie, The Replacements… With football season officially over for 2015/2016, it’s time for me to settle in for the long wait until it starts up again. I’ll be keeping myself entertained and occupied with NASCAR and golf.

I. Will. Survive.

Congratulations to the Denver Broncos and to Peyton Manning. If Super Bowl 50 was his final game, what a hell of a way to go out! He’s had an incredible career, one of the greatest to ever play and understand the dynamics of the game.

~lissa

On Creativity

I use Pinterest a lot. Still. I have 60 public boards and several private boards. I love the different things I find, the visual inspiration. The things that are most repinned are food. I’d like it if other things got equal representation, but food seems to be universal…

I started a new board recently and I titled it On Creativity. I’ve been feeling more and more creatively inspired this year. This is a change. And a good one. A really good one. I didn’t feel creatively inspired last year. Or even the year before. I was kind of slogging through the days, waiting to get to the next one. I wasn’t sure how to approach my writing or even if I could call it a business. I mean, other people did, but was it? Really? And that whole line of thinking has changed for me in the last few weeks. I do see it as a business and more specifically, I see it as a creative business.

Follow Lissa Matthews’s board On Creativity on Pinterest.

Enter my On Creativity Pinterest board. It’s not very full yet. It has links to some books I like, some links to articles I like, some links to infographics and such. It’s about how to find and get creative. It’s for those who need some direction toward creativity in their lives.

According to Merriam-Webster, the simple definition of creativity is: the ability to make things or think of new ideas.

Cool. I can do that. It doesn’t have to be crafts or books. It can be whatever inspires us… Coffee. Cooking. Making things with our hands. Music. Art. Dance. Meditation.

It can be in how we inspire others, too.

On the board is a Pin for TED Talks for Creative Entrepreneurs. I am in love with TED. And I love these because they’re given by people who were once like you and me. They once had a dream. They once needed a road map. When they didn’t have one, they created one. They inspire me to create my own.

I’m going to be talking about creativity throughout the year. I’ll hopefully be able to get a few people to come onto the blog to talk about what inspires creativity in them.

But if you need somewhere to start with creativity, try my Pinterest board, On Creativity…
~lissa

10K Weekends For Writers – Week 5

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I don’t know about y’all, but I need A LOT of words this weekend. I need ass in the chair, fingers on keys, and words pouring out of my eyeballs onto the screen.

It’s week 5 of 10K Weekends For Writers and week 4 was a pathetic effort on my part. I got less words last weekend than I’ve gotten all year long and we’re only in February! (Can you believe that, btw? I mean FEBRUARY!)

So, bring your manuscript, your determination, your motivation, your terrible for you snacks (or if you’re one of those who can eat healthy writing having a writing binge, go on and bring your carrot sticks and water)… But it’s time to get down to it and write.

Author, bloggers, college students with a paper to write… Let’s get it on!

Add your name to the Linky below and keep track of your word count. The social media hashtag is #10KWeekendsForWriters. Grab the little badge if you want, but join in! Challenge yourself. Can you write 10,000 words between 7pm tonight (Thursday) and Noon on Sunday? Why noon? Because it’s Super Bowl Sunday. I didn’t forget. Hell, I’ll be watching and pulling for Peyton! And for those who won’t be watching, you can have until 10pm as usual. But for those watching the Super Bowl? It means is that YOU and I have to get the most words in BEFORE kickoff, before you start the party, before the beer is cold enough…

So, you ready?

As Peyton would say O M A H A!

~lissa




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