Tuesday, December 2, 2014

IWSG: More Than Just A Guide

                                           

Thanks to  Alex J. Cavanaugh, and his round-the-clock team of administrators, The IWSG Guide To Publishing And Beyond is here! I'm honored to be a part of this group that has been growing for three years strong, as well as a contributor to this helpful guide. You can download it at:  AmazonBarnes and Noble,  KoboSmashwords, and  Goodreads.

 Alex decided to take the IWSG to the next level with this wonderful guide to help writers attain their goals whether they're just starting out, or want to strengthen their marketing skills for their next book. Since this will be the last IWSG post for 2014, it's made me reflect on how I've gone from an insecure blogger to an insecure writer, and how this group helped me along the way.

According to Mari Kane from Blogsite Studio, there are "Five Big Differences Between Writing and Blogging." The observation that most struck a chord was how, "Blog readers like to skim, not chew."

The same could be said about many professions in our fast-paced society. Many people spend the day rushing from one meeting to another, barely making time to sit down for a meal. It's not unusual for parents to train their children at an early age to have every hour scheduled throughout the day. I knew one mother of three who kept a port-a-potty in her mini-van, so she wouldn't have to pull over when she was transporting her children from one activity to another.

Our attention spans are getting shorter, and action movies are more popular than ever. Even PBS classics like Downton Abbey have been known to cut quickly from one scene to another. Though you may find a lengthy soliloquy in a stage performance, Maggie Smith's elderly character The Dowager, is more likely to engage in a pithy punchline like, "What is a weekend?"

Some blogs are informative, while others are entertaining. Like the most successful writers, the best bloggers have the ability to do both, but it doesn't end there. Mix in loyalty, compassion, and a healthy dose of encouragement, and you have the Insecure Writer's Support Group. We may still be insecure next year, but thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh, insecurity is the new black.
                                               
                                                 

45 comments:

  1. Very true. The IWSG has helped me so much, I can't imagine not being part of it.

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  2. I joined IWSG this year and it's been wonderful. so many are so supportive!

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  3. I applaud you all. I came to blogging as an exercise to keep my spoken words from going sloppy. I had a catastrophic stroke and was afraid of losing language. At the keyboard I can search for a word and I've found using the word on the screen helps place it back in my head.

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  4. Yes, I am more a skimmer than a chewer. Along with my gums, there are many things that are receding in my life.

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  5. Wait, I thought ORANGE was the new black?? Oh, good grief, I can't keep track of all these changes. Apparently, my attention span is....oh, look! The neighbors are putting up Christmas lights!

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  6. Woohoo. Yes! Insecurity is the new black and it always comes back.

    I'm having a hard time keeping my posts short-ish these days, because of the skim thing. I'm a big-time skimmer myself, but it's hard to do. It beats wearing orange, though. I made that random comment because Mr. Penwasser distracted me.

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    1. Oooh, look! Oooh, look! The lights are twinkling!!

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  7. It's the new black - I like that!
    We do tend to jump around and not focus or truly absorb things. Glad I don't have a schedule so tight I can't stop and pee though.

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  8. I'm into the "shorter, the better" posts as well. I'm over-booked and things are not slowing down.

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  9. It's the new black is such a great ending. What a shame that people don't take time to breathe. I think people should calm down and being so busy to bring a port a pot is just taking it to a whole new level. I don't think kids like being this busy....they need down time just like we do

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  10. Insecurity is the new black. I love that!

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  11. Murees - I couldn't agree with you more! Thank goodness Alex started this group!

    TBM - The ongoing support has been immeasurable! Glad you joined the IWSG!

    Joanne - I'm so sorry that you went through such a horrible ordeal. I admire you for starting a blog to strengthen your skills. I'm sure it had to be difficult, but you must have worked tirelessly to get to where you are now. You are the one who deserves much applause! Thank you Joanne!

    Arleen - I guess we're both a bit long in the tooth then! Fortunately, your sense of humor shows no signs of receding!

    Al - This is coming from a man who writes War & Peace style blogs for every holiday? I think you have a case of selective distraction!

    Robyn - Of course Al distracted you. We're only women.

    Alex - Didn't you say that you spent about six hours a day blogging? Are you sure you have time to pull over? Thanks for everything, Alex! It's been a great 3+ years! Congrats on the IWSG Guide!

    Lee - You just came back from a whirlwind trip, and you have a shiny new book coming out, so I'm glad things are moving full speed ahead in a good way!

    Birgit - I wholeheartedly agree! Remember how we used to play outside for hours when we were kids? We used our imaginations, and made our own fun. I enrolled my kids in some organized sports and activities, but we never went overboard. It's all about balance. Thank you, Birgit!

    Julie



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    1. But, I break them up into parts because I...ooh, look! NOW they're putting up a snowman!

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    2. Oh...wait...that was Mrs. Penwasser putting up OUR snowman. My bad.

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  12. Yay to everyone who got to participate in this project. My computer wasn't cooperating at the time.

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  13. I'm not a skimmer, as I enjoy reading posts.

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  14. It's an excellent group, and I enjoy it, but due to domestic crisis I completely forgot the date. I will rectify that later on this evening.

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  15. Yes, that's so true - people's attention spans are getting shorter and shorter by the minute. I have already forgotten what I was going to write in this comment. But the port-a-potty idea did strike a bong on my bongo drum, because I've always found it easier to compose posts after (and often during) the ejection of bodily waste. How about you?

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  16. congrats on your efforts and for being a contributor to that guide. You've had a great writing year - blog, Old Broads, the guide, etc Very good and I look forward to reading (not skimming) your blog and enjoying more work.

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  17. Thanks for being insecure with me. I look forward to reading your blog.

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  18. Great post. Very inspiring. I agree, thanks for being insecure with me. Happy Hollidays

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  19. I think it's great that not only can we all join in to support each other, but a group has come together to create a book to help others. SUCH a supportive group!

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  20. "Blog readers want to skim, not chew." That's clever and true. We do live in a fast paced society, and it's not changing anytime soon. There are a lot of things I like though, like having a real-time chat with someone across the world from me. :)

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  21. Sometimes my blogs go on ridiculously long. I'm not sure how long people are willing to read.

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  22. Chrys - Thank you so much!

    Shelly - Sorry about that. Hope all of your computer issues have been resolved.

    The Happy Whisk - That's the spirit! I enjoy reading posts too, but I never seem to have enough time to get through as many as I'd like to.

    Yvonne - i hope everything is okay. Take care of yourself.

    Gorilla - It makes perfect sense that free-flowing ideas run smoothly from clean pipes. I hope you tip your jungle valet well.

    Joanne - Over one hundred writers contributed to the IWSG Guide, so I played a very small role in it. Alex also had a generous crew working tirelessly to put it all together. Thank you again for all of your help writing and formatting Old Broads! I'm so glad I've gotten to know you this year, Joanne! 2014 was a special year for both of us!

    Eliza - Thank you, and I will do the same!

    Juneta - It's been fun being insecure with you! Happy holidays to you, and yours, Juneta!

    Stephanie - Alex came up with a wonderful idea, and it's so exciting that he was able to carry it out so quickly! Everyone has been incredibly supportive! Thanks Stephanie!

    Lexa - Who would've ever thought that we'd be chatting with people all over the world thanks to blogging?! It has been an amazing experience! Thanks Lexa!

    Julie

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  23. >>... We may still be insecure next year, but thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh, insecurity is the new black.

    I realize that it's going to be quite a long time from now, but eventually black is going to be the new black, and then my heart will fit right in.

    I can barely wait until I'm stylish again.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

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  24. Michael - I started writing shorter blog posts during A to Z. Now I rarely write longer stories. Just keep on doing whatever you're comfortable with. Your enthusiasm is contagious, and we're glad to join in on the fun!

    Stephen - Your quick wit will never go out of style! Black doesn't have to be the new black, because unlike your strong political beliefs it is never off-color!

    Julie

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  25. Hi Julie .. great comment on the IWSG ... while this Guide is amazing and I'm sure will be so useful to many. Your last paragraph really rings true ... such a treat to be amongst a great mix of bloggers ... long and short, tall and thin, middling and fat .. lots of choices ... cheers to one and all - Hilary

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  26. when you said our attention spans are getting shorter, I was thinking of that movie "up" with the dog going "bird!" and runs off midsentence! great seeing you again girl!!

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  27. Hilary - It is a "treat" to be part of such a warm and welcoming blogging community made up of versatile writers! Hilary, you were one of the first bloggers to greet me during the 2011 A to Z, and I always look forward to catching up with you! Thanks Hilary!

    Tammy - You really hit the nail on the head with that scene stealer! Great seeing you too, Tammy!

    Julie

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  28. A great post, loved reading through it and all the comments are informative too.

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  29. Nice post, Julie. I think it is great when bloggers/writers help and support each other.

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  30. Romance Reader - I always learn something new in the comments too! Thank you Romance Reader!

    Daisy - You are a shining example of a supportive blogger friend! Thank you so much, Daisy!

    Julie

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  31. I have my copy. I'm going to start reading this week.

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  32. Awhile back, I reduced how many I read. Deleted blogs that I didn't read and just sorta focused on the ones I enjoy.

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  33. Vanessa - That's great! I'm sure you'll enjoy it! Thanks Vanessa!

    Happy Whisk - Sounds like the perfect system! I wish I could be more organized! Thanks for the tips!

    Julie

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  34. We do live in a fast-paced world. That's why we need support more than ever! Great post.

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  35. It's 100% true. This is one of the reasons why we do comics. People get so easily bored with words that we need to break up our jokes with pictures. We enjoy doing the pictures, don't get me wrong, but still kinda sad that we HAVE to do it to get fully read.

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  36. Lynda - I really appreciate all of the hard work you put into The IWSG Guide! It looks great, and I know that I'll refer to it again and again! Thanks Lynda!

    B & B- You are such talented artists that it would be a crime not to combine your jokes, and comics. Even your comments are classics too, so please don't change a thing.

    Julie

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  37. I just downloaded, looking forwarded to reading it.

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  38. Insecurity is the new black... mmm... I like that!

    ...from an insecure blogger to an insecure writer... I can identify, Julie! And you're one of the people who have made it possible. Thanks for your support... being in my corner and cheering me along the way! I appreciate it!

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  39. Nas - I'm sure you'll enjoy reading it! Thanks Nas!

    Michelle - Right back atcha! Thanks for all you do at the IWSG, including contributing and compiling The IWSG Guide! I also appreciate your ongoing support, Michelle!

    Julie

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  40. My blog gets pretty thick. Something between Henry David Thoreau and Gordon Ramsay.

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    1. ducksmahal - Do you have a Reader's Digest version?! As long as I'm not timed, I'll be happy to take a gander!

      Julie

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