Key Takeaway

I often forget how long I’ve been blogging for. Some days it seems like I’ve only just started and on others I’m reminded that it has in fact been almost six years since Writing and Works came into existence. Back then I had very little idea what I was doing and even less idea of where this blog would go. I still don’t know where this blog will go but oh well. Things seem to be going well and people seem to like what I post.

So for those of you who are interested, here are my top five tips for new bloggers.

  1. Make use of the tools at your disposal. The Daily Post provides a new prompt everyday. If you don’t like the current one you can cycle through until you find something that suits you. There are loads of link ups and prompts across the blogging platforms and many of them don’t require you to use the same platform as everyone else. All you have to do is write sometime based on what they give you, submit it, and spend a little time reading the other entries. You’ll quickly find a community of people happy to engage with your work and feedback on what you create. Below are four of my favourite link ups, if you’re new, or perhaps haven’t heard of them before, go and take a look. You might find yourself inspired or you might find yourself in the middle of something you can’t get enough of.
  2. Don’t let a lack of views, comments or likes put you down. I was looking back at my Graphown ratings from right back at the beginning and it went to show, an audience takes time to build. You might not make it big to begin with, but that doesn’t mean people aren’t listening and it certainly doesn’t mean that people don’t care. Stay patience, stay positive and keep blogging. Manage that and you will be halfway there.
  3. Blog about what you love. Don’t put something up just because it seems like the thing to talk about. One of the best bits of writing advice I ever heard was ‘write about what you know’. Not while the saying has it’s limits, it’s a very good starting place. Play to your strengths, your passions. Love what you write and write about what you love.
  4. While I this blog is mostly about my writing, from time to time there will be a smattering of history, of art and of sheer randomness. Variety can be good for a blog and it can open your work up to readers who might not have stumbled across it otherwise. If you’re stuck for something to post why not experiment with a theme or topic you’ve never touched on before?
    • Try Doodle-A-Day for a week. Each day draw something new. It doesn’t have to be good, it doesn’t have to be in depth, it just has to be fun.
    • Follow a tag you don’t normally read. Steampunk, history, science, whatever it is that normally slips under your radar.
    • Find a post from another blogger and do something in response. You could create a whole series of posts challenging yourself to try out new ideas and connecting with other bloggers in the process.
  5. Finally, and this is the most important snippet of advice that a writer can give: read. Read everything and anything that falls into your hands. Reading shapes your writing and the way you think. It teaches you how to shape words, how to create stories and at the same time how not to  write. Reading other blog and interacting with them helps you to build the connections that will grow your audience. Like everything, the more you put in, the more you’ll get out.

So there you go. My top five tips for new bloggers in response to the Daily Post’s ‘Key Takeaway‘ prompt. Feel free to add any of your own below or ask any questions that may be bobbing around in your head. Until the next post.

 

Writers Block, Creative Friends, Art and Literature

Now I was supposed to do this a couple of weeks ago. But for those of you who know me, asking me do get something done that is not deadline specific is close to asking me to do a triple backflip. I may do it, the likelihood of it taking place is just very low. But when it comes to promised favours I just have a sieve like memory, it’s a struggle to keep thoughts from slipping through the cracks.

Anyway, back to the original point of the post. Those of you following will have already seen that some of my friends are somewhat creatively minded, (and completely off the wall.) Now I’ve been told that my blog is apparently drawing in a reasonable amount of traffic (this may be an overstatement) and that as a ‘friend’ it seems reasonable that I will try and introduce those who read my work, to the fantastic works of those I know.

Now I have no problem with this. I really don’t mind including such pieces as Amber Rose’s paintings.

428293_118485698280709_837989018_n

(www.horseswithmoustaches.deviantart.com)

Her artwork is utterly fantastic and I love the way she uses colours, it’s just when I come to write a post about what a great artists she is… I suddenly loose any ability that I previously had in relation to writing. It is utterly ridiculous! I have three plotlines that I am currently working on, a few others on the backburner, a script for the New Views competition and now and again I will throw out the odd poem or short story to try and extend my writing range. I should really be able to write a post about the brilliance of my friends.

It’s not as if I don’t have plenty of material to work from, it seems that the majority of my close friends are incredible when it comes to drawing or writing, the first of which I hold an extreme amount of jealousy for. If you read the website regularly you will know that Toni has created pretty much all the artwork that has been so far included, even my profile picture. Henry Granger would not be the same without her.

Henry

Miss ‘Resident Pokémon’ Jad Walters is able to create some of the most stunning cartoons that I have ever seen and it never fails to amaze me how little confidence she has in her own talents.  So! MissDemofax-El Wafflecat Izwizmus Twitchypaws the Almighty  I shall remind you once again of your epicness and show to you all that she is as brilliant as I say since I’ve having a post dedicated to my friends. (Am I not wonderful? Yes I know that is so very, very vain.)

 

Don't give a

(http://silver-serval.deviantart.com/)

Owls with attitude!

My friends are not limited just to artists who can draw. I should mention that Miss Walters is also a fantastic story teller, and almost every character she draws has some fantastical background to it and a life story that you could not believe. Trust me, I have heard the tales on many a DT lesson, what goes on within the hallowed walls of her mind is to be bother feared and envied. But as I was saying, writers also make up my immediate of wonderful friends.

For a few weeks now there has been an extra link on my website to a blog of one Kyra Leigh. In her own works, a bit of a berk and an all round procrastinator, but still a great friend and really brilliant writer and aspiring photographer.

Gundrun, daughter of Giuki, has left the world. Through the gateway of a burning pyre, she melted away all wrongs committed against her, leaving only the task to find Sigurd, husband and killer of Fafnir[1], to be done.

 

The Final Lay of Gudrun

by Kyra Leigh

Down on the road to Hel she

Trod, no longer feeling the

Embrace of forests’ worst fear[2].

Towards her first brave warrior she

Went, radiant still in the hall’s

Bleak gloom.

To him, the greatest hero, she

Sought. Not stopping, ever stepping

‘Til the head’s[3] sweet whispers she heard

Buried deep in

Odin’s wisdom wells.

And to him she cries:

“Wise head of Mimir,

Turn your face towards me and answer

This one question.

“Where is my husband, Sigurd,

Slaughtered by my brothers[4] and

Left to feed eager ravens?”

And to her he advised:

“Mourning wife and mother of heroes,

Turn your face away from me

For I shall not speak.

“Until the Doom of Gods[5]

I will keep my silence,

Though a heavy burden it may be.”

And to him she cried again:

“Wise head of Mimir,

Turn your face towards me and answer

Another question, please.

“Where else can I find knowledge

Such as yours. To find my

Husband is all.”

And to her he advised:

“Mourning wife and mother of heroes,

Turn your face away from me

For I shall not speak.

“His betrayer[6], her you must find

Amongst the troll women, cold[7].

For she loved him too.”

Down the road to Hel she

Trod. Colder and paler she became.

Towards her first brave warrior she

Went, shining still under the Ash’s

Vast shadow[8].


[1]In simple terms, a dragon.

[2] FIRE

[3] This is the head of Mimir who, after being beheaded by the Vanir (Most likely for being really irritating ¬¬ ), became an oracle of sorts to Odin.

[4] After they thought that he had been sleeping around with Brynhild, Gunnar’s wife. Gunnar (being a bit of  sap, let’s face it) got Sigurd to pretend to be him and retrieve the lady from a circle of flames. They shared a bed, but never got it on.

[5] Ragnarok! Woop!

[6] Brynhild. When she was eventually told the truth of the matter, she was naturally ticked off and told everyone that she had slept with him when she hadn’t, hence Sigurd’s murder later on. Unfair really, poor bloke.

[7] When she achieved her revenge, Brynhild also topped herself and a load of her servants.

[8] Under the great tree called Yggdrasil which, I suppose you could say, forms the back bone of the worlds. Hel is at its roots.

(kyraleigh.wordpress.com)

(http://justtsuki.deviantart.com/)

When it comes to poetry I often think that she beats me hands down.

Now I would also like to include my other best friend Alice, and my younger (but not little) sister JoJo. But I have no idea where online to find either of them, Jad, Kyra and Amber have all been pretty much electronically thrown at me over the past few months so I couldn’t fail to see them.

Anyway, I hope that you will spend the time to check out some more of their work, Amber’s work is available for purchase and commission, Kyra updates on a fairly regular basis with consistently good stuff and Jad just spits out the odd diamond of brilliance now and again but they really are diamond when she does.  There, I think I’m pretty much sorted in the friendship favours department for a few months at least, see you all soon and keep reading! I have a cup of tea to go make.