Tag Archives: social media

#PitMad and what it taught me

Seasoned writers probably know all about Pitch Madness (also known on Twitter as #PitMad), especially if they write Young Adult books. To be honest, I’d never heard of #PitMad before seeing mention of it early this morning on a writer’s discussion board that I’m on. And, boom, just like that, I decided to jump right in before I could get cold feet and start talking myself out of it.

Now, pitching is not my strong suit. At all. In fact, the idea of approaching an agent at a writers’ conference and pitching them at one of the many pitch sessions that are commonly offered sends cold chills down my spine and makes my palms sweat.

Don’t get me wrong: I love my story and my characters. I delight in making life difficult for them, even killing off a character or two. (Three bite the dust in my current work in progress, in fact.) It’s simply that I find it difficult to condense the whole 100K-word story into just one sentence. But this seemed like a good chance to learn, to explore, to push my boundaries a bit.

Here’s what I learned from my five tweets (four done already, one more to go):

  • Make sure you learn the “rules of the road” for something like this. For #PitMad, that means no favoriting tweets — agents only are allowed to do that. If you spot a tweet you like, though, you can show that by retweeting it.

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Filed under Marketing, On Writing, Resources


If you’re like me, a non-Japanese speaker, you probably have never heard this word before and have no idea what it means. But this week I learned that, loosely translated, it means “Does it spark joy?”

And I learned it because of a Wall Street Journal article about Marie Kondo, the queen of tokimeku. She’s written a best-seller, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” that has been all the rage in Japan and is now spreading worldwide, including here in the United States. She’s just 30 years old. (Wow! I barely knew my way around at that age!)

She’s described as a home-organizing guru which is nothing new, at least in this country where we have tons of them. But what is new is her key question: “Does this spark joy?” When she’s hired to help organize and clean, she doesn’t do the organizing or cleaning herself. Instead, she tells her clients to take everything out of a closet or dresser and then has them hold each item, one by one, and asks them, “Does this spark joy?”

It’s a perfect question, one that gets right to the heart of the stuff we have and Continue reading

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Filed under General, On Writing

Twitter and other devices

Do you tweet?

I don’t, not really, even though I’ve had a Twitter account for over two years. Partly it’s because I haven’t always been sure exactly what I should tweet about. And partly, perhaps, it’s because of the fear that my tweets will be boring or uninteresting or trivial, all of which are possible. (Spend a little time on Twitter and you’ll see what I mean.)

One of my New Year’s resolutions has been to push ahead with social media, with the encouragement of my local critique group partners and the online writing communities I’ve joined. At the risk of sounding too clinical, though, the challenge has been how to think about it all—strategically, I mean. But lately, I’ve begun thinking that I’ve been over-thinking this whole social media thing, psyching myself out, making it much more complicated than it really needs to be.

I recently read a great blog post by Jim Jackson on Writers Who Kill, and it’s helping me think about all this in a different way. He offered six “rules” about getting out there in social media. And three of his key points were most helpful:

“It’s not all about YOU.” One thing that’s been difficult to wrap my head around is whether being an unpublished fiction writer gives me any standing to be on social media at all. But if I approach it as Continue reading


Filed under On Writing