Welcome to Writers’ Uni-Verse-City (or WUVC for short because every university has an acronym), a place where writers/bloggers can meet to discuss the craft of writing in the Internet age. WUVC will involve independent research, setting a curriculum and hopefully finding other participants (like you – readers/bloggers/writers) to: chip in, give tips, suggest books and other materials for study, teach me the ways of the warrior writer, and offer to guest post here at Uni-Verse-City (contact: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Today is October 5th so head on over the the A Round of Words in 80 days Twitter party at #row80 because the Round 3 participants “Rocked the Row” and the Round 4 participants are going to Rock the Row again alllll the way until just before Christmas (Dec. 22). Today we also have a special edition of Writer’s Uni-Verse-City with a guest post from Alberta Ross, fellow ROW80 participant and author of the Sefuty Chronicles. Not only is there a Twitter party happening today with the grand prize giveaway being a copy of Kait Nolan’s new release: Red, but also winners here at Uni-Verse-City will get copies of Alberta Ross’s books! So let’s take a look at Alberta’s social media journey as an indie author.
The Sefuty Chronicles and I are winding our way toward the end of the book tour. It has been tremendous fun and I have been interviewed by and guest blogged for some fantastic folk here in cyberspace. So in the week we celebrate #Row80 party on Twitter and I am here to have a few thoughts on the wonder that is the writing community.
After I had decided to go the Indie route, I ventured a little nervously into the blogosphere, then panic hit – what to do, what to say, to whom did one say it? I lurked – no other word for it, I lurked. Joining Facebook, I barely spoke. A whole new language buzzed around me including the term Indie! A language I had trouble deciphering. WIP, NaNo, PM being a few of the easier ones. A mixture of web, youth and international. New slang, new expressions, a turmoil of newness. I ventured the odd comment, ventured a ‘like’ here and there and then boldly tried a few ‘shares’. I began to solicit ‘friendships’.
I grew ever bolder and joined ‘groups’, began to recognise names if not their profile pictures, which seemed to change with bewildering speed. Clicked the links and discovered more blogs. My first year was all about expanding this network of strangers, trying to make connections. Along the way I made a startling discovery, writers and authors were the most amazingly generous people I had met in many a decade.
I still can’t quite believe the amount I learnt in that year. Even simple stuff such as using the right click button on my mouse – hey I learnt my computer skills very late in my life!
I was playing catch up. I published the second of my Chronicles and a collection of short stories, began to collect a few, very few, followers to my blog. I began a second blog to separate life from writing and the publications. I started hearing rumours of other delights. At the beginning of this year, I joined Twitter and was wandering around a little lost. I mentioned on one of my groups that although I wanted to join the Independent Author Network (IAN) I couldn’t because one had to have over 150 followers; I reached that goal in a matter of weeks due to my new friends.
I found ROW80 early this year from a post on Facebook and tentatively posted a couple of goals thinking I wouldn’t follow through, after all what would saying what I had or had not done do to improve my writing? How wrong was I! The support and fun was so unexpected. Certainly ROW80 helped keep me focused on what turned out to be harder writing than I had planned for.
Through ROW80 I discovered writing software, editing tools and the A-Z challenge (what a great month that was and how many new friends I found along the way). Then I heard of something called NaNoWriMo andmany fellow ROWer’s were polishing these attempts. I wanted to try, indeed in a month I will, and am excitedly planning. I discovered Savvy Writers and their workshops, heard of Rachael Harrie’s Writer Platform-Building Campaign from fellow ROWer’s, and I’ve visited brilliant bloggers, entered competitions and generally expanded my base. Many of the visits on this month-long tour have been with those I met on Facebook, ROW80 and Rachel’s campaign. Small challenges, larger ones, all fun and all helping to hone one’s skills in writing.
This year I have become a confirmed tweeter and surefooted Facebooker. I have learnt to enjoy blogging (posting every week for the ‘check in’ certainly helped there) and from feeling terrified in January at the thought of a virtual book tour and I have ended exhilarated at the participation.
ROW80 has been there all year, listening to my gripes and cheering on my achievements. So on this last guest blog of the tour I offer my three cheers for ROW80ers and thank you all for polishing my experience of the silvery web.
Alberta Ross spent the first part of her adult life travelling the world, the middle years studying and now she has settled down to write. From the first, he has endless photographs, memories and friends. From the second part, she has a BSc Hons, an MA and friends. Now in this part everything comes together for her.
Over the years Alberta’s interests have expanded, as has her book and music collection. A short list would include reading (almost anything) science, opera, folk, gardening, philosophy, crazy patchwork, freeform crochet, ethics, social history, cooking (and eating of course) gardening, anthropology, climate change and sustainability. Alberta’s parents gave her, apart from a love of reading and music, an interest and curiosity in everything, which in itself has become a total inability to be bored and for this she is always grateful.
But wait there’s more. Prizes!
As part of her book tour, Alberta has been running a giveaway!
Two 1st-prize winners will receive an e-book edition of the first two books in the Sefuty Chronciles: Ellen’s Tale and The Storyteller’s Tale.
Three 2nd-prize winners will receive an e-book copy of Ellen’s Tale (or The Storyteller’s Tale, if they’ve already read book 1).
How to win:
- Comment below and at Alberta’s blog today! (this gives you two entries for the prize)
- An extra entry will be given if you link back to this post on Twitter or Facebook
- An extra entry will be given for if you link back (pingback) to this post on your own blog
That’s 4 chances to win!
Thanks so much to Alberta for sharing your social media story. I think its great that there are so many friendly people out there on so many different platforms. There is so much to discover and learn. It’s a great time to be a writer.
Rock the Row photo competion details #ROW80:
- Take a photo that reflects the “Rock The Row” theme. Go find one on the internet if you like (just give credit, OK?).
- Upload it during the party and alert me @NicoleBasaraba, or my splendid co-host @jhansenwrites, if you want us to include it in the competition. (Use which ever apps or platforms you prefer to share your photos on, ex. YFrog or Twitpic)
- Creativity is a plus
- Jenny Hansen and I will each pick our faves and send them to Kait to decide on the top 5 entries.
- Team Row80 members will take a poll to decide the final winner.
- The winner of the photo contest receives an e-book copy of Kait’s fantastic book, Red.
- P.S. This is in the spirit of fun, so please don’t get bent if you don’t make the finals.
To enter the blog competition #ROW80:
- Create a blog that reflects the “Rock The Row” theme. (Here was my first post – here’s Jenny’s…LOVE her Rockin Play List)
- Creativity is a plus, as are good graphics.
- Jenny and I will look at the comments on our blogs posts, direct messages on Twitter or emails today for recommendations of top picks. In addition, we’ll each pick our faves and haggle about them in private.
- Blog competition prize is inclusion in Kait’s mash-up on the ROW80 blog and bragging rights.
- This is great publicity for you sine there are so many ROWers, so start creating.
- To enter the blog competition, click here for the newest ROW80 blog on the contest (caution: this is not the post that says “State Your Goals!”)