Zero to Hero: Day 30, behind the scenes

Whelp, there’s one tiny problem with deciding to go at this at my own pace-

Day 30 requires the use of fellow ZtHers. Fortunately, the zerotohero tag is still pretty active, so I wandered around there for a while and did some meet-n-greetin’.

Now for the hard part.

We did the editorial calendar thing a few days ago, but the final ZtH assignment is to commit to it, as well as other goals. What do I want to do for the next 30 days? Well…

  • I know I want to actually finish up my editorial calendar and stick with it. This means a lot of queuing, but I always feel better when I have blog posts queued up. I like knowing that you all don’t have to suffer from the same attacks of life that I do.
  • I had some ideas for collab pieces come up the other day, and I really want to follow through with that. Maybe I won’t be able to work Throwback Thursdays and Wayback Wednesdays into this month, but by the time July rolls around, I want to be ready to get that going.
  • I want to focus for a little bit on refining my social media presence, so once I get some posts queued up, I may be quiet around the WP site for a while, but that doesn’t mean I won’t be blogging.

And since I’ve always been an overachiever, let’s set some more long term goals for say, the next three months.

  • Learn some CSS or HTML or whatever makes teh blogs run. I know I need a premium to play with that, but I want the skills before I purchase something I can’t use. And I do think I’ll make use of it for Asylum, but that’s a bit further of a bridge to cross.
  • Get Asylum prepped for web-release, and start building it’s own page, or perhaps even its own blog. Whichever seems to suit it better. That’ll mean a little research and A LOT of editing, surely.
  • Set up more collab work with fellow bloggers. I really want to tap that part of the blogging community concept. I want to get in on this blog hop thing, and all that fun stuff. Or, in short, I want to make blogging friends. 😛

So.. yeah. That’s it. That’s ZtH. I feel like I should have some great moment of reflection or something here, but it’s been such an organic and gradual experience that I don’t feel any profound change. Looking back at where I was at the start of this, I see some serious improvement, and a better understanding of the blogging world, but I can’t comment in particular on any one thing. I just suddenly looked up and realized I’m a Hero. 🙂

 

Zero to Hero: Day 29, behind the scenes

…I swear, the Zero to Hero people are looking over my shoulder. I just finished drafting “No more bullets” (and turned right around and took another draft out of the pool), and now I’m supposed to plan out 30 days worth of posts.

Yes, ok, not 30 posts, but at least the next 30 days worth of blogging. Which for me might mean 30 posts, might not. I think the assignment itself said it best:

  • Be realistic. it’s better to schedule two posts a month you know you can publish than a daily post you’ll miss six days out of seven.
  • Budget for interaction. Remember that publishing is only part of blogging — make sure you leave yourself time to engage with the community.
  • Write it down. if it’s only in your head, it’s not really a calendar. Use your phone’s calendar, a note-taking app, or pen and paper. Having written notes helps you stay on track and measure your progress.

So what am I planning? We’ll go June 9 to July 9, because random numbers are lovely like that. And because it starts us off on a Monday, which is nice.

  • Mon-Wed 9, 10, 11- Doctor Days. Love me some Doctor Days
  • Thur 12
  • Fri 13- HOLY CRAP FRIDAY THE 13! MUST DO SOMETHING FUN!!!
  • Sat 14 – Weekly Writing Goals, Also something else because I like to double up on weekends
  • Sun 15- Sketch and a weekend double up
  • Mon 16
  • Tue 17
  • Wed 18
  • Thurs 19
  • Fri 20
  • Sat 21-Weekly Writing Goals
  • Sun 22
  • Mon 23
  • Tue 24
  • Wed 25-Sketch
  • Thur 26
  • Fri 27
  • Sat 28-Weekly Writing Goals
  • Sun 29
  • Mon 30
  • Tue 1
  • Wed 2
  • Thurs 3
  • Fri 4
  • Sat 5 – Sketch
  • Sun 6
  • Mon 7 – Weekly Writing Goals
  • Tue 8
  • Wed 9 – And we’re back around to Doctor Days

I lucked out this month, in that most of my regularly scheduled posts fall on the weekends, which is when I like to be post heavy. I wanna do something awesome for Fri 13 – maybe post some superstitions from the Asylum/Havenverse. Maybe I can get Onyx to tell everyone a ghost story. I’ll have to get that drafted and scheduled soon though, cause the weekend will be a busy one for me.

But see how nice it was to look ahead and not miss that gem of a day? Calendars are fun! 😛

Zero to Hero: Day 28, behind the scenes

This is another day where there’s not a lot to post about. I’ve already done A LOT of work with regular features. But I do like some of the ideas from today’s assignment, namely:

  • A monthly Q & A with one of your blogging buddies (or a character?)
  • A Music Monday, featuring the song that rocked your weekend (I had a lot of fun making the Eight-Legged Radio for Pandora)
  • A Flavor Friday dedicated to the recipe you experimented with over the previous week (or a favorite of Seth’s or Zig’s?)

I’m also kicking around an idea like Throwback Thursday, where I post something I wrote an obscenely long time ago. Like, back in Undergrad and such. Cause I’ve gotten away from posting actual writing on here lately (three guesses why).

Is anyone interested in seeing something like that? Have any suggestions? What would you like to see more of on Raevenly Writes?

Zero to Hero: Day 27, behind the scenes

Today is about building a calendar. I’ve already loosely done that, by setting up my schedule, but I wanted to take a closer look at it, and see what’s done well.

As I mentioned before, my stats are kinda skewed, in my opinion. The stuff that does the best gets a boost from being linked. Daily Prompts and ZtH do about twice as well as my other stuff, because it’s tagged to reach a bigger audience. So, inflation aside, what does well?

My most popular content: the writing process, daily posts, blogging/writing events.

I can’t really control what days the Daily post will jump out at me, So I’m content to let that go. Though I have been wondering what I’ll blog about when ZtH is over. There’s that writing thing coming up, but there’s only so much I can do about outside events. But focusing on that is less than helpful, so when you cut that away, I’m left with posts like this or this.

The character wrangling/editing blues posts, I can’t really come up with in advance – when something jumps out at me about today’s work, I post it. Then end.

But posts where I’m responding to someone else’s post, those I could do. If the right inspiration strikes.

That sounds like a lot of digging, but as I’m running out of blogging material, it’s seeming like a good idea. And this will help me queue up some posts from the last ZtH assignment where I looked at my stats.

So what do we got? Back to the WP tags.

I started with the #WeNeedDiverseBooks tag, because that has really gotten me thinking, and I’ve really enjoyed reading what others have had to say as well. This post from Pelican Writer on the need for diverse authors resonated with me and I can definitely build on it. I also found this on Sounding out… let’s just say it hits too close to home for me not to blog about it. You’ll see soon.

And that was with less than 5 mins of searching. Oh yes, you can expect to see more of this coming up.

But as far as a calendar goes… well, my life is just not that settled at the moment. I currently work on a week to week schedule, where I never know when I will be doing what, so carving out designated blog time takes a backseat to my editing and writing. But, like the 21 things weekend installment (that is coming to an end, sadly), I would love to keep commenting on the works of those around me. So we can likely expect that.

Incidentally, I put the 21 things on the weekend because of exploring my traffic times. I do get more views on the weekends, and mornings in general (no, I’m not always on here, checking stats- what makes you say that? :P), which is why I try to post double time on weekends, and post early in the morning when I do schedule out posts.

So I guess the wrap up is: editorial calendars are kind of intuitive. Refining them is a little harder, but just getting one going is pretty easy, if you stop to think about it for a second. Give it a go, if you haven’t already.

 

Zero to Hero: Day 26, behind the scenes

Original Post

Today’s ZtH is for branding, which I’ve accidentally done a  lot of already. I set my Blavatar up pretty much first thing (fun fact? The coffee was my first latte art ever, from the coffee shop I like to write at, Purdy’s) and I’ve got a facebook fan page, though I’m not sure I set it up right (I just couldn’t bring myself to click “Yes, this is a real famous person). I’m even using my Blavatar all over the place, which is kinda funny when I have the blog and the Tumblr both open and I can’t remember which tab is which.

I do sort of love the custom image widgets, but I don’t have an image in mind yet. Using the coffee mug over and over and over again on my page doesn’t quite wow me. I think I’m just not that into it for the RW blog, but I’ll definitely get some serious work going when I open up Asylum’s weblit page.

So I guess my final thoughts on branding? It’s kind of instinctive. Just do it (if you’ll pardon the weak pun there).

 

(..now I feel really lame ending on a weak pun. Is this really what I want to be known for?)

Zero to Hero: Day 23, take two

Third time is a charm. I had much better luck finding meaningful things to say as I read over the DP Challenge entries I picked out (And I had A LOT entries to choose from. That was nice.)

I’m a Writer, Yes I Am did a fun post about arguing with herself.

The Equiatic Bind did a classic list, but I really loved it anyway. It conveyed a sense of the person, a sense that we could be friends, perhaps, and it’s ever so slightly cheeky, which is awesome.

I read several other posts, including an inspiring one about job lists, and one about teacher promises that cracked me up. And an absolute gem about how to write a blog post (just 26 easy steps!).

I think next time I’m feeling adventurous, I’ll skip the tag searching and just read some DP challenges. 😀

Zero to Hero: Day 22, once more

Alright, I’ve got one. This time for sure! Third time is a charm, right? This week’s Daily Post challenge grabbed my attention, since listing is how I tend to chip away at writer’s block with my fiction. I’ll sit down and make a list of everything I know needs to happen, zooming in a little bit at a time until the next thing I know, I’ve finished that difficult scene.

Only trick is: how on earth do I do that for a blog post? The only things I really  have to achieve with this post are:

  1. Start my list
  2. Add a point to my list.
  3. Add something else to my list.
  4. Add anything else I care to.
  5. Tuck in some last minute thoughts, and
  6. Finish the list
  7. Maybe also finish the post, I suppose.

Seems to simple, doesn’t it? And it’s a nice random number, 7, instead of like a top 10, or a 12 step program, or whatever. I like seven, it’s a good number. Other numbers I like are:

  1. 13
  2. 3
  3. 92
  4. 17
  5. 11
  6. 4
  7. 8

No real reasoning there, but there’s another 7 list for you. Now I”m kinda wondering if I could do 7 seven lists, but I’m not sure what seven things I might about. Well, why not? Let’s give it a shot:

  1. My list of things to do
  2. My favorite numbers
  3. My list of things to list (haha!)
  4. A list of things I need to do for my writing
  5. A list of chores I should be doing instead of blogging
  6. List of social media distractions I get into
  7. A list of seven random things that come to mind

Well then, that was easier than I thought it’d be. Three down, four to go, and I already know what they’ll be of. Let’s forge ahead, shall we? Alright, the writing list:

  1. Finish my first go through of Rain’s story
  2. Go over Rain’s story with Beta readers
  3. Time out, 2 should be get back in touch with my second reader, then go over things
  4. Finish my first go through of Asylum’s first book
  5. Repeat steps 2 and 3
  6. Get Asylum’s blog set up and ready for web-lit
  7. Get Asylum’s plot caught up to Spider’s plot so the other stories can go forward

Mmmk, productive! I like it. Ugh, time for the guilt trip- what should I be doing instead of making silly lists:

  1. Laundy, always
  2. dishes, also always
  3. Organize the craft room
  4. Clean the upstairs bathroom
  5. Oragnize/throw out crap in the garage
  6. Wash the sheets/make the bed
  7. …well crap. I can’t actually think of anything else I should do. Clean out the fridge maybe?

Aaaand instead of doing that, I’m more likely to hang out online and waste time on the following (probably in this order):

  1. Queue up some blog posts
  2. Queue up some Tumblr posts
  3. Look through someecards and booksrockmyworld on facebook
  4. Check my personal facebook for some more interesting things to follow with my author facebook
  5. Possibly tweet, but most likely not
  6. Re-re-check the Nyuesigrube boards to see if anyone else is talking about Bloodwitch yet
  7. Answer some emails

Alright! This was actually exceptionally easy once I’d made a list of lists – though I’m not sure if I’ve made any progress, or just of lists. Ah well. List of random things, GO!

  1. I like peanut butter, but only sometimes.
  2. Zig sometimes forgets to wear shorts under his bathrobe.
  3. This seriously disturbs his children at least once.
  4. Dolphins and porpoises are not as related as you’d think based on appearance.
  5. My girlfriend is entirely too obsessed with details.
  6. I want desperately to believe that Nyuesigrube is real, and that someday I’ll be kidnapped by vampires.
  7. It is harder to come up with truly random things than you’d think.

So basically, I feel like I just filled out one of those 100 random facts kinda questionnaires, and that’s about it. But I’m not ready to give up on lists, I’m just clearly distracted at the moment. Star Trek was on, and that’s always a little hard to write though. I liked the suggestion of listing what you can see/hear/taste/smell/feel at the moment – I think I may come back to that for scenes that aren’t coming to life like I want them to. Cait suggested that for when Rain first wakes up beneath the Early Bird- sensory details are WIN.

But that’s a post for another time. Right now, I’m ready to “turn in” this homework and finally, FINALLY get to finish Zero to Hero.