Friday, May 21, 2010

Benefits of Social Media Networking

Below is an abbreviated version of a presentation I gave at a recent Homemaker CEO meeting. Many people miss out on the benefits of social media networking because they hold fast to stereotypes and misconceptions. I am active on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and The Homeschool Lounge, and I produce three blogs. Social media networking has brought me editing clients, industry advice, genuine friends, and a wealth of information. It's not just about who ate what for dinner or how many loads of laundry need washed! Watch the video. If you'd like to hear more, ask me in the comments section. Thanks!

Jodi Whisenhunt on the benefits of social media networking:

Monday, May 17, 2010

How Do You Respond to Critics?

If you write for publication, you will encounter criticism. Let’s put it this way, if you write your thoughts down, if you release them from your mind and record them in any medium, you will be criticized. You may hear, “That’s nice, but…” from a variety of friends. Your mother will likely say, “But that didn’t happen like that.” Your siblings are apt to blast you for painting them in an ill light. Then will come rejection letters from editors, and after some success, judgment from professional critics. (How bitter does one have to be to call himself a professional critic?)

How will you respond? Will you weep? Will you cower? Quit writing? Will you dispute? Will you defend? Retaliate with a sharp tongue (or sharpened pencil)?

A few years ago, I was blasted by some people close to me. I was called evil, accused of criminal behavior, judged, condemned, and threatened to be sued. There was much more, but I'll spare you the details. Needless to say, there was a major riff between us for a number of years.

During the time I was, well, assaulted, I held my tongue. I knew my innocence. I knew the slander did not apply to who I was. Sure, I was insulted, but I turned the other cheek. I let the critics talk (and they did a lot of that behind my back!). I remained who I was. While I may have been tempted, I did not strike out in anger or retaliation, because the Lord says, "It is mine to avenge; I will repay" (Deuteronomy 32:35).

I prayed to God often Psalm 119:154, "Defend my cause and redeem me; preserve my life according to your promise." I claimed that! I also trusted in Psalm 37:5-6, which says, "Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him and He will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn." I committed my way to Him, to carrying on in His work and doing what I felt honored Him. I depended on God to defend me while my offenders continued their abuse in my silence.

This incident taught me to take the negative with a grain of salt, to accept it but to maintain a degree of skepticism. As salt flavors food and makes it more palatable, assess words spoken against you but swallow only truth. And while it may be tempting to lash out at those who attack you, practice self-control. Remember the Lord will defend you. Trust in him and commit to honoring Him in all you do. In doing so, you will maintain a favorable reputation.

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Dreaded "P" Word: Platform

The word platform connotes a certain mental image in my mind. And it’s not a pretty picture. I see a sweaty, burly carpenter covered in sawdust. He’s unshaven, rugged. His clothes are tattered and smelly and plaid and denim, and he’s intent to measure twice, cut once. He saws, hammers, builds. He toils many months in the blazing sun, pouring rain, heat, and cold. In the end, he inspects his work, makes adjustments, and gives final approval, then hands the masterpiece off to its new owner.

Seems like a lot of work for something the builder cannot keep.

As an aspiring author, I’ve been advised to build my platform. No, I don’t think agents and editors want me to build a deck. Although, that would provide a nice writing retreat on clear days, but no. The platform to which they refer consists of everything I’m doing right now to establish an audience who would someday read my book. Those might include the following:
• Regularly post blog entries.
• Guest post on other people’s blogs or participate in blog carnivals.
• Actively participate on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
• Do public speaking.
• Teach workshops or courses.
• Do radio and/or TV interviews.
• Network with others in the field.
• Attend writers’ conferences.
• Publish articles.
• Do whatever I can to establish readership and a fan base.

And, oh yeah, write that book while I’m at it.

It’s not a pretty picture. The efforts wear on me. I’m covered in Post-it notes, my glasses askew. My hair’s disheveled. I wear plaid. I am intent to measure twice, cut once, so my words are sharp and accurate. I write, I cut, I build, toiling months in my element. In the end, I will inspect my work, make adjustments, give approval, and hand it off to its new owner—the Reader.

See, my work is not something I can keep. The written word must go out. The stronger the platform, the more masterpieces get passed on.

This sums it up ;)

This sums it up ;)