WIPs, Camp NaNoWriMo + More

Happy Friday!

This week zipped by because of how chaotic and absolutely insane it was. Not only were there assignments and projects and readings for school I had to tackle, but as the entire world knows, the COVID-19 virus has escalated intensely in the last few days. Where I live, there are only 3 known cases at the moment, but my school is still considering shutting down for a few weeks. My fingers are crossed that this doesn’t happen because we have less than a month of classes left and I would really like to finish them. That, and get marks for all the assignments and projects I have poured HOURS into! Of course, if that is the safest option for everyone then I understand but hopefully, it does not come to that.

Anyways, amongst the chaos, I have somehow found time to write so today, I wanted to share this rambly, chit-chatty post all about my writing progress and plans for the coming month.

Currently, I am writing a short story/novella based on my Aztec mythology idea and decided earlier this week that I was going to scrap what I had already written of it (around 3,000 words) and start fresh. Usually, I would highly advise you NOT to do this, but sometimes it is the best thing you can do for your project and this was one of those rare cases. I have not written too much for the new draft, but I have clocked in around 1,300 words which is better than nothing. Another plus is that I have really enjoyed writing this story and it does not feel like a drag to work on it anymore. That was my main problem with this story before. Every time I had to force myself to work on it and I never had any clear sight of where I wanted to take it. Naturally, I am a pantser so sitting down with only a rough idea in mind is how I typically write my stories, but I had no motivation or inspiration with where this story was going to start. So, long story short, I changed my idea a bit and plan on finishing my first draft (which should be around 17,000 words) sometime next week…preferably mid-week but we shall see.

Some other projects currently on the go for me is a project for one of my classes. I decided to create a zine which is a collection of various pieces of your own work. This is for my fine arts class and for it, I am writing poems and flash fiction pieces that will tell one story throughout the entire zine. At the moment, I am trying to make it so it switches between poem and flash fiction, but overall, I will just have to see what works best for the story and flow of it. I am also including some art pieces which is kind of new for me. I used to draw a lot when I was younger and I am not being modest when saying I am not the most talented drawer…but I think it will be an interesting addition to the zine. Also, a necessary one because you need art for the front cover at the least! This is due by April 3rd so I have some time but I would rather start now than leave it to the last minute. So far, I have a flash fiction piece and a poem that I am still working on. I’ve also been practicing the types of drawings I want to include. The theme is very whimsical and mystical so it has been a lot of fun so far!

Leaping into the future just a bit, I have decided to re-think my Camp NaNoWriMo plans a little more. After starting this little zine project, I thought it might be fun to work on a short story collection rather than one novel or novella project. For years, I have been working on this Aztec story, and of course, in between, I have devoted time to other projects, but this zine idea has really inspired me to take a break from that world this coming month. For now, I am thinking of just including short stories into this totally separate project from my fine arts one, but I might include other forms of written pieces as well. Basically, I am giving myself creative freedom for April which could either be a brilliant or self-destructive idea.

 

There you have it! Those are my current projects and future plans for writing and I hope you enjoyed. Let me know below what you currently have on the go, as well as if you are participating in Camp NaNo this year because I would love to know. Don’t forget to check out my last blog post, and also my social media accounts which are all linked down below!

Thanks for reading and stay healthy 🙂

Last Blog Post: Reading on a Budget

See the source image  Buy Me A Coffee

 

 

@zoermathers

 

 

Image result for instagram  @zoeiswriting

Building Your Creative Platforms

Creating a presence on social media is crucial for branding yourself as a creative person, and while it isn’t necessary and you should never feel forced if you don’t want to, I highly recommend it. Today, I came up with a series of tips when it comes to creating creative platforms, and I think these will be helpful whether you are just staring out, or even a few years in. I hope you enjoy and thanks for reading 🙂

Image result for social media

  1. Determine Your Theme – This is the first and most important step because without determining a theme, it is going to be unclear on what you are trying to achieve with your platforms. For example, my platforms are about writing, so I post writing/reading related content. Maybe every once and a while I will post something unrelated to that, but I try not to because it confuses my theme!
  2. Go on a Following Spree – When you first open up your account, find a bunch of accounts similar to yours and follow them! Not only will they inspire new content for you, but it will allow you to make connections with other creative people like you. Instagram gives you account recommendations, but you can also go through certain hashtags and follow accounts based on those.
  3. Captions – While not EVERY post needs to have a deep and thoughtful caption, it is nice to have one every once and a while that provides some creative help (maybe some tips or a story time), as well as allow your followers to engage in conversation. I recommend asking a question every once and a while, and also remember to try and comment back at as many as you can!
  4. Hashtags – Whether you are on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest etc, hashtags are essential. They allow the right people to find your posts and account, and it is easier to get follows that way too! For example, I use hashtags like #writerscommunity #writersofinstagram #amwriting #writerslife and several more.
  5. Consistency – On every platform, consistency is going to be your key to success. For some it may come slower, but it will come if you post consistently. I try to post at least once a day, and sometimes even more then that. If you aren’t putting regular content out, your followers are going to forget about your account, and you won’t be as relevant and active as you can so new followers can find you. Maybe once a day is too much for you specifically, but I would aim for no less than four posts a week. One tip I have is at the beginning or end of each week, take a chunk of time for your day to take a lot of pictures, craft a lot of captions, and brainstorm ideas for what you are going to post that coming week. It saves a lot of time and stress!
  6. Stories – This one is more directed to Instagram, or any other social media you can post live stories on, but posting on Instagram stories is also really important. I don’t know about you, but I really enjoy going through all the writing related Instagram stories at the end of the day to see what other people got done. It is lots of fun for me, so I try to also do that and post a few times a week on there. Whether it is pictures or videos from that day, make sure you are active on there as well!
  7. Reach Out to Others – This is one of the wonders of social media – you are able to connect with people from all around the world! People who are creative like you are right at your fingertips, which is great because personally, there are not a lot writers my age from where I am from. It is nice to be able to discuss the ups and downs of writing, and share writing wisdom with each other. It might seem daunting, but don’t worry! Lots of people created their accounts solely for the reason to connect with other creatives.
  8. Come Up with a Schedule – Whenever I can make a schedule, I do. Lately I have been taking a calendar and scheduling out my blog posts and Instagram posts to make sure I have fresh content for every day. This means I already have ALL of August planned out for blogging related things, and a week or two planned for Instagram. This has already unloaded a lot of stress off my back and gets me excited to write up these posts soon! All I did was find a calendar template on Word and fill it in. If you want, you could print it out, but I do not need anymore loose papers scattered on my desk so I just keep it saved on my computer.
  9. Promote Your Creativity – Whether you are currently working on a project or have finished and are taking the traditional or self-publishing route, promote your work! Get your followers excited about your work so when it is finally available to them, they are dying to get their hands on it.
  10. Stretch Yourself Across as Many Platforms – Do what you are comfortable with, and don’t stretch yourself thin across different social media platforms, but it is good to have a voice on at least one or two. For example, I am on Twitter, Instagram, and my blog the most, but I do have Tumblr and Pinterest accounts as well. I do what I feel comfortable with, which is Twitter and Instagram, but I might bring myself back onto Pinterest more regularly in the near future.

Those are my ten major tips for building creative platforms on social media, and I hope you found these helpful! Don’t forget to check out my last blog post, as well as my social media accounts which are all linked below 🙂

Last Blog Post: Reading + Writing Update!

 

@zoermathers

 

 

@zoematherswrites

 

 

@zoematherswrites

 

 

@zoermathers