No More Half-Measures

If you’re going to invest your time into something that you really want to do, do it with full force. No more half measures.

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Many people are guilty of this. Heck, I’m guilty of it. You want to pursue something but you’re so worried in the process of doing it that you don’t give it your all. You’re so caught up in hanging out with friends, looking busy, and focusing on menial things that you never get around to actually doing the thing you want to do.

Let’s say you want to keep a blog. You write a few posts but you never really promote it or comment on other blogs to build an audience. Writing a book may be on your bucket list. Although you never get around to doing it. The common excuse for putting it off is “Oh, I don’t have any time.”

Is there a reason for this? Why do people give an okay performance to something they’re passionate about doing? Why do people put off something they’re passionate about doing?

Example time. During NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) in November, a lot of people talk about writing a novel. They start, get 5,000 or 15,000 words, then stop. They don’t intentionally stop. It just sort of happens. They’re self critic is so loud, it drowns out the voice that got them starting in the first place.

I was guilty of this for so long as I wrote my novel. I would be writing, get a lot done, then think “Oh, this is crap, why am I doing this?” or “People have already written a book similar to this, so why am I even trying?”.

Last year I discovered a year-long project a recent college graduate was doing called A Year of Productivity. I loved the site because of how much he put into it. Productivity experiments have been doing countless times by people, yet the content he provided on his site was so refreshing. You know why? Because he was putting his perspective on it, looking at the subject from a new light, and most importantly, putting his own voice into the website.

This year I read a book called The Quarter Life Breakthough. It discusses the topic of millennials who might be having a quarter-life crisis and are on the search for meaningful work. The content of the book was thought-provoking and made me question the priorities I have in life. I loved the discussion points the author made and the exercises he gave.

In the book the author points out how he doubted writing the book because others told him “it’s already been written about a million times”. He didn’t give in to their opinions and continued writing. Since it’s release, the book has been pre-ordered in 38 countries and been featured on Fast Company, Huffington Post, Thought Catalog, Under 30 CEO, and The Washington Post. He’s been speaking on various college campuses and bookstores across the country.

If he had given into what people said about how the type of book had “already been written a million times” then none of the press and coverage would have happened. If you have something you’re really passionate about starting and doing, do it, and don’t give in to the noise of others. Don’t stop because of the outcome people might predict you will have.

Also, if you’re keen on doing something, then try to do it whenever you have free time. If you want to play guitar, learn how to do photography, knitting, riding a unicycle, or whatever, then invest as much time as you can into doing it. You see, many people that are crazy passionate about doing something don’t read a ton of productivity articles, or schedule exactly 30 minutes to their passion project. They work on it as much as they can.

Ksenia Anske, a self-published author, finished a draft of her new book Corners in 20 days (20 days!!). That’s dedication. Now you don’t need to do exactly what she did, but understand her work ethic.

breaking-branding-22-638If you’re going to start on something, do it with full force. If you only put a fraction of your dedication into it, people will notice. No more half-measures. Mike Ehrmantraut (from TV show Breaking Bad) would agree. Now go forth and invest large in what you want to do. A few things to get you going:

—Next time you procrastinate and put off what you’re thinking about doing, write a journal to yourself. In the journal, write about why you decided not to get started, what you can do better, and what you plan to do to improve.

—I’ve seen this is in a post by The Muse, ask yourself these six questions everyday:

  1. Did I work towards my goals today?
  2. What bad habits do I need to stop?
  3. What motivated me today?
  4. Have I been the kind of person I want to be?
  5. What mistakes did I make today, and what can I learn from them?
  6. What am I grateful for today? (three things)

Your answers to the questions doing have to be super long, they can just be two or three sentences. The point is to do it so you become more aware of yourself and the time you use. Now get started on the the think you want to do!



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Why I’m Self-Publishing


Before the days of Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing platform and paperback distributors like Createspace, the way the self-publish your novel meant going to a small indie press, they would make a few dozen of your books and you would hand them out to friends, family, and maybe put an ad in the classifieds sections of newspapers.

Things have come a long way. Self-publishing has exploded in popularity due to easy access tools like Kindle Direct Publishing, Smashwords, and many more. The industry has gained notoreity due to smash hit self-publishing successes like Hugh Howey, Andy Weir, Brenna Aubrey, and E.L James.

Although there are many indie author success stories and self-publishing being tagged with the often touted benefit of having full creative freedom over your work, these were not major reasons as to why I chose self-publishing. Below are some of the reasons why I chose the self-publishing route.

I’m not about that publishing business mindset

When you go the traditionally published route, they whip your novel into shape, promote it, do some release day publicity and then…it’s a matter of being hopeful. Hopeful that readers will buy the book, connect with it, and recommend it to others. What happens if you don’t bring in a desired amount of money? You’re cut. It’s harsh but it something that happens in the traditional publishing industry a lot. I don’t see too much of a problem with it because at the end of the day publishing companies are still businesses. They need/want to hit a certain amount and if you don’t bring in the desired amount of money, you’re cut.

I’m in a tricky, emerging and not yet fully understood genre market

New Adult fiction. I’m sure you’ve heard of it. St. Martin’s Press coined the term in 2009. A genre sometimes labeled as “older YA”, focusing on characters, age 18-25 leaving home, navigating college and career and coming into adulthood. Self-publishing had been driving the genre into popularity.  Despite the growing number of New Adult novels, traditional publishers as well as others still don’t know what to think of the genre. Stereotypes such as it being a genre for reckless behavior, lacking responsibilities and casual sex have circulated.

My novel doesn’t involve any of those things, it just focuses on a woman, recently graduated from college, trying to determine her next direction in life. It has themes of courage, hustle, tenacity, and creating one’s own legacy. Publishing companies probably wouldn’t understand my novel and where it would fit in the book market. I want to be the one to drive readers to my book and show them the struggles so many millennials face when coming into new found adulthood. I understand my brand and novel better than some publishing company would.

Money & Pricing

If I went the traditional publishing route, my book would probably sell for $9.99 for the e-book and $15.00 for the paperback. Even with a publishing company to back me and several marketing and promotional efforts, I still think not as many people would buy the book at these prices as opposed to the lower prices indie titles are at (usually $2.99 or $3.99)

I’m selling my book at a lower price to attract more readers and engage with more readers. Word of mouth and awareness for my novel is far more important than money.

You have a longer window of opportunity with self-publishing 

With traditional publishing, they release your book, do a few book signings, interviews, and after a few weeks, or months, if you can’t bring in a certain amount of money, they pull it from book stores and minimize publicity and marketing. Many traditional published authors have talked about how a lot of the book marketing falls on them after releasing and they get little help from the publishing company.

With self-publishing you months and years on end to reach readers. Maroon 5’s beloved first album, Songs About Jane, was a slow burning success and took over two years to start getting recognition. While this isn’t a self publishing story, it is a good example of how sometimes it takes a while for things to catch on and have the so called “hitting it big”. Self-publishing allows a much longer period of exposure than traditionally publishing books.


Even with the list of reasons why I’m self-publishing, there are some not so sunny sides to it. Many like to romanticize self-publishing. There are things to note when going the indie route. For one, self-publishing (depending on the way you look at it) can get expensive. Developmental editing, copyediting, cover design, formatting, copyrights, and more can add up. Self-publishers spend an average of $2,300 for each book they release. You can spend a lot lower or a lot higher, regardless of the price, you will have to spend a pretty (but not soo pretty) penny to yield a quality book that people would want to buy.

Even though you’re self-publishing, some tradition publishing rules still apply: put together a media kit, figure out target audience, get a good editor, get a good cover design and make a welcoming author website.

Self-publishing has it’s advantages, disadvantages and is a lot of work but I’m embracing it. I can’t wait till I have that feeling of holding my own book in my hands and being able to connect with readers.

Image by Alice Hampton

21 Things


21 things learned at age 21

“Are you excited?!?” People would ask me over and over leading up to this very day.

21. I turn 21 years old last Monday. It’s one of those “big” birthdays where I’m supposed to feel different and like a new person. In some ways I do and in some ways I feel just the same (still madly into watching Parks and Recreation episodes on Netflix)

It’s been a good but bumpy year since June 2014 when I turned the big 2-0 (aka the most awkward age…not a teenage yet still not able to legally drink, check-in at a hotel, make reservations on some things, etc.)

Things are good though. I’ve accomplished a lot and have been reflecting these past few weeks about what I’ve learned so far. This was the year I became a full fledging adult, the year I started my first post-grad job. Good stuff. Below, are some 21 things I’ve learned so far.

1. If you’re going to do something, give it 100% or don’t do it at all. Taking a risk is scary. Taking a big risk, not knowing the exact outcome, is super scary. So what. That’s what you’re going to have to deal with if you want something really bad. I see so many people who want to:

-Get into photography/graphic design/consulting

-Start a successful and nicely designed blog attracting thousands of visitors each month

-write a novel

-etc. etc. etc.

So many people start things without fully knowing why they want to do it. Sometimes they only want do to something because they see others similar to them doing it so they think they should do it too.

Whatever you decide to do, figure out why you want to do it. What is the burning desire and motivation behind it? Once you figure it out, spend several hours a week doing it. When you are unable to do (commuting in the morning, grocery shopping, and so forth) continue to think about it.

2. You most likely do have time. As a recent college graduate, I’ve noticed something lately. When people start working full-time after graduation, they suddenly are always busy and never have time to do the goals they want to achieve.

Many of them come home from their full-time jobs exhausted, and instead of focusing on a project or activity they want to do, all they do for the entire evening is watch TV and make some dinner. It only starts with one episode…

Most who say they don’t have time to do the things they want probably do have time. Monitor your time and figure out how to maximize. Could you go to the bank at a different time to avoid the long line? Could you wake up earlier to go to the gym? It’s all about priorities.

3. Make exercise a priority. Exercise is obviously very important yet a lot of people don’t have it high on their list (or even on their list). Exercise makes you feel better, sleep better, and think more throughly.

Do it. You have time for it. Whether you have to wake up an hour earlier in the morning or skip watching an hour of TV in the afternoon, make time for exercising.

4. Get water at restaurants. Seriously, it’s cheaper, and better for you to drink water rather than soda. Bring those water enhancer packets if you want something more flavorful.

5. If you really want something, dedicate your time to work towards it. Even during times when you can’t work on it (commuting, down times at work, etc) at least think about it. So many people are afraid of diving into doing something because they don’t know the exact outcome. The common fear is:

“What if this is all just a big waste of time?”

Well, you’ll never know if you don’t try. Experience is experience. Trying and failing will help you sleep at night. Not trying at all will keep you up, wondering what could have been.

6. People can be really nice and helpful to you. Spring 2014, I applied to a NYC start-up PR agency and didn’t get the internship. Feeling super down, I decided to send an email to the agency’s CEO. Why not right? I didn’t thing he would respond…but he actually did. He set up a call with me and gave me great insight into starting his agency. Later on in the summer while in New York City, I got to visit the agency!

I’m sure he was helpful to me, in part, because of the personalized email I sent to him rather than some generic template email. Remember, people can and do want to help you. You just have to know how to reach out to them and ask. Lindsay Shoemake mentioned in a That Working Girl post of how she set up office visits with agencies and even got to work on some stuff! All by simply reaching out and asking.

7. People give empty promises & flake. just mentioned how people can help if you reach out to them. Well, people can also completely ignore you, give you an empty promise or just not deliver on what they said.

I experienced this last year when an article of mine went viral. Several people reached out to me and said they wanted to help me. They were going to help me find jobs, connect me with senior industry professionals, and so forth.

One of them I remember well. A news reporter from a well known station contacted me to get quotes for a feature story. She contacted me several times and said she had a flexible schedule and could talk to me whenever time opened up in my schedule. During the phone conversation, she mentioned how inspired she was by me and how if I needed any assistance in finding my first post-grad job, she would help. Things changed after the she had gotten her quotes and the story ran. When I contacted her with some questions, she responded days later saying she was busy and to just send the questions over in email.


The news reporter wasn’t the only one who backed out after saying she help me. Several of the other people who “had job offers” for me and “knew people” dried up and weren’t as responsive after the the fanfare of my article died down.

Point being, never rely too much on someone when they say they can assist you with something.

8. Don’t censor yourself. It’s something I’ve done for years and years. When I was in high school, I would talk about investing and design trends. In college, when discussing the types of jobs after graduation, I would always mention 401(k) retirement, building savings, web design lingo, indie film stuff and so forth. The people around me would always have weird looks on their faces. To them, all that mattered at the moment was drinking, partying, and trying to get through the semester with no D’s.

Don’t censor yourself. Don’t feel like you have to dumb yourself down when around people.

9. You are who you surround yourself with. It’s taken years for this to finally get nailed into my head. I found I was most productive and ambitious when I was around people who were smarter than me, and were working towards goals in the same vein as mine. Right now, I’m around people who are ambitious and have big plans. In the online world, I’ve connected with like-minded creatives through Twitter chats like Kayla Hollatz’s #createlounge.

10. Keep a journal. And write in it every day. Even if it’s just one sentence. Do it. I’ve keep a journal for the past three years and it’s so freaking awesome to see how much my perspectives on things have changed. Days aren’t lost. I get to know what did last February.  Write in detail about your day or just write a few sentences about the purpose of the day and what you did.

Time moves fast. It’s fun to reminisce every once in a while.

11. Traveling doesn’t have to be super expensive or time-consuming. Why is it when people think of traveling, they automatically think of prancing through Paris, backpacking through Europe, or visiting the “cool” places (I’m looking at you Italy, England, France, and Germany).

In this past year, I’ve visited South by Southwest Festival in Austin, TX; New Orleans, LA; Chicago, IL; NYC 3 times (!!!); San Francisco; Los Angeles; and Cozumel.

Instead of jetting off to some foreign country for a week, why not visit some great sites in your home country. There are tons of great sites to explore in the US (assuming you live in the US). Embrace weekend adventures. Take Friday off of work and have a three-day adventure in Washington State, Napa Valley, The Grand Canyon, NYC, and so forth.

During my travels, I either stayed in hostel-type AirBnB rentals with other travelers or with friends. I looked for discounts on flights. Managed on when to eat out a nice restaurant or not, took lots of pictures instead of buying souvenirs, and so on.

Traveling doesn’t have to be this huge expense. The most important thing it takes is having an adventurous mindset.

12. “Dream jobs” take years of hard work. It’s the reality of working. The millenial generation was brought up on the mindset to “follow your passion”, “pursue your bliss” and so forth. We thought that by taking a career assessment, scoring high on marketing/fashion/PR/etc, and getting a few internships under our belt meant we would get our dream jobs right after college.

Not so quite.

Dream jobs take time. Just because you aren’t in yours yet doesn’t mean your a failure. Keep your head up, keep working, and don’t give up. Don’t stop searching and exploring.

13. Multiple sources of income are a must. I don’t want to just rely on a full-time job to provide me with income. I never want to be completely at the mercy of a job to provide me with the income I need to pay bills, rent, and life expenses.

Within the coming months, I’m going to start building up ways to make passive money to pad my monthly income.

14.Entrepreneurship is in the corner of my eye. I never thought I would want to own and operate my own business. After seeing the crazy commuting times people go through, the layers of bureaucracy corporate america has, and overall nature of many employers not treating employees well, entrepreneurship was become more attractive to me. I’m ramping up my web and graphic design skills at the moment. Within the near future, I hope to either have my own full-time business or be able to run a successful side business.

Nectar Collective had a great post on the grit and curious heart she had when building up her own design business.

15. Be very aware of your time. Since starting my full-time job, there has been some adjustments. I try to be more strategic with the time I have. Creating a routine has become vital. Here’s the loose one I’ve been following:

Monday/Wednesday/Friday: 4:00 a.m (Wake up)

4:00 a.m-5:00am (Shower/breakfast)

7:00 am-4:00pm (work)

4:00pm-5:30pm (commuting)

8:00pm (bedtime)

Tuesday/Thursday: Exercise days

3:00 a.m (Wake up)

3:30 a.m-4:15am (gym time)

4:30am-5:00am (shower/breakfast)

7:00 am-4:00pm (work)

4:00pm-5:30pm (commuting)

8:00pm (bedtime)

Saturday/Sunday: Exercise days

I make sure to hit the gym 4x per week. Doing it before work is a challenge since I have to be super alert on monitoring my time (I take only 5 minute showers on Tuesdays/Thursdays). I would rather just press the snooze button on waking up but going early in the morning is a lot better than the crowded evening time.

16. I love graphic and web design. I want to learn more about them. I want to go to a three month coding intensive bootcamp school.

17. Know the deep inner reason of why you want to pursue something before going after it. I want to start a design side business and finish my novel. Why do I want to start a design side business? I want to do it because reflect on the anxiety I had when being in between jobs, having to deal with bad work conditions, and struggling to make ends meet. I want to start a design side business so I can work on projects that fulfill and excite me and give me the opportunity to not be so reliant on a full-time job for a source of income.

I want to write my novel because I’ve always had a love of words. I want to prove my creative writing professor from college, who said short story wasn’t good despite the rest of the class loving it, wrong.

18. When in peril, watch Netflix or one of your favorite movies. At times, I get so consumed with all that I want to do. Burnout sets in. Watching some of my favorite inspiring movies can sometimes help me feel recharged and inspired again.

Remember though, good things are better in moderation. Don’t spend all day on Netflix watching Friends! No matter how tempting it is!

19. Your 20’s are for living below your means. After getting their first post-grad jobs, so many people start buying lots of things they may not need. Having a paycheck (and not as many bills as older adults) excites them and they go out and buy a new car, deluxe cable package (because they just have to watch Scandal), eat out a lot instead of packing their lunch at work and endlessly spend money on many things when they could just save.

Buy generic/store brands

Learn to cook at home. Plan your meals ahead of time

Hold on to your old car as long as possible and when it is time to buy another car, get a gently used pre-owned vehicle rather than a new vehicle.

Don’t worry about staying in some flashy, upscale apartment

Save. Save. Save. I’m saying you be super frugal and never go out. No way. By all means, hang out with friends and treat yourself every once in a while. There’s a balance to be struck. A balance between living in the moment while still planning for the future. Find it.

20. Having a dedicated workspace is crucial. For 12 months, I basically lived out of a suitcase. Bouncing between place to place with coffee shop visits sprinkled in. I carried my laptop, chargers, and external hard drive with me in a backpack for a portable workstation.

While it was great (I got to write my novel in several different locations across many states!) it was also distracting at times. Just last month, I finally settled into a place of living and have a desk and area where I go when I want to work on this blog, do graphic design stuff, write my novel, and so forth.

I have a space where I can go and get into “work mode”. It’s done wonders for my productivity.

21. I am going to be a published author

My novel. Oh, my dear little novel. I love it so much. I’ve been working on it on and off for two years. Lately I’ve made good progress on the editing of it. This year I will publish it. In the coming months, I’ll start to release more information on it. Get ready!

The Icky Nature of Self-Promotion as an Author

self promotion for authors

People like other people who are genuine. People like being told a story. People like to feel part of something and be wow’ed. You know what they don’t like? They don’t like it when they follow someone on Twitter and then instantly get an auto direct message telling them to visit the person’s website and/or buy their product. *clicks unfollow*

Self-promotion, marketing, it’s a tricky business. You want to get coverage for your book, you want more people to come to your site, but you’re just not sure how to break through the noise.

I kind of dislike the indie author community sometimes. Here’s why:  A lot of people don’t know the intricate and diverse nature of marketing and promotion and since they don’t, they start to result to spammy tactics in hopes of selling their book.

Here’s some things that have been irking me as well as other writers and readers:

1. Auto DM’s on Twitter

I’m on Twitter posting something or commenting on something and then start to interact with some other authors. They post an interesting tweet, link to a great article, talk with me and may follow me. So I follow back. Almost instantly I get a buzz notification to my phone. Direct Message. I open it.

Hey! Do you like #paranormal #romance with a twist of #suspense! My new #novel out now on Amazon! $2.99 or free with #kindleunlimited! 

I don’t buy the book, click unfollow, and go about my day. The direct message was impersonal and I barely even know you, so why the heck would I #buyyourbook? Auto-DM’s need to stop.

2. Giveaways usually don’t work

I see so many people do giveaways. To be honest, I’m not really sure on the effectiveness of them. Yeah you get a lot of exposure and people to sign up but many only sign up cause they want a free book. I get tired of constantly seeing authors tweet out multiple times a day saying Have you entered my giveaway for my #newbook about #scifi #romance?

3. Cool it with the #hashtags

Let me ask you something. Have you ever actually looked up a #romance #bookboost #thriller #indieauthor #whatever hashtag, looked at the tweet and bought the book? I haven’t and I don’t know anyone that has.

Look below at this image from a Buffer article detailing the scientific guide to hashtags. Two hashtags, that’s the most you should use. Incorporating the hashtags into the tweet (rather than having them at the end) is also better in boosting engagement. Lesson: Use hashtags sparingly and effectively. Narrow it down and use more niche hashtags. Rather than saying #writer, try putting #fantasywriter and so on. Use your best judgment.

self-promotion for indie authors


4. Spamming on Instagram

Don’t be that person that comments on someone’s photo saying #buymybook my new #contemporary #newadult #novel is now on sale for only $0.99 cents. 

5. Opt-in’s

Do you ever go to a site and before you can even read much, a pop-up comes up asking you to enter your name and email and subscribe. Pushy much? It doesn’t even let a reader see your site and find out more about you. It also is really hard for a reader to close out of when they are on mobile.

Aggresive opt-in’s: don’t do them. Have one on the sidebar or on the top of the page and leave it at that.


This post was inspired by a blog post I read on Delilah Dawson’s site discussing how self-promotion as an author doesn’t work (and a follow up post about some self-promotion things that do work).

A few things to add to Delilah’s posts. First and foremost, make it easy for people to discover who you are, what you write and how you are as a person. Spruce up your website’s about page, make it more than just a stale block of text. Put images of places you’ve travelled, fill out and have a consistent bio across all social media platforms. Know how to introduce yourself in a tweet, 70 words, 150 words, and so forth.

Interact with other writers and readers and ask about what they’re working on, how they’re doing, and so forth. Give, give, give. Once you do that, people will start to give back and be more open to helping promote you and buy your stuff.

Be a human, be personal, doing that is what leads to better engagement


Image credit



Never Settle, Keep Moving Forward

nQZcA7PRTyuduZPSZQ88_wanderlustWith New Year’s resolutions crossing people’s minds, and the everyday grind of work, it can be easy to feel stifled, unmotivated and wanting to be lazy. Don’t fret. Below you’ll find some awesome things to read and to use. Keep churning on!

Praytell Strategy: Never Settle 

Earlier this year, I got in contact with a startup “new school” public relations agency, Praytell Strategy. Aside from them having a freaking amazing site (I thought it was Squarespace, I thought wrong) they also have a great company blog.

One of the blog posts from earlier in the year could be super relatable to writers everywhere (even though it wasn’t even about writers). The agency’s founder, Andy Pray, goes through a rough time while drafting content for a social contest.

The post reminds me of when I was working on the first draft of my novel. Filled with doubt and an extreme critical eye, I would always not last more than thirty minutes or so of continuous writing time before getting frustrated and going on the internet, getting food, and so forth.

So what should you do as you’re trudging through writing and your self-critic won’t shut up as you try to reach your word count?

Keep going

Many times you have to go through the clutter to get the prize. If your writing isn’t working and you feel like throwing in the towel, don’t. Habits take time to build.Sometimes the grand idea is right around the corner.

Go on and read Praytell’s blog post on never settling. It’s short, to the point, and will get you thinking and ready to move.

Stop acting polished

UJO0jYLtRte4qpyA37Xu_9X6A7388 (1) Your workspace isn’t that clean,

You don’t dress like that all the time.

You can’t possibly drink Starbucks everyday.

Sound familiar? Well anyone who takes the daily scroll through social media might know what I’m talking about. People who act like their lives are put together and stunning. Instagram is a prime example. Nearly all of a person’s photos are clean and polished with good contrast, lighting, posture, and overall picture quality.

Really? Is that how your life is?

I thought I was crazy for being the only one thinking this until one of my friends brought it up as well. She was scrolling through Instagram and made a scrunchy face as she saw some particular users post the same type of photos over and over. It may involve the same background, object, selfie, and so forth.

Is it wrong or bad they’re doing this? No. The problem is that it doesn’t let them be as authentic to their users as they could be. The point of this post is not to bully and point a finger at people, the point is to be authentic, be yourself.

Just because other bloggers, entrepreneurs, working professionals, etc. post coffee pictures doesn’t mean you have to. Just because they post about pictures of their boots and how ready for the fall season doesn’t mean you have to.

Be yourself, share what’s going on in your life, not what you think you should be posting.

If you have a hobby, share it. If there is some quirky anecdote you want to share, share it.

Post and share on social media that showcases you, not content and/or an image you think you should have because of others.

 Polished image away

 your authentic self shines now

show you, show true, always


Me (2nd from left) coding this past year on my first site!
Me (2nd from left) coding this past year on my first site!

Photo by: Joshua Earle

Writers & Social Media


Social media is kind of like this mysterious black hole. Besides seeing the constant #pretty or #blessed photos and posts, you aren’t exactly sure what you’re getting out of it. You can put things into it but you’re not exactly sure what you’re going to get out of it. Plus there is the bad habit of social media eating into your writing time.

We all know how important writing time is (especially with NaNoWriMo upon us). Never fear, there are measurable ways and tactics manage your social media.

Moving to the beat of those metrics

Gone are the days of just blindly posting updates/posts and never really knowing how much they were seen. There are ways to see how much exposure your Facebook update, tweet, or Instagram picture got. Facebook Insights, Inconosquare for Instagram, and Analytics for Twitter are great (and free) ways to measure the impact of your social media updates.

With these tools, you can see which weeks were better than some, days that had higher exposure than others, and so forth. No longer do you have to post a super excited tweet with your novel details on a blind eye!

Don’t stop till you hit the post

Posting only at certain times isn’t something you have to religiously follow but it is helpful to know. Whenever you have exciting details about your novel, revealing your cover, or just want to post an update, post during peak hours so as many people can see it as possible.

This helpful infographic from Hub Spot shows the best times to post and even what to include. Isn’t that nifty?

Hootsuite is your kinda sorta awesome best friend that tells you everything

I’m suprised at how many people still don’t know about Hootsuite. I use it all the time for my PRSSA organization and plan to use it even more once I start hardcore promotion for my novel next year.

With Hootsuite, you can schedule messages for future publish. You can also schedule things to post at the same time across all of your social media channels.

This feature is a hugely beneficial way of taking the constant thought of needing to update, logging into all of your channels and posting to each individually.

Once I start using this to post updates, I can set aside a designated time to craft posts. Then for the rest of my time, I can work on what really matters: finishing my novel!


Self-publishing is a lot of work…and a lot of money. You’re having to do nearly all of the marketing and engagement yourself. It takes a lot away from you. It takes a lot away from writing time. Using the right tools can make using social media a little bit more insightful so you know what you’re getting out of it.

I don’t want to promote my novel and engage with other authors without having a little insight into how much exposure I’m getting and how to maximize it. Or maybe I can just post saying I’m Colin Ashby, buy my novel!!! (note: probably wouldn’t work).

Go ahead and check the sources out and see what works for you. Happy writing!