Tag Archives: social networking

Adopting a pseudonym after developing a social media presence

Venetian maskI’ve been mentally bouncing back and forth between taking on a pseudonym now or waiting until I (hopefully) get a contract to publish a novel. There are reasons for and against adopting a pseudonym before publication, and lots of other bloggers have written about them. My friend Roni Loren wrote a fantastic post about reasons to consider a pseudonym and how to choose one.

I have another reason to add to her list. Some of you know I work for a humanitarian charity. My job mostly involves working on the web, not traveling to dangerous lands, but last week I went on a personal security course my organization runs so I’d be able to go overseas if the opportunity ever arose. There was a session on online security, and I discovered a humanitarian worker was deported from a foreign country last year because the authorities had Googled him and discovered his political affiliations on Facebook.

As a web editor, I know my employers (and potential future employers) would most likely Google me. But the thought of being kicked out of a country because someone doesn’t like the fact I write romance had never occurred to me.

So I’m going with the safe option and taking on a pseudonym now.

But where do you start when you’ve already been active online for over a year?

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Filed under About Katrina, Writer's toolbox

Tools for taking a social media holiday

On Monday I wrote about what I learned in the week I removed myself from cyberspace and lost myself in the real world instead. Today I’m going to talk about some of the practicalities of doing that.

All right, it might not seem like a big deal to stay away from the internet for a week, but believe me, it’s so easy to convince yourself you need to access one little piece of information, and then discover you’ve been online for three hours. A little preparation will help you avoid the temptation.

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The importance of taking a social media break

Hello again! I’m back after cutting myself off from the internet for a week—no blog, Twitter, or even email—and it was freakin’ tough. The only way I was able to do it was because I cheated—my husband and I went to rural Scotland and stayed in a cottage with no internet access for most of that week. I’m so dependent on the internet that I wouldn’t have lasted that long if we hadn’t.

That doesn’t mean I didn’t learn a few things, though.

Writers are perhaps even more inclined than others to live in a virtual world. And as important as being involved online is to building a career and sparking ideas, it can be just as important to step back from it.

Here’s what I found out last week.

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Who holds you accountable?

Frustrated man at a laptopYesterday I read Jessica Faust’s post about a day in her life (not a typical day, just a day), and it occurred to me that I always get warm fuzzies when I read about agents checking in with their clients to see how they’re doing.

Maybe it’s just the agents whose blogs I read, or maybe it’s that agents who are the best with people will be more likely to set up helpful blogs, but I love that a writer could go on Twitter and say they’re having a hard day, and get a call from their agent the next day.

Now, before you call me naive, of course I know that agents and writers have a professional relationship. And yes, it makes good business sense for an agent to check in with her authors. But just because it’s done out of professionalism doesn’t mean it’s not helpful.

Sometimes it makes me think that the best thing about having an agent would be having the kind of relationship where I could send an email to say I’m struggling, and have someone to talk it through.

Before I started blogging, I didn’t have that at all. Over the last year, though, I’ve been able to virtually meet loads of writers who’ve helped me out.

As an unpublished, unagented writer, I don’t have a professional obligation to write. I do it because it’s my passion. But that also means the only deadlines I have are the ones I set myself. And that means they’re easy for me to shift.

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Twitter hashtags for writers

I just started using Twitter (patting myself on the back for only being about three years behind the trend), so I found this article on Twitter hashtags for writers very helpful.

Many thanks to Imogen at The Writing Groove for pointing it out.

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Filed under Writer's toolbox

When you can’t afford to go to RWA Nationals

One of the bummers (cue naughty giggles from my British friends) of living in London is that I can’t afford to fly to the US in summer. It costs approximately $Ridiculous and I’m on a charity salary.

So color me thrilled to find Savvy Authors is having a Summer Symposium from today through Sunday. They’ve got loads of online workshops covering topics relevant to new and published writers, everything from craft to promotion, as well as giveaways and pitch appointments.

And it’s only $30 if you’re not a member (though membership costs $30 a year and gets you access to discounted courses, tools, and a community of writers).

So that’s where you’ll find me for the rest of the week. Talking about dirty words in the Language of Erotica course (not that I write erotica; I just want to read the dirty words) and going deep in the POV workshop.

For those of you baking and sweating in Orlando, yes I’m jealous. Seething with jealousy. But with the money I save this year, I may be able to join you next year.

Have fun!

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She writes again!

After a bit of fiddling around, I’ve discovered I have no problems with She Writes, a social networking site for writers, at home. The problem seems to be with my work, but the IT department blames She Writes. In the comments to my previous post, Fran Lee explained some of the techie reasons my work computer doesn’t like the site.

I’m starting to love the site, though. I’ve been able to “meet” writers in other countries and I think it’ll be a useful place to get information from writers who have been down this road before.

To everyone at She Writes, I look forward to getting involved!

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