T.E.A.M.–Together Everyone Achieves More

I have been involved with using social media to build platforms for a few years now, which means I’ve had a unique opportunity to see what works and what doesn’t and what fails horribly.  I choose to base my teachings off simple core truths that withstand the test of time. To me, social media is not about gadgets, it is about people. Better yet, it is about creating a community that comes together, united in purpose, and works as a team for the benefit of all.

Individual + Other Individuals=Community

Community + United Purpose= Team

I feel it is impossible to create anything worthwhile on social media if we do not, first, learn to be part of a team. We must learn to serve others first. This is why auto-tweets and a self-centered agenda will always fail. The people who will really see genuine results from social media are the ones who learn to be part of something bigger than their own wants and needs. Teams make the difference.

Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is a success. ~Henry Ford

Recently I attended a conference with a panel of PR, marketing and social media experts. Everyone on the panel advised using auto-tweets and one even offered services to tweet for writers. I found this sad because this group was missing out on the real beauty of social media. Learning to work with others as a team.

According to BEA statistics (and Bob Mayer’s great blog), in 2006 there were 1.2 million titles available. And 950,000 of those titles sold less than 99 copies. Historically, an author’s odds of selling enough books to even make a decent living have been depressing at best. But why?

Well, there are a lot of reasons and we have explored many of them on this blog. But, my two cents? Writers had no way to plug into a team. Traditionally published authors relied on traditional marketing tactics employed by the publisher (which doesn’t sell fiction) and hoped the right reviewer said the right thing and that the planets and starts aligned just right to make it to the next level. Self-published authors had even less chance of success. Speak at enough Lion’s Clubs and hope to hit the right place at the right time.

These days? The odds are improving, and I believe that is because social media allows us to network and to work as part of one cohesive force. The goal of the individual is supplanted by the goal of the group. Everyone does a little for everyone else and then everyone sees success.

For those of you who have played sports or been to team-building classes, remember the acronym for T.E.A.M.?

Together Everyone Achieves More

On social media that is certainly true. I have seen this prove true more times than I can count. For instance, back in 2008-09, I helped the DFW Writers’ Workshop put together a social media campaign to get the word out about the conference in the spring of 2009. What was so fascinating to see is that all 100+ members signed up for Facebook and Twitter. They all friended each other and when any one member posted an announcement about the conference the others followed suit. The exposure, as a result, was not linear, rather it was exponential. No one advertising guy had to go work until he was dead to spread the word about the conference. All it cost each member was 30 words a day…and the conference sold out two days after early registration…4 months before the conference.

Everyone worked together to promote the good of the whole.

When I get on Twitter or Facebook, I can see the writers who won’t get very much out of social media. They send form-letters on Facebook or post a Hi, I don’t know you and sorry for the spam, but could you Like my Fan Page?

Some free advice. If we have to open any note with an apology, then deep-down we know this is not the correct approach.

I see auto-tweets with every # in the known universe and very little interaction with others. Will authors employing these tactics sell books? Sure. But will social media be any fun? Or, will it feel like a horrid drudgery, like slogging through mud mixed with maple syrup while wearing snowshoes? Probably. Will this approach do as much as working with a team? Not likely.

When we plug in with a team, we multiply efforts exponentially.

Hypothetical example:

So some new writer hears about #MyWANA comes and hangs out and interacts. I like this person. She is really sweet and RTs for others and I see she is kind of new to Twitter and only has 30 followers. That’s a good start, but nothing that is going to rock the world. But she is authentic and does what she can to help her #MyWANA team.

The new girl tweets about her blog, which I check out and see it is well-written. So I RT and use different #s, maybe #pubtip or #amwriting. I just exposed that blog to 3000+ more people (my followers). Now someone from my network, say Piper Bayard, RTs me. Well now that blog just got an audience for a couple thousand more people. Oh, then James Rollins, who is new to Tweet Deck and also hanging out on #MyWANA sees his friends Kristen and Piper tweeted a blog, so he steps in to help and that blog now goes out to 14,000 people.

Even if we just look at this linearly, a blog that would have only been seen by a potential 100 people, now has been exposed to almost 20,000…in THREE tweets. And all it cost this new writer was a few moments of being nice to others and doing what she could to help others.

This is called working smarter, not harder. If we focus on serving our teammates, they will do the same. Together everyone achieves more.

We can spend hours sending form-letters and auto-tweeting and spamming with very little ROI, OR we can invest in serving a team and watch a miracle.

I will close today out with one of my favorite quotes:

None of us, including me, ever do great things. But we can all do small things, with great love, and together achieve something wonderful. ~Mother Theresa

I hope that, if you haven’t already, you will join us over at #MyWANA. #MyWANA is a group of writers committed to doing small things with great love to achieve the impossible.

Gather together with your fellow writers at critique and come together. Commit to supporting and promoting each other. Subscribe to each other’s blogs, RT for each other, post for each other, tell the world about your fellow writer teammates, and I assure you that the results will be nothing short of magic.

What are some ideas you might like to add? What ways do you like serving others? What are your fears or concerns? Do you feel more confident when you join a group? Do you feel that being part of a team has helped anxiety or fear of your future? What are your thoughts? Ideas? Opinions?

I love hearing from you! And to prove it and show my love, for the month of May, everyone who leaves a comment I will put your name in a hat. If you comment and link back to my blog on your blog, you get your name in the hat twice. If you leave a comment, and link back to my blog, and mention my book We Are Not Alone in your blog…you get your name in the hat THREE times. What do you win? The unvarnished truth from yours truly.

I will pick a winner every week for a critique of your first five pages. At the end of May I will pick a winner for the grand prize. A free critique from me on the first 15 pages of your novel. Good luck!

Note: I am keeping all the names for a final GRAND, GRAND PRIZE of 30 Pages (To be announced) OR a blog diagnostic. I look at your blog and give feedback to improve it. For now, I will draw weekly for 5 page edit, monthly for 15 page edit.

Important Announcements

Make sure you join our LOVE REVOLUTION over on Twitter by following and participating in the #MyWANA Twibe. Read this post to understand how this #MyWANA will totally transform your life and your author platform.

Together We Achieve More!!!! SUPPORT THE HUMANE SOCIETY OF AMERICA! Spread the word and save a life. Sigma Force saves puppies and kittens, too. Ahhhh.

In the meantime, I hope you pick up copies of my best-selling books We Are Not Alone–The Writer’s Guide to Social Media  and Are You There, Blog? It’s Me, Writer . Both books are recommended by the hottest agents and biggest authors in th biz.  My methods teach you how to make building your author platform FUN. Build a platform and still have time left over to write more great books! I am here to change your approach, not your personality.

Happy writing!

Until next time….

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  1. #1 by simiwriter on May 25, 2011 - 3:56 pm

    Often I feel like I’m butting in on conversations…I try to be careful, sometimes to the extent where I don’t say anything at all, lol! But I’m a loyal retweeter. Thanks for the TEAM info, Kristen!

    • #2 by Author Kristen Lamb on May 25, 2011 - 3:57 pm

      Come hang out at #MyWANA. We are like a big family. We might all talk at the same time, but we listen and care, too. Thanks for the comment!

  2. #3 by Bob Mayer on May 25, 2011 - 4:01 pm

    I think a big change in publishing is going to be authors banding together to actually become publishers. While the Big 6 flail about trying to figure out how to market books electronically (if you read the reports from BEA this week, you can see how far behind they are), smaller groups of authors, like Who Dares Wins with Kristen, are working together to help each other. In the next month we’ll have a new automated web site that fulfills orders and takes credit cards. While this might sounds pretty basic, you have to understand that direct sales is an area that the Big 6 have no clue about. They have been so focused on distributing books to consignment stores, the concept of actually selling a book to a reader is foreign.
    The lone wolf author, trying to go it alone, is also going to have a tough road. There are so many aspects to indie publishing that I don’t see how someone can effectively do it on their own. Also, cross promotion among the authors is key.

    • #4 by educlaytion on May 25, 2011 - 4:13 pm

      That’s an interesting point Bob. I’m sure you can see the Big 6 perspective in a pretty unique way, certainly as an insider. Those big houses have to be amazed at the success of indie tribes and similar groups who are building something from the ground up w/ social media. Good stuff as always Kristen!

    • #5 by Irene Vernardis on May 25, 2011 - 8:49 pm

      Authors banding together to actually become publishers. Very interesting business idea. With the adequate platform and base, it has a great potential success. I like this idea very much. Already the business professional in me is calculating the odds and analyzing.😀

    • #6 by Sonia G Medeiros on May 25, 2011 - 11:03 pm

      That is really exciting. That seems to combine the best of both worlds. A publishing companty to back up writers with the benefits of self-publishing. That really tips my publishing goals towards the author-publishing companies.

      Is WDWPUB the only such company so far? Will you be offering fantasy and horror categories in the future too?

    • #7 by Marilag Lubag on May 28, 2011 - 5:15 am

      Maybe the Big 6 needs to figure out a very different approach. I mean if it’s not working, then they need to change their ways. Otherwise, they’re like insane people doing the same things and expecting a different result.

  3. #8 by Damian Trasler on May 25, 2011 - 4:02 pm

    Twitter (or more likely, my new installation of IE9) is sabotaging my ability to retweet or reply, but joining in on the #MyWANA fun has been brilliant. I read this morning some disparaging remarks about the deadbeats who use social networking sites. “I have a life!” sneered one hater. But you know what? I’ve made friends through Kristen’s course, friends I can chat to, spend time with, ask advice of, all thanks to the connective abilities of Twitter, Facebook and Yahoo Groups. Those links also bring new visitors to my blog, and hopefully to my plays too, but the primary reward is new friends. Maybe I’m not being businessy enough about driving that traffic to my checkout, so to speak, but I’m gaining anyway. Thanks to Kristen, WANA and social media….

    • #9 by Jessica Thomas on May 25, 2011 - 8:02 pm

      “or more likely, my new installation of IE9”

      The java programmer in me got a hearty laugh out of this. (IE. What can you do but laugh, eh?)

      • #10 by Damian Trasler on May 25, 2011 - 11:38 pm

        Currently, not a lot. Mrs Dim is having a harder time, unable to find favorites or adjust settings. Why does “Making it better” always have to include “Making it look completely different”? And then not actually making it better.

    • #11 by Wayne Borean on May 26, 2011 - 12:48 am

      I didn’t think anyone used Internet Exploder anymore. My personal suggestion is that you arrange a Microsoft exit strategy. I ran the numbers (note that these are Microsoft’s own numbers), and I’m projecting Microsoft entering Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection in the fall of of 2014.

      Now I might be wrong, but it wouldn’t hurt to look at alternatives.

      Wayne

      • #12 by Damian Trasler on May 26, 2011 - 8:38 pm

        I always loved the idea of Linux, but I’m too chicken to be a penguin. I’m a certified member of the crowd, mindlessly running down the corridor with everyone else…. I don’t have any of my (three) computers running Firefox, or Google Chrome, or any of the variants on the Microsoft mainstream. Maybe if I take the plunge and buy an Android tablet I may be braver…. The thing is, I LIKE office, I think it’s great. I work in Word,keep records in Excel and make pretty posters in Publisher. One day I may even figure out what Access is for. Nah, I’m kidding. No one really uses that one.

        • #13 by Siri Paulson on May 26, 2011 - 8:49 pm

          I’m no computer whiz, but Firefox has been pretty easy for me to grasp. As far as steps away from Microsoft go, it’s one of the smallest (I’m still solidly a Microsoft user otherwise).

          Or you could download TweetDeck and circumvent the web browser altogether.😉

        • #14 by Wayne Borean on May 26, 2011 - 10:44 pm

          Gack – I hated Office. Last place I worked full time I made IT install Open Office on my computer so that I didn’t have to put up with Microsoft Office. They also got the joy of supporting laptops running Ubuntu Linux and Mac OSX because I refused to use the company standard Windows XP junk piles.

          I was the only person who didn’t have any computer problems when traveling.

          Wayne

  4. #15 by Paul Anthony Shortt on May 25, 2011 - 4:02 pm

    I’m chronically concerned about overstepping my bounds. For the moment I comment on blog posts I’ve enjoyed reading and Tweet and re-Tweet about them whenever I can.

  5. #16 by Candace Rose on May 25, 2011 - 4:04 pm

    I’ve been part of #MyWANA for just over a week and have already experienced the power of community. Awesome post, awesome concept!

  6. #17 by Darlene Steelman on May 25, 2011 - 4:09 pm

    I read your whole blog post and then was totally enamored by the adorable kitty & kitty paw at the end! 🙂 So I had to re-read it.. No worries.. it’ll stick better I am sure.

    As far as the team, thanks to your yahoo class I have a tons of new peeps on my list and a lot more knowledge on how to and not to do things.

    I do tweet #MyWANA… Mayhaps I should do it a little more.

    Enjoy your day!

    Darlene

  7. #18 by Jeanne Ryan on May 25, 2011 - 4:10 pm

    Another inspiring post! I like how you break the humongous world of social networking (which can be overwhelming/intimidating/scary) into bite-sized breadcrumbs that lead us down the right path. Thanks!

  8. #19 by Pam Parker on May 25, 2011 - 4:11 pm

    I’m going to check out #MyWANA asap — LOVE the concept. I see lots of requests for RTs in the twitterverse and those make me really uncomfortable. It feels like asking to be invited for dinner. Not cool, in my book. Am I wrong?

  9. #20 by Jen Kirchner on May 25, 2011 - 4:11 pm

    I’ve met so many wonderful people in and through #myWANA and I’m happy that I’ve been able to introduce some of my shy friends to the group. The community is an amazing place – I’ve tried integrating into other writing hashtags on Twitter and have yet to find anywhere that’s as social. Maybe #pubwrite, but I’m not a big drinker. Kind of defeats the purpose.

    Anyway, thanks for all the LOL’s, gang. We are a hilarious and talented bunch of people.

  10. #21 by Diana Murdock on May 25, 2011 - 4:19 pm

    Great post! I have gone through periods of isolation (usually due to circumstances beyond my control, like my boys’ activities and work) and had to step back from Facebook and Twitter. Though I still squeeze in some writing during those times, I feel detached and my enthusiasm is less than full throttle. When I interact and message those in the writing community, even if I am just reading posts comments, I get caught up in it and my energy and creativity soar. I feel like I have come home. I love being part of the team.

  11. #22 by Amy Kennedy on May 25, 2011 - 4:20 pm

    This is so important in the isolated world of writing — yes, I have a full-time job and hang with my library peeps, but it has nothing to do with my writing. So, when I can connect to, commiserate with, and congratulate other writing folk, it makes me feel like I belong.

  12. #23 by Oliver on May 25, 2011 - 4:49 pm

    I’m new to Twitter and am still trying to figure it out, but yes, I’ve noticed its power already. In the short time I’ve been on I’ve already developed small, subtle relationships with a couple of people. These people in turn retweet my tweets, and have even tried to get others to follow me. They’ve brought traffic to my blog too. The best thing, though, is that I have friends I never had before. Social Media can be a powerful asset in building a business, but it’s nothing compared to the power of relationship building, destruction of isolation, and bringing a smile to ones face. My new friends are prospective customers sure, but first they are my Twitter buddies, which is better than selling a product (though I guess that attitude won’t make me wealthy– but maybe it’ll make me rich! :-))

    • #24 by M.E. Anders on May 25, 2011 - 5:05 pm

      Twitter is a very welcoming forum, once you get the hang of it. Like Kristen said – it’s all about creating and sustaining real relationships.🙂 #MYWana, here I come.🙂

  13. #25 by PaigeK on May 25, 2011 - 5:09 pm

    Well Shaman, this post did a great job of illustrating exactly why I love you, your blog and all of your advice. Finding #mywana and this great group has opened up my writing world to wonderful writing comrades I wouldn’t have known existed. So today, I take to the streets of my little city and shout loudly, “Kristen Lamb for President!”

    • #26 by Author Kristen Lamb on May 25, 2011 - 5:14 pm

      LOL…Awwww, that a great compliment. If only the world could be like #MyWANA. It has really been a safe-haven for me, too. You guys are so fun and loving and supportive and it is an amazing little Island of Awesome in a very dark and lonley world.

  14. #27 by Anne R. Allen on May 25, 2011 - 5:24 pm

    I second the nomination. I learn from you daily, but this is especially insightful. “Social media is not about gadgets, it is about people.” I want to write that on a baseball bat and hit all those marketing people with it until they get it. You can’t sell books by being a bore.

    Nothing to add, but I will retweet!

  15. #28 by Gene Lempp on May 25, 2011 - 5:28 pm

    I think we are already seeing the power and potential of #MyWANA. Sure, while we write it is often required to sit alone in a woodland shack, but the rest of the time nothing is better than to have a community of people who care, look out for us and understand what we face to encourage us in the dark times, share our joy in the good ones, assist when we have need and be assisted when we have the ability.

    If you haven’t been to #MyWANA yet, I would strongly encourage it.

  16. #29 by Leanne Shirtliffe (Ironic Mom) on May 25, 2011 - 5:32 pm

    I love this post. I’ve been lurking on #myWANA. I need to dive in a bit more without losing time. You’re comments about community and working on a team are fantastic. My interactions on Twitter and blogs have led to some fun collaborations with other bloggers/Tweeters such as Chase McFadden and Clay Morgan. While I have a superb in-real-life writing group, there is something about connecting with people who have similar aspirations (in my case, non-fiction writing/humor/memoir) to encourage you to take your writing to the next step.

    Thanks, eh? (my not-so-subtle nod to Canada…)

  17. #30 by Marcy Kennedy on May 25, 2011 - 6:11 pm

    Thanks for another encouraging post. I learned about #MyWANA less than two weeks ago through your blog. Even though I’m new, I’ve really appreciated what a friendly group they are. I’m recommending the #MyWANA hashtag to other writers as a great place to find a Twitter community. It’s nice to make writing a little less solitary whenever we can.

  18. #31 by Tiffany A White on May 25, 2011 - 6:27 pm

    The #MyWANA team is my favorite – I have met so many wonderful writers that make it easy to support them w/their great blog posts & sweet tweets. Encourage those that encourage you! Visit the blogs and leave comments of those that are kind enough to leave you a comment. Meet writers in solid hastags like #MyWana, #Row80, #wordmongering, #amwriting, and now #wewrite…just to name a few. These are tips I learned from the great Kristen Lamb!

  19. #32 by Susan S on May 25, 2011 - 7:01 pm

    Great post, Kristen, and exactly the reason I joined Twitter in the first place. I didn’t do it because I have something to promote – I did it to find and connect with other writers and interesting people because together we are stronger than we are alone.

  20. #33 by Catherine Johnson on May 25, 2011 - 7:25 pm

    Great post Kristen. This is so similar to Rach Writes Crusade with the same effects and no crusade challenges to do🙂 I only became a bit comfortable on twitter once writers I knew well through either the Crusade or my critique group and the #pblitchat crew were on there. It is so easy to mix when you have an outside connection. #MyWANA is the other way around, but you’re all so friendly it is easy (time permitting!)

  21. #34 by Jessica Thomas on May 25, 2011 - 8:06 pm

    Your can-do attitude is refreshing. Keep up the good work!

  22. #35 by Raven Corinn Carluk on May 25, 2011 - 8:20 pm

    I don’t have any ideas to add. Just that it’s nice to not feel alone in the marketing. Writing is lonely enough. The twibe is strong.

  23. #36 by Irene Vernardis on May 25, 2011 - 8:45 pm

    Hi Kristen🙂

    “If we have to open any note with an apology, then deep-down we know this is not the correct approach.” Loved this😀

    I really don’t like automated tweets and retweets. It will put me off and if they are a lot I will unfollow the person doing it.

    And you’re absolutely right, a person might hike a mountain, but a team can move it🙂

    Thank you for the very interesting post

  24. #37 by Madame Paradox on May 25, 2011 - 8:54 pm

    The idea of automated responses seems so bizarre to me. Particularly for writers. I mean being original and specific with my words is very important. It’s the way I always aspire to communicate. Some one-size-fits all response is just the antithesis of that. Besides, when someone follows me and two seconds later sends an automated request that I read their blog or like their fan page or buy their book I always have the same knee-jerk reaction. “Geez, at least buy me a cup of coffee before you ask me to sleep with you.”

    Perhaps I’ve said too much (lol)😉

    Thanks for another great post, Kristen.

  25. #38 by Kenja on May 25, 2011 - 9:51 pm

    Kristen:
    Wow! You hit the nail on the head with this one. I am about the tweet the heck out of it. I’ve made great author friends on Twitter, but there are also those who post about checking out their new book 30 times each day. Drives me crazy! There are also those who don’t understand the power of the Twitter team and think it is a waste of time. Thanks for a GREAT post that I can point them to!

  26. #39 by Tamara LeBlanc on May 25, 2011 - 10:39 pm

    Hi Kristen!
    I feel much better as part of a team.
    I was a high school and then college scholarshiped swimmer. I went to practice every day, swam hard for two hours and then did an hour of weights. In the practice pool i was surrounded by other swimmers. We were each seperate individuals, but swam sets as a whole, as a team. In competition each of us swam seperately and earned points seperately, but at the end of the meet those points were added together to get a team score.
    I think social media works the same way. We are each individuals with our own writing styles, genres, voices, but when it comes to Twitter and Facebook we should each do our part, our very best to contribute to the TEAM as a whole.
    I loved the Mother Theresa quote, and appreciate your wisdom.
    Thank you for another great post.
    Tamara

  27. #40 by Sonia G Medeiros on May 25, 2011 - 11:08 pm

    I was very wary of joining Twitter at first. I could barely keep up on Facebook. But, I’ve learned how to budget my time more wisely (Thank you, Kristen!!!). I’m so glad that I did. The support and encouragement is phenominal! I’m constantly inspired by others. And, I’m keeping my writing goals now…when I used to backslide and make excuses a lot before.

  28. #41 by Wayne Borean on May 26, 2011 - 12:58 am

    Kristen,

    One of the big things you should be warning people about is the scammers. I ended up with a new follower one day, and like always, I checked them out. I was surprised to see that the tweets seemed to be all the same, day after day. And then I noticed one was for a website. I went to the site, and lo and behold, it was a site that promised writers it would give them sales beyond belief.

    The scam worked like this. You signed up. Then you tweeted ten at least ten messages per day for other writers. And probably drove your followers into dropping you.

    Writers should avoid this sort of scam. It’s guaranteed to do one thing, and that’s to drive your fans away from you.

    Wayne

  29. #42 by Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson on May 26, 2011 - 4:52 am

    Wayne, as a newbie to Twitter, I very quickly learned that there are folks in the Twitterverse who like to send SPAM and porn and – as you said – all of these things get attached to your name which, obviously, turns people off. That said, I am still having a hard time figuring out how to really connect with people on #MyWana. Besides ReTweeting people’s blogs and thanking folks for RTing mine, I have found the space constraints problematic. And while I get that having Piper tweet your name is uber-cool, I’d just as soon have an extended email conversation with her. Or a phone conversation. Is this bad?

    • #43 by Author Kristen Lamb on May 26, 2011 - 12:18 pm

      A solution is you could invite someone to a temporary and special # and then it would act just like IM.

      • #44 by Anne-Mhairi Simpson on May 27, 2011 - 3:05 pm

        That’s an awesome idea!! I have to try that. Sometimes everything gets so rushed I miss responses from people and then I feel bad…😦

  30. #45 by Jess Witkins on May 26, 2011 - 5:02 am

    Immensely helpful post! I always get so guilty feeling when I don’t participate on twitter as much as I think I should, but some weeks are more difficult to time manage than others. I always try to send out some great blog reads and RT’s though, and you reminded me that by changing the #’s or RT them out, it goes to more people who might not have seen it otherwise. Several of my tweets have led to writers being used in the writing news updates online, and I always get so excited for them! That’s what #MyWANA is all about. Thanks Kristen!

  31. #46 by Mary Ann Peden-Coviello on May 26, 2011 - 8:21 am

    I am newish to Twitter — been at it a few months. This #MyWANA is the greatest thing since someone thought about slicing bread. Now if I could just think of something more interesting than “I’m still coughing the cough of pneumonia doooom” to say, I’d be a lot happier. I think I need to figure out that TweetDeck (or is it TwitDreck) oh well, whatever it is, maybe I need to look into it. I love new apps I don’t understand how to use. I get into more trouble that way.*face-palm*

    • #47 by Sonia G Medeiros on May 26, 2011 - 3:38 pm

      One of the things I like about Twitter is that you can be conversational. You don’t have to always be witty. Just regular is great too.😀

  32. #48 by Naty Matos on May 26, 2011 - 12:03 pm

    I had been on twitter for a while quietly until I stumble upon this blog. Even before #myWana I started making friends and getting to know people. When #myWana came along that multiplied. There are some folks that I think I talk to more than my irl friends…LOL! On a day where my motivation is flat, all I have to do is open Tweetdeck and the next thing I know is I’m accomplishing my writing goals as well. I’ve learned a lot from this community. Thanks to all! =)

  33. #49 by Trish Loye Elliott on May 26, 2011 - 12:38 pm

    Thanks for this post Kristen. I’ve been reading your blog for a while now but have been too shy (doesn’t quite seem like the right word to use on the internet) to comment before. I’ve noticed the MyWANA hashtag on twitter and have eavesdropped on it. You give wonderful advice and are a fantastic teacher. The group you’ve gathered seems so supportive. As a stressed SAHM, I’m in need of a community that understands the need to write. I’ve decided I should jump in and try to make some friends. (I feel like I’m heading off to a new school or something.) Time to stop rambling. I just wanted to let you know that your blog is a must-read in my busy life. Great work and thank you.

    • #50 by Sonia G Medeiros on May 26, 2011 - 3:40 pm

      I’m a SAHM too. I definitely know how challenging it can be to balance everything.😀

  34. #51 by Jane Sadek on May 26, 2011 - 1:08 pm

    I’m a timid tweeter. My blog auto-tweets sans hashtags. All my friends were on facebook and had no interest in the world of twitter. So, when I started a twitter page, I was amazed to discover there were people willing to follow me. Now I guess I’m on phase two. I open twitter and wonder who all these people are and for the most part it’s a barrage of “buy me,” “read me,” “re-tweet me,” “follow me.” I’m going to clean house and get rid of these guys – I guess they’re what you call bots – and focus on relationships. When social networking actually feels like work, there must be something wrong.

    • #52 by Wayne Borean on May 26, 2011 - 10:33 pm

      Relationships are what matters. That’s why I started following Kristen, and reading her blog religiously every day (and learning soooo many neat things – thank you Kristen!)

      Tweet about what you care about. One of the things that I care about is writing, so I tweet about it. Another is my pets. There’s a lot of tweets about my puppies. I also like Free Software, and lots of Geek stuff, so you’ll see me tweet about exoplanets, and all sorts of neat scientific discoveries.

      Use hash tags so that people interested in those things can find you. You’ll pick up a following who are interested in the same things. Follow them back, if they are real (i.e. not bots). You’ll meet some neat people.

      Wayne

      • #53 by Siri Paulson on May 27, 2011 - 3:36 pm

        Exoplanets and other geekery, you say? You can expect a new follower next time I’m on Twitter.😉

        To throw out some more examples: I tweet about writing, but I also tweet about knitting, science fiction and fantasy, books I’m reading, things I’ve noticed on my walks, and good blog posts or articles (often about writing, but not always). That’s when I’m not RTing or tweeting someone directly about a tweet they’ve made that resonates with me — all good ways to connect.

        You can start watching a hashtag without tweeting right away — “listen” for a while, get a feel for the conversation, and when you have something to say, jump in (remember to use the hashtag in your tweet). I’ve never felt unwelcome doing this, and I’m “meeting” all kinds of cool people. #MyWANA is a good place to start.🙂

  35. #54 by Siri Paulson on May 26, 2011 - 3:11 pm

    I’ve got Tweetdeck columns set up for several (mostly writing-related) hashtags, and sometimes I’ll tweet a random person who looks like they need encouragement or congrats. Often they tweet back to say “Thank you, that’s so sweet!” (and they’ll often follow me, too). Which is nice, but confuses me…because what else is Twitter for?😉

    Besides the ongoing hashtags, one of my favourite ways to use Twitter is the chats that happen at specific times. I like #storycraft on Sundays and #steampunkchat on Fridays, but there are plenty of others. It’s a fun way to talk shop, get inspired, and connect with others.

    Picking up on Bob Mayer’s point about writers-as-publishers: I’m part of a small group that’s doing exactly that. There are five of us; we’ve set up a common website and imprint, with a set production schedule and editorial vetting of each other’s works; our books are on Kindle, Nook, Smashwords, and POD via Amazon/CreateSpace; and we all use social media to cross-promote. To be honest, we’ve had mixed results so far — some of our books have taken off, some haven’t — but hey, that’s only to be expected in publishing, right? We’re learning a lot, too, so it’s all good. It’s exciting to be part of the move to figure out this changing landscape we’re all in.

  36. #55 by Dawn Chartier on May 26, 2011 - 3:59 pm

    What a great post, Kristen.
    And I need to find out what this Tweetdeck stuff is. lol

    Dawn
    http://www.dawnchartier.com

  37. #56 by Jennifer Lane on May 26, 2011 - 5:00 pm

    Loved this post. I feel quite fortunate to have befriended several authors from our small publisher Omnific Publishing. We often do blog hops together, are starting a group blog, and RT/like each other’s posts. Not only does it help with exposure, but like you mentioned, it makes social networking so much more fun and rewarding! We are social creatures and work better in a team.

  38. #57 by Melissa K Norris on May 26, 2011 - 7:27 pm

    I’ve already witnessed the power of #MyWANA It’s an awesome thing when we help others, because we’re actually helping ourselves. Giving can be better than receiving.

    Thanks!

  39. #58 by Jami Gold on May 26, 2011 - 9:08 pm

    Yes, I *love* supporting fellow writers – as my tweet stream of RTs of others’ posts proves. 🙂 Go #myWANA!

  40. #59 by Amanda Hoving on May 27, 2011 - 2:58 am

    Great thoughts behind this post, Kristen. Success seems so much more easily attainable when you’re a part of a community.

  41. #60 by Anne-Mhairi Simpson on May 27, 2011 - 3:08 pm

    Kristen, you keep me on the straight and narrow. When it looks like I’m straying off the path, you kick me right back on it (remember the Twitter handle conversation?). Gotta love you for that🙂

    #MyWANA has been great – it’s put me within reach of so many amazing people whose stuff I would otherwise have missed. Just a pile of awesomeness all round!

  42. #61 by PW Creighton on May 27, 2011 - 3:21 pm

    Absolutely brilliant Kristen. I only heard about MyWANA a couple of weeks ago and it is the best showcase of what our writing community is capable of in the social ecosystem. I’ve advocated for a long time that social means being a community. If you support your community they support you. It can become difficult to manage when you’re numbers increase but I always try to acknowledge anyone that mentions or chats with me. You see the results. Your creation of the hashtag is just an outstanding example of what the writing community can achieve. Just brilliant and an amazing call.

  43. #62 by Clare Wilson on May 29, 2011 - 8:29 am

    I really enjoyed this post… I have built a modest following on twitter and in the process, met some fantastic people. It is really heartening to have a network of virtual friends who re-tweet and generally lend support when you ask…

    • #63 by Wayne Borean aka The Mad Hatter on May 29, 2011 - 4:12 pm

      Clare,

      I think that a modest following who actually care about you, is far more important than a massive following who only follow you because they connected to you using something like ‘Team Follow Back’ and don’t pay any attention to what you are saying.

      Quality means more than numbers.

      Wayne

  44. #64 by lebitsa kenosi on May 2, 2015 - 9:07 am

    The good we do towards other people clearly shows how u are as a person , I am an African and I believe that we are all Africans, no matter our race. age. culture, or gender, working together does not require me to be black or you to be coloured. We can do more, by working together,
    I am a proud African young girl

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