Thursday, October 25, 2007


Now What?

I’ll admit that I’ve procrastinated in writing this, my first WOW! blog, as I wondered what I could say as a writer. I began to really get worked up and poured through old blog posts in an effort to make sure I did not duplicate a topic covered once before. (And let me tell you, a lot has been covered!). So, what could I possibly say that hasn’t been said before? I lay in bed last night wondering this and came up with one answer: It’s all been said.

I froze.

Ohmygosh, ohmygosh, ohmygosh! If it’s all been said, then what on Earth am I going to write about? Have women everywhere come to this realization as I have? What will we do now that the job is done?

Panic started to set in.

“Okay, get a hold of yourself,” I began to mutter. There must be SOMETHING that hasn’t been voiced. There is undoubtedly something that hasn’t been tapped at this point. Think, think, think. And in that moment, the floodgates opened.

No, a golden pen didn’t fall from the sky. No, the lexicon of all lexicons didn’t mysteriously appear next to my MacBook. No, Julia Cameron didn’t show up at my front door to reveal the Zen filled wisdom within morning pages.

I realized that everything I have to say is new. No one anywhere has said exactly what I have in the way that only I can express my thoughts in words. It’s all new. Every single one of us offers a fresh voice to every topic and that is an exciting thought. No ground is off limits; as long as is it new to me, it’s uncharted territory.

And you? What is it that you have to say?


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Sunday, September 09, 2007


Ants in my Kitchen, Traffic to Your Blog

For over a week now a relentless colony of ants have been invading my kitchen. I’ve always been the type who doesn’t like to kill anything. I see a spider and I scream, but will still ask my hubby to take it outside. So this has been particularly annoying! My theory is that if I find the source and get rid of it, the ants will pack up their bags and move elsewhere.

I quickly discovered they were going for the trash, so I made sure not to throw any food in there, instead faithfully taking it outside to the dumpster in back of my loft. Even on nights where my hubby brought home takeout and I was too tired to go outside, I’d put the subway wrappers or whatever in a plastic bag and stick it in the fridge. And sure enough, pretty soon the ants got the hint and left.

Then a couple days later I saw that the same troop of ants had changed their game plan and were now going for my cat’s food. How did I know it was the same troop? They were coming from the same area—and this is the weirdest thing—from fifteen feet up the wall and from behind an enormous oil-painting I have of Alice in Wonderland, from my rave (underground) days. There must be a hole or something behind that painting... but I haven’t gotten out the ladder to look.

So I moved my kitty’s dish to a different part of the loft, and so far so good! But who knows how long that will last.

Like the traffic of ants I had in my kitchen, the traffic to your blog will continue if you keep posting something tasty. (You knew I was getting to something right?) So here are a few tips to keep the steady flow of traffic coming before they move on to the next best thing:

Start with a tasty story!

As writers, we know everyone loves a story. An anecdote about ants in your kitchen may not be the most fascinating story out there, but whatever it is, make sure it relates to your blog post.

Keep it short and sweet

A couple paragraphs will do. Think of it as you would flash fiction, and listen to your inner-editor.

Pose a question

You don’t want to start off by asking a question every time, but readers like to become involved, so keep the dialogue in mind. Many of our blog posts end with a question—that’s because we really do want your opinions voiced. We love feedback!

Say something controversial

It could be an idea that you’ve been mulling over, something in the news, or something that relates to your personal life. I don’t think you should straight-out try and shock readers just to create a stir, but don’t be afraid to be yourself.

Edit before you post

Being yourself doesn’t mean that you should write like you would in an email to a friend. Remember you’re still writing for the public, so be sure to rewrite and check for grammar, and other things you may not want getting out there. One thing I noticed is even if you delete a post, it’s still live on the wires somewhere. And if you have full syndication, readers can still read that post in its entirety on some blog reader websites like bloglines or technorati.

Do what you do best—write that hook!

I don’t have to tell you what to’re fabulous women writers and you already know! For instance, look at Jean’s previous post, Dare I say it? Time to Exercise!!, or that Angela person who decided to tell her story of how Owen Wilson inspired her post How Media Inspires Our Stories or Sue’s post Self-Sabotage Countdown (what a great title! It had me hooked from the start!), or Chynna's very funny post on a Not to Do List.

Now I want to know:

What hooks have inspired the most comments on your blog posts?

Or, what awesome hook in your writing have you recently used?

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