Four Ways To Create An Authentic Social Media Presence


Finding each other

You take too large a swig of lemony water. The waiter hovers as you straighten your cutlery for the umpteenth time. His dating profile, as amazing as it was, didn’t have a picture, so you scan the bustling restaurant again for the pink shirt. A man clears his throat behind you. Paul! You turn to face him. Your smile freezes. He’s short. He’s bald. He has yellow sweat stains under the arms of his crumpled salmon shirt. And what looks like runny egg in his wiry beard.

To date, or not to date

Branding is a lot like the info that goes on an online dating profile. It’s a specific image about who you are that helps differentiate you from others. It’s your identity – the personality you portray to the world out there. If you’re a company, it’s what attracts your customers to try your product or service. If you’re an author, it’s what gets potential readers interested in you. It’s what gets you your first date. 

I’m outta here

Nothing makes a customer or potential fan say ‘I’m outta here’ faster than when the personality you portray on social media is nothing like who you really are.

These four tips will help you create a social media presence that is authentic, congruent, and resonates with your audience:
  1. Stay true to your personality: if your company were a character in a novel, what kind of person would it be? As a writer, what is your personality? Don’t portray a social media presence that departs from who you are in ‘real life’. 
  2. Stay true to your accomplishments: don’t brag about things you want to do. Show what you’ve done. It adds credibility to your brand. 
  3. Stay true to your values: your values are the ‘why’ behind what you do what you do. Before you communicate your values on social media, you need to know what they are. You need to be able to describe them in specific, concrete language.
  4. Stay true to your interests: our interests are part of what makes people curious about us. What are your company’s or your interests? If you let this human aspect shine through in your social media presence, it will help your customers or readers relate to you. 
Here’s to that next date. 

If you want to learn how to write for social media, send an email to news@writerswrite.co.za for more information.
 by Donna Radley

If you enjoyed this post, read Three Ways To Take The Twit Out Of Twitter

Donna is a creative writer who has tinkered with words for years. She has written newsletters and online articles, translated a book, and edited a variety of documents. She also reviews books. She owned her own training business and now facilitates The Plain Language Programme for Writers Write. She is currently working on her novel, which involves drinking lots of sweet tea. You can view her profile on LinkedIn or follow her on Twitter.  

~~~~~

Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. If you want to learn how to write a book, write for social media, and improve your business writing, send an email to news@writerswrite.co.za for more information.

Writers Write - Write to communicate

Spelling Tips and Tricks – Making Words Plural

Source: All About Learning Press

If you enjoyed this infographic, you may like:

  1. The Possessive Apostrophe S
  2. 22 Commonly Confused Adjectives
  3. An Editing Checklist For Writers
  4. Transitional Words and Phrases - Three reasons to use them
  5. 12 of the Most Misused English Words

~~~~~

Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. If you want to learn how to write a book, write for social media, and improve your business writing, send an email to news@writerswrite.co.za for more information.

Writers Write - Write to communicate

Famous Authors Insulting Other Authors

Being insulted as an author by one of your peers must be disconcerting. Writers are experts at making words count. However, there aren't that many modern authors who cause waves. 

  • There is Martin Amis who claimed he would need brain damage to write children’s books. 
  • Harold Bloom said, "How to read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone? Why, very quickly, to begin with, and perhaps also to make an end. Why read it? Presumably, if you cannot be persuaded to read anything better, Rowling will have to do." 
  • Bret Easton Ellis said, "Saint David Foster Wallace: a generation trying to read him feels smart about themselves which is part of the whole bullshit package." 
  • Stephen King referred to Stephenie Meyer's Twilight as "tweenager porn".
  • Peter James based a character named Amis Smallbone, a villain with a tiny penis, in Not Dead Yet, on Martin Amis after an unpleasant altercation with that author.

But most of the best insults are from authors who are long dead. We hope you enjoy this selection.

Source for Infographic: AussieWriter

~~~~~

 by Amanda Patterson. Follow her on PinterestFacebook,  Google+,  Tumblr  and Twitter. 

If you enjoyed this post, read these:
~~~~~

Writers Write
 offers the best writing courses in South Africa. If you want to learn how to write a book, write for social media, and improve your business writing, send an email to news@writerswrite.co.za for more information.

Writers Write - Write to communicate

37 Ways To Write About Anger

We all get angry. It is natural and it can be a good thing. When it is uncontrolled or unnecessary, anger will not do us any favours on either a personal or a social level. 

The same is true for the characters we create. When we write about angry characters, we should remember that there is always something behind this emotion. Anger is usually a surface emotion. It is a reaction to an underlying problem.  

A)  Motivation

We usually become angry when we feel:
  1. confused
  2. frustrated
  3. hurt
  4. jealous 
  5. embarrassed
  6. powerless
  7. rejected
  8. worried
When our characters are feeling this way, we should incorporate it into our story.

B)  Body Language

Physical signs of anger include:
  1. an increased heart rate
  2. feeling hot or flushed
  3. shaking
  4. a clenched jaw
  5. a dry mouth
  6. shouting, ranting, making loud noises
  7. staring
  8. baring teeth
  9. finding it difficult to hear
  10. tense muscles
C)  Passive or Aggressive - How angry is your character?

We generally express anger in two ways.
  1. We withdraw – passive behaviour
  2. We lash out – aggressive behaviour
Being passively angry can be as destructive as being aggressively angry.

D)   Ways to create conflict

Seven ways a character can show passive anger:  
  1. Being defeatist. Examples: underachieving, choosing to repeat a proven failed behaviour pattern, being accident-prone.
  2. Being secretive. Examples: anonymous complaints, gossiping, conning.
  3. With dispassion. Examples: giving the cold shoulder, the silent treatment, substance abuse, talking about emotions without showing any, oversleeping, playing with electronic equipment or machines.
  4. Evasion. Examples: avoiding conflict, becoming phobic.
  5. Exhibiting obsessive behaviour. Examples: overeating or dieting too much, obsessively tidying up.
  6. Manipulation. Examples: provoking bad behaviour in others, playing the victim, emotional blackmail, feigning illness, using other people to deliver negative messages.
  7. Self-Blame. Examples: apologising for everything, criticizing their own behaviour, inviting criticism.
Source: Savage Chickens

Seven ways a character can show aggressive anger  
  1. Behaving manically. Examples: speaking, moving, and driving too quickly; overworking; spending too much money.
  2. Being physically destructive. Examples: vandalism, reckless driving, substance abuse, harming animals.
  3. Being selfish. Examples: being unpredictable, ignoring other people’s feelings and needs, ignoring requests for help.
  4. Being vengeful. Examples: holding a grudge, planning to hurt someone. 
  5. Bullying. Examples: making threats, persecuting, misusing power, shouting, explosive rages over small problems, illogical arguments.
  6. Physically or psychologically hurting people. Examples: sexual abuse, verbal abuse, ignoring people’s feelings, punishing people, making inappropriate jokes, being vulgar, blaming people for something they did not do.
  7. Showing off. Examples: talking over other people, throwing money around, acting as if you are better than someone else is, lying about achievements.

E)  The Importance of Anger in Plotting

As a writer, you can use anger in many ways:
  1. You can force a confrontation that moves the plot forward. A character may use it as a catalyst that allows an escape from an unhealthy relationship.
  2. You can reveal another side to a character that nobody dreamt existed. The mild-mannered man who nobody suspects of domestic violence could be revealed with an angry outburst.
  3. You can also use it as a transformative experience. A character who has reacted angrily to an event could regret it and choose to change his or her behaviour. 
How do your important characters deal with anger?

Source for examples of passive and aggressive anger

    © Amanda Patterson

    If you enjoyed this articleyou will love:

    Amanda is the founder of Writers Write. Follow her on  Pinterest,  Facebook,  Google+,  Tumblr  and Twitter. 

    ~~~~~

    Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. If you want to learn how to write a book, write for social media, and improve your business writing, send an email to news@writerswrite.co.za for more information.

    Writers Write - Write to communicate

    The Truth About Memoirs – Is Yours A Brave Confession Or A Book Of Lies?

    Last week I started my series of posts on memoirs with The truth about memoirs – what took you off the desire line? This week I want to talk about secrets and lies.


    There’s a risk to telling the truth. I was struck by the backlash against Mackenzie Phillips when she published her controversial memoir about her road back from addiction and her dangerously incestuous relationship with her famous father, the founder of the Mamas and Papas. Journalists and bloggers slammed her; many in her own family publicly denounced her.  Was she telling the truth?

    Pandora’s Box

    When facilitating Secrets of a Memoirist, many new writers clam up when they realise they’re exposed to this risk. The risk includes:
    • being called a liar
    • hurting people you love
    • exposing yourself to public ridicule or humiliation
    • putting your life in danger (it can happen!)
    These are all risks we want to avoid, but I believe what holds us back is something more common: fear. There’s a saying: ‘you’re only as sick as your secrets’.  Writing a memoir is about revealing your secrets in a way that is irrevocable. Once the lid on Pandora’s Box is open, you can’t take anything back. It’s out there forever.

    Writing a memoir is not like keeping a journal.  A journal is private; it’s a place for you to have a conversation with yourself. A memoir is having a conversation with a reader – perhaps you want to give them hope, warn them about something, amuse or titillate them, or even offer them a vicarious glimpse into a new experience.

    Secrets and Lies

    Here are some reasons you might not tell the truth:
    • You only have ‘half the story’: so your memoir lacks information.
    • You have not recognised your own emotional ‘blind spots’ – maybe you’re fooling yourself.
    • You have internalised an inherited or second-hand story as you own experience.
    • You don’t remember a lot of it.

    The Test

    As a memoirist, you need to be aware of your intentions and the risk. If you’re writing to take revenge on someone or a group – as Truman Capote did in his roman à clef Answered Prayers – just remember they may bite back. Publishing his thinly disguised non-fiction novel played a part in Capote’s destruction.

    If you’re writing your story because you have feel you have a right to claim – or reclaim ¬¬– your identity, dignity, or your own broken past, then write and write fearlessly. A memoir is cathartic; it’s a way of taking back your power.  I think that’s what Mackenzie Phillips was trying to do.

    Your Truth and Nothing but Your Truth

    Keep in mind: you’re not a witness; you only need to tell your truth. If you’re comfortable with your own truth – something you feel deep inside you to be your own experience and memory – then you have nothing to worry about.

    While some people may violently disagree with you when your book is published, others will see you as brave, vulnerable, and honest. 

    Look out for next week’s blog on memoir.

    If you want to learn how to write a book send an email to  news@writerswrite.co.za for more information.

       by Anthony Ehlers

      If you enjoyed this post, read:

      Anthony Ehlers is a reluctant blogger. A child of the 70s, he’s a late converter to the (sometimes scary) world of social media. As a creative writing facilitator, he loves sharing ideas around storytelling and the blog post is another way to reach out to fellow writers no matter their stage of the journey. He always encourages delegates with energy, humour and his insights into novels, short stories and scriptwriting. He sometimes lurks on Facebook and flits on to a branch of Twitter  when his Inbox is empty (which isn’t a lot these days).

      ~~~~~

      Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. If you want to learn how to write a book, write for social media, and improve your business writing, send an email to news@writerswrite.co.za for more information.

      Writers Write - Write to communicate.

      April 2015 - In Writing


      Courses in April 2015

      Writers Write

      How to Write a Book

      20-23 April

      The Social Brand

      Social Media Workshop

      16 April

      The Plain Language Programme

      Advanced Business Writing

      9-10 April (Cape Town)

      Demystifying Self-Publishing 

      Self-Publishing Breakfast
      18 April


      Guest Speaker - 18 April 2015. Meet our special guest speaker, Per Ostberg, who will talk about his self-publishing journey at our Writers Write breakfast.

      If you want more details, please email news@writerswrite.co.za

      ~~~~~

      Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. If you want to learn how to write a book, write for social media, and improve your business writing, send an email to news@writerswrite.co.za for more information.

      Writers Write - Write to communicate

      Social Media Chill Pill - 15 Top Tips For Writers On Social Media


      Building a social media platform is vital for any writer, but getting started can be overwhelming and frustrating. You spend hours writing a post only to get three views - one is your mother, the other is from your bestie and the last is someone who made a typo in their Google search. 

      Why do we expose ourselves to this ridicule and torture? Because publishers expect you to have an author platform and if you are self-publishing, most of your sales will be generated through your platform. And the more you do it the more you will enjoy it.

      What can you do? Sharing is caring, but you should decide what you are comfortable with sharing. You don’t have to share details of your private life, but social media is about interacting with an audience and allowing them a glimpse into your writing life. Some people don’t mind sharing their personal details and they post many personal things, others don’t. It is up to you to decide. There is no right or wrong here. 

      These are seven tips for writers starting out on social media:

      1. Build a home: You want your social media posts to drive traffic to your blog. Most blogging platforms are free. Try WordPress, Tumblr, Blogger or Posthaven. Most of them allow you to share from there. 
      2. Keep it simple: Consistency is the most important thing when it comes to Social Media. Establishing a social media platform is time consuming. Don’t try to cover all the platforms. Pick one or two to start with. You can add more platforms later, but trying to put something up on seven platforms daily will be a challenge.
      3. Choose your platforms carefully: The more time you spend on a platform the faster and more effectively you will be able to use it. Spend some time on a platform before you start posting to it. 
      4. Not for you: If you don’t like a social media platform don’t use it. This sounds simple, but often I hear people “You HAVE to be on this or that platform”. Each platform has different benefits for writers. Find a space you are comfortable with and avoid those that you don’t enjoy. 
      5. Make a friend: Find and follow writers you like. Look at what they post. Share their stuff, but remember to put something up, at least once a week that is yours.
      6. Kill the deadweight: Shut down platforms that don’t work for you. If, like me, you have more platforms than you can remember make an effort to shut them down. An inactive account doesn’t look great.   
      7. Less is more: It is better to have two or three platforms that really work for you. If you are happy with only one, stick to and do your best. You can share your posts to most platforms, e.g. Share your Facebook post to Twitter. You could use something like Hootsuite, but it might be overkill if you are starting out.  

      Authors should consider these eight platforms: 
      1. Facebook is the biggest platform. The numbers are good. You can find and follow many authors. You have to pay to promote your page, or you can use your personal profile.  
      2. Google+ is growing and it is more organic than Facebook. 
      3. Twitter can be chaotic in the beginning. Search #writers, #amwriting and #writetip. It is very popular with celebs and journalists as well.  
      4. Pinterest is my personal favourite and great for inspiration. You will find tons of writing articles. The challenge is not to get side tracked by all the pretty pictures
      5. LinkedIn is good for freelancers. It is a great place to keep and update your CV. You can share the link to your profile with anyone who wishes to see it. 
      6. Go onto You Tube and find videos of your favourite authors. Not only do they give you great advice, you can share the links to your platforms. 
      7. Tumblr is awesome for all things wordy. It is a blogging platform and great for writers and especially beginner bloggers. There are tons of prompts and inspiring reads. 
      8. Goodreads is brilliant for tracking your reading. You will befriend people with similar tastes and never lack for a book suggestion. Write and share reviews of books that you have read and post them to your blog.
      Lastly, don’t let social media overwhelm you. Chill. Go at your own pace and share what you are comfortable with and as often as you are comfortable with. Get out there and get social. Don’t take on too much, be consistent and be patient. You will get there.

      If you want to learn how to write for social media or how to write a book, email news@writerswrite.co.za for more information.

       by Mia Botha

      If you enjoyed this post, you will love:

      1. Where's the baddie? - What my six-year-old taught me about storytelling
      2. 12 Books I Am Planning To Read In 2015
      3. Four ways to remove padding words

      Mia Botha facilitates for Writers Write. She is also a novelist, a ghost writer, and the winner of the Mills&Boon Voice of Africa Competition. When she isn’t writing, she is the mother of two children and the wife of a very lucky man. Follow Mia on Pinterest  and Facebook and  Tumblr  and  Twitter.

      ~~~~~

        Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. If you want to learn how to write a book, write for social media, and improve your business writing, send an email to news@writerswrite.co.za for more information.

        Writers Write - Write to communicate

        Demystifying Self-Publishing - A Writers Write Event

        Join us for breakfast when one of our Writers Write graduates, Per Ostberg, talks about his exciting and exploratory journey from attending our Writers Write course to self-publishing his memoir PERspective.

        Per will outline the eight simple steps he took to get a book from idea to launched. These include demystifying self-publishing platforms and online tools, talking about the challenges he met on the way, as well as how he realised the author had become a publisher.

        When? 18 April 2015
        Where? Winehouse Restaurant, Ten Bompas Boutique Hotel10 Bompas Road, Dunkeld, Johannesburg (GPS)
        What Time? 08:00 for 08:30 - 10:30
        How Much? R240 per person (This includes a delicious breakfast and the self-publishing talk by Per Ostberg)
        RSVP? news@writerswrite.co.za

        ~~~~~

        Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. If you want to learn how to write a book, write for social media, and improve your business writing, send an email to news@writerswrite.co.za for more information.

        Writers Write - Write to communicate

        Four Ways To Break Your Writing Deadlock

        Source

        What’s this?

        A teacher once drew a chalk dot on the chalkboard and asked a high school class what it was. At first, no-one volunteered an answer. Finally, one brave student spoke up. A chalk dot? The teacher asked a kindergarten class the same question, and couldn’t keep up with the flood of enthusiasm. A squashed insect! A telephone pole seen from the top. An egg. A cigarette butt. A button. A bottle cap! 

        Finding the wrong kind of groove

        This story comes from Roger von Oech’s A Whack on the Side of the Head, and illustrates how a thinking rut limits creativity. Writers can’t afford to get into a thinking rut. 

        We have to create a different kind of magic with the same words used by other writers. We have to rework age-old plots in new ways that both satisfy readers’ expectations, yet surprise them. We have to inhabit each of our character’s minds in turn – crafting personalities that are congruent, character flaws that are authentic, and motivations that hinge. Thinking ruts are a nightmare.  

        Getting out

        If you’ve reached a deadlock in your writing, try these tips:
        1. Park it: sometimes, the best thing you can do is walk away. Put some distance between you and the problem, and do things that feed your soul. Go for a walk in beautiful surroundings. Visit an art gallery. Lie on your back and look at the stars. Listen to your favourite music. Visit good friends. When you come back to it, you may have fresh perspective. 
        2. Change your viewpoint – literally: if you’re stuck on a problem, try changing your physical position. Write your problem in the form of a question, stick the paper under a table, and lie on the floor so you can see it. Take a few pillows and lie in the bath. Put your paper on the floor and stand on a desk. Sometimes a change in physical location jars your brain into seeing something new. 
        3. Brainstorm properly: in the brainstorming phase of problem solving, all ideas have merit. Record them exactly as they come to you. Don’t filter out the ones that don’t seem useful. An associated sequence of two unlikely ideas can lead to a brilliant third one, which you wouldn’t have discovered if you hadn’t allowed the unlikely ideas. 
        4. Play: when you approach a problem, foster a playful attitude. Think up ridiculous and outlandish answers to your question. It’s like doing brain warm-ups that keep your mind supple and open to consider all the options. Ultimately, this will boost your creativity.

        Good luck!

        If you want to learn how to write a book send an email to  news@writerswrite.co.za for more information.

         by Donna Radley

        If you enjoyed this post, you will like:

        Donna is a creative writer who has tinkered with words for years. She has written newsletters and online articles, translated a book, and edited a variety of documents. She also reviews books. She owned her own training business and now facilitates The Plain Language Programme for Writers Write. She is currently working on her novel, which involves drinking lots of sweet tea. You can view her profile on LinkedIn or follow her on Twitter.  

        ~~~~~

        Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. If you want to learn how to write a book, write for social media, and improve your business writing, send an email to  news@writerswrite.co.za for more information.

        Writers Write - Write to communicate

        44 Types Of Content To Share On Social Media

        The only way to build your brand’s credibility is by constantly creating content that you can display on your website or blog. Last week I wrote a post about this - How creating content leads to sales.

        Last year, social media users increased from 2 billion to 3 billion. It is mind-boggling, but it cannot be ignored. You have to learn how to create content and write for social media.

        What are the types of content that you can share? We found this helpful list on Jeff Bullas's website.

        Source for Infographic: Jeff Bullas

        If you enjoyed this post read:

        1. Social Media for Dummies - How creating content leads to sales
        2. 180 Emotionally Powerful Words To Use In Headlines
        3. Why you can't postpone investing in social media

        If you want to find out more about how social media works, join us for The Social Brand, our social media workshop

         by Amanda Patterson. Amanda is the founder of Writers Write. Follow her on Pinterest, Facebook,   Google+,   Tumblr  and  Twitter.  

        News Alert: Writers Write has been announced as one of the Top 50 Writing Blogs of 2015. We were also named one of the 13 Great Facebook Pages for Writers

        ~~~~~

        Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. If you want to learn how to write a book, write for social media, and improve your business writing, send an email to news@writerswrite.co.za for more information.

        Writers Write - Write to communicate