What would you say to other bloggers? #blogging

BloggersWhen blogging, I find blog-visiting just as enjoyable and important as posting on the blog. Often, I wish to leave messages for those I visit, beyond the comments on their posts. I don’t because it feels like an intrusion, and I run short on time. Some of the things I want to say to bloggers, are:

  1. Make it easier to comment on your posts: Some bloggers make it very tough to leave a comment. You have to sign various forms etc and I tend to lose patience, because most of my blogging and blog visiting is on the run from my phone during work breaks. I wish Blogspot users would add the Name/URL option, that those allowing only FB or Google + Comments etc would just open it to other platforms. Why not make it just a Name/ URL thing? Why would you limit the number of bloggers who can EASILY comment on your blogs? Enable comment moderation if you want to avoid spam.
  2. Make it easier to share your posts on social media: Add the share buttons to social media and make it easy to tag you when sharing posts on Twitter or G+ etc. I find so many bloggers whose Share buttons are not connected to their own Twitter, making it tough to tag them when sharing their posts.
  3. BloggersDon’t write long blocks of text : It is hard to read on screen. Make it easier to read your posts by using shorter paragraphs and bold titles etc.
  4. Make your posts ‘easy on eyesight’: Stay away from dark backgrounds, gifs. Make sure your posts download fast.
  5. Check your spam folders and rescue my comments: That’s self-explanatory. Have lost count of blogs where my comments disappear.
  6. Make it easy to follow you: Give me easily visible Social Media Buttons and Follow the Blog Buttons.  But don’t keep bugging me about it: all those pop-up windows asking me to subscribe to your blog aren’t going to make me do it. Reminders on your blog are fine, by why bombard your visitors with pop-ups?
  7. Link your gravatars to your blogs: When you drop a comment, make sure your name links to your blog. I’ll visit you back that much quicker if you leave me a way to do it.

What are your pet peeves as a blogger? What would you like to change in the blogs you visit? What keeps you from commenting on some blogs: content, format, or ease of commenting?

Do you follow this blog? If yes, why, and if not, why not? (My blog follow button keeps breaking– let me know if you’d like to follow along but have trouble doing so– my apologies if you find broken links.)

If you’re following my blog, or social media, and would like a follow back, please give me a heads up. I follow back all non-spam accounts as best as I can.

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Have questions of a #Fiction Editor? Ask Them Here. #IWSG

Writing Flash FictionThanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh for organizing and hosting the Insecure Writers Support Group every month for the past few years! Go to this site to meet the other participants: each insecure writer, trying to feel secure, from across the blogiverse. The awesome co-hosts for today are Misha Gericke, LK Hill, Juneta Key, and Joylene Buter.

For my IWSG ost I’m sharing creative writing insights as part of my guest post series. It is my absolute pleasure today to welcome writer and editor Michelle Elvy, who talks about writing flash fiction, and her work as an editor. She edits at  Flash Frontier: An Adventure in Short Fiction and Blue Five Notebook and is Assistant Editor, International, for the Best Small Fictions series.

1. What drives the Blue Five Notebook? What are your plans for its future?

Blue Five Notebook had its origins in poetry, branching out from Sam Rasnake’s poetry journal, Bluefifth Review. Blue Five Notebook came about in 2011, when Sam decided to add short fiction and brought me in as Fiction Editor. Last year, we changed to a quarterly schedule. We’ve also added non-fiction, with Bill Yarrow serving as Editor – reviews, essays and literary discussions.

2. And Flash Frontier: An Adventure in Short Fiction? How does it differ from Blue Five Notebook?

Flash Frontier began as a New Zealand journal in 2012 but moved to international issues, with more contributors (artists and writers) and readers with each issue. The one constant at Flash Frontier is the 250-word limit; it evolved as a means of introducing the very short form to NZ writers and readers. With a NZ editing team, and frequent issues with Guest Editors, Flash Frontier changes in look and tone from issue to issue.

writing flash fiction

3. What do you look for in a story you accept for publication?

At Blue Five Notebook, we feature work that is more often poetic in nature, paying tribute to the journal’s roots, and we like the odd, the ethereal, the off-center. A strong voice and beautiful writing win over complicated plot or a surprise ending. The same can be said for Flash Frontier, but the more concise focus creates a space for a different kind of experimentation. We have tremendous variety there.

4. You’ve won awards and have also judged contests. What tips would you give writers who submit to various contests?

  • Don’t let wins go to your head, or rejections get you down.  Your writing is what matters most – not anyone else’s judgment of it.
  • Try writing outside the box – play with setting, character, pacing and language. Surprise yourself; get outside your own comfort zone.
  • Pay attention to the general feel of the journal or contest. Read past content, and read the instructions. Again, don’t take them, or yourself, too seriously. Relax and enjoy the process.
Your writing is what matters most – not anyone else’s judgment of it. ~Michelle Elvy Click to Tweet

How do you disagree on #SocialMedia?

Social mediaIn the last few months, social media has seemed an unsafe place. Because I have friends all over the world, I see their beliefs on my timeline. Each day I spend not having reacted to some of the views posted on there, I feel like I’ve aced some sort of test. While I’ve limited my time on social media for exactly this reason (some days books seem like the ultimate refuge), I also do not want to completely isolate myself– I’m part of the human community after all.

On the belief spectrum, I believe in equal rights for all, no discrimination on the basis of gender, sexual preference, skin color, religion, or place of origin. I’d like all of us to see each other as an alien would– as the human species. My belief is in compassion and equanimity. I’m mostly vegetarian, and I believe in moderation in every aspect of our lives. I also believe we as a species are harming the being that we’re part of, Planet Earth.

But these are just that: my beliefs.

I hold them dear, just as everyone else holds theirs. I’m as devout about these as devout Muslims are about their prayers, or Christians about their concept of sin, or businessmen about their concept of profit, or politicians about their ambitions.

Booker-finalist Author talks about the #Writing Life : Romesh Gunesekera

ROmesh Gunesekara ReefHere on Daily (w)rite, as part of the guest post series, it is my absolute pleasure today to welcome Romesh Gunesekera: a booker-finalist author with an illustrious writing career spanning decades, and a very kind, insightful teacher.

I’ll be giving away a signed copy of Romesh Gunesekera’s Monkfish Moon, (a slim, but as remarkable a book as I’ve ever read) collection of short stories. I’m re-reading it after a span of years, and find the prose almost hypnotic in its efficacy and beauty.

—–

1. At what age did you start writing fiction? What prompted you?

As a child, I enjoyed escaping into books. The idea that someone wrote them was not important to me. Even when I became aware of authors behind books, I didn’t appreciate that they were among the living. I was probably about fourteen when I realized that some people spent their time writing stories and turning them into books and that these people were writers. As soon as I discovered that, I wanted to be one.


2. What are your preoccupations as a writer? Do you have an ideal reader in mind as you write?


When I first started writing, it was mostly for myself and a few close friends. I wanted to put what I felt into words and communicate through a written language. When publishing became a goal, I was still writing mainly for someone like me: a reader seeking both distraction and meaning from a page.

Romesh Gunesekara3. For someone new to your work, which of your works should they read first?


I don’t think it matters. Whatever they find first, or appeals most. Hopefully it will be love at first sight. If not, find another. I try to write books that can be approached from different angles, but here is a simplified guide, if you need one.
If you like short stories, start with Monkfish Moon.
If you want a short novel, try Reef.
If historical fiction is your thing, then The Prisoner of Paradise might be the one.
For those keen on speculative fiction, and dystopia: Heaven’s Edge.
Cricket fans, and maybe photographers, should give The Match a go.
Family drama: The Sandglass.
For a glimpse of post-war Sri Lanka try the most recent: Noontide Toll.

What’s the Best Writing Tip you’ve Given or Received? #IWSG #WWWBlogs

Insecure Writer Writing TipThanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh for organizing and hosting the Insecure Writers Support Group every month for the past few years! Go to this site to meet the other participants: each insecure writer, trying to feel secure, from across the blogiverse!


As a writer, one of the questions I’m asked at meetups is “what is your best writing tip?”

Now, I’ve writing for a little while, and have a smattering of writing credits, but the more I work on my writing, the less qualified I feel to dole out a writing tip or two.

So, as is usual practice on this blog, I’ll throw the question to you:

What is the best creative writing tip you’ve ever given or received?

I’ve collected all the links on my blog that share insightful writing tips on this page : Advice from Authors, Editors, Literary Agents. Many authors, writing tutors, editors and literary agents have shared insights into their own writing processes, and given out a concrete writing tip or two that much of this blog’s audience has found useful over the years. Collating it all took time: I hope it is worth the effort. Check it out.

And then, in the comments, share your ‘best writing tip.’

Not a writer? Share your ‘life tip.’ Both tend to work together, I find: what’s good for life is often good for writing.

Who are your heroes in writing (authors), in fiction (protagonists), and in life (people you admire)? Why?

Please join Daily (w)rite on its Facebook Page in case you’d like to be heard by this community. If you liked this post, you can have weekly posts delivered to your inbox: click the SUBSCRIBE VIA EMAIL button.

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