Month: January 2014

Vulnerability: The Writer’s Dilemma


It’s the question that inevitably comes up in writer’s group meetings: Do I really have to use social media to market my book? How can I use Twitter, Facebook, and other social sites without sacrificing my privacy?

There are, of course, some things we can and should do to help protect ourselves. The world can be a scary place, and none of us should take unnecessary risks. But lately, I’ve realized we are asking ourselves the wrong question. The real one digs deeper and is more costly, revealing our hearts’ deepest fears and motives.

This is the Christian writer’s true dilemma: What are we willing to sacrifice to be God’s witnesses to the world through our writing?

Humans hate being vulnerable. It’s one reason we obsess over our author head shots and count the likes on our Facebook posts. It’s why we construct the careful public image we hope others will have of us. We want to be accepted and liked. No one wants to be hurt.

Writing is a hard enough profession on our self-image as it is. We spend countless hours bleeding over a keyboard, only to have a manuscript rejected by a succession of editors. It often takes many years and tears to get established in the publishing world. Along the way we sometimes buy into the promotional poster we have crafted. We have AUTHOR emblazoned on our chests. Cue the book trailer.

The Author of Life, on the other hand, has given us the ultimate example of vulnerability. God, the Bible tells us, is all-knowing and all-powerful. He didn’t need us. Why did He create a universe He knew would turn away from Him? Can we fathom the magnitude of the pain to which the Creator became vulnerable in order to give us life?

We pushed away God in the Garden, and mankind has mocked Him ever since. Yet, after suffering generations of rejection, God has continued to pursue humanity. He didn’t even spare His own Son for us. Jesus came to this planet knowing our rescue would mean sacrifice, hardship, pain, and death. Why did He do it?

For pure love.

He cared more about mankind than He cared about His reputation or His own welfare. He didn’t care what it cost Him, if it meant the deliverance of His beloved creation.

These are the footsteps in which we follow. The Bible, the greatest book, was written in blood by those who were willing to sacrifice their lives and honor for others; who walked behind the Master into the minefield of suffering for the love of mankind.

We who write are part of that great chain of faith. Our words may or may not cause the world to take note. But the world can’t miss the passion for others that causes us to lay down our masks of invincibility to reach a planet dying to live.

It doesn’t hurt to be wise in the ways we interact with others. God will guide us in every step we take as we write for Him. It’s time to be bold. Be courageous.

Be vulnerable.

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous!
Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.

Joshua 1:9 NASB



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Marketing with Social Media: Pinterest -Guest Post


Do the words, “social media” strike fear in your heart? Today we are treated to a great guest post by Grace Thorson. Pinterest can be a powerful marketing tool, and Grace has some terrific ideas to help you make the most of this site.

Marketing with Social Media: Pinterest

It takes time to build up followers on Pinterest, because if you follow someone, there is absolutely no obligation for them to follow you back. To gain followers, you will need to stand out and remain patient. In the meantime, you can use these tips to bump up your chances of new followers.

Choose genres for your boards that best suit your focus. Are you a writer? Create boards for grammar tips, book-themed gifts, and quotes for yourself and others. Are you a gardener? Make a board filled with things a green thumbed individual would find useful. Do you homeschool your children? Are you a Dr. Who fanatic? Love dogs?

Pinterest is a great place for the homemakers, the crafters, doers, writers, moms, idealists, dreamers, artists, bloggers, advocates, teachers, and marketers. Pinterest is rarely used for chatting or conversing, but you can leave comments. Mainly though, this social media website is visual – all images – everywhere.

1. Connect your account through Facebook and Twitter – this will help you establish follows from friends and acquaintances. Unfollow any that don’t follow back.

2. Get the most traffic. Suggested peak times are: Thursdays from 2pm – 4pm, and on Saturdays from 1am – 8pm. Experiment and see what times receive the most response.

3. Use specific titles for your boards (use literal, but catchy titles – visitors will find it easier to search for and understand what each particular board holds) – add appropriate hashtags to your pins for others to discover – write a short, but creative sentence within your pins – add a simple, but welcoming introduction for each of your boards.

4. Find like-minded users on Pinterest and follow them. If you like all of their boards, then go ahead and follow them. If not, just follow one of their boards – this option is nice when you wish to follow someone back, but you just don’t find their boards to your liking.

5. After you’ve followed a pinner – pin, like, or comment on one of their pins. They may or may not follow back; this is where Pinterest gets finicky. At least, you got their attention in their activity feed. Give the new pinner some time for their curiosity to spark, and if they don’t show interest in your boards, unfollow them.

6. Remember, Pinterest is visual. Pin from either Pinterest itself, directly from the web, or upload your own. Add a Pinterest button to your blog posts for others to use – this should be easy to do. With your newly installed button, share your own blog posts onto your blog board through Pinterest. Don’t forget. Be inventive with your posts! The best pictures and photos get noticed the most.

7. Be aware that it’s possible to commit copyright infringement. Make sure the content you pin is from sites that encourage sharing.

8. Use Twitter and Facebook to spread the word about your boards on Pinterest. Mention following any new followers that follow you back. You’ll be showing others that you’re fair and will give the common follow courtesy to them.

9. Encourage people to interact. Create group boards for others on your profile. It’s a super fun way to connect, but invite only trusted members to pin to your boards. All group boards are exclusively invite-only. Example: The Cat’s Meow – members invited can contribute.

10. Suggest an activity for entrants to follow you on Pinterest for a +1 entry in a contest or giveaway. Don’t be afraid to get creative! Run an image contest on Pinterest for your own product or giveaway. Be clever with this, but don’t get carried away.

11. You don’t want to annoy your followers. Check your pins to make sure links lead to the correct subject matter. Some links to a blog/website will be broken or misplaced. I also recommend not pinning the same grouped images all at once – it will show in everyone’s home feed. Pin only a couple at a time – interspaced with various pins.

12. Don’t fit in, but don’t fall into the shadows either. Pin the best pictures, tips, quotes – find quality pins. Visit a well-known pinner, and be inspired by their collection. Create a home-like atmosphere with an inviting feel. Pin images and ideas to your boards that cohesively mesh together. Be sure to situate similar boards in row with each other:

Example: Your Blog – Writing Inspiration – Book Obsessed – Bookish Gifts

You want visitors to stay, follow, and pin. Run a powerful story of boards detailing your likes, loves, favorites, dreams, inspirations, goals, and ideas.

The possibilities are endless with Pinterest, so don’t be afraid. Venture out there and start pinning. Be sure to follow mine and Pamela’s boards on Pinterest. We follow back.

~ Grace Thorson


Grace Thorson is an editorial office assistant and a CMADDICT Contributor. She spends her spare time weaving stories, writing reviews, trekking on adventures with her camera, and reading books. Notes, coffee, and fuzzy socks are her constant companions.




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