Monthly Archives: March 2013

A picture paints a thousand words: how to use Pinterest as a writer

pinterest-catsThe last thing I want as a writer is another social networking platform to worry about. I have enough distractions, thank you very much. And so it begins…

With a little persuasion from Maria, I have started “Pinning.” I’m using Pinterest for my writing research. Sure, I’m creating personalized boards and pinning my favourite DIY ideas but I’m also pinning research visuals and catching on to why this popular online space might just be a useful resource for me as a writer.

Unlike most social media platforms, Pinterest is all about the imagery, and not the text. And who doesn’t love pictures! With its visual focus, it may seem counterintuitive that Pinterest would be great for writers, but I’m quickly learning how this tactic is proving to be a rich resource, particularly in the creative stages.

Creating visual pin boards can be a great way to help fuel your imagination and give readers a glimpse into your creative process. Here’s a glimpse at my board to give you an idea.

Now it’s your turn to “Pin It!”

Here are 8 ways that Pinterest can be useful to you as a writer.

1. Research. People (actors that represent your characters). Places (images of similar settings). Things (objects or time period references). Mood (scenes that create atmosphere and emotional overtones).

2. Motivation. Inspirational quotes and wisdom as a way to inspire and remind yourself why you write and what you want to accomplish.

3. Collaboration. Invite other writers to pin to your board and make comments. Organize writing teams and pitch ideas. Provide incentives (free books) to fellow writers.

4. Booklists. Market research and comparables to your book. Or books you want to read!

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5. Promotion. Images of your blog, posters, flyers, business cards, book covers, and book tour photos.

6. The Writing Life. Pin the view out the window from your desk. Your bookshelf. Your real-life storyboard/pin board. Or even your cat asleep on your laptop.

7. Stay current. Using the “Popular” feature on the Pinterest home page, you can instantly access the latest trends from all genres.

8. Connect with your fans. Pin boards show your personality and interests. It’s a great way to connect with others and express what you care about.

How do you use Pinterest? Feel free to share links to your pin boards in the comment section. We’d love to check them out!

B Jas

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Filed under Blogging, Inspiration, Motivation, Writing ideas, Writing resources

Keeping it short: A contest and some resources for on-the-go inspiration

Isolated pencil with bite marks on“Short fiction seems more targeted—hand grenades of ideas, if you will. When they work, they hit, they explode, and you never forget them.”

Paolo Bacigalupi, American science fiction and fantasy writer

Here’s a contest for those who like to write in short form—the Little Bird Writing Contest. Created by award-winning Canadian author Sarah Selecky, Little Bird showcases the work of emerging short fiction writers. Submissions will be accepted until March 31, 2013.

The first step is to sign up for Sarah’s daily writing prompts—your story must feature one of the prompts.

Next, take advantage of the free resources on Sarah’s website. Her Deep Revision e-mail series, designed to help you refine your story, is already underway. Her e-book, “The Incomparable Short Story,” has some essential tips for writers. You can also listen to a recording of the March 1 Little Bird Salon, a teleconference where she and contest judge Alix Ohlin answered questions from callers-in around the world. If you’re looking for a targeted online writing course, read more about Story Is a State of Mind.

And finally, submit your best work! Check out the Little Bird web page for submission guidelines and resources.

Looking for short inspiration on the go?

  • Every Day Fiction: Every Day Fiction is a magazine that specializes in presenting fine fiction in bite-sized doses. Every day, they publish a new short story of 1,000 words or fewer. You can sign up to receive a flash fiction story in your inbox every day. http://www.everydayfiction.com/
  • The NUB: The Nub is the first independent arts and culture smart phone/tablet application in Canada. The Nub provides users a new piece of writing each day from five of Canada’s top independent arts and culture magazines: Broken Pencil, Geist Magazine, Subterrain Magazine, Matrix Magazine, and Taddle Creek Magazine. Get the app for iPhone/iPad or Android devices today: http://www.brokenpencil.com/thenub

Maria

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Filed under Awards and contests, Writing Contests, Writing resources