Stronger, Healthier & Less Stressed

Yes, my dear sister writers, the very act of writing gives us all those benefits! We know it feels good, but now there’s research to back it up, and the results are better than expected. Writing about stressful events eases stress-related ailments. Writers heal faster from wounds and surgery, have stronger immune systems, fewer asthma attacks, and sleep better.

What science tell us about people who write:

from Mic.com

The benefits of writing go far beyond building up your vocabulary.

No matter the quality of your prose, the act of writing itself leads to strong physical and mental health benefits, like long-term improvements in mood, stress levels and depressive symptoms. In a 2005 study on the emotional and physical health benefits of expressive writing, researchers found that just 15 to 20 minutes of writing three to five times over the course of the four-month study was enough to make a difference.

Read More…

 

Our 2017 Inaugural Meeting

pen-is-mightier-than-a-sword-a-short-essay-on-l-xdxmkxGreetings and Salutations, Brave Writers, & Happy New Year!

January Meeting Monday the 9th, 1:15 pm
Accokeek Branch Library
15773 Livingston Rd, Accokeek

This month’s readers are Carol Burbank and Alexandra Jellerette

We are ready to WRITE, to send forth our words: wise, funny, shocking, entertaining, pointed: all the words. 

We hold the power to change the world in our pens. 

I offer a theme for next Monday’s meeting: the verb “to inaugurate.” It’s an interesting word with deep origins, deriving from Latin. We use it to mean something akin to “officially begin” but the root word “Augur” meant something else all together!

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Source: late 16th century: from Latin inaugurat- ‘interpreted as omens (from the flight of birds),’
based on augurare ‘to augur.’  Augur synonyms: bode, portend, herald, be a sign of, warn of, forewarn of, foreshadow, be an omen of, presage, indicate, signify, signal, promise, threaten, spell, denote.

What are you in-augur-ating, initiating, installing, opening or unveiling?

What augurs do you heed, and what have they predicted? What signals are you receiving, what heralds have you heard?

Write about this for this month’s prompt, and/or arrive a bit early to write a spontaneous prompt at the beginning of the meeting. See  you Monday!

NOTA BENE: if you are unable to attend the meeting, please write for us and I’ll post your work here. I’m always on the lookout for sister writers to contribute to this blog.

AWWG at WordCamp Baltimore 2016

awwgrocks1

wcbalt-imetWhat a great day! Sat. November 19 at the amazing IMET (Institute of Marine & Environmental Technology) – right on the Inner Harbor, this unique and inspiring building was a great setting for the bigger-than-ever WordCamp Baltimore.

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Typical WordCamp Attendees

What is WordCamp? These events, held all over the world, are the user-organized conferences for WordPress. It is the place to meet your fellow WP users at all levels, from developers to bloggers.

backupwcbaltThis year there were over 200 attendees and three tracks of presentations: Small Business, Brand & Content, and Higher Ed-Corporate. It gave us something for everyone. I’m sure my sisters will chime in on their favorites. I got a lot out of Adam Warner’s presentation on Basics of Security for WordPress Websites (oh, the places those hackers go!) since I am responsible for a number of websites.

Nicole Kohler from WooCommerce gave a terrific presentation on How to Promote and Profit from your Content – that delivered just that. We learned a lot and will report on this at next meeting.

Georgette, Teresa and Cheryl are attending the Sunday sessions as I write this, so stay tuned for more fun details from an inspiring and informative event.

A WordPress WordCamp is Coming Near You!

WordPress Logoby Cheryl Holloway

WordPress Blogs are popular. Do you have one? Do you need ‘Tips and Ideas’ to make your blog better?

Fact:

WordPress is the most popular open source Content Management System for good reason. The learning curve is lower than other CMS’s, the back-end, for the most part, is intuitive and easy to use, and the platform is highly extensible with many free and premium plugins available.

WordCamp!

Local WordCamp: Baltimore, MD on Nov 19-20, 2016

Topics:

WordPress topics – it can be about the software itself, plugins, blogging tips, SEO, analytics and more. Our speakers are regular people and most don’t consider themselves experts; they have a passion for sharing something they’ve learned. Remember, everyone is an expert in something!

Sponsors:

A variety of Sponsors—local, national and international

Attendees:

Most are small business owners or entrepreneurs.  The first WordCamp was held in San Francisco in 2006. Now, there are 617 WordCamps in 67 cities, 48 countries and on 6 continents.

Local WordCamp: Baltimore, MD on Nov 19-20, 2016

I will keep you posted on the updates, so you can join us. Email me if you are interested in attending.

Cheryl Holloway, Author
AWWG Member

Email     Website        Blog

Cool Twitter #Hashtags for Writers!

from the blog Book Marketing Tools check out:

Twitter Daily #Hashtags for Writers

One way to have personal tweets stand out is by using hashtags. Anyone who uses Twitter for a day knows that hashtags are a way to target a tweet to particular interests, i.e #mystery or #romance.

You can go beyond category hashtags, however, with a whole week of hashtags designed to introduce your content to engaged readers, you could continue to use hashtags only to boost your current Twitter book marketing.

Using the chart below, tweet what is relevant to that hashtag on the specific day:

#MondayBlogs: Tweet a link to a blog post from your blog or another author’s. Ideally the blog is published on that Monday.

#TeaserTues: Tweet a link to an excerpt, with a brief but tantalizing quote from it.

#WW or #WriterWednesday: Give a shoutout to fellow authors, with a short reason for following them. You can list more than one author in a tweet. It’s a nice thing to do, plus a great way to build a following.

#IndieThursday: Tweet a shout or a link for a fellow indie author, or just a link to your own indie-pubbed book.

#FridayReads: Tweet suggested weekend reading. Yours of course, but also books you recommend.

#SampleSaturday: Share a one sentence writing sample, put it in quotes, and add the link to the book.

#Sample Sunday: the same as Saturday but possibly a bit more well known to readers surfing for their next read.

Click on some of these and see what you get. Savvy Tweeters will notice some of these links are accounts (@) and some are Hashtags (#) Often the Account sponsors the Hashtag, and retweets you when you use it.

Successful Blogging

Here are some great tips from blogger K.L. Register  from her blog The Ninth Life

(Remember on of the benefits of AWWG is your blog, where you can gain experience on a group blog before you decide to launch your own! Let me know if I can help you get started~ Patrise)

A list of what has helped make the The Ninth Life a success:

1). Be YOU! Be sincere. Be personable. Be authentic. Write from your heart. Never be afraid to let your audience see who you really are.

2). Write about topics that interest you! Look for sources of inspiration from life. Write about your personal life. Tell us about your adventures. Share your passion with us. Write about the lessons (accomplishments and failures) you have experienced in life. Write about topics that will help others. Provide people with knowledge and insight.

3). Proofread as you write your work. Proofread once you have finished your work. Proofread after you post your work. If it doesn’t make sense to you, chances are it won’t make sense to your reader. Your writing doesn’t have to be perfect. But, you may lose valuable readers if your post is too confusing or contains too many grammatical errors.more…

4). Engage with other members of the blogging community. Read their work. Comment on their posts. Don’t be afraid to hit the LIKE button if you truly like what you have read (it will make the other person feel so good inside). FOLLOW those blogs that interest or excite you! Become actively involved in another person’s world and that person will become actively involved in your world.

5). Welcome people to your blog. Make your readers feel like they are at your home (literally). Introduce yourself. Post a picture of YOU. People don’t care that you don’t look like a Victoria Secret’s Model. People want to share a real connection with a real person.

6). Read and respond to comments on your blog. If someone takes time out of their schedule to leave a comment on your post, then take time out of your schedule to respond back. Reality is: You won’t agree with every reader that comments on a post. And, that is totally fine. Be open-minded. Share your beliefs, opinions, or thoughts but accept that everyone doesn’t believe or think the same way you do. Be willing to listen… more…

7). Keep your blog layout simple and make it easy to interact with. Everyone has heard the age-old expression, “less is more.” Well, when it comes to blogging it really does seem so. You want enough information on your blog to interest a reader, but you don’t want so much information that a reader becomes overwhelmed. You want your blog to be neat and organized. more…

8). Don’t be a SCAREDY CAT! Experiment and try new things! Try a new writing style: Write a poem. Write a short story. Write a novel. Write about different blog topics! Variety is food for the soul.

9). Actively share links to your blog on all social media platforms that you are a part of. Unfortunately, followers and readers don’t just magically appear. It is your responsibility to promote your blog. It is your duty to let people know that your blog exists!

10). Don’t get discouraged. There will be times when you will feel like deleting your blog (I have felt that same feeling). There will be times when you tell yourself, “What I have to share really doesn’t seem to matter to anyone.” But, guess what? What you have to share really does matter! You just have to figure out a way to let other people know that your blog EXISTS!

You may have 100,000 followers, you may have 10,000 followers, you may have 100 followers, you may have 10 followers, or you may have only 1 follower. But, at the end of the day, that person or group of people chose to follow YOU! They chose to follow you because they wanted to, not because they were forced to.

 

You can read more of K. L. Register’s blog HERE, and you can start your own blogging adventure by guest blogging for us! Please comment if you’re interested, we always welcome new authors.

How do you establish a productive writing routine? Ronald Kellogg’s advice…

Wendy MacNaughton for Brain Pickings

Wendy MacNaughton from Brain Pickings

Here we are again, the symbolic (or real) beginning of the school year, and the revv up for Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month).

Do you know what your writing schedule will be?

Check out this great blog from Brain Pickings!

The summary of Kellogg’s findings about the psychology of effective writing habits might inspire you!

Here’s a taste:

“Location and physical environment also play a role in maintaining a sustained and productive workflow. Bob Dylan, for instance, extolled the virtues of being able to “put yourself in an environment where you can completely accept all the unconscious stuff that comes to you from your inner workings of your mind.” Reviewing the research, Kellogg echoes Faulkner’s memorable assertion that “the only environment the artist needs is whatever peace, whatever solitude, and whatever pleasure he can get at not too high a cost” and notes that writers’ dedicated workspaces tend to involve solitude and quiet, although “during the apprenticeship phase of a writer’s career, almost any environment is workable” — most likely a hybrid function of youth’s high tolerance for distraction and the necessity of sharing space earlier in life when the luxury of privacy is unaffordable.

But the key psychological function of such dedicated environments isn’t so much superstitious ritualization — an effort to summon the muse through the elaborate juju of putting everything in its right place — as cognitive cueing. Kellogg considers the usefulness of a special space used solely for writing, which cultivates an “environment that cues the desired behavior.”

Read more…

Non Fiction Writers: Great Headlines

It’s the first thing a reader sees, and the ONLY thing many readers take in, so headlines are pretty critical to your success as a writer. Here are some resources for great headlines for bloggers and journalists. It’s chock full of links to help you improve your headlines.

Here’s the article that spawned this post: The Key to Writing Great Headlines, with details on crafting:

  1. How-to headlines – “How to Get Rich Writing Cookbooks”
  2. Lists – “7 Ways to Clean Your Cat”
  3. Secrets Revealed – “Big Deduction Secret the IRS Doesn’t Want You to Know”
  4. Fast & Easy – “Quickest Way to Make a Fast Million”

According to advertising godfather David Ogilvy, “On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.”

NEW MEETINGS!!

Southern Maryland Writers: You asked for it, we’re doing it! More meetings of the AWWG start this week at the Charles County Library, Potomac Branch, which is 5.5 miles south of the Accokeek Library where we hold our Main Meeting.

THIS WEEK: Wednesday January 21 at 2:00 pm
NEXT WEEK: Wednesday January 28 at 5:30 pm

PLEASE come out if you can. We need a minimum of 5 attendees to hold the room, so let’s show Charles County Library that we’re serious!

Agenda: writing topics, current projects, write together time, suggestions for future meetings

ALSO, please spread the word to your friends and neighbors.  SIgnal Boost!!  Share on Facebook! email to friends.

We are Women Who Write!