Marketing

In my June 3 post about my six hundred posts, I wrote about the two classes I signed up for. I am still catching up with them. The last genealogy class is Friday. I didn’t do the final project, so there is no work left for the course.

I have until June 22 to watch the videos from the marketing class. A lot of the information is both interesting and overwhelming. The class has a whole module on email marketing.

After watching the videos, I realized that I potentially have more email contacts than on Facebook, Twitter, and Threads. I need to let these insights settle for a while before I take any action that the teacher suggested.

At the end of the month, I am meeting with a friend who helps me with my website. I want to revamp it to make it more suitable for my new book. Of course, if I do not publish the book, I probably don’t have to change the website.

600 Posts

This is my six hundredth post using WordPress. I had realized this moment was coming up, and I hoped to have a substantial entry as commemoration. However, I was away and have been busy. Those are some reasons I didn’t post the last two weeks.

This year, I have published seventeen posts so far: a little less than one a week. That is a fairly good pace, given that I have been floundering while dealing with Leveller’s decision to withdraw their publication offer.

One reason I have been busy is that, as I often do, I over-committed myself. I signed up for a ten-week genealogy course and a five-week marketing course. Genealogy is something I hope to pursue more deeply once I have resolved the book situation.

Learning more about marketing will help if I either self-publish or find a publisher for my manuscript. I now realize I did not really have time for either. Access to the marketing videos ends June 29th.I have until the middle of August to look at the videos from the genealogy class. Hopefully, I can get both done. The lesson is to not over commit. I keep having to relearn that.

 

Non Weekly Update

As I was preparing to write this blog post, I searched in my almost six hundred posts to see what titles I had used. Originally, I thought I would entitle this post “Progress.” When I searched for that term, one thing that came up was from two years ago when I was doing a 28-day NaNoWriMo and trying to revise my book as well as send out queries and my book proposal. The other string I searched for was “Update.” Of course, I came across my endless weekly updates that I did until I got the news that the publisher had withdrawn their offer.

In an attempt at irony, you can see that I have entitled this post, “Non-Weekly Update.” Since the end of February, when Levellers behaved in the atrocious manner that they did, I have continued to get the book ready for publication. That comprised combining the chapters into one document, copyediting the manuscript, and fixing up the end notes.

My plan was to continue with this work as if I still had to send the manuscript to Levellers at the beginning of May. I hoped that while I was doing this work, I would gain clarity about what my next steps should be. That has not happened yet.

Of the many options available to me, I feel fairly negatively about sending it out to other traditional publishers or having it published by a hybrid press. A remaining option is doing nothing, putting all the material pertaining to the book on a dedicated external hard drive, and moving on with my life. The other remaining possibility is some kind of self-publishing.

I think I will have the manuscript in publication shape by next week. I then plan to think about what my next step should be. When I decide, I will let you know.

 

Threads

About three weeks ago, I started using Threads when Facebook first had it go live. I added it to the social media sites that I use to promote my blog posts. Last November, I blogged about how I was stopping using Twitter and Facebook in response to Elon Musk reinstating Donald Trump.

I have used Twitter since 2009 and have generally really liked it. It was great for politics and finding out about breaking news. There were issues beginning in 2018. I was unable to tweet my URL  and that has persisted to today. I believe the problem developed as part of my website being hacked but it has never been resolved. You can read about all my problems after being hacked and Twitter here, and here.

A few weeks ago, Twitter stopped displaying my most recent Tweets on my website. I don’t have any hope that that will get fixed any time soon, Now Musk is getting rid of the bird symbol and replacing it with an X. We won’t tweet anymore, we will be x’ing. Elon Musk is a fascist and an antisemite who has ruined something many people enjoyed.

Since November, I have only tweeted and posted to Facebook once a week to let people know about my blog posts. Around the time I stopped continually looking at Facebook and Twitter, I started using Substack Notes. I really don’t know that much about Substack, Substack Notes, or Threads. I am not sure how to get followers on any of these sites. I remember that there was a learning cure for Twitter, and it took quite a while for me to gain followers. Probably the same thing will happen with Threads. Right now, I don’t really care but I will have to step up my social media presence if Dames, Dishes, and Degrees is published.

As far as Threads goes, I don’t like that there isn’t a desktop version. It is hard to only have the phone app. I miss hash tags and the ability to decide who is in your feed. As time goes on, hopefully Facebook will add more features and make it more like Twitter.

 

Year in Review

In 2022, I completed a second draft of my manuscript, Dames, Dishes, and Degrees. I used NaNoWriMo and a revision class from PVWW to achieve this. Having accomplished that, I am not sure what to do next. I am still thinking about it.

Our house renovation finished in the spring, and I am enjoying the new space tremendously. We now park our car in our new garage which is great when it is raining, snowing, or very cold.  We have a lot more room and the laundry being upstairs is a big improvement,

I had 78 blog posts this year. Posting every day in July helped push that number up. As far as Twitter goes, before I stopped tweeting, I was on track to well exceed my rate of one tweet a day. As you know, I stopped tweeting and looking at Facebook about a month ago. I don’t miss Facebook at all, but I do miss Twitter. I particularly miss following Jackie Wong, Rocker Skating.

I also missed being able to comment on political events, tv commercials, and other topical  occurrences. I have been seeing a commercial that encourages tourism to Texas. The advertisement shows groups and families of diverse looking people  enjoying visiting the state. The problem I have with this commercial is that the policies of the state would actually preclude people of color, immigrants, Muslims, and other minorities form visiting Texas. Greg Abbott, the governor is behind the recent transporting of migrants, some dressed only in T shirt to Washington, D.C., depositing them at Kamala Harris’ official residence. I won’t go to Texas until these policies and the people who implement them are changed.

I did a lot of texting to help get the successful results of the midterm elections. I am dreading Republican rule of the house of Representatives, but it is only two years. Hopefully, their do-nothing obstructionist policies and their continuing fealty to Donald Trump will mean that in 2024, we hold the Presidency, regain control for the House and expand our lead in the Senate. A girl can hope.

Next week I will reveal my plans, such as they are, for 2023. Happy New Year!

To Tweet Or Not

On Sunday, after I learned that Elon Musk had reinstated Donald Trump. I started thinking more seriously about stopping my own presence on Twitter. Deactivation of my account seemed like an extreme move and I wasn’t ready for that yet. Instead, using the focus tools I have access to, I blocked Facebook and Twitter 24 hours every day except Friday. My plan is to continue posting about my blog on both sites.

My habit for the past few months has been to tweet my Wordle and Nerdle results every evening after I have played each game. On Sunday, after I completed Wordle in six tries, which is the maximum, I looked for another platform to post my results.

I thought I would try Instagram but it was beyond my technological abilities. While I was googling how to post on Instagram, I came across Charles Blow’s article about his experiences reducing his access to Twitter. Reading it confirmed my desire to disengage.

I am at the beginning of my journey to disentangle myself from social media. I plan to explore other ways besides Facebook and Twitter to promote my blog, Brewing Battles and, hopefully, a published Dames, Dishes, and Degrees. I will let you know what I come up with.

ATF Appointment

This past July, Steven Dettelbach became the first permanent director that the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and explosives has had in seven years. Dettlebach was not President Biden’s first choice, but he turned out to be the nominee who the Senate was willing to confirm. You can read about that here.

The ATF has always been a federal agency under attack from the NRA and the gun lobby. President Obama also had trouble staffing the Bureau. You can read my blog post about that, from 2013, here.

Dettelbach’s appointment pleased gun control and safety advocates who also had a victory with modest gun legislation passing this past summer. President Biden’s agenda for the ATF under Dettelbach includes cracking down on ghost guns and better oversight of federally licensed gun dealers.

This past week news broke that indicates Biden and his new director are making a difference. The revocation of guns has occurred at the highest rate since 2006. You can read more about the ATF’s work here. Hopefully, both the appointment of Dettelbach and President Biden’s commitment to meaningful gun control will lead to a reduction in gun deaths and mass killings.

Change of Plans

 

In my blog post, Recap NaNoWriMo Summer Camp, I said I planned to restart working at least one hour a day on my draft for the period that will begin this Sunday August 14th and end four weeks later on September 10th. As far as blogging during that period, I had planned to produce regular non book related posts for Fridays, my normal blogging day, and short progress posts for Sundays

I am nervous about starting up again on the book because in the two-week respite that I took I have been to busy with my life to do much with the  manuscript. Thinking about the work I plan to do during the next four weeks, I realized that I had been too ambitious with my blogging plans. Since I really want to focus on the draft, I do not think I will have the bandwidth or energy to also produce original posts.

I am changing my plans so that Fridays will remain my blogging day but the four Fridays of my self-imposed NaNoWriMo regime will have posts that detail my progress. This means that Sunday will not be a second day of posts.

See you next week.

 

Recap NaNoWriMo Summer Camp

This is the second time I have done something connected with NaNoWriMo. This past November I did the official NaNoWriMo, using it to complete the first draft of my manuscript. I started updating again on the NaNoWriMo site in January but did not continue. This time, with summer camp, I was able to complete it. I posted every day, averaging over three hours of work. This was great production because I had set the low bar of 1 hour every day, and I well exceeded that.

I would highly recommend NaNoWriMo for anyone who is looking for a way to both motivate and structure their writing process. Even though most of the materials are oriented towards fiction writing anybody can take the process and make it their own.

I have given a lot of thought to how to maintain the accountability that NaNoWriMo Summer Camp offered. Although this was the third time that I posted every day for a month, that is not something I want to continue. Once a week for my blog posts is usually plenty.

I hope to continue to work on the manuscript every day going forward but I am first going to take a two-week break. After that, starting Aug. 14, I plan to continue to update my progress on the NaNoWriMo site, and tweet about my output every day, using the hash tag #accountabiltiy. On Sundays, I plan to have short posts about my work production for the previous week. So I do not burden myself with overly elevated expectations, I am making a commitment to work one hour every day, a total of 1,680 words in the four week period.

On Fridays, I will have regular weekly post about a variety of subjects. I will resume this on August 19th. My first Sunday blog about revision will be August 21st with a note about my first week of this self-initiated process. I hope to sustain these activities for four weeks, twenty-eight days, ending on Sept. 10 as far as NaNoWriMo updating is concerned and my final Sunday post on September 11.

This is just a plan, and we will see if I can stick to it. Hopefully all the structures I am trying to put in place will keep me focused and motivated.

Day 31 – Last Day of NaNoWriMo Summer Camp

Today is both the last day of July and the last day of NaNoWriMo Summer Camp. I worked almost 2 hours. A while ago, I had someone read the whole manuscript and they gave me both line level comments and big picture conceptual comments on every chapter.

The last few days I have been going through those comments for one of the chapters. It is a slow process, and I am worried that it will take a long time. Since Summer Camp is over, I will have to figure out how to continue to make progress on the revision of the manuscript.

Tomorrow I will post my reflections about how I feel NaNoWriMo summer camp went and tell you what my plans are for accountability and continued work on my book