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Author Blog Challenge – Day 28 Recap

If you’ve ever worked with a business/life coach, you know that they always ask you what your next step is and when you plan to have it accomplished. The final prompt of the Author Blog Challenge has a similar purpose. The participants  have worked their butts off to post for the last 28 days – how do they now plan to keep up the momentum they’ve built and leverage the positive results they’ve seen?

The worst thing would be to make a huge leap forward, only to let that progress languish because there’s no plan in place to sustain the progress. I’ve seen this with people who get great media exposure, but have no plan in place to follow up on the phone calls and leads that come in as a result. Most say they plan to blog more regularly. A few have other, more concrete idea in mind.

Below are the excerpts of all the blogs from participants who posted on the last day of the Author Blog Challenge. Please click the name to read the full post.

MELISSA KHALINSKY. [H]ow am I going to keep this up? …. One thing I want to do is some regular posts. Over at Singular Insanity, they have a linky on Friday’s called “The Things I Know” – this would be a good one to participate in regularly. I also want to get the Author One Day writing prompts back up & running – they have fallen by the wayside a bit the last few weeks… Another thing I want to do is follow the 15 prompts at Mastering the Habits of Great Writers.

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SANDI TUTTLE. If Pandora bracelets are like charm bracelets, then how would the past month look on my wrist?  What would the beads tell me? The big, shiny colorful striped ones would be all the special people I met. The colors would represent their energy and warmth. The chunky silver ones would be the nuggets of precious advice and information they shared with me. The sparkly ones would be the encouraging words they kindly sent me. The spacers would be the hours I spent reading their work, and admiring their skills. The clasp stands for the commitments I have already made to keep in touch, sign on for new work, books I have purchased and plans made to learn as much from them as they are willing to share with me.

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REBECCA FYFE. Before doing the challenge, I was neglecting my blog and letting weeks go by without posting. That won’t be happening any more. There are two blogs in my writing life that I intend to continue keeping updated and current, and those are this blog and my Skinny Dreaming blog. (I have over 20 blogs but not all of them are kept current.) The reason I want these two blogs to be kept current is that they are both about important aspects of my life: my writing and my fitness/healthy lifestyle. (My children are also super-important to me, and I have to admit that I have neglected my family blog for way too long.)

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ROBERT CHAZZ CHUTE. Everyone experiences blog fade at some point. You have lots of other stuff to do or run out of ideas or just don’t feel like blogging all the time. You can still keep your blog traffic motoring on. Here’s how: (1) Guest blogs. (2) Interviews. (3) Scoopit! (4) Read other blogs. (5) Watch forums for current topics to discover what issues already interest your target readers. (6) Step away from it. (7). Blog your experience. (8) Revisit old blog posts and update them from a fresh angle. (9) Think big, as in sprawling, iconic examples and topics. (10) Write top ten lists of something (easy ones, like this)!

Click this link to read the details.

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ALEXANDER CHERRY. I really like writing with prompts. I know I’ll be participating in the ABC again when it happens (December 2012) as well as the 2012 Holidailies (Dec ‘12-Jan ‘13) assuming it happens this year. That said, I kind of want to find other writing/blog prompts, especially regular ones. Suggestions are welcome.

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MERLENE FAWDRY. In the past, I have found the best way to keep my blogging momentum going is by forward planning, sometimes a year in advance, other times by the month. I know when I have failed to have a set plan in place, my blogging falters. The Author Blog Challenge has given me the structure to write for this month, with thought provoking topics and encouragement from other writers. Now it is up to me to keep this going.

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SARAH BENSON. One of the reasons that I love the blogging and crafting industries is the openness that we all experience in helping each other and learning from each other.  That is also one of the focus points of this blog, I want to help you, no strings attached.  The only way that I can do that, is if you let me know how.  So, I’m doing an experiment, a new type of blog post, in an attempt to help you more.  It’s a form, simply fill in your name, your website‘s url, and the marketplace that you focus on (mine would be “crochet hats and newborn photo props”).  I will find a way to write something useful that is targeted to your marketplace, and will probably feature your website on more than a few occasions (obviously, my followers are going to get chosen FIRST).

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T.L. BODINE. I’m also glad to hear that the Facebook group will stay up. Which reminds me of the OTHER Facebook group I’m in. If you’re on Twitter and Facebook and you’re a writer, you should totally check out #TwitWits. It’s a new group composed of some people who have met through various contests and events, and they’re always available to offer critique, support and network. There’re also contests rolling through frequently. So you should take a peek and see if you’d like it.

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ASHLEY HOWLAND. Now for the holiday bit, can’t wait. Taking the husband and kids away to Sydney for a few days. No work, no school, no dogs! Well okay I will miss the dogs, but they will have a nice holiday, too. You may have noticed I don’t post pictures of my kids. Last time we went on a holiday, I solved this by taking a Goofy toy along and taking photos of him everywhere – much to the amusement of my children! So watch out for Goofy Goes to Sydney!!!

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LEANNE HUNT. I am now a published author. I am no longer an aspiring writer, trying to get into print. There is a huge distinction between the two. Going forward, I will never again have to say, “I’m a writer but I’ve never had a book published.” Now I do have one published and I have to get my mind around it.

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ALANA MAUTONE. I’ve been in several other month long challenges, and when the month is over, most of the participants scatter. A few will keep in touch. I already knew (cyberknew, anyway) a couple of the people on this challenge. I’ve read several blogs that I want to continue with, and I have subscribed to those who gave a subscription option. I will continue to read those blogs I’ve subscribed to. I will occasionally check into the Author Blog Challenge Facebook page. I may “see” some of you at the Ultimate Blog Challenge (which I will probably join since I’m blogging every day anyway.) In other words – I am going to be one of those who scatters.

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HEATHER TOPHAM WOOD. Shari from My Neurotic Book Affair was awesome enough to let me pop by her blog as part of my tour through Bewitching Book Tours. She gave First Visions an AMAZING review and asked me some questions about writing and the book. Stop by her blog to leave a comment or tweet the stop to enter a chance to win a $20 Amazon gift card and autographed book. Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway here.

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ELISE FEE. If you’re searching for meaning in your life, know that while others can certainly help you with where to look, how to look, and what to look for, the real answer will always come from within you. It’s fine to rely on a coach or advisor to guide you and suggest ways for you to get in touch with your own inner knowing, but be very clear that only you know the truth about the meaning, purpose and passion of your life.

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JO MICHAELS. I do hope you’ll all keep up with me. I know I’ll be peeking in on you!! Many of you post to my reader and I only access it about once a week (weekends) but those that come via e-mail, will continue to come via e-mail. So know, I’ll be there, lurking. 🙂 I have a number of projects going on with participants so, I’m looking forward to that! You all know who you are!

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DOROTHY RUPPERT. There were days that I felt I might not make it to the end of writing every day for 28 days. Life still went on at my house in the midst of writing. During this timeframe, I had a book signing, a graduation party to prepare for, babysitting to do for my two youngest grandchildren, doctor’s appointments for myself and my granddaughter who lives with us, homework to do for a class I’m taking, plus all the daily routines of cleaning, cooking, laundry, gardening, exercising, and actually getting a little sleep once in a while.  (Whew, even my grammar checker tells me that was a run on words.)

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RACHEL EDGE. I am literally, absolutely, FURIOUS with myself this evening. I can forgive complete stupidity in other people, my eyes go wide, they glaze over and I feel genuinely sorry for them but in myself? Stupidity is the lowest form of treachery. I cannot believe how particularly thick I have been today. If something upsetting is likely to dawn on you at an inconvenient moment I do hope it isn’t in the middle of a date with a guy I would happily describe as ‘ARGHHHHHH!’ Life is never very kind to me. That is not true. Life is very kind to me, but right now as I throw a wobbly I would only not liken to a three-year-old’s tantrum, but I would say this is worse because this is SERIOUS. I don’t feel as though life is very kind at all.

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LIBERTY MONTANO. Media consumption absolutely impacts my writing. If I go on a Miss Marple kick, everything comes up tea and murder. Mumford and Sons gets speaks in a bouncy, !@#$ the world voice; while Billy Joel sings nostalgic. On the days I’m hooked on CNN, the words are worried. On the rare occasion I sneak in Tanazaki, sentences develop a Napoleonic complex. It can be a problem. Most days I can’t do both. I envy writers who can read anything they like with no change to their prose. Mine would read like someone channel surfing if I tried. Maybe someday.

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JACKIE BLEDSOE. I am part of a few blogging communities and follow many other bloggers that share interesting content.  I continually find information that helps me, helps my family, and helps my career when I read their blog posts. Below I’ve compiled a list of the most interesting, useful, and fun blog posts I’ve read this week.

Click this link to see Jackie’s list of recommended posts.

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JENNI PARRY. This blogging challenge has been great and I have enjoyed the exploration that I have done. In some ways it feels like it has been a sidetrack from exploring what is going on for me. I feel a little disconnected from those who interact with me. Even stranger is that these thoughts only emerged as I was writing this blog on day 28 of the challenge. I have had no reservations until today about writing any of the author blog challenge posts.

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DOUG TURNBULL. Marooned On Mars was copyrighted in 1952 by Lester del Rey and published that same year by John C. Winston Company. In 1962, Holt, Rinehart and Winston published the edition shown in these pictures. The cover art was created by Paul Orban. Lester del Rey was a well known science fiction writer of the mid 20th century and a frequent contributor to the science fiction pulp magazines of the era, most notably Astounding Science Fiction. Later in his career he was also the editor of del Rey Books. As well as this book, he was the author of several of what came to be known as the Winston Juveniles, books written specifically for young people.

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KATHI LAUGHMAN. Are we there yet? A phrase from childhood. What does that make you think of? Remember when getting to the next place was so exciting you just could not wait? Sometimes in life we can forget that getting to the next place is not always what’s important. Sometimes it’s the journey.

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TIA BACH. I was so sad to hear that Nora Ephron passed away this week at the age of 71. The same day, unaware of the news, I listed Nora Ephron as my dream director for the movie version of Depression Cookies in the post, Oprah Winfrey and Roger Ebert: Dreaming About Depression Cookies. Although I loved her movies, I realized I knew very little about her. So today I’m dedicating my Fun Facts Fridays to Nora Ephron.

Click this link to read more about Nora Ephron.

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KEBBA BUCKLEY BUTTON. This blog was written by Joanne Deck, posted June 29th, 2012. The sexual freedom presented in the movies and on television today has many people unsure how to behave. I saw evidence of this when I was dating, and this phrase frequently came to mind: just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Freedom doesn’t only mean the right to say “yes”; it also includes the opportunity to say “no thank you” or “not right now.”

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ELLIE MENDEZ. This experience has been awesome! I’ll stay tuned for the next challenge in December, I’m sure to participate. The momentum will spill more into my writing, since I’ve been neglecting that area. Now I have more tools and I know I can write everyday and my life doesn’t have to end because of it! In the time off from the challenge I want to go back and read the posts from other authors, especially the Aussies that posted earlier than we did (I was usually one of the last ones to post every day).

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LAURA ORSINI (a.k.a. MARCIE BROCK). In 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey points out that we must begin with the end in mind. I, of course, had a number of ends in mind when I started the blog challenge:

  1. Bring a group of interesting authors together and give them fodder to grow their blogs, improve their SEO, and enhance their Web presence.
  2. Help establish myself as a leader in the “book marketing for self-publishing authors” industry.
  3. Meet new people.
  4. Have some fun.

#1? Check. #2? Check. #3? Check. #4? Check.

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NATASHA DEONARAIN. The urgent care clinic was busy that day. I was about an hour behind at least, trying to move the meat as my colleagues in emergency joke. I open the door of the exam room. Maggie is perched on the table staring at her walker. Her sister sits in the corner chair. Her check-in complaint says, “Eighty-four year old with circulatory problems (finger dying).”

“I’ve got Raynaud’s disease and rheumatoid arthritis,” she says. “The tip of my finger started looking strange, sort of dark red. I was worried about it, and my sister wasn’t home to drive, so I called 911 a few days ago and went to the emergency room.”

Click here to read the rest of Maggie’s story.

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JUDITH CASSIS. Need to stay on schedule. I had this discussion with a friend recently and it made a lot of sense: It’s impossible to manage time because time keeps changing. But we can manage tasks. The thought that we’re managing time is an illusion. If we organize our tasks and stick to time agreements around those tasks, we get things done. Giving ourselves a set amount of time to, say, check email and then stopping when we agreed to stop is task management. Keeping time agreements helps those of us who do tend to … procrastinate, get stuff done. See? Makes sense, doesn’t it?

Thanks to all who participated in the inaugural Author Blog Challenge!

Laura & Marcie

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The Author Blog Challenge is hosted by Laura Orsini and her alter ego, Marcie Brock, of the Marcie Brock – Book Marketing Maven blog. Please visit Marcie’s blog for loads of great info about low- to no-cost methods of marketing for self-publishing authors.

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