Success!

Two major things happened this week: I moved out of my Virginia Beach oceanfront paradise, and I sold an article. Both on the same day, ironically.

The article was kind of an experiment. I’ve toyed with the idea of submitting some of my work to publications, and actually sent a short story to a few mystery magazines when I was in high school (still have both rejection letters). 

So when I came across the magazine for a national association of estheticians, I thought maybe I can write for these folks. I have skin. I’ve learned some stuff about it.

So I pitched a few ideas, came up with an outline, and finally wrote the article on spec since I didn’t really have any other samples to show them. And they liked it! My article will be printed in the Sept/Oct issue, and I will officially have one writing sample! And a check!

This came as very welcome news, as I paused to take a break from stuffing all my earthly possessions into my Hyundai Elantra. The time has come to move to Los Angeles, but that means I must first move away from Virginia.

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My beach with a rainbow after a storm.

Living in Virginia Beach has been – in a word – delightful. I cannot recommend it highly enough. If you find yourself needing a place to live for a few months during the off-season, consider wintering here. It’s really affordable, and there are still plenty of warm days between October and June.

Being here has given me space to sort of re-imagine my life as a writer. The ocean has beckoned to me when I was so wiped out and frustrated with my work that only toes dipped in the waves would help. It’s been a haven and an inspiration. And a launch pad.

And now it’s time to go! I left many new friends, a few old ones, lots of household items and a piano. A little piece of my heart. But it’s time.

I’m so excited about moving to California! I’m so glad to be moved out, because it’s soooo much work to move! But I will miss my little slice of oceanfront and the people that made it special.

And I’m really jazzed to sell my article.

Day 11: More Sharing

Sharing buttons again! But today we won’t be encouraging others to share our posts – instead, we’ll be sharing posts we like and want to pass along to anyone who may be reading.

Day 11: Find a helpful article and share it with your social network

Technically I have been doing this every day for the last 10 days, since every post I write in this challenge begins with Robert Brewer’s 30-day challenge. But in the spirit of the challenge, I welcome a new opportunity to build platforms and grow in writerly wisdom.

Robert’s reasoning is good; with all this platform-building, it’s easy to take our social networks for granted as a collection of eyes that we must continually put our content in front of. Today is a reminder that our people are well-rounded connoisseurs of content, with a palate for everything from dancing babies to economic projection infographics. Let’s share good stuff of all kinds, not just what we’ve generated ourselves.

Of course, we are still platform-builders, so being a bit strategic in what we share is called for. I’m building a platform to do with writing and storytelling. Specifically, I seem to have drawn a following of writers looking to connect about writing. So I want to share an article that will be helpful to this particular crowd of mine.

To that end, I found a very interesting article in Writer’s Digest’s e-newsletter today. My task is to share it on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn (at minimum – linking to it here is going a bit extra).

I was drawn to Brian Klem’s article, 7 Tips for Turning Your Blog into a Book, because I want to do just that. Blogging is an exploratory exercise, and I’ve discovered several story ideas as I’ve typed away at WordPress the last couple years. Maybe not novel material, but certainly a short e-book could be cobbled together from my Except When It Rains series of fiction and also last year’s road trip travelogue.

If you have a blog, there’s a high likelihood there’s a book in there somewhere—or at least the beginning of one. Don’t let that book go to waste. Turn your blog into a book, or “book it,” as author and book designer Joel Friedlander likes to say. Repurpose your blog content into a book.

Sounds reasonable, doesn’t it? Please enjoy these helpful thoughts on blogging with a book in mind, or mining your blog for book content. I definitely did.