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“Unleash the Power of Your Fiction with Story Beats”–Director Denise Speaking on May 11th

The director of Words for the Journey, Christian Writers Guild, Denise Miller Holmes–the Witty Wise Woman–is speaking Monday night, May 11th, at His Writers in Westminster, Colorado. She’s going to wow the crowd with her topic– “Unleash the Power of Your Fiction with Story Beats.”

Oh my cow! Get a caravan together and drive to see it! It’s going to be AWESOME!

Hope to see you! (See address and time below.)

HIS Writers – ACFW North Denver
Meets the 2nd Monday of each month.
Barnes and Noble
9370 Sheridan Blvd.
Westminster CO
7:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m.
If you have questions, email Bethany Williams at


The Twitter Experiment: My First Day Adding Tweeps with the New Method

As promised in The Twitter Experiment: First Stages, I started following people on my Twitter account today, after screening a “source person” for appropriateness, using the method I outlined in that post.

I started out slowly because I’m just getting a feel for this. How long would it take me, for instance, to add 100 people a day? How long for 200?

I started by accessing my account on, clicking on “Follow Tweeps”/”User’s Followers.” After inputting the source person’s @name, I clicked “Start Following” and the window with all this person’s followers came up.

My husband and I had talked in-depth about how to ascertain who on this list would be my target audience. I am writing a New Adult (NA) novelette with a female protagonist. The source person writes Young Adult and is female. Her followers should like YA or they wouldn’t be following her, and most people who like/read YA also like/read NA (the clean stuff, anyway).

Because my protagonist is female and I intend to continue writing female main characters, I targeted all the females on the list. Hubby suggested this. I could have stopped to read how long it’s been since they’ve tweeted or read their bio, but I just clicked, clicked, clicked, female, female, female.

What will happen with the ones who haven’t tweeted in a while or ones who aren’t good matches is this: the non-tweeters will be flushed later through Tweepi. Tweepi shows you the non-tweeters in one window and you can unfollow them all, click, click, click.

The ones who aren’t good matches won’t follow me back. I will unfollow them through Tweepi in about 2 days.

This person (a writer) had a following of about 350, and I followed 146 females from her followers list. It took me less than fifteen minutes to add them all. At the time of this writing, 6 hours later, 30 have followed me back.

Check back to this post and I will give you the latest statistics on followbacks. [The next day, Tuesday, by noon I had 20 more followbacks, for a total of 50. This is  a third of the amount I added the day before.]

There is one issue I ran into that I’m not sure how to handle. Some say to publicly tweet “thank yous” to everyone who follows back. I did that today. Everyone who followed me back I tweeted something like this:

TY @samanthareads @tanyaolsen @samlikescola for following me!

This is cool, but time-consuming. My quandary is–will this practice have a huge payoff for us all, or is it a waste of time?

What I’ve noticed is that many of those I shouted out to publicly thanked me in return, retweeted my shout out, or favorited the tweet. All positive responses which spread my name and their names to many like-minded followers.

So…I will have to wait and see. If it is productive to thank publicly, then I will have to keep the amount I add daily to a certain manageable amount time-wise. I’ll let you know what I decide and what I find works.

Okay, that’s it for today. I will be writing more on this either later in the week or next week. I’ll keep you updated!

If you want to start this series from the beginning and get the list of books I’m using for this method, go here to The Twitter Experiment: Can I Increase My Following on Twitter and Sell More Books Than I’ve Imagined?

(The John Locke book doesn’t cover this method, but does talk about how you handle your followers once you get them. Good!)

Follow me, Denise Miller Holmes, on Twitter!

Follow Words for the Journey Christian Writers Guild on Twitter!

The Twitter Experiment 1; The Twitter Experiment 2; The Twitter Experiment 4; 

Just Do It: Make a Plan and Stick to It

I had an epiphany over the summer: I was tired of not finishing my projects, and I was lamenting my blogs that lay derelict along the roadside.

How could I change things?  I saw two things that I could do immediately that would revive my writing and make sure I finished my projects. Here they are:

Make a Plan

As soon as I realized my problem, I made an inventory of all my writing projects and blogs. There are a lot. I also had to add writing lessons for my writers group –at least one a month.

Whew. The list looked daunting, but before I caved to feeling overwhelmed, I saw one bright dot on the horizon–I could make a schedule.

Okay, for some people that’s a no-brainer, but I had gotten out of the habit of scheduling my time, and was letting life take over. I felt like I was just putting out fires.

Books, short stories, and blogs do not write themselves. You must plan them.

In order to make yourself feel like you can breathe, make sure you make a schedule that allows you to accomplish your goals for that day.  In other words, don’t over-pack your time. Give yourself realistic goals for each day.

In that vein, when you work your schedule, pay attention to what feels like too much. For instance, I found out that on several of my blogs, weekly blogging made me feel overextended, so I’ve reduced one blog  to twice a month and one to once a month. The main blog I will write for weekly.

So feel free to test your plan, but once it’s right, stick to it like tar on a roof.

Write First Thing in the Morning!

I read an article over the weekend about what successful people do first thing. First of all, statistically, successful people get up early. It’s just a fact. The next thing they do is exercise. And the next thing they do is…work. They start right away tackling their projects.

Now here’s an important detail–what successful people don’t do when they first get up is check their emails or Facebook or Twitter. They delay those tasks and instead they work on their projects!

I see why this makes people successful. Those other things are time suckers that take away the time we can be writing. And yet, when I make sure I write first and delay emails/Facebook until later, I somehow get my writing done and all the emails and Facebook tasks as well.

Just Do It!

Both the above points together say one thing: make your writing a priority. If you don’t, it won’t happen. As writers, we all need to combat the mystical force of Resistance, sit our butts in our chair, and quote Captain Jean-Luc Picard when he said, “Make it so!”