IWSG: OMG, Was I Wrong About Cyberspace Connections

IWSGHEADER1
http://www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com/

Insecure Writer’s Support Group

#IWSG – Our Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world! Our Twitter hashtag is #IWSG. The awesome co-hosts for the the June 3 posting of the IWSG will be M. Pax, Tracy Jo,Patricia Lynne, Rachna Chhabria, Feather Stone, and Randi Lee! 

Yahoo, I’m co-hosting IWSG today. 

 OMG, Was I wrong.

Almost four years ago I tentatively created my first facebook page. I was flying solo in setting up accounts and creating my profile. By that I mean that I didn’t have the benefit of access to a teenager who could help me navigate the murky world of cyberspace. I’m used to face to face connections. Prefer it, and truthfully, still do. Those muscle twitches, side-way glances, shifting feet speak volumes if someone is listening and caring – or not.

Angela Ackerman
Angela Ackerman

When my novel was published, it was time to step up the level of connecting with readers and writers. I thought I was going to throw up. I’m not exaggerating. Social media platforms? OMG, where can I hide? Then I met Angela Ackerman of Writers Helping Writers at When Words Collide convention.

Angela told me that to optimize books sales, author’s needed to make ‘meaningful connections’ with readers. On cyberspace? Are you crazy? I’m of that generation that holds back, always on guard to maintain privacy. And, what about identity theft? I’m finally getting over that paranoia. Better late than never.

My Photo
Nicki Elson

Nicki Elson at Omnific Publishing is an amazing woman. Her warmth and professional attitude showed me that it is possible to make long distant friendships and benefit from their experience and wisdom. Over the past three years, many of the Omnific authors have participated as a group in marketing our novels, and lean on each other for support. The fact is, I don’t know if I could have reached my current level of success without them, and others.

Gary A. Nilsen, MFA
Gary Nilsen

More recently, I met Gary Nilsen – editor extraordinaire! If you’re looking for an author to help you polish your manuscript, I highly recommend Gary.  He’s honest, but not brutal (I’ve suffered the cruelty of one editor). He has an eye for inconsistencies, weakness in character development, and plot dynamics which will cause a reader to give the book a toss across the room. What I especially valued in Gary, was that when he sent back my critiqued chapters, he remained available to discuss alternatives to the problem spots. Connect with Gary at: http://www.garynilsen.com/

Alex Cavanaugh

Another group which has helped me immensely is the Insure Writers Support Group.  Thanks to Alex Cavanaugh (author of the Amazon Best Selling Cassa series), the Ninja Captain and founder of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, my circle of friends has grown. There is just one teensy problem. It’s difficult to find enough time to visit everyone’s post.

Now, isn’t that just too weird. I’ve gone from avoiding meaningful connections, to not having enough time to visit and chat with all my connections.

There are many dozen great authors and bloggers participating with IWSG. Give everyone a visit and say hello. You may just have the advice someone is looking for.  Remember to share what you enjoyed on twitter, facebook, etc.

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70 thoughts on “IWSG: OMG, Was I Wrong About Cyberspace Connections

  1. Hi Judy, thanks for hosting today and your comments on cyberspace. Just over a year ago I was a lonely writer, realising I needed to get out and network a bit. IWSG was one of the mediums I stumbled across and it has been an immense help. I came away from my first IWSG blog experience feeling like a ‘real’ writer.

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    1. Hi Rachna: I high school I was disappointed I could not be a cheerleader. Too tall and awkward. Now, I can cheer on my IWSG friends all day long and feel so good about the community I’m part of. Thanks for stopping by. Blessings.

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  2. I do well connecting with other authors (thanks to a mentor-ess who took me under her wing early on). It’s the meaningful connections with readers I have to work on.

    Thanks for co-hosting. 🙂
    IWSG #126 until Alex culls the list again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, the meaningful part is something I need to improve upon also. It’s my belief, though, that because my intention is to be a genuine friend and/or mentor, I will succeed. Maybe not today or tomorrow, but someday. Wishing you great success, Melissa.

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    1. Thanks, Alex, for the opportunity to be a co-host. Great fun. There’s so many terrific authors and wonderful people. What is surprising is that so many of these talented folks actually do have insecurities. I think they are all amazing. Blessings.

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    1. I discovered an interesting thing over the past few years. There are several writers that are within driving distance within or near my city. However, when I asked if they would like to meet once in a while, there was a lack of interest. Perhaps we now prefer the online connections? More convenient. Less risk, perhaps, than face to face meetings. Do you find writers are less inclined to form in-person groups?

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  3. I love Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi The Emotion Thesaurus. I carry it around with me everywhere. And I’m glad you were able to meet a lot of amazing people through online connections. As well as offline. Connecting with other writers is probably the best support system for a writer. Thanks for co-hosting.

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  4. I’m generally an introvert but love socializing on the internet because I have the freedom to choose what to share, how to interact, and when to stop. 🙂 The internet has certainly made the world a better place for writers!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well said. I can’t imagine what it would have been like to write / publish before the internet. I think I might have given up long before I got to the editing stage. Maybe that’s why I heard that writers in the ‘old’ days had serious behavioral issues, drinkers, etc. LOL.

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  5. Judy, that’s wonderful you’ve made meaningful connections despite your initial skepticism. 🙂 I too am grateful for our Facebook author group and for the IWSG. And awesome fellow authors and editors are so valuable! Love that Nicki Elson. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Jen: I owe so much to the Omnific authors. I love them all, though I wonder if they know that. Perhaps I should zip on by our page and express my heartfelt gratitude. Thanks for dropping by and chatting, Blessings.

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  6. It’s wonderful you’ve made so many great connections! I’ve met people through the internet that I would have never met offline and they’ve been essential to my growth as an author. Yay internet!

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    1. So true. Being an author is been like having access to a doorway into a club. Not just any club. I believe writers possess a mega creative gene. I suspect our group has an abundance of talent beyond writing. It would be interesting one month to share with this group what other creative juices flow in our veins. Blessings.

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  7. My goodness, I know exactly what you mean! I’ve made so many amazing friends via the interwebs that I pretty much have a friend anywhere in the world I could go. Keeping up with them all…now that’s a trick.

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    1. Ah, yes. We are now in that difficult spot of trying to decide what stays and what goes (or who). If I wasn’t trying to finish polishing my ms, I’d visit everyone. So far, I visit sites randomly but that doesn’t seem to be a way to keeping in touch either. Any suggestions?

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    1. Investment, yes. One only gets back what one gives – or something to that effect. I have a strong desire for all our IWSG members to succeed. From what I see, all the members have the same attitude. I think that is the key element that has made this group so viable and valuable. Blessings.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. This crazy world of cyberspace is daunting, confusing, and filled with some of the most supportive people I’ve found. It is strange to consider someone a friend when you haven’t actually met them. But it does happen, and for that, we can be grateful. Thanks for co-hosting this month.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yep, my belief in the goodness of humanity is reconfirmed everyday that I sign on to facebook. Sometimes I think I learn more about my personal friends on facebook than what I knew about them before facebook. Are we more willing to share our heart and soul via cyberspace? Possibly. What do you think?

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  9. It’s that making connections is the theme of the day. The IWSG and Social Media can be benefical if you go about it the right. It took me a while to realize that, but here I am. Thanks for co-hosting and sharing you social media story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Toi: With so much negative stuff in the news, sometimes a person starts thinking how terrible the human race is behaving. Thanks to our limitless and positive social media connections, I know that there are more wonderful people in the world than the bad dudes. It’s an amazing world. Thanks for stopping by, Toi. Blessings.

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  10. I love getting to know people who understand what I’m dealing with, struggling with, celebrating – whatever! Plus I’ve learned SO much! Thanks for co-hosting today.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Kaistrand: If someone had told me before I started my first manuscript how much work was involved, I would have shouted, “PASS!” Thank heavens I missed that piece of vital information. At that time I would have doubted my ability to connect with so many amazing online folks. Ignorance is bliss, sometimes, LOL.

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  11. Thanks for co-hosting the IWSG today and for sharing your on-line experiences. When I started blogging a while back, I knew little about it. The big surprise for me was making new friends and developing relationships. It was a revelation, and it is those meaningful relationships that keep me at it. I had childhood friends in Sioux Lookout, Ontario named Featherstone, so “Feather Stone” caught my eye! Happy Writing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi: I’m curious about how you came up with mlouisebarbourfundyblue. Relationships are complicated. I’ve been able to connect with authors easily enough. Now I have to sort out how to make those same quality chats with readers. I tend to feel that I shouldn’t ‘stalk’ them; let them make the first move. But that doesn’t seem to work. Is there a way to initiate a chat without making them feel you’re pushing your book on them?

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    1. If it wasn’t for the online community, I don’t think I would have tackled a second novel, more challenging than the first. My novel’s section which acknowledges everyone who has helped me succeed would require many pages. Thanks for stopping by, James.

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  12. You wrote exactly what I think about friends in cyberspace. How fortunate we are to live in a time like this where we can find friends who live around the world. Loved your post. Featherstone is the name of a family in my small town. I never thought about separating it out to see the contrast between the feather and a stone. Thanks for co-hosting this month. It’s a pleasure to meet you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi JQ Rose: When people ask me how I came up with the pen name “Featherstone” I have to laugh. When my first novel was published, I told my husband that it was either going to fly off the shelves or sink like a stone. Immediately, I knew my pen name should be Feather Stone, LOL.

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  13. Hi,
    I loved reading your post because I am beginning to experience some of the same things that you wrote about. As for FB page, I set my own up also. I don’t have a teenager to help me and a lot of my questions were answered by a very special writing group in Linked In that doesn’t exist anymore.
    Thank you for an interesting article.
    Shalom,
    Patricia at Everything Must Change

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Pat: Thanks for stopping by. I think one of the most comforting aspect of connecting with other authors online is the reassurance that many of us go through the same growing pains. And we all have some interesting and unique experiences to share. Blessings.

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  14. “I’m of that generation that holds back, always on guard to maintain privacy.” Sounds like me.
    But over time, and with a change in mindset, I’ve made many friends online. Cyberspace connections/support is the reason why my writing has grown in leaps and bounds.
    Thanks for co-hosting the IWSG this month.
    Writer In Transit

    Liked by 1 person

  15. There are so many amazing people here, and I’m already having trouble keeping up (Actually, I’m drowning and wish I could find a way to stay in contact with every single one.) And I still feel like this whole cyberspace thing is way over my head 🙂

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  16. It’s so nice to meet you. Thanks for the introductions. Your list of worthy online buddies is impressive. Always appreciated meeting those who know. I’m a retired ERM, so I can relate on many levels. Happy IWSG! Thanks for co-hosting!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I am so blessed that these amazing and talented people have accepted me into their circle. Sometimes I wonder what I’ve done to be so fortunate. The least I can do is to pass along this good fortune and endeavor to return the blessings I’ve received. Thank you for stopping by, Cluculzwriter. Blessings.

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  17. That’s the trick, isn’t it? The more supportive writer friends you have, the harder it is to connect with all of them. Thanks for co-hosting this month’s IWSG.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, and I don’t really want to skip anyone, or delete them from my connections list. Perhaps we’re thinking we need to visit them every week / month. Perhaps just a ‘Howdy,’ every once in a while will keep the communication channels open. And IWSG is perfect for a monthly chat. Thanks for stopping by Chemistken. Blessings.

      Like

  18. Great success story on learning how to use social media to connect. Yes, Alex is the man. (I also peaked at your previous post. What a brilliant idea to intentionally go out into nature to feel the healing and inspiration.) Best wishes to you.
    Thanks for co-hosting this month.
    Play off the Page

    Liked by 1 person

  19. How great that you’ve come so far! I was a bit terrified when I started too, but I’m enjoying it now, and I know what you mean about not having enough time to chat with online friends. Who’d have guessed we’d feel this way?

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  20. I started with a MySpace and Deviant Art account, and then discovered blogging over ten years ago. And I’ve never looked back because it’s been so fulfilling.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Awesome shout outs. It is good to connect online. Just visiting someone new-to-you each month can be satisfying. I know I rarely get to more that about 80 participants before I get tired of visiting. Can’t be everywhere, lol.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Connections online are often awesome, enlightening and surprising. Time that is valuable thing and I, too, wonder how others manage to keep up. I try, but often fail. Like today I’m getting a really late start on IWSG, because of a busy and distracting day. Great post, lots of helpful information too. Thanks.

    Juneta at Writer’s Gambit

    Liked by 1 person

  23. I was also totally lost when I started writing and sharing thoughts online. I was totally scared of reaching out to people I’ve never seen in person. It’s great to know you’ve met wonderful people who helped pave the way and helped you along the way. Good for you.

    By the way, thanks for co-hosting!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Some of my best friends are people I first met through online writing groups and forums – two came to my wedding later this month I’ll be staying with her for a week and last year a different internet friend flew over to stay with me in my home.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. I wish I was better at meaningful cyber relationships. I can do blogs, and visit other bloggers pretty well, but I can’t keep up with Twitter and Facebook. It makes me sad, but I feel like I don’t have anything to say. I’m also terrified of promoting myself. I’ll just stick to blog visits until I gain confidence to hit the other streams.

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  26. Thanks for co-hosting this month and for a great post. I’ve met so many wonderful people on the Internet and they all have such good advice. Couldn’t do it without my cyber friends. Nice to meet you, Judy.

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  27. My blog has been it for me in terms of promoting myself. I think people can get to know you better that way as well. I’ve made many meaningful connections and feel like I’ve formed true friendships, so I’m really glad that I started blogging.

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