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Aug 18

Using Social Media to Overcome Writer’s Block?

Writing takes practice.

Sure, we all know that, but too often, we are frozen by the blank screen or paper we call Writers Block. At least, that’s the excuse we tell ourselves.

The only way to break down that wall is to write.

And that brings us back to the beginning. How do we begin writing? Where do we find ideas?

Blog Writing Challenges

 Whether you have written or write for a blog, you need some social media presence to maximize this option. People are sharing their creative arsenal to battle the widespread war of writer’s block across the webisphere. These challenges are sites all across the Internet. Your journey is to find them.

I’m a fan of the social media site Twitter. Unlike Facebook, it’s an open media without memberships or restrictions. Connecting with writers and readers and celebrities is a Follow click away. Unlike LinkedIn, it’s not business-focused. Unlike Google+, this is not a new, unknown experiment. Twitter is established, creative and short to swallow with its 140-character limit in each Tweet. It’s easy to find similar topics and groups with a simple #hashtag search.

On the day I wrote this, I found an array of challenges with directed yet general hashtag searches. Some of these lead directly to the moderator’s website, while others simply group posts together under that specific hashtag.

Searching the Twitter hashtag #challenge showed writing and non-writing Tweets.  Scrolling through feed, the most relevant ones came from users like @convince to post a photo with every Tweet for one week, @RonovanWrites with his weekly haiku prompt  and @lettrs posing a #WordOfTheDay challenge.

One of my favorite hashtags is #6WordStory, a challenge posed by @Kelsye. Other searches relevant and directed to writers include: #WritingChallenge; #poetrychallenge; #FiveSentenceFiction; #haikuchallenge; and #fictionchallenge.

Twitter is not case-sensitive, so upper- and lower-case usage is personal preference. The words get you to the same location. I like to capitalize some of the longer hashtags to make them easier to read.

The beauty of Twitter is the prompts are provided, and the ideas out there are bountiful. Once you find an inspirational idea, attack that challenge with all your creative energy. Many people link to their personal blogposts, but you don’t need a blog to participate. Create a separate file on your computer and dedicate 15 minutes a day to play with words. Do an email exchange with a friend or family member. If you are uncomfortable sharing, choose a journal to write in for your personal enjoyment.

If you want to publicly share your accomplishments submit these, or parts of it, on your social media or link posts to your personal blog. If you want to make a visual expression of your art, use a smartphone app like InstaQuote or Notegraphy to create a graphic to share with others or save to your camera roll.

Using photos allows your social media reach to increase. The Twitter user @asilartist tied her #9WordStory challenge together by cross-posting from her @reclaimed poet Instagram account. The same hashtag exploration applies there. I found creative posts with the tags: #WritingChallenge; #PoetryChallenge; #threewordstory; #poemaday; #flashfiction; and #4WordStory.

Beware! Most users will use more than one tag, adding several related hashtags so their post can reach various audiences. As your curiosity increases, you will find yourself winding through a maze of related hashtags so that you can forget the original hashtag you started searching for. It’s glorious. It’s frustrating.

There are worse things than being lost in a new tag that connects to a newer tag that inspires you to search for a personal interest of yours. It’s the only way to drag yourself over that tall writers block wall.

8 comments

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  1. Kelly Bixby

    Diana, I’ve been using another app for adding text to my photos. It’s called Rhonna Designs. It has tons of potential, but costs can add up pretty quickly if you want access to more specialized graphics. I’m OK with that. We should be paying people for their work product. Also, the app saves me time by my not having to learn Photoshop. (I wouldn’t mind, but it would take away from writing!)

    1. dwhirsch

      Totally understandable. It’s a careful tightrope balance between writing and playing. (Both are good; too much of either is…well…is….)

  2. Karen Kittrell

    Diane, photos are a great idea. Thanks.

    1. DW Hirsch

      Glad you found the tips useful.

  3. Sue Remisiewicz

    Per your recommendation, I downloaded InstaQuote and am already experimenting. Thanks for the tips!

    1. DW Hirsch

      I’d love to see some of your art creations, Sue. Be sure to share, here or at Deadwood Writers Voices blog.

  4. kook-Wha Koh

    Thank you for sharing information.

    1. DW Hirsch

      You’re welcome. Always happy to share my passions.

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