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Watch This Space

 Attention: Our attempt to go live Monday failed due to  a delay in the transfer of domain name to our new host.  Meet the new host, same as the old host…  In any event, we’re doing all we can to speed our comeback.  Please keep trying.  I have been “assured” that the worst possible case will be Saturday the 23rd.
Since popping into existence on or about the 25th of January, 2010
, Uphill Writing has gone through several changes.  Now—fasten your seatbelts—we’re about to go through a total remake, remodel.  None of what you come to UhW for now will be lost, and we will continue writing about writing, issuing challenges, and saying things designed to provoke, but we’ll be adding so much more.

Image: fiama.eu

Look for UhW to be a clearing house for writing resources, opportunities, news, reviews, and all things writing.  Look for the latest on contests, how to enter, and what it takes to win. 

This will be more than just a facelift, it is our intention to give you as much support as possible, because we believe there is no need for you to be Writing without a net.

NOTE: WE WILL NOT BE CLOSING DOWN, BUT WE DO NOT EXPECT TO BE PUBLISHING NEW POSTS FOR AS MUCH AS A WEEK.  WATCH FOR US TO BE BACK SOON!

A Real Editor is Hard to Find

As a writer for any length of time, when showing  your work around to people, you will have noticed a couple of interesting phenomena.

1. Everybody you show your work to knows that they, too,  could write, if they only took the time to do so.  “I should write about my life.  People would be thrilled and fascinated with all my adventures.”  This is often followed by something like, “I could take a week or two off work and whip out a novel.  Piece of cake.”

2. Everybody claims to be an excellent editor.  But they aren’t.  “I’ll go through this and clean it up for you.  I’m great at this.”  “Your story?  Yep, I’ll be getting to it shortly.”  “The story you gave me to *read* last year?  No.  Really, I’ll be working on it tonight.”

What a disappointment.  Or is it?  Showing off your writing to non-writers (often non-readers) is like juggling in front of a group of 4-year olds.  Every one of them knows that they could do that, too, if only you’ll let them have the juggling balls to play with.  Practice not required.

I’m sure we can agree on this, but that isn’t really why I invited you all here today. 

Coaching is a two-way street, more, it is a gift.

If someone cares enough about your work to actually step forward and make suggestions, that’s a true gift.  Unless it isn’t.  OK, so there are mean-spirited people out there who’s lives and self-worth are dependent on putting other people down–but we’ll leave those for a RANT one of these days.

Coaching is like a back rub that does more than soothe sore muscles.  Someone once told me that half the value of a back rub is that someone actually wants to give it to you.  The same can (and should) be said for coaching.

I think that the better reviewers are people who actually spend some time saying more than “hey, good”, “LOL”, or “Can’t wait for more”.  This is not to say that those sentiments aren’t nice.  They’re certainly more uplifting than someone patting you on the head and running off, but how do you as a writer grow from such sentiments?

Good critiques and coaching doesn’t always feel good.  If you want unconditional love, buy a puppy.

Blogosphere: Quit While You are Ahead

Continued from Part Forty-Nine

Blogosphere: A series
Part Fifty: There Be Dark Days Ahead

Image: I made this one.

Well, there you go.  You’ve put together one monster of a blog.  You’ve done all the right things.

You’ve held off until you have ten posts or so already in place before announcing your blog.  You’ve searched for and found a “just so” physical theme, and you know… you KNOW your topic inside and out—or you’ve set yourself up to get to the data you want at an instant.

You know where you’ll get your daily images.  You’ve worked out that WordPress on the free side is even offering you links and tags.

It just doesn’t get any better than this.

Really.  It doesn’t.

In fact, sometimes it gets worse, and I think you need to be ready for that.

You need to have a day’s worth of posts set up ahead so if for any reason you can’t write on a given day, you’re still covered in your race to your numbers goal.

You know what you’ll do when you have to be away for a few days. 

You’re ready for that morning when you get up and it feels like you have been blogging for ever, and haven’t seen the expected gains.  You know.  THAT day.

You need to be ready for that most dreaded diseases, a big ol’ case of “I dowanna”.   Cause, here’s the deal, see.   You said A, now you gotta say Z.  You need to carry it out, you need to go all the way, and when you feel like you’ve made it, you need to try harder, because your “laurels” are clearly in a bad spot for resting on.

Sorry, folks.  There will be those days.  Probably.  There have been for me, and I expect there will be more of the nasty little guys, ready to attack, to bite the ankles, to discourage, and cause dismay.

Be ready.  Don’t let it stop you.  There is something oh, so very cool about pushing on, and getting done, even when you don’t want to.

Continued in Part Fifty-One

Blogosphere: If You Know You’re Right…

Continued from Part Forty-Six

New to the Series?  Start with Part One    

Blogosphere: A series
Part Forty-Seven: The Secret of Successful Communication

Image: I made this one.

Look over the Internet, search for information on Blogs, and what will you find?

10 Greatest Secrets for Getting Traffic

22 Ways to Keep Your Readers Coming Back

9 Sure-fire Ways to Get the Search Engines to Notice You…

And on and on it goes.

The truth is, some of the ideas out there really work, but none of them—in my opinion—are the all-time best and most important trick of the trade.  Including this one.

 In fact, the real trick to getting your Blog up and going—and even this on only works if you believe it—is to treat what’s out there like a smorgasbord.  You choose the pieces you like.  You pay attention to the ideas that best suit you.  You invest in the schemes that serve you without hurting your integrity.  Yes, it’s true, you use the filter of your experience, of your cultural point of view, of your education and upbringing to determine what will work best for you.

Oh, and guess what?  What works today may fail miserably tomorrow, and what you left behind when you started may turn out to be the best bet for your particular Blog.

The secret, if you can call it that, because you already know it, is to trust yourself.  Trust your judgement, and just do the best damn job you can.

By the way, it won’t work.  Not at first.  For awhile your blog is going to feel juvenile, silly, just plain useless.  Just don’t give up.  We all go through those hours, days, and months of self-doubt.  But if we stick with it, we get better.  If we pay attention to our feelings, and more importantly to how our readers react, we will find the way, we will make it.

The bloggers I know who just stayed with it no matter how dumb it might have felt at first are doing very well today.  You can too.

Continuted in Part Forty-Eight