Writer to Speak on Blogging at Washington County Writers Forum

The Washington County Writers Forum in Hillsboro, Oregon, presents Emily Grosvenor on September 7th at Insomnia café at 7PM.

Grosvenor will be talking about “Entrance Strategy: A Blueprint for Bloggers to Get Found, Connect with Readers, and Make Big Beautiful Projects Happen.” We assume she will be talking about blogging, social media, digital marketing, and finding an audience for your writing projects.

For more information on the speaker, see her site at Be At Home in the World. For more information in on the monthly events in Hillsboro, check out Washington County Writers Forum.


Website Building WordPress Workshop September 11 – October 2, 2017

Register Now

If you are a writer, poet, novelist, or have a small business, a website is required today. This course takes you step-by-step through the process of setting up your own site, helping you learn how to create content and share it through social media from your site for free. Courses like held in Portland normally cost over $400. This is a rare opportunity to learn how to blog and build your own website right here in Washington County, and know that the proceeds go to a good cause.

Register in person with check or credit card, or by phone with the Forest Grove Community and Senior Center at 503-357-2021.

Writers in the Grove, Forest Grove community creative writing group, presents a 4-week workshop, called “Website Building WordPress Workshop,” beginning September 11, 2017. It runs for four consecutive Mondays from 6:30 – 9:00 PM at the Forest Grove Community and Senior Center in Forest Grove, Oregon.

The course is taught by WordPress instructor, Lorelle VanFossen of Lorelle on WordPress. She has taught WordPress, blogging and social media from the beginning to college level since 2003, and is the long time senior editor of the WordPress Codex, the online manual for WordPress users.

The four-week workshop is only $125 per person, a savings of almost 75% off the normal course fee.

The workshop on WordPress covers the basics on WordPress features, content management, social media integration, blogging, and design and layout with veteran WordPress trainer and instructor. It is ideal for writers and authors, small business, genealogists, and those who wish to share their thoughts and skills with the world.

Prior web publishing experience not required. Familiarity with web browsers (Firefox and Chrome only) and email is highly recommended.

There is limited space for this special event so register now to guarantee a seat.

You do NOT need a WordPress site. You will set one up on the first day of the course. If you have one, you will learn how to fix it up and improve your web publishing and WordPress skills.

You will need to bring your laptop, power cord, mouse (with extra batteries), and something to write on and take notes. You will log into the free WIFI at the Center so ensure you know how to do this before you arrive, or arrive early to get help getting online. It is highly recommended that you bring a water bottle, too. There is plenty of free parking at the center.

More information, contact the Forest Grove Community and Senior Center.

Register in person or by check or phone with the Forest Grove Community Center: 503-357-2021.

How to Blog NaNoWriMo

What? Right even more during NaNoWriMo, the National Novel Writing Month challenge to write 50,000 words in 30 days? Are you crazy?

Actually, many people blog their NaNoWriMo experience on their blogs. Some even publish their daily writing on their site for their fans and community.

So many people are worried about sharing their novel idea or plot, it becomes almost a paranoia. Relax. There is much you can share without giving the whole thing away.

The fun of sharing your NaNoWriMo experience every day on your blog means you are part of a community. You are sharing your experience, the struggles, challenges, joys, discoveries, and lessons and techniques learned that might help others.

Here are some tips to help you cope if you choose to blog your NaNoWriMo experience.

Share The Journey

No matter what, share the journey.

We love learning how you got there, the good, the bad, the ugly. By sharing your journey with others, they will hopefully learn from your mistakes, but also feel inspired by how you overcame the challenges of writing 1,677 words a day for 30 days.

Just as you would jot down a description of your day in a journal, take 10 minutes at the end of the day or after you’ve completed your NaNoWriMo writing for the day, and consider the journey.

Was the writing easy today? Why? Was it a challenge, the intimidation of the blank screen getting to you? What happened? What made a difference?

Did someone say something or give you words of encouragement that impacted your attitude about your writing and your story?

Define the obstacles. What got in your way today? Was it family? Friends? Work? Illness? Or the story itself? The clearer you are in defining them, the faster you can prevent such interference going forward…sometimes. At the very least, by sharing, others may commiserate with you.

Find a new trick, tip, or technique? Share it and explain how it helps.

Let your readers and community know how you are doing so they are taking each step of the journey with you.

Crowd Source Your Stucks

“I hate my stucks,” a writer complained to me. “The stucks suck.”

We all get stuck when writing. Sometimes it is as simple as knowing the word but not finding it in your brain, or coming up with a great plot twist but it may require you learning about something you know little or nothing about.

Or there are those times when the characters aren’t talking to each other nor you, and you have stuck them into a situation you know not how to escape.

Share your stucks. Let your readers know if you get stuck and ask them how to get out of it. You don’t have to take their advice, but sometimes crowd sourcing the stucks breaks the damn, freeing your characters and your writing.

Seek a Kick in the Ass

A writer who does NaNoWriMo every year tells me that she the one year she didn’t blog her NaNoWriMo experience was the worst year for her writing. “I couldn’t get started, nor finish what I started. I needed a daily kick in the ass.”

When you blog your NaNoWriMo experience, other participants often find you and they will cheer you on when they detect you dragging, as you may for them. That’s why the meetups and social events in and around NaNoWriMo are so good for many people.

By being surrounded by determined folks who have been there, done that, wrote the writing, they know what it is like and they will lovingly kick you in the writing ass and keep you on track when you need it.

Or you can ask for it.

In “How to Shake Off Writer’s Fatigue” on the NaNoWriMo site, they recommend:

For the first few days, showing up to write every day is easy. The shiny factor hasn’t worn off yet, and the excitement over your story is almost palpable.

Then there are the other days, where the drive to write isn’t there. Adding words to your story feels like getting out of a warm, blanket-filled bed into a cold world: you don’t always want to do it, but it’s step one toward the journey ahead. Maybe you’ve written your characters into a corner with no ideas on getting them out. Or maybe you’re bored of your story but still have thousands of words to write before reaching the magical 50K…

We all go through it. There are the NaNoWriMo forums where you can find other participants to support and cheer you on, and you can blog about it and instantly feel better.

At least you wrote something in your blog. Does that count toward your daily word count? It might. 😀

Stop Writing Your Story and Build a World

Do some worldbuilding on your blog. Open the door to the world you’ve created in your novel and invite others in.

Let them ask you questions? Let them test out the furniture. See what happens when you throw open the gates to your imaginative world and watch people wander in.

They might help you build stronger walls, floors, ceilings, and gardens.

Best Practices

  • Schedule time to blog. You’ve scheduled time to write, now add just a few minutes, 10-15, to each day to document the day’s achievements and challenges and write it out on your blog.
  • Remember categories and tags. When we are in a hurry, putting thing where you can find them again gets set aside. Don’t mess up your site.
  • Keep it simple. Write short posts, focusing on the day’s writing activities. This isn’t the time to write a 3,000 word tutorial or technical article. Pick one topic from the day’s events to share with your experience.
  • Keep pictures to a minimum unless they matter. Save gratuitous images, pictures that serve as pretty and do little else, for the other months of the year.
  • Use lists to order your thoughts, points, and items. Unordered lists are bullet lists and numbered lists count down, making it not only easy to write but easy to read.
  • Be honest with yourself and others. And take a breath. NaNoWriMo can get crazy, stress you out, and make you want to throw your computer across the room. Be gentle on yourself and others and breatheeeeeeee. Remember that you love writing and every word you write is a labor of love.

Blog Your NaNoWriMo Woes, Joys, and Triumphs

We love to hear the good side of an experience, but most people like whining and complaining. Remember to include both in your NaNoWriMo posts not just to maintain balance with your readers but also within your self.

In “13 Ugly Truths About Nanowrimo,” Daniel Swensen explains why November is the worst month to do this in, but also offers up the reality of NaNoWriMo.

Nanowrimo can be a real blast, a useful experience, and a great utility for pumping out a first draft. But it’s very easy to take it too seriously and let the images of the purple bar, the winning trophy, and the approving faces of your friends coalesce into a harrowing vision of guilt and shame. When this happens, just sit back and remember, it’s just Nanowrimo. Winning is great, but it literally only means as much as you let it. Bailing out doesn’t make you a failure, or a bad writer, or a lazy no-good mutant. Sometimes, goals are just beyond our grasp for the moment.

But if you can, take the knowledge that you can walk away from Nano, consequence-free, and use it to rekindle your love of the game. You’re not here because you have to be. You’re here because you want to be. Because you love the exhilarating, exhausting, fun-as-hell rocket ride of Nanowrimo.

This isn’t a job. This is a choice. It is a learning experience. Learn it well, and the lessons will last a lifetime.

Just make the memories good ones.

Who is Blogging NaNoWriMo

There are many people blogging their NaNoWriMo experience. Here are some bloggers to monitor during November to help you see what they are doing and learn from their experiences.

Don’t have a blog? Go to to get a free blog and get sharing your NaNoWriMo experiences.