Distilling Social Media with an Infographic
Distilling Social Media with an Infographic

Happy New Year! I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how I use my time on social media. I’ll be the first to admit – I do love Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and to a lesser degree Facebook. I’m drawn to the technology that makes connecting with others possible through the touch of a screen. I’ve met some fun people through Twitter, looked at lovely photography on Instagram,  found some appealing links and ideas on Pinterest, and do enjoy Facebook groups to connect with my family, cookbook writers, and other topics that interest me. I also read that Pinterest is starting to replace Google as a search engine for visual ideas and inspiration.

Despite this, I find social media can be a time drain (maybe I’m procrastinating) and I also find it difficult to draw the line between how each site is best used. For example, when I see someones Twitter feed filled with Instagram links and when I read status updates on Facebook that are a series of daily complaints, I scratch my head wondering if that’s all there is? It’s at times like these that infographics appeal  to me. I need someone to distill the information and draw me a picture of how to make the best use of my time and my attempts to connect with others on social media.

Today I share a favorite infographic for social media use. It defines the best use of each platform with tips to connect with others in a meaningful and supportive way. You can click on the photo to the left to see the full infographic or here’s a link to the infographic and the article “How to Rock Social Media in 30 Minutes A Day”. And, if you’d like to connect on social media with moi, look at the lower right-hand column (>>>>>) for links except for Instagram. To connect click here for Instagram. (I just made a note for my web guy to add Instagram link to the site.)

Cookbook author and culinary dietitian Maggie Green coaches aspiring cookbook authors in the process of writing cookbooks, cookbook proposals, and building their author platform. Download her checklist “Am I Ready to Write A Cookbook?”. 

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5 Techniques to Create a Daily Habit of Writing
5 Techniques to Create a Daily Habit of Writing

Twice a day I brush my teeth. Once a day I cook a meal. Every night I sleep for seven hours. Every morning I eat breakfast, empty the dishwasher, and dress for the day. These are a few examples of habits ingrained in my daily routine. I can’t imagine a day without doing them and most of the time I do them without even thinking about it.

As a writer and author, I also have made an effort to create a daily habit of writing, whether I need to write a recipe, cookbook chapter, blog post, or newsletter. I know firsthand how difficult it can feel to write when we don’t feel inspired, but regular writing habits drive projects to completion.

When I struggle to take time to write I remind myself that whether I write or not, time will pass. So, I have a choice – do I want to let the minutes of my day pass away without progress on my writing projects? The answer is typically no. No, I don’t want the day to pass without progress. In order to make progress on my writing projects, I have five techniques I employ to create my daily habit of writing.

1. Schedule time to write
When I look up from my computer three months from now I want to have made progress on my new cookbook, regular blog posts, paid writing work, and my weekly eZines. In order to do so I schedule at least 30 minutes every day to write. I haven’t figured out any other way to make progress and I’ve learned that in order to be a successful and published author I have to do this every day. And here’s the real secret – most writers feel better about themselves, and their work, when schedule time to write whether they feel like it or not.

2. Pick your most creative time
When I have a writing deadline, I work every morning on my project. The morning is my most creative and prolific time of day. I like to sit either at my desktop computer or use my iPad (with a keyboard) at the kitchen table. I like my environment to be quiet. I like to light a candle and open a door or window if the weather permits. I block out distractions from email, text messages, and the strange attraction of Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and other social media. I’ve realized these sites for me are a window to procrastination.

3. Write an imperfect first draft
Every writing project has a beginning and for me the beginning is rarely organized or publishable. In creating this “imperfect first draft” I set aside any hopes of creating something someone might want to read and I just focus on getting my thoughts out on the page. I’ll outline if I need to, but then I have to start filling in the blanks. This calls for perseverance knowing this draft will go through rounds of revising, rewriting, and editing. …