Wednesday, June 3, 2015

IWSG & Ghost Stories


It's time for the June meeting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group, hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh. If you're not a member of the group and would like to join us, sign up here,

In recent months my primary insecurities have been related to blogging. I just haven't been able to get back into blogging the way I would like to. I can't think of much to blog about and I was starting to feel like I should just leave the whole thing alone. But I honestly didn't want to do that because I really do cherish the connections I've made through blogging and it is the only form of social media that I genuinely enjoy.

By chance I came upon a post by L.K. Hill, who I met through this year's A to Z Challenge, that inspired me to want to give blogging another go. L.K.'s post was "5 Ways to Become an Expert in Your Field," and while I didn't expect to be inspired by it when I started reading that's exactly what happened.

I won't go through the whole post since anyone interested can read it on L.K.'s site, but she wrote that she has worked to become a dystopian expert since she published her first book Persistence of Vision.  According to L.K., this has served to boost her credibility and help build her online platform.

While reading about L.K.'s experiences, I had a bit of a lightbulb moment about what I can blog about. If you followed my blog when my book The Ghosts of Aquinnah was released you may remember I loved sharing stories about ghosts. I'm now writing another book with a ghost, this one a malevolent and truly frightening presence. It dawned on me that there is no reason I can't become an expert on ghosts and ghost stories!

L.K. mentioned that one of the tasks that helped her feel like an expert was research, namely reading. I already know I love reading about ghosties, and I don't think there is any limit to the number of stories I can find. My WIP takes place in Chicago so I've got a whole new place to explore to find ghosts and haunted places.

So all of the sudden while reading L.K.'s post I thought, voila! That's it. I can share stories about ghosts and ghouls and haunted Chicago spaces while also doing research on my setting and its fascinating history. I figure it's a win-win since I will have stories to share while also possibly finding information that could serve to beef up my novel.

I'm grateful to L.K. for the inspiration and so glad I stumbled upon her blog during the A-Z this year. I didn't think I'd still be able to meet new and fun bloggers but I was wrong and I'm glad of that.

I'm excited about getting started on my ghost apprenticeship and sharing what I learn along the way. I hope I can find some spooky stories to bring some life back to this blog. :D

Happy June and IWSG day, all!


56 comments:

  1. You write in one of my favorite genres. I imagine it is a ton of fun to research and become an expert in it. I'm so glad you were inspired by your new friend and decided to give blogging another go and find that new passion. I think it's normal for us to burn out for a bit and then come back with a bang.

    Elsie

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  2. That is so cool, Julie. I'm feeling pretty much the same way about blogging. Now you've inspired me!

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  3. I think it's a wonderful idea, thanks for sharing your inspiration!

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  4. It is wonderful when those light bulb moments happen, right? You can absolutely become a ghost expert. It's wonderful when others can inspire us. I'm always struggling to keep my blog interesting. But your post made me feel inspired to put more effort into my blogging. Thank you for that.

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  5. I love a good ghost story and all that kind of stuff. (Odd, I know, because I'm a big chicken!) Looking forward to reading your new theme. And I'm going to check out L.K.'s post, too.

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  6. Awesome! I'd enjoy reading about real ghosts.
    When I read her post, I thought it was a great idea. She'll be excited to know she has inspired someone.

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  7. Sounds like fun, and I definitely enjoy reading about ghosts. My current research has taken me down the time-slip route, although it has nothing to do with my original idea :-)

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  8. Hi Julie - sounds an excellent idea - good for you and how amazing LK came to light just when you needed her - enjoy the new journey .. cheers Hilary

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  9. Firstly, love L.K. She always offers up something the think about. The motivation you've found is great. I'm grateful you've shared it with us through this post. Becoming an expert in the subjects you writing about and then sharing them through blogging sounds like a fantastic idea! You've really made me think.

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  10. I could use a ghost expert in my life. I say, go for it. :-)

    Here's my link if you'd like to drop by :-)

    Anna from Elements of Writing

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  11. Ghosts are always a great topic to talk about! And that's a great way to think about blogging, especially for writers.

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  12. Glad you were inspired. You inspired me to read LK's post. Have you thought of going on a ghost hunt? I think that'd be cool.

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  13. That sounds like an awesome idea! I would definitely read those posts! :)

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  14. Direction=awesomeness.

    Did I mention I finally read Polar Night? It's been waiting for a while, and I loved it. I say go with your angle and see what happens.

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  15. I've been feeling that way about blogging, too, and I love how you found inspiration and the realization that you have expertise to share!

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  16. So glad you found some inspiration! I can't wait to read what you come up with - I love anything to do with ghosts!

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  17. Julie, sometimes that's all you need is a new venture to get up and running again. I look forward to the ghost stories.

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  18. I'm glad you found blogging inspiration! Looking forward to some of those ghost stories. :)

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  19. I'm glad you got your motivation back.

    I probably sound like a broken record, but I've been struggling with blogging and the place I want it to occupy in my life. I don't want to quit, but balancing it with my life and my writing has become tough.

    Once I publish my next book, I'm going to be doing some reorganization and planning for the future.

    IWSG #126 until Alex culls the list again.

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  20. I love when inspiration strikes! It's such a good feeling. =)

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  21. Haunted Chicago spaces?? Yes, please! I get bummed about blogging too. I'd much rather just write books. But I've been thinking lately (after atoz challenge) about focusing my blog on Mark Twain's hometown (where I live) and photography. At least I have a goal to follow now in the blogosphere!

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  22. Hi, Julie,

    This is an awesome way to spruce up your blog! We ALL LOVE GHOSTIES.... Looking forward to reading about what you uncover. And since I live in Chicago (for now) I can perhaps visit some of your findings. And, if you need a pic or two, just let me know.

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  23. Marvelous idea. I'm still struggling with the main theme of my blog. So far it's all over the place, but you inspire me to look closer.

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  24. Julie, so glad you found your niche!! And who doesn't love and crave a good ghost story!! I can't wait to read more...

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  25. yes yes, totally yes! I love reading your ghost stories and research - it's always fascinating. And it's a really, really good idea :)

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  26. Right now, I'm having an energy crisis to do all I want to do. Tomorrow, I'll put up my ISWG post.

    Hope all is well.

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  27. Great idea! I'm glad you met someone through the A-Z who inspired you to latch onto ghosts. (So to speak... I understand it's actually rather difficult to grab hold of them...) I'll look forward to reading the fruits of your research.

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  28. I love your plan to share your knowledge via blog posts. I've been feeling lackluster about blogging too. I might just follow your lead and share some of my research as I learn interesting factoids.

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  29. Ghosting can be tonza spooky fun. Great topic for a post, Julie! And thanks so much for your congratulations over at Nicki's blog. You're a big sweetheart. :)

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  30. I absolutely adore ghost stories. It'll be fun to see you post more about that here!

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  31. I love a good ghost story.

    That's why I shifted the focus of my blog to publishing and promoting. When I teach my seminars, I tell attendees they need to present themselves as experts, and it doesn't matter whether it is fiction or non-fiction. Everyone can be an expert in something.

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  32. We can find inspiration in many places and ways. I'm glad that reading L.K.'s post helped guide you to an inspiration in something you enjoy: ghosties and ghost stories.

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  33. So glad you found your inspiration. It sounds very interesting. I bet a place like Chicago has lots of spooky places.

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  34. That's awesome you found inspiration! Chicago is a great place for a scary story. I bet you can find a lot of history there. I wonder if they are ghost tours you could take on a visit. That actually sounds fun! :)

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  35. Blogging is something I'm doing a lot less of these days.
    Enjoy your research. Your subject isn't my favourite thing at all.
    I know you'll have fun though.

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  36. Yay! So glad you found that theme that truly speaks to you :D
    I was feeling the same about blogging so I took a break. Well it was social media in general, but I agree it's one of the best forms out there. The people we meet through blogs are amazing!

    Looking forward to you ghosting around :P

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  37. That sounds like a win all round. Us readers will love it, and I'm sure you'll become known for your expertise in this field! I'm glad something could re-inspire you in blogging because we're all in danger of burnout sometimes.

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  38. Hi Julie,

    The inspirational interaction between L.K and your good self, is just the tonic that gives you the fresh incentive. A most encouraging outcome to continue onwards.

    Gary :)

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  39. A win-win. Plus, you may end up with fewer "darlings" to delete in the novel because you have an outlet for all that research. I should think about something like this for my blog posts. I've been losing interest in blogging also - because I have nothing to write posts about, but I still enjoy visiting friends. Like you, I learn so much from browsing blogs. And just recently a blog post helped inspire a story idea.

    Good luck with the blogging theme. Sounds interesting.

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  40. Well you know I'm all for more ghost stories! I think it's an awesome idea! :)

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  41. Looking forward to reading your spooky stories. Even my blogging has been going off track, I am posting less and less.

    Rachna Chhabria
    Co-host IWSG
    Rachna's Scriptorium

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  42. That all sounds great - you've got research, platform building & fun all together.

    (I've been struggling w/ the same kinds of things for my blog and hope to have my act together by next month's IWSG.)

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  43. My daughter is thinking about branching away from the romance/paranormal genre and moving in that direction. Anxious to see how it goes.

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  44. First of all I am so happy to read that you are staying here in blog land. second, I love ghost tales and I live near Niagara on the Lake which is supposed to be the most haunted town in Canada. My dad would tell great stories and I have had a few things happen to me which I can't explain to this day. Looking forward to what you will write here

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  45. What a great idea for a blog topic. When I lived in Chicago, I went on a haunted/ghost tour. Lots of fun. Best wishes.

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  46. That sounds like a great plan, Julie!
    Good luck as you embark on your "ghost apprenticeship". I'm sure you'll have lots of exciting things to share with us!

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  47. That does sound win-win. I might do something similar if I ever find myself lacking in post ideas (some weeks I do struggle). I look forward to your ghostly posts.

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  48. I love your idea of writing more ghost stories! Let me know if you ever come to Chicago to do research. It will be interesting to see what you uncover, Julie.

    Julie

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  49. Blogging can be a real chore some times, but there are other shining moments where I really enjoy it. I guess those are the times that I shine through and write my best posts.

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  50. Fantastic. Sounds like it will be lots of fun for you and your readers.

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  51. Ooo, what a fun thing to jump into! I've been struggling with what to blog about recently, too, and frequently consider either cutting down to one day per week or giving it a break. Until I figure it out, I'll keep posting.

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  52. research is the best! i have a great idea - we need to go to chicago, do a book event, and go ghost hunting - what do you think?

    happy summer!

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  53. Thank you for sharing, Julie. In the process, you helped motivate me. I'd been feeling pretty much the same way about blogging and just knowing others felt the same, but found a new burst of energy to continue, made my morning.

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  54. Woot!! That's an awesome idea!! So glad you'll still be blogging. Can't wait to read about them ghosties!!

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  55. Great idea! Might have to nab it :) I am the same about blogging - I do it for the connections more than anything. Otherwise I'd leave the front page up and use my blog as a website for people to find me (if anyone looks). So I keep on keeping on. X

    shahwharton.com

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  56. Oooh, that was a great lightbulb moment!

    I can so relate to your lack of inspiration (previously to reading LK's blog anyway ;) ). It's unheard of for me to only have posted 2 posts in one month when the month isn't far off being over...but that's what June has been like for me!

    I thought maybe I'd focus on movies I see, until I have something interesting to write about with my writing.

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Thank you for your comments!