Whenever I stumble upon something that I feel would be a great resource for you all, you know I have to share. When I first started my blog back in October of 2013, I used the WordPress Daily Prompt challenge to build up my followers and writing network. It was great for awhile – actually for a few years, but it was so time-consuming it cut into hours I needed to spend working on my actual WIPs. Unfortunately, the cost of not doing the DP’s anymore, was losing all of those followers and the interaction I used to have with them on a regular basis.
My blog is still a work in progress and I rarely see likes, comments, or re-blogs the way I did way back when. But, I’m even worse when it comes to Social Media. It is unarguably one of the most daunting aspects of being an author that I have always struggled with. I’m not ashamed to admit that if I never had to use it, I wouldn’t. Unfortunately, in this day and age, authors and aspiring writers who don’t use things like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are cutting out a huge resource for building their platforms and potential readerships.
But it can be hard to think of what to share, especially for the long haul. For some, this seems to come naturally. For me, it’s a chore. I never know what to post. I never know when re-posting is not enough or too much and I’m a bit more picky about who I follow back, because I don’t want my feed clogged up with spam bots.
My latest discovery, however, has enabled me to go from maybe 1 tweet a month, to at least 1 tweet a day. First, if you’re not already a member of the #writingcommunity on Twitter, I would recommend checking it out. This is where I’ve found this fun writing challenge called #vss365 which stands for “Very Short Story” – Each month, a new host/ess is selected to come up with the Daily Prompts. What’s great about this DP challenge vs the WordPress one, is that there’s no pressure to have your post ready first thing in the morning to reach the most participants and Twitter is so limited, you’re only writing for a minute. No time-consuming creations followed by hours of editing. It’s short, fun, and offers positive results.
It’s keeping me active on Twitter regularly, helping me gain exposure while expanding my writing community network, and I’m enjoying reading others #vss365 creations. The inspiration from seeing how people can take so many different approaches to the same word is limitless. That’s why I knew I needed to share it here with you. In my opinion, these outcomes make this a good resource for any writer, but especially if you’re just starting to build your author platform or like many (myself, included) find social media overwhelming and intimidating to navigate.
There’s no wrong or right way to go about the challenge, as long you use the prompted word. There are even a few members who do multiple posts using a different approach each time, i.e. poetry for one, then a short story for another. Not to mention, there are many who include multiple challenge prompt words in the same post (#vss365, #bravewrite, etc.). I’m creeping in slowly, doing one DP challenge to start, but I might join in others later on down the road.
I thought it would be great fun to only draw from one book to create my posts – this has proved quite challenging! – but that only get’s my creative juices flowing all the more. Again, because it’s Twitter and the word count is limited, all of my posts are original. They wouldn’t actually be found verbatim in the book, itself, but the ideas behind them are definitely there. If I still like that process by the end of this month, than I’ll pick a different book for September, and so on.
❤ That’s it, Indies. If you’re already participating in the #vss365, #bravewrite or any other Daily Prompt challenge drop me a comment below to share your experience and how you prefer to approach your unique creations!