Monday, September 30, 2013

Social Media Monday—What I Learned about Blogging From Katniss Everdeen


This past week I was in Katniss Everdeen country.

I had the opportunity to spend the weekend with my BCGE crit partners on a writing retreat. (Waving to Charity Tinnin, Amanda Stevens, Jess Keller Koschnitzky, and Erynn Newman.) We were tucked away in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains where part of the Hunger Games was filmed.

The weather was brisk and beautiful and as we took pictures of the mill village that served as the set of her home in District 12. While I clicked happily away, I got to thinking about Katniss and how she’d played the game.

I realized I could learn a lot by applying some of her principles. Today I want to share what I learned about blogging from Katniss Everdeen.
  • Use What You Know: We each have a knowledge base to work from. Instead of re-inventing yourself, start with what you know and work outward from there.
  • Focus on Your Strengths: Again, we all have things we do well. Don’t discount something just because you can do it. Let those strengths become your foundation.
  • Never Stop Learning: My grandmother had a saying, when you’re green you’re growing, and when you’re ripe you rot. And she was right. Once we stop growing we die, especially in this industry. Things change day to day and sometimes minute to minute.
  • Look for Allies in Unexpected Places: I don’t know anyone who wasn’t thrilled when Katniss befriended little Rue. It was an alliance that didn’t appear to benefit Katniss at all, but that friendship saved her life. Don’t discount a blog ally just because they aren’t at your level. As I mentioned earlier, things change quickly in social media.
  • Be Willing to Put Others Ahead of Yourself: This is the truth I’ve build my career on. People don’t follow me because I’m all that. They follow me because I’ll point you to the experts.
  • Play the Game, but NOT by Their Rules: There are certain things we need to do to get noticed in the blog world and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is one of them. But there are lots of things we can choose not to participate in and directions we can go to set ourselves out from the crowd.
  • Do What Your Heart Tells You, No Matter What: Follow your gut when it comes to social media. Passion can be seen, especially in the world of blogging and writing about something that touches your heart will gain you more than a million well executed posts that lack that emotion.

I believe that when we apply these truths, the odds truly will be ever in our favor!

I’d love for you to share some insights you gained (about life, blogging or just fun facts) from watching the Hunger Games.

Be sure to leave your comments below and don’t forget I’ve moved to moderated comments so sometimes it’s a little while before your comment appears. I try to stay on top of them, but sometimes life gets in the way!

Don’t forget to join the conversation!
Blessings,
Edie

22 comments:

  1. I would add one thing: personality counts. You can't just hide behind your computer and hope that everyone loves you. You have to smile, meet people (even if it's only on facebook), and make yourself attractive. Then you'll get the silver parachutes. Those would be the unexpected gifts. A succesful author offering to read your manuscript, an agent wanting to have coffee with you at the next conference, a popular blog inviting you to post regular columns. Be friendly, even if it's not in your nature.

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    1. Ron, so true. Thanks so much for sharing your insights! Blessings, E

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    2. And Ron is a personable person. He really smiles and shakes hands! (I met him at a Great Lakes ACFW conference. )

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  2. So much truth in your words today--actually, all the time--Edie. What great photos!

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    1. Elaine, I had so much fun visiting the site!

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  3. Great photos, Edie and great application. Thank you.

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    1. Mary, thanks so much for stopping by! Blessings, E

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  4. My favorite and the one that recently is a reoccurring theme - do what your heart tells you, no matter what. Also, putting people ahead ... that one feels right and good. Edie, thanks for learning, then passing it along.

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    1. Kim, both are so true! Thanks so much for sharing, Blessings, E

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  5. Loved this, Edie. Okay, one thing I am trying to take from The Hunger Games is to present the unexpected. I don't want to be so predictable in my bloggin and writing as to become dull. When I can share the unexpected I think it keeps things fresh.

    I always appreciate your posts, and the way you share your wisdom so freely, Edie. Thank you!

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    1. Jeanne, I'm gonna steal that one (and give you credit of course) present the unexpected. Very wise, Thanks! E

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  6. What a fun twist on a popular book. Katniss does have so many wonderful things to teach us. I love her for her selflessness and loyalty, and I can definitely see how those are equally admirable attributes in the blogging world. Thanks for helping out this "little Rue."

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    1. Julia, I love her, too! Thanks so much for stopping by, Blessings, E

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  7. Excellent post, Edie. I'm grateful for seasoned veterans in this industry who give generously to those of us just starting out. Whether it's donating a chapter critique for a giveaway, writing a guest post or retweeting a link to my blog ... I've been blessed in so many ways and now I look for opportunities to pay it forward.

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    1. Heidi, we are all so fortunate to be a part of such a generous industry. Thanks so much for stopping by, Blessings, E

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  8. Such good tips, Edie, and I loved Ron's addition too! My favorite blogs are the ones where an author's personality shines through. :) And I have to make a confession: I still haven't watched or read The Hunger Games. I'm so behind!!

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    1. Melissa, Ron always has great things to add! And you're not behind, you work full time, just released a book, are working on edits on the next one...Gee I think what you have is a life! Blessings, E

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  9. great post today! Love the Hunger Games and you, Edie!

    Saying hi from Louisiana! :) Keep up the good work!

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    1. Morgan, good to hear from you! Thanks so much for the encouragement, Blessings, E

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  10. I also love the, "follow your heart," advice. When the popular trends become our guide, our writing loses its passion.

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  11. I haven't read the book or seen the movie, but I LOVED the post! There were some things here I really need to pay attention to.

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  12. I really loved the Hunger Games, and I think that the story of Katniss is one that really helps and inspires young girls.
    SEO is a complicated process, and one I'm still trying to learn.

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