Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Tuesday Tumbling Terms~ Steps

It's Tuesday again so it's time for tumbling terms. Todays word is step.

step  (stp)
 n.
1.a. The single complete movement of raising one foot and putting it down in another spot, as in walking.
b. A manner of walking; a particular gait.
*c. A fixed rhythm or pace, as in marching: keep step.
d. The sound of a footstep.
e. A footprint: steps in the mud.
 
2.a. The distance traversed by moving one foot ahead of the other.
b. A very short distance: just a step away.
*c. steps Course; path: turned her steps toward home.
 
3. One of a series of rhythmical, patterned movements of the feet used in a dance: diagrammed the basic steps to the mambo.
 
4.a. A rest for the foot in ascending or descending.
b. steps Stairs.
c. Something, such as a ledge or an offset, that resembles a step of a stairway.
 
5.a. One of a series of actions, processes, or measures taken to achieve a goal.
b. A stage in a process: followed every step in the instructions.
 
6. A degree in progress or a grade or rank in a scale: a step up in the corporate hierarchy.


On Wednesdays I write about various subjects important to writers. The subjects vary between kernels, marketing, indie publishing, standard publishing, editing and various other subjects. Tomorrow I will be revisiting building a platform. I talk about the steps in building a platform or audience of readers.

As a writer you follow certain steps in the process of writing. As Bob Mayer, another author, is fond of saying, "You have to know the rules to break them."

Bad grammar and misspelling words is not one of the rules you can't break. I've bold the definitions above which are important to the writer. But everything in anything you do requires steps that have to be followed. You have to learn balance before you can walk. You have to learn how to walk before you can run.

As a writer, you start with a kernel of an idea. Think of an ear of corn, it takes a lot of kernels to make up one ear of corn. The same is true of writing. This one kernel is the basic idea for the story. Most often it is a what-if scenario. Each step is another kernel of corn.

So many of the emails I received about the platform blog was basically a give-me-a-faster-route to building a platform. There just isn't any. By learning the basic steps, you gain the knowledge and expertise you need to succeed. Of course, you can pick and choose, delete options and you might arrive one minute sooner like on the map. The dangers of missing steps can be disastrous or simply ineffective.

For example, this blog started out a year and a half ago with two followers. The followers were members of one of my writers' group. We all started blogging with small readerships. One fast tracked by joining with a blog following spree and jumped to several hundred followers  and continued to grow, but the quality of followers was mostly writers, not readers. I blogged sporadically; mainly to publicize my own works, and to other writers.

All that changed a year ago. I started getting people who read my books, followed my blog through various sites I advertised my blog on, and in my books. So although my blog/website changed, I grew into a better understanding of who my audience really was...people who wanted to know about me. What I write, how I write, market, and publish is all about me. This blog is all about me and the school of hard knocks that brought me to this point where I am in my life. It was another forward step. Now, I still have fewer followers but more page views. Which is better? Page views equal exposure so my track record looks better.

If I started writing this blog for readers and I haven't self published yet who would my followers be? Now, I've taken another step and expanded my audience even farther by adding my Sunday Stroke Survival. Yes, it's advertising for an upcoming book, but it's about my life as a stroke survivor and a writer. I'm taking the visitor on a journey how my stroke has changed my life and my writing. It's a story about recovery and the steps it's taking to recover.


Every journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.  Is a relatively famous quote. The original saying was coined by a Chinese philosopher, but it has changed to this term in recent years. It still holds true today. The journey is the accomplishment. The steps you take on that journey are just as important as getting there.

So what step are you on in your journey?

Keep writing and loving the Lord.

2 comments:

Deniz Bevan said...

It's good to remember this when it's so easy to keep comparing ourselves to other writers and feeling rushed all the time - as if everyone has the same goal/deadlines.

J.L. Murphey said...

Sometimes, we all need reminding of just how far we've come to see our accomplishments. That's really the important thing in this writing journey.

Does anyone sit down to write a book within three months and expect an agent to snap it up, agent sells it, and it become a best seller within a year? That's not realistic. Mainly from corrected copy to on the shelves takes 18 month. If they do I have some beautiful waterfront property in FL (aka swamp land) for sale.