Friday, January 28, 2011

The 500, News, and Writing Around Family with the FFW

I don’t know how it happened, but I hit 500 followers this week. Wow! Thanks guys. Need to have a party or something… I’ll get back to you on that.

Today I am at Donna Hole’s site, discussing the features of the iPad and how they relate to writers, readers, and bloggers. Please stop by and say hi – she was so worried I’d forgotten her!

Elizabeth Spann Craig started something really cool! A search engine for writers. No more useless Google searches! Get the details HERE

And don’t forget the A to Z Challenge! Details HERE

Guys, you don’t want to miss this!!!

Today is another edition of Fantastic Friday Writers! I invite your to check out my Fantastic Friday Writers partners - Elizabeth Mueller, Anastasia V. Pergakis, J. D. Brown, and Deirdra Eden Coppel - for their take on this subject. I’m sure it’s better than mine!

Working Around Family and Finding Time to Write

And I guarantee my entry will be the most unique!

Some would say family members are those pesky people who get in the way of our writing. They have schedules we’re to follow and demand attention. If it weren’t for family, we could’ve written twenty novels by now!

Oh really?

I think a lot of it has to do with our mindset. Do we view our family as help or hindrance? If we’re struggling to find time to write and balance family life, maybe it’s time for a new approach. Have we tried communication?

The key plot points for a story apply here as well:

WHY? Let our families know why writing is so important.

WHAT? Tell them what we hope to accomplish.

WHEN? Discuss how often we’d like to write and at what times.

WHO? Discuss the duties of the house and the new people who will enter our lives as a result of writing.

HOW? Figure out how to maintain a balance that makes everyone happy.

With good communication and the right attitude, it’s much easier to work writing into our life.

And the “Oh really?” comment? If it weren’t for my family, I wouldn’t be writing at all. My wife is my cheerleader, encourager, and best friend. Without her, I wouldn’t be writing at all and my accomplishments as an author would mean nothing. She’s not a distraction in my life.

Are you using communication to secure writing time? Have you tried?


Will Burke said...

With such an adjustment (toddler) and so much to do, I feel a little guilty trying to fulfil my wants. When I do though, my wife totally supportive, so it's just my own hang ups I need to get over:)

Jeremy [Retro] said...

hail to the king, baby! 500+ followers... you should have a cake and 500 candles... and have the fire department standing by. awesome!
i proud to be follower 417!


George Beremov [Nebular] said...

Alex, congrats on hitting 500 followers! Your blog has become so popular and I'm soooo happy for you, and I wish you twice as more followers this year :)

Leovi said...

Congratulations on those 500, now 502. Sorry I missed Monday's music blogfest but, the truth, my English is very bad and I did not understand the whole evento.Saludos.

Tabitha Bird said...

Congrats on the big 500! :))

PK HREZO said...

What an excellent point, Alex. Sometimes we just "expect" our family to understand without us spelling it out for them.

Congrats on 500! Very well deserved! Now I'll hop on over to Donna's and see whats goin on. :) Have a great weekend!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Will, I'm fortunate there's just two of us.

Thanks, Jeremy - burning down a cake sounds fun.

Nebular, thanks, and what would I do with twice as many followers?

That's all right, Leovi.

Thanks, Tabitha!

Thank you, Pk!

Amity said...

Alex, no mean achievement hitting 500 followers and you made it so easy...i've just hit half your accomplishment and my blog is already more than two years old!

I may attribute it to not being an active blogger always!

Btw, thanks for sharing wonderful pieces of advise re: making family understand the importance of blogging and writing...:)

My hubby before could not tolerate me staying online for long when i was too busy working on my prose and poetry posts in my blog, but when I had to show him I have some wonderful followers who encourage and praise me for my work, well, you guess it right, he had his blessings, 'heartily' and whoaaaaa i was then on cloud 9...he never interferes anymore since then...:)

Now he calls and checks also on my progress about my blog...I could only smile...:))

Have a happy weekend!

Christine Danek said...

Congrats on 500.
Communication is key. I'm still working on it with my husband. He's getting there. I guess I also have the guilt factor that I'm not doing my job as a mom. Not that I'm ignoring my kids, just making the husband take over. I think he is finally realizing that writing is not just a hobby.
Thanks and have a great weekend!

Matthew MacNish said...

500 is awesome. Congrats Alex!

DEZMOND said...

Congrats on, now already 500 and four followers! I'm still missing one to hit 300 :) I think I scared them all off with the European music in your blogfest.

S.A. Larsenッ said...

Many congrats on the over 500!! So wonderful. You do a great job, here. I'm two shy of 400. Fingers crossed.

Yeah, I'm already signed up for the A-Z...I'll have to blend a few posts, seeing how I don't blog everyday. Should be interesting.

Cherie Reich said...

Congrats on over 500 followers! That's awesome!

Anonymous said...

Congrats! on the 500th follower! Getting the support of family is vital if you want to be successful as a writer. You need their support. Too often I see people who put writing over their family and do not ask them to support them. I have a pretty good balance and give a lot of family time to everyone. And I allow them to interrupt me. never tell them to, "Go away, I'm writing."

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Amity, thanks! And so glad you have his support now. Makes all the difference in the world.

Thanks, Christine. Just keep talking to him. We're sometimes a little dense.

Dezz, no! I bet you gained followers from the music fest.

Thanks, Salarsen, and glad you're on board for the challenge.

Thanks, Stephen! Better not show your family the "Go away, I'm writing" mug then.

Sarah Ahiers said...

i typically write during work (i know. bad me) which therefore opens up my free time for family and stuff.

I think you need a contest or something for 500 followers. I'm just sayin...

Jules said...

Way to go DUDE! 500. I'm with you on the family thing, any excuse is all mine :)
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Luna said...

Congrats on 500+ followers!!! Love this post because balance is something I'm always working on maintaining.

I need to learn to delegate more. This weekend we're staying in so I can work on my writing. Yay!

Elizabeth Mueller said...

Alex, I'm SO geeking out over Elizabeth's search engine. I can feel my adrenaline soaring!

Thank you SO much for blogging about it. I'm going to do a HUGE shout out over that. What an invaluable tool for ALL writers!

Btw, congrats on your 500 (+now!) followers!

♥.•*¨ Elizabeth ¨*•.♥

Talli Roland said...

Congrats on the 500 followers - you deserve that and more. And the A-Z Challenge is going to be epic.

Carol Kilgore said...

Congrats on all your followers. I'm not surprised; your blog is awesome.

Thanks for the link over to Elizabeth Spann Craig. I'm going to check that out.

Lastly, on finding time to write. You could have written this about me. I've done this this year, and my writing life is finally getting back on track.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the links, Alex. I've been considering the Ipad. And congrats on the 500 followers! Securing writing time with communication is tricky as a single parent. But I'm okay with that right now, getting done what I can!

Old Kitty said...

Congratulations with your ever growing band of fab followers!! Yay!!!

I've just visited your guest blog over at Donna Hole's blog and now want an ipad thank you!

I love my family but my mum being a mighty warrior amazonian type of mum is more a distraction to my wishy washy arty farty way of life!! LOL!! Oh she disapproves!! Charlie on the otherhad is my greatest fan!! :-)Take care

j.m. neeb said...

Interesting you bring this up today, because I'm going to be setting up specific writing times for this weekend with my wife later. :) (Fortunately, she gets it...)

Congrats on the 500 followers, Alex! And here's to 500 more...


Karen M. Peterson said...

Congrats on getting to 500!

Doo said...

Congrats on the 500 mark! Good work man!

Paul Joseph said...

Congratulations on 500, sir! I'm working on the big 1-0-0, though it's really picked up this month. When it happens, a party shall be planned!

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Thanks so much for mentioning the search engine, Alex! I really appreciate it!

Congrats on hitting the 500+ mark, too. And...I struggle with the family/writing balance every day. It's such a tough one.

TS Hendrik said...

Congratulations on hitting 500.

I don't have a problem writing as far as family is concerned. I have a problem motivating myself. To quote Fredric Brown (or the other dozen authors who have said the same thing), 'I hate to write but I love to have written.'

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Karen, that's great!

Falen, I'm working on it!

Thanks, Jules!

Jamie, that's good. Enjoy!

Thanks, Elizabeth. And isn't it cool?

Talli, thanks, and yes it will be.

Carol, that's great to hear! Thought I was going to be way off kilter with this post.

Thanks, Lynn - and you have a unique situation.

Kitty, just listen to Charlie then. And glad I could instill the iPad urge in you.

jm, there you go! And thanks.

Thanks Karen and Doo!

Paul, blogfests really help and just wait until the challenge - you'll be shocked!

You're welcome, Elizabeth!

N. R. Williams said...

Great post Alex. My family cheers me on too. I won't make to everything today but I definitely want to learn about the iPad.

N. R. Williams, fantasy author

Colene Murphy said...

Being awesome is bound to lead to 500, Alex! Congratulations!!!

Angela said...

Congrats on all your followers!

Michael Di Gesu said...

Congratulations on 500 followers! That's great Alex!

I pretty lucky. My family lives an min of 800 miles from me and my friends are very supportive, so I don't have this problem. If I did I am sure a I would use your suggestions.


The Happy Whisk said...

Fantastic, Alex. BIG CONGRATS. You deserve it. Keep up the fantastic work.


Anne R. Allen said...

Congrats on the awesome 500!

Liza said...

Congratulations on your 500! And, thank you for some wonderful recommendations re: family communication. Awesome. Truly.

DiscConnected said...

Congrats on 500, Alex!

The other Cavanaugh...

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Nancy, that's good!

Thanks Colene and Angela.

Michael, that made me chuckle - you're lucky you live 800 miles from your family!

Thanks Whisk and Anne!

Liza, glad it helped and made sense to someone...

Southpaw said...

It’s kind of funny to write that a write need to communicate to those around him (or her). Isn’t the point of write to communicate something. It’s a little ironic, don’t you think?

VR Barkowski said...

Congrats on the 500 followers. WOW!

My family does their best, they try hard. But truthfully? My most productive hours are between midnight and 4am when everyone's in bed.

Hart Johnson said...

Congrats on 500 followers! That's amazing!

And i have to say my family is sadly neglected. It's a good thing I chose a partner who is better at it than I am...

Suzie F. said...

Congrats on reaching 500! I'm excited about being 2 away from 50. Guess I have quite a ways to go before catching up to you. Baby steps, right? :)

My husband and 4 kids have been very supportive of my writing, but they also know that they always come first.


Congratulations on your 500th follower, it is much deserved,You have worked hard to achieve this, I'm sure it won't stop there,

Happy week-end
Yvonne. said...

500 is fantastic, Alex! Congrats! It happened because of your great writing, helpful info, fun posts, and terrific parties.

On the matter of family, were it not for them, where would we get all of our interesting ideas?

J. D. Brown said...

Alex. that is amazing advice! I think this is your best FFW post to date, lol.

My family has no clue what's involved in being a writer, but they support me 100% anyway. I'm lucky my is the type that believes I can achieve anything I want and she supports whatever makes me happy. I am VERY VERY LUCKY to have that, because I know other writers who get no support and are sometimes even made fun of or talked down to by their family because they don't think writing is a "real" job.

I think those people can really benefit from what you've written here.

P.S. *clicks on the A to Z blogger challenge*

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Holly, it is!

VR, sometimes we take what we can get!

Hart, thanks, and at least you can admit it.

Suzie, it will happen! And sounds like you have your balance.

Thank you, Yvonne! And you were one of the first.

Robyn, I like that thought!

JD - thanks! I really thought this post would be so far out in left field, no one would get it.

Golden Eagle said...

Congratulations on 500+ Followers!

Notes Along the Way with Mary Montague Sikes said...

Alex, sure sounds like a good plan. I like it that your wife is your best friend and cheerleader! In life, everyone needs a cheerleader! Congrats on 500!!!


Anastasia V. Pergakis said...

Alex, great post. Congrats on 500 followers! That's amazing!

I agree with you 100%. Luckily for me, my husband was really easy to talk to -- granted I told him all about it BEFORE we got married so he already knew what he was getting into! LOL He's my biggest support and I could never do anything that I do without his love and encouragement.

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

congrats on your 500+ followers! Impressive :)

I'm lucky, my Hubby is my greatest support when it comes to writing. He even supplies the chocolate :)

Mason Canyon said...

Congratulations on the 500-plus followers. Your blog is terrific - always informative and entertaining.

Thoughts in Progress

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I feel the same way about my family. Congrats on 500 followers. I'm envious.

M Pax said...

Oooo! A party!

Unknown said...

I read your article on the ipad and now I'm really jealous! ;)

I think it's important that our families view writing like a job. It's a career for me and I view it extremely important.

Thanks for stopping by my blog. The review I did is for the 2010 series of Upstairs Downstairs.

Deirdra A. Eden said...

NICE!!! I love it!!!

Jemi Fraser said...

My kids are older now and I have more time available for me - this really helps me find some minutes for writing! :)

Lydia Kang said...

So far the balance is okay, but it could be better. Great advice Alex. I do appreciate it.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Thanks, Golden!

Monti, thank you, and if I could only get her to wear the outfit...

Anastasia, that probably made a world of difference!

Lynda, thanks, and sounds like you're spoiled.

Thanks, Mason!

Susan, it will happen for you. I mean really - it happened to me!

Clarissa, it's a cool tool! Sorry, I was thinking of the old show, back in the 70's.

Great, Jemi!

Lydia, hope it helps.

Jeff Beesler said...

Congrats on 500 followers again, Alex! I know I already congratulated you, but it bears repeating!

Arlee Bird said...

Congratulations on the 500. I'm not too far behind you.

Tossing It Out and the Blogging From A to Z April Challenge 2011

Julie Musil said...

Alex, I love your thoughts on family. It's so true. All of this would mean nothing without them. Plus, my family gives me LOTS of great ideas, especially since I also write nonfiction.

Larri said...

Great post! I try to write in the wee hours of the morning before my 3 kids and DH awake.

New follower visiting from TIO's A to Z challenge. Looking forward to reading your posts. :o) Happy Saturday!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Jeffrey, thanks!

Julie, it would mean nothing indeed.

Thanks, Seams - hope I can amuse you!

Helen Ginger said...

Communicate? Talk to your family? What kind of heresy is this? Sheesh, Alex.

Congrats on your growing number of followers!

RaShelle Workman said...

Alex - 500 is totally rockin!!! Love your attitude about writing. It's so true, too. Talking to those you love about your reasons for writing and getting them on board with you makes all the difference. Great advice. =D

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Helen, forgive the heresy!

Thanks, RaShelle!

Deniz Bevan said...

Congratulations on your 500 followers! And thanks again for the top ten music blogfest, I've just had a blast commenting on everyone's varied lists.

Margo Benson said...

Many congratulations on the 500!! Well deserved, this is a terrific blog.

CassaStar has arrived, I shall arrange coffee, wine and chocolate (in no particular order) and escape.

Family? Bonkers Bohemians, the lot of them! With the Beloved Mr B also writing, a cosy room, two cats...bliss!

Cheeseboy said...

I battle with writer's guilt all the time. Should I be spending more time with my boys? My wife? Should I feel like I deserve MORE writing time? I never know.

Congrats on 500! Barney sends his regards too. BTW, you now have one more follower than I.

Pat Tillett said...

It's all about balance! In everything...
Congrats on the first 500 Alex! Here's to the next 500!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Deniz, thanks, and I'm glad you enjoyed the music blogfest!

Margo - wow, thanks so much! I hope you enjoy.

Talk to them, Cheeseboy!
Yeah, thanks Barney. And now that you're back from Disney, you'll surge forward again.

Pat, yes it is, and thank you!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Deniz, thanks, and I'm glad you enjoyed the music blogfest!

Margo - wow, thanks so much! I hope you enjoy.

Talk to them, Cheeseboy!
Yeah, thanks Barney. And now that you're back from Disney, you'll surge forward again.

Pat, yes it is, and thank you!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Congratulations, Alex! And communication is so important.

Elizabeth Mueller said...

Doh! I forgot my post for Friday. I enjoyed your post, Alex! :)

♥.•*¨ Elizabeth ¨*•.♥

Ella said...

Congrats on reaching this pivotal number! 5@@ wow~

Happy for you; My family thinks I'm
having a mid life crisis~lol
I don't have the support, yet, but I'm working on it!

Thanks for sharing; It was what I needed to hear, today!

dolorah said...

Well, if I haven't been, I sure will be now :) This is awesome advice.

As informative and interesting as the iPad post at my site. Thank you so much for that.

And congratulations on the over 500. What an amazing number to reach.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Elizabeth, that's all right - I missed one a few weeks back.

Ella, I read your guest post, and I so wish your family did support you!

Thanks, Donna!!

Missed Periods said...

Congratulations on the big 500. It is so wonderful that your wife is so supportive of your writing.

WritingNut said...

Congrats on reaching 500 Alex!

And thank you so much for the great advice :)

Actually, really no one except my sister knows I'm writing, and she is definitely one amazing cheerleader.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Thanks, Missed!

Writing, sounds like she's an amazing sister.

lila Braga said...

fabulous achievement,500+ followers!!!

The Words Crafter said...

Congratulations on the 500!!! My husband is also my cheerleader, although in a different way. He makes sure distractions are out of the way for me and tries to take care of the small things that take up time. My procrastination is what eats up writing time. Sigh....

Good luck with the A to Z blogfest! I probably won't enter; too many life changes to sort out.

Denise Covey said...

Congrats Alex on attaining 500+ followers/fans. You are always a mine of information and I rushed off to check out the Search engine for writers and have already blogged about it. What an awesome idea! I've been trying it too and it's great!

I like what you say about family and writing. It is always hard to fit all our commitments in, but as you say, communication is key.

Denise :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Lila, thanks!

Words, glad you have a supporter.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Alex .. well done on 512 to time and date!! Congratulations .. these things grows like Topsy!

As for the family and writing .. I'm so appreciative of the time everyone puts in - but it's your passion, and we should all be encouraging our passions ... so delighted to hear your family are your "A" supporters ..

Have a great week .. Hilary

Tina said...

Hi Alex, I've been reading your comments over at Rayna's coffe rings for a while. Nice to meet you! In a leap of faith I've joined A-Z for April. I'm a wanna be writer just looking to make time in my life as Mom and appreciated your thoughts on this subject!

Jeff Beesler said...

I might look for Megamind on Netflix, but aside from that there's nothing which catches my fancy.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Thanks, Hilary!

Hi Tina! You won't regret it - we had a blast last year.

Natasha said...

Congratulations on 500 followers. Here's to four digits!

As it is, I feel guilty about giving my family as much of me as I should be doing. So I will continue to sneak around them to do my writing. Or not.

ediFanoB said...

I'm a bad follower. It took until today that I came across your post in my google reader. No, I don't tell you how many unread items I have. It is a shame :((

Belated Congratulations!
The number of followers is an expression of the quality of your blog.

Kudos!Keep up the good work and thank you so much for weekly visits of my blog.
I hope to post more frequently in near future.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Rayna, it doesn't sound like you are neglecting your family.

Edi, don't worry about it! I can't get to all the blogs either. And thanks!