All posts in Writing

Working Moms: What’s Your Story?

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Everyone I know has a story.  We’ve all gotten to this place in life through a unique and often untold journey.  Most of us don’t get to tell our story in any detail. 

Besides, who is going to listen?     

One of the reasons I wrote Working Women of the Bible is because I was convinced of untold stories that need to be told.  What kind of stories am I talking about? Stories of successes and failures. Stories of lessons learned and second chances. Stories of hard work and sacrifice. Stories of broken hearts and mended wounds.

So, what’s your story?

A powerful story has a beginning, a middle, and an end (or a “resolution”).  The middle often involves a crisis, a struggle, or a series of events that are difficult or unplanned.  Often, the greater the struggle, the greater the story.

If you had a single piece of paper or a “timeline” of your life, what events would mark your journey?

As important, have you told your story?

If you were asked to tell your story, what would you say?

Some of us know exactly what we want to say.  We’re just not convinced anyone will listen.  Or we don’t have the platform to tell our stories – we lack an audience. 

Others have not even thought about “telling” our story.  No one has ever asked, and we think our story is boring, irrelevant, or unimportant.

Final question.  Will you share your story?

I believe that each of us has a unique story to share.  It doesn’t have to be public, and we may be most comfortable (and effective) by sharing our stories privately.  Yet some of us have a desire to share out stories with a broader audience.  If that’s your desire, I’d love to help.  You see, I am a storyteller at heart.  I am convinced that a good story doesn’t just transform us, it becomes us. 

If you are interested in sharing your story, please send an email to sdimickele@gmail.com before June 20.   I’ll be highlighting some of your stories in upcoming blog posts, and I am interested the the ordinary, the divine, and the unexpected. 

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Have you ever considered writing a memoir?  In Chasing Superwoman, I tell my story of a stressed-out, too-busy working mom trying to find peace in the midst of the chaos.  Have you ever read a memoir that reminds you of your own story?

Write Down Your Dreams

Sky Diving

Have you stopped dreaming?   Maybe you think it’s too late.  The “ship has sailed” and life as you know it is the only life there can be.

Let me guess.  Your closest relationships are a struggle.  People constantly disappoint you.  You carry the weight of financial obligations.  Your family is a blessing, but also a burden.   No time for yourself.  You can barely survive the daily grind let alone “dream” about the future.

Dare you dream?

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Why I Changed My Name

Why did I change the name of my blog?  Not to mention I’ve changed my Twitter name from @LawyerMommy to @SusanDiMickele.  Is Lawyer Mommy dead?  Done?  Looking for a new identity?

It’s a good question.  And some of you have asked.

As you may know, I’m pretty new in this writing business.  I’m a first-time author, and I’ve been blogging for less than two years.  So I try to pay attention to the experts in the business, like my agent Rachelle Gardner and social media guru Kristen Lamb, who advise us authors to use our published NAME when we write.  (For example, check out Kristen’s post this week on Jane Friedman’s blog.)

But just because I’m told to do something doesn’t mean I’m going to do it.  So I’ve thought about this “branding issue” for myself and I’ve concluded that it makes sense to use my full name as a writer for two main reasons:  1)  My name isn’t going to change; and 2) My name is who I am.

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Are You Ready For A One-Star Review?

It’s no fun getting a one-star review on Amazon.  What’s worse?  Having your 10-year-old son read it in front of you.
When Nick looked up, he was fighting the tears.  Trying to stay strong.  Trying to act like it didn’t matter.
Then he gave his own critique.
“You know, Mom, some of this is probably true.  But, you know what really upsets me?  She didn’t criticize your book.  She criticized you.  And she doesn’t even know you.”
[To continue reading, join me here at the Wordserve Water Cooler.]

Marketing 101: Know Yourself. Be Yourself. Stop Whining.

How do you best market yourself as a writer (and a person)?

In one short post, I’m going to share my playbook.  I’m linking up with Rachelle Gardner and my fellow colleagues at WordServe Literary to give away some unsolicited marketing secrets.

Don’t read this post if you are looking for a shortcut to building a platform.  I don’t have one.  And please don’t read this if you’re looking for time-saving secrets on social media, online communities, or networking with other bloggers.  Sorry.  I don’t have easy answers.  While I engage in all of these strategies, I’d like to share a different perspective.

Know yourself.  Be yourself.  Stop whining.

1)  Know Yourself.

You want practical advice, not a soap box.  Right?  I get it.  So here’s how “knowing myself” has worked so far.

First, I know my limitations.  I have no time to waste.  I’m a too-busy lawyer with three small kids and a husband who already thinks I’m stretched 100 ways too many.  Does this stop me?  Of course not.  I just have to make choices. 

  • I shoot for quality, not quantity.  I choose to connect with other writers and readers that are like-minded – people who inspire and sharpen me, regardless of what they can “do” for me.  And while I’m not making the biggest splash around, it’s been incredibility meaningful.  Meaning motivates me.
  • I hang out on Twitter because it’s fun and efficient.  Of all the social media vehicles, I like Twitter the best.  It’s fast, fun, and incredibly efficient.  I’ve been on Twitter for less than a year, and it’s hands down driven more traffic to my blog than any other source. 
  • I’ve joined one online community, and I’m committed.  About a year ago, I joined The High Calling as a contributing editor.  I guess you could say it’s part of my marketing plan, but that’s not why I do it.  I feel at home there.  It’s a place I’d hang out even if I bagged the whole writing scene.  
  • I’m in it for the long haul.  There’s no quick fix.  I know that my personal platform is going to happen brick by brick.  I’m not looking for quick results, just measurable progress over time. 

2)  Be Yourself. 

Now, you may wonder what this has to do with marketing.  Stick with me, it’s a fair question.

When I was a young trial lawyer, an old pro pulled me aside (come to think of it, I think he smacked me over the head) and gave me some key advice.

“Always be yourself in front of the jury.  If you act fake, they can see right through it.”

Pretty good, huh?

I happen to think readers are a lot like jurors.  So in this world of marketing madness on steroids, I’ve decided to just be me.  I just can’t fake the whole networking thing.  If I went around leaving random comments on blogs that said, “Please follow me and I’ll follow you back” I think I would shoot myself.  (I don’t do auto messages either.)

The good news?  If I’m networking with you, it means I actually like you.  I’m not faking it.

Besides, being myself is the one thing I can do better than anybody else.  (You probably have that same gift.)

3)  Quit Whining.

Writers love to whine (present company especially included).  We have it so hard, don’t we?

Lisa doesn’t work outside her home.  Of course, she has all the time in the world to market and network.

Terry developed a platform because he has a big endorser.  It must be nice.  I don’t know anyone important.

Marketing isn’t what I signed up for.  I just want to write, ok? 

I’m an artist!  Marketing is beneath me.

Excuses, excuses.  Does this sound familiar?

Look, we all know that marketing doesn’t drive us to write.  Writing drives us to market.   You may think marketing is just a necessary evil (or just plain evil) but if you are passionate about getting your message out to other people, you’re going to have to sell yourself to an audience. 

So stop whining and get to work!

Yeah, the work involves things like blogging and networking – the things I already told you I haven’t mastered.  But if you set your mindset first – know yourself, be yourself, and quit whining – it might not be as tough as you think.

It’s actually tougher!

[If you care to continue the discussion on all things writing, please join me and my WordServe colleagues daily at the WordServe Water Cooler.  I’m thrilled to be part of this newly-launched community of talented writers.]