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105 Author Blog Prompts: Banish Your Blank Blog!

So, you started your author blog. It was so *exciting* at the beginning! Rainbows and sunshine poured down on you and the posts flowed freely from your fingertips. There was no shortage of ideas and you just knew this blogging thing was meant for you.

Fast-forward to a month later. You visit your blog and think, “has it really been *that* long since I’ve posted?” We understand — we’ve had our share of blogging lapses in 2+ years here at Duolit. How do we combat this? Ideas…lots and lots of ideas. We offered up 20 or so author blog ideas awhile back, but thought it was time for something more…dramatic.

Like ONE HUNDRED AND FIVE AUTHOR BLOG PROMPTS! *cue exciting, dramatic music*

Oh yes. We came up with idea after idea until we ran out of juice (read: passed out from exhaustion) — and here’s the results.

Self-Publishing Related Blog Prompts

  1. What do you love most about self-publishing?
  2. What’s the worst part of self-publishing?
  3. How has your impression of self-publishing changed?
  4. Would you recommend self-publishing to other authors?
  5. What will the self-publishing industry look like in ten years?
  6. Review your publisher and publishing experience. What did you like? What would you change?
  7. 5 Things you’ve learned about self-publishing.
  8. 4 Self-published authors you look up to.
  9. 3 Ways indie authors can improve self-publishing.
  10. 2 Self-publishing resources every indie author should use.
  11. 1 mistake you made while self-publishing your book.Continue Reading

What Bugs You About Self-Publishing? [February 2012 Prompt #3]

It’s weekly writing prompt time! This is our new, regular Thursday gig (like open mic night) where we pose a question and open it up to you guys to blog about our topic and link-up your posts in our comments. It’s like a sharing circle without the awkwardness and that annoying feelings stick.

This week’s prompt is very near and dear to our hearts at Duolit. We’ve heard all the disparaging comments that some have shared about self-publishing. And as quick as we are to defend the merits of the industry, we also acknowledge that there are some things that do bug us about it.

So we want to know, what bugs you the most about self-publishing?

This can include frequent complaints that readers have about the industry, barriers to success, or general critiques. We’d also like to hear your recommendations for how we as a community can improve on these shortfalls to make the industry better.

Sound off in the comments below and be sure to include a link to your blog!

Next week’s topic is our fun prompt of the month–what’s your most delectable recipe?

Later days,

– Shannon

“Across the threshold” [February 2012 Prompt #2]

This week we’re getting more creative with our weekly writing prompt.

We want you to take a few moments out of your day to get those creative juices flowing by writing a short story, poem or any other art form you’d like that contains the line, “…she stepped across the threshold and took the first delicious breath of her new life…”

Add your creative writing piece to your blog and link it up in the comments below. We want to see what great work you guys can come up with! To help get the sharing started, I’ve written a little short story of my own featuring this week’s prompt. Check it out and don’t forget to email us your suggestions for next month’s prompts!

Shannon’s short story: “Sail Away”

Every weekday at noon, June Adler drove to the edge of the bay, put her car in park and ate her lunch. She brought the same meal every day—a peanut butter sandwich (no jelly, thank you) cut into four even squares and carefully stored inside a plastic Tupperware container. If she was feeling indulgent, she would buy a coke from the vending machine at work before embarking on her journey, though most days she was content to sip from a bottle of water.

In fact, June was content with just about everything in her life. She was content with her tiny apartment, content with her job, content with her wardrobe and content with her loneliness. She equated a lack of unhappiness with happiness, and assumed that if she had nothing to complain about there was therefore nothing in her life worth changing.

Until the day she saw the yellow boat.Continue Reading

What book made you want to become a writer? [February 2012 Prompt #1]

On a recent binge to find creative inspiration from some of my favorite Southern authors (both old and new), I dug around for a little bit of background info on a journalist I’ve taken a liking to named Wright Thompson. A native of Mississippi, Thompson is a senior sports writer for ESPN the Magazine and my favorite blog, Grantland.

(Quick sidenote: Not all of his stories are about sports, in fact the first few stories of his that I read and fell in love with discussed bourbon, William Faulkner’s niece and a hot dog joint Birmingham, Ala.)

A quick Google search turned up several interesting interviews with Thompson. In every interview I could find, Thompson found a way to work in a note about how he was first inspired to write by Willie Morris’ North Toward Home which Thompson read while recovering from a bout with mono as a kid. Here’s how Thompson describes the life-altering experience:

“Aha’ moments only really happen in movies, except that was an actual ‘aha’ moment. I started a book and didn’t know what I wanted to do, and finished a book and did. Almost every decision I’ve made since then has been toward that end.”

I thought it was so interesting to think that a single book could set someone’s path in life, yet when I looked back at my own path I found there was a book marking the point at which I decided to become a writer way back in the third grade. For me, it was The Lion’s Paw by Rob White. My teacher at the time, Mrs. Baldauff, read the book aloud to the class over several weeks (it was one of those unthinkably long chapter books!) detailing the journey of Penny, Ben and Nick as they traversed the state of Florida in a sailboat via narrow canals and one exciting trip across Lake Okeechobee. By the end of the book I knew that I wanted to use words create worlds where people could experience fantastic adventures.

So that leads us to this week’s prompt–the first in our series of weekly blog prompts. Take a moment to write about a book that turned you on to the world of writing and post a link to your blog in the comments below so we can all take a peek!

Don’t forget that next week’s topic is a creative writing piece inspired by this line, “…she stepped across the threshold and took the first breath of her new life…”

Later days,

– Shannon