Writer’s Treasure Chest 1st Anniversary

Yesterday I got an amazing surprise when I checked my comments. I earned a badge.

WP_anniversary-2x

 

It said:

Happy Anniversary with WordPress.com.

You registered on WordPress.com one year ago.

Thanks for flying with us. Keep up the good blogging!

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I’m quite proud of being a blogger for one entire year.

In the meantime “Writer’s Treasure Chest” got:

299 posts

1,675 comments

and

329 followers

But then: I couldn’t have done it without so many people! My friends, readers, followers, commenters, re-bloggers, supporters and many more.

I could not have accomplished such an awesome success without you all. You made this adventure a wonderful experience for me – and I hope I’ll be able to come back many times more!!

Picture courtesy of: www.google.com
Picture courtesy of: http://www.google.com

Creativity at Starbucks

Picture courtesy of: http://www.starbucks.com/menu/drinks/frappuccino-blended-beverages
Picture courtesy of: http://www.starbucks.com/menu/drinks/frappuccino-blended-beverages

 

 

Why is working at Starbucks positive to people’s creativity?

 

This blog post is the result of intense personal field research. And I, of course, wonder if I’m the only writer who has made the same experiences.

 

When I go to Starbucks (which isn’t ever too often, because I think their coffee and the food is significantly overpriced) I see young students, older students, graphic designers, painters, drawers, fashion designers, readers and, of course, writers.

 

I talked to quite some of them and very often got the same answer to my question: aren’t you disturbed or bothered by the sound of the coffee machines, the voices, the distraction, the noise? – No, in fact, at every other place all the background sound bothers me, but not at Starbucks.

 

How come?

 

While writing this blog post, I, in fact, am sitting in Nashville-Green Hills Mall Starbucks and watching people carefully. Next to me on the table is a Venti Mocha Frappuccino (with Whipped Cream of course) and I’m sipping my way through this blog post.

 

On my left, just by the wall, there’s a young man, designing T-Shirts. On my left, there’s a young girl, maybe close to twenty, seemingly to get homework done. (Maybe she’s, in fact, chatting with her boyfriend, I can’t tell for sure, but her smile tells me a lot) It is 12:10 pm and there aren’t many people, but it seems everyone in here is either reading or typing, and I’m having tons of fun watching people…

 

As much fun as this all seems it doesn’t necessarily satisfy my curiosity: Why do people seem to be so creative at Starbucks? Is it the easy access to excellent (unusual) coffee? Is it the feeling to share this creativity with others, being as hard to distract by noise? (Unless it’s the screaming and crying of pretty annoying little children) If misbehaved kids are cruising around, it seems quite obvious: they are an unwelcome distraction and many of the Starbucks at home- creative artists will pack up and disappear. Or, and that’s part of what makes me think: can it be that Creativity is contagious? Do people feel creativity, or catch a wave of creativity and surf on it?

I’m not even sure I can do that. With me, either creativity is on, or off, but I cannot “find a wave” of it and ride on it. Maybe others can.

 

Do I feel more creative at Starbucks? Sometimes I am. (As can easily be seen by this blog post) But there are other days, I need to leave. It strongly depends on my mood. But I also have to admit: Most of the time I am quite creative at Starbucks, probably because I’ve hardly ever got time to sit down and get some writing done in a Starbucks. Unless it was for creative’s sake, like in this particular blog post related field research.

 

Talking about this particular research: It has cost me around $40 to properly and carefully watch people at different Starbucks spots and give out a result I can stand behind after my best knowledge and belief.

 

Besides: Their Mocha Frappuccino is just a drink for Gods. (Which makes me ask myself why I do get chocolate decoration onto the whipped cream when ordering one in California, but not when I have one in Nashville – or New York? But that’s of course only a detail.)

 

Now, please help me out: are you particularly creative at Starbucks? And if yes, have you ever found out why that is? Are there other places you are unusually creative at? Thanks for letting us know.

 

(written, January 5, 2016, Mall at Green Hills, Nashville, Tennessee – Aurora Jean Alexander)

Another step forward

This week I opened my blog and found you had all awarded me with another great gift! My blog “Writer’s Treasure Chest” got 1337 Likes!

 

LOB

 

 

I wanted to thank you for making this possible! Thank you for this amazing adventure you permitted me to experience. Thank you for your help, your interest in this blog and all your “Likes”.

Thank you for making “Writer’s Treasure Chest” a pleasure and a success for me!

 

Picture courtesy of: http://wvxu.org/post/thank-you-0#stream/0
Picture courtesy of: http://wvxu.org/post/thank-you-0#stream/0

 

How to start your own Author Newsletter

Picture courtesy of: http://kerdukey.com/newsletter-sign-up/
Picture courtesy of: http://kerdukey.com/newsletter-sign-up/

When I started building my network on social media and created “Writer’s Treasure Chest” I was not prepared for this much more to come. There are many more challenges to face. One of these challenges is to create my own Author Newsletter.

I started research on writer’s newsletters.

There are as many hints, tips and tricks as newsletter owners, and I’m desperate to be as well informed as possible before giving it a try. I’d like my first newsletter to be a success, not some amateurish “good luck” try.

 

Tips & Tricks

One of the first blog posts about newsletters I read had been written July 5, 2013 by Steena Holmes. She provides a list of what a newsletter can be used for. Mrs. Holmes hands out warnings on what not do with newsletters. She as well dedicates an entire paragraph on and how to get people to sign up. I like her writing style very much and I recommend this blog post to every writer who’s just starting. Her entire blog post can be found here: https://writersinthestorm.wordpress.com/2013/07/05/the-how-and-why-of-author-newsletters/

 

Choose your Newsletter Provider

Steena Holmes mentioned one particular Newsletter and campaign provider: “Mail Chimp”. I did research on several providers and Mail Chimp seems user friendly and offers a variety of designs. I even found an easy to read and helpful “step-by-step” manual. It can be found here: http://www.authorsatlas.com/blog/author-newsletter-101. This valuable tool provides tricks and screen shots to guide me through the process.

 

Decide on a professional design

After reading these posts and articles I tried to imagine how to stay true to my brand and still deliver a professional looking and interesting newsletter for my future readers. The answer I found on wikiHow: http://www.wikihow.com/Write-a-Good-Newsletter. They even offer sample newsletters there which I found attractive. But the one thing impressing me most on wikiHow was their first paragraph. “Although images and layout are important, the written content is the biggest factor in whether your newsletter is successful. However, writing a newsletter requires more than just a good grasp of proper English grammar and extensive vocabulary. You need to be interesting, relevant, and easy to be read. Here are some simple steps you can take to write a good newsletter.”

 

The four types of Author’s Newsletters

Having a nice design in mind does not make a newsletter yet and found a blog post, written by Cheryl Reif. She offers four different Author’s Newsletters:

  • Chat & Conversation
  • News &Updates
  • Tools & Resources
  • Recycled Content

I need to decide now what type of newsletter mine should become. Cheryl Reif’s blog post can be found here http://www.cherylreif.com/2015/06/15/4-types-of-author-newsletter-how-to-pick-the-best-for-you/

 

What did I learn?

I will try to keep it short. I know, I provided a few links to read and all I do now is a quick bullet list:

  • Keep the feature article short
  • Add extra valuable information for your readers
  • Tell your readers what you will write about to keep them interested
  • Create a list of upcoming events (if you have any)
  • Don’t play “hard to get” – give full contact information
  • Combine great content with a professional looking layout
  • Keep your readers entertained with providing a quote.
  • Send out your electronic newsletter every 30 days
  • Watch your subscriber’s list grow
  • The next step for me now will be to start on my first newsletter. In case I’ve made you curious how it will turn out:
Please, click the icon to subscribe.
Please, click the icon to subscribe.

 

I’d be delighted to welcome you as my reader. Thank you!


 

 

 

Thank you for this huge gift

After almost exactly 4 months of blogging I found the most amazing and flattering gift yesterday:

 

I got 100 followers and 500 likes on my blog.

 

followed-blog-100-2xlikeable-blog-500-2x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am so grateful and honored to have you all visiting my blog, permitting me to re-blog your voice, your work, your posts and be part of the huge family of blogging authors. And of course, every single time you are visiting “Writer’s Treasure chest”, please, feel welcome and know, you are my very much appreciated guest, sacrificing your time!  

At this place, please let me say a huge

 

Picture courtesy of: http://www.flyingcrossranch.com/talk-derby-to-me-thank-you-page.html
Picture courtesy of: http://www.flyingcrossranch.com/talk-derby-to-me-thank-you-page.html

 

I’m looking forward seeing you here again. 

A.J. Alexander

 

Welcome to the “Writer’s Treasure Chest”

Welcome-2
Picture courtesy of: http://www.endeavour.co.nz/board-endeavour-team-paula-maiuu

A big welcome!

 

Please, let me thank the ones who are already following this blog, even though there had not been any formal introduction yet. I am going to catch up on this:

 

I am Aurora Jean Alexander, Author. As shown on the “About” page I am working on my first novel after writing short stories, poems and other creative pieces in the past. Hopefully I will be able to present a few pieces of my writing before the novel will be released.

 

I started to blog because I found in the past reading-years that so many excellent authors are out there. Maybe they aren’t famous and their names aren’t known, but I personally think their stories need to be told and are amazing. So many gifted authors should be introduced to the public and I plan to do whatever possible to make this spotlight wider.

 

This blog is supposed to become a meeting point to authors, writers, readers, reviewers and people who enjoy finding hidden treasures within the writing world.

 

Writer’s Treasure Chest is about books I found by chance and others that are introduced to me. I will publish and re-blog reviews if possible and will be part in as many blog tours as possible.

There will be interviews with featured authors and interesting blog posts of all kinds.

 

I will try to post about fascinating and helpful subjects and of course love to hear from as many people as possible to publish guest posts. (Please use the contact form on the top of the page or on the right side for interviews, blog tours, guest posts and feedback.)

 

As so many other bloggers I too encourage readers to comment and love reading them (preferably positive ones. *smirk*)  And of course I love to see as many of my blog posts being shared as often as possible. I have added different share-buttons like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Google and many more… You will make me happy using them.

 

And now only one more thing is left to say:

 

Welcome to the Writer’s Treasure Chest!

 

It is a pleasure to have you here!! 

Aurora Jean Alexander