Using Social Media Hashtags to Stay on Track for Summer
Welcome to summer, writers!
As warm weather begins, writing manuscripts gets difficult. There are so many distractions! From vacations to lazy beach days, novel writing gets delayed—or stopped. But have you heard of the “100 days” trend? Or the “1,000 words a day” commitment? These hashtags are trending on social media, and writers are using them to stay focused.
Last month, I began talking about social media for writers. This month, I’ll offer tips to use social media to your benefit, to let it motivate you to reach writing goals. Marketing guru Seth Godin says it’s one thing to have goals; it’s another to have tactics to reach those goals.
Given that writing time is especially limited during summer months, rather than let social media eat into that precious time, I suggest using social media to work for you, to inspire you. Follow a few hashtags. Check in with them in the morning. Comment on a few posts. Then, get off social media—no mindless scrolling!—and use that energy to write for a set amount of time.
Find hashtags, follow them
Instagram and other social media platforms use hashtags to identify communities. If you’re on those platforms, find tags that speak to you. It could be the “100 days” hashtag, which is a hashtag that has a general following; it’s for those who want to reach a goal during summer. Or, it could be related more closely to writing such as “writing community.”
Choose tags that motivate you. Then, check in with them before writing. In only a few minutes, you’ll be inspired by those doing the same thing you are: Keeping up with writing goals during the busy summer months. Make your morning coffee time productive by reading those hashtags for a few minutes.
Then, use that energy to get words to the page. If you’re like me, seeing others embrace goals and share how they’re achieving them is inspiring. I can do it, too! I believe.
Think about it: If you write just 250 words per day during the 100 days of summer, that’s half of a middle-grade novel! Or one-third of a full-length manuscript!
Check in, comment, then write!
Keep the time spent reading updates to the hashtags short. The key to this tip is not lingering over social media. Instead, let it inspire you, then get to your own manuscript. Set a timer, if necessary, to stay with your work. Then, after you’ve reached your word count for the day, let others know! Comment on a few posts and encourage others. Perhaps someone has added a thumbs up or a smiley emoji to your post. Continued encouragement and engagement will boost your mood and help you stay on track.
Other tips to get words to the page during summer are to wake up earlier, write in ten-minute sprints, and/or keep a notebook nearby. Jot down ideas, story outlines, and/or supplemental material notes as they come to you.
To reach summer writing goals, I suggest:
• Follow motivational hashtags
• Check in and comment on social media posts to boost morale
• Get off social media to write!
Upcoming Conferences: Plan for Fall!
In previous blog posts, I’ve suggested attending conferences to query, pitch, and improve writing craft.
NOW is the time to research fall events and sign up!
Aug. 5-6: Kansas City Writer’s Workshop, Writing Day Workshops, (online)
Sept. 8-11: ACFW Conference, St. Louis, Missouri
Oct. 7-8: Minnesota Writing Workshop, Writing Day Workshops (online)
Oct. 14-15: Children’s Literature Conference, Sturgeon Bay
The Midwest Writers Workshops (ongoing)
Write On Door County (ongoing)
Happy start to summer—and happy writing!
T.K. Sheffield, MA
Pre-published author, The Seymour Agency
The Backyard Model Cozy Mysteries: A retired fashion model uses her skill at spotting posers to solve murders in her touristy Wisconsin town. (The first book in the series is on submission to publishers.) Follow me on Instagram for writing tips, author news, and to share my Wisconsin backyard.
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