Independence Day for this blog….

Well friends, after much consideration, I’ve decided to stop the Saturday morning posts here at Pajama Marketing… set the blog free.

I’ve begun writing advice and marketing blog tips for, with frequent posts, and Pajama Marketing was intended to give writers an easy way to get into the writing routine with a fun tip or suggestion each week.

Since I started this blog, there are more and more blogs, social media distractions, and tweets galore – all taking your time and attention. So I’ll leave this up for a month or so, then produce an ebook based on the content. Those who’ve visited and boosted my traffic to over 2,000 visitors can email me and request the ebook for free. Send a note to

New material, ideas, and inspiration will continue to appear at and on the Release Your Writing blog at, I now create and manage so many blogs for clients that I’ll spend my Saturday mornings writing content for others, I appreciate your loyal following here, and look forward to seeing you online, and reading your blogs as always.

Happy Independence Day to all writers!


Two steps to get unstuck

Most writers can’t wait for the muse to visit. We need to write on deadlines, or squeeze the words out when we have time, or when guilt drags us back to the computer to query agents, one after another.

Sometimes though it seems we can’t concentrate, focus, or turn off the judgmental editor sitting on our shoulder.

Find your way over to the National Assn. of Memoir Writers site and get recharged with a look at their memoir roundtables. The site has a generous archive here, but note that some of the content is open to members only.

For more motivation, Poets & Writers suggests The Time is Now, their highly motivating writing prompts sent out weekly with a poetry prompt on Tuesdays, a fiction prompt on Wednesdays, and a creative nonfiction prompt on Thursdays.

Nudge, nudge… another way to stay committed to writing your words.


Irish writers we read most …

Today’s Washington Post has a nice tribute to the well-known, most-read Irish writers:

James Joyce

Oscar Wilde

George Bernard Shaw

C.S. Lewis

Samuel Beckett

Johathan Swift

Edmund Burke

Brian Friel

Sean O’Casey

Oliver Goldsmith

If you’re like me you’ll see a few favorites on the list and a few we don’t recall. It’s a good day to walk to the library and explore their work.

Publish something this week….

My usual Saturday morning post, so you can work on your writing and marketing in your P.J.s was deferred, but not forgotten.

Spend 20 minutes looking at this call for writing at, and see if you can find a place to submit that essay, story or poem you’ve been working on. Take a step this week toward getting something new published in March.

New Pages submission opportunities


Still considering your publishing options?

If you’re still wondering whether there’s room for you in the publishing world, of course my answer is Yes.

Here’s a brief summary of the four options available to you now:

Traditional publishing, where you:
Build your platform
Write a book proposal
Research and find an agent
Complete your book
Undertake all marketing

Independent self-publishing:
Complete your book
Get help as needed with layout and format
Create a solid marketing plan
Arrange a print-run, all at your expense
Get listed in bookseller and library databases
Manage or pay a service to handle fulfillment
Undertake all marketing

Print-on-Demand (POD)
Complete your book
Choose and submit to a POD firm
Pay a one-time production fee
Create your marketing plan
Undertake all marketing

The same work to write a good book
Unlimited potential at lowest cost

That’s it. Traditional has the longest timeline, Independent is the most expensive, POD is the fastest at lowest cost for a print book, and Ebooks open all doors to you at the lowest cost and fastest time.

Guest post: Christina Katz

With Christina’s permission, here’s an excerpt from her recent blog post: “There Has Never Been a Better Time to Be a Writer.” Can’t argue with that… (Full link here).

…”Because writers have increased choices for how to publish. Because we have increased choices of how and where to seek assistance. Because we have so many easy, inexpensive career-building tools at our fingertips. And because it has never been easier to locate and make the most of everything we need to succeed in the short run and the long run.”

More at

2012 Writing Goals

Where will you be with your writing a year from now? It’s time to set some good goals.

   Do you want to be published in magazines?
Do you want to have a book out in 2012?
Do you want to have a successful blog to showcase your writing, and  earn money?

All of those are possible. Articulate your top three goals, then write down five steps that will get to closer to focusing on each.

Need encouragement along the way? There are many motivating websites and blogs to inspire you.

Here’s to you and your 2012 success,

Helen Gallagher

Holidays: A time to reflect on success

When asked to contribute a short piece on the topic of “inspiration,” all I could think of was the long list of platitudes about writing, and being a writer.  You know…. the phrases like “a writer writes,”  “Keep writing!” and the well-known “Show up on the page.”

While those are all true, I instead chose to reflect on the inspiration I receive from the success of others:

I attended the OCWW holiday party and marveled at the accomplishments of those present in the room. Most of these writers forge ahead and succeed year after year. I also admire the many achievements of my clients.

Many of my clients published books in 2011. Happily, one won the USA Book Award for a non-fiction book, “Sustainable Weight Loss.” Another published his second major book, this one on the Irish famine, with the powerful title “Famine Ghost.”

Two clients won awards for their blogs; quite an achievement in a world with over 180 million live blogs, according to

Another, because of her niche blog, was hired by a U.K. magazine to write a major article and cover a conference in Chicago.

A woman who wrote a relationship book ten years ago learned the publisher was dropping the title. She came to me for advice and I’m helping her update and publish a second edition of the book in early 2012.

These results are a direct result of the focused efforts of these independent writers.

The rules for success remain the same: Have something to say, say it well, and don’t be deterred. There are appreciative readers for every writer.

Happy Holidaze,

Helen Gallagher

If you’d rather tweet than write…

Ever feel like you want to write, but you just can’t get started? Of course, you do… We all do.

You’ll find comfort among writing groups on twitter. Here are a few you can follow for weekly inspiration:


  1. #tuesdayserial: If Dickens can do it, why not you? Here you’ll find a chat where writers can share their serial work and to follow the stories written by others.
  2. #storyfriday: Join in this chat every Friday to share excerpts from your work and to see what other writers are cooking up. It can be a fun exercise for both avid readers and writers alike.
  3. #ScreenwritingSaturday: Every Saturday, screenwriters come together to talk about their unfinished works, the business, and other topics of interest. For more information, screenwriting buffs can contact the moderator of the group at @UncompletedWork.
  4. #WNW: WNW is short for Wednesday Night Writer, which is a fantasy and fiction discussion group held on, you guessed it, Wednesday nights.
  5. #fictionfriday: Spend your Friday sharing your short stories through Twitter when you join in this chat.
  6. #fridayflash: Boost your quick writing skills with this Friday chat, where writers can post or write flash fiction to share with others.

Thanks to You can explore their full list here.

Are you committed to your readers?

In her Introduction to “Committed: A Love Story,” Elizabeth Gilbert’s followup to Eat, Pray, Love, she mentions something of interest on page 13. She wrote Eat, Pray, Love not for millions of readers but for “precisely 27 readers; her small circle of female friends.” 

So when you think of “voice,” think small and stay true, as if you’re writing for your best friend.

Keep this in mind, especially if you’re writing a memoir.


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