Follow Friday on Twitter- December 2013

If you enjoy following me on Twitter (@zacharyfenell), you should certainly consider following my clients listed below.

Follow Friday Twitter SuggestionsThe Mobility Resource (@SweetMobility) Facebook: The Mobility Resource

Go to The Mobility Resource (TMR) website, look at the “Recent Posts” section, and you will probably find at least one or two pieces to peak your interest. Following The Mobility Resource on Twitter will place those intriguing headlines into your Twitter feed. Additionally TMR tweets out other attention-grabbing stories and uplifting content.

Handicap This (@HandicapThis) Facebook: Handicap This

What should I say regarding John W. Quinn (@johnwquinn) and my co-hosts for the live Twitter chat #CPChatNow (every Wednesday at 8pm EST)? Knowing Tim Wambach and Mike Berkson personally, I can say their Twitter account acts as an extension to the friends’ personalities. While for some people that might not equal praise ;), for Tim and Mike those words provide a great compliment. Through uplifting quotes and tweets, the Handicap This team will get you smiling and feeling encouraged when you need positivity the most.

Think Inclusive (@think_inclusive) Facebook: Think Inclusive

The growing Think Inclusive site began with blogger Tim Villegas’ vision to create a resource on inclusive education. Two weeks down and I’m still excited to play a role as Think Inclusive’s first staff writer. Personally I believe teachers and parents should benefit from Tim’s tweets on education and inclusion. Also, by following Think Inclusive you position yourself well to keep updated on the website’s growth.

Your turn to share! In the comments below name someone on Twitter to follow and give a brief explanation why. I await your #FF recommendations. 

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#CPChatNow Week Four Overview

#CPChatNow

Next Live Twitter Chat: Wednesday, January 1st, 2014

Over the past month I mentioned the live Twitter chats John W. Quinn (@johnwquinn), Handicap This! (@HandicapThis), and I (@zacharyfenell) started hosting. By using the hash tag “#CPChatNow” Wednesdays at 8:00pm EST (7pm CST/5pm PST) you can join us to discuss everything cerebral palsy related. Beginning now Tim from Handicap This! and I will take turns recapping each discussion, with Tim’s recaps going up at www.handicapthis.com and mine here.

Given Christmas fell on Wednesday this week, we decided to hold our live Twitter chat #CPChatNow last night. You will find a few highlights below. Thank you to everyone who make these chats engaging and enriching.

John brought up a topic quite native to the season, New Year resolutions.

#CPChatNow

#CPChatNow

Everyone seemed to experience at least one “Why me?” moment throughout their lives.

#CPChatNow

Several Why Me Moments

An interesting question about bullying arose.

#CPChatNow

What makes a bully, bully?

Encouraging wisdom unfolded.

#CPChatNow

The above highlights just a few great tweets from last night’s chat. Please join us Wednesday, January 1st, 2014 at 8pm EST (7pm CST, 5pm PST) as we continue to build a more connected cerebral palsy community.

Establishing a Stronger CP Community

FYI regular Off Balanced blog readers, check back tonight for my usual disability related #FF suggestions.

Check Me Out at Think Inclusive

Last month Think Inclusive blogger Tim Villegas and I came to an agreement leading me to become Tim’s first staff writer. Think Inclusive‘s general “About Us” section defines the website pretty well.

“Think Inclusive is an online resource that promotes the full and authentic inclusion of people with disabilities in their school and communities through education and advocacy.”

First off I must say how flattered I am Tim reached out to me about acquiring my services. Previously I wrote a guest post for Think Inclusive, “Exploring the Parent-Child Dynamic within the IEP Team.” We stayed in touch via social media and obviously I stood out to him.

Like I stated in my first staff writer post “First Day: Hello My Name is Zachary,” I consider Think Inclusive an opportunity to better understand special education. Gearing my writing towards educators, a key demographic for the site, will enable me to think about learning from a teacher’s perspective.

Think Inclusive

Visit the Think Inclusive website at www.thinkinclusive.us

Now adding me to the Think Inclusive payroll marks the start to the growth Tim envisions. More staff writers and a Think Inclusive editor will eventually come. A membership program remains the backbone to all these changes. To see what all a Think Inclusive membership entails please read Tim’s post “BREAKING NEWS: Think Inclusive is Expanding.”

Hopefully you’ll come check me out over at Think Inclusive. My posts will run every Monday.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Two-Year Reflection on Publishing Off Balanced

Two years ago today (December 13th) I became a published author when my teen memoir Off Balanced became available on the Kindle and Nook. Hence now seems a fitting occasion to reflect on my publishing experiences.

Let me start by saying if you want to sell a quality book, publishing turns into a very involved process. Please note I’m incorporating all the elements into my definition. So I’m referencing writing the manuscript, rewriting, editing, more rewriting, more editing, all the technical aspects to publishing, and marketing.

Thankfully I did enough research on publishing while writing Off Balanced to not get caught by surprise. When I finished my finalized manuscript and went through the publishing process on the Kindle and Nook I knew my work only began.

Allow me to clarify by utilizing the cliché light at the tunnel’s end scenario. In my mind I envisioned writing a book as one tunnel. Once out the light didn’t last. Instead ahead lay another tunnel, the marketing tunnel. Two years into exploring the aforementioned metaphorical passageway and I honestly can say I feel like I’m just starting exploration.

Off Balanced by Zachary Fenell

You can purchase Off Balanced for your Kindle or Nook.

Many, many marketing opportunities exist. Truthfully I found engaging in those while also pursuing freelance writing endeavors more tiring than I expected.

Yet in a way publishing Off Balanced certainly helped me with my freelance writing. Example, The Mobility Resource found me thanks to a newspaper article done on my book. Basically a marketing opportunity led to a long-term writing gig, pretty awesome right? 😀

Equate writing a book to a yin-yang. For yin’s darkness, you also encounter yang’s light. The darkness represents the bad, albeit disappointing sales, a poor review, or something else. Yang’s light symbolizes the positives, that overwhelming feedback from readers you do maintain, the multiple five-star reviews, and what not.

Personally I’m unsatisfied with Off Balanced’s current sales numbers, but I stay encouraged. I recognize the positives, continued sales over the past two years, majority positive feedback, the networking made possible simply by publishing my memoir. Acknowledging these wins empowers me to stay determined and to keep promoting my writing and my book.

Speaking about promoting, I invite you to check out the Off Balanced book giveaway promotion. Visit my writer’s website www.zacharyfenell.com for details! Or, read Monday’s post “Upcoming Events, Including First Book Giveaway.”

Upcoming Events, Including First Book Giveway!

Exciting events will take place over the next two weeks, creating the need for this very special Monday post. Plus Friday marks exactly two years since I released Off Balanced on the Kindle and Nook. To commemorate the occasion I will use Friday to write a reflection on my publishing experiences to date. Anyways back to the aforementioned exciting events!

#CPChatNow

Join us on Twitter Wednesday, December 11th at 8pm EST by using the hashtag “#CPChatNow.”

Wednesday, December 11th (This Wednesday) 8:00pm EST- The Second Live Twitter Chat #CPChatNow
I’m pleased to report the first live Twitter cerebral palsy chat #CPChatNow went extremely well last Tuesday (December 3rd). In fact the event went so well, John Quinn (@johnwquinn), Handicap This! (@HandicapThis), and I (@zacharyfenell) decided to hold another live Twitter chat this week. Please join us on Twitter Wednesday, December 11th at 8:00pm EST (7pm CST, 5pm PST) by utilizing the hashtag “#CPChatNow.” Checkout the Handicap This! blog for highlights from the first chat, “#CPChatNow Overview.”

Tuesday, December 17th 7:00pm EST- Webinar “Finding Your Way: Transitioning from High School to College”
On Tuesday, December 17th at 7:00pm EST Parent to Parent of Georgia will host a webinar for high school students with disabilities preparing to transition to the college level. I’m honored Parent to Parent of Georgia asked me to serve as a panelist during the webinar “Finding Your Way: Transitioning from High School to College.” Expect to hear my advice based off my college experience at Notre Dame College. The webinar possesses limited seating so register today.

Friday, December 20th 5:00pm EST Deadline- First Ever Off Balanced Giveaway!

Calling all Kindle and Nook owners! I’m happy to announce the first ever Off Balanced giveaway. I will give away one copy (via gifting) to a Kindle or Nook owner. Rules for the contest follow.

Zachary Fenell's Youtube Channel

My Youtube videos vary on topics from sports and writing to disabilities and more.

1. Anytime between right now and Friday, December 20th 5:00pm EST visit my Youtube channel.

2. Choose a video that interests you and watch all the way through.

3. Once finished leave an insightful comment. Nothing like “I’m commenting to win a copy of Off Balanced.” Engage in the ideas my video contains.

4. At the end of your comment put in parentheses your e-book device (Kindle or Nook) and a social media platform to contact you on. For example a valid entry might look like: “Thanks for sharing your experiences with LinkedIn. I personally have found success with LinkedIn by liking my connections’ updates. (Kindle owner, you can contact me on Twitter at [Enter Twitter Handle])”

I will select a winner randomly and contact the winner using the social media platform he or she included within his or her Youtube comment. Good luck and thanks for your participation!

Tracking New Year Resolutions: November ’13 Recap

As December ascends upon us now, I wave farewell to November via my routine “Tracking New Year Resolutions” monthly recap. Here I evaluate my success accomplishing the monthly New Year resolutions I set back in January.

Like I stated in past posts, the idea behind such a concept proves twofold. First, I’m seeking to motivate myself through public accountability. Secondly I hope to inspire you to continue chasing your own New Year resolutions.

Resolution #1- Utilize My Youtube Channel Via Vlogging
Specific Goal- Vlog Twice a Month
Accomplished? YES

Repeating a line from my October 2013 recap seems fitting. “Achieving resolution one has become a habit over the year, producing a responsibility I can’t ignore.” In my first video I encouraged viewers to support local authors on Small Business Saturday. Watch below.

My second video aims to uplift your spirits when you feel down, “Celebrate Your Hidden Success.”

Resolution #2- Post Here on a Weekly Basis
Specific Goal- Post every Friday
Accomplished? YES

Typically resolution two translates to four posts a month. Well November brought five Fridays and thus an extra challenge. By maintaining a week-to-week focus though I navigated the extra challenge easily. Sometimes short-term concentration prevents you from feeling anxious and psyching yourself out.

Resolution #3- Keep to Due Dates
Specific Goal- Don’t Receive Any Inquiries About ETAs
Accomplished? NO

Writer’s block hit me hard mid-November causing me to fall behind. Staying professional I rescheduled my soon to miss deadline to a later date. Personally I find rescheduling deadlines works better than stressing and forcing yourself to write something.