Into the Eye |

Writing a Book on Instagram

I am a fairly new Instagrammer and have been trying to find my voice on this awesome platform. Someone who I follow – I think it was @coastalbrandon – committed to #the100dayproject and in that moment I thought that it would be a great way for me to finish the book that I had started four years ago.

So, here I am on Day 32 struggling to write every day and get this book back on track. There are thousands of people participating in @elleluna’s and The Great Discontent’s 100-day challenge to create something every day from April 6 – July 14.

I wanted my little writing bits to stand out so chose a photo that I had taken the weekend before while beachcombing near our marina. Some people have been asking how I create my submissions, so I thought I would show you how I do it.

I use the WordSwag app – an app that @suebzimmerman recommended on Instagram. The app is really easy to use and has several different text styles that you can choose.

How to use the WordSwag app |
Upload your photo. Choose your font style and click on the font symbol to access the text editor.

I start with uploading my photo and then edit the text. I prefer to turn off the automatic carriage returns so that I can control the line breaks. I am using “Miss Modest” text style for continuity and prefer to have the text left-aligned.

How to use the WordSwag app |
If you don’t want to use your own words, the app has quotes that you can use by clicking on the list in the column on the left.

The final step is to edit the image. I blur the image and then decrease the brightness so that the words stand out.  Remember to save the image before closing the app, then upload to Instagram from your camera roll. I can’t tell you how many times, I have accidentally closed the app without saving. Ugh!

How to use the WordSwag app |
The words are difficult to read so I blur the image and decrease the brightness of the photo, so that the words stand out from the background.

The interesting thing that has evolved from this digital writing exercise is that it has forced me to become concise in my writing so that the individual bits make sense.

I started the 100-day project with great enthusiasm and without a plan. I chose an exciting point in the plot line to begin, but as I proceeded with telling the story, I realized that without the beginning, I was diminishing the dramatic impact of the middle. About Day 12 of the challenge, I decided to start earlier in the plot – after all, I had 78 days to go and didn’t want to run out of words.

#the100dayproject |
An excerpt from “Into the Eye”

I am now into the hard part of writing. The fun, exciting plot twists spilled out of me effortlessly, but now the more delicate nuances of conflict between the characters and descriptive text come in short bursts of inspiration punctuated by long pregnant pauses of nothingness and self-doubt.

Except for this blog, my writing has been for my eyes only, so pouring my heart out day after day in this way is very scary for me. Will people like it? Is it any good? I don’t know, but I am encouraged by the other 100-dayers who like me are bearing their creative soul for all to see. Good. Bad. Indifferent. It doesn’t matter. The practice of making a commitment to create binds us together.

Louise Meyers from How-to Graphics was intrigued by my Instagram project and kindly featured it in her post, “Can Making Quote Pictures Motivate You to Write a Book?”  Be sure to check out the rest of Louise’s awesome website for tips on using social media effectively.

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