Almost every week I participate in a group called Friday Flash. If you are unfamiliar with this, in a nutshell, authors post a piece of flash fiction on their personal blog or website and promote it on Twitter (type in #fridayflash in the search bar at Twitter if you'd like to join in the fun). Through Friday Flash, there are a good number (usually 70 or more) stories to read each weekend. Not only is this a way to find entertaining reads, but it also promotes the authors involved.
This week I want to share how I participate in Friday Flash. I'm sure this is not a lot of variation out there in how authors participate, but since I often wonder how others handle the little things each week, I thought I'd show how my Friday Flash weekends typically progress. (If you're curious about how I write the flash fiction I use for Friday Flash, click here for that article.)
There are basically three stages to a Friday Flash weekend that I'd like to discuss: posting (and publicizing) a story, reading stories by other authors, and retweeting links to stories by other authors. I publish my story on Thursday night. This means I don't have to rush and worry about getting it done first thing in the morning, and I can catch those who read earlier than I get up on Friday morning. To publicize my story, on Friday I use Twitter three times--once when I wake up, once around lunch time, and once in the late afternoon or early evening. I cut it back to twice on Saturday--once in the morning, and once in the afternoon. On Sunday, I cut it back again to a single tweet in the morning. I also tweet it once on Monday, but that is more a thank you to everyone who commented on my story. I also post a thank you in the comment section of the story on my blog. (I love comments!)
When it comes to reading other stories, I make a point of reading and commenting on all stories by people who have commented on mine. If you've ever left me a comment without me doing the same for you, I sincerely apologize. Chances are I wasn't able to find your story via the Google bios on Blogger or on the weekly recap. Feel free to hit me with a reminder with a link if the weekend passes and I still haven't gotten to your story. I find most of my links to other writers stories through Twitter or Google Reader. I will always bring up that story and bookmark it, getting to as many as I can that weekend. Sometimes I get through all that I've bookmarked, and other times I don't. Depends on how much time I have to devote to the process each weekend.
The final part of the Friday Flash weekend that I'd like to discuss is retweeting links to other authors' stories. I have pretty strict rules for myself to both not clog up the Twitter feeds of my followers, and to not play favorites. I will retweet a story only after I've read it. I retweet it if I see the author tweeting their own story (I rarely, if ever, retweet retweets of others). I do my best to only retweet stories once. If I retweet a story twice, it means I couldn't remember if I've already done so, and I'm playing it on the safe side. I also do my best to add a comment to each one I retweet.
There you have it. That's how I participate in Friday Flash. It can be a lot of work to stay on top of so may stories each weekend, but it's worth it. The participants each week are not only great writers, but better people. I'm honored I've been accepted into the community. Until next time, keep writing and/or reading.