Tuesday, April 1, 2014

How Writers Can Use Pinterest

Many writers shy away from Pinterest thinking it is just another social media platform to steal away their writing time, but I'm here to tell you that Pinterest can be a great way to collect and store research for your novel.

Before we get started in the practical ways you can use Pinterest for your writing, let me tell you about the basics. When you sign up for Pinterest, you put in a profile and begin creating Boards. Think of these boards as a bulletin board that you pin pictures or information you want to look at later. Or you can think of it as a file folder where you collect information.

You also have the option to install a PIN IT button in your toolbar...which you will want to do. This is how you collect your Pins (or information) on your Board. When you are surfing the web and find something you want to remember or read later, all you have to do is click the Pin Button on your toolbar and a small screen will appear. You can choose what Board you want to Pin to. Once you submit it,your picture is pinned onto your board, along with the link to the site the picture is from.

People use Pinterest to pin recipes, inspiration for decorating the home, landscaping, birthday party ideas, gift ideas, DIY projects, cool clothing and accessories, etc. The list is endless!

So how would a writer use Pinterest? I'm glad you asked! In the upper left hand corner there is a search bar. If I start typing the word writer, even before I finish the word several options show up in a drop down list: writing prompts, writing inspiration, writing process, etc. If you click on writing inspiration look what shows up.

But what if you wanted to organize the research for your novel? You can create Boards for each category you want to research.

  • Settings: Overseas, travel guides, city facts, etc. Below is a picture of what I found when I searched Scotland.

  • Costumes: period dress, fashion show clothing, etc.  Below is a picture of what I found when I searched Regency dress.

  • Characters: Pictures of people who make great heroes and heroines. Here is my board of people I've pinned for future character templates.

For a look at a writer who best utilizes Pinterest for writing is Kaye Dacus. Her Pinterest boards are chock full of boards for writing historical novels. There are many boards for period fashion organized by decades. There are boards that showcases History on screen for different time periods. There are also boards for various places around the world: New Zealand, Canada, Tennessee, etc. You may not be a historical writer, but her boards will spark your creativity and will get you thinking of what kinds of boards you might need for your research.

So if you are a Pinterest user, do you use it for writing? 
If you don't use Pinterest, why don't you? 
How do you organize the research for your novel?
What kind of categories are your boards for novel writing?
Any tips to share?


This post is brought to you by
 Sherrinda Ketchersid

Sherrinda is a minister's wife and mother to three giant sons and one gorgeous daughter. A born and bred Texan, she writes historical romance filled with fun, faith, and forever love.


Rebecca Gomez said...

I've been using Pinterest for a while, but only recently started using it as a place to organize writing research. It's so perfect for that!

Anonymous said...

I love using Pinterest for my WIP's. Such a help & inspiration to scroll thru boards with characters, costumes, all that lovely jazz.

Jeanne Takenaka said...

Good thoughts, Sherrinda. Because of YOU I got on Pinterest. I'm happy to say i haven't been totally sucked in by it. Being on a restricted diet, I am able to find recipes that fit what I can eat.

Oh, but on to your question about writing. I have a secret board where I'm fleshing out my characters. As I figure out more of the setting, I'll add that, and eventually make it public. I need to more research to figure out how to better utilize it. :)

Susan Anne Mason said...

Hi Sherrinda,

Great post! I love Pinterest for all kinds of writing inspiration. I try to make a board for each book I'm writing and just visiting the board before writing helps get me into the right mood!

Kaye does have an amazing array of pins and so does Laura Frantz! Love their boards.

I also have a private personal vision board of things I love! Such fun to look at pretty things!

Happy pinning everyone!


Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Oh my my....crazy day at work today! Sorry to just be getting over here!!! Aaak!

Rebecca, Pinterest really is a perfect place to organize your research. I would love to know how you organize your boards for it!

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Meghan, I want to know how you organize your boards for your writing. What boards do you have set up? Or do you do one board per story?

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Jeanne, I totally forgot to mention SECRET boards! You can make your boards private to where you are the only one who views them! We did that while we were planning my daughter's wedding...din't want the groom to peak on her computer! ;)

Do you have more than one board for your writing?

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Susan Anne, I didn't know Laura Frantz was on Pinterest. I will have to check her out.

And I'm soooo glad I didn't ruin you by introducing you to Pinterest. I have to restrict my "browsing" because I get sucked in and have a hard time being productive. But I've learned over time that it is a tool and not just a time-sucker.

Mary Vee Writer said...

Well, now that I know how a writer can use it...I simply am going to have to expand. First step, get the pin thingy on my toolbar.

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Mary, YES! The pin "thingy" on the toolbar makes the whole process work. I know that I have been on some sites where if you hover over a picture, a PIN IT button appears, making it easy to pin. I'm not sure how that works...maybe I need to do a little research for another post...in August! :)

Mary Vee Writer said...

Now to create the boards for story research.
Think I'll start that tomorrow. Getting late here.

Now, gang, if I can get the pin on my toolbar...anyone can. Seriously, I am not a geek. A geek wannabe maybe :)

Mary Vee Writer said...

Oh, yes, Sherrinda, that would be a great idea for August. Plan on it!!!