Category Archives: Social Media

Is blogging really that powerful?

I was reading through a number of blogs – I’ll post a bunch of links next week so you too can procrastinate develop a feel for the writing blogs out there, those by writers and those for writers and the ones in between (I am master of procrastination, one day I’ll collect all my tips and share them for the greater good of procrastinators all around the world!).

Blogging, whatever the social network (Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter, Tumblr, etc), always seems to be the one essential platform building tool. Making yourself known, creating an audience, etc etc. Some people are incredibly good at it, and they have in fact built a reputation and a profession on their use of social networks, and they happily share most of it for free and some of it through books and workshops and seminars. Which is brilliant, and a great help for those of us just starting out with the platform building.

However.

I can’t help thinking that it all sounds really very involving. The best way I know to build/enter into/be part of/help grow a community is by interacting. 

Interacting requires reading other people’s posts, commenting, establishing a rapport, asking questions and offering answers. In a global world, where some of the blogs you read could be in the opposite part of the world to yours, it means a potential 24/7 influx of conversations. And it’s brilliant, absolutely brilliant. But again, really quite time consuming.

Is blogging really that powerful, then? So necessary and impossible-to-do-without?

I don’t think so. And yes, I am blogging as I write this, but bear with me.

What most of the blogs out there don’t say is this: once you have written your books, short stories, essays…then yes, becoming part of a community and sharing what you’re writing and hopefully making it interesting enough so that people will want to buy your work (whether traditionally or independently published) is absolutely worth the effort and time needed. Also good for keeping up with those social skills you’ve been neglecting while writing.

But until you have that material available to you (not all that you’ll write in your writing career, but an initial portfolio), you should focus on writing and getting better at it with every new thing you write. Blogging is fun, and it’s good to be able to share your thoughts and experiences, but, if you’re a writer, writing  should always come first.

It’s about discipline, of course, and discipline doesn’t come easy (to me, anyway, I hope it’s easier for you). Which is why I’m going to switch the internet off right now and go write, because I have a novel to finish (and a second one to plot, and short stories to polish, and ideas to consider) and all the platform building in the world will not write it for me.

Are you disciplined? Do you think blogging is essential? Let me know.

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Filed under Blogging, Social Media, Writing

Steampunk Carousel | Brussels

I’d love to get a ride on one of these! Brussels is not that far away…*ponders*

Mesmerizing images (and a video) of steampunk carousels, in this blog:

Steampunk Carousel | Brussels.

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Filed under Genre, Social Media

The focus should be on the text, even if you’re J.K. Rowlings

Back in the swing of things, more or less 🙂

Procrastination is an art, as they say (they as in, well, me). In order to provide you with yet another way to procrastinate – whatever your reasons – here’s a link to something I stumble upon: Bublish.

I haven’t used it yet, but it looks like a good way to pass some time, if you’re a reader and/or writer. I like its focus on text (‘bublished’ by the writer, read by the reader), which is how it should always be: it’s the story, the words that count, for me. I like the author’s option of choosing and uploading a passage, and commenting on her work. And I like the chance for readers to read the excerpts, find that gem, that new author to follow.

Something of a social media, I suppose, but with a lot less personal details and less futile distractions: the front page says Social Book Discovery. Again, the focus is on the text. If you decide to try it, let me know! I don’t have a full book to upload yet, but as a reader, I’ll be there. The simple, clean look is attractive as well 😀

It may seem a lateral jump, but this brings me to mention J.K. Rowlings new book: The Casual Vacancy. I haven’t read the book yet, I will at some point. I read some reviews, some mildly positive, some mildly negative, some clearly written just to fill space and show the Potter ‘verse knowledge and wittiness of the writer.

Someone asked if her book would have ended up in the slush pile, without her name on it. Most books do nowadays, so I think yes, it would have. Doesn’t mean it’s not a good book, or necessarily a bad one. What it does say, it’s that name branding counts for a lot, these days, and I don’t think it should.

What do you think? If you were J.K., do you want to test your writing skills all over, once again? Would you change your name, so reviewers wouldn’t have anything else to comment on but the text? Would you care at all? 😀

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Filed under Books, Links, Social Media, Writing