Historically, my track record for blogging is not that good.
My old, now defunct was called Through the Keyhole. It was all about my writing life while I was hard at work on a novel back in 2006. I actually did fairly well with that blog: I posted to it every other day; I assembled a decent blogroll, and received comments regularly from other writers whose blogs I followed.
But Through the Keyhole only survived four months. I just couldn’t keep up the pace of posting “every other day” on top of writing, and job searching (I was unemployed at the time, and living back at home), and trying to hold together my relationship with my mother that the stress of a year-and-a-half of joblessness and my return to the once-empty nest had frayed almost to the breaking point.
Just when all hope seemed lost, I finally landed a job. I moved four hours away to a rural community where my residence had no internet connection. So, I quit blogging, and quit writing altogether for the whole year-and-a-half I held that job, and the four-and-a-half years, two provinces, and three jobs that followed.
And now I’m back.
In truth, I’ve never really cared that much for blogging. To be sure, I’ve enjoyed connecting with others with similar interests to me over cyberspace, and I even enjoy reading the blogs of others from time to time. But to keep a blog of my own? I am a very private person in my offline life, so it cuts sharply against my grain to share my life with strangers on the internet. As well, I don’t consider my life all that interesting (my write-up under the “About” tab notwithstanding), so it feels a bit self-indulgent to write about it as if others actually care one way or another what I’m up to and all about.
Yet, I aspire to be a published novelist, and the modern landscape of publishing requires a large degree of self-marketing, particularly via social media. According to the blog The Creative Penn, publisher Simon & Shuster “promote the use of blogs, social media, book sites and video for authors who want to market themselves and their books” (http://www.thecreativepenn.com/2010/02/22/publisher-simon-schuster-says-authors-should-blog-and-social-network). Joanna Penn (author of The Creative Penn) goes on to explain how this notion is consistent with a model she created called Author 2.0, in which the author’s website/blog is the central hub where readers are directed through various avenues of internet traffic and marketed to from there (http://www.thecreativepenn.com/2009/06/02/the-author-20-model-explained).
These specific articles target writers who have already sold their work, but I have heard that this concept doesn’t apply only to them – that it even applies to writers who are not yet published. Even to writers who are not yet finished their novel’s first draft. I have heard that developing a web presence and a following before you have even submitted your work can improve your chances of being published, for it shows editors and agents that you are both marketable and knowledgeable in how to promote yourself. Furthermore, for those considering self-publishing (which is becoming more respected all the time with the advent of e-books and the likes of Amanda Hocking and J.A. Konrath who have made a tidy sum at that trade), self-promotion is that much more essential.
But all that is very business-/commerce-/marketing-oriented. My background is in ecology, conservation, and youth work, and at this point in my writing life, my primary concern is writing as an art. My bottom line is that I’m interested in connecting with people who have the same sorts of hobbies as me, and can help me do them better. I’m especially keen to meet other writers, for writing it is an isolating, at times downright lonely pursuit. That’s the main reason I’m starting this blog, and is what I’m going to be blogging about.
So, welcome, thanks for stopping by, and feel free to leave a comment if any of the stuff I’m into is an occupation/preoccupation of yours too.