2010 Writing Goal #3: Drop the ‘Net

It’s the second decade of the millenium. Blogging, twittering and connecting on sites like Facebook has become part of every business plan. If you don’t have an online presence, you basically don’t exist, but when you’re a beginning writer, does having an online presence really have that much of an impact?

It’s a great way to connect with readers and potential readers, but at the start of a career, those numbers are fairly minimal, so expending a huge amount of time on it, isn’t the wisest use of time, when producing a first, second or third novel will do far more to further your career.

For me, time spent twittering, blogging, reading other people’s blogs and various articles, I could be writing. I even subscribe to a blog that feeds me lists of information about writing opportunities but after a year, I haven’t gotten any new work from it, so I can’t justify the expense, plus its preachy cheerleader-like tone has grated on my last nerve.

I’m not saying it’s wise to sign off everything entirely, but sometimes you need to re-evaluate your time. A second novel will do far more for my career than any amount of blogs and tweets.

To that end, my blog posts will be shorter this year and I’ll use Twitter to pass on any really good informaion I come across, and less random stuff like, “My son just made me a bead necklace in my favorite color.” Because you probably don’t care about that.

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5 thoughts on “2010 Writing Goal #3: Drop the ‘Net

  1. uninvoked says:

    Maybe you’re right. I probably would be a lot farther along my career path if I’d kept doing short stories instead of switching to a free online blog. I love what I’m doing though, and the critiques I’ve received have been invaluable.

  2. Tracey says:

    I think it’s great that you love it and that you have gotten great critiques. Maybe now it’s time to get back to writing those short stories. If you concentrate on that, and produce publishable work, you will have more valuable things to share on your blog, as well as more readers you can reach out to.

  3. cherilaser says:

    Hi! Your post caught my attention because I was of the same frame of mind a few months ago. Then I attended a conference at the end of September that changed everything.

    I invite you to visit my blog and read the Blog Launch Posting from November 4. That will fill you in on what happened and on the subsequent alterations to my publishing plans.

    The remainder of the posts to-date include follow ups to that plan, as well as some writing tips and interesting links.

    Please let me know what you think.

    All the best,
    Cheri

  4. Tracey says:

    Thanks for stopping by, Cheri. Again, I’m not suggesting that anyone abandon online networking, but all the online networking in the world means squat if you don’t have a good book to sell.

    I think that writers need to really look at how they’re spending their writing time and make difficult decisions. I also think it’s too easy to lean on the POD/Self-publishing platform as a good means of breaking into a traditional publisher.

    Harold Underdown breaks down what a self-published author would need to do here: http://www.underdown.org/publisher-expertise.htm and another author’s assessment of self-publishing here: http://www.underdown.org/considering.htm

    While editors may Google you to see what kind of platform you have, no amount of blog followers will make an editor buy a mediocre book. Taking the necessary time to write a terrific book will do far more for you.

  5. cherilaser says:

    I couldn’t agree more, Tracey. And throughout my posts, I emphasize the importance of creating a quality product as the first priority. But once you do have that quality book, the realistic options for getting that book into the hands of readers is very different now than even five years ago–or even one year ago.

    The experiment behind my blog is to see how effectively those new options can be utilized for my second book. And whether an author goes the traditional or the self-publishing route, no one can achieve any level of readership success these days without fully employing the social media channels–something agents and editors everywhere are telling us.

    And we can’t wait until our books are finished before we begin to establish our social media footprints. We could write a quality book comparable to Gone with the Wind, but if we’re new, unknown authors, the odds of us getting in an agent or editor’s door are slim if we don’t have a substantial online presence associated with our writing. That was the mega-lightbulb that switched on at the conference in September.

    So, I’m opening up my journey for all to see, enabling any interested writer to learn along with me as we discover what works and what doesn’t over the next 4-6 months.

    As I said at the close of my Blog Launch Posting, I believe that this dream is big enough for all of us–and the journey is made easier and more enjoyable if we help one another along the way.

    Thanks, Tracey. I’m looking forward to our continuing dialogue.

    All the best,
    Cheri

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