With other writers I was recently asked by Debbie Taylor of the excellent Mslexia Magazine to fill in a questionnaire about the role of social media in my professional writing life. This made me think more deeply than usual about this issue. Social media have a kind of role in my professional life. I am occasionally on Twitter and Facebook and I do write this blog.
Perhaps the Mslexia survey will begin to fill that gap?
They use their own success in writing on this theme to assert it can succeed for you, the creative writer. I’ve bought some of their publications myself with the idea that they might provide one answer for the fading fiction market. In reading them I see they all have the same message - that if you follow their rules you can uses social media to sell your creative work. It clearly does sell their own book-products but as far as I can tell only provides yet another arena for anxiety and failure for the harassed unpublished or newly- published original writer.
But I have to say that for me the use of social media works on a peculiarly idiosyncratic level. The way in which is works for me – as you will see from this post – is that it is an avenue for fun and a feeling of satisfaction.
I post all kinds of stuff on here on Life Twice Tasted:
- scraps of work in progress, or not progressing
- emerging ideas about the writing and editing process
- stories about my novels and books as they emerge
- reflections on novels I have written in my time
- the vagaries of the publishing world (although I try not to whine - so bo-oring!);
- the vivid and growing adventure of independent publishing
- reflections on books and authors I admire and who inspire me
- idiosyncratic elements of grammar and syntax
- episodes from my (rather long) life
So, if it’s not about selling books, what is a writer’s blog about? Whatever happens, the medium must be the message. A writer’s blog should be well written and interesting in itself – seriously interesting, seriously funny and seriously original. If - by the by -it sells a few books, in tens, hundreds or thousands, that for me is just a bi-product.
|Definitely a work in progress...|
I am not being disingenuous when I say that truly, I love writing on Life Twice Tasted for its very own sake. For me the blog is a living, growing thing, like a forest that becomes more intricate in time. Like the thousands of less-than-famous essayists of the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries I write my pieces for for personal satisfaction and very small reward.