Tuesday, 16 February 2010

A Writing 101 Production - Part 6 Blogging Lessons

See?  Said I'd Beeeee Back Sooooon!  Still alive, if now with more rare and exotic metals pinning my vertebrae together than Bionic Woman.  I'd share the gruesome x-ray photos they gave me in the hospital (so that I can show the nice airport security people I'm not a terrorist hiding an Uzi along my spine when the thingy pings as it inevitably will).  But then you might sue me for making you throw up your breakfast (or lunch or dinner or whatever the hell the timezone it is that you're in when you're reading this).  Well, I don't know, do I?  The ex-morphine effect is probably making me more mad and ditzy than before, as I warned you it might.  Posssibly hard to believe--but sadly true.

Anyway--what pearl of wisdom was I going to give you today?  Ah, yes.  Blogging.  It's just over a year since I started this one.  What are the THREE MOST IMPORTANT BLOGGING LESSONS I have learned? 
  1. FIND YOUR VOICE: I was a blogdabbler at the start, writing about all sorts of stuff--whatever took my fancy that day (and it was nearly every day at that stage).  Some sample titles of the early days are: Muse Wrestling (A Bit Like Mud Wrestling), Writing Trials and Tribulations (Part1) and (Part 2), which were at least about writing, as well as Seeds of Promise and The Poetry of Trains, which were, frankly, just a bit random.  Nice--but random.  Now, a year later, I know exactly what I want to say, how I want to say it, and who I want to reach, hence the advent of Writing 101 Productions late last year, which I hope will build into a nicely eccentric-but-useful Library of Writing Tips and Hints and Other TechnoWritery Stuff for those wot are interested in such things (a surprising large group of diverse people, as it happens).
  2. BROADCAST YOURSELF SHAMELESSLY: Yep.  Time to find your inner blogslut.  It takes work and time and energy to spread yourself widely around the webiverse, but YOU MUST DO IT! What?  Did you expect people to flock to you, yea verily! and marvel at what thou has written and comment thereof as liberally as the waters cover the sea?  Nah-ha. I have news.  Ain't gonna happen, baby. See all those crazy buttons on the right of the page from BlogCatalog and Fuelmyblog and Blogged and Technorati  etc?  They represent hours of time getting my blog verified and filling in forms and all that boring stuff.  But it casts the net into the webwaters and scoops up people who won't otherwise know or give a damn, my dear, who you are or whether you exist blogwise.  Entice and blackmail your friends to promote you.   Put your posts on Facebook and Twitter.  Sign other blogs' comment pages with your own blog address (yes, I know I've said that before), if they're good and interesting, follow them (and they'll probably follow you)--if you really really like them, put a link on your blog (see Blogs Wot I Like to right of post).  Put quite simply, ENGAGE WITH THE OUTSIDE WORLD. Stranger danger?  Take the normal security precautions.You can always block or moderate inappropriate comments.  If you don't want to interact, and instead be some mysterious Salinger-esque figure, don't blog. Easy.
  3. FOCUS AND PLAN:  As I said above, at the beginning I used to blog nearly every day.  I didn't find it sustainable, I found I was running out of interesting stuff to say, and it was becoming a millstone round my typing fingers.  Can't cut off the blood supply to those, so guess what?  I stopped blogging even mildly regularly and then panicked because I wasn't doing it.  Pointless, eh?  Throwing away all that hard work?  Feeling pressured and rudderless? Not at all conducive to creativiy of any kind is it?  So once I had taken a long hard lookie-look and decided I wanted to continue on my new Messianic path to bring Writing Wisdom blah blah blah see previous, I began to focus and plan.  Now, at any one time I have at least 6 or 7 potential Writing 101 titles in my drafts box--I just put 'em down as they come to mind, plus any scribbled notes or ideas.  I also try to plan writing time once a week or so to put them together, and I plan to put one up about that often.  If it's once every ten days or longer than that, well, fine.  The last weeks are a case in point for me.  Stuff happens. It's called Life.  Just let your readers know you'll be away and back--they'll understand. 
Now I'm knackered from all this thinking stuff and I'm going to turn the 'bednet off and do the rest thing.  Got to obey Surgeon's Orders--or most of them anyway.  I'll be back when I am.   You'll understand, won't you?  After all, I am worth waiting for (modest, you see--always modest and unassuming).  Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

See all my other Writing 101 Productions
Part 1 An Overview of Author Platforms
Part 2 Author Platforms (Facebook)
Part 3 Writing Resolutions
Part 4 Spambush or Tweettack?
Part 5 To Plunge or to Plan?


Michael Malone said...

Much wisdom you share. Get soon better. (this is me trying out new blogvoice. Whaddya think?

Stroppy Author said...

Good to have you back, Lucy :-) Life has got so in the way of my blog - it's even got in the way of my life - that I'm on compassionate leave fro the blogverse. But your early return is inspiring. I'll try. Soon. You go girl!

Jo Treggiari said...

It would be so cool if they would put the pin/screws/rods on the outside. Then you wouldn't need to carry a pesky note for the airport security and you would be a hybrid machine woman and much tougher/scarier than Nicola Morgan.Also you would be a very popular choice for school visits. Although of course you already are.
Your blog was v. useful. If only you had blogged about it a couple of years ago and saved me serious tangential trauma, until I learned by (trial and) error to try to stick to one or perhaps two subjects.

Lucy Coats said...

M.Malone, Yoda Jedi Master. I like it. Could you try a wee bit Ayrshire Yoda for me?

Stroppy--NB (above) 'Stuff happens. It's called Life.' You deserve as much compassionate leave as you need--and should take it. It Ith Not A Commandment That Thou Shalt Blog. If ye cannae, dinnae, as MM above might say (or not, possibly I am insulting him terribly).

Jo--I could NEVER be tougher/scarier than that Nicola Morgan, even if I had as much metal as Terminator. And was a werewolf at the same time. She is a Force of Nature. But I'm glad the blog was useful and only sorry I failed to post it two years ago. I'll try to do better. However take comfort that in another universe, I probably did.

Nicky S (Absolute Vanilla) said...

Good to see you back, oh fanged and morphined bionic woman... (you now know you're officially scary). Verily and yea ha to you too.
All good sensible blogging wisdom.
It always amuses me when people think blogging isn't reciprocal. Never mind filling in the technorati forms etc, there is also visiting to be done. I know a lot of bloggers don't visit or comment and believe that they'll grow a readership simply by being wonderful, but at the start all that is definitely required because like it or not, most blogging is decidedly reciprocal. Trick here is to visit the blogs of people you want to cultivate to visit yours.
And good tip about planning ahead. Makes life easier. Note to self: remember to start planning head - again.
Be better soon!

Keren David said...

I thought I was a shameless blogslut..but now I see I have much to learn!

Ann Elle Altman said...

Great ideas, thanks for sharing.


Juxtabook said...

Blogslut - great turn of phrase! Get well soon.

Lucy Coats said...

Lumme*! 'Fanged and morphined bionic woman'--maybe I am officially scary after all. And yes, reciprocity is all. Should have mentioned it. *sigh* Always getting it wrong, it seems.

Glad 'blogslut' term is popular. Rather liked it myself.

*ancient slang contraction of 'Lordy me' for those who are interested in morphology or lexicography and such wotnots.

Katherine Langrish said...

Good advice, Lucy - and here's me following it.
Get better quickly now. And then we can get together and compare puppies!
Kath aka http://steelthistles.blogspot.com/

Linda Strachan said...

Glad to see you back, Lucy. Hope these metal bits don't give you too many aches and pains, in fact none at all, if possible!
great advice, see I'm following it,too! Now off to make a plan...


Miriam Halahmy said...

Yes, finding a voice seems so important and I still think I'm struggling to do that. I also don't seem to blog more than twice a month at the moment and its difficult to keep up with commenting on all the blogs I like. But I'm trying, I really am!!!

Dorothy said...

Finding my voice, yes I like that..these are great thoughts.

Dorothy from grammology

Lucy Coats said...

Here I go over to grammology, Dorothy--see, it DOES work, this commenting thing!

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