Self promotion shouldn’t be a chore…

Last night I went round to my parents’ house. It was great. I got dinner cooked for me. Fabulous. Some face-to-face human contact with people I wasn’t buying things from – spiffing! It was a lovely evening.

My father was home (he’s a pilot as well as a writer) and we sat and discussed various writerly things, one of which was this blog. Like me, he’d always thought that a blog was just an online diary, and to be honest, even I can’t imagine any circumstances whereby that would be interesting to me. Maybe if it was Vlad the Impaler’s diary…

But of course, that’s not why we do this. At least, it’s not why I do it. I was on Twitter for a month, having decided I didn’t want a blog, when I decided that, while I might not want a blog, I certainly needed one.

It all began with Twitter’s #FlashFriday. I thought, that sounds like a good idea, but of course, I don’t have a blog to put my flash fiction on. At which point it occurred to me that until I found a way to showcase my writing, I wasn’t going to get very far with showcasing myself as a writer. Ostensibly I joined Twitter as a way to meet writers and get my name out there, but I realised that you can do a lot of talking on Twitter. Anyone can say they’re a writer – how do you know they’re telling the truth?

So I set up this blog and discovered that people like to drop by and see what madness I’ve come up with today. It’s got to the point where people have asked me to write some madness for their blogs as well, which is why I guested with R. A. Evans Writes… on Monday and today my second weekly post is up at Fantasy Book Review.

Apart from the fact that these guest spots make me feel all fluffy and warm and famous, they also do the job intended by Nature, which is to get my name in front of even more people.

Now, it’s also interesting to note that the latest opportunity to come my way, an invitation to write a short story for Blood & Lullabies, has nothing to do with this blog. I got chatting about vampires to one of the editors, and they ended up asking me to send in a story. So far as I know they didn’t come and look at my blog first. They’re willing to wait until I send them something to see what I’m made of.

The thing I never expected to come out of the social media promotion game is that it’s so much fun! I like letting my mind drift for five hundred words of (one hopes) well written opinion on a more or less daily basis. I am toying with the idea of not blogging on Sundays on the basis that I have too much other writing to do, but I’m not sure I could give it up. Or that I should. The more I have on my plate, the more organised I am. Last Sunday was not a productive day – it could be that my writing muscles need the wake-up call every morning.

Author edit: Alex Beecroft has made an excellent point – what if you don’t like blogging? I think in that case, it is still important to have a blog so that you can showcase your writing, but you don’t need to put anything on it apart from creative pieces. Therefore, you can just update it once or twice a week (the regularity and frequency of updates are HUGELY important) and maintain it as a platform for your writing. I do think that adding something of yourself, i.e. non-creative pieces, when you can is a very good idea, as it allows readers to get to know the writer behind the words.

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About Mhairi Simpson

Writer, dreamer. Magic, dragons, pink mice, cake. Come say hi!
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10 Responses to Self promotion shouldn’t be a chore…

  1. Ryan says:

    Great to know that you are having fun. I think it always feels good when you belong and contribute to a community

  2. Having fun while keeping up a blog is always an amazing sensation – even better when you have the opportunity to guest on other blogs! It’s such a great feeling to just write and get what you’ve written out there.

  3. Katja says:

    I don’t want to take too much stress from blogging. Obviously regular and frequent updates keep your visitors coming back, if they like what they see, but I want my blogging to be fun and not goal based.

  4. Having fun is the key to maintaining a blog. Otherwise there’s no motivation to do it.

    • I guess it depends why you’re blogging. If you’re not overly concerned with building a following then it doesn’t matter. However, if you are trying to build a following with a view to generating sales of your work at a later date, I think regular updates are necessary. You can take a day off, but you have to come back to it, otherwise all your previous work is for nothing. People have very short memories, even if the internet doesn’t. If they try your blog a few times and find nothing new after a couple of weeks, they are unlikely to come back.

  5. Pam Parker says:

    Great post – it is all about fun. I, too, am enjoying the ride. 🙂

  6. Kim says:

    I’m with George. I have a creative writing blog I share with others, but I did need to get my own blog and update it regularly. Unfortunately, mine is a diary at the moment. I haven’t figured out what I want it to be beyond updates on what I’m writing, what problems I’m running into and what I’m learning. I hope to get it into something more regulated in the future, but for now, it is being updated weekly. Something I haven’t managed with blogs in the past. 🙂

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