It had occurred to me that some people might wonder why, as a first year writing student, I already have a blog. Ambitious, pretentious, presumptuous; possibly. I had written a rather lengthy post about publicity, web site traffic, even domain ageing. But then…
Then I read James Killick’s blog post Five reasons why blogging makes you a better writer. Well, I was humbled. Really, his are the best reasons to write a blog and it reminded me of my first post. (James; do you see? Once upon a time I did have my eye on the ball.) Now I’d like to expand on James’ post with a cautionary tale.
Having setup a blog I created a facebook page to help promote it. This might sound a little dirty but like most writers, I wanted readers. Once you’ve got a facebook page you want to collect Likes. Trying to collect Likes requires making the facebook page valuable to those who Like it. So I started trawling the net for useful links about writing. There are heaps of useful links about writing. Just checkout my facebook page to see a few. But there are at least one hundred times as many not-so-useful pages about writing and I had to filter them to make the links I provide valuable. Can you see where I’m going with this?
That’s just facebook. Add twitter to the mix and a variety of other ways to promote your blog and yourself and you’ll soon find that you’re not spending any time on the real task. The one that is never ending. Developing your craft.
I believe it’s exactly this mentality that James was writing against. There are many blog posts for writers expounding the virtues of blogging as a tool for publicity and self promotion. Have a look at what Patty Jansen has to say in her post Five thoughts about writer publicity. She is right. Personally, I believe self-promotion is a part of any career and these benefits of blogging should be kept in mind. But, they should be kept at the back of your mind because what’s more important – writing or selling yourself?
I bow down to you James, in thanks for the kick up the arse your post gave me. I’ll still be posting useful links for writers to my facebook page and twitter stream but priorities and balance have been addressed.