When I started this blog at the beginning of January, I was a little sceptical. Yes, it may be good for writing practice, but if no-one else is reading it, then what’s the point?
Is it possible to be a writer without a reader? Well, of course it is, but I don’t want to be a writer just for that. The fun of writing is in the reading. I want to write stories that people will read.
So I listened to all the wonderful advice from Joanna Penn of The Creative Penn and others, and I decided to set myself some goals and to write my novel in parallel with promoting my blog and myself. I’ve written plenty of short stories but never a novel and I know it is a massive project that will take some time. Close yourself off in a small room and write, distraction free. But where’s the reward in that? It’s not about the money, money, money. There’s no price tag, but you do need feedback.
There is huge motivation from readership and recognition. Pressure = Motivation.
So, I set my goals and I expected to labour away for six months or more, unseen in the vast webosphere that is life.
Rules of blogging, they say:
- Blog regularly. ✓ Twice a week like clockwork.
- Don’t worry about the format to start with. ✓ How bad is this template!
- Say something. ❑ Jury still out.
- Focus, focus, focus. ✓ I think I am. Friday is advice day. Tuesday is a bit of fun – a story from a song lyric.
Anyway, enough of that. The truly motivating and exciting news is that my blog has already been spotted by www.writing.ie and the fantastic, very professional and inspiring Sam Blake (@writersamblake , http://www.bloodredink.com/) who requested that my blog about the Hockney exhibition appear in their weekly newsletter. So, there I am with my nine lessons from Hockney, just below a photo of Sophie Hannah, a favourite author of mine. How cool is that?
Perhaps you can tell by now that I’m quite chuffed.
I’ve only been blogging a month or so. And tweeting of course, which is where @writesamblake found me – the twittersphere – that weird and amazing place to make contact with other writers.
So here’s my Friday advice. If you are thinking of writing a novel or a short story of two, and looking for motivation, here’s what you do:
- Start Twittering.
- Watch #amwriting and #writetip and some people who you regard as good. Follow them.
- Tweet a bit. What are you doing? – make sure you talk about your work, your writing. We don’t want to hear what you had for lunch. Don’t mix personal gossip with professional – this writing thing is a job now, not flippant fun. Be serious. Be creative.
- Start a blog – it is simpler than you think
- Oh, and write. Write a lot, write every day, and get going on your stories and novels.
- Someone will notice. I’ll follow you 🙂
- When people notice you, it makes you work harder and that’s a good thing.
Have fun and be lucky. That’s my Friday advice.
Thanks for listening today.