Reading One: Alice Pope’s CWIM Blog
Sifting through the entries on Alice Pope’s Blog has probably been one of the more gratifying required readings of my educational experience. I have made it a personal goal to embrace the idea of blogging not only due to the sense the Web Generation has made blogging the new frontier in communications, but also because the writing community has raced out to join the wagon train as it were. One of the entries I chose to read spoke in particular to the public forum of blogging itself.
This particular entry titled “Should you be on face book? Is tweeting really necessary? Talking online presence with Loren Long…” discussed not the necessity of diving into the many forms of internet self promotion into today’s writing market, but comfort levels. Personally, this was a very reassuring post to read. I have heard over and over the necessity of self promotion, and exploiting as many forms of self promotion as you can hook into, blogging, face booking, and tweeting being the newest and most accessible of methods for authors to promote their work in a flagging writers’ market. I have even followed (stalked) authors I have admired through their blogs or face books.
Some authors seem quite comfortable, even thrive, in the blogosphere. Daniel Waters has two blogs, one for himself and one written by the zombie protagonist in his YA novel Generation Dead, which is so completely developed its like reading a novel in itself (http://mysocalledundeath.blogspot.com/). A few of the other posts I read in Pope’s blog featured writers who kept excellent blogs, such as YA Fresh by Kelly Parra and Tina Ferraro. A post on Kathleen Duey highlighted on how she has been writing a book called Russet on twitter in 140 word bursts, comparing the experience to a stage performance.
Yet while many have embraced the idea of blog, face book, and twitter, the point Pope was trying to make in this particular entry was they shouldn’t feel like they have to merely to succeed as a writer. Yes, the writer’s market has become a rough rider’s zone, but a writer shouldn’t plaster themselves all over the web with the hope to score a few hits on their blog. A writer should not force themselves to twitter, or blog if it doesn’t fall into their comfort zone. As Pope states “if these things aren't you, if they'd be drudgery, move along. But at least try things out to see what fits--you might really enjoy participating in the conversation.” (November 18, 2009, Alice’s CWIM Blog)
The tone that came across was one of encouragement without the pressure, to try out these methods of reaching their audience without feeling like they have to in order to achieve an audience. Perhaps they will find a mode of inspiration like Kathleen Duey’s Russet. I certainly find her idea intriguing. Don’t know if I’m ready to condense my thoughts into 140 word bursts but someday I might. Maybe I’ll even blog through the voice of a character like Daniel Waters. I must admit I have been leery of blogging. I have tried to keep up blogs several times on my own steam, but often find I don’t have anything I want to writer about. So perhaps blogging is not my forum, or I have not found the right idea for a blog to fit me. Several of the entries I read in Pope’s blog gave me a wider view of how writers stay connected to the public conversation. How they encourage and highlight each other’s work and not just their own. Really that is what it is all about, creating a supportive writing community. A writer doesn’t have to do it all on their own, they just need to join the, now ongoing, conversation.