For the first year, I have decided to join the blogger writers, or writer bloggers, in Rachel Harrie’s Writers’ Platform Building Campaign.
From Rachel’s site:
The Campaign is a way to link those of us in the writing community together with the aim of helping to build our online platforms. The Campaigners are all bloggers in a similar position, who genuinely want to pay it forward, make connections and friends within the writing community, and help build each others’ online platforms while at the same time building theirs.
The campaign lists are conveniently divided into genres and age demographic. This way we can zero in on like-minded people and see what they’re up to.
I’m sure there are many writers out there whose eyes glaze over when they hear the words “you’ve got to build your platform” or “you need to build your brand.” I’m sure most of us would rather spend our time writing. But we must face the truth: that we are being asked, as writers, to do more and more in terms of self-promotion, and it’s pretty noise out there and tough to be heard.
After listening in on a panel of established fantasy writers at FaerieCon this past weekend, I feel a little more motivated and inspired to do so. Instead of thinking of it as (whine) something I HAVE to do, I’m doing what Steampunker Deborah Schneider calls “Taking Responsibility” for my writing career.
What I like about this campaign is that it’s a community and it’s collaborative. Something that novice bloggers need to consider when they start blogging and don’t understand why people aren’t coming to visit their blog.
In Jeff VanderMeer’s excellent book BOOKLIFE: Strategies and Survival Tips for the 21st Century Writer he talks about the need to participate. Being a blogger is having an extended conversation OUT THERE. Because, really, who wants to hang out at a party with a person who simply talks just to hear herself talk?
If you write post after post about your struggling writerly life, but don’t reach out to connect with others, you’ll most likely be ignored. (Unless you’re already a famous writer. I doubt Neil Gaiman has to worry about people reading his posts and tweets.) And I’ll probably be one of the ones ignoring you. I’m not saying that to be mean, I’m saying that it’s tough to have a relationship someone who has no interest in participating in that relationship.