Friday, September 17, 2010

Pimping Myself Out

I've been thinking a lot about blogging lately. I can not tell you how much it means to me that people read my blog. Every time I get a comment or a follower, I squeal. No really. It's particularly embarrassing in the office. I love the blogs I read and I love the friends I've met through this community.

But, lately, I've been reading a lot about building a platform and building an audience. About getting a facebook fan page. And a twitter account. About getting known 'before the agent', 'before the book deal', 'before the book release'. I've been told what I should be doing. I should be posting every day. I should be commenting on blogs. I should participate in forums. I should join writing communities. I should discover what I have to offer readers, what I have to share that makes me different, makes me unique. I should be offering to guest post. I should be holding contests. All of these things will help me gain loyal followers and readers that will forever be my audience.

So, I've dutifully been thinking about all of these things. And, I've got to tell you, as my mother would say when I was a kid, "Geeze, Melissa, you're giving me a splitting headache." I just don't have the time to commit to all of these tasks! Yesterday, I actually told Tyler, "Do you know that if I spend just 15 min. a day on twitter, I inevitably get at least 2-3 more followers?" And then I stepped back and thought. No no no. This is not why I do this.

Honestly, there are million bloggers out there. They have a lot to offer. They've got writing advice. And publishing advice. And blogging advice. They've got friends in high places. They've got agents. And book deals. And there's nothing I can give you that all of these capable bloggers can't.

The only thing I can really offer you is me. So, that's my 'strategy'. I'm going to write this blog. And I'm going to read your blog. Because that's what I love about blogging.

Reading blogs.

And writing my blog.

After all of this soul-searching and figuring out how to use my time wisely and blog the best that I can, all I can say is that I hope me is enough. 'Cause that's the only thing I can really give you that you can't get anywhere else.

Yes, I realize in another context, these words could potentially be illegal. *hugs*


  1. First off, I feel the same way. I love comments and readers and followers. They're like getting an unexpected package in the mail, and that's just exciting!

    And I've been reading all the "Sell your brand!!!!1!1!11!eleventy!!!!" out there, and it stresses me out a lot too. Who has TIME to read, blog, comment, follow, tweet, reply, sell, WRITE, AND still pay any attention to the rest of their life? Homeschooling my son is a full-time job, taking care of my family takes up the rest of the day. I write from 12am to 2 am, simply because that's the only quiet time I EVER get. I feel like tearing my hair out while reading all these blogs about what else I need to be doing. There's just no time to do all that other stuff, unless I, you know, never want to eat again or have clean underwear and stuff.

    So I do the best I can, and like you said, I hope that's enough. :)

  2. Loved those last paragraphs for the soul and for the laugh at the end. I heard an agent say that far too many writer/bloggers get wrapped up in blogging and neglect to write their books. The blogging community is great, but I can't extend much further into it w/out giving up something. Twitter? I rely on friends to report the tweets I need. Someday, but not now.

    Personally, I read your blog because I like your writing style and the book recs. (nice to hear about books for grown-ups since I get entrenched in YA). Also, because you've written some "you," I can root for you/the likeable character of Melissa to get a book deal. That's where I'm hoping the story will go eventually. :)

  3. The platform talk gets to be too much. I think of blogging as connecting with people who care about what I care about. I learn from them and I hope people learn from me.

    And I love comments too!

  4. Melissa...

    I enjoy blogging. I love the friendships (including yours) that I've gained from it. Do I buy my blogging friends' books? You bet! Are they my target audience for my books? Not really...but I sure am enjoying making new friends and learning about their journey too.

    I lurk on Twitter. I just don't get it. I follow a few people, but rarely say anything...

    I use Facebook mostly for family and friends, but do follow my writing friends there and occassionally chat with them on fb...

    I will tell you don't know if agents really look at our blogs in depth, but the agent I met at the SCBWI conference remembered my name from a comment I made on an interview she did on a blog...Two agents "follow my blog" although I doubt they ever look at it...One assistant lit. agent recently started following me and linked to my post Friday which is wicked cool...I put in a lot of time on my blog...I reply via email to everyone I can, comment on everyone's blog who comments on mine and leave comments on my blog because some people (ahem) don't have it set up that you can reply to them via email....

    I quoted an editor on my post last Friday (with her permission) and got an email from her today commenting on how nice my blog is...

    So I guess I am pimping myself a bit...but I'm pretty much sticking to the one format that I enjoy and think I'm doing pretty good at....

    Have a great week, friend!