Tag Archives: Blogging

Site stats and the gamification of writing

19 Jul

MarioThis week, I’ve been lucky enough to have my blog featured on Freshly Pressed for the second time.  Both times, I’ve spent most of the day going “refresh, refresh, refresh!” on my site stats page.  I guess seeing the numbers come in makes me feel like I’m not just talking to myself here.

But really, they’re just numbers.  I’m sure a lot of people click on my post and go “That’s boring,” or “That’s not what I thought it was,” and click away.  Cognitively, I get that.  But, sitting here, I feel like Mario collecting coins in one of those bonus levels.  The happy music is playing.  And whenever I reach 100, I get an extra life. Continue reading

Authors as bloggers, bloggers as authors

28 Apr

SocialTimes has an article called “You Are What You Tweet: Writing Your Way into the Social Media Revolution” which argues that social media is helping to balance the (crazy and near complete) control that the publishing industry has over the stories that we read.

“Today more than ever, it’s difficult for creative writers to “make it” in the publishing industry; big-name publishing houses sign fewer contracts, hand out less funding, and allocate smaller advances to writers than ever before. But perhaps publishing itself is an outdated mode of finding your audience.

With the internet boom and the growing popularity of social media, the option of self-publishing is more attractive for writers everywhere. With spaces like Facebook, WordPress, and Blogger, authors can carve out their own online spaces and attract audiences from across the world. While we may still be attached to the printed page, that doesn’t mean that we can’t use the digital tools available to us to promote our work.”

So, it’s not just that bloggers want to be authors; authors want to be bloggers, too.  Blogs help us to learn to write and to find our voice and also to promote our writing once we’ve found that voice.  It’s a lot less intimidating to still down and write a few hundred word (okay, mine usually run in the thousands) blog post than it is to start a new Word document titled Chapter 1.  Although I’d love to do that one day, it seems terrifying.  I can easily convince myself that I have a post worth of interesting things to say, but 200 pages?!  Yikes!

But, back to authors… With so few major publishers that often say “no” rather than take a chance on a new author, (It took J.K. Rowling a year to find a publisher for Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.) many authors turn to self publishing and use blogs as a means to find an audience for their work.  “The blog is a space where people can fall in love with you as a writer,” said Vivek Shraya, one of the authors that SocialTimes’ Amanda Cosco interviewed.  It allows authors to connect directly with the audience and to present themselves and their work in their own words (and in real time) rather than going through publicist, agent, etc. Continue reading

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