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Monday, April 2, 2007

Ego & the Id

This proves how far behind I am in reading blogs. I found a discussion on Miss Snark’s blog from 3-14-07 about not discussing an unpublished novel socially.

It would have never occurred to me to do that.

I have a problem with people who have to tell/show you anything within a social situation. Much as we all suffer from a lack of self-confidence to one degree or another, it’s just plain rude. I discuss my work with my writing groups and occasionally Greg if I really need his help on techy stuff. But that’s it.

Very (very) few people outside of my writer’s circle know that I write. That’s deliberate. Heck, even my sister-in-law found out about my writing by accident. She discovered one of my articles while waiting for her hair appointment. I got an earful that day, but I stuck to my guns.

Writing isn’t an ego trip for me. I want to clearly define my boundaries between a website that will draw attention to articles, books and illustration and a blog for writers to visit. This is the reason I separated the two.

It's still an ongoing process that will mature over the next three years, but starting this blog is my first step to delineation between my writer life where I discuss writing topics, and my actual writing. A lot of authors meld both in the same website or blog and I think it's a business mistake. A writing website and a writer's website attract two different kinds of audiences.

Unless it's an author I actively follow, I don't visit their websites much, but I might visit their blogs if I can glean information on how they write or conduct business. See the difference?

Here's an example. If you're looking for a plumber, do you go to his website to see what services he offers or do you go there to get tips on what kind of advertising worked for him?

Miss Snark's post took me by surprise because I can't imagine why anyone would discuss an unpublished novel with people who probably don't give a flying fig.

Some people like the attention. But consider the long term. If you talk it up, yet go year after year without getting published it makes you look foolish. We all know within our writers' circles that it takes more than talent to make it. Non-coms simply wouldn't understand.

It’s better to target your audience than get clobbered with requests (or bizarre and unsympathetic questions) from friends and relatives.

Admitting you’re a writer (even an unpublished one) carries a bit of celebrity, much like admitting to being an artist. Do you have any idea how many requests I get to draw somebody’s cute baby?

---okay, if you asked me to paint your dog, I might do it if he were cute. But he has to be really cute. And you have to pay me. :o)