Thursday, 21 January 2010

A new blog - starting from scratch ... Linda Strachan

I just started my own blog the other day, BOOKWORDS (do drop by and say hello!), and although I have contributed to this blog and also written a few guest blogs, this is much more scary and intimidating.
It feels like being the new girl at school on your first day, except that no one has told you what to wear, where to go and what you should be doing. And you KNOW that no one is going to talk to you!

Those of you who are experienced bloggers will probably think all this is obvious but to a novice like me it was a real journey of discovery and it turned out to be easier than I had expected.

I realised I needed a name for the blog and that was the first hurdle because there are so many blogs out there to do with writing,writers and books. So most of the obvious names were gone already.  I decided to call it BOOKWORDS but the url is actually writingthebookwords from the now infamous quote by a certain celebrity.  If you don't know I'm not telling!

Before I knew it - there it was all ready to go, but  aargh!  my brain completely wimped out and I could think of nothing to write.  I don't know about you but I tend to have great ideas when I am in the shower but by the time I have thought them out in detail in my head, got myself to a pen and paper they vanish like water on parched desert sands.

 That didn't last long and a bit like diving into a swimming pool, once I started I discovered the water was not as chilly as I had thought.
 The trick will be not to spend too much precious writing time on it.

And there's the rub.

Being a published writer these days it is almost compulsory to be prepared to put a bit of effort into  publicity and social networking. One writer I know said she had just had conversations with her publisher about her  not being on twitter or having a blog.
So apparently publishers are now actively asking authors if they are blogging, and a website is definitely becoming a requirement - that's not to say your publisher will provide one.  

But how much are we in control of our public or private face? Okay I know I've said something about this before - see my post about privacy and social networking - but  the thought remains. In 20 years time will the children who are being born today be told that far too much social networking is bad for them?    Will there be campaigns (similar to those which help people stop smoking ) to help people to communicate verbally face to face?

 All this blogging and twittering etc etc takes time, and is that writing time and energy.  All the time that aspiring writers spend reading blogs about writing, wouldn't some of it be better spent actually writing? Now there's a thought. 

Don't get me wrong - here I am blogging and starting a new blog so I am not against it - far from it,

I'm enjoying it and I love reading other blogs. 

Linda's website is
Her blog is  BOOKWORDS


catdownunder said...

I never thought I would have a blog either. The idea terrified me. I put off starting for well over a year - well, longer to be honest. (I am a terrible coward.)When I finally took the plunge I realised it was good discipline.
It is good to have to do some writing that is not your current WIP each day. Some nice people even leave paw prints on it. I have 'met' people I would not have met.
It does not have to take over your life. Ten minutes a day should do it. After that I obey my own rule and go and purr at a human face to face. It works. I think my writing is better for both these things.

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Linda Strachan said...

Ten minutes? What discipline, Cat, I'm impressed. Okay, will try and set some boundaries but I'm not good at keeping to rules, even my own rules. Maybe if I set an alarm to beep....

Julie P said...

Now there's a thought, Linda, support groups for social Network Addicts - rather like AA meetings.

Julie xx

Rosalind Adam said...

I really identify with your blog. I started my own blog last November and was ridiculously nervous about my first few postings, especially with thoughts over whether anyone would comment or even read it. I also identify with your point about the time aspect. In fact, I shouldn't be here now. I should be writing.

Anne said...

I started my own blog once and it began to stalk me. Every time I sat down at the computer it insisted I wrote something and in the end I felt so guilty I couldn't face it any more.
On a serious note it also felt like putting a message in a bottle and tossing it over the side of a boat. it was hard to write stuff when i wasn't sure that anyone was actually reading. that's why we started the joint blog ABBA. Godd luck thought Linda! Don't be stalked.

Stroppy Author said...

Welcome to blog world, Linda :-) I find mine gets neglected when real life becomes too pressing, but it's always there to come back. I think it's better than way round than setting aside real life in order to blog... but perhaps publishers wouldn't agree.

Linda Strachan said...

Thanks for all your positive support!

Julie - I can just imagine a SNA (Social Networking Addict) meeting would they all be banned from arriving with the future's equivalent to iphone or blackberry?

I am now trying not to be stalked by my blog, trying not to spend too much time on it (catdownunder says she restricts herself to 10 mins) and trying to make sure real life doesn't get pushed aside for it.

Oh dear quite a list- very trying!