Wednesday, 2 May 2012

IWSG: What would Jane Austen do?

Back in September 2011 when the support group started, I was pretty insecure about my writing. Actually, I still am - name me a writer who's totally confident and capable all of the time. I bet even J.K. Rowling had a bit of insecurity when she announced her first adult novel.

Since that first post, I've had my book published (if you didn't know this, just take a look at the top left corner of this page!), so everything feels a bit different. I was always confident enough to tell people I was a writer - everyone I've ever met probably knows I'm a writer - but now I feel like one!

It's this distinction that has made me think about the direction of this blog. After a successful A-Z challenge, it's the perfect time to consider what I really want to say, and how I want to say it.

Should this blog be for other writers, a sort of writers group where I can ask for help and know that people are around to provide it?

Should it be for anyone who happens to pass this way via my book, someone who might be wanting to know a bit more about the author?

Should I really have two blogs, providing both, or a web page, or do more on Facebook, or join Twitter?

And do you know what my answer is - I don't know!

I started this post with the intention of announcing I wouldn't be taking part in anymore IWSGs, but I'm now unsure about that too!

Okay, guys, this is where you jump in with all that useful advice!


62 comments:

  1. I think the blog should be whatever you want it to be. I know that is lame advice, but once you start worrying about what your blog should be, it makes it hard to just enjoy blogging.

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    1. I know, but I really don't know what I want it to be. I even looked back at my very first post, in case I'd left myself some clues... I didn't.

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    2. I agree with Kyra. I think the blog is a place to let your hair down and interface with others. I struggled with the "should it just be about writing?" question, but then I remind myself...I want to reach readers too. That's why I started posting 2x's a week...one post just for whatever I want to yack about and one about writers or for writers.

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    3. Yes, you both make sense. I think it works to split the topics you write about like that, Elizabeth.

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  2. I agree with Kyra. Write about whatever you want. Right now, I think my blog is mostly geared to other writers, but I hope that if readers wander there, they will enjoy it as well. If I ever "get famous" -- ha, ha -- I might re-think it!

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    1. When we 'get famous' we'll have staff to do the blog/website upkeep - we'll be lying beside a pool, dictating our next bestseller to an ex-Chippendale secretary... ahem, drifted off for a moment then :-)

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  3. if i become fortunate enough to publish, i think i would look into celery tree, a site for authors to promote their books. if i published several, i'd consider an author blog. as you grow & change, as in life, your needs will change. if you have advice or news, share it. your ollowers will adjust. you may find yourself in a new circle which i hope to join!

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    1. I had a quick look at Celery Tree, but it seemed geared towards self-publishers and I'm not. I think I slip between the cracks - not self-pubbed, but not backed by a big publisher either.

      You make a good point that followers will adjust. Thank you.

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  4. I will be be re-furbishing my blog to be added to a web page in June. I enjoy blogging and IWSG as well as meeting other people and I think the blog provides that personal connection whether you blog for other writers or readers. The blog for me is more personal than a web page (which is more static), but as an author I realize I need something a bit more professional too.
    I think if you continue to enjoy what you blog about, you should be fine.

    A couple months back I joined the World Literary Cafe. It's a group of authors (a big group) who support one another. My tweeting and facebook has improved. There are so many successful authors to learn from, it's only inspiring and I see myself going pretty far with the group.

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    1. I'll check out the World Literary Cafe - although I'm not sure I can afford the time to make friends in a new place! It sounds like a good step to make.

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  5. whatever works for you, wherever your heart leads, and whatever you have time for.

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    1. I'm not sure where my heart is leading, that's the problem Michelle. Time... well, that's a whole new question :-)

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  6. and wouldn't it be fun if Jane Austen had had a blog?

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    1. That's what I was thinking when I wrote the title!

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  7. If you really don't know what you want your blog to be then I don't think it's time for you to change it yet. Keep rolling ideas around in your head until it clicks - you'll know when it does.

    Unfortunately, there is no one piece of advice anyone can give you that will answer your question because it simply isn't our blog. You need it to be what you want. It'll come to you when the time is right.

    Michelle :)
    www.michelle-pickett.com

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    1. Yes, I'm starting to think the same way. I think I was just on a big A-Z comedown when I posted this morning. Tonight, I feel a lot happier, calmer and less stressed about the whole thing.

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  8. The thing about blogging is that it's not live or die how we execute, so some days we'll feel one way and other days we'll feel another. I think here in the blogosphere is one place where we should allow ourselves to have a change of mind and heart and follow where that may lead. There's plenty in life which requires a more steadfast approach.

    This is what I've concluded, anyway.

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    1. Thanks Suze - my mind and heart changes a lot, so if I always went with how I felt, I'd end up with a very messy blog. At the moment I think it's pretty smooth flowing :-)

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  9. I've found a lot that when I have a decision that doesn't feel right, it just eats away at me. I can't really sleep or think about anything else. It's silly, but it's terribly distracting. But then when I come to a decision that is "right" that tummy turning feeling goes away.

    I know it's not much to go on, and for the record, my gut is often really terrible at making choices, so I recommend spending some time researching. look at other authors and see how they've done it. See what you'd like to do differently.

    So yeah, nothing hasty here, feel it out and make the choice that's right for you.

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    1. Nothing hasty, I've got that! I'm not sure my gut would be any more reliable :-)

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  10. My advice would be to have a website for your book and keep the blog the way it is. People can get info on your book and upcoming books on the website and find out more about who you are on your blog. I think people like to see a 'real' side to authors, even if it is insecureties. :)

    Now, whether or not that's good advice, I have no idea! Maybe check out what other authors do?

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    1. That sounds pretty good to me, Rachel. That's what I'm after - people seeing the real me!

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  11. What Rachel just said!
    Hey, I have two books and I rarely discuss writing on my blog. (So go figure.)
    Hope you don't drop out of the IWSG. If you're writing tips for other writers, it ties in, and if you write about yourself it ties in.

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    1. That's true, Alex, you don't mention them very much at all.

      After reading through the IWSG posts today, I realised I'd probably miss being involved. It was a weak, post A-Z wobble - as well as a pre-back to proper writing blip.

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  12. I just don't have time to do too much. I love blogging (but I don't know how much it helps sell my books) and I enjoy reading other people's blogs but most of the people I follow are writers too! I'm also on FB but I've lost interest in Twitter and Google+

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    1. I never expected my blog to help sell books, because I didn't have any when I started. It was much more about the connections with people. I love Facebook for keeping in touch, but never tried Twitter or Google+.

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  13. I loved your book, Annalisa. Well done.

    I have two blogs at the moment, but I wouldn't advise it. I look forward to the day when I merge them again ... I've seen many authors split off and then go back to one, combining networking and things for their readers.

    Think about it and let the answer settle out. Then, as others have said, make your blog about whatever you want. I'm starting to make that transition, too, so I get where you're at. I think it's different for people who began when they started publishing than for those of us who built a blog before publishing. We sort of have to rethink it all a bit.

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    1. I know I wouldn't have the time to keep up with two blogs - it's interesting you want to merge again. You're right about the difference between starting the blog before publishing opposed to afterwards. I feel stuck between being unknown and known at the moment!

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  14. A bit of what you fancy does you good! I think the more varied a blog is, the better. A web page for your book(s) would be good - or another page on the blog? I've seen some people have tabs at the top but, no surprise to you to hear this, I have NO IDEA how you do that! ;-)

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    1. I've got a tab, Linda :-) ^^^^^^^ up there!

      I'm here to help you make new pages if you need me!

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  15. I've been wondering about the direction of my own blog too - and haven't found myself an answer yet so I'm probably not a good person to advise you. Won't stop me though ;-)

    Not sure having two blogs is the answer - for a start it would take longer to keep two properly updated. Also it might get confusing for you and your followers, especially if you had news that could fit either one.

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    1. Yes, I tend to get confused myself when I try to follow someone who's commented on my blog and realise they've got two or three, unless they've made it obvious which one they want me to follow.

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  16. Heh, well, when you figure it out, lemme know. ;)

    Love the title of this post, btw.

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  17. That is a hard question... I keep telling myself once I get my stories published, I want to my blog to target readers, take them into my world... maybe the answer is to have two blogs.. one to readers and one to other writers?

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    1. I'm not sure I say enough to either group to warrant two blogs! lol!

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  18. ...my advice, too much work!

    I run the blog, Editor David fine tunes the website,(a little more effort would be nice, D. I'm just sayin...) and my oldest son man's the wheel on the Facebook page. Leaves me time to do what I most enjoy...hammering on those keys ;)

    El

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    1. That's cheating - you've got staff! :-)

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  19. >>I started this post with the intention of announcing I wouldn't be taking part in anymore IWSGs, but I'm now unsure about that too!<<

    Ummm, if you have to ask....you'd better stick around!

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    1. I think you're right - I obviously need a lot more help :-)

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  20. Write what you enjoy writing, post what you want to post! I recently shut down my twitter account because I realized I didn't really enjoy it--I was spending time on it but it was a waste to me. But if you enjoy the social media stuff, go for it!

    Allison (Geek Banter)

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    1. You're right! After all, it's supposed to be fun, isn't it, or we wouldn't bother writing at all!

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  21. I thought about making a separate blog, but in the end decided it was just too much hassle. Blogging already takes enough time!

    But I LOVE the blog title here. I actually have a bracelet me friend gave me that says WWJAD. People are always asking my what the A is for :)

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    1. It just seemed so perfect when I was writing that title! That bracelet sounds ideal for me :-)

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  22. I can offer no advice, but I can wish you luck!

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  23. Well, I decided I wanted to blog about things connected to thriller writing rather than just using my blog as a kind of diary. I also wanted to move away from the techniques of writing/editing etc. That way I can also tailor to anything else I want to say or take part in - using my thriller writing-type topics!
    But many Congrats on completing the challenge!

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    1. I like the idea of using it for everything you want to say. I've stated in many places that I like to use news stories as starting points - I'd love to be able to have a rant about something that was bugging me. It would at least stop my kids laughing at me!

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  24. I don't know either. But I do know that my blog is my way of practicing writing; maybe you need that, maybe you don't...

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    1. I always need practise, with writing and the discipline of it!

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  25. I feel like, the more I progress with my writing career, the more my blog will morph with me. I imagine your blog will change with you as you go. Maybe go check out other published author's blogs to see what they're doing, what seems to work, etc. Ask them questions. Continue to post those questions on here. You'll find your way.

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse, co-host of the 2012 #atozchallenge! Twitter: @AprilA2Z

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    1. Yes, maybe I am stressing too much and should just let it morph. I'm seeing a huge divide in published authors though - too complicated to explain here, but maybe a post topic soon.

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  26. I've had my blog (s) for 4 years now. Do what comes to you---anything else will be forced, and you won't continue with it anyway.

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  27. I think IWSG is a great way to make contacts and learn somethings and it doesn't take much time. I gave up my website over a year ago and use my blog like a website except it gets updated much more often.

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    1. I've seen some websites that are almost forgotten about - it takes a lot of hard work to make them appear relevant and up-to-date. Blogs are much more interactive too. You visit me, I visit you, your feed appears in Google Reader. With a website, I have to go and find it.

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  28. The beautiful thing, Annalisa, is that you need not make a decision. Or, if you do, you can change it at any time. I started my blog with different goals in mind and have taken different routes along the way, as I've felt so inclined and/or based on my followers' comments. I say, find your way as you go. Just keep going.

    xoRobyn

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    1. Thanks Robin. And of course you're right. Even if I veer away from current topics and no one likes it, it wouldn't take long to recitify!

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  29. Hi Annalisa .. congratulations on your book publication - that provides great motivation doesn't it .. also good luck on your decision ... cheers Hilary

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    1. Thanks Hilary - I think my decision is NOT to make a decision, I wish everything in life was so simple :-)

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  30. Congrats on your publication! If you really find the answers to these questions you're asking, please let me know! I do a bit of each, blogging (almost whatever comes to mind),tweeting (have it set so it shows up on Facebook), some Facebook-ing, but mostly blogging, visiting other blogs and tweeting. I'm a part of some online writer's groups, IWSG is one of them, and I have a small group I meet with once a week in real life. Most of my time is spent right here in front of this computer writing. Oh, and I read a lot as well. So, that is my two cents! You're in Cornwall! Daphne Du Maurier is one of my favorite writers. Good luck with your writing and walk those beaches as much as you can!

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    1. I've decided to stick with my blog, but I've started to have a schedule of posts, rather than posting randomly - including a continuation of my theme for the A-Z Challenge, and having regular interviews/guest posts. I'm hoping this will shake my blog up and keep people reading!

      I'm envious of anyone who belongs to a real-life writing group - there's nothing like that where I live, apart from a beginners group full of older ladies who knit! I stumbled across their group at the library one day :-)

      Du Maurier is great - her short stories always inspire me! Nice to meet you and thanks for the follow!

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Please comment - I love a good chat!