April 5, 2009

Web Ozone

Do you My Space? Do you Face Book? Do you Twitter?
Do you lurk? Are you hooked? Maybe you are addicted.

In our mad dash to get our name, face, or book out there, are we sacrificing our writing to the online world?

The journey our writing and our book takes has changed a lot over the last few years. Not only do we have to write a great novel and convince someone to publish it, we also have to be able to sell it. Even before we submit to a publisher we need to have a list of where we can be found. Just having an email address and a website is not enough.

These days you need a blog and a profile, a My Space and another profile or a Face Book and lots of friends, even if you have no idea who any of them are, except the friend who talked you into friending them in the first place.

Web crawler has a new voyeuristic meaning as you sit and read the latest comments on all the sites you follow but don’t have time to post to.
I have tried to keep up with the all the latest online fads but I lose time for my writing. I have no one to blame but myself. The temptation sits staring back at me. Like most people my computer is always on and only a little nudge of the mouse brings it to life.

A fellow writer has the perfect solution. She has two computers, one strictly for writing that is not connected to the outside world, and one for everything else. For her this works well.
I only have one computer to work with and it is a daily struggle to avoid the temptations of the Web. I have to choose carefully where to go and what sites to follow, keeping in mind how they can help me to become a better writer and pave the way to future publication. So I just say no to My Space and Twitter and I’m still putting off Face Book but I know I will give in soon.

Are you buried in the ozone of the Web?
How do you control the urge to lurk?

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At April 5, 2009 at 6:00 PM , Blogger F. M. Meredith, author said...

You need to segment your time. Put your writing first, then do the promo stuff. (No I don't always do that, but I try.)

I'm most creative in the morning, so try to do my writing then and the other stuff after that.

Marilyn a.k.a. F. M. Meredith

At April 8, 2009 at 12:16 PM , Blogger Sunny Frazier said...

I'm now playing catch-up, trying hard to get on as many sites as I can. With a book coming out, I can't afford to miss an opportunity. Had these sites been available when I started out, my career would be farther along.

I joined 4 new sites last Sunday. I have already drawn the attention to two people who want to interview me on their sites. My Murder Circle became a professional site due to Linked In and Mystery Lovers Corner. Right now I'm more known for blogs, reviews, and articles than for my novels. But, in everything I write, my voice comes through and earns me new readers.

I put everything in a Sunday folder. On Sunday mornings, I open my computer up like a Christmas present to see who's talking about me and what else I can recycle into more interesting publicity. Just as you look for comments on your KC Blog, I get that feeling ten-fold.

Every author has to decide what they can devote time to and what has to be left by the wayside. Computers are tools, not addictions unless you allow them to control your life. I willingly do everything possible to expose myself to the public. Writing is work; marketing is a passion.

At April 9, 2009 at 10:51 AM , Blogger Jackie said...

I think Sunny has a good process. Each has to find that balance that works for us, but that is life actually. You can't learn how to swim until you're in the water. Water is fun, but you can drown. But you don't avoid the water, you learn how to swim and follow the safety rules.

At April 12, 2009 at 3:11 PM , Blogger Karyne said...

Distractions existed before the internet,aka the phone, the kids, the hubby and of course, the tv. The internet, using time management, can work for us instead just tempting us away from a looming deadline. It's similiar to how each writer has a different method to creation. Some love outlines, some freeform, some do a detailed character sketch. If too much internet opportunity for marketing and publicity is overwhelming, then just pick two and let them work for you. There is a huge difference between fads and effective career tools, and its usually pretty easy to figure out which is which. This is where networking with other authors is critical. Word of mouth can quickly help you avoid wasting too much time on a website that does nothing for you. It all comes down to what works for you and what keeps you working.

At April 13, 2009 at 11:56 AM , Blogger Dorinda Ohnstad said...

I think a question to be answered is why does the internet distract us from our writing. Is it a procrastination tool? Are we avoiding writing. If so, that's the real problem that needs to be tackled. I find sometimes that is what is going on for me and then I have to force myself to face that tough scene that I need to be working on instead, rather than telling myself it's okay to surf the net because it's advancing my writing.


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