It's the first Wednesday of the month and time for my Insecure Writer's Support Group post. A huge thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh for putting together this group. I appreciate the opportunity to share my insecurities on the #IWSG therapy couch.
First, a confession. I have been quite absent on social media... both as a blogger and a commenter. November kicked my ass, I won't lie. I started to say it kicked my butt, but quite frankly butt didn't do the sentence justice.
During November, I participated in my first NaNoWriMo, a wonderful yet exhausting experience, and helped my daughter through some medical issues (which resulted in severe diet and medical changes). I did win NaNo, *throws confetti*, and my family is adjusting to my middle daughter's new needs. But my blog suffered, getting very little of my time and attention.
Maybe it's because I haven't blogged consistently for a couple of months, but now I'm left wondering... do I have enough interesting or pertinent things to say to keep these pages going?
I love the writing community and connecting with readers, but I don't want to get repetitive or share too much. My writing methods don't seem all that original or awe inspiring, so I often hesitate to share them. I have plenty of kid stories, but this isn't a parenting blog. And, I'm a grammar nerd, but I don't want people running away because I remind them of their picky seventh grade English teacher.
What to do?
I'm a little stuck right now, I must admit.
My gut tells me to have a mixture of all the things I like here, even some of the random things that come into my head. I always do better with focused blog challenges like the Blogging from A to Z challenge (coming in April, YEAH!). I find staring at a blank blog post page quite frustrating.
But, if I make this page a mixture of my interests, will readers come and go instead of sticking with me? Should a blog have a singular focus?
I set up this blog to build an author platform, so I went to the Internet to define author platform. I found a great blog post by Jane Friedman: A Definition of Author Platform. She shares the definition according to most editors and agents, "They’re looking for someone with visibility and authority who has proven reach to a target audience."
Visibility --- Check
Or at least normally. I need to get back to a more frequent blogging schedule and stick to it, so that people know I'll be around.
Authority --- Insecurity Issues (see above)
Yes, I'm published, but I made a ton of mistakes in the process and managed somehow to succeed anyway. I'm always happy to share, but an authority... not feeling it. Then again, I have three kids ages 12, 10, and 7 and I'm convinced I'll never feel like an authority on parenting, either. So admittedly, my expectations may be way too high on defining authority.
Proven Reach to Target Audience --- Complete Confusion
I reach out to readers by building my writing community. However, I'm not sure womens fiction readers (and soon I'll need to also reach out to Young Adult readers) would follow my blog. I'm so confused!
If any of you have figured out the magic key to an effective author platform, one that attracts both writers and readers, please share.
And now it's ROW80 update time.
Like I mentioned before, NaNo really threw me off, but it's time to get back to goals. I'm a bit at a loss, because I've been so focused on word counts with total disregard to most other things.
New goals for the remainder of Round 4:
(When does it end, anyway?)
--> Write a chapter by Sunday on my Depression Cookies follow up. Mom, if you are reading this, it's coming. It's coming.
--> Catch up on blog reading and commenting.
--> Apologize to my editing clients again for disappearing in November, and spend at least two hours a day catching up on editing projects.
--> Catch up on my reading TBR pile.
I am taking at least a two-week break from Chasing Memories (NaNo piece). I love the story, but I need to let it soak, so to speak.
I look forward to catching up with all my ROW80 and IWSG friends. I hope the muse grants each of you a lot of quality time throughout the remainder of 2012.