Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Stuff That Really Doesn't Go On Ze Blog

Some things are just not interwebz material.

People may debate excerpts on ze blog. I'll reiterate here what I said in yesterday's comments: excerpts are usually part of a sales strategy. This assumes the book is for SALE (or orderable), whether via traditional or self publishing. If it's not pushing people to buy (NOW) or preorder, your excerpt is wasted. In my opinion and many others'.

But barring your copyrighted content, anything is blog fodder! Blog your LIFE! Your PASSIONS!! Right?!?!

YES. Well, no. Almost.

Just because you're blogging about "your life/passions" doesn't mean you don't have to filter. Someone likened blogging to "reality TV" and "car crashes" in the comments, because it's raw and emotional and you can't look away. Eh...not really.

"Feelings" don't belong on your blog. OK, half of them do. The "YAY This awesome thing!!" or "How cool is this?!" feelings are great for blogging. But the feelings that I most associate with car crashes and Reality TV (regret, sadness, anger, etc.) should never make their way onto the internet--anywhere.

Back to the brand. While no one is happy/professional all the time, your blog/Twitter/Facebook should read like you are. Moments when you're down are moments when you need your friends around you, yes. You just need to TAWLK. But your Twitter followers and blog readers are not your friends (barring the ones that were friends first). They're your Twitter followers and your blog readers.

You love them, but it's, like, meta-love. It's binary code love. Not suitable for heavy emotional stuff--too much is lost in translation. Just think about all those text messages that have come across wrong at one time or another. Do you really want that happening on an interwebz scale?? No.


  1. There's a lot of blog posts out there that make getting an agent sound like the lyrics to a country and western song!

  2. Meta-love. *snort*

    Mer, you are a delight. Thank you for giving us all this great info.

    - Liz

  3. I still have no clue what to post about, and I'm spending far more time futzing around with WordPress than anticipated. I think the "setting up shop" aspect is draining my enthusiasm. So, I better not post anything for a while ...

  4. YES!!! I've said this time & time again, the written word is VERY hard to get "voice" across just right. Nine times out of ten the person reading the text, blog, etc might take it the wrong way because they can't HEAR you saying it & won't know the difference if it's a NICE "love you" or a sarcastic one. Thank you for saying this...I've said it to people in person enough times that I thought I was the only one!

  5. Sheesh, Meredith. Now you are making me FEEL very INSECURE about my blog posts. :)

  6. I think there's room on author blogs for negative emotion at times--within reason. No constant whining, NO attacks on publishing pros or other authors, but I've seen some really moving and thoughtful posts about setbacks, frustrations, or sadness.

    The trick, I believe, is to remember that you are still in a public space, not in a therapist's office. Maintain your authorial voice, be thoughtful, and demonstrate your craft even through difficult emotion, and you'll prove all the more that you're a writer to watch.

  7. I think (and this is just my personal take) that it's good to retain one space for yourself. You should still try to edit a little. I mean, Aunt Suzy is cool and all, but does she need to know your cramps are bad today? No. I like to use my facebook as a meeting place for friends and family that I can simply be me. It's private, but probably still accessible. I edit but I don't stress out. I have access to people I love that are far away and it's good support. The rest is PROFESSIONAL.

  8. "While no one is happy/professional all the time, your blog/Twitter/Facebook should read like you are." Great quote, although I think there can be exceptions.

    I think there is a place for voicing frustration, because aspiring writers who are reading your blog need to know what bumps to expect on the road ahead. If it's done in a professional rather than confessional way (no weeping & oh-poor-me)a little honesty can be useful.

    What I find just as annoying is the cliquish "I'm here at a party with all these adoring/famous people and you're not" kind of post. OK in small doses, but a little goes a long way.

  9. Thanks I wondered about that. I mean I should've known that no one wants to read my whining, but I heard it was good to post what's on your mind. Now I might have some trouble thinking of stuff to blog about since I usually can't just say what's on my mind ('cause my mind is negative way too often). I guess the 'whining' I've done so far shouldn't be too damaging to my blog since I'm pretty sure most of the people who've read it so far are friends of mine (as in people I actually know), but I would like to build something of a following.

    On that note, why would anyone want to read my blog? I'm an unpublished author and I heard blogging is a good way to get yourself known, but I don't really understand how. I wouldn't be interested in reading anyone else's blog unless a) the author is already a friend of mine or b) the author shares information which is useful to me (which is why I came to this blog -becuase I want to learn about agents so I might have a better chance finding myself an agent). I don't share useful information on my blog, so why would anyone who doesn't know me want to read it?