It’s been just over a year since I signed the contract for Broken Fate and a lot of things have happened since then. Unfortunately, progress often brings growing pains, so you’re soon going to notice some changes to this blog. I think they’ll be for the better, though, allowing you to get to know me better and for my friends and readers to more actively participate in the fun.
When I started building my platform and querying agents and publishers, I opted to keep my writing and my personal interests separate. Conventional wisdom dictated that an author shouldn’t clutter up her platform with other hobbies and interests. I had reservations about this from the beginning, and I detailed them in my post, Platform Nonsense. I shelved them, though, went with the peer pressure, and created two blogs: One for “work” and one for “play.” That has turned out to be just about the dumbest idea ever and not something I would ever recommend.
So now it’s time to rectify the mistake. First, let me clarify why this “conventional advice” turned out to be a dumb idea (just in case any of you are in a similar position and wondering what to do with your platform).
- It’s expensive. Maintaining two domains and two hosting packages is pricey. I can use that money for other marketing efforts that will pay bigger dividends.
- It’s time consuming. Maintaining two blogs takes time. You have to keep them both up to date, keep the plugins patched, maintain the links on the one to the other, promote them both, and so on. I need that time for other things.
- I’m not just a writer. This was my biggest reservation from the beginning. How can a writer, whose every interest shapes her work, keep her interests out of her platform? It seemed like an unnecessary restriction, especially for a fiction author. I could see it working for a non-fiction writer who’s trying to establish expertise in a specific field, but I freelance and write fiction. I’m all over the map with my work and it’s silly to expect that my blog should stick to one tiny path.
- You’re not all writers. I love my writer friends! However, not everyone who comes to this blog is a writer. Writing advice is boring to them. (And even my writer friends have other interests. At least I hope you do!) I’d like to try to meet my reader and writer friends on common ground and that means letting more of myself and my personality into this blog.
- It splits your search engine ranking. Google likes active sites, but when you’re splitting your posts between two blogs, neither one is as active as it could be. This can keep you down in the ranking results and hurt your visibility.
- It hurts your name recognition. I was blogging under a cutesy domain name. Even though I tried to make it obvious that I was writing that blog, who knows how many people saw it but didn’t connect it to me and my work. Who knows how many people I failed to “hook” because they didn’t know who was really behind that blog. It’s a missed opportunity to connect your name and work together.
So what changes will you see here going forward? First of all, I’m going to be bringing some of the content from my other blog over here during the coming weeks. If you’ve already read some of it, I apologize for the reruns.
Second, you’re going to see more posts most weeks. I’ll still try to keep Mondays for a writing advice-type post and Fridays for my Library Hauls and Reading Lists. On other days (probably Wednesdays), I’ll be posting content related to my other interests, or whatever I’m thinking about or wrestling with that week. This began this week with my post on my addiction to the Olympics.
Third, I’m going to try to play a bit more and make things around here a little more fun. I’ve tried some audience participation in the past and I’d like to revive that. I’ll also try to post questions or topics that invite more discussion. Feel free to join in on the comment trail whenever you have something to add.
Fourth, not that it matters, but I’ve given the blog a name. (You’ll only see it up in the menu.) I decided to call it, “Leveling Up the Writing Alchemist.” Why did I choose that name? It’s an allusion to my other primary interest, board games and RPG’s. I love fantasy games where you get to play as a character (witch, wizard, mage, alchemist, etc.) and level up their skills as you progress through the adventures. In any game, I’ll always choose the alchemist, if it’s an option. I love the idea of creating something out of nothing and that’s pretty much what I do as a writer. So I sometimes think of myself as a writing alchemist who’s on a quest to succeed in the world of publishing. I’m just trying to level up my skills and hope that I don’t get killed or eaten by a dragon.
So I apologize in advance for any bumpiness that comes out of this transition. Growing pains are awkward, but they lead to better things, eventually.
(Photo courtesy of geralt)