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While I was away from the blog, with sketchy internet and very little time to do much else, I was able to step back and consider just exactly what this blog is about, and where it is headed. In short, it has always been about sharing the passion I have for writing and reading with others who enjoy the same things. It's also about building a network of peers. Almost all of my followers are writers at various stages in their careers. Some are agented, some published, some toiling away in the dark, like me, and some who are hobbyist who simply enjoy reading and/or writing.
Writing is a typically solitary activity, and unlike other jobs where you show up and mingle at the office, the only way you're going to meet people in this business (pre-publication) is to go to a conference or get active in the vast (and growing) online community. That's why I started this, and that's why I'll continue to do it.
So, as much as I do love seeing a new follower (yes, I dance, sing, and then follow/read your blogs while singing and dancing!), when it's all stripped down I recognize this isn't about self-promotion. This isn't even about building some kind of pre-fanbase to jumpstart my writing career. If it were, at the rate I'm going my internet presence would merit publication interest in 2089, and by then I'm certain the machines will have won.
All of that being said, I also believe in goal setting. I've already stated a my motivation: fun and networking. How about a specific tangible goal? When I started back in February/March of this year, I thought, Man, I'd love to get to 20 followers! Now I'm up to 37, and I'm starting to think, Wouldn't it be cool to be to 50 by the holidays? Again, this isn't about the number. I "know" almost every single person who follows this blog, and by know I mean I read their blogs, interact with them on various writing sites, and/or comment regularly on their blogs. These aren't nameless internet folks, nor are they my real family members. The way I see it, these are friends and co-workers.
How do I reach those goals?
First, I need to provide information or content that is worthy of your time. I really try to pay attention to the posts that draw the most interest and feedback, but I'm not certain I've done a good enough job of building on those types of things. So I'll do more of that. Second, I have to continue to find new people with similar interests online, comment on their blogs, and get involved with what they're trying to do. It sounds counterintuitive, but spending time getting to know other people via their content, etc. is the fastest way to build your own network. So many of you who follow this blog have done so because I've stumbled across your blogs and commented, or because I've got to know you via a message board. Pay it forward, and your network will grow.
What are your goals and ambitions?
Despite appearances, the reason of this post is not to reveal some new blog direction or come clean about my abilities (or lack there of). I wrote this to challenge all of you to think about your blogs, dreams, goals, and ambitions. Furthermore, I'd like to draw some inspiration. I'd love to know (in the comments, etc.) where you started, how far you've come, and where you hope to go.
Hope you all have a tremendous weekend!
P.S. - There is an awesome contest going on at the Bookshelf Muse blog. There are query and page critiques, PLUS a chance to be mentored by an up-and-coming author! It's one of the cooler, more unique opportunities I've seen. Plus the blog is great, so go check it out.
P.S.S. - New look. Like it? Hate it? Meh?