Sunday, 25 May 2008

Maintaining a Web Presence

I guess that is what I am doing right now, in writing this blog. I’m often amazed to see that people have read it. Okay, just a handful, but it’s earning me money on Adsense and it’s a strange feeling that there are people out there, people I don’t know, who are reading my words. In some cases, they are even coming back for a second look.

It would be great, actually, if any of you who are reading this would let me know who you are, and if you keep coming, why. But if you want to remain anonymous, that’s okay, too.

There has been much debate recently on a couple of forums I’m a member of about:

· Why we need to have a web presence

· How much time it takes to keep that going

· Whether or not it takes us away from our writing.

Well I think presence, web or otherwise, is vital writers who take themselves seriously. Yes you have to write well, and then you have to get yourself out there. Get the public interested in you. After all, what does “publish” really mean? It has to be something to do with making your work public. You are part of your work.

Anyway I enjoy writing my blogs. I do this one, a fictional one, “Rozia” that is about a quite important character who has just left anoterh story. This is what happens to her after she leaves. It’s quite an experiment for me. Firstly, as a fictional blog and secondly as an experiment in writing from character. Thirdly, I never plan what I’m going to writer before I start. Then there is my “The Language Expert” blog, which is all about language learning. After all, in a former life, I spent twenty-four years teaching languages and I still write a few materials for language learning. I used to also maintain two other blogs – one about property investment and the other about the silly things which are happening in the 21st Century. However, having decided I’m first and foremost a writer, I’ve abandoned the latter two. Other people do these things better. However, I have not taken the content down.

What I love about blogging is that is it instant publication. It also gets my writing muscles warmed up, as it’s the first writing task I do each day.

For your convenience, and if you’re interested I’ve listed my other blogs and websites on this page.

What about all those other places? My Space, Facebook, Shelfari, Twitter, Wiki and Eacademy? Oh yes, I’m there. But I don’t use those all that much. I will respond to anyone who contacts me that way and I do always list my events and new books on My Space and Facebook. Authors’ Den is also great. It’s in effect a web site you can build yourself. I am, however, using this less now and I prefer the Blogger blogging provider to the Author’s Den one.

I’m very fortunate in having a husband who maintains my personal web site. I just send him emails about what I want doing and he does it. I do spend time every now and then reviewing that site. And if I see a great idea on somebody else’s, I copy it. No shame, this woman.

Plus there are the forums: Wordpool, Bristish SCBWI and Children’s Writers.

All of this helps you to network without leaving your desk. The chat also stops the loneliness.

However, I do issue a word of caution. Remember, by being there you are putting yourself in the public eye. I do also have a writing related day job. I work as a Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Salford. I keep myself in check by reminding myself never to post anything I would be ashamed of the Vice-Chancellor knowing about me.


Foil Play said...

Just to let you know why I visit your blogs occasionally - I'm also Gill James and have google alerts set up for my name. These of course often bring up links for this blog and your other blogs ;-)

Gill James said...

Hi, Gill. Are you the one invovled with the cycle network, the one who works for Cheltenham Council, or the other supply teacher in Hampshire, or someone I've not met yet?

Foil Play said...

Hi Gill - the fourth option. I'm based in Warwickshire and run a small mail order business, I also crop up in some google searches due to my previous career as a civil servant. Anyway, it's good to 'meet' you!