First, be assured that my verbosity has not in any way whatsoever abated. But yesterday I had So much fun cranking out a blog post based on three random words my friend Lindy suggested. And I had something of an epiphany. I’ve long been settling into writing one three paragraph post of 300 to 500 words. And I’m realizing it would be rather cool to write this blog about anything, everything and nothing about trios of words suggested by readers. So have at it. Give me your three favorite words. Or three random words. Or unusual words. Just give me three words and I will give you a blog post.
I need to make clear up front that I am not promising to crank out something for every single trio that comes over the transom. But the better I like the words the more likely I will get around to writing your post. If you leave a link to your blog, I will be sure to give you a link when I write your post. I will also visit your blog and comment. If you can choose three random words from a dictionary and leave them for me in less than a minute or two, it could be a pretty easy way to get one more visitor to your blog. Building relationships with other bloggers is the best way to create organic back links. (If you are still so naive as to be purchasing back links or paying some guru to get them for you….let’s just say you are still at the snake oil buying newbie stage of the blogosphere.)
I find myself wondering what words my readers will throw at me. I suspect Holly will come up with something. And I look forward to writing about whichever words Laura throws out. And what about you? Will you please leave me three words in a comment below. Be sure to include your blog link. Come on. Give me just three words.
A conversation on a friend’s Facebook page today, reminded me that to a very great extent these days I am extremely lucky because I am mostly living exactly as I choose to live. I have a great huzband, a mostly comfortable home, and I only work on projects that I choose because they allow me to say things I really want to say.
I know that some people might look at my Empire Avenue stats and see that my scores on all networks are trending down and think that I am still going through a bad time. But that would be such a false impression. The stats I achieved on Empire Avenue under my wallet name over the past 13 months or so were the result of both a lot of hard work, and the web of relationships I have been cultivating online for more than 20 years now.
I am writing and publishing my new project under a pseudonym. It seems to me that writers have long understood the value of a nom de’plume. To me the Google folks insisting that wallet names make for a better experience for everyone seems hopelessly naive and spectacularly mis-guided. The challenge now, is that none of the people who I have met over this past year, while talking about blogging, social networking and this, that and the other, are part of the target audience for my new, very niche project. I think I might be able to become quite successful in this niche, although I will have to do it from scratch under a pretty much completely new name. Many of the lessons I have learned about building a following and chatting my way to success will apply just as much under my pen name. But I am a bit awed by the added challenge of starting off from scratch with zero friends 🙂
I really am so lucky to be able to spend my days doing just what I really want to do. And while I know I will never be a hit on that corner where the other folks compare their toys (though I will tell you I LOVE my CRUZ tablet, which is superb as an ereader and serviceable as an emergency Internet connection. I just love pulling over in a residential neighborhood and finding an un-encrypted hot spot and connecting to a web page to find out exactly what I need to know Right Now. (If you’ve ever driven 10 miles back home to check one last thing on your computer in order to get to where you were going, you will understand this.)
On a recent post, Lisa Lavergen-Pottgen commented about the Apple vs Amazon dispute that has been getting a lot of play. I remarked that to me it seemed like a battle of two huge monopolists that has little to do with the concerns of ordinary readers and writers. I have always been a writer. I have found ways, over the years, to use my ability to write to make at times a great living, although my job title has never been Writer and others who held similar positions may have relied much more on verbal communications. But so long as I can still blog without having to provide audio, there continues to be a market for good writing, and anyone who can get a hold of a word processor and string together a noun and a verb has every bit as much chance of becoming a published author today.
I was so freaking excited about the eBook revolution. Writers can simply upload a word processor file, and in less than an hour usually it gets “smashed” into a huge number of eBook file formats and within a few weeks is offered for sale in several major eBook vendors. Smashwords, in my considered opinion is a GREAT option for anyone who can put together a book. While I think it is important not to skimp on things like a copy editor, a proofreader and professional graphics, the fact is that Smashwords makes it possible to publish to pretty much everyone. There is such huge potential here, that those of you who did not grow up in an era when most writers spent most of their time querying and pitching editors in places like New York and hoping to be chosen from the slush pile. I have to be honest and point out that this ease of access to electronic publishing means that there is a LOT of dreck out there. The sad fact is there was a good reason so, so many of those writers out there never could get through to Big Publishing. Their work really wasn’t that good.
I am proud to publish all of my work with Smashwords and hope that I will continue to draw readers like you for many years to come. I remain very excited about my new project and look forward to putting in a lot of hard work and carefully planning an introduction and will soon set out on developing a whole new audience, completely from scratch. I am half nervous that this is going to be Really hard and half excited about the plan I am formulating to make it work.