I have a question for you: How do you use the Internet? How do you utilize your blog and/or social media to enhance your productivity as a writer?
I mean it. How?
More than a decade ago, when he had recently published Ghost Road Blues, I attended a workshop with Jonathan Maberry. Jonathan had some amazing insights into my own personal writing, but he also had some generic rules of engagement that also really inspired me.
He always said, and it is so apparent in his online demeanor and the styling of his presence, that your social media, your blog, your web site, etc. (think YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, and all the eternal permutations) reflect your brand as a writer and that means bringing your best into the world.
In other words, don’t air your dirty laundry or post embarrassing photos or shoot your mouth off without some serious reflection.
In my public persona, aka social media and Internet presence, I try to blend honesty with tact and share the strategies I use in my everyday life. I have cerebral palsy. I work in a warehouse for my day job. I foster cats. I recently had a small flood in my house. I strength-train with a personal fitness coach. I blog about my successes and share my struggles.
But even beyond the basic advice of treat every online opportunity like the public display it is, your internet presence, especially your web site and blog, can help you organize your writing life.
On my personal blog, angelackerman.com, I often frame certain topics as “ongoing series”: my fitness journey, learning about my cerebral palsy and adapting my lifestyle, finding small joys in life, road trips, eating things, fostering cats, etc. These also correspond with my YouTube playlists.
But here’s the beauty: Those same topics can someday translate into memoirs. If I use the social media and blog tags I so carefully constructed for these topics, not only do they help my potential readers find the content they want, but they give me a way to access a chronological list of my notes that I can use to build new, more professional content.
I have to write my “The Unfortunate Cat Bite” story for the Feline Urban Rescue and Rehab anthology, As the FURR Flies. And it’s great (and reassuring) that I don’t have to rely on my memory for the details of that event two years ago. It’s become one of the more popular pieces on my blog, still receiving several hits a week.
Eventually I hope to write a cerebral palsy memoir, and when I do, you can guarantee I will be using my tag “cerebral palsy” to review years worth of material.
So, how do you use the Internet?
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