Writers, Get Thee To Some Bloggery
(Another quickie today as I pump my little writer legs and bolt towards deadline.)
Penmonkeys and inkmonsters.
Goddamnit, I’m talking to you.
Get a blog.
In fact, don’t just get a blog. Get a proper blog. And no, I don’t mean go with a blog that somebody else hosts. Blogger/Blogspot is cute and all — by which I mean, it’s sterile and ugly and samey-looking and often makes me type in ludicrous shit to make sure I’m not a spam-bot, and do you know how many comments have gone unposted by me because I am simply too lazy to enter in some hard-to-read Captcha like sxtheynfnarn or Hydro Ponybomb? (I know, I kid the Blogspot users. Hey, some of you have some very clean, lovely blogs. I mean, sure, most of you don’t. Insert smiley face and laugh track here! Some of my favorite blogs are Blogger blogs, for the record.) Plus, from the user experience angle, Blogspot blogs are finicky as shit. I’ve used them and I always felt like I was wrestling a snake in murky lakewater to get my post to do what I want, say what I want, and look the way I want.
The point is, the really real point, is that you need to own your material. Not just the content of your content, but the data of your content.
You post to a Blogger site, you have to abide by Terms of Service. Your blog is not your own. Google can cancel that shit. They can use that shit. They can deny you access to that shit. You own your work until they tell you that you don’t. Could be gone like that — *snap* — and poof, no more stuff.
Any service to which you post essentially controls the content you pump into them. Facebook, Twitter, any of that. I’m not saying don’t use those things. Do. Do! But get yourself a central hub. Build a homebase. The online version of an evil underwater lair.
Get a web address. Your own. It’s cheap.
Get it hosted. Control your FTP access. It’s cheap. Okay, not cheap-as-free, no, but hell, you go with the very dependable and customer-service-friendly Laughing Squid and you’ll see a bunch of quality plans for less than $12 a month (they go cheap as half that).
Make it your own. Even if it’s just black typewriter text on a black background.
And host that blog on your site. Trust me. Do it. It’s professional. You want to be serious about this gig? You want to show them all that you’re all growneds up, you can pull them up and down, you’re a big kid now? Then stop splashing around and pooping in the kiddie pool. Own the space. Create a room of one’s own online.
Writers, what are your blog habits?
How has blogging helped you as a writer? Or, has it hurt you?
Talk about your sites, too. What goes there? What do you wish you could do with just such a space? Bang it out. Chat it up. Talk about a writer’s online space and what it does, can and should mean.