Tag Archives: blogging

The Pointlessness of Blogging

I started this blog, lovingly named Trans/Plant/Portation to refer to my gender identity, my then-imminent relocation to the other side of the continent, and the travelogue that I’d be writing about as we drove across country (and through part of Canada). I was volunteering to give up my day job, figuring that after fifteen pretty successful years in the workplace I’d land something new and interesting shortly after unpacking my last box in our new house. Instead I blew out my left ACL three weeks prior to our trip, watched the global credit economy implode, and didn’t find work for another two years.

Everett contemplates a volcano

Somehow, the blog that was supposed to be my fun-filled journal for friends turned into my stop gap, my virtual solace-finder—one of my only outlets for my extroverted personality. Susanne was worried for me, I could tell, but she had her own anxiety regarding acclimating to her new college environment. She had to start her faculty career and sort out the myriad characters at work. All of a sudden everyone we knew was Susanne’s coworker—fine, insofar as coworkers go, but not a group to whom one can express their concerns about their Very Recent Moving Experience.

Also, the new house reeked of cat urine, the walls bulged, and the upstairs tub occasionally leaked into the kitchen, via the spotted ceiling. Read More…

Why Breaks Work For Me

This is the first in a series of guest posts while I spend time with our newest member of the family. Please welcome Rachel McCarthy James!

This is the first piece of writing I’ve published in over three months. During those three months, I’ve let languish the very thing I’ve wanted my entire adult life – an audience who likes my writing and want more of it. I’ve probably lost a few existing readers, and I’ve definitely missed out on many opportunities to build my audience.

But this isn’t a mistake or laziness or procrastination – it’s purposeful. And it’s part of my plan to eventually make a living as a writer.

Read More…

Getting Your Social Network Started, Part 1

social network using stick peopleAt writer’s conferences and in critique groups people throw phrases like “social networks” and “platform building” around like cheap confetti. Judging from the glazed look on the eyes of many writers, there seems to be a disconnect between knowing one should work on their online presence, and how to do just that. It’s not enough to tell folks to build a network, because that’s too abstract a concept in a universe of hundreds of social networking Web sites and applications. Worse, all of the jargon is so intimidating many writers begin to justify their absence from the market. “Well, I need to have time to write, not promote myself,” one romance writer told me at this year’s PNWA. Others that I’ve spoken with don’t see the benefit to all of these online sites—it looks to them like a lot of time spent tooling around the interwebs for next to no return on their investment. And that’s a shame.

When I was working in the usability field—trying to match people’s needs with the design of the Web systems they were using—one of the recurring issues I ran into was language.  Someone looking for “Data” as a topic in a list of items is likely to miss their target if it comes after the word “Healthcare,” as in “Healthcare Data.” Tiny differences in inches or color contrast or expectations around word choice throw people off more easily than we as confident humans would like to admit, and attitude makes a big, big difference. So if I may pull a little from my past professional experience, let me boil down a few simple steps to establishing an online presence.   Read More…

Writers on Parade

Pied Piper with childrenI have read a lot about building a following of readers, having online presence, working the social networks, and so on. And while a lot of it seems reasonably useful, there are also slews of articles that rub me the wrong way or that I’m not willing to do. Also, while I don’t claim to be the most successful network builder out there, I have gotten a lot more attention and a greater presence than I thought I would in just a couple of years. Yes, years. There is no such thing as an overnight sensation. Or if there is such a thing, one ought not plan to be that. I might as well develop a 5-year plan for flying myself to Mars. Read More…

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