Living with the Truth Stranger than Fiction This Is Not About What You Think Milligan and Murphy Making Sense

Wednesday, 8 August 2007

The guy in the corner

I’ve been looking through some social networking sites for writers, Storylink, Readerville and Writing.Com. I’m trying to get a feel for them, to understand where they fit into the mix these days but I’m not quite there yet. I used to be involved with Zoetrope a few years back but it consumed so much of my time I quit and wrote a couple of novels instead.

Things have changed. The lingo for one. And the mentality. Now don’t get me wrong, I spend hours online as does my wife. I still own all my reference books – I have a shelf full of dictionaries – but I rarely need to get off my backside to check one. And that’s a good thing. I believe that’s a good thing. Between us we own five computers and have totally embraced this new technology but only up to a point. And that point for me was about ten years ago. I haven’t moved on not because my experience with Zoetrope was bad because it was anything but.

Now I’m told I need an author website, a blog, a MySpace page and something called a Squidoo lens. I need a profile and I need to be shoving it in people’s faces. The problem is, I don’t really know what I’m expected to say. It’s why I write. The writing is far more interesting than I am but it seems I can’t divorce myself from it which bothers me because the work should be able to stand alone and apart. It needs to. It was designed to. Everything out of me that was necessary to give the work life is still there, all jumbled up in the words and that’s fine but as soon as you know one thing about me that’s not relevant to the book then the flavour has changed because people judge.

I can see there are protocols, web-etiquette and the like but for the moment I think I’ll just hang out over here in the corner muttering to myself and see if maybe one of these days someone will take pity on me.

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