Wednesday, April 28, 2010

What I'm Doing...

I was reading this article on Writer's Digest and I thought it interesting. I have to admit that when I'm dragging with my writing, I am a complete social media addict. It is my ideal to be hooked in all the time. But, when I am busy, and when I get the hard bits smoothed out to the point that I am really writing, then I am in communication while on the go. I don't drive, so the time I spend walking to the grocery store, back from grocery store, to the farmer's market and meet people or whatever is on my schedule...I spend the travel time calling, texting and so forth.

But this was part of the point for a 'New Writers Group' as I see it. The critique group is the heart as it focuses on the writing and offers connections to other writers. But stuff a bunch of people in a room, all from different critique groups, and they become a Writers' Group. A network of groups is stronger than a single group. The amount of knowledge, and the less work it requires to meet goals. Then there is the fact that those of us who cannot be full-time writers just yet have times when life intrudes so far that it squeezes writing-time into nothing. Other writers, plus a workshop environment without a class is certainly motivational.

Then there is the little fact that the nature of publishing is turning on its head right now. Yes, the traditional way still works. For now. And the agent-query process might not change too dramatically, but the information revolution has hit the industry. Advice for writers is changing and I think the nature of support in our local writing communities needs to change.

The women got it. And I think we'll see younger men holding blogs soon, and updating more frequently, though theirs might be shorter. Communication is a requirement of this new generation, and textual communication is sidling up to spoken communication in level of importance.

There are many male bloggers at sites like endgaget, but this "type" of site is not the same as the "personal blog." Do women still outnumber men in the more standard journalistic blogs? And women outnumber men in the Personal blogs (like this one, which if it were in a newspaper would likely be an op ed)? If so, is this a digital representation of report/ rapport speech?

Whatever the case, facilitating an online presence in some fashion is likely to be second nature to the next generation of writers. I will certainly believe that they will find ways to utilize this space in ways far different than we do now. I think doing so will be necessary to keep pace with whatever changes occur.

That said, their is a duality to our culture right now. It is something I've mentioned before and which I don't feel that the marketers are using to full effect. Publishers are focusing on digital space, as our writers. But there has to be a real-life component. There has to be a group that mirrors the web of intricate social connections that take place online in the real world. i know a lot of established authors find themselves enmeshed in such a network, but those of aspiring to something...well, we need it to get our feet on the first step up. Going to Conventions and Conferences is part of this, but it isn't the whole. Some of us don't live in vibrant literary cities, and we can't up and move to some place that is. We need to create community in our backyards. We need to become visible in our communities, as we are online. We need real-world visibility to create internet-visibility. This is what Sylvanopolis Writers' Society is doing. Slowly but firmly we are carving out a spot for ourselves in Sacramento.


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