I attended a talk at our local library last Saturday in Kenmore, near Brisbane City, Australia. I was with six others from our Creative Writing group. We had all been reading and writing fiercely, and were excited about learning to E-Publish.
As it turned out, the Kenmore Library talk, given by the Queensland Writers Centre was valuable and inspired all of us. Although we were all ‘pumped’ by the talk, some members were not too comfortable with self-promotion and general socialising on the internet and E-publishing. Some of course (all total of three of us) raced home and signed up with Wattpad to begin writing our stories.
I was working through my drafts and trying to choose what I would like to write or publish on Wattpad. I also looked up general information on Wattpad and read other stories written by various writers. It is too early for me to know whether this step would assist me with my plans to publish some of my work but I will share more later.
Amongst all the information I read and saw, I came across this short video – which made me laugh. This video is not only about what a writer does in Wattpad. This is what we all do in Wattpad or WordPress or even other social networks – we are eager to get some response, feedback or praise when general advice is ‘write for yourself’, or ‘don’t expect’ anything or ‘believe in what you are doing’….. after all, writers are human.
Blogging is isolated and lonely. I am not writing in a newsroom where I can see writers and editors bustling in a typical newsroom I knew. In a newsroom, I could discuss my story with an editor or another fellow writer, or work with a photographer. In this blogger-world sometimes I feel, I am alone. I am reaching out to someone, somewhere, whom my story may appeal to. My story is like fresh bait on a hook, dropped in the middle of the deep, dark ocean. I want the right fish to bite the hook, not any fish. So, the ‘bait’ has to be right. But how do I know if the bait is right? As writers, we don’t. Well I don’t, not 100 per cent anyway. Unless, we get feedback, research data and see some kind of recognition, we really don’t know if what we write is appreciated.
When my site-visit numbers were increasing recently, there were very few comments and ‘likes’ on each post. I have to admit, I felt doubt. I wondered why I would have many people visit my blog each day, and not interact. I would visit the few writers that “liked’ my post and be astounded by how many followers and hits they have had. I searched through their contents. What makes this blog great?, I asked myself. Some blogs were interesting and it made sense as to why they would have such an audience. Others did not make sense at all – they were just popular. Like everything else, it really does not matter what you write and how you write it. That ‘bait’ will catch the reader that was meant for it. You have to catch your own niche market. I learnt, and told myself only to worry about my next story.
In the background, I did do some content research, adjusted my theme, and the layout. I took a course on content and UX with Open University and shortened my posts. (This post will not be one of those short ones). I kept on writing; refusing to use popular social networks to get my readers – or lure people who knew me. I covered most topics I loved and cared about. The risk was, that I could lose readers because of the varied topics. I borrowed some hints from Opinionated Man. Jason could scratch himself and blog it to get 400 “likes”. He was always true to himself. I enjoyed his narrative posts the most. I kept writing about the things I loved or believed in. It is real. So, my readership doubled in a month. And, somewhere in that increased number, someone connected with my content. My bait was taken.
On November 2, a stranger appeared on my blog. She was wearing a China-red dress/top, armed with a natural straw hat with a black band that mysteriously and securely hid her face. I saw this picture after I received the first message from WordPress. It said: “millithom liked your post”. I have had other “likes’ before so I paid no notice. I thought I would follow-up and view each respond when I had time in the evening. Then there was another ‘like” and another, by the same person. I immediately visited millithom’s blog and was very impressed with what she wrote. I learnt a lot from her. As an aspiring author myself, I was impressed with her book posts on writing in general and helpful advise on publishing. I was really grateful that she could relate to my post and COMMENT! On that same day, after the fourth “like”, millithom was hooked, I think. I say that with no malice. I got a notification that she started “following” me. It was the kind of ‘stalking’ that every blogger loves. The baited hook was taken by that fish. Each day since, this woman I have never seen her face except in an old photo, warmly responds to all my posts. She also writes very encouraging and heart-felt comments. For me and any writer or any blogger who is starting and ‘afraid’, we all need a millithom to put that hope into our doubting minds. I have mine. I also have L.T.Garvin, Poetheart! and Seafarrwide. There is a kind of sisterblog-hood going.
Thank you Millie Thom, blogger, author (Shadow of the Raven), with a gorgeous heart for nominating me for this award. It means a lot to me. I will continue to strive to keep the content of Tribalmystic blog interesting. Thank you Millie, my followers, and returned readers and I would appreciate any feedback to improve this blog. I also appreciate the quiet ones. Your silence and presence are both appreciated and acknowledged.
Seven Lovely Things…
As requested by the conditions of this award, I have to tell you seven “lovely” things about me. Ahhhumm.. (I asked my sons and my colleague today) and they made some comments I shall not repeat; so I have to do this task the best I can.
1. I am a queen of surprises. (I am that confident). Even after all these years, I can still surprise my sons in their ‘older age’, family members and friends. I love the intrigue. I love mysteries. I love how happy I make them.
When I was growing up, the children in my village used to call me a spirit. I was lighter skinned but had tanned from hours in the sun. I had straight hair which was blonde from swimming in the sea every day. All that time, I thought I was black. The children kept telling me, I was white. I think it is lovely to be both.
I easily make friends with strangers and people from all walks of life. I could connect and have a deep conversation with a stranger, that I had just met. It scares my children.
I love nature. The Ocean, forest, and all life forms. I believe that Earth is in danger. We should all be seriously concerned about what is happening in climate change and each make a commitment to do something about it.
I am who I am because I am the thread that runs in the fabric created by my mother, grandmother and my people.
I love stories – telling and hearing.
7. I make art from anything..but I love drawing with pencil and watercolours.