- A speech. [Sorry.]
- An activity. [Hooray.]
- A gift. [Double hooray.]
- A request. [Please say yes.]
For me, last year was The Year of the Blog. On Jan 10th, I rose from a sleepless night of extreme crabbitness, headed straight for my desk and spontaneously started a blog, without knowing what on earth I was doing or where it would lead. I never dreamt it would have led to making so many new friends, and "meeting" so many hard-working writers dedicated to improving their writing for publication. I certainly had no idea that it would take so much of my time nor that I would enjoy it so much. And I absolutely had no intention of starting an actual business from it, as I ended up doing eleven months later with my writing consultancy, Pen2Publication. [Going very well, thank you very much! I'm delighted to have been able to set several clients on their way to much improved WIPs already, and I feel very honoured that so many are trusting me to do so.]
The support of all you blog-readers has kept me inspired; you've enabled a real community to grow up here; and so many of you have contributed your own wisdom and experiences in the comment sections. This blog is far more than me: it's is all of you, too. I'd love to mention you all but I'll just take some examples from most recent commenters. I've loved the unstoppable book-loving enthusiasm and knowledge of Catherine Hughes; the industry uber-wisdom of Jane Smith and the US perspective from Lynn Price; the curmudgeonely acerbity of the "anonymous Proe", and the generous comments of so many of you all over the world. I've valued comments from Aussies, such as Catdownunder and Ebony; African viewpoints from readers such as Lauri in Botswana and Amanda in South Africa; Harry in Bulgaria; Miriam in Israel; lots of Americans (too many to mention but I'll scratch the surface with two Jos and two Sarahs); and in the UK, again so many of you, including Elen, Mary, Kate, Thomas, the Davids, more Sarahs; and then there was my first blog baby, Marsha Moore; and all the great Twitterers, Helen, Helena, Flixtonmum, Simon, Marshall, Lacer, and others; and the self-publishers who are serious about the quality of their writing, more than the simple fact of having their name on a cover: Dan and Marc, hats off to you. I mustn't forget the young ones, too - watch out for Iffath and, to see a young book-loving blogger in action, hop over to her place when she puts a link to it below, as I'm sure she will! And there was the wonderful Isla, who won the young writers' comp I arranged and who emailed me so sparkily in the following weeks. Oh gosh, there are so many more of you. I know I've left tons of you out but please realise that I am grateful to each and every one of you who has commented, even when you've disagreed with me. [How dare you?] If you've lurked and not commented, I'm glad you're there, too - lurk as long as you like!
In short - thank you all for your company, your support, your wisdom and your humour.
THE ACTIVITY - blog-puffing
Here's what to do.
- In a comment below, briefly advertise your blog or on-line presence. NB: this must be for your writing, not selling any other product. I will remove any comment which seems to violate the spirit of this activity, which is about allowing writers and readers to meet.
- Note the word "briefly". Your blurb is unlikely to be read if it's waffly or boring. You are selling yourself, remember, and readers will choose whom to visit.
- If you can include a clickable link, do. But if you can't, don't worry: just include the full URL.
- If you are on Twitter, give your Twitter name. Mine is @nicolamorgan
- Then visit some of the blogs that you will find mentioned here and leave comments on them. Please visit at least 4 during the next 48 hours.If you have time for lots more, fabulous! Try to visit some you haven't seen before.
- Please keep returning here during the day to find more ideas.
- Keep checking your own blogs during the day, so that you can respond to comments that people leave there. Successful blogging is active blogging.
- If you don't have a blog where people can leave messages, but just a website or online work in another forum, simply make sure that your directions to it are clear and compelling.