THE LONELINESS OF A LONG DISTANCE BLOGGER: Rerun
In December 2012 I did exhaustive research on establishing a blog. Well, I did at least seek the advice from a small number of people who had a smattering of technological smarts.
Then I decided to ignore everyone’s recommendations and set up a blog with Google+ which I had discovered after googling, HOW TO SET UP A BLOG!
Not that I had carefully weighed up the pros and cons of the range of choices presented to me by my advisors and concluded that Google offered superior features compared with those suggested. No, being severely technologically challenged, I found myself barely able to absorb any of the information fed to me. I became so confused about which way to go that, for several weeks, I suffered from my first attack of blogger’s block and just could not make a decision.
Underpinning my procrastination was a huge fear of the unknown. What if this quantum leap into the technological age turned my familiar little world upside down? What if, heaven forbid, my cosy, kind of predictable existence was going to be disturbed and changed? What if no one reads my stuff? Or worse, what if they read it and do not like it? Or worse still, what if I receive lots of nasty feedback from people saying my stuff is crap and I have nothing interesting/intelligent/amusing to say and furthermore, most four year olds can express themselves in writing better than me?
Regardless of my self-doubts and paranoia, I faced my fears and after a number of stops and starts and stumbles, I finally managed to set up my blog with Google+.
Oh, I failed to explain fully why I chose Google, despite receiving plenty of good advice to go with other eminent providers. I favoured Google simply because, like Wikipedia, I have warm and fuzzy feelings about it, having found Google Search to be an invaluable tool in providing answers to a multitude of questions I have put to it over the years.
I had better confess what motivated me to become a blogger in the first place. I am a late blooming writer. I have written seven books: two self published paperbacks, five additional EBooks and a bunch of EBook short stories. They are all out there spinning in the vast unmarketed, unknown, undiscovered, unread, ethereal universe of AMAZON, along with countless thousands of other unnoticed self published books.
Like many self published authors, I do not have the financial means to spend big $ on getting my books to the attention of the reading public. Instead, I have invested in a number of HOW TO BECOME A BEST SELLING SELF PUBLISHED AUTHOR books. You know the ones? Where their authors fill up the first half of their book crowing about the squillions of books they have sold and are now prepared to share their secrets of success with suckers like me, who duly fork out $2.99, or thereabouts, for their EBook version. I am embarrassed to say, I have purchased at least eight of these kind of books over the past five years.
All of them say, among other things, you should have either your own website, or blog, plus build up a following on social media. Then it is suggested that your followers will be so enamoured by your pearls of wisdom, or so entertained by your wit and/or ability to tell a tale, they will fall over themselves in the rush to purchase your books. Furthermore, they will broadcast the news to all their family, friends and acquaintances and a tsunami of sales is sure to follow.
Well, that is pretty much how I interpreted what the authors of these books are saying.
So, I jumped in (albeit at snail’s pace) and set up my blog. As I have an aversion to social media, I resisted the temptation to join Facebook or Twitter, though. But that is another story.
Two and a bit years later I have sent out 90 blog posts. Most of them have been self indulgent. Some have been grumpy old man complaints about mobile phones, or tram travelling in Melbourne. Others have been nostalgic recollections of misspent youth or making the wrong career choices. Some of the others focussed on topical issues like climate change, gun control, sport and local politics. With much pride and admiration I wrote about my mother’s venture into short story writing for the first time at the age of 92. I have written about forgiving my late father. Lately I have dived deep into the swirling metaphysical waters of sorry and forgiveness and other spiritual topics, as well as trying to stir up support for two young rehabilitated Australians facing execution in Indonesia for drug smuggling.
I kicked off my first blog by sending unsolicited postings to unsuspecting family and friends and was delighted (and relieved) to receive some positive feedback, albeit muted.
Through the world of Google+, I discovered the Writers Discussion Group, the Alliance of Self Published Authors, Our Humanity, Spirituality and The Ageing Game, to name but a few of the Google communities out there. I have enjoyed the contacts, support and exchange of information between fellow writers and other like minded people. This has been a huge and unexpected bonus.
As for my books, I would like to report a spike in sales, but alas, not so. However, that does not bother me that much, because of the personal rewards I have received since becoming a blogger; the interesting people I am communicating with; and the enormous amount of valuable information that has come to me. This is worth far more to me than a few dollars in royalties.
OK. OK. I exaggerate. I have to admit it would be nice to receive some monetary rewards from my writing as well!
Maybe, after I finish my current book, THE BENEFICENT MR. KINDER, which has a personal development/spiritual theme, I might write one titled, HOW TO BECOME A BEST SELLING SELF PUBLISHED AUTHOR!
Maybe then, after the resultant avalanche of sales to desperate undiscovered authors (at $2.99 each), I will become a wealthy best selling self published author?