So… I didn’t comment or read anything more. It was just too daunting for this writer. Maybe I’m just unique that it takes me L.O.N.G. to write out even the simplest response (like this), because it gets me thinking, because it stirs a response, because I want to word my response well. You see, I’d rather spend more of my valuable writing time actually writing or researching or revising or submitting than responding to posts. Sure, doing what Darcy says gets your name noticed, published or not, and I love her gumption and challenges, and marketing (getting your name out there) is definitely a related topic. Responding to her post here on my blog has taken writing thought time. Off to write a poem and revise some more.
The final speaker-talk at our SCBWI-MI Fall Writers Conference was Darcy Pattison. She spoke on Social Media. First, she did a hand-show questionnaire. I must admit that I felt rather proud of our chapter with so many raising their hands to having a website, a blog, on FaceBook, on Linked In, on Good Reads, YouTube, etc.
Darcy told us to focus, that social media is driven by content.
Know who you are – What do you like to do, consistently?
Who is your audience? Kids? Parents? Teachers? Librarians? Writers? Illustrators? Your on-line presence is different, depending on your audience.
When do you do things on line? For instance, Twitter is today’s news gotten yesterday.
Where does your cyber audience live? (i.e., which listservs, forums, chats, etc)
Research what is typical for what you like. Follow 10-15 blogs. Join in on conversations; leave comments.
Why do social media? Darcy did it to find a peer community. (I can relate to this point. When I lived in South Dakota, there were a total of twenty-eight SCBWI members in both North and South Dakota combined. The closest member to me lived several hours away. My live critique group in Rapid City were all adult writers who thought what I wrote was “nice.” Yeah. Needed more than that – a peer community.)
Put sustenance of real value on your blog. Don’t let it just be about me, me, me. Let what you say be of value to your audience.
There was so much more she shared, lots of interesting details or suggestions. Buy her books or CD, or go to a conference or retreat where she is a speaker. You will not regret it. Check her out at www.darcypattison.com (Thanks, Darcy.)
I am all for writers conferences. I’ve been attending them for about twenty-five years, and have co-chaired four and a half of them.
I participated in last week’s WriteOnCon — a free online conference for children’s writers. I am slowly catching up on day three because I was out of town for a week. During my absence, I thought of a few differences between online writers conferences and live writers conferences, and thought I’d share them.
1) Cost. WriteOnCon was free. Our 2-day fall SCBWI-MI conference — which I’m attending — costs between $235 and $285, plus attendees must arrange for our own overnight accommodations.
2) Information. Both forms make my head ache with overload of things to absorb. Both have things for new-to-the-business writers and seasoned, published writers. Online offered far more speakers, but live speakers can be approached.
3) Networking. This can work well for both types of conferences. Online can be a bit more difficult, but you can also meet people from around the world. On the live side, depending on your personality, meeting an editor for the first time in person can terrify some. An editor once told me the story of a face-to-face critique at a conference, where as soon as the writer sat down, she burst into tears from being so close to an actual editor.
4) Presentations. Live conferences have… well, live speakers, with question and answer times. Online conferences have YouTube videos, or live chats, or written talks (like a blog post).
5) Fashion. Spending a couple months deciding what to wear to a live conference (and usually changing my mind the night before) v.s. pajamas or grubs.
Personally, I appreciate both types of conferences. I appreciate the work which conference organizers put into making conferences dynamic and memorable information houses for willing-to-learn writers. I appreciate speakers willing to give of their time and knowledge, and to possibly pick up some new clients or authors or illustrators, which is, of course, every attendee’s hope. And I love meeting fellow writers who generally huddle together, us against the world.
Keep on learning. Keep on writing.