Everyone says you have to have a blog. | Official Author Website of Melissa McPhail

Everyone says you have to have a blog.

It’s true.  You do.  Everyone says so.

I’m not a big fan of the “everyone” generality.  First, because it’s horrifically glib.  Second because it’s rarely accurate.  But the statement is so darned prevalent everywhere from forums to eBooks telling aspiring writers how to be Kindle bestsellers that you can’t spit without hitting another guru who’s assuring you that if you’re a writer in today’s market, you must have a blog (did you know there are blogs about how to blog?).

To me, this “incontrovertible” insistence is problematic.  First, it’s sort of against my nature.  The bloggers out there seem incredibly bubbly and extroverted (or angry and extroverted) but certainly extroverted.  Yet many writers I know harbor a host of specters that whisper their inadequacies with sandpaper-against-the-eyeballs persistence. This is quite naturally introverting.  How many charming, charismatic and intensely extroverted people do you know who regularly spend 18 hours on their computer interacting with a white screen and 26 characters?

I’m also not one of those people who spends time on forums and chat rooms, or even on Facebook. I never seem to know what to say. Is it a learned skill being able in the blink of an eye to come up with witty commentary on the most mundane things that somehow engenders a hundred comments, retweets or likes?  With minor exceptions (cudos to @NeilHimself), it’s my suspicion that the ability to effectively interact on social networks is now an inborn trait. The younger generation’s DNA includes the “socially gifted” genome, while those of us from an era where there were only three Star Wars movies necessarily fall on the “socially challenged” side of social media. We’re the 2012 version of Gattica Invalids.   

Then there’s Twitter….ah Twitter.  Twitter is an acquired taste, like beef liver or brussel sprouts, but it can be fabulous depending on how its prepared.  But I’m here to explain (complain) why me and blogging are not good bedfellows.

The Bloggers of today are like investigative journalists. I suppose that’s something of flattery to the bloggers and may be insulting to the journalists who’re risking their lives in Africa right now. But these people are serious! They’re dedicated!  And it’s terribly daunting, because I don’t see myself being one of those dutiful, diligent bloggers who spends a week researching and writing a detailed explanation of the DOJ ruling on Agency pricing. I’m of the mindset that I spend too much time in this world as it is, which is exactly why I write Fantasy. We’re all inundated by reality. Why read about it? Especially when most things worth knowing about will be covered on John Stewart’s Daily Show.

It’s been pointed out to me, however, that I do have hundreds of people at any given time reading Cephrael’s Hand and that it’s quite possible one of them might be interested in reading something else about the series, or about my viewpoints on the series.  So to assuage the gurus (and my excellent publicist – sorry to defame you, Kimberly), and for that one dear reader… 

I hereby dedicate this blog to you.


2 Responses to “Everyone says you have to have a blog.”

  1. Micheline says:

    I do agree about bloggin being against one’s nature! I have guilt feelings about my lack of posting to my Facebook page, lest I be tagged as a voyeur, since I mainly check it to keep tabs on what my kids are up to. It’s great to stay somewhat aware about acquantances and less-close family when I can read what’s currently got them excited enough to write a post. I am not the the type who can post or blog regularly–I just don’t have that need to share my thoughts and feelings with the world at large. It’s a major event if I feel strongly enough about a book I’ve read to post a review about it, let alone start writing a weekly or monthly blog! So thank you for this.

    • Melissa McPhail says:

      Micheline, thank you for your comment. I so agree. Our society is on a social media superhighway, and plenty of us are idling off to the side watching the frenzied flow and wondering if merging is worth the effort.

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