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It's not like I'm asking for a standing ovation.

Why do you write? Blog? Participate in social networks? Do you even know? Or is it just automatic; is it something that you think you should be doing because it seems like everyone else is?

The sad thing about our new society, this plugged in, connected, “look-at-me” world is that there is so much wasted time, so much wasted content.

As writers we want to communicate, to express ourselves, and so we produce novels, memoirs, screenplays, etc. But now we are told that in order to get anyone else interested in our art we need to first build an audience, a platform. We need Facebook and Facebook fan pages, Twitter accounts and URL’s bearing our names (or our brands in some cases). We have to be on YouTube and Tumblr and Flickr and all of those other sites wandering around out there looking for their missing vowels.

It’s like building a car, drilling for oil, processing the oil to make the car run, and then circling the block over and over again looking for passengers, just so we can drive them to our apple farm in order to sell them that Gravenstein or Granny Smith we so diligently nurtured and polished.

Why produce content if the only goal of that content is to get someone to buy different content?

I don’t know about you, but I don’t love blogging. Or Facebook. Although I am beginning to get the whole Twitter thing.

I don’t want to have to produce something I’m not particularly passionate about in order to build an audience that might one-day purchase a product I am passionate about.

And I don’t. Not really. I am not interested in adding any more information to the heap just for the sake of self-promotion. While this blog might seem that way to some, it’s not to me. I’m not that vain and I’m not that ambitious. Otherwise I would post more often and try to monetize it, sell tee shirts and…you get the picture. I put these words out there as my way of contributing to the conversation, or to starting a new one. Quite frankly I prefer dialogue to monologue, so anything you have to add (agree or disagree) is welcome.

And that’s what I have come to like about Twitter. I don’t feel too guilty about adding 140 characters to the chatter, and the response is immediate. Today one my posts got retweeted many times. There’s no vanity there because they weren’t my words. I was quoting someone else. I shared something that had value for me, and I was rewarded almost instantaneously by seeing how many other people saw value in those words by sharing them with others.

Three points I am trying to make.

1)   Only offer something that has real value to you (because you can’t determine if it will have any value to someone else).

2)   Invest the bulk of your energy in the real work (novel, memoir, etc.). If it’s good enough your audience will find it. If it’s not, all your blogging and tweeting won’t make a difference anyway.

3)   Comment. Content creators rely on your feedback. Let people know what’s of value to you and what isn’t (in a nice way).

Believe me, if I could have condensed those thoughts down to tweetsize I would have. But I’m not that good of an editor.

Marco

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