Do I need to start a blog or a website?
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I have completed my first novel, done two rounds of edits with a freelancer and embarked on the agent querying process.  I've received twelve rejections in the past month, which I've read, is nothing.  (I'll admit that it does sting a bit.)  One problem is that I have no publishing credits and very few connections.  Now I'm wondering if I should I start a blog about writing or my life... or perhaps both.  It seems rather self-indulgent because I'm unpublished and have zero followers.  Do any of you first timers have blogs or web pages? 

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  • Hi Alison--

    I was right where you are about 6 months ago, and I did start a blog. I also joined twitter and started following lots of people in publishing--writers, editors, agents, etc.

    I started the blog because I wanted somewhere to write about some of my experiences, but also to start building my platform. My background is in product design, and I would never have taken someone seriously who didn't have a web page, so I think that mentality carried over. To me, having a web page, even a basic one, is a sign of commitment to being a professional. It also gives you somewhere to showcase your work and share information and lessons you've learned.

    The key is identifying your unique perspective on writing. I don't think blogging about what you ate for breakfast gets anyone good attention, unless it's hilariously funny writing. Everyone has some kind of unique perspective. Figure out what yours is, and write about it. Or just start writing book reviews of books in your genre--lots of writers do that to get started.

    I explored creating a website and building connections in twitter, and ended up realizing I had a LOT to learn about writing. There are so many great articles shared on twitter every day on the craft of writing, or how to use social media to your advantage. In the early days I had twenty browser tabs open by the end of every day, waiting to be read.

    Over time, I realized my first novel was a warm-up. A good, entertaining, sweet story, but not properly targeted at today's trends or markets. So, I kept moving and started working on a couple of new projects. I followed those to much greater success.

    So, whether you start a blog or not, I would advise opening the doors to some more learning at this juncture. You are at a natural stopping point. You need something else to push you forward. Putting something else out into the world might not be the answer now, maybe taking more information in will show you your next step.

    Best of luck! Find me on twitter, or at my blog and you've got a friend :)

    Melanie

    www.melanieconklin.com

    @MLConklin