To all writers out there in the midst of promotional struggle, I feel your sense of frustration and wondering---wondering sometimes if we are individually and perhaps even collectively in the bottom of a deep well, seeing the small circle of light high above us come and go, making noise hoping someone will notice and pull us out or maybe toss in a coin.
What a rich topic for commentary. So, here's my two cents in a somewhat stream of consciousness fashion. I'd love to get your individual or collective take on the matter. By the way, I've also updated, simplified and tightened up my website at http://www.billkirkwrites.com recently and am always interested in drop-ins. No appointment necessary.
We all have blogs and websites, e-mail address books, social/professional/academic networks, school/library contact lists and are members in writing groups, critique groups, oh, and extended families. We write our blogs on all things 'writing' and update our websites to keep them current regarding our publications and 'fresh' so the web crawlers will excitedly buz about something new they have found.
But, let's be honest. Who really stops by to visit our roadside lemonade stands, to linger for a moment or, even better, to mention how tasty our nickel-sized offering is? Who out there in the universe has the time or interest or even awareness that we are "here"? Are we the cyberspace equivalent of a small-town five-and-dime on a formerly busy road through town, now struggling 20 miles south of the politically placed Interstate Highway?
To be sure, our announcements are made to those in the aforementioned communities so they know something new is afoot in our little corner of the literary world. We bait our promotional hooks, hoping for a nibble or a catch. But, mixing my metaphors, are we preaching to the choir or at most to those in each of our relatively small congregations?
Interestingly, one of my favorit visitors---OK, she's my little sister---saw my blog post on Facebook and wrote, "What?". Yes, my entry was a bit obtuse even for a family member who knows me well. Then one of my few "followers"---a former critique group moderator---stopped by and noted, also on Facebook, that she very much understood my feelings to the extent that she has pretty much given up on her blog because no one was reading it. Sad commentary indeed but so true.
Of course neither of those replies from my loyal fans are posted on my blog site. So, listen up Facebook. Perhaps there might be a way to link any comments people make on the blog posts that are re-posted on Facebook, Jacketflap, etc., back to our blogs just so the comments actually appear there. At least it might create the illusion that our blogs actually have an audience. Did I say that?
This is an interesting business, isn't it? But to the question, "Why do we do it?" the answer has got to be that we feel called to do it, we love the work and we can't see ourselves not doing it. So, I will continue to leave my little written deposits, like geo-caches in the wilderness, hoping that someone will find my cache and leave a note behind---and, as rarely as it occurs, I'll be very encouraged when they do. Let's just call it "cache-ing in"....