Thursday, July 14, 2011

Are you a Schmoozer?

On Tuesday evening, we had our monthly New Mexico SCBWI chapter schmooze. I almost never miss. We have the BEST Schmooze Coordinator, Brian Herrera - or as we lovingly call him The Schmoozinator!

I first met Brian two years ago - hmm, or was it three April's ago? - at our annual NM Handsprings SCBWI conference (go to the link for this year's Handsprings with some FAB editors/agents/art director in October) and we ended up at the same table. Brian started writing for children and teens fairly recently, but he's a multi-published professor in the Theatre Dept at UNM, and has been on the road with his one-act play, I WAS THE VOICE OF DEMOCRACY - a terrific one-man show! My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed it! (Go to this link for future performances - he'll be in Chicago in August!). 

Brian has become a warm and supportive writer friend of mine and I'm excited about the YA novel he's working on - and about which I just *have this feeling* will one day be well-published and receive tons of awards. He's just that kind of talented!

Every month we have a great topic for our schmoozes and it's always a terrific discussion and conversation. Our Schmoozes started to die a bit and with Brian we sometimes have nearly 30 people there now.

"To Blog or Not to Blog - that is the Question!" was our topic this month.
Or you could say
"To Facebook or Not to Facebook"
"To Goodreads or Not to Goodreads"
"To Twitter or Not to Twitter"
"To Google + or Not to Google +"

I personally fell into blogging 5 years ago when it was just getting off the ground. Writers and illustrators were migrating away from MySpace and doin' the blogging thang. I figured I'd better jump in, but wish now that I'd waited and figured it out. Hopefully that doesn't matter so much anymore.

Our discussion made me think about why I Blog/Facebook/Goodreads/Occassionally Twitter - although my brain starts contorting into strange shapes and I feel screams of panic coming on after about 10 minutes of trying to keep track of conversations on Twitter.

Reason #1: Writing is a lonely, solitary occupation. I've been at it for more years than I care to count, and even though I'm actually pretty shy and LOVE being a homebody, I do like talking and reading about the craft of writing and publishing VERY MUCH and being a part of the community, and getting inspired by all of you - and know what's going on with other writers around the country.

Reason #2: I'd parted ways with my agent of 10 years (amicably and I will always love her) and I found myself panicked that I would ever get another agent or sell another book. Especially with the way the children's and teen literature has been changing the past few years. I used blogging in a very systematic, purposeful way to find and research and compare literary agents. I made up a huge list, emailed other writers, and finally found my PERFECT MATCH THAT I HOPE WILL BE FOREVER!!!!

So how did YOU fall into blogging? Do you still like it? Will you continue? Would you like to see it change in any way?

At one point I was trying to keep up with hundreds of bloggers/blogs who posted daily and I admit I got burned out. With all the deadlines the past two years and book launches, I read my favorites now, only comment occasionally, but always hope to do better! Lots of *KimberleyBloggerFail* going on in 2010 and 2011.

I sorta wish I could shout out to everyone: Please only post once or twice a week so I can keep up!!!!!!!!!

Tell me what you think!


Caroline Starr Rose said...

Tuesday was good, wasn't it? I adore Brian, too. He's loads of fun, and I can just imagine him in the classroom.

I started blogging much like you: to break through the solitude. I also wanted to get serious about creating an online presence. I'm glad I didn't start too early on. I think I would have spent more time following than writing (or -- sad to say -- more time fretting over others' good news).

Donna K. Weaver said...

I started with a personal blog, but when I started writing I found I tended to post a lot more ... about writing. I decided it might be good to separate the two. Then when I went to LTUE they talked about having on online presence. I've met so many awesome people online ... like you! It was so fun at Storymaker to get to met up with several of the people I've met here, people I wouldn't have connected with otherwise.

Kimberley Griffiths Little said...

Oh, yes, Caroline, I spent the first few years in the blogosphere fretting over other writer's news about getting an agent and selling major book deals and sometimes those humongous deals still make me just a teensy bit *crazy*! I'm really too insecure for my own good! Getting serious about creating on online presence is that 3rd reason for me, too. And I have to remember all the GOOD things it has brought me, too.

Absolutely, Donna! Meeting other writers has been the best thing for me, too. So much fun! I discovered Storymakers through the internet and blogging. SO glad I did! It's changed my life for the better in so many ways.

Anonymous said...

I think I've decided on blogging at least a few times a week, mostly as I build my blog and readership...want to be a part of spreading the word about great books, doing interviews with authors so I really want that readership...started off with blogging daily, now down to three per week, think that will be it.

As for an blogging author, though, I think it makes sense to go with the once per week and only reading what and as you can...finding that balance that tips, for your readers, the scales towards your writing work.

Kimberley Griffiths Little said...

I agree with you, Deb. Blogging every day seems insane to me - LOL! I try to do 2-3 times a week, but deadlines and family demands sometimes interfere. Plus we both do Mixed-Up Files! And I also have an online - and email - newsletter that I started with two other writers 2 years ago. SPELLBINDERS, geared toward teachers and librarians. It's a lot to keep up with!

Kristina said...

I'm not going to lie, I'm a title / picture scanner. I usually skim through post titles and pick out the ones that seem the most interesting. Then I quickly skim those posts, focusing on pictures if it's a family blog or BIG LETTERS if it's another type of blog. If I see anything interesting as I skim then I slow down and read more carefully. It's true, I miss quite a few things on the blogs I follow, but it's also true that I don't need to know every little thing about everyone I follow. I love following blogs and staying connected through them / facebook, but we can't (and probably shouldn't) do it all. I find it interesting sometimes how much this connectivity can actually keep us from having something to talk about. You'd think that when you finally get together with friends or family, you'd have more to talk about since you are more familiar with what is going on in their lives. Instead, since you've already read it on a blog / facebook status, you end up with nothing new to say.

Just my thoughts. I love catching up with your posts when I have the time.

Kimberley Griffiths Little said...

Hi Kristina, thanks so much for your comment. I love hearing everyone's viewpoints and opinions - and blogging habits!;-) And thanks for reading! xoxo



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