Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Just Showing Up

In Friday's on-line magazine Slate, senior editor Andy Bowers makes an important point.

Bowers starts by quoting Woody Allen's famous line that, "80 percent of success is just showing up." He then goes on to complain that several of the podcasters he recommended in a previous column "have posted little or nothing new since then."

Since I had just finished checking the website of an author I admired only to find that she had not updated her site since March of this year, Bowers' words resonated with me.

If you the writer have established a website (or a blog), you need to examine your relationship to it and to your readers.

Did you start your website in the hope of attracting new readers to your books?

Did you begin your blog as a mechanism to get closer to your readers?

If you answered "yes" to either question, you need to realize that, by doing so, you entered into an implicit contract with your readers. For their part, the readers agreed to keep coming back to check your website or blog. For your part, you agreed to keep updating said website or blog. If either of you abrogates your responsibility, the deal is off.

I promise you, it will be even longer before I go back to check on that author's website again. Why should I? Nothing changes.

If, on the other hand, you started your website or blog for your own personal satisfaction--as a public diary, if you will--and you don't care if anyone ever actually reads your material, carry on. You've made no promises and have none to keep.

Just musing . . .

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