Thursday, September 14, 2006

Expose Yourself

Essay is much too formal a word for these humble jottings, but today's title refers not to exhibitionism but rather how to publicize yourself as a writer thru a web page or blogging. Which I should be doing.

Significant Other mentioned that my blog, although purportedly about writing, veers all over the place like to food and recipes, hummingbirds, excursions and everything under the sun. That is true.

The other thing is that my web page hasn't been updated in a donkey's age, although I promise myself that this will happen soon. New photo, new recipes, new writing chapters, new everything.

Talking about writing all the time is somewhat tedious. I am a Gemini and find everything tedious after a while, particularly rejection and sucking it up. That's the way things are. But back to "Expose Yourself." I will be conducting a roundtable on this very subject at an upcoming mystery conference. Writing these days, isn't just about writing, it's also about networking, marketing, and putting your well shod foot forward. A beginning writer has little choice. You just have to do it, and if like me, you would really rather sit in front of your computer and hide from the world and write, well tough shit. Suck it up and get out there and expose yourself. Arrrrrghhhh!

One of the things I am doing to make this less painful and more productive is that I am learning public speaking, under the auspices of the Toastmaster's Club. I gave my first speech and have written my second, which is a humorous speech to be delivered next week. So how is this going?

Better than you might think. I joined a club of (mostly) techies, so these are people I feel comfortable around. We don't geek out, but somehow the chemistry works. The other thing that I have discovered is that at least the writing of the speech is not that diffcicult, and like fiction, you write it and then you polish polish polish and then you start practicing (with a timer of course) and then you find out what works and what doesn't and polish polish polish some more.
The good thing is you don't have to write freaking query letters and experience all that rejection. If you flub the speech you will get kind criticism and go on to the next. If you flub the novel, you will hit a brick wall and write the next which will take anywhere from two to five years. So giving speeches is easier than writing novels. Almost anything is easier than writing novels.

So there! I wrote about writing. As things progress, I will let you know how the Toastmaster's thing is helping. I have two events coming up at libraries, and we'll see how things go. Will I learn to modulate my (mostly) monotone voice? Will I master hand gestures? Speaking, like writing, can be learned. Now if I could just learn how to write the perfect query letter.

Still trying,


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