Okay, so back in the days of heavy blogging (remember those? Before other social media swallowed blogging whole), my blogging friends were like family. We shared poems, triumphant (and not so triumphant) entrances into the publishing world, our lives, our environments, our art. Though I was an early entry into the Twittersphere, I’m just now warming up to the site (I know, right?), and I’m still holding out on not doing Facebook (despite the persistence of some of my marketing guru clients). I have stayed in contact with many Vortexers via Twitter and LinkedIn. Some have stopped blogging altogether. Some have kept the blog fires burning.
When I sit down at my laptop, I’m far, far more likely to be all business. Freelancer girl. This is my chair of productivity, which is why I needed to set up my social interactions through my phone. I downloaded three feed-reading apps, decided on one, and entered all my old blogging friends into it. My hope is that I won’t lose touch when I take down my old Blogger site for good this week.
I don’t blog as much as I used to, but I do recognize the power of a blog – even now. Posts from years ago helped me to secure one of my many awesome clients. He said he felt like he knew me when he hired me. I guess Fabio and Dean Butler jokes will do that. I won’t post as often as those heavy blogging days, but I hope you’ll subscribe or drag me into your reader so that we might keep in touch. Sign up for my newsletter. Find me on Twitter. Leave me a comment every so often. Keep blogging if it still rocks your world. It still rocks a tiny corner of mine.
So the day has come when several things have happened: (1) my site is updated to reflect my freelancing and my writing, (2) my blog is co-located now, (3) the red phone booth is gone. This last item turned out to be a source of sadness for one reader who bought me this only a few months back:
Adorable, no? It’s supposed to house…well, something…but I’m not sure what. No doubt it will become a chocolate receptacle. All I know is it makes me tremendously happy to have it near me when I write. Thank you, dear reader!
So why is the red phone booth gone? Well, I needed something of my own that didn’t borrow a brand from anyone or anything else. I think you get my meaning. The time had come for a change and since freelancing is such a huge part of my writing life now, I had to find the intersection where business met with Vortex fun. I hope you find it’s still a GPS location you might want to visit from time to time.
Now that this site is crossed off my to-do list, I’m happy to usher in the fall season with a gift I haven’t given myself in quite a while – permission to work on my career. As a freelancer, it’s hard to turn away a paying client. I can make money doing what I adore, or I can live in my head for free. As with all things in life, a balance, I’m learning, is best.
The last, biggest change to happen this weekend is that I must say goodbye to my laptop. It has been languishing in computer ICU for a month now. First the screen went (and no, it wasn’t my fault – this Dell has been treated with the respect and honor of David Hasselhoff’s speedo at a nude community pool in Munich), thus the external monitor. Then the fuse for the back light blew when the new screen went in. The fuse is on the motherboard, necessitating a new motherboard. I’ll spare you the rest of the story.
My sparkly new one now sits on my kitchen table. It has no crumbs or white cat hair poking out from under its keys. It’s Windows 8 icons wink at me from across the room, beckoning me closer, but the sadness I feel over replacing my old laptop is profound. Crazy, I know. But as a writer, it is as much of an extension of myself as just about anything I can think of. On it, I wrote six novels, three novellas, countless articles and posts, the eulogy to my grandmother’s funeral, tens of synopses and a hundred queries. It made me forget the mind-to-hand connection in my creativity (not necessarily a good thing). Its keys have absorbed tears and spit-takes of laughter and the satisfying, heart-pounding rhythm of intense action scenes. And when I sat in the coffee shop and words would not come, I blurred myself into thought rubbing away fingerprints from its glossy edges.
Someday, my new laptop will sport similar wear and memories. For now, it feels like I’m pulling life support on an old friend.
I hope you’ll take some time to browse around. Readers and followers from my Vortex days at Blogger will find comfort in many of the same things in the author section of the site. Potential clients will find better access to information regarding my freelancing services. Everyone who visits will find me more accessible via social media.
To celebrate this new era, I’m offering a free download of “The Lost Highway,” a paranormal romantic short first published in the Wild Rose Press Anthology, Love, Texas Style. Send me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know how you liked it.
In this, week two of beefing up the Vortex’s online presence, I’m tackling Principle 2: Participate in Communities Where Your Audience Already Gathers.
By nature, I’m a wallflower. So this will be a challenge.
First, I Googled keywords: time travel blogs, time travel authors, thriller author blogs, time thriller writers, thriller readers…you get the idea. I picked ten that sounded like something I would be interested in being part of-after all, I write what I love to read. I made an arbitrary list of ten, subscribed or otherwise bookmarked to ensure I would be able to frequent these sites, and tried his step 2 suggestion: expanding my list of ten using web-based tools. Double Click Ad Planner was no help. I’d have rather flossed Abe Vigoda’s teeth during those ten minutes.
Of course, this is only half the plan. I need to sink my toes a bit in each community, make thoughtful comments and find time to participate. Easier said than done, but I did find some fun places I can’t wait to return to, like the t=time blog. Who knew there were other bloggers out there who loved all things time travel?
Are you participating in online communities where your blog audience gathers? Give us your best find so we may share in the awesomesauce.
Have a super weekend, everyone!