Sunday, April 28, 2013
As an aspiring writer, whenever you read any writing tips one of the most common things writers, editors and publishers tell people like me is to develop your platform and if you are not already doing so start becoming active with your chosen social media.
I've been a user of facebook for a number of years but have found that the only people who end up on my 'Friends' list are people who I am already familiar with in my non-electronic life - family, friends, acquaintances, work colleagues. Sure you can sign up to "Pages' for which you have a personal interest and receive their updates as well as those of your friends. But developing friendships with people not already in your circle of friendships for me has proven... umm, non-happening.
Earlier this year my sister encouraged me to start my blog - something I had been seriously considering do for many months but had just not got around to doing. I have been a regular subscriber to a number of blogs, so I knew what they were, and although I considered myself a writer, with reasonable writing skills, having worked on novels my entire writing-interests I lacked the confidence to take the step and start blogging - probably because I feared starting something I might fail at. I had lots of ideas floating in my head, and somehow my sister's encouragement was all I needed to lose the fear and just give it a go. My cautious side saw me commit to writing just two posts per month, and well I smashed that low expectations for myself within the first week and have kept up regular posting ever since - obviously I had more to say than I ever thought possible.
I don't know why I chose Blogger over WordPress or any other blog host, but when I opened my blog account, I was given the option of gaining a Google Plus account as well (all pretty standard stuff). Only, I had no idea at the time that this was the best thing about opening a blog account! I quickly learned how to write posts and publish them, and I was excited when I got my first page view from someone I didn't already know - I knew my blog had been found by an 'external' because my stats showed that someone from America had viewed my page: (at that stage) I didn't KNOW anyone in America.
As I wrote more posts, I worked out (eventually) that by publishing to my circles and public in Google Plus, people could find my blog - and I could find theirs!
What I am loving about the Google Plus community is how embracing the people there are: Strangers were inviting me into their communities, adding me to their 'following' list; and with the greatest of fun, I was getting to do this too. Google Plus, for me, is helping me connect with like-minded individuals and groups. Okay, so my personal interest is novel writing, which has its lonely and non-social elements, but here on Google Plus, I am getting to meet and speak with other writers, and am learning that some of the frustrations while working on my book are just the same as other writers are or have previously experienced.
I have been welcomed into communities and am meeting so many interesting and lovely people, that I downloaded the Google Plus mobile phone app, so I could connect with my overseas friends during my lunch half hour, or while in doctor's waiting room, not to kill time, but to make good use of the time I would have previously had nothing to do.
And I am getting to read so many interesting blogs, that I would never have found if I hadn't become part of the Google Plus and Blogger communities.
I give Google Plus a 5 star rating - you and the community made a wonderful impact upon my life!
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