Because it’s fun. Because it will help you hone your writing. Because you will learn new things. Because it will help you discover what you think about things, and you will be able to help other people.
Of course if you really don’t want to go online, there’s no need. I’ve been amazed recently by how many writers I’ve met who feel pushed into it and are miserable at the thought. Some of the reservations I’ve heard include:
“Once I start, I’m scared I’ll get sucked in and spend all my time online and won’t have any time for actual writing.”
“I don’t know where to start.”
“I’m just not interesting enough as a person for anyone to want to read what I have to say. I do nothing but write.”
“I want them to read my books, not find out what I had for breakfast.”
Between us, we are hoping that you come away with a notebook bursting with ideas you WANT to write about and share, that you get to see HOW you can have an online presence that works for you, that you don’t feel pushed into it but instead aware of the possibilities as to WHERE you can post, and that most of all you realise WHY you’re doing it! (See what I did there…)
We’re going to be looking at twitter, facebook, blogs, pinterest, instagram … and all the other possibilities that probably haven’t even been invented yet, but everyone will work out what’s good for them rather than feel overwhelmed. There will be lots of one to one time, and – if I know Jon – you will leave with the kind of plan that any media consultant would be proud of, personally designed for you. With me, you will explore what you know, maybe what you didn’t know you knew, what you feel happy to write about, and the best ways to do this. We will write and write and write. Danuta will give the inside story in what’s happening with publishing and how it can work for you – whether you are an already published writer or just starting out.
The three of us wanted to create something different and dynamic with this course. Like any Arvon course, it’s still – of course – all about the writing. But it’s also about what you can do with it – interviews, guest posts, regular series, creative interventions. Maybe even having fun, rather than gritting your teeth or worse still, panicking because you don’t know where to start!
And of course, I’m an enthusiastic advocate. Over the last ten years, I’ve met online friends – many of whom have also become real friends – through twitter, facebook and this website. I’ve read tens of books I wouldn’t have got to hear about otherwise. I’ve had my books read by people who wouldn’t have read me otherwise. I’ve learnt new things (such as today – where to find out about what underwear my current 18th century narrator would have worn). I’ve laughed probably every day at something online. And cried.
You can’t tell me that’s not real life. Oh, and I’ve also got work from being online. I’ve certainly been published directly – my first novel deal came about because of having a story published online.
One thing is for sure – there will be no sock puppets. This is about finding a way to have an online presence with integrity, generosity and most of all, that fits in with what you want.