I visit Susan Kiernan-Lewis's blog about once a week, and always look forward to reading her latest post. Susan is a published writer, and blogs mostly - but not exclusively - about writing-related subjects.
Susan's style of writing is clear and straightforward, and she expresses her opinions in a way which I find easy to engage with. I like the fact that she is willing to offer her opinions in the face of what is usually called 'accepted wisdom' but what might be more accurately described as the 'current fad or fashion'.
What I like most of all is that Susan's posts make me stop and think. In this fast-paced society many of us seem to live in, it's good to stop and take a long look at what I often swallow whole without realising I am doing so. If I do something without thinking, without realising, then I am removing any choice I have in the matter, and it's easy to end up doing something which may not be in my best interest!
Susan reminds me that I need to think for myself in all things; to work out what is right for me and then do it, even if that means going against what everyone else is doing.
This seems particularly important in view of the growth of self-publishing and all the advice out there of what we 'should' be doing to ensure our work sells. The advice (which may or may not be tried and tested) gets out via social media and is passed round and round. Because we hear the advice coming from so many different sources, it acquires an authority which it may not merit.
Take advertising oneself on social media. The accepted wisdom is that as authors we ignore social media at our peril. How many hours a day/week/year are spent on Tweeting, Facebooking, Blogging and so on? Is that the best use of the time?
Without doubt there are authors for whom use of the Internet has resulted in huge sales. What is often ignored are all those authors who are selling their work and doing very nicely, and do so without any recourse to social media. Inevitably with so many authors writing books, at least some are going to do well, and some of those will be utilising social media. Is this merely a form of the typewriters/monkeys/Shakespeare thing? :)
I am suspicious of all things which acquire jargon, and that takes me away from what I most want to do which is write. Authors are required to 'build a platform' and ... but enough.
Don't listen to what I have to say. Go and have a look at Susan's blog and consider what she says for yourself :)