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On Writing and Reading, Part 3: Professionals and Blogging

P3100069There are all sorts of ways you can take "Professionals and Blogging."  There are bloggers such as Female Science Professor who write about their professional life.  There are bloggers such as Chris Caggiano who write about their subject.  There are bloggers who have turned their blogging into a professional deal such as Stuff White People Like.

The ones I'm concerned with here are the bloggers who have learned how to use their blogging, and their online presence, to enhance their offline careers.

One example is Peter David, a science fiction/fantasy/comic book author.  I read many author's blogs, but he's one who seems to really understand how his blog can interact with his writing career.  He combines more practical posts on what new books of his are coming out or his travels for conferences with posts on other current things his readers would like (Watchmanlive blogging the Oscars), and with his opinions on other topics (genetic manipulation, politicians and their families as public figures).  He doesn't answer every commenter (his comment threads often run in the hundreds), but he does discuss general ideas in the comment section.  People feel that they're interacting with the author.  He posts almost daily which keeps people coming back.*  He posts on a variety of topics which makes the readers feel like they are getting to know him.  I don't know how much it helps his book sales, or if the time spent blogging is worth the time not spent on other writing, but I know that reading his blog daily makes me think more about his books, and it makes me more likely to read them.

My favorite example of a creative person using the internet, however, is not a writer, but a musician. 

Christine Kane is a singer/songwriter who also blogs, has a YouTube account (and Facebook and Twitter accounts), tours and performs, and gives retreats.  I don't know how she does it all. 

I've never understood why more musicians do not have a presence on YouTube.  Yes, then people will hear your music for free, but they're hearing your music.  For instance, if I want to point out the music of Saffire:  The Uppity Blues Women, there are only a few good videos (meaning ones that weren't filmed at a concert on someone's cell phone) on YouTube, which is a shame. The same goes for Lucy Kaplansky.  

Christine Kane has a DVD of one of her concerts, and there are selections from it on YouTube, which makes it easy to point out her music or to just stumble across it while wandering YouTube. 

Like Peter David, however, it's her blog that reminds me of her (okay, along with all the CDs I have).  Although her blog discusses her concerts and her music, it's about far more.  She encourages her readers in their own creativity, both in general and with specific recommendations.  Many of her posts encourage... how to put it well?  They encourage the readers to think about their lives and actions rather than just reacting reflexively.  She gives reasons and backgrounds rather than pat answers.  Although she doesn't blog about religion, in many ways I consider her to be a more spiritual blogger than many religious bloggers I read because she gets below the surface. Her posts don't just say "change this;" they say why you should change and explore why you're doing this thing in the first place. 

I've been working on that last paragraph for three days.  I still can't get it right.  Here are some of my favorite recent posts of hers that maybe can give a feel for what I'm trying to describe: 

In trying to write this, I've reread her blog and listened to a lot of her music.  It's helped me to decide again to try to make it to another concert of hers - which is what one would like an "online presence" to do if you're trying to use it to help one's professional life. 

*  Not that every one has to post daily.  An infrequent, thoughtful post is just as valuable to a reader - but may not be as valuable to someone trying to use a blog professionally. 

[Tamlin (pictured) is a professional snoozer who has recently discovered a passionate love for the azalea in our bedroom (upstairs, where he is not allowed to go).  He now sits on the stairs and plaintively sings to it.]



Another cool blog to follow. Thanks. :-)

M Light

You're welcome. :)

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