It has been a few months since I have written a post. I had been keeping my blog separate from my fiction and nonfiction writing, thinking that they were two different animals, when in reality, they can coexist. So, look forward to more musings from me—some about my ongoing (yet sporadic) cancer-related treatments—and some that are more writerly focused, such as this post.
My fellow writer and friend, Christi Craig is new publisher at Hidden Timber Books. She too, is breathing new life into her venture by hosting author workshops such as the one I took this afternoon about author websites. The thing that I don’t think many people (myself included) realize about creatives is that a lot of hard work goes into the business end of being a creative. The days of squirreling away in an attic to write or paint or sculpt are long gone—if they ever existed. Can you imagine what Emily Dickinson would have done with a website? Maybe she would have been celebrated while she was alive. How about Gertrude Stein? Would she have been a prolific blogger? Would Picasso have nailed his Instagram account and racked up more followers than National Geographic? Would Hemingway have told Facebook to F itself? And which platform would Van Gogh have used for his website?
Christi invited Anne Clermont of Bookish Media to lead a workshop about author websites in 90 fast information-packed minutes. I had to take a two-hour nap to allow it to seep in; I was drunk on knowledge. My main takeaway is that I’m going to get over my FOFU (not to be confused with FOMO) and build a terrific author website. When I figure that out, I’ll also print some business cards. Not freebies. Not that there’s anything wrong with taking advantage of free offers, but if I want to be taken seriously, I need to put on my big girl pants.
I bought a domain name a year or so ago, but I need to change it. A metal artist in Texas has already claimed kathleenquigley.com. She doesn’t update her site often, so I doubt she’s very active. In the domain name I bought, I included my middle initial, but that probably won’t proved helpful for readers or people looking for information about me or my writing, so Anne recommended that I add writer or writes after my name in order to set my website apart from the artist’s. I suppose it’s better than being confused with Kathleen Quigley, the singing nun—a website I had found in the early days of the internet. I’m definitely not a nun, nor can I sing. I thought I had a unique name until I discovered my father had given his second daughter my name. So, it shouldn’t have surprised me there would be hundreds of other Kathleen Quigleys in the world. May I be the only writer; and if I’m not, so help me whichever god you pray to, that she does not write schlocky bodice-rippers.
Are you wondering why it’s necessary to have a website, to build a brand, build an
audience, etc.? More and more agents and publishers want to know that writers, especially nonfiction writers, have a following. In these days of swipe left, swipe right (I’m not sure which is best) a great website is one way to capture attention and audience members. And, it also allows writers a way to make writing a less lonely venture. Not that I’m lonely. My virtual attic is well-populated with friends and family, my Rowdy-boy, and spiders galore.
Stay tuned for more about writing, life, and cancer.
p.s. No spiders were killed in the creation of this post. No pigs were eaten. Time to sleep.