Publishing lesson learned this week is that it is a rather good ploy to set tangential deadlines, which then force you to get other pieces of writing finished. So we all know that a writer now needs a blog and as an ex-PR, I am not immune to the power of publicity, especially free publicity. As a writer, how can we get free publicity? Why, by writing, of course. That’s the rather incestuous power of being a writer, we can write about writing and use writing to promote our writing. Some of us cannibalise even further and write books about writing and then write about how we write about writing. As Private Eye would say (enough about writing, Ed).
So writing a blog for the Guardian turned into writing an article for the Guardian and I was lucky to end up with three pieces published. Two on the blog page and one in the physical newspaper. I have to say, despite an appreciation of all things digital, it was the newspaper article that I valued immensely, although it was the online versions that were actively tweeted, favourited and face booked. I was rather touched by the comments and even got in touch with two ex-colleagues as a result. My number of Twitter followers increased and more people visited this blog. But it was the newspaper copy that my Mum showed to colleagues and friends; that alone makes me realise the danger in writing off the print as a medium anytime soon.
Returning to the lesson learned, the exposure I was reckoning on in the Guardian forced me to get up to speed with the blog and add content, in a way I had not been galvanised to before. With such a good promotional opportunity, I needed to get my act rather more together than it had been at that point. Funnily enough, this coincided with my starting to write for the blog at work, so it was a great chance to get up to speed. So although a blog may seem to be a distraction from writing a novel, it builds a promotional tool for that day when you have fans out there and it is also very nice to actually finish pieces of work.