It’s Sunday afternoon and I’m sipping on a latte in a cafe in Cooroy after spending the last four days attending the Reality Bites nonfiction writers festival. For those of you who don’t know Cooroy, it’s an unspoiled hidden gem of a town in the hinterland of the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia. Wind back four days to Thursday morning as I drive into this sleepy rural town, and I am welcomed by the sight of organic grocers, massage therapist signs, op shops and very relaxed and happy-looking people walking around very slowly in the crumpled and colorful clothes you often see on tree-changers and middle-aged hippies. I pull up and walk into the newsagent where the lady behind the counter seems genuinely pleased to see me, and as I leave, wishes me a good day in a way that indicates she really means it, not something I’m used to in the throbbing cosmopolis of Briz Vegas (Brisbane) where I come from.
The first workshop I went to at the Reality Bites festival was on blogging, delivered by Rhonda Hetzel who has a very popular award-winning blog, Down to Earth, about her daily experiences of trying to live a simpler life, where she makes everything herself from soap to butter and ice-cream. Her blog eventually resulted in a book deal with Penguin. Rhonda pointed out, as have many others, that blogging is an almost obligatory requirement for writers who want to ‘build a platform’. To be honest, industry phrases such as ‘author platform’ leave me a bit flat. As a writer I prefer just to write. But of course as writers we all want to connect with our readers and blogging is a way of doing that.The key suggestions I took away from Rhonda’s talk were:
- develop a disciplined routine to posting on your blog
- include photos in your posts
- be generous in your blog in what you give to your readers
- end each post with a question to encourage readers to interact with you
So on that note my questions for you at the end of this post are:
What would you like to see on this blog? More about the continental philosophers? More about these philosophers’ relationships and love lives? Or perhaps you’d like to hear more about writing resources and processes that I and others have found helpful? I’d love to hear your comments…