The new year begins and I am reading a lot of summing-up and looking ahead blog posts, news articles and Facebook posts. I wanted to share a few gems and their sources, the people who inspire me or take me to new places.
This from Brain Pickings, a blog I’ve recently started to follow, from a post on culture in 2010. Andrew Zuckerman’s interviews on wisdom.
Guy LeCharles Gonzales, Chief Optimist at Digital Book World, reader, poet and expander of conventional wisdom, has much to say on books, storytelling, the business of publishing and community. I found DBW and Guy on Twitter but you can simply subscribe to his blog. Here’s a fresh post on being a writer and a creator. Check this post’s list if you are either.
Transmedia, the building and sharing of a story world across media (published books, blog, twitter, video, audio, curated experience, gaming and the like) is the juiced up wagon train everyone is scrambling aboard, muttering under their breath, “Tell me again what this transmedia thing is?” For a quiet model of how to build a writer’s platform that can invite community and turn readers into fans pay attention to Laurie R. King, who is not running a cutting edge transmedia writing practice but has expanded her readership of her excellently written mystery novels and invited them in to participate in writing fan fiction and creating fan art around her Russell and Holmes novels (love these!).
Laurie runs a virtual book club, has discussion platforms for fans, creates book trailers and other video in support of her work and blogs about the writing experience and book tours. She has had a Facebook page for years and tweeted early on. I suspect she has a huge email list that is doing its good work for her, as the newsletter is great. Why she is not mentioned more often when author platforms are discussed is beyond me. Read her year-end blog post to understand that what will work in the long haul is authentic connection, community, and interaction built on solid creative work that stands on its own two feet over time. I re-read The Beekeeper’s Apprentice every year. If you haven’t discovered her fiction yet, get cracking, the game’s afoot.
Finally, I want to tip my cap to Twitter, that vast, sortable, personality-filled living entity that floats information, humor, news, culture and conversation on the crest of a continually breaking wave. So many things wash up on my intellectual beach because of Twitter. For those afraid that it will be a time-suck and filled only with people talking about their dinner: well, that’s one way to go. Like most things, you will get out of it what you put in, according to your intention. Remember when you said you’d never sign up for Facebook? Mm hmm. And while we’re on the subject, Bob Suh has made my life brighter and lighter this year with his Facebook posts. Take a look at his design work – it reflects his eclectic interests, inquisitive mind and joyous sensibility.
Let’s have an inspiring year together.