Saturday, December 08, 2007

To Blog or Not to Blog?

Oh, hey, Doris has said it: when the internet was invented we never asked, did we, whether even quite reasonable people will confess that, once they are hooked, it is hard to cut free, and they may find that a whole day has passed in blogging etc. (From Doris Lessing's Nobel Prize acceptance speech.)

Doris Lessing dismisses the internet as 'inane' so her comment above may well be dismissed in turn as uninformed, but actually for writers - and about writers - she is expressing a horrible truth. Last week Grumpy Old Bookman gave up because there were 'better things to do' he said, by which I guess he means write. The fact which most people skirt around is that blogging is time-consuming, and can use up huge dollops of precious creativity. And this week, just as I was having similar thoughts myself, Julian Gough expressed a different sense of his blog as a trap: he's fed up with his own blog persona - a natural experience, I think, for creators, who thrive on chameleon-like renewal and innovation.

Yet now here's an excellent piece by Danuta Kean on advertising mogul Dominic Proctor's idea that authors should be created as brands (rather than books being treated as one-off products, as currently happens). And in the comments that follow, guess what emerges as the best way for authors to do this for themselves if their publishers don't do it for them? Why, the internet, of course! As Roger Morris, who has done this most successfully, says there, it's a hard slog.

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