One of the problems with blogging is that it's so easy to degenerate into a stream-of-consciousness writing style, the antithesis of good writing. The skilful "bloggist" needs to constantly remind himself/herself that not every synapse that fires off in the privacy of his/her cranium is of compelling interest to his/her readers/victims. On the other hand, if you do decide to blog, it's important that you do it fairly frequently. Too infrequent blogging can result in the dreaded Christmas Letter Syndrome, (CLS). This is where you learn that Aunt Hildegard's youngest of three daughters was elected State Senator, when last you knew, Aunt Hildegard wasn't even married. For some reason, people write Christmas letters as if they're merely continuing a conversation that started fifteen minutes ago, when in reality, it's more like dropping into the middle of Anna Karenina....in Russian.
Which brings me to the subject of that most dreaded of writerly tasks, self-promotion. Actually, literary promotion is more to the point. As a writer, I couldn't care less if anyone knows ME, as long as they buy a lot of my books. Unfortunately, for reasons I'll never fathom, publishers and agents want to know about me before they want to know about my book(s). Apparently, I haven't done such a great job in this regard. I still have relatives who have just learned I moved to Alaska. This happened in 1976. The fact that they don't know I'm a writer probably shouldn't come as too much of a shock, since I've only been doing that in earnest since 1983. I guess my Christmas letters might have been a bit too terse. I guess I'll have to work on that.
I see that Red Room has made this onerous task of shameless self-promotion somewhat easier with their Housewarming Party. They even provided a shameless self-promotion sample letter, of which I have availed myself. In fact, I'm not even waiting for Christmas letter time to send this out. And I won't even have to suffer any backlash, because it wasn't my idea. This sounds like a pretty good deal. It's almost like having an agent!
Speaking of which....in a few weeks, I should know if I have an agent. Fellow Red Room occupant Belle Yang, has most graciously put in a good word for me with her agent, who will, if all goes as planned, be MY agent too. I await with bated breath. (Or is that baited breath, as a result of eating worms in anticipation).
Causes Eric Nichols Supports
Free Burma Rangers, Partners Ministries (Thailand), Literacy council of Alaska, Access Alaska.