James had some great tips for blogging and writing in general. I particularly adored this:
First rule of writing: put your ass in a chair.
He also notes that because there is so much content on the web readers can be fickle. He recommends being clear and thinking about how accessible your writing style is. He also spoke of the importance of offering a story – a rich narrative thread – to your readers. He recommends updating regularly.
But I’m famous on the Internet…
Christian describes ‘Internet fame’ as being the lowest form of fame you can ever hope to achieve. He suggests that serial killers have more fame than Internet people. He tells bloggers to not try to become famous, insisting that readers can easily tell when someone is doing something for the joy of it and when they are just trying to make a quick buck.
Does Being Published Give You Validation?
The answer is clearly a resounding yes. I think it’s important to appreciate that these bloggers were at the Sydney Writers’ Festival not because they were bloggers, but because they were published authors and had books to promote and sell. (I mean there were no unpublished bloggers on the panel.)
Christian explained that by generating publicity through his blog he was in a much better position when approached by a publisher. You can be a ‘nobody’ he insists and still get the power of an established author before being published through blogging.
Christian also points to collaborative community efforts online that have become books such as Post Secret, something he touts as a great way of getting a book deal without ‘doing any work.’