Neil Gaiman won the inaugural Author Blog Award for his use of Twitter recently, and to quote him:
“Use your blog to connect. Use it as you. Don’t ‘network’ or ‘promote.’ Just talk."
Now, like a number of fledglings, I want to be Neil Gaiman. No, not for the obvious reasons (fame, bestseller status, etc.). I want to be him for reasons which lie firmly in my control. I just want to be me. Just talk. Sometimes it seems hard, though.
The infamous InterwebTM overflows with advice for fledglings on what to do with a blog, Twitter, Facebook...on and on. Giant's robes on a dwarfish thief, me being the thief. I've not read a thing which rings more true than Gaiman's simple "Just talk."
With all the focus on "Branding" a fledgling author can easily loose themselves. I labored too long to add a tag line to the flag at the head of the blog. Yeah, I write pulp, only it's not sawdust anymore, it's made of electrons. And fantastic horror? No, that doesn't mean fantastic as in great; I'm using fantastic in the grand, old-school Weird Tales tradition (Weird Tales of the 1930s, that is). Me? I'm a Bella Lugosi/Boris Karloff/EC comics from the '50s/Twilight Zone hybrid who was scared shitless by the slasher horror of the '80s when I grew up. I'm thirty-five and still afraid of the dark. I choke up when I read a really kick ass poem aloud, even in front of my class full of students. Sometimes I'm too introspective for my own good, and self doubt starts to entrench in the darker corners of my brain. I believe words hold power, even when they're cobbled together in a piece of pulp-fiction horror. I'm not ashamed to admit any of that. It's me.