Monday, March 11, 2013

Wordcraft -- Cherishing the backlist

I always appreciate your comments on posts. (And I’m okay with links to your site, as long as they’re relevant and clicking on them doesn’t set off alarms in my computer’s security system!) But a recent comment was an especially welcome surprise because it referenced a post written nearly a year and a half ago. Like last Monday’s post about the life still left in previously published stories, it was a reminder of the life in all words.

In fact, every week, I find readers looking at words published weeks, months, sometimes years ago. I hope they read those posts with as much pleasure as I had writing them. And if you’re trying to draw readers to your blog, or direct them to your other work, or simply make contact with others of like mind, look for ways to amplify the power of your blog’s backlist.

The only secret I’ve found to writing what other people want to read is to write what I’d like to read. It’s been a joy to share information about outings, writing and old books. And an even greater joy to see so many of you with those same interests.

How can we find each other? Don’t overlook the obvious -- search terms. Or tags, labels, whatever your blog format terms them. Some blogs I subscribe to use every search term the authors can think of. It’s probably lucky for me that my host, Blogspot, limits me to 200 characters. Typically, I use one or two general terms and several specific ones. You want search engines to find your blog, but not bury it under twenty-six pages of Google, Bing or Yahoo results.

Readership jumped when I added illustrations. As always, I’ve only been able to keep them coming because they’re fun for me.

But the blog format I chose for its succinctness won’t keep illustrations up indefinitely.  Not being able to stand losing them, I began posting them on Pinterest. If you’re a camera nut like me, or if you enjoy trolling copyright-free sites for something out of the ordinary, such as the eighteenth century trompe l'oeuil collage illustrating this post, your boards don’t have to be the same stuff you see everywhere. Be sure to post a link to your website or blog. People find me from Pinterest. And I find those who love what I love.


More literary/writing updates: If you’re journalistically inclined, take a look at the writing competition of the Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Writing Conference. The annual North Texas conference sponsors contests in three nonfiction categories -- reported narrative, personal essay, and book manuscript. Cash prizes and chances for publication. This year’s deadline is June 8, 2013. For details, see

Need help to prep for this big conference? The Dallas Writer’s Garret typically hosts Mayborn preparation classes. Although the Garret’s spring 2013 calendar doesn’t yet list Mayborn specifically, it does include several classes on nonfiction writing. For specifics, see

Or if you like romance, here’s a free event -- a multi-author book signing sponsored by the Dreamin’ in Dallas Conference of the Dallas Area Romance Authors, the evening of March 29. For details about this and the DARA conference, see

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