At the class I teach about platform-building for authors, I urge writers to start and maintain blogs. “This is how you build a readership,” I say dutifully. I show them how to set up a blog, how to find it again once they’ve logged out and how to link it to Facebook, yada yada yada. A few weeks later, a student, probably a dear sweet soul who is as likely to publish as one of my cats, raises her hand. “It’s been weeks and I only have three followers,” she confesses.
About that time, I launch into a tirade about how cheesy this following thing is. It’s made me crazy from day one. I feel like a first grader who doesn’t have enough points to go on the field trip. Nooo. While all the good writers with lots of followers romp through the book store, I’m sitting in the cafeteria, watching the lunch ladies gossip.
I’m tempted to bribe them if they’ll follow me or at least hit “like.” And what about the 133 readers who have given up everything to follow me? There were 134, but that was yesterday. Now I am probably scarred for life from worrying about that one lousy follower who crushed all my hopes and dreams. I can’t bear to tell the dear sweet soul that even if she manages to amass 134 followers, the editors/agents we’re all trying to impress will likely say, “Meh.” My advice? I’d love to tell that turncoat #134 (you know who you are) to follow this!
Be sure to write in and Ask Miss Crankypants anything about writing that hasn’t been groused about enough. I’ll be pouting over in the corner, eating worms.