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Social Media and the Writer: Start a Conversation

If you were to look at the blog stats chart for my blog, you’d see that last week saw more than double the usual web traffic here at Stories I Read, Stories I Tell. Biggest. Week. Ever.

Not just the number of pure visitors, but also in the number of emails and discussions and follow-up questions I received.

What the heck happened?

On Monday I posted the first of what I planned to be a series of posts on whether or not a Creative Writing MFA is right for you as a writer. It was a simple post. I didn’t think much about it, really. It was supposed to be the first of several pieces of a much bigger puzzle. As I am building my web presence, one of the strategies I’m using is putting pieces in place to make my business website (Words Matter Creative Writing Instruction) more full featured when I really start pushing for post-MFA opportunities. This post (To MFA, or NOT?) was just one sliver of a larger plan to help folks consider their options for improving their writing.

MFA’s are great. I would never tell anyone to NOT get an MFA. But there are other options. That’s pretty much the content of the blog post. I didn’t expect much.

Social Media Takes Over

The first hint that something bigger was going on came through Twitter. A fellow Queens student re-tweeted the post I made about the blog. Then, another Tweeter re-tweeted. Then, the post was linked at the Creative Writing MFA Blog and things went crazy.

The good crazy.

A steady stream of folks started to stop by and have a read. A fair number of them left a comment or emailed me directly. There were some good questions asked, some things to think about. One reader was trying to figure out if an MFA would help her in the career she wanted, and several folks chimed in that while it wouldn’t hurt, it wasn’t necessary. Connections were made. Ideas were exchanged.

And that’s the reason I blog. It’s the reason anyone who really sees blogging as a beneficial practice (not just a thing on a checklist of “what you social media you should ‘do’ as a writer”) goes to the trouble to do this on a regular basis. It’s the sort of happy accident that happens because we live in an inter-connected age where my (basic, really) thoughts on the MFA process are a starting point to having discussions with people from India and Indiana.

Kind of amazing, when I stop to think about it.

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