Tony Noland: “Self-introduction”
The first post from a new columnist is bound to be a bit stiff, so if it’s OK with you, I’ll do what I do in any get-to-know-you session. I’m just going to pretend that we’ve met once previously, and therefore already know each other. Therefore… hey, good to see you again!
A quick glance over at my bio will let you see my picture and name, as well as a little about me, but does that tell you about the kinds of thing I’ll write? Not really. It’s a bit like going off to university and meeting the roommate you’ve been assigned. Seeing someone’s name and vital statistics on a form letter is one thing; it’s something else entirely to see what sort of posters they put up, hear what kind of music they play, smell their deodorant (or lack thereof), etc.
Fortunately, I don’t wear strong cologne, so we’re off to a good start.
Let me start off by telling you why I’m here. I was one of the writers for the Yang Book anthology eMergent published in 2010, working under the guiding editorial hand of Jodi Cleghorn. It was a great project that resulted in some fantastic fiction, both in the Yang Book and in the mated anthology, the Yin Book, with Paul Anderson at the helm. Jodi and I had a lot of fun working together. Even though my story in that book is the sharply told tale of Vincent Guerrero, a heartless, self-serving sociopath, I’m actually a pretty funny and entertaining guy to talk to, be it on Twitter, Skype or e-mail. So, Jodi and Paul asked me to come over the Write Anything as one of the new crew of bloggers, and I gladly agreed.
With that in mind, what can you expect from me? On my website, Landless, I post flash fiction and poetry, interspersed with blog posts on different subjects related to writing. Some are about the writing life, some are devoted to my crowing about a recent success or whining about a recent stumble. I’ll be bringing some of that vibe over here as well. However, the thing you all should know about me is that I like to solve problems. In my writing, with my blog, with how I use Twitter or Facebook… when something isn’t working the way it’s supposed to, I want to know what the problem is, and how to fix it. For my posts here at Write Anything, I’ll be indulging that predilection.
For example, I installed Google Analytics on my blog a long time ago to get a sense of who was visiting, what they were reading and what was connecting. However, I knew that I was tracking only a portion of my readership. Recently, I figured out how to use Feedburner to track how many people are reading my blog via RSS feeds rather than coming to my website in a browser. By using Google Analytics in conjunction with Feedburner, I’m getting a much better idea of what is resonating with my readership, and where my readers are located. Feedburner also let me offer subscription via e-mail, auto-crossposting to Twitter and Facebook, website optimization for mobile devices, etc.
I thought that I was the last one to figure this stuff out, but it turns out that many other writers I know have similar questions and similar problems to solve. That’s the kind of thing I’ll be talking about here at Write Anything–problem solving. Subjects will range from the mechanics of writing, like POV and grammar, to thoughts on how to use social media, discussions of writing software, how to automate backups, and other technical subjects.
Beyond Write Anything and my blog, my big goal this year is the completion of my WIP, a book based on one of my #FridayFlash stories. It’s a science fiction novel about a superhero who needs to save the city from an arch-enemy who has taken a surprisingly vicious turn. This, while wooing a beautiful college professor, trying to figure out how to hire a trustworthy assistant, and working to minimize the damage caused by one of his more thick-headed superhero colleagues. This book is my third NaNoWriMo novel, and it’s the one I’ve spent the most time with post-NaNo.
I’m looking forward to the future with WA. See you soon!