S2, E34: Q&A By Proxy, Part 2

Continuing on with some common questions I’ve seen in writing forums, I talk about whether or not writers should blog, choosing a TLD for your domain name (i.e. .com, .net, etc), the benefits and differences of NaNoWriMo and Camp NaNoWriMo, and I get a little personal as I talk favorite alcohol!

Continuing the go through some of the questions from last week!

  • Should I, as an writer working towards publication, start a blog?
    • I would say only blog if you truly want to and feel certain you will keep it up. A blog that is only updated only sporadically tends to be no more useful than not having one at all. If you aren’t excited about it, then I’d skip it for now and focus on getting your core website going.
    • For me, I choose not to blog. At the time I started focusing on building my “presence” I had three blogs going already. I’ve shut one down while the other that is public focused now gets posted to almost weekly. So yeah, I didn’t want to do another one 🙂 Instead, I focus on my social media (FB and G+) and decided to podcast, which I find somewhat easier to do since I can talk for ages
  • Should I get a .com for my domain name? What if it’s taken? What’s the difference between a .com, .net, .org, etc
    • These days, nothing really other than price and public perception.
    • In the old days, there were six original, genericTLDs (i.e. .com/.net/etc), including:
      • .gov and .edu – mostly self explanatory and unlike the others listed here, they have restrictions on who can get them
      • .org – indicated a site belonged to some kind of organization or non-profit group
      • .net – site belonged to a company/organization involved in networking or Internet technologies
      • .com – indicated the site was that of a company, business, or other commercial venture
      • .us – intended for citizens and everyone else in the US but still rarely used as most people opted for .com by default or .net
      • .co is actually the top-level country TLD for Colombia, but registrations with it are unrestricted and it has become quite popular with tech companies, innovators, and the like.
    • Now, that public perception may change depending on who you talk to. Someone like myself, mid-30s, who was around when it was just the top 6 will likely have at least those underlying perceptions that .com is for companies, businesses, etc, including authors looking to sell their work or alternately .net.
    • I know my partner (similar age) gets rather ranty about commercial entities using .orgs LOL Younger folks used to their being a wide range of TLDs available may not look at it the same nor may the less tech savvy.  The less tech savvy do, however, default to presuming that your URL is something.COM if they can’t remember the last bit, but in the age of just Google everything, that again may be less relevant.
    • So with all that said, if the only two available is a .org and a .co, I’d be inclined to think of another domain purely because that would mean that a LOT of other folks are using that same domain with a different extension and I personally hate having that kind of potential confusion. But that’s just me.
  • What’s the point of NaNoWriMo and Camp NaNoWriMo? What is different about them? What is the point of the cabins?
    • The point of both is to encourage folks who have always said “I’ll write a novel one day” to do it and to encourage those who are wanna-be or current writers to give themselves at least one month of the year where their main focus is their writing.
    • One of the biggest hold backs for a lot of people in getting that first draft done is “time”. With the short time of 30 days and generally challenging goal of 50,000 words, it’s also aimed to help keep folks from focusing on editing and perfection and instead strive to just get the draft done.  As they say, you can’t edit a non-existent draft 🙂
    • With the full NaNo, the specific goal is 50,000 words of a new novel. Playing by the “official” rules, this means no continuing an existing work, no revisions, and it must be a novel. There are rebels however who do existing continuations or who do short story collections or the like.  I’ve been a “rebel” myself a few years.  🙂
    • While some NaNo novels have gone on to publication (such as Water for Elephants), publication or a professional writing career are not the main focus nor the goal for many participants. Just writing is.
    • Camp NaNoWriMo is a looser form of the full NaNoWriMo held in November. Unlike the main event, there are no official in person events just the virtual cabins, and there is greater flexibility in what you “should” be doing, and fewer “rules”. So you can set your own word count goal, you can work on any kind of writing (memoirs, screenplays, etc), etc without being considered a “rebel”.
    • The cabins basically take the place of the in-person write-ins that the main NaNo is known for. It’s to encourage camaraderie – having like minded people who can help keep each other accountable and on track, encourage you when discouraged, bounce ideas off if you want, etc. If you’re lucky, you find some good cabin mates you bond with enough to keep in touch with outside of Camp and maybe have some beta readers 😉
    • Personally, I doubt the cabins will ever be as good or as helpful as the in-person events of the main NaNo. It’s just hard to get that same creative synergy going through the net as you can when you’re all sitting in a room with the same focus.  Still, they might be useful.  In my case, my cabin is all fellow locals from our main NaNo group.  A core set of us formed a monthly writing get together and we’ve done some novel exchanges for alpha/beta feedback.  We also have full permission to rag each other for missing writing goals
  • What’s your favorite alcoholic beverage
    • I like my alcohol, I admit. Hate beer, not a huge wine fan, give me the good stuff.
    • Smirnoff Ice Screwdriver – okay, not a hard alcohol, but I like it. It’s a relatively recent discovery, but OMG those things are ridiculously tasty and so little alcohol taste that I downed three pretty quickly and got tipsy just as fast. I’m also fond of Mike’s Hard Black Cherry Lemonade.
    • In terms of wine, the only two I’ve found I like are pinot grigio and moscato. Correction, I love moscato – tasty stuff there! Could also drink way too much too fast 😉
    • For the rest – pretty much anything fruity with rum, vokda, or any combo there in: screwdriver, bay breeze, adult Hawaiian punch, a well made strawberry daiquiri that isn’t all liquor and little fruit, long island iced tea (okay not fruity but good), etc. I’m also pretty fine with Jack Daniels or Knob Creek with soda or sweet tea…or fruit juice or kool aid cause (per my mom) I’m sick.

Progress Report: Finished scene 2 of chapter 2