I'd been paying attention to other internet sites like MySpace and Facebook. When I'm feeling mischevious, I google myself to see what I'm up to. Or I'll check MySpace and Facebook to see if anyone listed me as one of their favorite authors or listed one of my books as one of their favorite novels.
After years of neglecting MySpace, ignoring the "someone sent you a message" message--thinking its someone selling me porn--I finally logged on to see how my pathetic page was doing. I was shocked to see that I actually got messages from a few people who wanted to let me know that they're reading me. I sent out apologetic e-mails for my neglect.
I really do appreciate it when people tell me that they're reading my work. It reinforces the idea that I'm doing something right. I have writer friends telling me that their books didn't find publishers. These are really GREAT writers. This depresse me.
I talked to an agent-friend of mine who suggests that building an internet presence actually helps in publishing. If you can go to a publisher and say that you have thousands of friends on MySpace or thousands of hits on a blog, publishers will actually take that seriously. They'll think that you have potential readers who will buy your book (as opposed to the great writer who has no friends).
So, I have this blog. I have accounts with MySpace and Facebook, hoping it will be a smart business plan. Then, you know what? I find that the validation from just one person in internet land, who says says that "Letters to Montgomery Clift" is one of their faves or "Talking to the Moon" is a book they enjoy, spurs me on as a writer.
Oh, gawd! I'm codependent with the internet!