Mystical sole, collage on board, caroline allen, 2005
I want to ask my writing clients, and all the writers I’ve worked with, and anyone out there reading this who is a writer, I want to ask each of you a question: Do you need your own writing website? Is it time?
Sometimes it can be extremely helpful to put a presence out there, and even if you aren’t ready, you can grow to meet it. It can help direct your power and energy to have a site that tells the world I AM A WRITER.
There are a whole slew of cheap website templates now online, where you do not need to have web design software. I’ve used the Website Tonite section of www.cheap-domainnames.com, for example, or a friend found success with yahoo small business websites. All of them take you very simply through the process of buying your URL, hosting it, and paying a monthly fee to keep it live. The cost to start a simple site can be as low as $20 to $30. That’s for everything, the template, the URL name, the hosting! Everything!
A basic website would have about four or five pages. Home/Welcome, Bio, Writing Samples, Publication, Contact. It’s very simple.
What might not feel as simple is the emotional reaction you’ll most likely have to such a site. I’ve helped a half dozen artists build small websites, (I charge a fee for this as part of my visual art business. Email me at email@example.com if you’re interested in having me build your writer’s website for you). Let me tell you, every one of these artists have reacted to having a site with fear, shyness and anxiety. How dare I tell the world I am a writer? Expect to hyperventilate. Expect to try to slow down the process (you could have a site up in three hours from now using cheap-domainnames.com).
Expect also to feel great once it’s live. It’s not just about you telling others you are a writer. It’s about you owning your power; it’s about you telling your soul, yes, I’m listening, I’m honoring you. I AM a writer.
I am a writing coach, a fiction writer and a visual artist. It hit me, recently, that I did not have my own writing highlighted. I’d put samples of my own writing on my coaching site, somewhere down below my bio. It was too hidden. I was pitching the site to get clients, but was not using it to showcase my own writing. Somehow I’d hidden my writing within the labyrinth of my coaching.
It hit me that I hadn’t truly OWNED my own writing fully. I have been writing fiction since 1993…14 years. One of the first short stories I wrote, called Queen Caw, was one of the first to be published by a literary journal, and became the opening chapter of my first novel Earth, which I’ve just finished.
Still, somehow I was making myself as an artist more acceptable by hiding my work deep within the pages of a website meant for coaching other writers. Aren’t I a good, caring, nurturing woman for putting others first?
I did not know I’d done this. It came to me slowly over a year or two. To speak of it gently, I simply was too shy to fully own my own power. I think it happens to many of us. That’s why I’m blogging about it.
I belong to a writers’ group and a lot of the writers have their own writing websites, with samples of their work, their resumes, publication, press. It hit me. It was TIME to do the same myself. But how? I already had my coaching site: www.artofstorytellingonline.com. I also have a website for my visual art, carolineallen.com. Was I going to build another website altogether? Seemed ridiculous. Then it came to me. I think of myself as a full-time fiction writer, and a full-time visual artist. People ask me what percentage I give to both, and truly it’s 100 percent to both. They are of equal importance. When I’m writing, I’m developing a visual art piece on the easel, soulfully, and when I’m painting, I’m soulfully developing characters. They are so intertwined.
So, why not take carolineallen.com, and make it half for art and half for writing? Why not have the home page be a split screen, click one side and go to writing, click the other and go to visual art? Why not?
It was the perfect answer! Having my name as the URL meant it would be easy for people to find…if they’d heard of me somewhere, they could google my name. I sat down and revamped the site and LOVE it. Have a look!
Is it time for you to have your own writing website? If you can’t seem to manage that, can you at least go online and see if your name is still available as a URL? Can you purchase it right now, and save it for later? There’s magic in creating your own artistic online presence, for you, for others, for the world!