Back in April I wrote about considering a newsletter in response to requests from a couple of writers who had contacted me. I posted a query here about whether it was a good idea or not. Fortunately for me, many of you responded with thoughtful observations about the purpose of the newsletter, whether it was something I really wanted to do, and with suggestions about making it more interesting. Recently I decided to revisit the idea, this time inspired by the “month-end” or “year-end” recap posts that some of my blogging colleagues do. I’m experimenting with a short periodic update on my author website, that includes a “snapshot” description of current work and a writing tip. I recently redid my author website and decided to try out the newsletter as a part of the website “redo.”
Why did I redo my author website? After much design thought, I decided that I wanted to develop an “artist statement” and then share it on the front page of my author website. Lately I have been thinking about how to describe one’s work as a writer or as an artist. I heard a couple of artists say recently that, besides creating art, you need to be able to talk about your work to other people. They said this is partly to help people learn about your work, and partly to help you define the meaning of what you are doing to make art. So, I asked myself: What keeps me coming back to the studio day after day? What’s the best way someone has responded to my artwork? What questions am I asked most frequently about my work? Who is my art for? Through these questions I wanted to identify who and what I am as a writer, and to articulate that in a brief “About my work” statement. You can see it here: https://theresabarker.com/
Many authors feature their recent books or publications on the front page, and that’s an excellent way to help readers find your work immediately. Because I’m not yet an author with a book out, I’m focusing on building a body of work; so I thought, instead I’ll explain what my work is about on the front page, along with a bit about current projects and a mention of recent story publications. As part of the author website redo, I was inspired to add a newsletter largely by reading blogging colleagues who talk about their projects of the month, or who write a “snapshot” of their day, or who offer their insights about writing to fellow bloggers. The December newsletter provides a “moment in time” description of my writing session, a recap of current writing efforts, and one of my best writing tips. I hope you’ll take a moment to view it – and I hope you’ll think of taking a moment to tell me what you think!
You can see the newsletter here: https://theresabarker.com/newsletter/
What are your thoughts? Have you ever considered an artist statement? Those of you who are artists, do you find these statements helpful or off-putting? If you are an artist, how do you talk about your work when someone asks you? – Do you whip out a smartphone and scroll through photos? (just kidding) If you are a writer, how do you talk about your work? – Especially if you are not yet a New York Times Bestseller author or a writer with publication credits?
Thanks for visiting!