"Everybody has a MySpace"
Pretty soon, I started getting friend requests from fellow writers and authors. That's when I had my "Eureka!" moment. I was like, "Wow. I could USE this site for networking!" So I started adding other writers and authors, too. (And we've often sent messages back and forth about writing-related stuff.) I also added magazines, editors, publishers and lit agents. As well as other pages of people I knew online. Some sites I added ended up being a GOOD thing; there's someone on my Friends List who literally saved my life (long story) and they are on my Top Friends. (Or should I say..."HE" is on my Top Friends. LOL I don't know his name but I know he is a "he"!) Someone else on that Top Friends, who runs a fan page, is an AWESOME person and I'm happy I've "met" her through the site. She is just so cool!
But MySpace has brought me some other advantages, as well. I have been working on the haunted houses book for a loooong time. I ended up getting stuck on one chapter. My main problem was, I NEEDED people to interview for it, and I couldn't find that many! The one person I found via Google hasn't exactly had a lot of free time to answer questions via email (and whenever I've phoned him, there was no answer). Also, I had trouble finding more sites related to this topic, books on this topic and even organizations.
Then I remembered something I kept hearing a lot (or, should I say, SEEING a lot): "Everybody has a MySpace." So one day I sat down, stretched my fingers out and started searching MySpace for people involved in this industry. But not just people; any companies and authors of books related to this industry. Bingo! Page after page of search results came up. I just couldn't BELIEVE there were so many people and sites on MySpace who were in that VERY industry I am writing about! (Note to writers: If you can't find anyone on Google, that's because they're all on MySpace!) I contacted them, they responded to me and spread the word. Other people started contacting me, too, and I'm happy to report that this chapter is FINALLY starting to move along really, really well. I can finally say I'm understanding this whole industry better and I now feel confident enough to finish this chapter.
Of course, I HAVE had some bad experiences on MySpace. I've gotten messages from guys intrerested in hooking up. (One guy said he thought my profile made me sound fun, caring and sexy, even though my profile was set to private!) And of course there is spam to be had on MySpace! Some people have sent me spam THEN a friend request (which of course got denied). I HATE spam. Really. Grr!! So I delete it from my Inbox and I delete it from my comments.
I AM NOT on MySpace to hook up with anyone.
I AM NOT on MySpace to look for great deals on ringtones or how to make money filling out surveys. (*groan*)
And I am certainly NOT on MySpace to be tested by ANYONE with a bad attitude and posting "f*** you all!" messages every day hating people and tearing others down. Or sometimes they say "if you REALLY love me, you'll repost this chain letter or else I will delete you!" Fine. Delete me. I won't lose any sleep over NOT bugging my friends with some lame chain letter which I KNOW is just a prank/urban legend/rumor/etc.
However, I AM on MySpace to have fun. To stay in touch with family. To get to know other people. To network with other writers and authors. To promote my writing, my books, my E-zine and Web site. And, of course, as I have said, to learn a thing or two about the music scene (which is DEFINITELY helpful, given one of my novels-in-progress includes A LOT of real-life current singers and their songs!).
And of course to help me out whenever I get stuck on a writing project. At least now I know that if I ever have a hard time finding people to interview, I know where else to look!