Just a quick housekeeping note to those of you who like to read your blogs using RSS feeds: I’ve now got hooked up with FeedBurner. I hope I did it correctly. If not, I’m sure all 7 billion of you will tell me and I’ll get it squared away. The link is in the sidebar at right. Have at it!
Thanks to all of you who made comments to yesterday’s post on dealing with email. Let me note that I already have my email organized in folders. Hundreds of ’em. And I use filters. Hundreds of ’em. Anyone I write to regularly has their own folder. Every conference I teach at has its own folder. All my email newsletters are subscribed to in digest form and they get filtered into a catchall folder for newsletters which I read at my leisure. Whenever someone buys something on my site, my system sends me several emails to let me know that each step in the process went through. All those get automatically filtered into their appropriate folders and they open up automatically for me to oversee. But a lot of email still comes into the general in-box, much of it from perfect strangers.
My policy is to answer all first-timer email that isn’t spam. So anyone who writes to me should get an answer at least once. However, a guy’s gotta have boundaries, and my boundaries are set so that if people respond to my response, I don’t feel obligated to continue the conversation. After all, I hear from hundreds of friends and thousands of strangers every year.
I do feel bad, though, when I run through the old email files and see requests for me to come speak at a conference and I never responded. Or requests from a friend to do a critique and I never answered. Those sorts of things happened last year a couple of times when I was in the middle of moving out of the old house or when I was moving into the new one. They just fell through the cracks, and because my in-box had a couple thousand emails in it, I didn’t notice them. So my new procedure is designed to prevent that in the future.
That’s all for today! Tomorrow, I think maybe we’ll switch gears and talk some about the M-word: “marketing”. If you’re a writer, you need to market yourself, and the sooner you start, the better. So I’ll want to talk about how you can do that. See ya then!