Quality Alert? Writers and The Internet

A writer must consider quality content above all else.

writing on paperIt’s a great statement when you first glance at it.  It is one of these ‘think positive’ type of messages we all love to hear or read about.  I agree with the statement, in the surface style it is given, but I don’t agree writers must consider quality content above all else.
It’s a very subjective thing ‘quality’ what I might feel is the best writing I have to offer, someone, a reader or another writer, else won’t.  What I think is not quality writing, someone else will.  A good example is the debate between myself and a writing friend of mine.  He adores John Grisham.  I myself don’t like him, and I find because he has at least two books out each year, it’s become a bit formulaic, I have nothing against the quality of his writing.  His argument is that it’s quality writing, and Grisham can write fast so, what is the problem with a formula, it works, why change?
Nothing really, in this day and age, nothing at all Grisham proves he can have continued success.  There is a need to have a lot of books written, or you won’t be noticed as a presence online.  There is a need to earn income, not just for yourself but for the publisher of your book.  I am saying there is a need for quality writing, and the writers who do this have some form of success, along with a lot of advice.  The success that a writer who stays in their formula is one where they won’t have to worry if their fanbase will leave, they have established themselves there.
Consider your content, and your audience, and more importantly how you can get what you have written to them in the fastest way possible? It took a long while for A Writer’s Guide To Creative Blogging to come out on Amazon, but it was harder to publish than one would expect.  My assessment on the timeframe was off, but with help it is slowly gaining interest with readers.  My content on my blog is getting better, or so as the writer am I allowing this to be the case?
Or, better still am I wrong in my assessment of other bestselling writers? I have to think about a very subjective term.

Quality Alert?

franz KafkaI’m sure you’ve heard this phrase as well, many times.  A consumer needs to be alert on the issue of quality.  Usually it’s when there is something wrong, or dangerous with a product.  If this is the case, why do we toss this term ‘quality’ around when it comes to writing on the Internet?

The great Internet, and this is by definition a great leveller. A number of years ago, when I was a far less mature writer, I planned to write on the Internet, and it seemed to be the easiest thing to do.  I won’t argue about what happened, most people have heard of the downfall of the writing websites, but there was a reason, and this reason was quality.  For writers it was a good time to be writing, but they worked with non-writers, and this was the beginning of the problems.The quality wasn’t there.

I admit that at first glance, it looked like there was quality content, because it was hard to write a 400 word article, and then get it promoted to the right audience and at the right time.  The reality was, it was a short piece, and most of my new blog posts are longer than this.  The second problem was how people ‘saw’ the articles. Some saw them as being good, whereas others would point out the mistakes they saw.

Until a bigger player made changes to what they saw as quality, there wasn’t a need to change much.  At least this is the first instinct of a writer.  If it works, don’t change it.  Looking back means you can find out if your work is good – or not.

Quality Alert?

Back to bestselling authors, and their influence on other writers. John Grisham, and Stephen King.  Both of whom are bestselling authors. Both of whom my writing friends and I enjoy reading.  The point is, they both publish a large number of books at a fairly fast pace, and one can assume this pace will not change in the next while.  Stephen King has published 54 novels, and Grisham one a year since 1988. I like King’s writing, and I see it as quality writing, and one which I want to emulate.  My friend does not.  However, there is no ‘quality alert’ with either of these writers.

The same holds true with the Internet, there are very successful writers out there, however, there is a major difference, there is a lack of gatekeeping when it comes to writers and the Internet.  Since there is such a learning curve it is important there are other factors which will help a writer grow.  Finding your passion is the first step, the next is finding the technology which works best for you, and the last is finding the best way to share the best you have to offer.

One of them is working towards seeing writing as a means to be a business, and rebuilding parts which are failing.  It’s a lot of work but not something that will hurt in the long run.  In this be your own quality alert system and be better than others.