Sorry for the lame title for this post, but continuing on with the A-Z Blogging Challenge, I wanted to do an entry on what I'm doing right now.
It boggles my mind.
I have a blog...
And people are reading it.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, cat. I'm shocked, too.
I've been blogging about my experiences as an aspiring author for less than a month, and it still seems strange to me. I never thought I'd have a blog. None of my hobbies are so incredibly fascinating that I needed to share them with everyone: I like to read; exercise; spend time with my husband, friends, and cats; shop. And it seemed like all the good blog ideas were either too much trouble or already taken - I wasn't about to maroon myself on a deserted island that magically had WiFi and talk about my sunburn, and though I love to cook, I didn't have an urge to work my way through Julia Child's cookbook over the course of a year...
Anyway, it wasn't until I made the conscious decision to get myself published that I realized I had no idea how to market myself, and when I did start to give it some thought, it became clear that I didn't even know where to begin. Part of it was that I wasn't thinking like a 21st century author. My brain was still stuck in the literary dark ages. Obviously, back in the day, Charles Dickens wouldn't be posting YouTube book trailers for A Christmas Carol and Oliver Twist on his blog and Facebook, then taking to his Twitter account and tweeting the links so a wide a range of people could see them. If the "greats" didn't use this newfangled "blog" thing, what good would it do me?
I had to see it in action.
The whole blogging process didn't even begin to seem like a good idea until some friends I'd met in the writing community (the lovely Jennifer DeLucy and Laura Kaye, among others) began finishing their own manuscripts and chronicling their journeys to publication on their own blogs. I found myself reading them, and, more importantly, I found myself identifying with a lot of what they were posting about.
It was then that it hit me: Blogging would allow me to find others like myself who were in similar situations. Other newbie word-smiths who were struggling to make their word counts, send queries to agents and publishers, getting rejections, receiving acceptances...I could learn from them, and they could learn from me. The realization that blogging could be something other than an elaborate online diary overcame me with the fierce intensity of teenage girls chasing after Justin Bieber.
This, I could do.
Blogging about my own experiences as a fledgling writer could help me reach out to others and give them access to me as well, not to mention gaining some perspective on what was happening in my own writer-world. I can't imagine that Charles Dickens had a large group of fellow authors he could contact and learn from, and not only because life expectancy was pretty low at the time. Distance, lack of an invention called the "telephone" (which wouldn't be around until the late 1870's), and language barriers...I'll bet Dickens had to deal with all that, just to find some like-minded souls. Even though he lived abroad for a while and even visited America, for all intents and purposes, if a writer wasn't in England within a reasonable distance from him, he wasn't going to meet them.
I'd like to imagine that he would have blogged.
Still, I dug my heels in and didn't start one until recently. Why? I don't really know. But now my eyes are open, and I'm prepared to embrace blogging for the amazing tool that it is: a record of struggles, highlights, connections, kudos, rants, promotion and information.
Because I wanted to keep this entry relatively short, I did want to mention that blogging is also a wonderful medium to use to connect to people who might be interested in your work...either future readers, agents, or even publishers. Not to mention Twitter, Facebook, and websites, but perhaps we'll save those for another day.