Saturday, April 2, 2011

"B" is for Blog

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.

Literally.

Blogging.


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.

xoxo Sarah

16 comments:

  1. I had to laugh at myself - you apologized for writing about blogging. I felt like I had to apologize for writing about books. And alot of people wrote about books and blogging for B. But it is interesting to see each person's take on the same subject.

    My experiences leading up to blogging were similar. And once I finally jumped in, I loved it. Glad you are finding it satisfying too.

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  2. And I'd like to apologise for intensely chasing Justin Bieber.

    Chuck D would have definitely been an internet sensation, although I'm not sure he could fit his style into twitter.

    good post,
    Mood

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  3. @Elaine: Haha, yes, I saw quite a few "Blog" and "Book" entries, but they each gave their own unique spin on the topics.

    @Mood: I'd like to think a lot of the "greats" would have taken advantage of the electonic mediums we have today. I'm not sure Dickens wouldn't have fit in with Twitter...he was quite wordy, so maybe would spend a lot of time in Twitter jail for tweeting too much. It's fun to think about!

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  4. Well, I'm glad you stopped digging your heels in! It's fun to blog, isn't it? And somewhat addictive!

    PS. Thanks for the follow!

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  5. You are where I was a year ago. Starting the Challenge with only 30 followers, not yet published (deal was signed but book didn't come out until October of last year) and not a clue what I was doing. Glad you joined the Challenge. It will change your world!

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  6. Haa, I didn't want to blog either. It came to me and after reading several I decided, "hey, I can do that." I too am on the way to publication. Good luck.

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  7. Welcome to the wild, wonderful world, Sarah! I felt the same exact way when I started blogging last May, but I've really come to enjoy the way the medium can bring people together. Keep on keepin' on! And thanks for the shoutout! :)

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  8. I was inspired to blog after seeing Julie and Julia film and also reading writing mags, too. Yes I think Charles Dickens would have been a blogger :O)

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  9. Hi Sarah! I just randomly stumbled onto your blog for the A-Z challenge, but what a pleasant surprise. I read some of your older post too and am really enjoying it, though I have to say, (WARNING: Digression coming...) I'm still a little steamed that UCONN beat my AZ Wildcats in the elite 8! Oh well, fair is fair, and I'm pulling for the huskies in the championship game.
    Anyway, I'm in a similar situation in terms of career and goals, and am still new to the whole blogging thing. But you're right, it can be such a useful tool, and I'm really meeting some neat people.
    I'll be following, and I look forward to more!

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  10. @Rachel: Blogging is definitely addictive so far, and I'm having a blast. :-)

    @Alex: Thank you so much for the encouragement! I hope to be where you are a year from now, and I know it will happen.

    @V: I'm glad I'm not the only one who dug their heels in, lol. I guess seeing it in action helps a lot.

    @Laura: Thank you, sweets! I know with a lot of hard work, I'll be where you are now. :-D I do love how blogging can bring people together. That's one of the best parts.

    @Madeleine: I saw the film as well, and it was inspirational, especially when I saw the encouragement Julie got from the people who followed it and commented. That kind of thing does wonders for me as well.

    @Mickey: Haha, yeah, sorry about that AZ loss there. We have a friend who went to AZ as well, and she was really upset the next day. Monday's game against Butler will be a nail-biter, I'm sure. Both great teams. I just checked out your blog, and I gave you a follow as well! I'm looking forward to seeing more from you, and it's nice to meet fellow new authors. :-)

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  11. Great topic and I couldn't agree with you more. I remember back when I started blogging, before I had followers and knew very few people on twitter. It's hard to believe that all my time spent online has led to having 4 blogs, several friends, blogfests, giveaways and almost 200 followers. I still wonder every now and then why people follow my blogs. It's mind boggling and yet they are there.

    I'll have to check back for other posts in this challenge to see how things are going. Nice to meet yet another fun blogger.

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  12. It is fun to blog and it is good for your writing career in another way - you polish up your writing skills when you write on these short essays - you receive feedback about your writing and that feedback to write loop is very helpful. I'm glad you're on board!
    Jan Morrison

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  13. @Dawn: Wow, you've been really productive with all that! I hope my blogging leads to such great things.

    @Jan: I never thought of it that way, but you're completely right - These are short essays. Any writing is great practice. Thank you for the commment!

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  14. Thank you so much! I'm glad you're enjoying the blog so far. :-)

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