Strong-arm

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Discussion

  1. 01. Ruth

    I’m SO. GLAD. you’re blogging! It’s been a pleasure to learn things about you that there’s not time for in class. And the writers’ resources here are such a gift.

    I consider myself a former blogger. From 2007 to 2014 I churned out 749 posts. Early on, it was a way for me to rekindle my writing passion: part diary, occasional soapbox. Suddenly writing wasn’t a solitary void of an endeavor. I grew addicted to the instantaneous feedback–cushy audience reactions, never critiques of my prose. I didn’t gain a huge readership, but I did acquire a few loyal readers who sent deeply encouraging notes. Those notes, I’ll admit it, were taped to the door of my medicine cabinet and definitely impacted my path.

    I also made a handful of lifelong friends–fellow bloggers who understand me in a way non-bloggers, non-writers never will–the kind of friends you take plane rides to see and spend hours, eyes locked, in unplugged conversation despite the fact that you’re both addicted to social media. Our blogs were a way to check in on each others’ lives. I loved their voices, and unlike emails from good friends, I loved that they, like me, were willing to broadcast their memories and opinions.

    In 2011 my blog became the place where I went to grieve someone I loved who died unexpectedly. On one hand, my words and the readers who sent condolences were the gauze that held my limbs together for more than a year. On the other hand, the accumulation of public love letters became an elephant in my living room. The posts about him, 90 of them, were eventually changed back to “pending drafts”–pulled from public–because to keep them up was a betrayal. Blogs themselves can become players in stories, agents of conflict. Not for me. I’m a fiction girl now.

    I wanted to keep posting this year, but attempting any regularity has pulled me away from the harder work of learning to write short stories. Confession: I still love going back to read my old posts. That’s another reason I recommend blogging. So Current You can entertain Future You. Journalling can’t compete in this regard: we write better when there’s an audience.

  2. 02. colette

    Ruth – you gained a loyal follower in me! I love reading your blog! I’m always excited when I get a notification about a new post, no matter how infrequent. And even though I’ve only been blogging a short time, I, like you, find that reading through my old posts entertains me, and makes me try harder to write better, to be more connected and authentic.

    You make such an interesting point about when to pull back posts. I’ve been working on a post about writing our truth about people we know, and how much we owe those we write about, as well as those we may not write about but who maybe affected by our writing. It’s a thorny issue, one that I grapple with every day.

  3. 03. Catherine Onyemelukwe

    I blog because I want other people to love Nigeria, my adopted country, as I do, and know that it is a country and Africa is a continent. Even though you say it’s not a great reason, I also blog to tell people about my book!

  4. 04. colette

    Your reasons for blogging are both good ones. I should clarify my point: it’s not that I think blogging to promote one’s writing is a bad reason to blog. Let’s face it, we all writing because we want our work to be read, and not just bits and pieces of our work, but all of our work. I do think, though, that if my sole purpose in blogging was to promote my writing, I wouldn’t do it. Blogging is too time intensive and too personal, and, quite frankly, too difficult to disseminate to readers, for me to do it solely to try to get people to read my stories. But of course I would love for people to read my fiction after reading my blog. That’s definitely one of the reasons I write it.

  5. 05. Teresa

    I find myself wanting to do this more and more. I want to blog about my favorite topics mostly. Metaphysics and the arts would be the most important to me. Does anyone know what sites welcome guest bloggers in these areas? I would especially say mysticism [ as I’m writing a book] and poetry writing music reviews or personal opinions. Thanks! Teresa

  6. 06. colette

    I wish I knew. The best way to figure it out probably is to scour the internet, find a site about mysticism that you love, and then establish a relationship with the blogger by interacting with the site regularly. Chances are, even if the blogger doesn’t normally have guests, s/he would welcome an offer. Blogging regularly is exhausting!

  7. 07. Sue Coletta

    Totally agree with you, Colette. I also believe it helps create an audience for your fiction. I know I’d be screwed if it didn’t blog, as far as potential readers go. I also love the comraderie of the writing community. But to view blogging as a chore instead of a passion, no.

  8. 08. colette

    I’d love to gain some additional readers for my fiction, though right now my blog is quite separate from that part of my writing life. Still, some crossover would be great.

    I actually have a couple of friends who got book deals based on their blog posts. One of them was a budding novelist who (I believe) already had a novel under contract. The book that came out of the blog was based on a very specific aspect of her life. The other friend is already a well-known writer who writes incredible posts about writing that are featured on other people’s blogs. I think those bloggers are few and far between, however.


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