A couple summers ago, after teaching English and creative writing for years, I was finally able to put down my teacher’s briefcase and dedicate myself to writing full-time, as I had always longed to do.
So last September, I went to a writer’s conference that opened my eyes as to what I needed to do to get up to speed on the technical side of marketing myself as a writer. (I earned my master’s in professional writing in 1996–and baby, things have changed while I spent the last couple decades wiping butt at home and kicking ass at work.)
Anyway, among other things, conference presenters urged the writers in attendance to dip their toes into the blogosphere.
And now a year has passed since I started blogging…
What have I learned about the blogging world?
- Blogging is extremely time consuming.
- When you begin, you’re not sure anyone is reading a thing you are writing.
- There are kind people out there–bloggers who will find you and support you.
- There are bloggers out there who will ignore you even if you send them a message or post a comment on their blog.
- When you are as Type-A as I am, you let the blog consume your schedule, even though you know you shouldn’t.
What questions do I have about blogging?
- Is all of the time I’m investing worth the limited readership I am gaining?
- Is this blog taking me away from time I should be writing and submitting short stories, poems, and most importantly my novel?
- Am I just yelling into a hole?
- Do prospective agents really care about a writer’s blogging habits and followers? Especially if she has an engaging, marketable manuscript?
- Would my writing career be better served if I blogged less and submitted more short pieces?
What are some blogging ups and downs?
- Just when I am ready to say, “Forget it,” a reader sends me a note telling me how much they connected to one of my posts, or a new follower or two shows up in my inbox.
- Having an editorial calendar and working ahead frees up blocks of time for me to write my novel. But the blog is still in the back of my mind. Like a blister on one’s heel. Nagging. “I’m here…pay attention to me…”
- I may, in fact, be yelling into a hole, but the blog magically transforms my voice into cement. Permanent.
- I can figure out technology and use it as a writer along with the most tech-savvy of millennials. (The sound you are hearing right now is me thumping my chest and belting out a Tarzan yell)
- Some people are just not interested in reading your blog. They may call themselves your friends or relatives, but reading a post is…well, meh… Thankfully, there are other literate people around the globe who will read you and respond frequently, so you know you’re not just yelling into a hole. Most days anyway.
The future of my blog remains to be seen, but for right now, I’m in it.
I promise not to be inane, or rambling, or to rarely update.
Thank you, dear readers, for your support and comments and likes and follows. You have proven that a second act is not only possible–it’s a done deal.
Susan J. Anderson
Foxy Writer Chick