I decided that I want to make this blog more personal. I don’t want to just share tips on writing, writing resources, and book reviews. I want to share who I am as a person and a writer, too. Why?
Well, I think it would be nice to “get it out.” Two, I want to up the discussion factor. I want to create a conversation with my blog, not just a one-way street where someone stops by, reads, says “thanks” and leaves. I want a two-way street. You visit my blog and hopefully something I say sparks a thought in you, so that you leave a comment, which I then reply to – and there we go, off in an interesting conversation. Or, even better, you re-blog my blog, and we create two discussions, one on my blog, one on yours! Even more exciting would be if my blog post inspired a blog post of yours. I would feel so happy if that happened. I would feel like my writing really contributed towards someone’s day being more fulfilling, and sparked a little something for them as a writer or reader.
Thirdly, everyone always wants more attention. The blogs where writers share their thoughts and not just tips get more traffic. I’ve noticed! Partly the reason I’ve noticed is because I read those writers’ blogs more than the ones where they just offer a list of resources.
I do like attention. What can I say, I’m a Leo! …Unfortunately, I’ve had to come to terms with it. After years of reading descriptions of the arrogant, self-centered Leo, and feeling like I did not belong there, it took some introspective thinking in the last few years to realize…yes, actually. I do embody some of those un-admirable Leo traits.
I am going to own it and admit it, though. I like attention. When I get attention, people have told me, I am a pleasant person, and I give back and am kind to others. So, there’s a payback, it’s not that I’m just taking and taking.
Anyway. To the main point of my post –
I have to confess that navigating the world of writing today, for a relatively unpublished writer, is, well…scary. There’s so much marketing to be done. There’s so much I have to learn. It’s not just enough to write a book anymore – and revise it, over and over, and edit it so all the grammar and spelling is edible (no, that is not a typo. I meant ‘edible.’ Editors and agents eat words, if they are good ones). Now you have to know some marketing, you have to be amazingly popular on social media, you have to have a mind-blowing website, and talk to your readers before they are even your readers.
Readers, this is intimidating! How am I to do it? Sometimes it seems impossible. I have a daytime job, after all. I have to work, eat, sleep, and have some form of social life…and I like to travel…and I have to write! Where is the time in all of that to read tons of forum posts about marketing, to be exciting on social media, and artistically craft a not-too-long, not-too-short, picture-filled crisp blog post?
I don’t mean to complain. Sometimes I do that too much. I guess what I’m saying is…I need to manage my time better, so that I can give time to learning all these things, practicing them, seeing what works and what doesn’t…all while understanding, it’s a process. One doesn’t become Miss Popular Blog, Miss Facebook Star, etc. in one day.
Honestly I don’t want to be a star. I heard that J.K. Rowling gets asked for autographs while she is buying toilet paper in the grocery mart. That sounds unpleasant. No, thanks!
I would like to have some sort of following, though. I suppose every writer has more hubris than other people, for they want to be known in the world, and not just for something impersonal, but for something very, very personal….your writing. Writing IS very personal. This is one of Ralph Keyes’ points in his book about writers transcending fear. The best writing is about what really moves you. I agree with his point, so…hypothesizing that writing is personal, and the best books are about you, who you really are, and what really moves you…writers want to be famous just for sharing the real tinkerings of their brains with the world. They don’t just want money from it, but also some level of fame.
Oh dear. I guess I’ve just made myself sound terrible. But it is true. We could get into the psychology of writers – why do they want attention? Why are they often so shy when they want to be famous for their inner selves? Well, we’d rather people experience our inner selves on paper, because in-person it’s so scary. In a book of fiction we get to reveal ourselves without it actually being our selves, so…it’s easier, to have people know us that way.
I don’t want to generalize. There are many brave, bold, extroverted writers out there. But these are just some points I find true in my personal life, which support Ralph Keyes’ theory that the best books are secretly about what personally moved the writer.
Anyway, I’ve got some writing to do, aside from this tangled blog post. Note to self: Outline posts before writing them.
Well, I guess that’s enough confession for one day. As my writer friend Elysabeth Elderling, author of the Junior Geography Detective Squad, says –
See you in the postings!