Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Why Blog?

(Quick promo message: SECTOR C was a sponsor book at Red Adept Reviews yesterday, and it received a 4.5 star review from Katy Hanna at Good Book Alert. Both very nice sites to find some great reads. Go check them out.)

Everyone has their own reasons for blogging and for starting the blogs and websites that they do. Some folk simply use their blog to record their daily musings and happenings – using it in a true journal sense. Some folk have a product or service or hobby that they blog about and their posts often reflect an aspect of that narrow topic.

A virtual buddy of mine is deciding whether to start a blog on a specific medical affliction and wondering if that’s enough of a topic to create a blog around, and if it’s enough that she simply has family with this affliction – not even family that she interacts with every day. I contend that if it’s useful for her to write down what she’s feeling and to talk about the challenges both she and her family are facing that it’s enough.

Perhaps, though, some things are too private to talk about in public? Or might it truly help someone who is dealing with the same circumstances to know others have conflicted feelings too?

Why do YOU blog and/or why do you visit the blogs you do?

I get that as writers trying to be authors we frequent other writers’ blogs, agents’ blogs, and editors and publishers’ blogs. We want to keep up with an industry that’s changing fast. We want hints at what we can do to get a leg up on everyone else submitting, on submission or debuting. We want to be sure we don’t miss a trick or we’re looking for ways to simply improve what we’re already doing.

As a happy collateral happenstance, we make new friends. Real friends, even if they remain forever virtual in our lives.

I started this blog back when because writers in the process of submitting should have blogs, according to conventional wisdom. I was lucky that I didn’t have to flounder long wondering what the focus of my blog should be. Queries and synopses and critiquing were things I felt comfortable with and I truly believed I could provide a forum where I could kickstart a critique and then the rest of you could jump in and finesse the crit and hopefully a few people would benefit and learn how to write a better query and/or start getting requests because of the work we did together.

I know I learned the art of query writing from seeing the critiques of others’ work. I can even remember the moment when I realized what a query letter really was. In my mind, it’s NOT a business letter; but when I was learning that was the general wisdom being touted. That definition kept me from clearly understanding the composition and mechanics of a query for a long, long time. I kept trying to make it all formal and geared toward the business proposition side of things.

When I finally understood it to be a SALES letter, that’s when things clicked. I worked in advertising and marketing, and a query letter – in my understanding – simply became an extension of that kind of writing. I always knew how to write that kind of letter; I just didn’t understand that was what a query letter was. Semantics. Seeing the critiques on Evil Editor’s site and in the Snarkives clued me in. And I felt the least I could do was to try to pay it forward.

Now, though, I’m not sure what this blog is about. I do know I’m trumpeting my own books too much here for anyone looking for any kind of quality content. I’m excited about them, but self-promotion isn’t why I visit other peoples’ blogs, so why should anyone keep coming to mine if that’s all I’m doing. And most of the writerly things I have to say are sparked by conversations elsewhere where you can find other opinions that are just as provocative as mine (though never as right as mine, of course) to consider.

So THIS blog will become a bit more static going forward. It’ll be mainly a broadcast area where I’ll continue to talk about my books, my promo efforts and my sales as I’ve been doing. I’ll post interviews and reviews that I’m excited about. Maybe even host the occasional interview or Q&A. But the nuts and bolts of writing and publishing and such are covered so much better elsewhere that I think you guys are better served time-wise to be reading others.

The author/editor me will be active on forums and in the comments of those bloggers.

The real me will be over at the Confessions of an Animal Junkie blog. You see, my real life is pretty boring. I’m interested in 4 things: reading, writing, animals and avoiding housework. That’s it. Really. I don’t review, so I don’t talk about reading. No one wants to hear my pathetic rants about housework. So that leaves animals and writing. Over on my other blog I get to talk about my beasties and the farm on Mondays, and other people’s beasties on Wednesdays. And on Fridays I don’t talk about writing, I show you what I’ve written. The Vet Tech Tales series is a book in the making. Or book-like thing. Memoir-esque?

I hope those of you interested only in the writing aspects stay subscribed to this blog. I know some of you like the end-of-the-month wrap on sales and promos. And I’ll be reporting on promo efforts and giving you the low-down as always on what works/doesn’t work in my test-marketing. So staying subscribed won’t be a complete energy waste and you’ll know upfront that any marketing posts you see you can safely ignore. Plus, once my current super-secret project launches in a few weeks, I’ll likely have some better observations on the state of publishing and promotional opportunities that I can share here too.

I invite the rest of you to join me over at the Animal Junkie blog, where I hope you’ll contribute articles and photos. Writing an essay about one of your BFFs (best furry friends) is a lot closer to real creative writing than most guest posts you’ll be asked to pen ;o). And you can stretch those creative muscles to create something poignant or funny, sad or horrifying.

Thanks for hanging with me!


Wilkins MacQueen said...

There seems to be a time life attached to blogs.

Focus shifts. New priorities.

You accomplished so much here. Showing how to work through problems on the page. Sharing the realities of publishing. Walking us through Extinct from inception to publication.

Animal Junkie is a wonderful place to spend time. Loaded with photos and story telling, it's your new wave to ride.

I'm working on a story now how one of my horses lost her hair and how I turned her polka dotted. I'll send it on when I'm done.

Jo-Ann said...

I discovered your blog through Evil Editor's. It's sad that both you and he seem to be winding them down.
I'd be interested to hear about your continuing journey through the world of e-publishing, and, of course, any new works coming!

Congratulations for the great reviews.

Why do I blog? Seemed to be the thing for a wannabe writer to do, to build a platform. Mine has not been terribly successful. I enjoy to read writers' blogs to hear about their WIPs, or any interesting writing tips they may have to share. And to procrastinate my own work.

Sarah Laurenson said...

I agree. Why keep blogging? I shut down my author blog because it wasn't that interesting to me. That and keeping two blogs going at one time was splitting me a but too much.

So now I have one blog where I talk about whatever comes up. And I don't do it nearly as often as I used to. I'm tempted to shut that one down, too, but I'm not sure that's the way I want to go just yet.

fairyhedgehog said...

I'll see you over there!