Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Blogging and Business Blogging

My 25 year old son told me that I should keep my personal and writing lives separate with a personal Facebook page and writer's page.  My friends recommends that I create a website for myself before my book is even published.  A good friend and fellow blogger says she loves my blogs and how I tie in my life with writing novels.  A very good and wise friend told me that I should blog, Facebook, Tweet, review books, join writer's blog groups, read writing blogs of published authors and try to squeeze in time to write.  Wow and she's probably right.

All I wanted to do was write. I wrote a book and have a large folder full of poetry, and I've blogged nearly every single day since 2007 with a couple of breaks for holidays and travel.  Blogging comes easily to me. They are my Morning Pages. Those of you who know Julia Cameron's seminal book, The Artist's Way, will know what I'm talking about.  Three pages of stream-of-consciousness writing, written long hand, mind you.  I started doing my Morning Pages around the year 2000 and never stopped. I have a two stacks of bound journals (with no lines) as tall as me - five foot nothing - as proof.

All that life and living in those pages, wow. PLENTY of writing material in there, let me tell you! Of course, to the untrained eye of a complete stranger, many of those journal entries might be enough to put me away   for my own good and the good of the community. I've journaled on trains, tour buses, in Venetian hotels, in the Alps after a ski accident, at night while walking El Camino with my kids, and just before and certainly after my divorce.  Yes, all that life is chronicled in my journals.

So, blogging came naturally. When I started on Thoughts.com in 2007, I immediately found a home and a niche - newly single, divorced woman in her 50's enters the dating world. I didn't look for that niche, that's exactly what I was doing and women found it interesting and hilarious.  I have to admit that dating has been pretty damn funny. That book will be easy to write because it's all true. Truth is indeed stranger than fiction in my world! My dating niche blog was a piece of cake for me, I was merely journaling.

Anyway, my new blog was meant to be serious.  I decided I would take my son's advice and start a blog, a serious writerly blog about writing and the writing life. Now, writing is serious and I take it very serious, believe me. I work my tush off, clocking in most mornings at 9 and signing off at 9 pm some nights. I've worked hard on my novel and I'm proud of it. But, this blog?  It just won't stay serious.  I can't help it, ridiculous and strange stuff happens to me and around me, just begging to be written about.

I always include my novel-length manuscript in my blogs and I write about the challenges, difficulties, hopes and dreams I have for my novel. I've written about my characters and how they came to be. I've recommended books on writing that I've loved and still go back to time and again. I'm learning to review books, I still feel dumb tweeting and boy, do I have a hard time tooting my own horn. I'm learning though.

Yes, I've written an historical novel that also fits women's fiction and multi-cultural genres, but there are also moments of laughter, joking and comraderie between my heroines. I wrote that novel with years and years of research, interviews and reading and I've always had a funny bone.  So, it was impossible for me to weave a story without a little humor because that's how I've lived my life. Humor has helped me lift myself up when I didn't think I could go one more step or do one more thing. Humor allows me to put things into perspective and I can laugh at myself in the process. I chide myself with "Stop being such a drama queen" when I realize that I'm so blessed to do what I love and am passionate about - writing.

You won't find any whining here, but you may find that mixed with the writing 'stuff', there'll be moments and mornings when my toilet won't flush (even though all the parts are working and in place) because that's life.
But, I won't write about my book, maintaining my ol' house, my dating life (or lack of) or the weather when I'm reviewing other author's books.  The next step in my evolution.  My review blogs, interviews with authors, and Q & A blogs will be all about the authors. I have to push the envelope now because the blogging I used to do doesn't seem to resemble the writing blogs that I've read every day for an hour every morning since I started this blog. Some are humorous and informative and those I put a star next to. Others are strictly business and very helpful, and most are pure business - the business of selling books. Sigh. As if writing a book wasn't hard enough, I now must learn the business of publishing and selling books. Sheesh.

That was a whine...well, I'm almost finished reading the first book I'd love to review - The Paris Wife: A Novel by Paula McIain. Through this author's eyes, I've enjoyed the sights and sounds of one of my top five favorite cities in the world - Paris.

Peace and love,

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