Monday, October 14, 2013

Can You Write a Blog? Yes, You Can!

When I'm asked what I do for a living, I say I'm a blogger, writer, poet and photographer. The word blogger usually generates interest and creates dialogue. Here are a few questions I've received about my life as a blogger:

What's your blog about?
What do you blog about?
How and why did you start a blog?
Do people follow your blog?
Do you know who reads your blog?
Do you give out personal information?

and lastly,

How can I start my own blog?

Here are my answers and a little information about me:

What's your blog about?

My blog, The Writing Life, is about the writing life aka my life as a writer.

What do you blog about?

I blog about my life's experiences as they relate to writing and living my dream of being a full-time writer. I blog about the challenges, perseverance, joys and hard work it takes to write a novel, query agents, write and edit, query editors and publishers, and market a blog and first novel. I wrote an historical fiction novel called A Decent Woman which I see as a published book.

How and why did you start a blog?

I began blogging anonymously in 2007 on Thoughts.com about the dating life of a 50-year old divorced Mom of two college-aged kids--me. My son introduced me to blogging and I think my kids encouraged me to blog because they thought Mom needed an outlet/creative outlet. I also believe they were tired of listening to me :) I journaled long-hand, every day for over 15 years and blogging felt very natural. I took to it like a duck to water.

I started this blog, The Writing Life, because I learned I needed an author blog as a platform for my novel-length manuscript, A Decent Woman. I discovered that new authors must have an established platform before they publish their first book. Blogging keeps me writing and working on my novel when I think I can't read or write another word! Writing a blog is a discipline that I love and can't imagine not doing.

Do people follow your blog?

I enjoyed a large blog readership/following on Thoughts.com and have met six fellow bloggers over the years which is great because that blog no longer exists. I'm thrilled when someone adds my blog, The Writing Life, to their reading lists and I love receiving comments! I always reply to comments, it's just good manners.

Do you know who follows your blog?

According to my profile, I have nine followers which doesn't compute with the 6,000+ page views that seem to grow every day. I'm grateful for my nine followers, but I don't know every person who reads my blog. Making friends wasn't why I started my blog, however, I would love to connect more with my readers. So, please make yourself known :) I love the kind comments I've received and would love to know more about my readers who seem to live around the world.

Do you give out personal information?

No, I don't. I'm a writer living West Virginia, originally from Northern Virginia, born in Puerto Rico. I'm the mother of two fantastic young adults no longer living in my nest. I'm also Mom to a Pug named Ozzy and a Maine Coon cat named Pierre.

While I may blog about my writing adventures, road trips, false starts, and life's goals, I don't give out personal information, i.e., my address, phone number. I never use the full names of my friends and people I come into contact with, either.

How can I start my own blog?

Just start right where you are today!
Think of a catchy user name or title for your blog. 
Research your favorite people, authors or artists and peruse their blogs.
Take a great pic and upload great pics for your blog.
Write about what interests you. 
Write about your dreams, struggles, joys and/or travel adventures.  
Write what you know.
You may be an expert at something, share your gifts!
Be real and allow yourself to be vulnerable.
If you write novels, poetry and/or have wonderful creative gifts, definitely start a blog!
Show and share your work within reason.
If you have an unpublished manuscript, do not upload the entire document. Try a sample chapter instead to share with readers.
Leave comments on your favorite blogs!

What do I still need to work on? 

The last entry--Leave comments on your favorite blogs! 

I'm still learning to organize my time so that I have time to read, write and edit my two novels. I read two books at the same time and I read at least a dozen author blogs a day. I don't always have time to comment on other author blogs and I need to fix that! No. I need to fix that-I don't MAKE time to comment on other author blogs and I need to fix that! That's better.

I can and WILL make time to comment on other author's blogs, especially those in my genre, historical fiction. I will also begin to review books, especially those in my genre.

Done :)

Ellie







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