When I attend writer events, I bring along my cards and pass them out willy-nilly. The card’s pretty basic: my name and my website/blog. Invariably, I’m asked the same basic questions about blogging.
What in the world do you blog about?
Why do you blog?
Do you really think blogging’s worth all that time and effort?
So after nearly six years of blogging, I have my answers down pat. To wit: (And skip ahead if you’ve heard all this before.)
I blog about writing–my path to fame and fortune along that glorious, challenging road to publication. That’s what I said in my very first post and I think I’ve stuck to the topic. (Well, Fun Friday posts can be a little whack-a-doodle, but all work and no play make Cathy a dull girl.) So far, I haven’t run out of things to say about writing. Which isn’t surprising because I love to write. Isn’t that a serendipitous way to move on to the next answer?
I started blogging because I thought it was something serious writers did. And though I make my living, more or less, in writing funny stuff, I’m pretty serious when it comes to the actual writing. I didn’t know that I’d refine my writing voice, or that I’d meet so many other writers. I didn’t even realize that blogging was an exercise that was building my writing muscle. I’m kind of like that ugy duckling hack that turned into the beautiful swan writer. (Um…beautiful swan may be a stretch, but I’m going for the metaphor here, people.) Which brings me to my last answer.
I wouldn’t be where I am today if I hadn’t written that first blog post–and made the time to stick to blogging. And sure, there have been times when it was an effort to blog. I mean, I love writing, but sometimes, writing doesn’t love me. Pushing through has made me a more disciplined writer.
But maybe I still haven’t convinced you. Yes, you–the writer I meet who smiles and says, “I don’t know…it just doesn’t seem worth it.” Maybe you should read agent Mary Keeley’s post about writers who begin as bloggers. She makes lots of excellent points about the value of blogging.
But I think she may have left out one that’s not so quantifiable. Probably because it’s just impossible to measure influence.
It’s true that I wouldn’t be where I am today, writing-wise, without blogging. But I wouldn’t be where I am today, Cathy C. Hall, writer-wise, without each of the bloggers who’ve taken the time over the years to comment, encourage, to laugh or commiserate along this up-and-down path to publication.
So yes. A thousand words, yes. Totally worth it.
Where is Cathy-on-a-Stick? Otherwise, a darling card.
Oh, Sioux, you can’t give Cathy-on-a-Stick too much attention–it goes right to her (flat) head. 🙂
Great post, Cathy! I’m participating in the Blogging A-Z Challenge, and I am having a blast meeting so many other bloggers. The blogging community is amazing! 🙂
The A-Z again?? Good on you, Madeline! I need to pop over there and catch up!
You already know what I’m going to say. You peer pressured me into it! And I’m so glad you did, for all of the reasons you named.
Oops. Left out the most important thing: Thank you!
Oh, Lisa. I may have opened the door, but you had to go through it. And dang, girl. You just KEEP going, don’t you? 🙂
Thanks for the reminder, and for directing me to Mary Keeley’s post. That was so interesting to read! It’s great to keep in mind, but I usually write as if I’m talking to one of my sisters- and for the most part, that works for me. If I think about too many other people reading it then I lose my voice. It’s kind of like hearing that throughout the course of a year most people eat at least three spiders in their sleep…You know it happens, but no one wants to think about it too much. 🙂
Thing One: When I saw Mary Keeley’s post, I thought I’d just whip something out, directing all y’all to her fine words. But I was so darn inspired, I had to write my own post.
And Thing Two: WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT, EATING SPIDERS IN MY SLEEP? That better be an urban myth, Debra Mayhew.
You forgot one important reason for you to blog. You make people smile. I would totally miss your blog if you stopped. And about those spiders…they don’t dare come near my mouth. Even in my sleep I’ll scream out and smash them with a shoe or other equally fatal instrument. So I’m putting that myth to sleep, right here and now. I sure hope it’s a myth.
Aw, Suzanne–I’d miss you, too! But spiders I will NOT miss. Not now. Not ever. Never. (It *is* a myth, right?)
Cathy, you are a most inspiring writers. I always take something away from your posts and often smile or laugh out loud. I wish I could retire and do nothing but write/blog/eat chocolate 🙂
Linda, I bet you *could* retire and live off your writing–you’re pretty dang inspiring yourself!
If it weren’t for your blog I wouldn’t have been able to read your inspiring and uplifting posts. Here’s to blogger buddies!
Aw, Donna, I feel the EXACT same way about YOUR posts! Here’s to us! 🙂
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Super article for anyone trying to make up their mind whether to invest time or at a blogging! I used to blog over several media outlets under another name, but found that wordpress and shooting it to twittr are more than enough. Keeping it narrowed down to a single blog makes for a much happier experience
Thanks, Kate! I had two separate blogs at one time–keeping my writing in general separate from my children’s writing. But I needed to streamline (for the reasons you eloquently stated at YOUR blog) and found WordPress to be the best fit. And yes, I’m MUCH happier! (You’d be surprised how much Plants vs. Zombies you can get in when you have only one blog.) 😉
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