About Blogging: Just Do It (And Here’s Why)

ImageWhen 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.

 

 

 

For Me? You Shouldn’t Have! (But Thanks for the Compliment!)

sunshineawardToday is National Compliment Day, and I’d just like to say that I think Margo L. Dill is grand! She gave me the Sunshine Blog Award because she thinks I’m a “blogger who positively and creatively inspires others in the blogosphere.”

Now, that’s quite the compliment. And I have to admit I’m feeling pretty warm and fuzzy inside right now. But there’s more to this award than a warm and fuzzy feeling. There’s favorites to ponder!

Favorite Things!

 

  • Favorite color: Okay, that’s tough. Really tough. I love SO many colors. But I’ll say blue, as in a Georgia blue sky on a summer afternoon in July.
  • Favorite animal: SO much easier. Dog.
  • Favorite number: I’m tempted to say my birthday number, but I’m rather fond of 5. I don’t know why.
  • Favorite drink: Oh. My. Gosh. Favorites are hard. Okay, Coke. No, unsweet tea. (Yes, I know. But it’s still unsweet.)
  • Facebook or Twitter?: Facebook.
  • Your passions: My faith, my family, my friends, my writing, my sports teams. Not necessarily in that order if one of my teams is playing.
  • Giving or getting presents: Giving is probably the nobler answer, but…
  • Favorite day: FRIDAY! I work at home now, but old habits die hard. I still get excited when Friday rolls around.
  • Favorite flowers: Why must you torture me with this favorites thing??? If I must choose, I’ll say hydrangeas. But now I feel bad for wisteria and bougainvillea and daisies and magnolias and camellias and forget-me-nots.

And now it’s time to pass along the lovely compliment. I’d like to give the Sunshine Blog Award to Debra Mayhew and Lisa Ricard Claro. Their blogs always brighten my day and make me so very glad I stopped by for a read.

But honestly, all of you brighten my day. And I’d say that even if it weren’t National Compliment Day.

Tuesday Tip: Dust Off Your Blog!

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If Gladys can do it, so can you.

You heard me: dust off your blog! Or your website, if that’s where your writing stuff is laying about. 

Here’s the thing. The beginning of a new year is the perfect time to do a little house-cleaning. And by house-cleaning, I mean getting your web presence in order. (I suppose you could actually get your home in order, too, but I’d probably be the last person to give tips on housework.)

The best part is that it doesn’t take a ton of your time. Just check all the links you have listed. Do they take readers to where they’re supposed to go? You’d be surprised at how often website domains change names (or maybe not, if you’ve noticed that I changed my domain name here at the blog). And if you come across an inactive site or blog or link you’ve listed, get rid of it. There’s no point in keeping clutter around.

And then, spruce up things a bit! Have you kept the same old, same old links to your work?   A visitor might think you haven’t produced anything since 2007! So add your new stuff, a touch of color here and there, maybe rearrange your favorites, freshen things up.

In a half hour or so, you’ll look around and think, “Wow. It looks completely different up in here.” And besides, you know how much everyone loves a sweet-smelling blog.