How Blogging Saved my Sorry Writer’s Ass

words

Started out innocent enough. A writer friend was going on vacation, could I cover his blog while he was gone? A blog? WTF is a blog? He showed me the ropes:

  • Where to find images
  • How to post a blog
  • What categories and tags were
  • How to respond to comments

Back then you needed a handle, a blogger’s name, an avatar. Because you know, back then we didn’t use our actual names. Privacy and all that, right? So for lack of a better idea I went with Writer Chick (who knew it would stick?).

So….I blogged for him. I wrote about whatever came into my head. My first post was called Cream Boogers.  Surprisingly, people liked it.

After a week of this, I kinda got the blogging bug. So when he came back I started my own blog. I was scared. It was weird. I mean, who’d want to read what I thought about anything? I had no idea…

Writer rebooted

I’ve written stories pretty much all my life. Words were always my friends – especially written words because I didn’t stutter and stammer over those. I didn’t burn bright red when I wrote words, only when I tried to speak them. I could let the words do my talking and really it was better that way.

And I always ‘dreamed’ of being a writer. Of writing books, movies, TV shows, poetry. Yeah, all of it. But life always got in the way. There were jobs to work, rent to pay, relationships to nurture. Whatever, always some reason I should put it on the back burner. Or I could do what I really wanted to do someday. And I had periods, maybe you’d call them spurts where I was ‘being a writer.’ Got an agent, yeah I was going to hit the big time baby. Meh, not so much.

I gave up a lot of times. I decided it just wasn’t meant to be. I wasn’t good enough or just didn’t have the guts or something. But I always missed it when I wasn’t doing it. I always thought about it when I wasn’t doing it. Every time I read a book I thought, “I could do that. I could’ve written that story…”

So this blogging thing – that I did for a friend – forced me to write. Not dream about it. Or think about it. Or long for it. But to do it. I couldn’t let my friend down, right because he was depending on me so I did it.

So I figured if I had my own blog I could make myself ‘be a writer.’ I could make myself write. So that was the deal. I started blogging to see if I could make myself write everyday. No. Matter. What.

And I did it

I wrote a blog post everyday for 18 months and somewhere along the way I realized I was a writer. And always had been a writer. And I’ve been a writer ever since.

So just by writing this silly blog I:

  • Got into the habit of writing daily
  • I got a lot better at writing
  • I learned a lot more about writing
  • I got work as a writer
  • I became a freelancer
  • I published a book
  • I now make my living as a writer
  • I am currently writing a series (soon to be published)

And I was saved. From being the 9 to 5 grunt I feared I’d become. From keeping all those words inside. From being miserable.

So you just never know what a silly little thing like a blog can do for you. So I say, if you have a dream, find a way. Find something that helps you to walk toward that dream. Do something that reinforces it. That validates it. That makes you better at it. Gives you more confidence in it. Helps you prove to yourself that yes, you are that thing that you want to be. Because nothing creates being like doing.

So what about you? Did blogging save you too? What’s your story?

Writer Chick

I'm a Bloggy Writer

Apparently, I am. I was told in no uncertain terms quite recently by another writer that I was a ‘bloggy writer’. Hmm, I thought – I think that’s an insult. I do believe they also threw in the term cynical while they were at it. Again, hmmm – yup, that was definitely an insult.

But here’s the thing even if it is true, why should that be an insult to me? It takes an enormous amount of work of work to put together a blog and maintain a blog, gain an audience and keep that audience engaged. Between my two blogs I have written a total of 850 posts over 25 months – I gotta get some love for that, don’t I? I mean just the sheer volume of it, has to say something about me as a writer, doesn’t it?

Now granted not all of those posts were writing per se – some are vids, some are toons, some are quotes but I dont’ think I’m exagerating when I say that close to 90% is writing – just writing, whether opinion pieces, rants, humor, fiction, poetry, political analysis, satire, or parodies. I’ve written a helluva lot of words over the past two years on these blogs and for the most part I’m damn proud of those words.

In addition to that, I have written thousands more words in my work as a freelancer for websites, ads, business copy, etc. And let’s not even go into the novels. So, I’m thinking I’m nearing a pretty big number when it comes to my overall output of words. Yes, I hear some of you saying but quantity is not necessarily quality. Well, okay that’s true. However, between the two blogs, I have gotten close to 200,000 hits – that has to mean something doesn’t it? I think it might mean that somebody somewhere is reading me. What do you think? Am I right or am I wrong?

And even on the quality issue, the way you do anything I believe if you want to succeed is in this sequence: quantity, quality, viability. In other words, first let’s get the production up, let’s get writing, then let’s work on improving that production without losing momentum, and then finally let’s pick out the best of the best.

While not all bloggers are writers proper it is my belief that not all writers can be bloggers. There is a certain savvy that is necessary to succeed as a blogger and it’s not just a bunch of beautiful words, though those don’t hurt, it is a mixed medium with actual interchange of ideas with others – it’s visual, audio and text. It’s the whole enchilada. And it’s intensive training in my humble opinion for any writer who wants to become good at their craft because they have to run the whole production, they have to learn to write on deadline if they hope to keep their audience and they have to learn to improve to keep their audience and the interchange happening.

Hey who knows, Pulitizer may someday come out with a best in blogging award. If Algore can get one I figure all of us have a chance.

So while being a bloggy writer may not make me a proper writer, it does make me a very productive and fast thinking, fast typing, happy writer. And without these blogs there are so many things I would have never thought to write about, think about and talk about – without these blogs there are so many ideas I would never have been exposed to, so many viewpoints I’d never have known about or shared, so many, many things – so, I’m thinking being called a bloggy writer might not actually be an insult at all. What say you?