Saturday, March 20, 2010

Why I Blog

This month is the four year celebration of Romance Magicians Blog. I came on about a year or so after it started and I have never regretted it. In the process I have learned a few things and realized I have far more to learn! Below are some questions I've pondered as I diligently tried to keep up my end and write each month.

Why do I blog?
I love challenges, but I lack follow-through. When I committed to this blog, it gave me a deadline and does not allow me to procrastinate (most of the time). I have to find new ideas or subjects (reminds me of plotting for my story) even when I don't have any at hand. I must write it succinctly and let it flow logically (sometimes that is stretch for me). The pressure of a deadline does actually work for me.

Is Blogging for everyone?
This is very subjective. I know if I had to run a blog by myself, I'd vapor lock. One of the things that I enjoy is how many people share the duties of blogging here. I'd like to say I've dozens of things to say, but unless you want dissertations on cat vomit and getting kids to clean their rooms--I'd run out of subject matter quickly--or I'd whine a lot and unless it accompanied by a large bottle of Cabernet, that is no fun at all.

Ultimately, you make that decision. Do you want to blog? Can you?

What are the Downsides of a Blog?
Lets face it, its blasted hard to write something different all the time. There are millions of articles writing about the same thing in different ways. If you think about it, our stories are just varying versions of the same themes (sounds depressing), but the trick is to write about the same thing in your own personal way. For example, I love reading about the struggles writers have as they overcome their inner and outer demons to write. It inspires me.

Another downside--your piece of writing never goes away. Because some day someone is going to google you, and there it is--that post you wrote when you ranted about your boss, or before you realized semi-colons are not to be used in place of periods (umm, guilty). Its much like that photo someone posts in a drunken moment of hilarity that comes back to haunt you again and again. It is FOREVER.

What are the positives of a Blog?
One of the best things I have learned is being succinct. I get an idea, condense it and there you have it. Its not easy. It also helps me in my book writing, you know those scenes that would go on forever and all they were doing is getting into a car? Now I can write it in a sentence and not four paragraphs (most of the time).

I can explore different styles of writing-humor, poignancy, sarcasm, wit, and fact. Interestingly, I lean more to sarcasm and humor.

You get your name out there. In this day and age of publishing, that is probably one of the hardest things to do. Some are gifted at marketing themselves. I am naturally reticent and I find blogging is a good and safe place to start, especially on Romance Magicians.

Any unexpected findings in Blogging?
I have found the most wonderful people here! Not only those who blog, but those who follow the blog. There is humor, sadness, joy, all wrapped up into these posts. There are celebrations for the successes and the commiseration for the rejections. Better yet, the support of fellow writers and readers in pursuit of your dreams.

This is a community that I am proud to be a part of.

Again, Congratulations Romance Magician Bloggers and Readers--May there be many more!!

What do you like about Blogging? What do you dislike?


Gwen Hernandez said...

Nice post, Mary. I do think blogging helps you find your natural voice. It's also nice to practice writing that's different from the MS.

Finding something to say almost every day can definitely be a challenge, but I'm amazed that a topic always comes to me if I really need it.

Thanks for being a contributor; I always enjoy what you have to say! ;-)

M.V.Freeman said...

Thanks Gwen!
I also look forward to what you write, your vignettes are amazing. I am in awe of the variety of subjects you write about and that you manage your own blog.

And..because of you and Christine, I am longing for a Mac....

Callie James said...

I'm with you. I could never do my own blog. No time and certainly not enough to say. Sometimes just once a month is difficult.

I do like blogging in that it helps me keep in touch with fellow writers.

Angel said...

I've found one of the hardest things about blogging is definitely coming up with topics (that reminds me, I need a blog topic this weekend). After 4 years, I'm running pretty low on the originality meter. :)

But I enjoy the connection with other people (writers and readers) and the chance to have a kind of intelligent conversation with many, without having to plan for us all to meet at a convenient time. :) When you have young children, any adult conversation is a blessing! Having one with others who care about reading and writing makes my day!


M.V.Freeman said...

I agree, I really do like keeping in touch with everyone this way. And true, once a month can still throw me off....and then you get odd posts from me.

M.V.Freeman said...

You are another person I admire, because you blog once a week...every week! I know that is a struggle, but you have fun topics.
I need to show up more often!

And agreed, its the connection to others that really makes this an wonderful venue for communication--especially when kids are sick, and you can't get out of the house! :-)

Gwen Hernandez said...

Thanks, Mary! I understand your Mac envy. My husband had his two years before I got one.

M.V.Freeman said...

LOL! Gwen, I've told myself if/when I sell, I will get myself one.

Do you have the laptop or the desktop?

Gwen Hernandez said...

Laptop. I hate to be tied down! ;-)

M.V.Freeman said...

I don't blame you!

Louisa Cornell said...

Great post, Mary! Like you I really like having the deadline as it keeps me on point, but I don't think I could do a blog every day.

I love it here at Romance Magicians because of the sense of community and we always have a good time. I have learned quite a bit from the blogposts here and the funny ones always come when I need a good laugh.

Like you said, sometimes the problem with a blog can be oversharing. I think because our blog is about writing we don't have that problem. We may share personal stuff but it is always related to writing and never in poor taste.

The best part of this blog is that you don't feel so alone. Writing is a solitary endeavor for the most part. Popping over here and reading that even the most accomplished of us has problems with motivation, plotting, getting our butts in the chair and everything else makes me feel like I am in good company and that someone has my back. It makes for a great feeling!

M.V.Freeman said...

Thank you!
I agree totally, the sense of community is what makes this blog so successful. I have been gifted immeasurabley by those that have been here, and continue to do so.

And like you said, knowing that someone has your back--that is priceless!

Sherry Werth said...

Nice post Mary. I don't have a blog to commit to, but I love reading what the others have to say and share thoughts. Keeps me connected to the writing world! :-D

M.V.Freeman said...

Thanks Sherry,
I appreciate, so much, your coming by. You have great things to say. Maybe one of these days we can drag you into writing a blog or two...:-)

Carla Swafford said...

And we're proud of you too, Mary.

Like: The community feeling and meeting a deadline.

Dislike: Truthfully...when people don't comment. I understand why they don't (shy, time restraints, nothing to add, etc.), but I like when it generates comments, showing it made people think.

Jeanie said...

Mary, you make a lot of good points. Like you, I would find it difficult if not impossible to blog every day. But once or twice a month I can handle, which is why this blog is such a wonderful thing. And I the sense of comraderie I find with my fellow writers is wonderful. Finding new, fresh ideas to write about is a challenge, but I think it also helps to keep us sharp.

Good post! And I LOVE vapor lock, by the way!

M.V.Freeman said...

Thanks so much! You are so gracious! :-)

I have to confess sometimes I want to comment on a blog, but I don't know what to say...shocking because I always have an opinion...*laughing*

M.V.Freeman said...

Thanks Jeanie,
I agree! I love sharing the blogging duties, because everyone has a unique perspective.

And I constantly vapor lock...just right before I start the next chapter..LOL

Btw--I'm still extremely happy for you!!!

Christine said...

Wonderful blog! I love this a lot. My biggest issue is I am blogging almost daily and it is hard to be "original" all the time.

But I took a week off for Spring Break. That was fun!

M.V.Freeman said...

I find your blog amazing, you write about everything. I like that you examine what you are struggling with--and find solutions, or just inspire thought.
In fact, I need to head over there soon.....:-)

And I am so glad that you had fun, and got away for a week, do you feel renewed? :-)

Christine said...

Renewed? Hmmm. Depends on the subject material LOL. Thanks for the compliment about my blog. Right now I am exploring my "split personality." Haha.