Thursday, June 7, 2012

Why This Blog

This angel, for example
I decided to start a blog about a month ago when I unexpectedly spent an hour talking to another writer in a Starbucks.  She was very interesting and very savvy, and explained to me how she had been self-promoting her self-published novel with considerable success.  I felt flattered by her attention, but also – slightly inadequate.  I do very little to self-promote.  
If my publishing dream came true, an angel would appear at my left hand right now and say, ‘Send your manuscripts to this agent and you will automatically be published in one year.’ 

However, the likelihood of angelic apparitions is slim, so I figured the next best thing is to build an internet presence, or at least a bigger one than I already have.  A blog seemed the obvious solution.

Feeling satisfied with myself about the decision, I turned to the question of a topic and drew a blank.  I am a writer.  Writing is not exactly riveting to describe….“Wednesday, June 6:  Today I went to work and then came home and wrote for three hours.  I accomplished my goals by finishing a new blog post and a rough draft of a novel chapter.  The end.” 

See?  Kind of boring. 

So then I thought about the type of blogs I read. 

My favorite kind is about cooking.  I love to cook, so theoretically I could write about that and post recipes and either scrumptious-looking or artistically atmospheric photos of food.  

Artistically atmospheric food photo!
The only catch is…there are seriously a million food blogs out there.  I don’t take incredible pictures of food.  I don’t make up my own recipes, but cook happily from cookbooks.  I don’t naturally link important personal memories to the food I eat.  In other words, I don’t seem to do any of the things that make food blogs successful. 

Okay, so if not cooking, I could talk about fashion!  I love clothes (especially shoes).  Moreover, I even make some of my clothes.  I could discuss the fashions I like and how I adapt them in my sewing.  Then I’d take pictures of the finished results.  Perfect – except there are as many fashion blogs as food blogs.  Besides, I don’t have the funds to indulge in the massive variety of clothes which would make such a blog engrossing.

Proof of my travels!
I have traveled, so I could write about that, but I only average one big trip every 18 months, which isn't frequent enough to sustain a blog.  I enjoy photography, so I could post my pictures, but I don’t actually know a thing about the technical side of the art, so that’s too cheeky. 

I could be obvious and post stories and poems, but I already do that on my deviantArt page; I’d rather not be redundant.  There’s the subject of beauty and body image which women always find fascinating, but I’m a reasonably confident person, so it seems hypocritical to talk about issues which don’t particularly bother me.  Relationship blogs strike me as creepy, since the internet at large doesn't need to know about the intimate details of my personal life, so that wasn’t an option.

As you can probably tell, I was stumped for a topic – until last week, when a sudden inspiration hit me.  I am certainly interested in all the above things (it’s the curse of the writer to have a ridiculous range of interests), so why not talk about how to balance them with writing?  Being a novelist is, after all, a time-consuming thing.  So are work and cooking and sewing and travel and photography and beauty and a social life and relationships with people, etc., etc.  It’s enough to make me wish for a thirty-six hour day!

Since it’s the rare person who can do the one thing they absolutely love for their whole life without distraction, I figure I’m not alone in wondering about how to squeeze in my passions and interests and hobbies amidst my work and obligations.  A blog about what it’s like to achieve that balance – or at least attempt to – seems like a perfect fit for me. 

Now let’s see if it’s a perfect fit for any readers out there!

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