Last night, on my way home from a local writers meeting, my husband told me that our daughter asked why I wasted my time blogging. Could I really support us by blogging?
The answer is no. I can’t pay any of our bills with this blog. But writing these 500 words or so at least three to four times a week was never intended to do that. I started a blog because I wanted to introduce myself to future readers, to build a platform so that when I did publish a book, I might have a few booklovers who already knew me.
But over the last month, this blog transformed into far more than just a way to introduce myself.
It’s become a writing treadmill. I build storytelling muscle by writing these 500 words or so a couple of times a week. And it’s a source of unexpected affirmation. Caitlin, my daughter’s best friend, told her how good my banana bread looked when she saw a picture of it on this blog. The trainer at an IT class told me she follows my blog. A friend in Willow, Alaska, sends encouraging words. All because of this blog.
Blogging builds new connections and strengthens those already in place. For example, a member of my critique group saw my blog and started one of her own, the occasional meatcleaver. That inspired her dad to start a blog. He read his first entry last night at the writers meeting. It was hilarious!
I stumbled onto other blogs because of my own and from these, I learned things I otherwise wouldn’t know. I learned about AuthorHouse, the scourge of the publishing world, from a blog posting. I also learned about a website for women writers: SheWrites.
Yesterday was a rough day for my little family. We’re feeling the financial squeeze from the loss of my income. My husband is the voice of reason. I’m the voice of hysteria. Mine is not a helpful voice. I said things to him that I wish I could take back. But in all fairness, he said things too, like “I’m just trying to be supportive of you,” and “We’ll get through this.” See? See what I have to put up with?
After our “discussion,” I marched up to my office, slammed the door shut and began revising The Celebration House. As I did, a calm came over me, and I realized, after a few minutes or so, that I felt happy. Genuinely happy. I made good progress. I revised 64 pages. Only 100 more or so to go. Woo hoo!
I know that today, this blog has no monetary value. Nor do my novels. Right now, they’re stored away on the hard drive of this computer (and in that amazing place called DropBox). They have no importance to anyone but me. Not yet. But I hope one day my stories will support my family. And this blog is an important step toward that goal.
Hands and arms inside the cart, please. Next: what I learned from SCORE.