In 2009, I set up my blog and began recounting my literary journey as a means to draw attention my debut poetry collection, “How Fate’s Confusion Connects.” At the time, I was a baby when it came to self-promotion; I lacked the knowledge in this arena. Pair that with my rather low-key personality, and you can see why putting myself out there in cyberspace kind of made me squirm. As I look back on my blogging, I can tell I have grown.
My first few posts chronicled my progress in writing a novel. The manuscript is about a young woman struggling with her past in the form of her less-than-stellar mother while facing her single motherhood. Sure I completed the first draft and rewrote it continuously, but the novel didn’t get off ground (it’s still on file in a cloud and a flash drive). I also dedicated the first few months of my blog to my poetry ventures, my summer trip to Boston and purposefully weaning myself off caffeine. (On a side note, I returned to coffee drinking after a few days at that time).
At first, I had issues with my blogging habits. Besides usually pressuring myself to devise post ideas and flesh them out, there’s that (gasp!) risk that I’m sharing too much, that I might say the wrong things, or that … etc., etc., etc. As a result, blogging became sporadic (I had gone for months at a time without publishing new content). I also tended to head-butt a lot with one problematic reader who harped on my writing style and dared to question whether I was cut out to blog to boost my platform. That fault-finding critic was me.
As with anything else in life, I improved my understanding of the blogosphere and my place in it. I read and followed other authors’ blogs, commented on them, and followed them on social media. I studied articles about the “how-tos” of blogging. And I continued blogging.
Six years later
Now it’s 2015. Time definitely flies, and oh, how everything has changed as I look back on my blogging. I moved from New Jersey (yeah, yeah, insert any clichéd joke about “Joisey” here) to Orlando, got married and work as a freelance editor and writer. Not only has my life changed, but so has my views on writing. Yes, I’m still evolving creatively and technique-wise, but nowadays I understand that it’s also a business. Some authors do pursue it as a hobby and don’t seek to make money off it. That’s cool — I love literature, too. Yet, I also want people to read my work, to hear me out. And if this were the case, my potential readers would need to be aware that my work exists. So I have to put myself out there and market it.
Also, in the six years since I started blogging, I have been sharpening my own writing voice in fiction and non-fiction projects, as well as participating in open mics and reading events. I published two short story ebooks on Amazon Kindle, and I am taking stock of the many creative projects under my belt. One of those projects in the forefront is a literary/fantasy fiction manuscript. I first wrote it to get everything off my chest. In editing the manuscript and seeking a publisher, now I want it off my back.
What have I accomplished?
My blog isn’t on the map to the point where it’s the go-to site for readers and authors. And I don’t really have any awards to show for the blog’s online prominence. But, I did accomplish plenty when it comes to blog writing: it has been a learning experience.
On here, I share my creative triumphs and struggles, my original works and even an occasional picture of a slice of my birthday cake. Late last year, I established a new web address and shifted my WordPress website to a self-hosted platform. This was in a bid to grow my readership and take advantage of features that would let me to do that, like SEO plugins. Within the next six months, I want to continue chronicling my writing experience and the reading events I’m involved in. I also want my blog to better reflect my life not only as an author and poet, but as a creative individual who frequently seeks new ideas and fresh ways of rendering old ones.
Why blog publicly, rather than keep a personal journal?
I do this because I can’t stop expressing myself through words and exposing the truth, while hopefully injecting a little snark here and there that perhaps I can’t get away with in polite company. I’m a relative introvert in person, but in my work, I can’t shut up, nor do I want to. It’s not enough that I weave different worlds through fiction, create images in poetry and recap real life in blog posts and articles. No, I keep a blog to give fellow authors and readers a behind-the-scenes look into my inspirations and my life (to an extent). I desire to uncover myself without taking off my clothes.