Tuesday, May 15, 2012

How Blogging Helped Me Figure Out I Was a Writer

As this is my first post on The Writers Vineyard, I’ll start with a really brief introduction: Hi, my name is Erika and I’m a writer.

I come from a long line of writers, actually. My mother is a writer, as is her mother. Family get-togethers more often than not result in manuscript swapping and griping about deadlines and writer’s block, which is so much fun for the non-writers in the family (I kid, of course. It’s no fun for them at all).

As for how I got started in writing, I’ll be honest: It wasn't my mom’s fault. Even though she taught me how to write, I’m afraid blogging is entirely to blame for my passion.

When I graduated from college in 2007, I started a job in Human Resources that I hated. Oh, how I loathed that job! By the time I’d logged four months with the company I was in dire need of a cathartic outlet.

Enter blogging.

Even though no one read my fledgling blog, I wrote on it every day. It didn’t matter that I toiled in obscurity because I was having fun. Unbeknownst to me, I was developing my voice as a writer, clearing the cobwebs of years of purely academic writing, and building a small audience of loyal fans. And here I thought I was just complaining about my nefarious boss.

When I signed up for National Novel Writing Month a couple years later, I found I had a whole group of strangers cheering me on from the Internet sidelines. Many of these people later went on to buy my first book when it came out last June.

The point is, blogging kept me writing when otherwise I might have let my skills languish. It helped me find my voice, it helped me find an audience, and it gave me something fun to do.

Marketing gurus are constantly pushing writers to develop their own websites and launch their own blogs. Most of the writers I traffic with find this assignment distasteful, but I’m here to say blogging can be a lot of fun if you let it. You never know where it might take you!


January Bain said...

Welcome aboard, Erika! I too have found a love of blogging. When I was first picked up by Champagne Books last March, I signed up for the Writer Vineyard gig with butterflies in my stomac;, turns out to be one of the best decisions in my life!!! Thanks guys!

Big Mike said...

Glad to have ya join the team, girl. You'll love our authors and followers. Great group of people and never seen one flamer, course there's always a first, right (g).

Michael Davis (Davisstories.com)
Author of the Year (2008 and 2009)
Award of Excellence (2011)

Julie Eberhart Painter said...

You are very right about blogging adding to your voice as well as your focus.

Two days ago, I was bogged down with a story going nowhere, and a character I couldn't like, what whiner. I had just finished Anna Quindlen's newest book (remember that she was a journalist for 30 years), Every Last One.

I decided to read the interview in the back. Wow! I had just read the entire book knowing it was first person, but missing that it was present tense. Brilliant. That tricky technique solved my problem, but more than that, it shows her skill.

Ute Carbone said...

Hi Erika! Good to have you here. I'm new too. We can be newbies together. It's a great place to be!

Jude Johnson said...

Hi Erika and welcome!
Congratulations on your first post here at TWV. Well said!

Annabel Aidan said...

In centuries past, writers kept journals, often with an eye to an audience at a future date. Now, we blog, with an eye to an immediate audience. It's still an important tool.

Welcome, and congrats on your book! ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT started life as a Nano novel, and then I pulled it apart for 5 years until it was where I needed it to be.