Well, friends, when I started the blog in late December of 2013, I was cautiously optimistic. I’d tried blogging a few years before. This Literary Life was meant to be a journal of the life and times of a working writer. Problem was the life of a writer, at least this writer, isn’t much different from everyone else’s. My posts on the struggle to finish a project or find an agent seemed so beside the point. “Who cares?” I asked myself. “Who needs to know that I wasted an afternoon playing sixty rounds of Free Cell rather than edit my new story? Is there anything insightful or even entertaining about it?”
No. Not really. And that’s probably why I abandoned my blog after a dozen or so posts.
To tell you the truth, I didn’t really “get” blogging. The advice from writer’s magazines and writer’s conference panels was that having a blog is critical if you want to land an agent and publisher, or, if you’re already published, to expand your audience. Yet, at the time, most of the successful writers I knew of didn’t blog. Some didn’t even have websites.
After This Literary Life faded away, any time someone mentioned blogging my brain automatically checked out of the conversation. Blah. Blah. Blah. Tell me another one.
Then came the Independent Publishing Revolution. Thanks to print-on-demand technology and the emergence of e-books, a writer no longer has to toil for years over a novel only to stack in her closet with all the others she couldn’t get the traditional publishing industry to take notice of. Now a writer’s career is in her own hands–from composition, to production, to promotion. Author websites are no longer a cool way for the as-yet-unpublished to feel like a “real” writer. They are home base for a genuine professional business and a way for a writer to connect with readers.
That’s a group I know something about. Not only because I want them, an audience of my own, but because I am one myself. A reader. Passionate. Obsessive. Voracious.
Writer. Reader. This book blog became a way for me to merge my twin identities. A place to compile my reactions to the books I read. E-books. Print books. Much loved classics by long-dead masters. Popular bestsellers. The debut offerings of indie adventurers. It doesn’t matter. Whatever the source, each book I feature gets a close reading and in-depth, careful critique.
Even better, this time around it’s no struggle finding material for my blog. I’m always reading. There is always a fascinating new author to interview. Sometimes I’m very very lucky and a writer I’ve reviewed or otherwise featured will grow into a friend. Someone to trade book recommendations with and moan to about how grueling and tedious it’s been editing my latest project.
Somehow, without really noticing, I’ve racked up 100 posts. I’ve enjoyed it, too. This book blog isn’t a chore. It’s FUN! Partially because I’m reading even more that I did before I started it. My television is getting dusty. And my Free Cell stats are in the toilet. I don’t have the time to play computer card games.
Too much to read.