Will I be a Successful Blogger?

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Secret of Success.”

In case you guys haven’t been paying attention…  I’m writing my first novel!  YAY!!!

As I’ve said in previous posts, it’s been a really long time since I wrote fiction.  (Or anything just for fun, really.)  So, when I started working on my book I quickly realized that I needed some help.

I’ve read a TON of books on writing. If you read my post on sucking then you know how that’s been.  Although, I just started Stephen King’s On Writing – LOVE it!  Recommend it to both writers and non-writers (but not if curse words offend you – he has a potty mouth!).

I’m also taking a class called 12 Weeks to a First Draft at Writers Digest University.  This has been immensely helpful!

The most consistent advice I’ve received is just to write – and not just when working on my novel.  And that’s what started the whole idea for this blog.  It was supposed to just be a place for me to write.  But in these few short weeks since I started blogging, it’s become so much more than just practice for me.

It’s a place that I come when I’m having a bad day.  I have discovered that the blogging community is supportive, fun, and laid back (and often sarcastic – which I love!).  You get support from all over the globe.  And there’s always someone who can relate to what you’re going through.  With an internet full of bloggers and blog readers, bad days just aren’t so bad.  You guys rock!

It’s also a place to engage my competitive side (which I should have expected, but didn’t).  Everyday, I want to exceed the number of visitors and viewers from the previous day.  I find myself sometimes checking my stats a little too often…

Do you know how competitive a person has to be to compete against themselves?

Let me just give you an example…  I’m a runner, I love to run races.  This includes my own personal “race” at the grocery store.  After my shopping is done, I figure out the average cost I spent per item – and I “place” myself.  The goal is always $2.00/item.  So if I come in at $2.00 or below, it’s like coming in first place.  $2.00 – $2.10 is 2nd; $2.11 – $2.29 is 3rd and anything above that is dead last.    I once saved over $100 in coupons, but my average was $2.34/item.  My husband was very happy, but I was secretly crushed.  (Yes, I know how sad this is.  I have a problem.)

So, how will I know when my blog is successful?  The truth is, I don’t know.

Do I hope to have 1,000’s of followers one day?  Yes, of course!  But, that’s not what I’m basing my success on…

In a way, I already feel like it is a success.  My confidence has increased so much from the support I’ve found here.  I know that our blogs are supposed to be written for our readers, but the joy I get from writing here is really for me.  I don’t have a huge group of followers, but I do have some pretty loyal ones and that’s so much better!

“Basically, you suck and have no chance of ever not sucking.”

I’ve been reading a LOT of books on novel writing lately.  Especially if they focus on writing your first novel.  Many times, I’ve finished the book and been left with this thought:  “Why am I even bothering to write?  I suck.”

All of these “helpful” volumes insist that, since I’ve never been published, I will never be published – unless I use self-publishing.

My favorite take away:  If I want to improve my writing, that means that I need to improve my writing, and since the craft of writing is not something that can be taught (it is, of course, an innate ability given to a select few at birth), I have zero chance of ever improving my writing.

WHAT???  I don’t think that was what Hemingway meant…

It’s none of their business that you have to learn how to write. Let them think you were born that way.

I bought these books to learn, not be told “I’m going to tell you how to write a good book.  But since you bought this book, you don’t have what it takes to write one yourself.” Continue reading