D.C. Why do you blog?

I met D.C. McMillen on May 18, 2012. She commented on a Sydney Quotes the Movies (SQM) post I did on the greatness of Peter Berg.  Her comment, “I’m not sure if I’ll watch Battleship but I will definitely look for Very Bad Things and The Losers. I wanted to see both of those but they just fell off my radar so…thanks!”
A few month later, she was featured on Tattoo Tuesday.  Check out her tattoo story.  
I was super excited to have a blog swap with her today. You can check out my guest post on her site were I delve into sex, pizza and writing.  But, first, let me ask D.C., why do you blog?

First, congratulations on your one-year anniversary! Second, thanks so much for inviting me to celebrate the occasion with you. It’s good that I get out and about, really, so I truly appreciate the invite.

So now you want to know why I blog. Well, if you ask my boyfriend, he would tell you it is because I am an overly motivated, internet addicted nerd who simply isn’t happy to just relax and watch television with him for two or so hours every evening. If you ask my mother, it is because I simply must find an outlet to exude my creative genius. You gotta love moms but boyfriends can be pretty damn annoying, especially when their version of the truth is slightly more accurate than your biggest fan, the one who just happened to raise you.

I blog about shit that interests me, funny stuff that happened over the course of my day, ridiculous memories that just won’t die no matter how many extra-dirty martinis in which I try to drown them and, of course, my writing. In fact, my boyfriend sometimes asks me what I’m blogging about (not often but always during a commercial) (Doesn’t that sound like a Dos Equis ad? I don’t always ask her what she’s doing but when I do, it’s during a commercial). If my answer to his question is, “my latest release,” he will respond with something along the lines of, “You’re writing about your writing. Do you know how lame that sounds?” to which I usually respond, “It only sounds lame when you’re saying it, Buttercup. Now go back to watching Mythbusters.” But I digress….

What my boyfriend doesn’t get is that writing is an especially important marketing tool for a writer. It’s also a good warm up to get you through that inevitable writer’s block. It’s a great way to make connections and friends with writers and readers, practice your skills (especially editing skills, an area in which I need all the help and practice I can get, likely evidenced here by my overuse of parenthesis) and it’s a shitload more interesting than watching grown men wrestle gators or whittle duck calls on television. For me, it also helps me keep my good humour. When something stupid, annoying or otherwise unpleasant happens, the first thought that pops into my head is not a negative one. Instead I cheerfully think about how this is going to make a fantastic blog post.

So there it is. Why I blog!

Wait.

Since I’m here, and I did briefly bring up the whole a blog is a marketing tool thing, how about I plug my soon-to-be-released naughty little short story before I go? The Wedding is going to be available on April 5th at all of the usual online book retailer places.  Here is the blurb and, if you’re interested in winning a copy before the publish date, please leave a comment below.

The Wedding

TheWedding_500Karen is not the type to attend a wedding with a guy she’s only slept with once but, in a rare display of empathy, she agrees to accompany her new landlord Allan to this sure-to-be-boring function. Fortunately, Karen knows how to have a good time, and she’s pretty sure she and Allan can make their own fun…even if they have to do it in the outdoors just steps away from a couple hundred stuffy wedding guests.

Vikki, Why do you blog?

Here’s another addition of my 2nd year celebration. I would like to introduce you to Vikki Thompson from The View Outside. I first met Vikki on May 2, 2012. She commented on a blog post I wrote called Distracted, Again. Her comment:
“Hi :)I am sooooo distracted right now in my writing that I really am not one to offer advice lol. So I’m just stopping by (via the Insecure Writers Group) to say I know exactly how you feel :( There just aren’t enough hours in the day lol Good luck!!!!Xx”
She has been super support ever since. So, Vikki, why do you blog?

When Sydney asked me the question Why Do You Blog? I turned to Molly Greene for inspiration. These are the reasons Molly suggests as to why writers blog:

  • To connect to readers.
  • To practice craft, discipline, voice and style.
  • To form relationships with other authors.
  • To establish an effective platform.
  • To blog a book or 2.
  • To build an e mail list.

All valid “writerly” reasons, but none of these questions sum up WHY I (in italics BIG letters lol) blog (although the 2nd one is definitely something I’ve benefitted from).

At first I started to blog for my own selfish reasons, to keep a record of my writing journey. The things I learnt about writing, so that I could see progression (if there was any!) in my work. But what i discovered is that overnight, I became part of a community. A community of “writers” and i was accepted in with open arms. That was a bit of a shock. People commenting on MY Blog? Really? Why? It took me ages to get my head around that one lol.

You see, for me, Blogging = a community of like minded people who all share the same fears, hopes and dreams. I love the fact that chats, discussions and ideas cross oceans and time zones. I get support, a shoulder to cry on (when required) and a pat on the back just when I need it the most. In return, I do the same 🙂

So why do I Blog? Because no other social media gives me such a sense of belonging as my little corner of WordPress. I may not have thousands of followers, but i don’t care. Each and every one of my followers are part of writing family 🙂

That includes you Sydney! Happy Blogiversary xx

What about you? Why do you blog?

Tameri, Why do you blog?

My first 2nd year celebration post is from Tameri Etherton.  I meet Tameri on April 4, 2012. She commented on a blog post I wrote during the 2012 A to Z Challenge called H – History of Australia (Criminals & Drunks).  I’m sure the title had nothing to do with why she commented, but this is what she said, “I think ‘sculled’ is my new new favorite word (it was ‘goober’ until reading this). I’m assuming sculled means drank? If so, I’m totally using it in my next book!”
Thank you, Tameri, for all your support. So, Tameri, Who do you blog? 

That’s a tricky question. As writers, we’re told we need to blog, that we must find our readers and cultivate an audience, but to me, that seems trite. Dishonest, even.

I don’t blog to court fame, I do it for the simple reason that I like people and I always want to know their story.

Through blogging I’ve met some amazing people, like Sydney. People I wouldn’t normally have the chance to know if not through their presence online. Some of these people I’ve had the extraordinary pleasure of meeting offline. Whether I know them in person or just through cyber space, all of them have enriched my life in a multitude of ways that not only could I never count, but never repay.

That’s why I blog. As a thank you to those other bloggers out there and as a way to connect with people.

If my words can touch someone, then I’ve accomplished something remarkable.

If my words make someone laugh, then the world is a bit lighter for their laughter.

Words matter. Whether they be critical and harsh, or positive and full of hope, they influence the way we think, feel, speak, and live. I blog because my words are a connection from me to other humans out in the nether reaches of the Internet. They connect us.

And connections are what make my heart smile. Because in the end, a connection made is a friendship formed.

Friendships formed are stories shared. People are fascinating creatures with the most incredible stories to tell and I like hearing them.

What’s your story?

Progressive Book Club – Bird by Bird Top 10 List

Level Up! Blogfest post is below.

mlswift.blogspot.com

BirdbyBird

Welcome to the first discussion post of the Progressive Book Club, hosted by M.L. Swift.  This month’s selection, Bird by Bird written by Anne Lamott.I really enjoyed the book. It was funny and entertaining. I forgot it was supposed to be educational.

 What I took away from this book was a deeper understanding of why I love to write.  It reminded me, although being a writer can be frustrating and isolating and at times boring, there is nothing like the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual feeling  you get from writing.

Here are the top 10 lessons I learned from Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott:

  1. Writing and reading decrease our sense of isolation.  They deepen and widen and expand our sense of life. – It gave me a life.
  2. Do it every day for a while. – I struggle with this the most.
  3. The actual act of writing turns out to be the best part. – If I could remember how it feels all the time, I would no longer have a problem with #2.
  4. When my writer friends are working, they feel better and more alive than they do at any other time. – Again, that physical, emotional, mental & spiritual things I talked about before. 
  5. You get your confidence and intuition back by trusting yourself, by being militantly on your own side. – Writing taught me who I am and who I am, is ok. 
  6. Write an incredibly shitty, self-indulgent, whinny, mewling first draft.  Then take out as many of the excesses as you can. – Turning off and the edit button is hard and even harder to turn it back on. 
  7. Characters: it takes time for you to know them, you need to find out as much as possible about the interior life of the people you are working with, you are going to hate some of your characters, you are probably going to have to let bad things happen to some of the characters you love, plot grows out of character, the better you know them the more you’ll see things from their point of view, you have to get things quiet in your head so you can hear them and let them guide your story. – My favorite section of the book. I love the purposeful task of creating a good character. 
  8. The development of relationships creates plot. – You create some much for the reader if you focus on the relationships in your WIP. 
  9. Dialogue: listening, observing, storing things away, making your isolation pay off, each one must sound different, gives us the sense that we are eavesdropping, is the way to nail character. – Eavesdropping is the key.
  10. Jealousy is the business of comparing my insides to other people’s outsides. – I put this one on my inspiration board. It is so true.  Not a fair comparison, so stop doing it. 

Which piece of advice do you identify with most?  

My Weekly Update – Better Late Than Never

Twenty Seven days into 2013 and I now I am starting to understand.  Well, Better Late Than Never, right?

  1. I understand that my lackadaisical, laid back, ‘oh, I’ll get to it’ attitude about blogging is not for me.  I need a schedule. I am going back to announcing my schedule for the week – better late than never, right? 
  2. I understand that while I can’t spend all my time on social media and be a productive writer, I can’t ignore days of social media and expect to be on top of things.  Playing catch up all the time doesn’t work for me – better late than never, right? 
  3. I understood that I needed some time after my last job to relax and recharge.  But, 6 weeks out of work and I am bored and unproductive in every part of my life.  Far be it from me (What a great saying, I feel like my grandma) to use all this extra time to practice writing habitually, reading cognitively and editing effectively.  But, I am starting now – better late than never, right? 
  4. I am realizing that with so many opportunities out there for pitching/querying/submitting to agents/publishers on blogs/twitter/facebook/writer’s conferences. My three first drafts aren’t ever going to be ready, sitting on my desk unedited – better late than never, right?

Have you had any Better Late Than Never lessons learned this year?  

Awards

one-lovely-blog-award

Thanks so much to EM Castellan for the The Lovely Blog Award.

Also, a quick thanks and shot out to Karens Different Corners for awarding me the Liebster Award, although I am not sure I should except because I have more then 200 followers, I appreciate the recognition regardless. And, she is close to 200 herself, so follow her and prepare to gain knowledge and be entertained.

Post to Report On

Hey, Y’all: Dialect and Slang From the Write AngleAs someone from Texas, I have to practice not making all my characters sound like Texans.  What do y’all think about dialects and slang? 
Character Study by Left and Write – How much character development do you do before and during writing and editing? 
6 Things You Didn’t Know About Becoming and Published Author: a guest post by RaeBeth McGee-Buda on Amanda Fanger – #2 – Editing is Tough – I knew it. 
The First Draft Run Through Blues by Raewynn Hewitt – Makes me want to cry. 
Editing is Writing Too by Raewynn Hewitt – The push I needed to get off my butt and put my butt in the chair and edit. 
New Followers
Tim The Film Guy
William Stadler
Special thanks to my email followers as well.  
 

Next Week’s Schedule

Monday – Re-Introduce Myself Blog Hop
Wednesday – The Word Master Challenge
Friday – Imaginary Friend Blog Hop
Sunday – My Weekly Update

And, don’t forget to sign up for Blogging from A to Z Challenge on Wednesday, January 30, 2012.  Click the badge below for rules and Tips on Blogging from A to Z.

 

And, congratulation to Aldrea Alien for knowing her Bilbo/Gollum Riddles. Here are the answers:

1. Mountain.
2. Teeth.
3. Wind.
4. Sun in the sky shining upon daises on a hill.
5. Darkness.
6. Egg
7. A Fish.
8. A fish lay on a table. A man sat on a stool. And the cat got the bones.
9. Time!