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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

TO BLOG OR NOT TO BLOG



For the last few years I've been fighting being sucked completely into the online world and ending up like Tron fighting my evil cyber self. I successfully resisted joining the MySpace crowd. But as Facebook began to take over the universe I succumbed to the inevitable. The Internet gods demanded my surrender. Resistance was futile. Now I'm addicted. I admit it I'm a total Facebook junkie. Anyone who is interested in my basically boring life can Like my page at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Elysa-Hendricks-Author/137316289643103
 
So far though I've managed to avoid being sucked into the Twitter world. It's bad enough I'm a Trekkie or is that now Trekker? I don't need to be a Tweeter, too, do I? Forget the world of Smartphones and texting. My phone is totally stupid, it does two things, makes calls and receives calls.

And Blogging? Well, the whole concept makes me shudder in dread. Occasionally I'll read a well written blog on a subject that interests me and I almost always read my friend's blogs, even if I rarely post a comment. But I'm a fiction writer. I write about imaginary people, places and things. And I've been told I do it fairly well.

Now I'm being told in order to be a successful fiction writer, in order to appeal to readers I have to blog. Blogging is a whole other type of writing from fiction. It's non-fiction. And it's supposed to tell the reader something about me, so they'll be inspired to read my books. Duh? Again, my life is totally boring. How can telling the reader about it let them know how exciting my imaginary fictional worlds are? I don't get it.

When I think of writing a blog I'm thrown back into the hell of high school and college English composition classes. To me a blog is another word for an essay. Essays, those horrible things teacher from grade school through college seemed to love to inflict on their helpless students. What I Did On My Summer Vacation. What I Want To Be When I Grow Up. My Most Memorable Character. Or 500 hundred words On A Historical Figure. And then there's the most terrifying essay of all - the college thesis. Each of these essays is judged on a wildly subjective scale determined by a person who controls your future and has already read a dozen or more mind numbing essays before yours.

So you can understand my entirely reasonable consternation at the thought of writing what for all intents and purposes is nothing more than an ungraded essay.

But wait. It is graded and judged and often more harshly than any teacher ever could. It's judged by you - the reader. For a writer looking to engage and encourage readers to check out and possibly buy my fiction, finding something to blog about is a daunting task. Like I've already mentioned, compared to my fiction my personal life is bland and beyond boring (but that's a subject for another essay) so what could I possibly blog about that would interest people who enjoy reading about exciting romances, cowboys, Indians, love affairs, vampires, werewolves and future societies set in space?

So now you understand why the thought of writing a blog gives me pause. That said, I hope you enjoyed getting to know the "boring" me.

7 comments:

woolfcindy said...

The worst part about blogging is coming up with a topic to blog about. Give me a topic and I can blog forever.

Elysa said...

Give me a topic and I can ramble on about it for hours, but I'm not sure anyone would want to read it. :-)

Roxy Boroughs said...

I think the big challenge of blogging is standing out from the crowd. With so many people blogging, now, how do you create interest?

Nancy Morse said...

The thing about blogging is, I can't imagine anyone being interested in anything that goes on in my dull life. Does anyone really care that today I had eggs for breakfast instead of shredded wheat? I can go on forever about my books but that would turn people off in a hurry. So, I'm stuck in the blogging dilemma. If I do, how do I convince people that I'm not as boring as a piece of wood? And if I don't, how can I expect to attract new readers? I have a hard enough time coming up with tweets.

Lynda Bailey said...

I so understand the pain surrounding the reality that we all have to blog. Gotta get your name out there, right?

As for topics, I kinda cheated on that, or at least I did back in the day when I blogged pretty consistently twice a week. As a fitness instructor, I'd blog about health and fitness.

What's disheartening to me is having spent the time and energy to write something kinda intelligent and then no one comments. THAT'S high school hell for me. Being the girl nobody wants to dance with.

Thanks so much Elysa for a thoughtful post.

Elysa said...

I actually "cheated" with this blog. It's recycled from one a did earlier this year. :-) Couldn't think of anything to blog about. Thought about doing something about the election, but I'm so sick of the subject I couldn't stomach writing about it.

It never ceases to amaze me which blogs are popular and which ones just lie there unread. I think sometimes a catchy title is the most important aspect of a blog. If you don't grab the reader's attention and interest with the title, they don't even bother to check out the blog.

Lynda - I totally remember High School Hell. Never did sit at the "cool kid" table. :-(

Diane Burton said...

Love this post. Our stupid phones are almost the same--mine takes pictures. Whoo-hoo. You're right about blog topics. It amazes me which ones garner comments & which don't.

When we were in high school, we should have banded together & had our own table. :)

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