Friday, January 11, 2008

The Best Part of the Rollercoaster Ride

Tip of the Day: Blogging is good for your health!

Wow, what an exciting, wonderful week! More on that in a minute…

When I first started writing for kids/teens way back, oh-so-long ago, there wasn't a lot in the way of on-line communities for writers. There was the old yellow board on, and so I hung out there, mostly taking all the information in, posting only on occasion. Through that board, I placed an ad and formed my first ever on-line critique group.

Time went by, and new communities developed. Verla Kay's message board became the new place to congregate. I liked it there. I posted more and more. I got to know people. And people got to know me.

When on-line friends started blogging, I was like, "Oh my gosh, you mean, you write something, there, in public, and people will READ it? But, but, but - I'm not funny, I'm not entertaining, I'm not ANYTHING." And yet, I found I hung out on Livejournal more and more, reading people's blogs, commenting, learning, laughing, etc. And so, a couple of years ago, I took the plunge. I started my own blog.

And it was one of the best things I've ever done. I didn't start the blog to promote myself or the picture book I had out. I just wanted to be connected to other writers. Writing is a lonely business. I wanted to know I wasn't alone on this crazy rollercoaster we ride. And there is SO much to learn. Every day, I think I still learn something new.

This past Tuesday, I posted a celebratory Vlog (video blog), to mark the day my book hit the shelves. When I checked replies and friends' posts at lunch time from work, I was overcome with emotion by what I saw. Post after post giving me and my book so much love!

If you're a writer reading this, thinking about starting a blog, here's my unsolicited advice. Don't think of blogging as a way to talk, talk, talk about your book(s). If you use it that way, you'll turn people off and be disappointed about the lack of response to your posts. Blogging is a fun way to meet people, make friends, stay in touch with other writers and readers, and more. Of course, to make friends, you have to be a friend, too. Comment. Commisserate. Offer to help when someone needs it. Yes, it takes time, but I am here to tell you, it's SO worth it. Those friends will support you years down the road in ways you can't imagine.

It’s definitely a rollercoaster, this business we’re in. But you know what I discovered this week? It wasn’t reaching the top, seeing my book on the shelf, that was the best part.

It was the people beside me, like my blog buddies here at Author2Author, who made it the best ride a girl could ask for.

~Lisa, Miss Pinch Me I'm Pubbed


DeenaML said...

I felt the same way when I started my LJ -- and I only even did it bc I had to for an online writing class. I'm SO glad I did or I never would've "met" Lisa or any of the other supportive kidlit writers who also blog. It's such a great community and I'm so glad to be a part of it. Great advice, Lisa!

Emily Marshall said...

Lisa, this was so sweet. It almost made me cry. I agree, I love my online writing friends. It makes this journey so much more bearable.

Anonymous said...

Well said, Lisa! And you are entertaining and funny, but mostly, you're honest and sweet and that's why you're such a good friend to LJer's, Bloggers and beyond.

Lisa Albert

Ghost Girl (aka, Mary Ann) said...

Wow, Lisa. My DH and I just had this conversation. It's amazing how much this little box connects me to people. Writing can indeed be a lonely business. I feel I've made so many friends and gained so many mentors through the BB and blogging. I, too, had those trepidations, "...but I'm not funny, my life's too average, ..." Finally I just decided my own blog was a way to let my thoughts ramble wherever they needed to, and if somebody wants to jump on the train, fabulous!

I'm loving the A2A blog, so thanks, gals! All of you have a lot of support out here in blog land.

BTW--You are everything Lisaalbert said...and more!

brian_ohio said...

Hi Lisa,

Nice post. I agree... blogging has really changed my writing life. Made it soooooo much better. I'm not alone anymore. I'm not confused and I can get answers to any question. Plus critiques!!!

As far as book promotion, I think it just comes as part of the blog. It really just takes care of itself I think. Blogging is networking in a sense. The word gets out.

And I think you're funny. ;-)

p.s. 'I heart you' is next on my TBR pile. Can't wait!

Kristina Springer said...

So sweet and so true! I love my online writing friends!

Kate Fall said...

Oh, Lisa, I love your post and I'm so glad I got the chance to meet you online. And it makes me very happy that you had a great, friend-filled week!

Lisa Schroeder said...

Deena, you need to thank your instructor for making you do that! I'm so glad you did!

Em, good, I'm glad I'm not alone in crying at everything including Hallmark commercials.

Lisa, you are sweet too. {{}}

ghost girl, I don't think my husband understands how much my on-line friends mean to me. Over the years, he's gotten better, but I still think he is confused by it all sometimes.

Brian, I'm glad you started blogging. I love your posts. Keep it up! and thanks for buying my book. I hope you like it!

Tina and Kate, I'm glad I met you too! Can't wait to hear more about your writing/publishing adventures over the next year!!!