“The natural writer hopes to communicate – to present somebody else his interpretation of life.”
- Booth Tarkington
“What do you get out of writing your blog?”
It’s a good question, raised by someone near-and-dear who has been following my blog since the very first post. Herewith, my answers, for there are a few:
1. Marketing: Emerging writers need to make themselves seen/heard/read, and to do so, they need to battle their inner Reluctant Blogger and make some noise. No-one else is going to do it for them. It was with shaking hand that I pressed “post” on my first blog, to say nothing of the following ten or fifteen blogs, and my family had to drag me out from under the bed repeatedly until I became more comfortable with the whole business.
2. Exercise: Writing two blogs every week is great for keeping the writing chops in shape. It’s similar to a musician warming up with scales and arpeggios. And it helps to keep the old writerly curiosity gland going.
3. Communication: I was pleasantly surprised during a recent visit backstage at my usual place of work, following a splendid concert of Mozart and Schubert (boy, those guys could write a fine melody!) (and boy, these guys sure can play ‘em!). It was great to crawl out of my cocoon and put on some lipstick and get out in the world. I hadn’t seen my colleagues in at least a month, and was delighted time and time again as this violinist and that bass player and the other horn player told me how much they enjoy reading the blog, and how they’re getting a kick out of this one-sided sense of contact with me. Writing the blog twice a week takes me out of my cocoon at least a little bit, and there’s no lipstick required.
4. Reader response: Wow! I had no idea. Margaret Laurence brought me the first truckload of responses, impassioned emails about the effect her writing has had on them. Feedback, good and bad, is the greatest thing for a writer, and knowing one’s instinct is pointed in the right direction gives the ultimate satisfaction. To judge by the responses I had to the Remembrance Day blog, I was definitely on the right track. I’d written and tossed three different Remembrance Day blogs of my own, until I finally realised the perfect story was waiting to be posted. You can’t imagine how moving it was to know that readers were touched by my dad’s story, some of them enough so to send it on to their friends and loved ones.
Next time I’ll post a hanky alert. I promise.