I'll let you in on a little secret.
No, it's not that I have excellent taste in shoes, althought I appreciate you noticing. Waiting tables in patent leather stilettos isn't easy, but a girl's got to keep up appearances.
Actually, it's kind of embarassing. Ready? Okay, here goes. See, the thing is...
Blogging kind of freaks me out. Even now. As I sit here. Total freak-outage, along with some egregious made-up-wordery.
Yeah, I know. It's silly, right? Babealicious waitress like me, great taste in footwear, little black book full of hot-blooded werewolves and cold-blooded vamps (at least in this incarnation...in real life, the only thing scary about my husband is his driving), frightened of a little thing like the fabulous internets. But it's true. And maybe it's true for some of you, too. Because being a writer, I have discovered, does not necessarily equal supreme comfort with technology, much less an eagerness to gab a trail across cyberspace. After all, when we start out, it's often just us, a notebook/computer, and that fascinating little worry stone of an idea that we simply can't stop turning over in our minds. Nice and simple, or as simple as pulling an entire world out of your head and putting it on paper ever is.
Then, hopefully, we write the book.
And suddenly, whether or not we sell, we discover that ohmigod help me, there is more. And worse, at least for the technologically-impaired like me, it is online.
Cue the disembodied screams and clanking chains.
Like every good heroine, I railed against my fate, and it only got worse after I sold. I can't send posts out to the universe at large! I'll put my foot in my virtual mouth! Both feet, even! I'll inadvertently offend someone and get revenge spammed with grammatically tortuous ads for Viagra! Worse, I'll be BORING! In short, AAAAAGGGGGGHHHHH!
So after the insanity passed (sort of), what possessed me to take the leap into the virtual darkness and get blogging? Brenda discussed some of the common reasons we choose to blog yesterday, and those certainly hold true. Um, apart from the ego thing, at least in my case (see "Tirade of Despair" above). But what are some reasons you should give it a try, particularly as a writer? As a blogging newbie, I can think of a few. For one thing, it's a great creative outlet for someone who maybe possibly has some procrastination issues and also maybe possibly might suffer a brain implosion if she looks at Perez Hilton too many more times while trying not to freak about an onrushing deadline. Not that that's, er, me. Or anything. But writing begets writing, in my experience. And getting out of the storybox to play with something different once in a while, for me, keeps the joy in it. I got lucky. I stumbled ino a group of like-minded romance writers who also wanted to get their voices out there. And that brings me to the bigger, more important reason blogging is worth the old college try, and why I'm out here at all. Nope, not promo, though of course that doesn't hurt!
It's simple, really. I'm here because I like to know I'm not alone. Well, and also because I find myself ridiculously amusing, but that's a discussion for when you're not armed with our truly excellent banana cream pie.
Writers need support groups more than almost any other groups of professionals I know, mainly because when we're actually writing, we write alone. No, children underfoot, dogs asking to go out and a husband who suddenly doesn't seem to know where to find ANYTHING in the house do not count. Believe me, I know all about that. At its heart, this is an incredibly solitary profession. And no matter how much support you get from family, spouse, kids, pets (my cat is actually quite supportive), nobody is ever going to "get it" like another writer. Nobody has more info about the business, nobody is more interested in talking about what sort of hero your imaginary main man is shaping up to be, and nobody will understand your trials and triumphs like other writers. Writers are cool. Writers can rock a pair of virtual stilettos like nothin' doing. And best of all, you can say something like "I'm thinking of doing a paranormal chick-lit/historical hybrid with heavy erotic elements" and no one will bat an eye. In fact, someone will inevitably say, "Man, I wish I'd thought of that!" We need to be one another's therapy, because let's face it, writing is a wonderful, bizarre, kinda crazy thing to do. I finally decided that, if my chattering away about the stuff I know a little something about (writing with/despite little kids, learning to embrace sleep-deprivation as a way of life, how to make your dialogue crackle instead of clunk, for instance) helps someone, or even just makes 'em smile because they see themselves, then hey, we should ALL be blogging!
I used to be a computer-illiterate writer with nothing but a manuscript and a need for information. Now I'm a semi-computer-illiterate (just being honest!) blogger with a two-book deal and a diner full of friends. And I'm learning. It's a steep curve, but I'm learning. Why am I blogging? Hey, why not? There are lots of us out here, and networking is, as Martha would say, a Good Thing. So come out and play. Maybe jaw a little about how you started blogging, how you felt the fear and did it anyway, and what you've gleaned from the experience so far. And please, order some pie while you're here.
I mean, come on, sugar. It IS a diner:-)