Monday, December 28, 2009

Evolution of a Blog

Do you remember when you first started blogging? Did you have specific goals?

I actually started off on Live Journal. I thought I would post excerpts from my book, an agent would see how brilliant my writing was and sign me up right away. Ha!

Crazy as it sounds, that actually happened to someone I interviewed: Jessica Burkhart. Last year this time she was anticipating her first book release. Now she has six Canterwood Crest books out!

But when the agents didn't line up at my blog begging for attention, I thought maybe I should go the editor route. After all, when I interviewed Beth Kephart she told me she found an editor before she got an agent.

I also thought blogging would be good inspiration for writing. Like Val Hobbs, Robin LaFevers and Thalia Chaltas, I am not the type to work on my novel every day. But blogging is writing. And I could do that close to every day.

Last year my goal for this blog was to meet other writers and share a little about my writing journey. But as a freelance writer, I love interviewing people, researching them, getting to know them, finding out things that no one has asked them before. It took me a while to realize it, but the blog was the perfect place for a writer to interview writers, editors and agents. Not only do these people inspire me, they're full of great tips and just plain fun to get to know!

So the goals for my blog have evolved and I'm sure they have with yours, too. This coming year I have even more interviews lined up for the blog. I know self-promotion is hard for many authors, so my goal isn't just to get big name interviews. I plan to keep on focusing on writers who aren't household names yet.

I also have one little goal for myself: sign with an agent and get my books in print. Okay, maybe that's two goals, but they pretty much go hand in hand :D

What did you accomplish last year and how do you plan to conquer the world in the coming year?

------------------------------------

Today is the 11th Day of Christmas -- just one more giveaway after today!

The winner for the 10th Day of Christmas is:



Congratulations, Shelley! Email me at solvangsherrie at gmail dot com and let me know which book you'd like me to send from Day 10.

For the 11th Day of Christmas drawing, Choice #1 is Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. Choice #2 is Troy by Adéle Geras. I know some of you really wanted Troy, and believe it or not, it is still up for grabs. Leave a comment before 10pm on Tuesday and it could be yours!

32 comments:

Lady Glamis said...

I started blogging when my friend started a family blog (because her husband made her finally do it). I thought, oh, cool, I can do this for writing! Then it just took off from there. Now I have about 12 blogs I think. I only share a few publicly. I'm nuts.

Hey, everyone's publication journey is different. You never know what could happen!

Thanks for the extra game cartridge for Darcy. She doesn't quite "get" the game system yet, but we'll work on it. :D

Karen Denise said...

I started on Live Journal too and it was a place for me to post fanfiction. I found the blogspot because a lot of agents and writers use it and I started one to comment on posts. Now I want to share informaton, get help and learn, learn, learn! I'd love to find an agent here, that would be AWESOME, but if this just a tool for me to gather and give info, then that's good too.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

I started blogging this year because I heard that writers need a platform. I knew little and learned a ton from so many writers, editors and agents who blog. It's been a wonderful experience.
Next year, I really want to complete one of my novels-in-progress so I can try to get an agent. Big goal.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

My original hope was similar to yours - that I could post samples of my writing and maybe get lucky like Billy Coffey did. It didn't take long at all, though, for me to realize the real benefit comes from the friendships, the collegiality, and the limitless support to be gained from being part of a circle of writers. :-)

Rachele Alpine said...

I love your comment about not working on your novel every day, but blogging. It's so true, blogging is writing, and I like that way of looking at things (it makes me feel productive, like I DO write every day!).

I started blogging this year to document my journey from getting an agent (eeek!) to beyond. I'm fairly new to the blogging world for writers, but I love all the new people I'm meeting through my readers!

My blog is a great way to get my thoughts out and watch myself grow as a writer. It's still a fairly new blog, but I love seeing my post list grow, subscribers and comments!

www.freckle-head.blogspot.com/

Solvang Sherrie said...

Glam: I actually did start a family blog years ago, but I only made a few entries. A complete stranger made a rude comment about my kids and it kind of freaked me out. Have fun with Darcy and the game system. I personally found myself addicted to that alphabet game :)

Karen: You just gave me a great idea because my son loves to write fan fiction, but he's never posted it on his blog. What a perfect outlet!

Tricia: It's a good goal!

Shannon: I've been amazed by the great writer friends I've discovered through blogging. That's been the most wonderful part of this experience!

Rachele: Blogging is a great way to collect your thoughts and make new friends. Congrats on the agent! That's a big accomplishment for the year!

DebraLSchubert said...

This last year has been monumental for me in terms of my writing. I completed four novels and signed with an agent. This next year I hope will be even more amazing. My book will go on submission in a few months and then I hope my dream of publication will be realized.

As far as blogging goes, I started my blog 9.30.08. My goals were networking, becoming more accessible, and building a following. I feel I've accomplished this and so much more. As crazy as it sounds, I feel I've found an extended family through my blogging. It's beyond my wildest dreams. ;-)

TerryLynnJohnson said...

Like this post! Got me thinking about where my blog started too. I was forced into it knowing that writers should have one, but quickly grew to love it. The best part for me is the blogging community of writers. So supportive and encouraging. When I got the news this year about my novel being published, I couldn't wait to share it on my blog - with peeps who can relate to the accomplishment.
My next goal will be to possibly get an agent and sell my next novel!

Indigo said...

Honestly I started blogging to keep track of my journey with Pickles (my working dog for the deaf). Over the span of two years it evolved into something more.

Somehow I was able to write in such a way, I could bring my readers into that exact moment, to feel what I was feeling. More and more the comments started asking when was I going to write my first book.

Last May an opportunity arose and I took it. Strange enough I wrote a book in a genre I've never ever considered and it wasn't a memoir.
As of this comment, said book is sitting with an agent and I'm finishing off my 1st draft of a second and itching with an idea for a third.

I've also left the original blog and started one that focuses more on the writing journey. The thing is and I think many of us forget this simple fact - Writers are human. So it should be expected on occasion to get a glimpse in a writers life on their blog. At least that's my story and I'm sticking to it. (Hugs)Indigo

Caroline Starr Rose said...

This year I started blogging, signed with an agent, and started the submission process (so nice to be doing this with someone else!).

I started my blog at a time that worked for me: I'd just quit teaching to focus on my writing and felt I had to make some big decisions about being visible in the on-line community.

I'm so glad I didn't start any earlier. It would be difficult to be starting out and blogging, for me, at least. Those years of quietly writing on my own were what I needed to be where I am today.

WindyA said...

Good luck with the new goals for this year! I'm working through my list as we speak.

Great perspective you give, though. There are a lot of us who have those whimsical dreams about being "discovered" like waitress/actresses who move to Hollywood/New York to become the next big thing.

beth said...

I started blogging because I had absolutely no writing credentials to my name. And while I certainly didn't have any agents find me specifically because of my blog, every agent I talked to when I was offered representation recently mentioned that they read my blog and my website. So it's definitely worthwhile--if for no other reason than to be prepared.

Susan R. Mills said...

I started blogging to document my journey. I never thought anyone would actually read it, but when they did, I decided it needed focus. So I started blogging about writing. It is now a means for me to connect with other writers.

Solvang Sherrie said...

Debra: You have had a HUGE year! And the coming year sounds like it will be just as exciting. I'm going to be interviewing YOU before long :)

Terry: The encouragement from other bloggers has been fabulous for me, too! Good luck on your next goals!

Indigo: Funny how these blogs evolve, eh? Good luck with your writing :)

Caroline: What a great year you've had! It sounds like the timing worked out beautifully for you.

Windy: I think all artists (fine arts, writers, actors, musicians) tend to be more whimsical than the general population. Good luck with the list!

Beth: Be prepared -- the Boy Scout mantra that my father drilled into my head :) It worked for you!

Susan: It's always surprising and wonderful to find those connections with readers, isn't it? You've done a great job of that with your blog.

MG Higgins said...

Most of my writing friends were blogging and I tried Live Journal but just couldn't get into it. Last May I started on Blogger and I guess the timing was right because it "stuck." I love the connections I'm making and I've learned so much about writing--I never realized what a great resource blogging can be.

Niki said...

Hi Sherrie,

I'm halfway through a writing for children course and have sold 3 short stories to a pony magazine.

In 2010 I want to complete a chapter book and continue writing stories for the magazine.

I have recently started a blog (which you kindly leave comments :o)) but I find it very hard to write on it. It doesn't come out naturally, which is frustrating because I thought it would help me to write everyday. Perhaps I'm trying too hard :o)

Kelly said...

I did well on my writing goals. This is the first year I actually got paid for my writing (several magazine acceptances) so I am thrilled about that. This year agent/manuscript acquisition is my BIG goal. My little goals are a few more mag acceptances, finish one poetry collection, another chapter book.
My initial blogging goal was to connect with writers, get my name out there, and have a place to write about whatever I wanted. I'd say those are still about the same, hopefully one day I can add promote my book on it!
Good luck with your goals, Sherrie!

Robin said...

I love the idea of having a GOAL to your blogging. And your interviews have been awesome...can't wait to read more.

Your post has inspired me to think about my own blogging goals...hmmm...

:-)

Lisa and Laura said...

I think I might have done things backwards...I started writing so I could have a blog. I've spent my whole life looking for an excuse to blog, but I was never doing anything interesting enough.

So glad we met you in the blogosphere Sherrie! We think you're just fabulous.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

I have another award waiting for you at my blog, Sherrie! :-)

Solvang Sherrie said...

MG: There are things I like better on the LiveJournal platform, but overall I prefer Blogger. And yeah, blogging is an amazing resource.

Niki: Congrats on selling the stories! It's always great to see your name in print :)

Kelly: It's nice to get paid for the writing! We'll have to keep encouraging each other on the BIG goals.

Robin: I love doing the interviews so I'm glad when people enjoy reading them. The goals keep me focused :)

LiLa: Everything you guys post is interesting! I think the blogosphere has been much more entertaining since you showed up :)

Shannon: Thanks!

The Things We Carried said...

My goal is to query an agent. My goal last year was just to have people read MY blog :). And they did! Much to my surprise ;0!

Maureen Hume said...

Gosh, where to begin...? I don't blog, but I hang around other people's and kinda feed off their energy. So perhaps my goal should be to get really courageous and start my own blog. Hmm...not sure about that, feels too scary.
I achieved a lot of personal goals last year, but I have a stronge feeling of not quite getting it right, so I think my new years goal will be to try and 'publish well' not just get published.
Maureen. www.thepizzagang.com

Jackee said...

Livejournal HATES me. Hates. We're still working through our issues. But I do love to blog. I'm still trying to figure out what niche I want (which is why I have several blogs, I suppose). Also, sometimes I feel like I'm too pretentious in my postings.

Your blog, however, is awesome and has just the right amount of everything. Thanks for being so vigilant!

laurel said...

I started blogging back in 2001, but stopped in 2006 because I wanted to focus my energy on fiction. Then facebook came along, and my old blog seemed pretty pointless.

I got back into blogging this year as a way of getting connected to a writing community and having partners in the journey. I'd say that "connectivity" has been my big accomplishment this year. I've gotten involved in two critique groups and with their help may finally lick this whole revision thing I've been picking away at for almost two years. Oh, and I got as far as a request for a full with one agent.

Suzanne Casamento said...

Sherry, your blog is awesome! A great resource for author interviews, book reviews and writing tips. Plus, you're a whole lot of fun. Thanks for posting such great stuff.

And I'm willing to bet you meet your agent goal this year.

As for meeting my goals, I survived 2009. And that was enough for me. ; )

Crystal said...

Hi Sherrie!

Last year, my biggest accomplishment was not finishing my novel (I'm sad to say), but starting my blog, which I'm SO HAPPY I finally got around to doing! My goal was (and still is) to meet other writers and share a little about my writing journey. And in that process, I've learned much more about writing and querying than I could have ever imagined! And I've met so many amazing bloggers, including yourself! My goals for 2010 include entering a few contests (which I'll be posting info on soon), querying agents for my MG novel, and being more consistent in my blogging.

Here's to a great New Year to all of us aspiring writers! :)

Kelly H-Y said...

My two goals match yours! :-) Happy New Year ... looking forward to a wonderful year!

Lori W. said...

Sherrie, I love your blog interviews, and so ya' know, I sat next to one of your interviewees at our SCBWI holiday schmooze. She raved about the informed questions you fired at her.

I'm crossing my fingers for you on that personal goal, too!

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Tip-toeing back in to say I've left something on my blog for you. ;)

Solvang Sherrie said...

Meridith: You have created a fabulous blog. Good luck with your querying in the coming year!

Maureen: If you build it, they will come :) Good luck!

Jackee: I think it does take some time to figure out what you want your blog to be. Hope you and Livejournal find common ground :)

Laurel: Yay for the request! An amazing author once told me to celebrate every milestone and that request definitely qualifies.

Suzanne: Sometimes just surviving is a HUGE accomplishment! I'm glad you like the blog :)

Crystal: Consistency really is key when it comes to blogging. I think you're off to a great start. Good luck with your 2010 goals!

Kelly H-Y: Great minds think alike! I think we're going to have a great year :)

Lori: Thank you and thank you :)

Tricia: I'll have to tip-toe back over there and have a peek :)

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