A few people of late have been asking where I’ve been. The answer is I’ve been busy, quite busy finishing my … (wait for it) manuscript for the book that I will be publishing hopefully next spring!
I have learned such a great deal in a relatively short time about publishing a book. And I just have to tell you that after dreaming about being a published author for more years than I can remember, the idea that I am actually going to do just that kind of blows my mind to tell you the truth.
I recently visited Barnes and Noble shopping for the holidays, and as I walked out, the idea struck me like a lightning bolt, that maybe next year at this time my book would be selling (dare I say) on one of their shelves? Dream big or go home, right? The idea caught me off guard though, and nearly bowled me over. I left the store with probably a very strange look on my face which quickly faded replaced with a very wide smile. I always say the journey is as much fun as the destination. For now, I can dream big and see my book on the bestseller table as opposed to the marked down closing out section, and whether or not it ever even makes it into a Barnes and Noble store, for this moment in my mind’s eye, my book is sitting on the bestseller rack and it looks simply marvelous there. And my thinking is this, happy is happy, whether it’s a dream or a reality. Time spent happy is good for your soul, not to mention the actual heart muscle.
What I wanted to address in this post, is really not about publishing the book, I just had to tell you about it. I’m sure I will have much more to say about that in coming posts.
No, this post is about blogging, and how much I’ve missed it. This post is dedicated to my fellow writers/bloggers.
The other night I realized that I would finally have some time to post and I felt so doggone happy about it. I felt like I was going to be visiting a dear old friend, and I couldn’t wait. I actually stayed awake for hours that night thinking about what I wanted to say. I couldn’t wait to share my realizations in the hopes that some of them might help my fellow bloggers.
When I first started blogging and someone would like something I wrote, I would do as the site encourages, go “see what they are doing.” I started following one after another for about a week or two, but I realized quickly that if I followed everyone that liked my post, I’d soon have no time left for writing. I stopped “seeing what they were up to,” and began to write in earnest. I am so happy though that I did begin to follow a handful of bloggers as I’ve learned so much from them. They’ve come to feel like co-harts and I can see the ebb and flow that we each go through, the difficulty coming up with new material to write about.
Spending time working on the book has made me realize what an amazing and truly rewarding experience blogging is. Writing a chapter to a book can be a lonely experience, as there’s no immediate audience. You can write for days and days or months and months and not one person will respond, nor will your chapter travel to different countries. The connection with your readers, if it comes, will most likely be years down the road. And I’m sure that’s wonderful in its own right, but I’ve come to understand that blogging is something pretty unique and wonderful.
The gifts that have been bestowed on me as a modern day writer are beyond what I ever could have imagined. I can sit at my computer with the world’s music at my fingertips, my earphones sounding me as if I’m in a symphonic music hall, the internet a click away if I have a question or want to find the right word, or more importantly spell the word right. I’m dating myself, but when I first started working, I typed on an IBM Selectric (those must be in some computer museum these days.) It was something pretty amazing with the little ball that twirled around letting you type faster than ever before, and it even had a backup feature that let you correct your typos. Whooaaaa!
As a blogger, when I have expressed my thoughts on the page to my satisfaction, I have the ability to send them out into the world … I have to repeat that … I can send my thoughts into the world never leaving my desk chair. We take so much for granted these days. But I just want to do my part to remind all of you bloggers about what an amazing gift we’ve been given.
And whether we post every day or every week or once a month or less, it truly isn’t a race, and there are no rules. We are writers. We thrive when we can express ourselves on the page. We won’t always have something to say. But when we do, we have a forum to deliver our thoughts, our prayers, our dreams and our stories. I have learned following the few blogs that I do, that I don’t really care if someone lays low for a while. I’m just happy when I see that there is a new post. I love following Stuart M. Perkins’ Storyshucker. I haven’t seen many posts as of late, but I can tell you this, when he does, I’ll be reading it because his posts always make me feel good. And I will always smile when I see Paul S’s Pfeiffer Pfilms and Meg Movies posting yet another interesting take on Michelle and Meg.
This break I’ve taken has been eye opening for me in many ways.
My husband has been telling me for years, “honey, you are a writer.” And I’d respond trying to convince myself that he was right, “yeah, I know.” And then the little voice in my head followed, “well, not really.” In my mind, unless I had a published book, I didn’t really deserve the title.
I’ve come to embrace and claim the right to call myself a writer these past few months, and I thought at first blush it was because I was working to publish my book. But the other night while I tossed and turned drafting this post in my mind in the wee hours of the morning when I should have been sleeping, I came to understand that I will never again hesitate to think of myself as a writer. And that is, in large part, because of this experience of blogging.
I hope to blog for years to come, regardless of how many books I may write. Because blogging is nothing short of magical. And I think often of something that my writing coach taught me a few years back … there will always be people out there waiting to hear from me, my voice … and from you, your voice.
Back soon with news of my book, and whatever else creeps into my dreams.