I tried out another writer’s group last month. They tell you it’s important to hang with other writers. I have some friends who write, but no critique group, so I was hopeful. The group was friendly and informative, with a wealth of common internet knowledge. One person was asking advice about ways to get people to her website, so I asked if she blogged. Then I defended blogging. That’s how I made no new friends.
They informed me that real authors hate to blog. Maybe, but I know some who cross the line. It takes too much time, they say. Boy howdy, no argument–it certainly does. There’s no money in it, they add. No money in napping with cats either. My writing is valuable and I won’t just throw it away for free. Now, wait a minute!
I have a confession: I don’t just love my blog; I’m in love with it.
In the beginning, I was shy. It was all I could do to hit the publish button after four hundred awkward words. Then I begged all nine of my friends to read my blog. When I checked the stats, if fewer people had read it, I worried. If I did write a blog that I liked, I was certain I would never write another as good. If I somehow managed to get two good blogs out, I knew I would run out of ideas before three. And no one ever left a comment.
Nothing about the blog was good, or fun, or remotely easy. Writing it was a scheduled, self-inflicted wound. So I did a crazy thing; I didn’t miss a deadline for almost six years. If that wasn’t bad enough, I gave myself assignments (to be humorous, to be poignant, to describe something hard to describe), and required myself to do the very best job of writing that I could. Gradually something shifted in my attitude and I found a voice. That’s how I fell in love.
Next, I fell in love with the readers who eventually contributed heartfelt comments, when my words finally invited them out. Hearing back from readers is still the best part. And with the confidence I borrowed from them, the memoir, Stable Relation, became possible. The whole thing worked a bit like a boomerang–logical but scary at the same time.
THIS WEEK: The next book is close. I completed the edit of Relaxed and Forward: Relationship Advice From Your Horse. I’ll give it one more read through, come up with the blurbs, and then it’s off to the book designer. It’s a combination of my best blogs (essays) on training advice for horses. Available by the end of the year hopefully.
There are a few local book events coming up soon for the memoir, Stable Relation:
Wednesday, November 18th, I will be at our favorite hometown tack store, Bingo’s D&S Saddle Shop from 6 to 8pm. In Kim and Diane’s words, “This book made us laugh and cry and has many of the “ah ha!” moments, so indicative of a great book. Thoughtful, brave, sentimental and stoic, it was a pleasure to read and we were only sad to see it finally end… so looking forward to Anna’s next book!” Space is limited so call for a seat. 719-634-6070, Bingo’s is located at 418 S. 8th Street, Colorado Springs.
Saturday, November 28th, I’ll be signing books at Covered Treasures Bookstore in Monument, Colorado from 12 to 2pm. They’re located in the Chapala Building, at 105 Second Street. (719-481-BOOK) This indie bookstore is a wonderful stop for holiday shopping. I hope to see you there.
Join us December 5th, Saturday, at High Prairie Library here in Falcon, Colorado between 1-3pm. I’ll be reading, taking questions and signing books. The library has also purchased books that will be available for lend soon. Libraries are the place dreams are born, come and say hello!
Is blogging the ugly step-child of writing? I guess that depends on how much you put into it, before you put your name on it. For me, one writes the other, and then returns the favor back again. In the end, it’s about getting meaningful words on the page. I’ll trust the rest to readers.