Why do you write this blog?
I get this question a lot. One of last week’s AWP panels tried to answer it. They said: You do it because readers expect it. You keep it up because your agent tells you it’s a good idea. You set it up before you publish your first book because you won’t have time when your book’s coming out. You do it to “network,” so you can be “found,” to establish your “brand.” I can’t say any of these answers are wrong — after all, who am I, me with no book out there yet — but it all sounded so …… contrived.
One panelist even advised not to blog if your heart isn’t in it because you’ll look like a phony, and I thought, You have to tell writers this??
I’m just home from AWP. Haven’t even unpacked yet! I have a bag full of notes and books and, when my brain decompresses a bit, I’ll post more about what I learned. And there were so many great discoveries. Until then, the #1 best thing was spending every day and night with our posse. Here we are — minus Sherry who had to go home 😦 — at Laura’s book signing.
I don’t think I had one coffee, sandwich, cocktail, or meal by myself. What a treat, all this in-person conversation. As much as I like to imagine I’m a luddite, I must offer a special thank you to Text Messaging, as this wouldn’t have been nearly as easy without it. We might have been in the land of 10,000 writers, but we never had trouble connecting.
Well, okay, not never. There were those exchanges that went like this:
Are you here?
I’m in the lobby.
I’ll be right there.
Okay, I’m here. Where are you?
Between the bar and the registration desk.
I’m here but I don’t see you.
I don’t see you either!
Shit. I’m sorry. I’m in the wrong hotel!
Why do I write this blog? I created this space to connect, to be part of the conversation. It’s the place I go when I need to abandon my manuscript for an hour or a day or a week and write about something, anything!, else. It’s where I learn from the people who stop by. It’s where I rage about what’s setting my hair on fire. It’s where I share what I discover about books and writers and storytelling. But best of all? It’s where I connect with my people.