Lake Atitlan, Panajachel, Guatemala

“Reading and writing are acts of empathy and faith. Guard that trust carefully — in this rapidly changing business, it’s the only sure thing.” ~Erin Keane
"Never give up. And most importantly, be true to yourself. Write from your heart, in your own voice, and about what you believe in." ~ Louise Brown

"Write something to suit yourself and many people will like it; write something to suit everybody and scarcely anyone will care for it."
~Jesse Stuart

"A writer's job is to take one thing and make it stand for twenty." ~ Virginia Woolf

Friday, July 13, 2012

Why I Am Here

I've been thinking about the recent blog post by Damyanti Is Blogging Obsolete? It has made me think about why I am here. As one commenter said, "We should call it Writing on the Internet." Has a nice ring to it, doesn't it? And sounds prettier than the word "blog."

First, why I am NOT here:

To be controversial. I'll never write one of those posts everyone talks about and links to and goes viral due to its debatable and controversial nature. I'm a peacemaker. I like everyone to get along. Just ask my kids.Which is why I never talk politics in person or online. Can't stand contention.

To promote my books. My personal opinion is that writers need to spend more time writing and improving their craft than trying to convince people to buy their books. Do enough to get the word out then back off, that's my policy. Not saying it's the best policy for selling a zillion books but it feels right for me.

To become a better writer. Blogging doesn't help my writing skills. In fact, I think it hurts. There's a part of my creative brain that switches off when I go online, and getting it back is tough when it's time to work on the manuscript.

Then why am I here?

Because I like it and can't seem to stop myself.

To learn about what's happening with writers and publishers. Online is where the news hits first. It's where trends are started and I like to keep my finger on the pulse of the writing industry.

I love my laptop and feel happy when I use it and I can't be writing all the time, silly.

This is my writing club. I don't belong to one in real life so I come online to get inspired, informed, encouraged and understood.

That's me. Why are you here?

34 comments:

  1. I'm here to learn, connect, and support others.

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  2. This is my writing club as well as I don't belong to one in real life either. I've learned so much from the blogs in that respect. Plus like you, I really like it and can't seem to stop. :)

    I totally agree with you on the controversial posts too. I hate contention and definitely don't need that online. The blogging is very relaxing for me.

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  3. I think I blog because writing can be a lonely profession. It can be isolating. Blogging is a way of connecting with like-minded professionals.

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  4. i'm not here for all the reasons you stated. i *am* here to encourage, to offer some of myself to my blog visitors, and to stay connected with other writers. glad you're here too.

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  5. I enjoy seeing the common factor in writers. The ones that are the most interesting are the ones that don't shove THE BOOK, down my throat. They're the ones I've come to enjoy.

    I blog for a lot of reasons, encouraging others is a part of that. As writers we all have the same range of fears and problems regardless of where we are on the publishing food chain.

    I do belong to a wonderful writing group and have been a part of it since 2007 and I get a lot of encouragement (and knowledge) and swift kicks when needed. They've become dear friends to me and I've met many of them in person. But I also learn a lot and am encouraged by the blogging community.

    Sia McKye OVER COFFEE

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  6. Same reasons, Karen. AND to keep in touch with friends I've met through blogging. Some of them feel like family! And I'm here to support them in their writing as they've supported me.

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  7. I'm like Alex C. in that I'm here to learn as much as I can and be informed. But it is a little like a book club. My crit partner is online, and the blogs I like usually have the same readers who are loyal. You meet some really nice people, and you learn what blogs to avoid.

    I disagree that blog writing doesn't improve writing skills, when word choice, spelling, and sentence structure are just as important. That could be dependant on HOW a person blogs. (some blogs are more chatty and some are designed along the curating lines - to offer info or share knowledge.) All are good. Why must we always foretell the death of 'something'? It's all rumour!

    Good topic! Friday the 13th won't bother you if you don't acknowledge it.

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  8. I'm here because it forces me to write. The regular writing I've done over the last three years has improved my skills, and the information other writers have shared with me has helped me grow.

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  9. May I say HERE-HERE to you 'Why am I here?' post?

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  10. Cos I'm addicted! LOL! Take care
    x

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  11. I blog because I think the content of my blog helps people. And that's a good feeling.

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  12. I like the exchange of ideas. I see maybe 12-15 people a week in real life, so blogging connects me to a lot of different minds, a lot of different ways of seeing the world. I love that.

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  13. I feel like a part of me is missing when I'm not tapping on my keyboard; and no, I can't be writing all the time either.

    Blogging does make me think differently, and it has helped me improve article and report writing.

    But my fiction writing has improved because I learn from others - either through reading their process, collecting resource books or posted material.

    So I guess I'm here to grow and learn, but also to connect with people who are on the writing journey too. I need the support, and I hope I'm supportive to others also.

    ......dhole

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  14. I'm with you on the writing club. Bloggers are my friends. I've encountered so many great women since April. There's a social component to this, even though we never meet people face to face.

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  15. I'm kind of here for the same reasons as you are. I do believe it has helped my writing in the sense that it makes me write more and to meet deadlines.

    I enjoy debate and some controversy, but I don't usually like contentiousness or meanness. I enjoy logical discourse, but unfortunately it always doesn't stay in those realms. I'm very careful about expressing my opinion about certain issues though many of them I think are important to consider.


    Lee
    Wrote By Rote

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  16. Blogging is clearly losing its appeal for many because I've seen a drop off in posts, but I enjoy it, and I enjoy it for the reasons you mention, Karen. I have never felt obligated to join in with every blogfest or promotion. I just do it for me because I enjoy it.

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  17. Blogging is my connection to the writing community an maybe, one day, a connection to interested readers of a book or two I hope to have out there. But it is a much desired connection I hope to maintain for a while to come.

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  18. You've hit a nerve there. I keep kidding myself that blogging and visiting other blogs is all part of my writing day but in my heart I know it isn't. I got far more writing done before I joined this strange virtual world... but I'm happy here. *shrugs*

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  19. I tend to hide at home all day, so blogging is a way for me to remain connected with the outside world.

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  20. I'm here to connect and to try things out. I like essay writing and my blogging has improved my writing - I get feedback for the most part when I am clearest and most passionate. I like the diversity online and the freedom from aggresive marketing that is in some areas where creatives meet.
    note to my favourite bloggers: I wanted to stop by all my fave places and tell you that I’m sorry I haven’t been by much (or commenting). I’ve been on a tremendous writing jag – the likes of that I haven’t experienced since the year I left university (sixteen years ago – I was a late scholar). I have written 65 thousand so far since the beginning of June on a new book and fifty new poems (facebook every day with a photo). It is all great fun but it eats up all my time as I’m also working and trying to sell our house. I thought I’d take some time today and just tell you that I totally appreciate both your blog and your comments on mine and I will be back in full force soon! I have a mystery to revise and one to finish but I think I just revised too long and now I’m writing freeeeeee

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    Replies
    1. Jan, A writing jag is tremendous, well done and I'm jealous! I've struggled with the writing all year somehow getting the next novel done but I sure would love the feel of having what you're describing.

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  21. Good reasons to be "here"! And I'm glad you are.

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  22. Great post. So agree with all your reasons. XX

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  23. For the most part, I'm here to memorialize my life story a little bit at a time. I've also used it to write and present rough drafts of potential chapters for at least three books. Those things are pretty much lying dormant right now, but are still available to me and others under the label portion of my blog. If it was just that though, I would have stopped blogging and reading blogs long ago. I've (much to my surprise) discovered that I've really connected with some of the folks I've met and truly do love their blogs and having interaction with them.

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  24. All good reasons to blog. I sometimes write a controversial post, but chicken out of sending it... maybe I will one day - I quite like the idea of going viral :-)

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  25. "This is my writing club. I don't belong to one in real life so I come online to get inspired, informed, encouraged and understood."

    I concur!

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  26. Well said! It's a way to connect and that's really it. :)

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  27. I like how you put this. I love connecting with people, and doing something that might add value to others. I love to write, so being online allows me to do what I love for the people I respect most!

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  28. Hi Karen .. you've said it right haven't you - there's a wealth of information out there .. and from our supportive bloggers we can learn much and be directed on ... and as Angela says .. connect and add value ..

    Cheers Hilary

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  29. I am here because I enjoy connecting with writers and readers. Reading a book is a lonely experience but writing about them helps me to connect with others in meaningful ways. Sharing thoughts is a mind opening experience. I also like to write about writing because I have fun doing it.

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  30. Hi Karen, nice to meet you. I too have quite a few of the same reasons like you for blogging or as you put it 'Writing on the Internet.' I love connecting with other writers and getting inspired by them.

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  31. I'm here mainly because I'm retired and living in the country, 12 miles from anywhere and 100 miles from somewhere. Blogging gives me a chance to be creative, both with my camera and my stories. What I didn't realize when I started my blog was all the friends I would make. People from over 100 countries have visited my blog at one time or another and I am really thrilled about that. I am also deeply touched by the real friendships I have developed with other bloggers. How we support each other, help each other, someone even helped my dog with a harness when he was injured, and so on. I have bought blogger friends' books, helped raised money for blogger friends in need, and to stop donkey roping, and right now I signed up for something to do with dogs. I have to check it out, but still, all this makes me feel alive and part of life. And that's why I'm here. Thanks for you comment on my bird story, by the way, Karen.

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  32. ...this post may not go viral, but perhaps it should ;)

    I'm here because I write stories. Because without some form of literary release this writer tends to grow irritable. Writing keeps the muse content, the family life in harmony, the sun rising in the east. And whether Blogger fades with the seasons or not, us storytellers...we'll still be writing, somewhere ;)

    El

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  33. Interesting post! I like finding out the various reasons why people write blogs.

    I just started mine recently for several reasons - first, to share my experiences as a writer in case others find them interesting/helpful. Second, because I wanted to develop a community of writing friends online. Third, because I wanted to practice my non-fiction writing skills. I've been enjoying the pursuit of all three goals!

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