Very rarely, a year does both and 2011 is shaping up to be that kind of year.
The following questions have been asked in my own life:
- How to be a mom?
- How to blog?
- How to own a home?
- How to balance work, home and family?
- How to plant a garden and keep up a yard?
All of these questions share one common thread: the answers can’t be easily explained. You just have to forge ahead and try things out to see what works and what doesn’t. Sure there’s manuals, but it’s usually quicker to forge ahead and just try rather than reading 20 books first, especially with parenting.
I’d say the only exception to this “give it your best try” approach is blogging. There are a number of wonderful resources available for bloggers. However, I recommend a shortcut: the social media genius of Kristen Lamb (known affectionately to her followers as “The Lambo”).
Kristen’s books We Are Not Alone–The Writer’s Guide to Social Media and Are You There, Blog? It’s Me, Writer should be required for ANYONE who wants to blog, but most especially for writers.
If you have a blog, want a blog or just have the idea of one tickling the edge of your mind, I’d make fast tracks for Kristen Lamb’s Blog. (Maybe you can finish reading this one first…) Her current series on Sacred Cow Tipping is not only funny, it’s informative, and has sent some bloggers screaming into their pillows.
She says that your blog should…
OMG, I can hardly say it…
That’s it. No big hidden secrets of blog success (besides getting yourself on social media so people can find you and your genius). Your blog should be about the things you love and the things that interest YOU. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t interact with your followers, just that every blog starts with you.
I sum it up as: you need to be authentic.
The same way a writer’s fiction shouts, “This is who I am,” your blog will too. I’m pretty sure that’s why so many bloggers ran screaming for their pillows when Kristen posted this on what writers should blog about (hint: not just writing).
I’m sure many of them were thinking: You want me to be personal? To hang my passion out naked for the world? Are you kidding me? This is NOT Weiner-gate, this is MY BLOG.
Authentic is scary. It’s exposing and humbling and real.
When I paused to ponder wonderful real blogs that showcased who these bloggers are, the following came to my mind right away:
- Piper Bayard sharing memories of her dog, Bear. She opened up that dark part of her soul to the world and I can assure you her story helped countless others.
- K.B. Owen revealing that she was terrified to go to a writer’s conference.
- Amy Shojai worrying about work/life balance.
- Shellie Sakai discussing her fears about fitting blogging into her life.
- Just last week, Angela McGill did an awesome blog about a hairbrush and bloggers everywhere rolled out the red carpet for James Rollins.
(See, it doesn’t have to be a dark abyss of the soul sort of thing!)
- Along the lines of original and funny is Leanne Shirtliffe’s (aka Ironic Mom) blog on children’s books. It made me want her for my next door neighbor!
- Kristen Lamb’s blogs where she fesses up about her junk drawer and her insane addiction to Febreze are a stitch.
I realized last week that I’m addicted to all-things-blog.
It could be that, as a writer, I’m just innately nosy about other people and what they think, do and feel. Or that I’m interested in forming a relationship with the people I find intriguing. But here’s what I think it’s really about:
In today’s world, where “reality TV” is staged and we watch our public figures lie without qualm, our blogging pals to give us an important slice of real.
What do you like about blogs? Have you come across any lately that feel fun or different to you? What are the three things that make you bookmark or subscribe to a blog?
REMINDER: I’ll be sending an email to the winners of the June webinar this weekend so we can set up a time to party meet. The Let’s Meet Up contest continues through next month and I am still entering your names in a hat every time you comment to pick out 15 lucky winners for the July webinar. When you link back to this blog from your blog, I enter your name in twice. Now that’s some “blog love.”
See you tomorrow for some relationship fun! If you want to be prepared, here are some other dating/relationship posts.