I’ll love you more if you blog
***posted with my sister’s laughter & consent!***
OK, so the title’s a lie. You know I love you times infinity.
Still, as your big sister, I feel compelled to share with you some actual benefits of blogging as an author. This is because:
(1) You are about to finish writing your first novel, handily meeting the “author” requirement,
(2) I still know better than you* and can’t let you forget it, and
(3) I am just that helpful.
The list that follows is by no means comprehensive, but that’s only because there’s not enough time to share all my expertise. Also, my fingers would get really tired from typing that much.
In descending order of importance, these are the reasons you should start your very own blog:
(1) Because I said so.
(2) Chipmunks told my friend Julie that the unicorns will cry if you don’t start a blog.
(3) Your words consistently move me; blogging will enable those words to reach the hearts of many others. You’ll do some of this by your book**, but blogging will allow you to express different facets of yourself.
(4) Many people like to know about the author in whom they’re investing, not just the book. For indie authors like me, a blog is an essential marketing tool, but even if you opt to publish traditionally, there’s only so much marketing a publishing company can do. By supplementing someone else’s presentation of you with your own expression of yourself, you’re creating a package that will be irrepressible. Kinda like my love for you.
(5) Even as an author, blogging isn’t just a “marketing tool.” It’s also a research tool***! Unlike writing a book, where a lot of your feedback will come via reviews not intended for author input on third party sites, you can see quickly what does and doesn’t work for readers. You learn really quickly what wasn’t as clear as you thought it was, as well as what really strikes people. It isn’t always what you expect, especially at the beginning. Best of all, you can talk to people. You can ask them questions about where and why they had questions, and use their answers to write more clearly in the future.
(6) Best of all, blogging builds community. Sure, you learn a lot about people as readers, but you also learn about them as themselves. So much more of the world is illuminated through learning about these people, who become friends regardless of the fact you’ll never meet many of them face to face. If you’re like me, as you only naturally aspire to be, you’ll find you derive strength and joy from the connections you build by blogging, and you’ll find support that’s as invaluable when you’re trying to establish your voice as it is freely granted.
(7) You don’t actually have to write depressing stuff. I just like to do that. Julie, for example, writes a lot about chipmunks. Thoughtsy prefers to write about Pop Tarts and frozen yogurt. Renee writes news much better (and funnier, which is really the important part) than news people do. Peg is indignant about many things and likes to express her indignation coupled with funny photo edits. My point here is that you can do what works for you and you’ll find lots of people will be drawn to that.****
(8) I’ll give you some really heinous noogies if you don’t. Also, remember how I used to lock you and our other sibs in the basement and say Chucky was gonna get y’all? Chucky and I are tight now. You don’t have a basement, but I’m pretty sure I can get him to move into your garage.
(9) Because I said so. This is actually the most important, as reflected by its also being #1 on this list, but I want to make sure this is the point that really sticks in your brain. Also because the 1,000 miles between us make it hard for me to say it as often as I did when we were kids.
So here’s the thing, Silver Star. Only you know what will or will not work for you. What I know is that I want more people to know you and love you the way I do, as an author and as a person. Most people will never see you exactly as I still do—the elven girl whose faith in and support of me from the time we were very small was, is and will ever remain a huge part of my strength—but I know that whatever pieces you do decide to share will shine in ways both illuminating and magnetic.
Your words reflect your heart, and your heart will draw people to you. Take me, for example. I remain captivated by your goodness even 31.9 years after first meeting you*****. Imagine what kind of response you’ll get from people only just meeting you for the first time!
Better still, don’t leave it to your imagination. Do it. Please?
Your extremely proud & lucky big sister
P.S. I mean it about those noogies. And Chucky.
* At least 7% of the time
** About which, can I pleeeeeeease read it already?
*** Shhh, don’t tell TMiYC’s readers I started the blog with impure motives!
**** Unless what works for you is sharing audio clips of songs your older sister wrote and sang for you. That’s forbidden under blogging law. Just ask the chipmunks.
***** Also 31.7 years after deciding I really did like you after all.