It's all quite surreal, this journey I've been on over the past year.
Writing a blog, maintaining a social media presence, promoting a book ... I'm finding myself midway between, "How can I get more people to read my blog?" and "Wow! Someone actually read my blog!"
I've been writing for a long time, but writing a blog is different. You know you have an instant audience. It's not as though I'm writing for a huge audience, not yet anyway. But the truth is, when I finish a blog entry, someone will undoubtedly read it. Even if it's only one person.
When you're writing a novel, it's just you and the pages. And that's the formula for a long time. By the time you're finished, you can't wait to share. But it needs re-writes, editing, cover design, more re-writes, a dedication, more editing. And then, after all of that work, it's finally ready. By this time you're so tired of being the only person on earth who knows the exact contents of the book, you'll pay people to read it if you have to.
Writing a blog is quite different from that. No. Not different. It is the complete opposite of that. You don't have an editor to inform you when you used past perfect instead of past simple, or to politely let you know when you've dangled your participle.
Not that diction is of big concern in a blog — and there certainly are no plot holes to correct. It's a blog, for Pete's sake. But it's live. That's the difference.
Selling books isn't the only reason I'm writing a blog. It's a big part of it, but it's not the only reason. I love to write. I have for many years. And when you think about it, blogging should be a very natural medium for me.
I used to write essays; jotting down thoughts, ordinary events with my own unique spin, trying to give them a beginning and an end. Writing essays evolved into writing short stories. And now, here we are, trying to promote a novel.
I've heard it said that it's not about the destination, it's about the journey. And I certainly agree with that. For the most part. But it makes me wonder. Where is the finish line? What exactly am I striving for? Is saying, "it's all about the journey" just a fancy way of saying you have no idea where this is all taking you? And maybe that's okay. Maybe we don't really need to know.
You can't exactly say, "it's not about the destination" and then set goals for yourself to reach that destination. Or can you? For me, there's not one destination. Ultimately, I want to sell books. But I also want to get followers on Instagram. I want people to read my blog. Yes, the ultimate prize is selling books, but there are destinations within the journey, points of interest along the way. Ultimately you want to get to California, but why would you drive right by Las Vegas without stopping in to see what the attraction is? (Okay, that's a reference that you're going to need to read my book to understand.)
I think I'm going to pull the car over at the next scenic overlook. There's plenty to take in there: The rolling hills, alive with the colors of fall; the canyons that seemingly go on forever; the writers I've met along the way: poets, sci-fi authors, budding romance novelists and successful self-help authors, editors, photographers, musicians ... and even just people who have adorable dogs.
After I soak it all in, I'll get back in the car and keep driving towards my destination. Life really is about the journey, but there is no journey without a destination.