Saturday, 24 January 2015

Everything I learned about blogging I learned from Carrie Bradshaw

Like all authors, I have an author platform. I blog and post on social media, yet up to now I've always been led to believe that everything I blog or post about should be about 'writing'. Let me tell you, this is very limiting, hence the reason I rarely blogged. What do I say about writing that's of interest to anyone other than another writer? And why would I only want to reach that audience? I only want to read about writing if I need to learn something such as when is it okay to kill off a character? and even then I Google it or I bring it up at an author's group.

It was after reading Kristen Lamb's book for authors, Rise of the Machines I realised that I was right to doubt it was only writers and avid readers who were my only audience. I receive Kristen's regular blog posts straight to my inbox and even though some of the content isn't my particular area of interest on that day, I read her articles because she's a fabulous storyteller.

I say article because I actually hate the word blog. It sounds like something is caught in the back of my throat. So I think of these as articles and that's how I approach writing them. But as I said, up to now the focus was on 'writing' only. Kristen's book highlighted to me that the optimum market for books isn't the avid book reader. It's everyone else. And when I was given the freedom to write about what interests me and what has so far shaped me as a person, the ideas began to flow. I keep a track of them all in a notebook. A conversation sparks an idea. Reading a newspaper article sparks an idea. I feel like Carrie Bradshaw - an idea sparks and off I run to my laptop.

I'll start first off by declaring my love for Sex and the City. I began watching it when I started dating my (now) husband. I used to come home after a date and want to bang my head against a wall and scream "what the hell is wrong with men?" Then I'd watch Sex and the City and I'd forget all about my man troubles and get swept up in their lives and somehow I knew everything would be okay. And it did work out okay. It's still one of my favourite TV shows.

Anyone familiar with the show knows that Carrie Bradshaw gets an article idea mostly from the conversations she has with Samantha, Miranda, and Charlotte. There is a voice over throughout the show, only Carrie's POV as she is the central characters, and her voiceover says "I couldn't help but wonder..." and then we see Carrie in her New York apartment, sometimes smoking on a cigarette  and sometimes in her underwear, but always at her laptop typing up the article for her weekly column on dating and finding love. 

I wanted her lifestyle, sans the disastrous love life. Faced with their perilous pursuits, I think I'd prefer to stay single. anyway, Carrie was a paid columnist who became a bit of a celebrity. In today's environment you typically have to be a celebrity before you can get a column. Which is why I think blogging has become so prolific. Anyone can have a blog. Anyone can put their thoughts and ideas onto a page and share with others. If Sex and the City were written ten years later Carrie Bradshaw would probably be a blogger. There's a cute little post from a fashion blogger about Carrie and blogging if you'd like to read it. and here's another post dedicated to Miss Bradshaw

An important lesson I learned about blogging is that I need to invest ME into the project. These are MY thoughts and ideas. These are MY dreams and fears. And it's not all about writing because I'M not all about writing. Writing is what I do for about 40% of my life. The other 60% is made up of gardening, going to a 9-5 day job, catching up with friends and family, and the boring stuff like bathing, sleeping and eating. I have lots of interests that have shaped me as an author and that's what makes them relevant to readers. So I'll be posting articles about my personal interests from now on, as well as throwing the occasional blog about writing into the mix. I hope you can join me.

About the author:

Not one to accept being put into a box, D L Richardson writes speculative fiction for anyone who likes a twist in their tale. She now has six books published and is working on an apocalyptic series and a dystopian novel.

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