You know what? There’s a lot out there about “how to blog.” I didn’t read much of it when I started. Someone made a blog for me, and well, I started writing. I didn’t read how to appeal to readers and all that stuff. I just wrote what was burning on my heart that day. Sometimes it was something silly like a funny story about one of my kids, and other times it was a rant about something that convicted me.
I blogged that way for a long time. I liked it. It’s “me.” Slowly, some of it morphed into a combination soapbox and personal journal. That was fun too. I liked having reminders to do things and of things I’ve already done. That was cool as well.
I was never the “popular girl” and I never really wanted that title. Whether someone liked me frankly didn’t matter. I can thank moving a lot as a kid and having parents who drilled into me that the only opinions that mattered were those of your closest family (parents/husband etc.) and God’s.
So, I don’t know what made me start reading about blogging. I think maybe it was when I started searching for ways to market my books. I’m not sure, but that’s my guess. You see, when you write books and publish them, you really do want someone to read them. People can’t find them unless they hear about them. Blogging shows up in Google searches thanks to the lovely addition of tags, and voila. People find you and love you and buy your books. Simple, right?
You know what? That’s not me. I read all about how to make sure you have your SEO right (I never did it), how to have a consistent blogging schedule (and I pretty much did that but not totally), how to respond to your commenters (I already did that if I had anything to add), and how to encourage them to comment.
That one was easy. “To get people to comment, ask a question. They’ll know you want their input, and they’ll respond to that kind of interaction.” For some idiotic reason, I fell for it. I dutifully put questions at the end of many of my blog posts.
Guess what? The same people who commented before kept commenting, but now I extorted answers that they probably didn’t want to bother with but were too polite to ignore. I want to take a moment right now and thank all those who did that. And now I want to apologize. I am so sorry. Note: From here on out, if there’s a question anywhere in my blog post that isn’t obviously rhetorical, I really, really want to know the answer (even if it’s just one so you can get another entry into a giveaway). I also promise never to pull that kind of nonsense on you again. Please forgive me.
So, for the record, I’m done blogging “the right way.” I’m doing it my way (Ugh, I sound like Old Blue Eyes!). I will blog when I have something to say, about whatever I want to say, and I won’t try to get people to interact with me.
Don’t get me wrong. I love comments. I’m not above being glad to know that people really do read what I post. I want to know what you think of it. I write books because I have a story to tell. I write blog posts because I have something to say.
I just refuse to try to fit into a mold that wasn’t designed for me anymore. I’m Chautona the writer. I write about what inspires, irritates, amuses, and intrigues me. I don’t write because it’s Tuesday and I’m supposed to write about puppies and rainbows on Tuesdays. I refuse to do Wordless Wednesdays unless I happen to have a picture on a Wednesday that happens to be something I am dying to share. I won’t do it.
What I will do is go back to being me. I hope that the “real” me is good enough. If not, well, at least I’m not churning out worthless drivel because the stupid blog schedule says that I’m supposed to write about “Faith in Fiction” because it’s Sunday.
You know, I made one of those this week. I kid you not. I read some blog somewhere that really inspired me to be consistent and post about my passions. So, I considered what kinds of things I like to talk about, broke it up into seven days, and I even wrote two weeks worth of blogs on that schedule. They are all scheduled for posting on their neatly appropriate days. When I’m done posting this, I’m going to go delete all but one or two of them. Yes. Yes I am.
Some folks will wonder if I don’t care about marketing my books anymore. Well, I do care. I care a lot. I will write if no one ever reads it. I would do it because the stories are there–the platforms are there. I have something to say, and I want to say it…even if no one is listening. However, just because I write regardless of an audience doesn’t mean that I don’t want to get my material into the hands of those who will enjoy it.
So, I’m going to ask my readers to do me a favor. If you see a blog post you like, please comment. Let me know that it really did hit home somehow. Share it on Facebook or email it to a friend. If you read a book that you liked, please go over to Amazon and post a review. Share it on Facebook or review it on your blog. If you hated it, well, send me an email. Tell me why. I can take it. I want to know.
This starts a new era for me in blogging. I’m going back to the basics. I will be true to me as a person and as a writer, and I hope as a Christian.
Now, time to do some blog-post-ectomies.