Reflections: One Year In

This past year has been exciting for me. It’s been a year of many firsts; first novel, first book launch, first book signings, and(most importantly) first grandchild.

Tomorrow it will be exactly a year since my daughter set up this site for me. My intentions were to have a place where people could come find me once Bitter, Sweet was published should they be interested in learning a bit more about me as a writer.

I have heard from quite a few people after the publication of my book, and it’s been so nice to hear that my little book has somehow touched their hearts. In this respect, I consider that my site has certainly lived up to my expectations.

I never expected to be writing regular posts. Other than what might be happening in regards to my upcoming book I didn’t think I’d have anything to write about, certainly nothing that anyone would care to read.

I don’t kid myself into believing that I’m a blogger by any means. I know some of you are probably thinking that sounds a bit silly. Yes, I write blog posts, and I do have a blog, so technically…..

But, when I visit other blogs and read their posts, I find myself thinking— now they really know what blogging is all about. The posts are informative, not to mention entertaining, and so, so inviting to read. I visit them whenever possible. But to be honest it is all very time consuming.

Most of you who read my blog are not bloggers, and likely don’t read other blogs on a regular basis. You are my friends and family, and I SO appreciate you dropping in to read what’s on my mind. Thank you for leaving comments from time to time to let me know you’re out there. When my book came out you were right there to offer support. Many of you helped out the day of my book launch. I will forever be grateful for you support, and will never take you kindness for granted. You have been MY cheering section! Give yourselves a well deserved pat on the back.

I’ve met some really wonderful bloggers during this last year as well. Most of you are listed on the sidebar to the left. If you’re not it’s just because I haven’t got around to adding you. You’ve all been supportive and friendly, you’ve made me laugh, you took the time to leave comments, you’ve made me feel welcome. And I thank you!

To be truthful, I’m not very affluent when it comes to the workings of this site. Many times, in the past, I depended upon my daughter to lend a helping hand. (Thanks Mel!) But I’m slowly learning the ropes. I’m figuring things out as I go. I don’t have to bug my daughter so often.

So now, with one year into this, I find myself asking many questions and wondering in what direction this site is heading. I still haven’t figured that one out. I don’t offer writing advice. I’ve never taken a writing course, and I can’t imagine what writing advice I’d have to offer someone other than to write as often as you can and stay persistent. Don’t let rejection stand in the way of finding publication for your work. If your writing is good, someone somewhere will see it and recognize it for the gem that it is. If it’s not good enough it will get better, guaranteed.

Somedays I wake up and think I’ll never write another post again, other times I can hardly wait to hit “publish.” I’m starting to realize that this blog is just as much for me as it is for those who come to visit. It’s been a lot of fun!

Often I find myself struggling to figure out just where my own writing is headed, and for that reason I don’t feel anywhere near qualified to advise others. But one thing I will always, always do and that is offer encouragement to anyone who needs it. I will cheer you on. If you need a pick-me-up, I’m your person. I do firmly believe that we need a cheering section along the way; people who can genuinely share in our accomplishments and maybe even help pick us up when we’ve hit that brick wall again.

One year later, these are the thoughts that are on my mind. I can’t believe just how quickly this year has gone by.

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14 Comments

  1. Wonderful post, Laura. I think you sell youself short saying you’re not a true blogger. What’s a true blogger anyhow? I know what you mean though. I try to occasionally write blog posts on my two blogs http://www.loupslifelessons.blogspot.com and http://www.catsfurrytales.blogspot.com
    I don’t consider myself a pro-blogger like the types who give tons of useful info, links and interviews.

    Often I feel like I’m just rambling on in a diary and no one would find it interesting to read except me. Even I sometimes gag at posts I’ve written when I was in a “pity party” kind of a mood feeling down about something.

    Doesn’t happen with the Loup blog so much as I’m enjoying developing his character so much. People probably think I’m nuts having a dog blog but I don’t care. Keeps me from causing trouble elsewhere. hehheh

    Keep doing what you’re doing. You’re doing great! And being a cheering section is always appreciated by everyone, especially online where you’re never quite sure how you’re being received by people and things can be misunderstood. I figure even if I don’t become a brilliant world renowned writer, I can at least support other writers and cheer them on. That I can do and it’s attainable right now.

    Reply
    • Thanks Cathy. I’ve checked out your blogs and hey, I think Loup does a terrific job! Dogs are SO loyal.

      Many times over the course of the year I questioned what the heck I was doing. I’m sure I’ll continue to question it. Thanks for the vote of confidence. I do agree with you about giving support. It doesn’t take a big effort to send someone a positive message.

      Reply
  2. June 28th will mark my second year blogging. I began because of what I’d heard… that to get anywhere a writer needs the visibility of an online presence… but I’ve continued because of the encouragement I gain from others in the writing community. They’ve caused me to venture farther from my comfort zone than I would ever have gone on my own.

    Blogs like yours help me connect with others and discover that what I’m doing in the solitude of my office is what others are also doing. We share a common bond, understanding the appeal (even addiction) of writing, the insecurities, the uncertainty of waiting, the despair of rejections, the euphoria of acceptance, and the erratic writing lifestyle in a way that our non-writing friends never can.

    There are specific sites I visit for industry information and advice, but others like this one where I come simply for the sharing and camaraderie with someone who is a compatriot in the strange journey of a novelist. So I hope you’ll keep blogging, Laura. You may not feel you have advice to give, but what you provide here is equally valuable and I treasure it.

    Reply
    • June must be the month for creating new blogs. Happy 2nd Anniversary. :)

      Aah, it’s been people like you who really have kept me going this past year. And I agree, the encouragement we gain from one another in the writing community is most valuable. If someone had asked me a year ago if it was possible to have online friends I likely would have said no. I know differently now. :) You were so supportive, Carol right from the start, and setting up that online interview with me when Bitter, Sweet first came out was such a wonderfully nice thing for you to do. Which only shows what a great support you are to fellow writers. Thank you, friend! :)

      Reply
  3. Judi Hiltz

     /  June 23, 2010

    I’m speaking from a non-writers point of view about Laura. She is the best “picker-upper” “cheerer- upper” supporter-upper” and holder-upper that anyone could have, and I should know because she has done all of those for me. She is a wonderful person and a great friend. I have known Laura for a long time. But only the last 10 to 15 years have really got to know her. She is a very private person, and so she kept all of her talents very well hidden until her book came out and all HEdouble fish hooks broke lose. I believe she surprised a lot of people, me included, just how very special she really was, She is a one of a kind friend, in my “books”.

    Reply
    • Well Judi, I was thinking of having you write my eulogy to save for a time FAR off in the future!! Really, you make me blush, but damn I sound good. :)

      Where would I be without all my friends and family? You guys have been the ones who put up with me —I mean, stuck by me— from the beginning.

      I have been most fortunate..Thanks for always being there!!

      Reply
  4. Torry

     /  June 24, 2010

    Keep writing here…. We enjoy…

    Reply
    • Hey Torry, what a nice surprise and thanks for the encouragement! It’s not always easy to keep a clear purpose in mind. Some days just rip your enthusiasm right out from under you. You end up questioning everything during those times.I like to stay postitive, but like everyone else, I have my times of self doubt. Those are the times I have to give myself a quick kick in the butt to keep going.

      Reply
  5. “Other than what might be happening in regards to my upcoming book I didn’t think I’d have anything to write about, certainly nothing that anyone would care to read.”

    I think we’ve all kicked that issue around – or tried to figure out “what’s the point” – (I’m still not sure – I rarely promote & never “advise”)

    Don’t remember how I stumbled upon your blog, probably through Carol. You do a nice job. Your posts are thoughtful & positive. So you’re one of my regular stops – & there are only a handful of those “stops” because spare time for me comes at such a premium. Keep up the great work. It’s nice to have “friendships” & conversations with good people.

    Reply
    • Well gee whiz Dave, a girl can’t help but feel special after all that. :)

      I guess it helps to know that others sometimes have the same doubts as what I do. This has been a particularly strange time for me. I’ve been questioning a LOT when it comes to writing/blogging.

      Having people just like you dropping in does make it seem as though there is some purpose behind it all. Thanks!!

      Reply
  6. Dear Laura,

    It is _amazing_ that it’s been a year! Kudos to you. But as for that not-a-real-blogger nonsense :), of course you are and I’m so glad. I find your site very inspiring and encouraging. You make insightful observations about the writing life, but also life in general.

    Have fun going in all different directions in year two!

    Reply
    • Thanks Ev. It is difficult, by times, to feel inspiring or inspired, but I know we’ve all been down that road, sung that tune. Thanks for your kind words, though. I do appreciate it.

      Hmm year two? We shall see.. :)

      Reply
  7. Hi, Laura, I love the title of your novel, especially the comma that separates Bitter, Sweet. Such a poetic effect. Congratulations, too, on this being your first novel! How wonderful!

    I agree with you as far as blogging; I wasn’t sure either what I would be getting into when I began blogging, but I find that the community is supportive and kind and funny and amazing. I find inspiration through the words of others. Blogging has also helped me write my fiction. Somehow it’s different when you’re writing for an audience that you can converse with on a very real level — real in a way that is different in some ways even from person-to-person real. There’s an authenticity and genuineness that I love.

    Anyway, it’s been very nice visiting your blog. I look forward to reading some of your other posts and finding out more about your novel :).

    Reply
    • Thank you so much Juliana. The original title was Bittersweet in reference to the deadly night shade plant that plays an important role in the book. The publisher came up with the idea of the comma to help set the book apart since there are many books out there with bittersweet in the title. Since they thought the original title fit the book perfectly, this was a bit of a compromise but once I got used to it I really like it.

      Thank you for visiting.

      Reply

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