Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Changes in the blog-o-sphere


Welcome to the first Wednesday of the month. You know what that means! It's time to let our insecurities hang out. Yep, it's the Insecure Writer's Support Group blog hop. If you're a writer at any stage of career, I highly recommend this blog hop as a way to connect with other writers for support, sympathy, ideas, and networking. If you're a reader, it's a great way to peek behind the curtain of a writing life.

Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG. The awesome co-hosts for the April 3 posting of the IWSG are Janet Alcorn, T. Powell Coltrin, Natalie Aguirre, and Pat Garcia!!

April 3: How long have you been blogging? (Or on Facebook/ Twitter/ Instagram?) What do you like about it and how has it changed? 

I hardly remember a time when blogging and social media weren't part of my life, but a quick check tells me that I started this blog in June 2009, apparently when I was feeling sad because my eldest was away visiting the bio-dad (AKA my ex-husband):

That seems like an odd one to kick off a blog with, no "Hi! I'm Samantha and I'm a writer" confession? No big pronouncements about what I intended to do with the space? So maybe I had something before this and I've forgotten. 

If so, well, I've forgotten. 

From the look of it, I took off in fits and starts. 14 posts in all of 2009, only 3 in all of 2010…and there it is! 2014, the year I committed more fully to my writing life and wrote 112 blog posts apparently. 

That makes sense. I committed in a daily writing habit that year, starting a chain that remains unbroken a decade later. I had a goal of posting once a week, I remember, and it looks like I blew that out of the water! Go past me!

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Blogging has definitely changed for me over time. At first, it was just a way to make myself put some words out there into the world more often. Sort of a public diary about whatever was on my mind. It was about building a habit of writing and sharing it.

These days, I don't need my blog for those same reasons--I write every day and publish regularly enough to keep up some semblance of a writing career. But I still value having my own little piece of the web. It's a sort of record of my journey, at least for this section of my life, and since I'm bad at record-keeping in general, it's nice to have. 

Even though Blogger isn't well supported anymore and that gives me technical trouble from time to time, and even though I have need of a more robust and navigable website, I haven't moved it over. That's part nostalgia and part inertia probably. Plus I've got books to write! I don't really want to spend too much time and energy on my website. 

Sometimes "keeping up with the blog" feels like too big a chore alongside finishing the latest novel, promoting my published work, attending conventions, etc. I never let it go entirely, but I don't stress too much about whether I put something out once a week anymore, or spend too much time obsessing over metrics and numbers. 

Some of my posts have found a broad audience. Others were visited by twenty or so folks who probably all know me in real life (Hi, Mom!). 

That's okay. These posts are still ripples in the stream and have the chance to build into career-building waves. 

My posting these days is more about networking with other writers and bloggers (like you guys!), a bit of self-promotion for my writing life, and just making sure that SEO crawlers find a LOT of content with my name on it out there. Discoverability, baby!

We all do what we can, right? 

Monday, April 1, 2024

Too old or young for writing? An open book blog hop post


Welcome to Open Book Blog Hop. You can find us every Monday talking about the writing life. I hope you'll check out all the posts: you'll find the links at the bottom of this post.

How old is too old to be a writer? Too young? 


One of the great things about writing is that it's something a person can do at any age. 

Once you're literate in at least one language, at whatever age that is, you can start writing. 

And even at the other end of the spectrum, when some of us start to struggle with things like fine motor control, vision, and mental endurance (if we weren't already), writing is still a possibility, even if you have to change the tools you use to do it. 

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Since I'm a writer who didn't start taking this seriously until I was 42, I'm probably a little biased towards older writers, but I've met some very talented very young ones, too (and I only get a little jealous that they've gotten it together sooner than I did). 

Each stage of life comes with its own insights and wisdom, so a writer isn't necessarily more or less prepared to take on a story or a topic based on their age. Experience isn't age-specific. Neither is imagination. I'd argue more that skill comes with practice and effort, things that a person of any age can invest in. 

Personally, I feel like I'm about 35, and I've felt like I was about 35 since I was about 15. (In reality, I'm soon to be 53). 

My writing life is going well. I'm pleased with what I create and happy to be finding an audience. I've got the confidence to say no to opportunities that aren't going to be good for me, and not eat myself up with worry about whether I've made the right decision afterwards. 

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I'm good with how it worked out for me, and only occasionally mad at myself for "wasting" time in my younger years. After all, the things I did then made me who I am now and brought the people I love into my life. Travel, home-making, reading stories to my children, and walking in the woods may not have earned me any publishing credits at the time, but all those experiences feed what I write now. So, they were worth it, both intrinsically and extrinsically. 

But you know what? People are judgy, especially on the internet. No matter what you do and when you do it, someone will disapprove and try to make you feel inadequate. 

Don't let them! 

Art is for all ages and stages. 

Do it for you!

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