My friends write.
They get published.
I’ve been reading a lot of blogs by writers lately. It seems every writer has a blog. That’s not surprising. Writers want to publicise themselves and their work, and writers can write. So, it seems natural that they should blog.
What do they blog about? About writing and publishing, about authors and publishers, about writing competitions and other news in the writing world. And, of course, about themselves, what they’ve written and what they’ve had published.
They write well, of course, because they’re writers. Sometimes, they’re even humorous. And yet, I’m starting to get bored with these blogs, because of the one thing they leave out: personal struggles. Yes, I know, they write about their pets, their children, the places they live in. But they don’t write anything really personal. We readers can’t tell much about their characters. We don’t know about the hurdles they’ve overcome, or the way their personal lives influenced their writing.
And I wonder how honest they are. They treat their writer friends very well, praising them for their skill and their good fortune when they win competitions or have their books accepted by publishers. But do they really mean that? Aren’t they just a tiny bit jealous of other writers’ triumphs? According to Ann Lamont in her wonderfully humorous and informative guide Bird by Bird, they certainly could be:
Jealousy is such a direct attack on whatever measure of confidence you’ve been able to muster. But if you continue to write, you are probably going to have to deal with it, because some wonderful, dazzling successes are going to happen for some of the most awful, angry, undeserving writers you know – people who are, in other words, not you.
Not that I’m jealous. I haven’t got that far, yet. And I’m not criticising anyone else. I’m just wondering how all of this relates to me. This is what I’ve decided:
Writing involves innovating, pushing boundaries, being courageous. And I’m going to continue writing what I write, because, amongst other reasons, I don’t want to turn this into just another writer’s blog.
14 replies on “Writers’ Blogs”
I have met a lot of published writers in my career, and a good number are just shallow. Thus, not much meat in the blog sandwich 🙂
And there was I worrying about banging on so much about my personal life …
If you are interested in other people’s takes on the writer’s struggle, I would like to recommend my friend Marta’s blog: http://mapelba.wordpress.com/. She posts a lot of ponderings on how her life and her past have affected her attitude toward her writing, and opens the question up for other writers to talk about their experiences on similar topics.
Also, hi! Thanks for passing along the link to your blog :).
Hi Nathan. It’s hard to believe that writers are shallow. Not the ones I’ve read, anyway. If you spoke to me, you’d probably think I’m shallow, too. Unless you were able to discover my false bottom. Thanks for popping in.
And many thanks to Debi and Jess for expanding my blogging horizons. I will read about the revo, and I like Marta’s ponderings. Great to see you both!
You came by to see me so I’ve come by to see you.
I think some writers are shallow and some aren’t, but then maybe they don’t want to share their real deeper selves–that is a scary thing to do for some of us. I’ve been jealous. I’m not perfect. A friend of mine has had her novel published, and that first novel has done well and won awards. She deserves her success. I believe that and I love her too. She worked hard and she’s smart and talented–all those wonderful things. My jealousy is probably where my frustration goes. For it works to admit to the bad, and then get back to writing.
Good to have met you (so to speak).
Good to meet you, too. And it’s scary for me, too. It took me a long time to start this blog. So far, I’m pleased that I did.
i agree with you…i too have surfed around looking for a good writer’s blog…hard to come by…keep on truckin’ girlfriend…and writing…especially writing!!!
This is an interesting discussion, I always wonder how much personal stuff to put on my blog, but since writing affects most aspects of my life, I feel I tend to put in personal things too, in the context of the writing life. I dunno if it’s a good read or not!
I thought you made an interesting comment but I don’t agree with you. I don’t really want the writers to give me an insight into their own characters – I think that the work should have an identity of its own – separate from the writer. There will clearly be some influence in how the piece is written and each piece will reflect its context but that in my view is as far as it should go.
There’s no compulsion to read a writer’s blog, but I think that if you’re going to do so this is what could make the blog interesting.
Haha. Yes! I thought it was just me. When I hear about a friend who has managed to get published/attracted a six book deal, or whatever, of course I’m glad and happy for them – BUT! oh boy, do I want to hit them with something very large and sharp? Yeah, sure I do.
I’m very new to this blog site, having had one on msn for years, so I’m working out how to work everything. Loved your site.
Thanks and welcome 🙂
For eg – I’d love to put a link to your blog on mine – but, how?
I see you’ve discovered that. Well done!