So. I walked for a year and blogged about it. I picked up lots of followers. On my blogs, not my walks. I’m not the Pied Piper. Now the year is over and I am still walking. But what about the blogging?
To be honest, I don’t know about the blogging. I enjoy writing, working on a novel or sharing my thoughts on a blog. But I recently read a blog by Russell Blake, a suspense writer. Doing It Wrong. It is a piece of advice to indie writers about selling books. He shares one nugget I already knew. “I’m pretty sure that few books or no books have been sold as a result of my blogging.” Then he tells the writer, who in this case is the reader, to get back to their work in progress, “instead of wasting time with stupid blogs.”
I don’t think blogs are stupid but my experience tells me they don’t sell books. I’m not sure why that is. If you enjoy reading someone’s blogs, wouldn’t you enjoy their books? Maybe it’s a result of our busy world. People only have time to read a blog. A book is a bigger investment of precious little time. Kind of sad, isn’t it? Because for me a book takes me to another world where I meet people I may not otherwise have met. You’re never bored if you have a book to read.
Blogs take time to write and I’m trying to make a modest living writing. My blogs are free to read, here and on the Huffington Post. I don’t know if those pieces sold books. So where do I put my time and energy?
Jonathan Franzen, the acclaimed author of The Corrections, has ten serious rules to abide by for aspiring writers. Number one is: The reader is a friend, not an adversary, not a spectator. As I tinker with my marketing strategy to sell more books–my blogging, tweeting, Facebooking, Pinning, now Instagramming–I am focusing on the reader as a friend.
I have had a few adversaries. One reader who wrote a review for The Reverse Commute thought Sophie was a bitch. This reader felt once you reach middle age you should have all your problems worked out or just accept where you are and stop bitching about it. Well, la di da as Annie Hall once said. Lucky you. If you can live with that, more power to you.
I happen to agree with Jean-Paul Sartre. “There is only one day left, always starting over. It is given to us at dawn and taken away from us at dusk.”
No matter your age, each day begins anew. You can choose to rise to the challenge or you can do the same old same old. It’s never too late to make a change, even a small one like a walk after a long day at work. Or learning to play the piano because it’s something you always wanted to do. Not everyone has to sell the house and all the furniture and head off to the tropics, like I did.
What is it you want to do? I’m assuming if you follow my blog, you, like me, still have a lot of questions and a lot to learn. What I would like from you dear reader is a little less spectating and more dialogue. Some comments, here on my blog page, to keep me engaged with the task of blogging. I know you’re thinking about the same things I am writing about. I’ve heard from some of you but I’d like you to join the dialogue. Believe it or not, I don’t write to hear myself thinking out loud. I’d love to hear your thoughts too.
I’m working on some ideas and will be introducing them over the next few weeks. A theme to take the place of walking.
I am seeking conversation. I am not sure how frequently I will blog. I am aiming for once a week, most likely posting on Wednesday or Thursday. Conventional wisdom tells us those are the most heavily trafficked days on the Internet. Mondays and Tuesdays people are busy getting back to work, by Friday they’re thinking about the weekend, on the weekends they’re busy trying to squeeze everything else in. So Hump Day and Thursday are best, or so they say. As you might have figured out by now, this wisdom is based on the fact most people do their reading at work. I know when I was in a cubicle this was true for me. But this winter I discovered posting on Sunday morning got a good response. It was probably due to the miserable weather up North. In the end, no one knows how this really works but they’ll sell you a book called Ten Ways to Sell More eBooks and Become Rich and Famous.
My third novel has a lot of rock’n roll. My main character, Samuel Ryder, likes to listen to music. For now, the chapters are song titles. The opening chapter is a Jackson Browne tune. If you guessed Late for the Sky you are correct.
Tracing our steps from the beginning
Until they vanished into the air
Trying to understand
How our lives had led us there
That’s kind of what the book is about. A man looking back on his life, wondering how he got to where he is now. Because unlike my reviewer, I am in my fifties, trying to understand how I got here and where I go next.
So let’s get this party started. In the future I may have more challenging questions for you but let’s start with what’s on my mind right now. Rock ‘n Roll. Here’s you first question.
WHAT ARE YOUR THREE FAVORITE SONGS OF ALL TIME?
If you want to tell us why, feel free.
Mine are (in no particular order):
Ramble On by Led Zeppelin
For so many reasons: high school, college, Tolkien and The Lord of the Rings, Jimmy Page’s guitar, John Bonham’s drums and Robert Plant’s voice. And because I too “Can’t stop this feeling in my heart. I know I’ve got one thing I got to do…Ramble On and sing my song”
Revival by The Allman Brothers Because after my husband and I eloped we had a party in our backyard and this is the song we danced to.
The Rolling Stones It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll
Because that’s what’s inspiring me right now as I write my third novel. “I know. It’s only rock ‘n Roll. But I like it.”
If you ask me on another day, this list could be different. But I the name of this blog is Late for the Sky so here it is. The comments section is just below. Why not leave a reply?