Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The Growth Spurt of Blogs

I could sit all day and read my favorites . . . and accomplish nothing.

Why are blogs so huge right now? Because finally the majority of people who just HAVE to give their opinion finally have a medium to do it?

Cool for me. Yeah, I'm in that majority.

I've been thinking about projects and self-confidence and creativity and all the ensuing problems trying to write creates for those of us who just aren't satisfied with blogs and want to write books and articles and essays and . . . yup, everything.

Sometimes it is really hard to just dive in to a project that scares the bejeebers out of you, right? I totally know that feeling. I have it all the time. Now I work just fine on client projects because when I accept those projects I have an idea of what I'm trying to do and usually the client also gives me a goal to reach for. But those projects that are all mine are so much harder.

For one, I am emotionally attached to my book projects. I get all tangled up in them and can't find my way out. Two, if I want to invest that much time in my own projects, I have to really adore the topic and so I really love my darling book projects. I ignore Raymond Chandler's advice to "Kill your darlings" quite often.

But as a writer, if I want to be successful and actually publish these darlings, I have to take a step back and really think. Am I writing this for an audience or for me? Because really, writing a book for yourself is writing for an audience of one person. I'm sorry, folks, but that just does not sell many books. Imagine a book signing with me, myself, and I.

Oh boy.

Who's your audience? Old, young, lots of money to spend, or frugal? If you want young people to read your book, write young. Don't bore them to tears by reminiscing about days gone by. If you want people to get excited about history, talk about history, don't just say something's historic or meaningful. Show them why it is.

I run into more authors who have rutted themselves into failing book projects because they can't see past their own reflection in the mirror. It's sad.

Don't limit your vision. Think big, reach out, and just start writing. You may be so surprised where it takes you.

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