One lovely year later, I have finished 2 whole semesters of my residency and 365 days with WordPress. I am happy to say that my year with WordPress has renewed my love of the digital world in addition to improving my writing skills. Over one hundred posts later, my need to share ideas and stories with everyone else is stronger than ever.
My initial reason for starting this blog was to gain a following for my impending writing career. My first semester at Carlow University provided a cornucopia of insight from those already “in the biz” of writing/publishing. One of the most tiring and necessary aspects of being a writer in the digital age is the need to make a brand for yourself. To have your name mean something in the world before you’re published can give the upper hand when it comes to developing a fan base.
SO, the first step is to sign up for a blog and begin writing–check! While I thought my issue would be that I didn’t have enough discipline to keep up with my blog, I soon found that I couldn’t stop. Not too long after signing up with WordPress I was writing two or three posts a day. I loved it–still do, actually. The insurmountable joy of pressing publish on an idea that you want to share with people who will argue, comment, and contribute is something blogging has made super easy.
In my third residency at Carlow (ending about two weeks ago), the concept of branding and marketing myself as a writer returned with a vengeance. It has never been more important for writers to join online writing communities, build blogs, and create a facebook page to promote the writer behind the books. One of the guest writers, Juilene Osborne-McKnight, expressed this need to blog and facebook, but she made it clear that if you don’t feel you would like blogging, you shouldn’t force yourself. While I agree that you shouldn’t make yourself do anything just for the sake of publicity, it is worth checking it out and trying it before you decide it’s never going to work. Sometimes the most unusual, unexpected things can bring a new perspective and style to your writing. And it guarantees you are going to be writing something, even when you’re stuck in the middle of a story or poem.
Any aspiring writer listening still? Go ahead sign up, it’s free, and you may find it is more helpful than just reading blogs about writing. Try writing a blog of your own 🙂