Monday, July 17, 2006

Why Bother to Blog?

The talented, funny, Mento-obsessed Lisa Yee will be teaching/hostessing/leading a workshop called Why Bother to Blog at this year’s annual SCBWI conference. She’s asked yours truly AND the Disco Mermaids to speak as guest bloggers, each with our own experiences and points of view.

Now, I’m obviously a huuuuge lover of blogging, as GottaBook is clearly the reason I got a book deal how and when I did. And while I always planned to do “stunts” like Fibs once I had myself up and going, I’d be lying if I said that I started blogging so I could get a book deal in two months. Nope. Not true.

So why bother to blog? Well, for me it started out as a desire to be part of the wonderful, fascinating, ever-growing kid-lit-blogging community (dubbed the kidlitosphere by Melissa Wiley, I believe). Writing is a lonely thing, so organizations like SCBWI are wonderful in helping find folks who can support, commiserate, and cheer for you. But cyberspace is 24 hours a day... and distance is way less of an obstacle online. Also, the kidlitosphere is full of book lovers, librarians, reviewers, and teachers, as well as writers and illustrators – and this diverse group is one I truly enjoy being connected to and from whom I’ve learned a ton, making me a better writer, more informed reader, and definitely a cooler, more useful volunteer librarian.

From an aspiring/still-unpublished writer’s point of view, I had numerous other raisons-de-blog. To keep this post from becoming an epic, I’m gonna skip to my big one beyond community: Cyberspace is an odd, connected place, and you just never know who’s gonna stop by and read you or what can happen in the net-ether. From the start, I viewed my blog as a promotional tool, though not in an aggressive way as that’s just not my style (nor do I think the spirit of the blogging community I like). But yeah, having a presence in cyberspace can lead to who-knows-what (like, say, an invite from Lisa Yee to talk at the SCBWI Annual!). And frankly, the net is simply “the future,” so learning how to have a useful presence here seemed like a worthwhile endeavor to me… and I figured the time to learn about it was before I “needed” to use it (if ever). I think I’ve learned a lot already, and by the time I have a book to promote, I think my experiences will prove invaluable. As I said, this wasn’t the primary reason to blog, but it was definitely a factor.

Interestingly, I can see that the reasons for blogging once one is a published writer might be very different. I do NOT view this blog as a way to connect with my books’ kid audience (he says as he imagines that there ultimately is one!), though I’ve certainly had entire classes descend and post Fibs. Still, I don’t think this blog will change to try and connect with that very different community. That might happen via another blog, a web-site or something else entirely. But I do know that I’ll still want to be connected to the kidlitosphere... which is why I bothered to blog in the first place, and why you find me here on vacation typing away.

6 comments:

Chris Barton said...

So, here's the question I keep asking myself: Are you a children's writer with a blog, or are you a blogger and children's writer?

When I started, I think I gravitated toward the latter, but as the kidlitosphere has grown, and as my own time has grown tighter, I'd say I've moved into the "writer with a blog" camp.

Disco Mermaids said...

Greg, sorry to admit this, but we bribed Lisa with Mentos to have her include us as "special guests." We knew that one day this blog thing would make you hang out with us at the national conference. And our plan worked perfectly!

See ya there...

- Robin, Jay, and Eve

Nancy said...

Greg, I could not have put this better. Began my own blog a whole 10 days ago... after spending the last few months reading fantastic blogs like yours (and okay, a couple not so fantastic as yours...)

I'm wishing you all the best with your book, your fibbery, and your blog! Stop by if you get a chance please, I could use any/all encouragement! http://journey-woman.blogspot.com/

Lisa Yee said...

Not sure if you heard, but we are all going to wear funny costumes to the blog workshop.

See you there!

Gregory K. said...

Chris -- I view blogging as writing, so I just kinda view myself as "a writer" rather than parsing. I parse everything else, though, so who knows why I don't on this one.

nrkii -- welcome to the blogosphere! I will be sure to check you out when I return to the world of high speed access.

Jay -- ummm, I'd've hung out with ya anyway, since you three are funnier than your costumes are cool.

Lisa -- uh, well, uh, my Bloggerman costume is as the shop. Can I dress as a geeky writer guy?

Anne said...

Oh wow, I'm so jealous I'm not going to be there. Please make a funny face in my honor.