If You Are a Legend in Your Own Mind, Why Bother With Anyone Else’s?

I received the best email a couple of days ago, complimenting me on a blog post.  I have to preface this by saying the email came from a friend I have known since high school, and a fellow collaborator on an upcoming book project.  Nonetheless, she wrote how she found my blog relatable and humorous, and she thought I could potentially go “big time.”  I was flattered, but also found it kind of ironic, because I had just read an article on how to blog to a book deal.  I am pretty much doing the exact opposite of everything suggested in the piece.

The article is appropriately titled “Blog Your Way to a Book Deal,” by Nina Amir, and appears in the September 2012 issue of Writer’s Digest.

First tip:  “As you should with any book idea, before you start writing, spend time carefully evaluating your concept.”  I started blogging because I wanted a place to organize my ideas.  Within my mom’s club, I organize a preschool group, track fitness and lifestyle competitions, facilitate creative projects, and plan large donation drives.  I originally wanted a space to plant all of this information, because it is currently spread over email, facebook, evite, and good ol’ face to face conversations.  However, I had been privately writing for a few months, and thought I could also use a blog to post some of my better pieces.  Enter my HUGE EGO.  I got a taste of being able to rant like nobody’s listening, and soon the blog took on a life of its own- rant, rant, rant, rant rant.   Rant.

Second tip:  “Start by outlining a writing plan, just as you would for any other book project.  Your goal is to map out your content in post-sized bits of material you can cover well in 200-300 words.”  Outline?  What is this “outline” you speak of?  I don’t work that way.  I am currently organizing a writing project consisting of ten to twenty moms, each writing their own story, to be compiled into a single book.  The moms are in three states, two countries, and using different approaches.  Did I take the time to outline that colossal project?  Heck no.  I simply put out a call for entries and figured I’d wing it.  As for 200-300 words- I require more words just to clear my throat.

Third tip:  “As you work, you’ll almost certainly have ideas for additional content that wasn’t in your outline.  Stick to your original plan while saving these ideas in a separate file.  They’ll become additional special content that will appear only in your printed book.”  Let’s get back to that HUGE EGO of mine.  If I write something that I like enough to put in a book, I’m certainly not going to put it in a secret file.  Hide it under a bush, oh no, I’m gonna let it shine.  Generally, when I have a new idea, you will hear about it by blog, facebook, email, phone, chain letter, carrier pigeon, pony express, and message in a bottle.  No shortage of “hey! Look at me!” mentality from this gal.

Fourth tip: “SEO- search engine optimization.”  I had never heard of this before this article.  That probably says enough right there.

Fifth tip:  “Although large publishing houses will want to see a sizable blog readership- possibly as large as 50,000-100,000 readers per month- many mid- and small-sized houses will be happy with lower figures, even under 10,000 per month.  If you can show a publisher that you have some additional platform outreach, your smaller audience may be enough.”  Last night at dinner, I proudly announced to my husband that my blog had twelve, count them, twelve followers!!  He raised his margarita and congratulated me.  I am being completely serious here- I am smiling like a little girl wearing a new pair of sparkly shoes because twelve people think what I have to say is funny or interesting enough that they want to be notified when I write more.  Sounds dorky, but that feels like success to me.  It really does.

Oh snap!  I just went to upload this, and found out I now have thirteen followers! That just made my day.  Can’t wait to give the hubby the good news.  Margarita time!  Now that sounds like a good idea- one margarita for every new follower.  Care to join me?

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