I Am Not Chuck

This isn’t the first time this topic has come up.  Yesterday, there was a bit of a debate on Janet Reid’s blog because of a simple question.  Whether to write about writing, or, more specifically, should writers blog about writing.  The Shark’s position is, not really.  Or, if you do, it should only be a piece here and there.  She says, “I think writing about writing is best done in small doses and infrequently.”  She states that writers need to attract “readers” and by readers, she means people more likely to buy your book – if you have books to buy.

She goes on to explain why.

And so, here I am.  Guilty as charged.  One piece of good news is, not every post I write is about writing.  And I’m not trying to teach writing – as if I could.  Some of you out there have probably spotted grammatical errors galore, and wondered how the hell I’ve managed to write books.  Well,I have, but more than likely with a lot of grammatical errors. The funny thing is, I’ve thought about changing things up.  Doing something different here.  I just don’t know what, so I haven’t.  Then I’ve had a couple folks say they really like the blog already.  And when I throw my own two cents into the fray, I think, hey, I am who I am.  This is me, my voice, my place to spew about whatever I want.  What’s wrong with that?

Well, nothing and everything.

For one thing, I’ve always wanted to attract more followers, or potential readers, whichever.  Doesn’t anyone who’s got a blog?  Someone in JR’s comments area said that people like controversy. Well. I’m not the controversial sort.  I’m a rule follower.  I’m the polite person who moves their cart out of the way of other shoppers – even if I was standing at the meat counter eyeballing those ribeyes first.  I don’t like making waves, or drawing attention to myself.  I’m a quiet person,with a ready smile.  I have opinions about everything, but I also have enough sense to know those opinions really only matter to me.   If the topic isn’t too incendiary, I’ll weigh in – like I did yesterday.  My stance about writers attracting readers was, writers are readers too.  It’s the second most important thing we do.

JR said Chuck Wendig’s blog is fine for sharing writerly stuff b/c he writes so “fierce.”  And, let me tell you, she’s right about that.  He could write about how to make vanilla pudding and make you think you’d just cracked open a book on culinary wizardry with his descriptive choices for the most mundane tasks.  It’s like the man has his own on board thesaurus plunked into his brain with a unique talent for using unusual words as a launch pad for each and every sentence.

I’m not Chuck.  I’m nowhere near his level of writing, and his style is very different.  Bold, brash, INTERESTING.

I’m debating what’s the best way forward for this blog.  Until I know, it is what it is, (and if you know me, you know I hate that phrase) but at this point, I don’t know.  I did this originally to provide myself with a social platform for the books that will hopefully be published one day.  The problem was not knowing there were already way too many of “us,” going about  it just like this and to stand out you gotta be like Chuck – not his voice – but, unique enough to not get lost in all the noise.

Big shoes to fill.

If you are a reader, (not a writer) do you care about the writing process, words per day, how ideas are born, or any other manner of writing?  Or, is this just white noise? 



I liked what Colin said about how it’s not so much what you write but how.

To follow up on the “controversy sells” concept, I think it might be more of a, “I have a strong opinion about something”, rather than the discussion of a controversial topic, say, kale recipes instead of Shirtstorm. Some of my more popular blog posts are those that make people say, “Yeah, me too (darn tootin’!).” They strike emotional chords.

People like to flock. A compelling blog post encourages them to flock.

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    “A compelling blog post encourages them to flock.”

    And to that point, I happened to land on a blog yesterday – something that ended up on “Freshly Pressed” and it’s sort of about this very thing. A blogger/writer had an article published in Relevant mag. It got 1.6M views. And her blog subsequently then had a bunch of hits when she wrote a post about, that, and then what happens when “you go viral.” It was about wanting to quit b/c none of the great things she thought would happen, happened, and she felt discouraged.

    I agree too, that what draws people in are like feelings or circumstances. It can really help others if they feel they aren’t the only ones who think, act, or feel the same way.


JR gets a pass from me for being one awesome lit agent. I don’t know any other who offers up as much advice as she does, without any desire other than to help us out and to have fun. The community over there is strong and we do have the sort of fellowship, etc, you mention – despite how it sounds. Besides, we can take her advice or not, she doesn’t care.

Having said that, I too love the writing communities I’ve come to know. I thoroughly enjoy all of the scoop and tidbits shared by each writer as we maneuver through the various stages of this process. If I gained readers from it, or from this blog, then yay! If not, that’s okay too.


I haven’t read JR’s blog, and the more I hear about it, the less desire I have to read it. I may be off base, but a blog can/is/ought to be more than merely a marketing device. Honestly, I come to these to talk shop, not to scare up readers. I want fellowship and community among like-minded people. Writing about writing is exactly what IS interesting to me about these blogs.

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    I can’t speak highly enough of Janet Reid’s blog. It’s informative, fun and yes, at times she shills her wares but that’s okay. I’ve learned, bitched and moaned, laughed so hard I’ve cried and I feel as if I belong. To me that’s important because blogs come and go and when they go the community they built goes with them. I moved a lot when I was young, now, I hate the idea of packing up and moving on and starting over in a whole new town.

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I dunno. I’m not crazy about how-to posts on any topic, but generalized writer-angst is always welcome.

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    One “how to” sites helped me recently. A site about PIES. Yum. I had decided I wanted to make my own pie crusts. I’ve mostly been a cake and cookie baker. I’ve made pies but always used the store bought crust. After three attempts (following recipes from other sites) I landed on that one and it explained the ingredients are basically the same, but unless you know the “technique,” pie crusts won’t cooperate. Fourth try – beautiful, flaky, golden crust. Heaven.

    Personally, I love reading about writerly angst.


I think one point Janet and some of the commenting community at her blog made was that an important part of blogging is not just to throw posts into the screaming winds and leave them there, but to network, read others’ blogs (hi! by the way, did you see Carolynnwith2Ns’s dog post this week – heartbreaking … ly GOOD … !). I know I get readership from being a part of the conversation there, and at Historical Fiction Online and Twitter and so on.

You get responses here (more than I can say, and according to a couple of the links people posted yesterday I’m supposedly doing things “right” whereas you seem to think you’re not!). You have a presence here and beyond. I think that’s the major point – that people are not only aware of you, but that you’re a writer.

Percolating is good.

Pictures of little rescue dogs can’t hurt. 🙂

If nothing else: you’re not stagnating! That’s the real challenge, isn’t it?

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    Awww! I loved this sensible comment. I did have Carolynn’s post up and told her I was going to read it but today was sort of crazy. I’ve been up since 3:45. Long story – might be a good blog story – 🙂 I’ll be sure to go back and read it tomorrow.

    I do recall some of the comments about not leaving it hanging in the wind, so to speak…i.e. we have to nurture our spots in the interspace or they will be like star dust, and only provide a tiny fleck of light instead of something more noticeable. I’ve read your blog too, and although I’ve not commented (yet) I find a lot of what you say quite profound and thoughtful.

    And I’ll also say that it’s maybe not so much about thinking I’m doing it wrong, but maybe that I ought to do it different. One thing I had written above, then took it out and FORGOT to put back in (LOL!) was that I kind of like reviewing books only blogs on book reviews are like blogs on writing. Lots and lots.

    I think the main point is…finding the unique special voice like Colin said, then you can write about anything. Doesn’t matter.

    Thank you for your supportive words!


      I need to thank YOU! You just made my day. 🙂 And it was a good day to start with, so – you get a WOOT!

      Liked by 1 person

      Thanks for the mention, Donna! 🙂 I have to say, after having a blog for three years and wondering “what can I write that will people will want to read?” I’ve come to the conclusion it’s not so much the topic as the writer. Look at any of the most popular blogs, and more often than not, their popularity is not based upon the subject matter but the way that blogger tackles the subject. If you can nail a great blogging voice, people will read your blog and tell their friends, “Did you read Donna’s article yesterday about semi-colons and puff pastry? It was SOOO funny!”

      I’m still not there with my blog voice, but I’m working on it… 🙂


      It was an astute comment! We all know we could blog about – well, anything – and if our voice is strong, homerun. This is really no different, IMHO, than how we write our stories, except I think it’s harder. We have to be who WE are, not some fictional character we’ve made up who we can assign some affectation, issues, quirks, etc. to make them more interesting.

      I’m about as interesting as mud, hence, this could be an issue.


I’m in a similar position. I have my dog blog, and the topics I cover there are very well established by this point (food/product reviews, training, breed rescue, Funny Dog Stoes, and Wordless Wednesday [a valuable once a week free material post, seriously]), but on my “writing blog”, I’m still finding my way. I post about the research I’m doing, I post funny conversations I’ve had, I post some book reviews and NaNoWriMo stuff and thoughts on genre.

So maybe I lack focus? Maybe I’m doing it right but lacking exposure? But, I don’t have any published books I’m shilling and don’t want to talk too much about the books I’ve written. So.


    And around and around we go, right? I’ve clicked others names on the JR blog only to find nothing – and here you are with TWO blogs! I didn’t know. I’ll have to check out your dog blog – speaking from one dog lover to another. I’ve got a little rescue you’ve probably seen me mention before as Little Dog. (all 4 lbs of him. He turned five yesterday. We’ve had him almost two years now.)

    IDK. This one’s going to have to percolate a while. I may change things up. I may not. As you said…so.



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