Please welcome Charity Bradford, author of The Magic Wakes!
Thank you Livia for giving me this opportunity to say THANK YOU to the wonderful online writing community.
The Gift of Confidence
When I stopped to think how the blogosphere helped me reach my goal of getting published, I couldn’t think of one major thing, but a hundred little things every day. Where to start? The beginning? I entered the blogging world late December 2010 with the goal of keeping an online journal about my writing. Deep down I hoped people would find it and I’d make friends, but I had a food blog for 2 years and only gained 20 followers, so I didn’t expect much. I simply needed a place to dream, vent and share what I was learning. Just in case. Friends have come and gone along the way. At first it bothered me that I’d have great conversations with someone for a few months and then they would disappear. Now I realize that’s just life. They're still around, and I’m always glad when I see their name pop up in comments on my blog or other people’s blogs. The truth is we all move on. Make new friends. And none of us can keep track of every single person we’ve ever met. Still, I miss some of those conversations. Now, on to how blogging has helped me get published.
The Gift of Knowledge
As followers started filling in my google connect I was absolutely boggled. What are they hoping to find here on my blog? Why are they following ME?? Have you ever felt that way? Anyway, over the last two years I’ve participated in lots of blogfests because they are oh so fun. In the process I had the opportunity to share some of my writing. This is also how I made new friends and gained new followers. One of my favorite things to do is go back over those blogfest entries and read the comments. The people who took the time to make a comment filled my bucket with confidence. I started to believe that maybe, just maybe I could be a writer.
The Gift of Hope
As I wrote posts, I also followed and read other blogs. It became a sort of online college of writing for me. As others learned, I learned. Have you ever noticed how all the writing blogs seem to have a similar theme week by week, month by month? Everyone will write about comma usage and then we all switch over to how important dialogue is and so forth. I believe this is because we really do learn best together as opposed to on our own. Thanks to the blogging community, I learned how to be a better writer.
The Gift of Connection
As hard as it is to see someone else realize their dream while you are "left behind", it's also exciting to be included in their life events. Every blogger friend that signed with an agent gave me hope that it was possible. Every new book that came out made me more determined to see my book published.
Writing can often be a solitary thing. The blogging community gave me a place where I felt welcomed and more importantly understood. Other writers "get it" when we can't tell the difference between the real world and the ones in our heads. They're used to listening to voices in their heads and they aren't medicated either! Blogging ultimately led me to my publisher as well. Before I even considered going with a mid-sized publisher I met and became friends with several of the authors with my publishing house. With one of the founders even! As the relationship developed I felt comfortable asking questions, and ultimately putting my trust in WiDo. I'm so glad I did! All in all, blogging has been a wonderful experience for me. It has brought rewarding friendships and made me a better writer.
Thank you Charity!