Okay, I'm just going to come right out and say it. The cynical blogger is ... me. It's true. I have had a resistance ... no, it's more than that -- a defiance to blogs (not unlike my defiance of Facebook, Twitter and the like). I never understood them or why people all over the earth would flock together to scroll through someone's random thoughts or inspirations. Like I said, this is my confession, and I'm laying it all out on the table (you've been warned).
Six months ago when Angie, Amy and I decided to start a critique group as well as a blog, I did so on the recommendation of an agent at the conference we attended. My idea of a blog was to get our three names on a webpage. That's it. Put up a few pictures, a bio, contact info and call it good. I didn't want to fall into that 'self-centered, egotistical, can't-contain-my-greatness-so-I-just-have-to-blog-about-it' category. I didn't want to shine, I didn't want to shake things up - I just wanted to be a fly on the blogging world wall and let success come to us, rather than seek it out ourselves.
Angie, on the other hand, had other ideas. And this is the moment where my cynicism waned dramatically.
I began seeing posts about campaigns and blogfests (what?), not having any clue what Angie was up to. I just stuck my nose back into my manuscript while she plugged away at the blog. Then some of you started leaving awesome comments to Angie's deluxe posts. I began following links to your blogs. And what's worse - I began to read them. I read your bios, the upcoming events surrounding your writing, interviews, tips, ideas, the latest blog award, helpful links, etc.
Imagine the shock I received when, come to find out, you aren't all a bunch of bored, over-inflated, anti-social people who have nothing better to do than surf the internet and make imaginary friends (please don't throw stones, my confession ends well, I promise. I'm a changed woman).
I read one line in Jen Daiker's blog that completely broadsided me. In answer to why she has so many followers on her blog, she replied that aside from her obvious awesomeness, the real, bottom-line answer is: Hard Work. And she's right. Blogging is not for the faint of heart -- I know that now. You have all stepped up to plate, embraced the new face of marketing, putting your name and your talent out there and are networking your fingers to the bone.
I'm new to the game. I HAD NO IDEA THIS WAS SO MUCH WORK!(a lot of fun, but work none the less). Come to find out, you guys aren't bored, twiddling-your-fingers kind of people. You have children, careers, side jobs, second jobs, third jobs, husbands, laundry, pets, wives ... just like me. You have to juggle your time and priorities ... just like me. You are probably functioning on too little sleep ... just like me.
The truth is, you're talented people, with regular lives who know that you have to work for what you want. You're using tools to reach your dream. To be successful writers and teachers and whatever else. You're not entertaining any delusions that your dream will be realized without some sweat, tears and a lot of typing. You're realistic and motivated and hardworking.
So, from a novice blogger, may I just say, thanks for teaching me a few ropes, a few tricks of the trade and above all, for putting yourselves out there every week and giving some of us who thought we knew it all, a good spanking (metaphorically speaking! :))