Why blog? When I first heard about blogging, I figured I didn’t need another reason to write. But once I got the hang of it and realized the value of writing concise pieces about a variety of subjects, I found I really enjoyed blogging. Over the years, I’ve had 400+ magazine and newspaper articles published. In many cases, I had a steady, reliable publisher to whom I submitted destination articles, but for other topics I often spent much time finding the right magazine, the right “fit” for my work. Once I became heavily involved in writing books, I found blogging made better use of my time than writing for magazines.
I’m am an enthusiastic reader and read many genres. Book reviews became a natural for me and proved to be worthwhile fodder for my blog. I have had many people tell me they read a book because of one of my reviews. I find I read a book differently when I know I’m going to review it. For one thing, I really have to pay attention so that I can accurately describe the essence of the book’s message.
For many years I wrote for RV LIFE, a magazine devoted to RVers featuring places and products of interest to them. My husband Bruce is an avid photographer and furnished the graphics for my articles. We look at destinations in a different light than we might have if we were just been passing through. I use these same observation skills in writing destination blogs.
After writing my two memoirs, TUBOB: Two Years in West Africa with the Peace Corps and Sailing with Impunity: Adventure in the South Pacific, I found I could take excerpts from them to post on my blog. These pieces not only provide what I hope will be interesting reading of specific incidents, but also help make my readers more familiar with my writing, maybe even entice them to read the books.
I thrive on routine so naturally have a specific day to blog. Almost without fail, I send out a weekly blog Monday mornings. But I don’t just blissfully post a piece in haste. Each blog I post has been written sometimes weeks before. After I write a piece, I let it “sit” overnight, then go over it again. It’s amazing what I find to tweak. Then I ask my husband to read it–he’s a very good “first reader” and offers good suggestions. After making those changes, I read the piece to my Wednesday critique group and use their input to further enhance the piece. Finally, I feel it’s ready for my blog readers. I don’t take blogging lightly. My readers’ time is valuable to them and I don’t want to make frivolous use of their trust that they’ll read something of interest.
Blogging is a way of getting my name out there, of getting people to visit my website, but more than that, it gives me a sense of communicating with a wide range of people, imparting to them what I hope will be fresh perspectives.