Hi, my name is Dorothy, and I'm a lapsed blogger.
It's been two months since I posted. And I'd only been at it for six months, since October 2015, the month before my first book was published by a small press. I'd read all this advice online about the things I needed to do as a new author. Like have an author website, a twitter account and a blog.
All of this designed to establish and grow my "platform," a concept I'm still pretty shaky on.
Anyway, I cobbled a freebie website together. I signed up for a twitter account. And I set up this blog and began posting my assorted musings two to three times a month. Topics and tone have varied widely. From stabs at humor to arcane mini essays and sentimental snippets of personal reflection. I composed my posts, spent way too much time prettying them up with photos and what not, and shared them via Facebook and Twitter.
By March of this year, after six months of sending my words out into the mysterious ether that is the internet, I was exhausted, deflated and feeling over-exposed. Like those dreams where you realize, in the middle of a staff meeting, that you forgot to put on clothes that morning.
I guess I had hoped for some outcome, some visible, tangible result. But what? For my posts about my 94-year old mother with Alzheimer's, or that Christmas back in the 1960s when I got Super Skates, to go viral? For my esoteric art book/memoir, that's also kind of pricey, to become an internet sensation and soar to the top of the Amazon rankings? For a movie deal?
Well no. I'm not that naive. And yes.
Just like it would be very cool if all the pills that promise a 30-pound weight loss in 30 days, actually worked. That's a pound a day, people! I could be out of these sweat pants and back into all those jeans in my closet in no time at all.
Which is where I conclude that blogging really is like dieting. I suppose I could expand on that to say that all writing is like dieting. There are no short cuts or magic formulas. With dieting, it's the basics. Eat less. Exercise more. With writing, it's the basics. It's about doing it, consistently. Putting in the time and effort. Not expecting miraculous, unearned results. Staying the course. Generating a body of work. Improving over time.
It's about doing it because you must, because it's your last thought at night, your first thought when you wake, and there isn't anything you'd rather do. Because you are a writer.
Dorothy, author of Gray Is The New Black, blogs about the challenges and opportunities of being a woman and a writer of a certain age in a youth-centric universe.