Alright, sue me?I’m messing around with the idea of a “national blog writing month.” I have a good friend who is doing NaBloWriYe, a whole year of daily posts. She reports she’s feeling bored and uninspired with a few months to go. I love blogging, but the imperative to blog every day might do me in.
But is anyone doing NaNoWriMo? If so, share–unless you have realized, probably correctly, that any time you spend looking at blogs or Facebook would be better spent reaching your goal of 57,000 words, or whatever it is–and thus, are not reading. We excuse you: go write!
I for one have never participated in National Novel Writing Month, and am not this year, either. Some day I hope to have a novel in me, but I’m not rushing it.
It’s Monday, and I do have a plug, but I also wanted to share the nice news that popcorntheblog was Freshly Pressed last week. One thing I have come to love about blogging, and WordPress in particular: it feels like if you’re posting good stuff you stand the chance of getting picked up for FP and increasing your readership in just a few days. Popcorn being Freshly Pressed was a wonderful boost, since all the women in the collective care so much about the project. Thanks, WordPress.
In full disclosure, my plug this week is for a book written by my uncle, Jeffrey Blount. It’s a young adult novel called Hating Heidi Foster, a story of friendship, loyalty, and grief. Just out.
You can download Hating Heidi Foster as an e-book or snatch it up on Amazon, though it looks like you should buy soon: only five copies left! (I’m sure there will be more.) I read this book in the manuscript stage and am thrilled to see it’s reached print.
On the suggestion of fellow popcorn blogger Susan Szafir, I am reading a fun memoir called The Motion of the Ocean: 1 Small Boat, 2 Average Lovers, and a Woman’s Search for the Meaning of Wife by Seattle writer Janna Cawrse Esarey. In the in-between times, I have been trolling the NationNewYorkerAtlanticMachine and getting stuck in some excellent pieces of journalism. Here are a few plugs, if you’re feeling like some socio-political commentary or just good old-fashioned voyeurism:
This fascinating article about Salman Rushdie from the September 17 issue of The New Yorker (yes, I am still behind, but at least I have made it to September).
This great interview with blogger Julia, by Ruth Whippman on popcorntheblog, all about privacy, blogging, alienating your in-laws, and writing about your kids (Julia’s blog is a fun read, too, if you’re inclined towards kidsy-things).
This article about teaching writing from the latest Atlantic Monthly. It may be inspiring a revolution in the way I teach.
This blog post, on The Nation, by Jessica Valenti, all about Momming and identity.
By the way: how did I find the time to read all this last week? I have no idea. Not this week: I must commence to sew a tiger costume for a certain someone’s Halloween.
Later this week (barring sewing disasters, earthquakes, illness, childcare snafus, or the like): my Fall Reading List.
Here’s a plug, bloggers: Britt Bravo and her Juicy Blogging E-Course!
I took Britt’s course last spring and was really jostled, in a good way, into rethinking how I wanted to share information and the best ways to do so. Britt will give you weekly homework assignments like “write a 500-word post” (difficult!) and “add five blogs to your Google Reader” (what’s Google Reader?) and “find one image using Google Advanced Image Search” (uh…). Maybe you have these skills in hand already. I, on the other hand, did not, so I benefited a lot from Britt’s expertise.
There is also a wonderful sense of community built in the course, because you’re watching other bloggers change and grow, too.
Ms. Bravo herself
Britt’s Juicy Blogging E-Course: The Art & Play of Blogging runs from October 16 to November 6 this fall and costs $99. Kind of a steal.
I am a part of a wonderful collective blog by a group of women who write in the West and Northwest. Popcorntheblog has musings on all things writerly, from summer reading lists to craft issues to advice. Today on popcorn, Tara Conklin interviews writer Oonah Joslin, whose work was featured recently in an anthology called Pangea: Stories from Around the Globe, about her writing habits, the need for a writing community, and what comes next.
I?ve been having a crisis of faith about Uploads & Inserts. Like many things in my creative life, I plowed on in without thinking the entire thing through. I knew I wanted a ?professional? Website, where I could keep folks up to date about my many new publications (uh, yeah, about that?), and I wanted to have a space for some information about me, Susie Meserve. My idea, of course, was that this Website would be a valuable tool when I was sending out work and looking for an agent for my memoir. I want to sell a book, yo! And, separately, I knew I wanted to blog. Et voila, I thought, let?s put it all together.
So here we are, and it?s been great fun, but lately a host of concerns has cropped up. I?ve been feeling like I want more privacy. Yes, we all know I have very little trouble oversharing, but believe it or not I too have my moments of shyness. More than that, I?ve been worried about who?s reading. I love that my friends, a few randoms, and my mom (Hi Mom!) are tuning in, but then, what about Internet predators? What about my students? Are they googling me and reading about my every vulnerability? And, about those agents. If one checks out this site, does she learn more about me than maybe she wants to?more than I want her to? Should I maintain this as a professional Website, and keep personal things personal?
Well, but: the overshare has kind of become my genre, so maybe it?s not so wrong to connect the two, my professional Website and my personal blog. After writing poetry for many years, the past few have seen me working almost exclusively on the memoir and other personal essay-type projects. If there is a niche that I?m filling, it might be personal, autobiographical writing (that?s another crisis of faith, but I?ll table that for now). So maybe that isn’t a problem after all.
In any event, two questions came up: should I can this blog, and start another, anonymous blog? A whole separate enterprise, where I don?t name myself at all?
And if I do that, or even if I stay here, what is this blog about? Is it about parenting, writing, anxiety, all of the above? Does that work? Seems awfully unfocused. I’ve been worrying about that.
I brought these concerns to two pals this week, both fellow bloggers: An Honest Mom and Ruth Whippman, who blogs at Calm Down Dear and a few other places. An Honest Mom is a good one to talk to about these things because, like me, she?s trying to sort out her role as a blogger and she?s pretty open to new stuff. So we worked out some things. Then, later that day, Ruth and I had a good chat about it too. Ruth is a good person to talk to about these things because she?s sharp as a tack and she is pretty pragmatic, savvy, and thoughtful about her professional life.
After much thinking, I have a plan. You ready for it?
1. I am thinking maybe, just maybe, I’ll can this blog and keep this site professional. I might even make a tab called “blog,” where I occasionally post bits and pieces of my writing, or news, or share about books I’m reading or literary events I’m attending. You know, writer’s stuff. Low impact.
2. I will start a new blog, but it won’t be anonymous. Because I want to generate interest, right? Interest in the overshare, if you will. Interest in my memoir. Interest in selling a book, yo. This new blog might have a specific kind of a focus, a little more nuance, with a catchy catch phrase (stay tuned!). But it will be the work of me, Susie Meserve, and I will of course link from one to the other. And maybe it won’t be about parenting so much. Or maybe it will.
3. But, because I really do like writing about parenting, a lot, in fact, maybe I’ll find a place to do that if I decide the other blog should have a different bent. Ruth does a lot of guest blogging, and she blogs for the Huffington Post, too. So maybe there’s a place to write about me and my sweet L somewhere.
4. Well, and, cool thing: Ruth invited me to join a group blog that she writes with six other women, all about writing. One dropped out, and I’m taking her place. So now, on a regular basis, I’ll be blogging about writing. I’ll share more details of that once I’m online there. Exciting stuff.
Looks like, instead of one blog, I now have…four.
Have I mentioned that I don’t really like blogs that much? I read my friends’ blogs, of course, but in some ways I’m a real luddite. I don’t hold with Kindles, for example. I want me a book in my hands. And, if I’m doing all this blogging, when (the hell) am I going to find time for some of the new projects I’m saving up?
This may be my next dilemma.
And this is the part of the post where I ask, “what do you guys think?” Anyone care to (over)share?