Will You Be Blogging in 10 Years?
I wrote my first poem sometime around the age of 8. I started writing short stories in high school. In 1997-1998 I wrote a novel that never really saw the light of day.
In 1999, I entered graduate school to pursue a master’s in creative writing. I finished in 2002 with a thesis containing a collection of short stories. When I finished, I asked one of my professors how many of the writing program’s alumni were still writing. “Not many,” he said.
On the night of my graduate reading, my best friend Steph gave me a beautiful notebook. “There’s one hitch,” she said. “You can’t write in it until 2012. And you better still be writing then.”
I still have the notebook, somewhere in the underbelly of this house. I haven’t written in it yet, but Steph’s words hung with me. I was terrified, then, in 2002, that I would stop writing without the graduate writing program spurring me on, without people expecting to see my work at regular intervals. My greatest fear in life is that I will stop writing, dry up, have nothing left to say.
I was freelancing for two regional magazines at the time, and I amassed about forty articles over a five-year period. To give myself additional deadlines, I told myself I would produce at least one short story and two poems a year. I didn’t write every day, though. I would set aside a few hours on the weekends, being childless at the time. I was submitting a lot in those days, and I published a few of the thesis short stories online and in literary journals. It was a hard row to hoe, if you’ve ever done it. It’s time-consuming and unrewarding. Most of the journals don’t even write you back, let alone provide feedback or publication. It’s very discouraging. I worried how I would find the time to write once I had kids.
At that point, I stopped worrying I would stop writing. Blogging opened up a whole new world for me. It was a world of five posts a week. I experimented with different writing styles. I started reading other people’s blogs en masse, moving away for a while from novels and books. Then I started Surrender, Dorothy: Reviews when I realized I could get free books if I reviewed them. So then I was reading books again, lots of books. And I got really inspired.
This period of my life lead me to start working on Sleep Is for the Weak in 2006, and it was published in 2008. I’ve been writing for BlogHer now for almost two years, and I’ve started freelancing again. For me, one form of writing begets another. A post I write for BlogHer plants the seed for an article pitch. A book I read inspires a post on my personal blog. I feel more engaged with the writing world than I ever have, and I’m reading more, both in print and online, then I ever have in my life. I never want that feeling to end.
Will I be blogging in 10 years? Who knows if we will even have computers still in 10 years? Will I be writing in 10 years? Yes. YES.