With the Kidlit Bloggers Conference coming up this weekend, it seems appropriate to talk about why blogging is so great. Well, it's great for a lot of reasons, perhaps primarily because of the wonderful people all around the world one would not otherwise meet, but I'm going to focus on a few examples of why blogging is great for writers.
-- The biggest one for me has got to be this: blogging got me writing more, and writing differently. Shortly after I started blogging, Meg and I began the Sunday Scribblings site. What I wanted out of it was a weekly exercise in writing short fictions without stress or expectations. After two years of writing nothing but Blackbringer, I wanted to stretch my writing mind a little. And I did, and it was wonderful. The wonderfulness is a great treasure in itself, the fun, but there was an additional reward: three of the fictions that came out of those writing prompts became Lips Touch, my second book. That was an unforseeable serendipity. The "newt" I am currently working on also came from a Sunday Scribblings prompt, but I'm not saying which one!
So, blogging got me writing more. YAY!
-- I love having a forum for meeting readers of my book, both children and adults. There's email too, and that's great and I welcome emails, but the blog is fun for the opportunity it provides to have dialogues about different subjects and get to know each other.
-- Quirky professional opportunites arise, and unexpected *meetings* like these:
1) This is just great. An essay from Not for Robots is included in The New Writer's Handbook, Volume 2, which just came out. Yay! I was thrilled to be contaced by the editor, Philip Martin, some months ago, and now seeing the book for the first time, I am thrilled to see my name listed in the table of contents like this: Shannon Hale, Kirby Larson, Laini Taylor, Eve Porinchak -- all writers I adore! And we're just a few among 60+, in writing essays that range from Motivation to Craft to Marketing Savvy. Other contributors include Lois Lowry, Scott Westerfeld, and Ira Glass. I just received it today and haven't read much of it yet, but I will write more about it when I have.
2) Remember how I showed you the upcoming German edition of Dreamdark? Well, because I had mentioned the translators by name in my post, the wife of Friedrich Pfluger found it and forwarded it to him, and he emailed me! It was the first thing I saw this morning, a long, wonderful, and warm email from the German translator of Blackbringer, telling me all kinds of fun things about name choices and slang translations, etc. Talon Rathersting becomes: Talon Wagedorn, which means something like "daring thorn," and "flummox me!" becomes "Verflixt!" and many more things. So fun! If I didn't have a blog, this interaction would never have taken place. It's so neat to be able to connect with someone who took such care poring over my words, and in whose hands rests the sound and meaning of my book for everyone who will read it in that language. It's a big thing, translating a book! So, thank you very, very, very much, Friedrich Pfluger and Cornelia Stoll!
3) Recently, an editor in the UK found his way to my blog via a Google alert when I wrote about one of his own authors, and he was intrigued by my book and requested it!! He is reading it now!! Now, I am not saying that he will make an offer for UK rights or anything, but how cool that he found out about my book that way. That whole interaction, regardless of whether anything "comes of it," is crazy-exciting to me, and felt like such a neat, fortuitous connection. Plus, I got to have an email dialogue with the editor of a book I was currently reading and loving. That was cool.
4) Even before Blackbringer came out, a blog friend interviewed me for a feature in Writer's Digest Magazine; that never would have happened without blogging. Three cheers for blogging!
So, those are just a few examples of blog serendipities. If you're a writer who's still on the fence about blogging, I urge you to go for it. Writing about all of this just makes me more excited about the conference this weekend. To spend all day + two evenings with people who love children's books and blogs, well, yeah. Sign me up. And those things mentioned above are mostly just fortuitous things, but the fact is, there is a whole community of connections in the "kidlitosphere" to explore, and that has nothing to do with chance. These blogs exist, all these people who love books, and we can find each other in these surreal little places called blogs.
P.S. Can I ask, what the fleck was up with Bill Clinton on Letterman last night? Jim and I were aghast. Is he trying to sabotage Obama? I had never given any credence to the idea that the Clintons could be so self-involved as to want Obama to lose so Hillary can run again in '12, but now. . . now I'm not so sure. If you don't know what I'm talking about, it's HERE, but it's long. And thank GOD for Chris Rock coming on right after and totally calling Clinton on his sh**. Go, Chris Rock. Love you. Mwah. Bill Clinton, you have lost my remaining respect. Obama beat Hillary. Deal with it.