Blogging 101: Starting New

And why, you may ask–when this blog will celebrate its fifth anniversary in the spring of 2016–would I tackle WordPress’s “Blogging 101” course to start the new year?

The answer? It’s an opportunity to re-visit this blog, to learn some new tricks, and to make these pages stronger and more appealing.

So I thought, Why not?

Because Poor Blog: I have to confess she’s been neglected lately, even after the publication of my short story collection, Crosscurrents and Other Stories. Maintaining the blog is more important than ever, but there are all those other things you have to do when you publish a book, especially  when you publish with a small press, even a really good one like Press 53. You don’t have a publicist, and nobody is handling your marketing or setting up events. (For more on this, see “Great Expectations: Ten Things to Expect When You Launch Your Book.” ) It’s all exciting and fun, but it’s a lot of work.

Create / Gerry Wilson

And to tell you the truth, the blog was feeling stale. It had become a chore. This blog began in response to a challenge, so I thought maybe a new challenge is what it needs–what I need–to re-engage and find new and refreshing ways to engage you, the reader.

The first assignment for “Blogging 101” is to write this post and think about why I’m here. “Blogging 101” suggests that if I’ve been blogging for a while, now is a good time to re-examine my motives. Here are the suggested questions to address:

  • Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?
  • What topics do you think you’ll write about?
  • Who would you love to connect with via your blog?
  • If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?

Here goes:

I’m blogging publicly because 1) I don’t enjoy talking (writing) to myself so much;  2) I have something to say; and 3) I want to create a platform for my book and whatever comes after it.

Scraps / Gerry Wilson
Scraps / Gerry Wilson

What will I write about? Certainly some of the same things I’ve written about before: personal experiences,  memories, writing about writing. I will seldom wax political here, not because I don’t have strong opinions, but that’s not the focus of the blog. That won’t change. And maybe there’s something new, something I haven’t explored yet.

I want to connect with anyone who shares my love of books and writing and, well, life.

What do I hope to accomplish? On a practical level, a blog calendar I can stick with and manage without feeling overwhelmed. I’d love a revamped theme/style. I want connection. I want growth.

So here it is: #1 post for “Blogging 101.” The old hand, trying something new. We’ll see how long I last. Hoping for good things!

17 thoughts on “Blogging 101: Starting New

  1. I’m so glad to have discovered your blog, and also this particular post, because I’ve been thinking about what my blog is for, too, and re-evaluating, taking stock. It is so great to renew purpose. I’m blogging for a number of reasons, but one in particular is to share books and authors that have been especially helpful to me, both in my craft as a writer, and simply in living a good, fulfilled life. I’m curious to see if this sharing is valuable to others – sometimes I wonder if it is, and it is good to do a reality check to see if I’m offering something that will make a difference to others. At times I struggle with having enough time and energy to do my own writing, while still offering something of value to others in the meantime!

    1. Valerie, I have let this blog languish for months now, just a post here and there. I feel conflicted because I enjoy writing for the blog (most of the time!) and when I do write a post, I want it to be something worthy of readers’ time. But, as is the case with you, it takes valuable time away from other writing. I’d been wanting to improve the look of the blog, too, and when I ran across the Blogging 101 “course,” I thought it might be a way to get me back into it. So far, that’s working. Thank you so much for visiting here and for commenting!

      1. I will. Hope you will, too. I just went back to your blog and I didn’t see a place to leave a comment so I’ll leave it here and hope you see it. I was struck by this in the last post, about “The Story of the Lost Child” (your words): “It’s often a struggle when I write to break out of my safe, everyday self and give creativity free reign. The genius of the Neapolitan novels is that Elena and Lila’s story can be read as the author’s own creative struggle with a psyche split in two.” I often struggle with main characters who are too much like me. Lovely post.

  2. Good for you, Gerry! Where/how did you do the Blogging 101 course?
    I’ve been in the same boat this past year – two blogs and both of them essentially neglected. That was partly because I was sick half the year and partly because I was overwhelmed with other life demands. Let’s hope we both can keep up with blogging this year – at least once a month!

  3. I wish you the best with revamping your blog! It’s nice to meet you, and I look forward to reading more from you 🙂

    1. I’m not sure veteran is the right way to describe me, mrsleeims! Off-and-on is more like it. I’m looking forward to it, too, since I really do need to make some improvements here and mainly get motivated to get back into the blog more fully. Thanks for stopping by!

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