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Enter, the mistress of blogging, Laurie “Crazy Aunt Purl” Perry

June 24, 2008 at 7:41 pm

I was going to write about tomorrow’s launch meeting at HCI where the editors have their bi-annual cavalcade of books. That is, the books-to-be. At 10:00 am Wednesday we’ll be audience to the title list for spring 2009. 

Launch meetings are always exciting and fun especially when Carol prepares goody bags. Last launch we got Chinese finger traps and superballs along with our snack food.

Then, I thought it might be more interesting to you to report on the meeting AfTER it happens. There’ll probably be some juicy stuff to share that I can’t yet anticipate. So, what do you say??

Coyly, I segue into the plum that has fallen into my blog lap expressly for your reading pleasure…

Upon request (and delivered in scary fast time), Laurie Perry aka Crazy Aunt Purl, one of my favorite humans, authors and queen of the blogosphere, turned in a trademark funny, enlightening, helpful and beautifully written post. 

Welcome, Guest Blogger #2 – “Listen” carefully, Laurie knows from where she speaks…

                                                                  Laurie Perry & me  

The word “blog” sounds like something you do alone in the bathroom when you have bronchitis.

Talking about blogs and blogging and all that stuff never occurs to me. I don’t like the word, for one thing. It’s like the internet has a booger… “Hey, you should um, check out that blog in your left nostril, gnarly!” But there is no denying that the rest of the world loves their blogs, their blogosphere and their bloggregation. (I made that last wordup!)

I think of my website as my online diary. I started it because I was alone, and unable to sleep, and had no one to talk to and I love to write.

I am all about the blah blah blah. Long before blogs existed there were lots on online diarists, they even had diarist awards (I never won one)and I used to have a website a million years ago where I wrote a column under a pen name. It was fun and I was a truly awful writer.

I was still young and dumb(er) and I was trying to project an image of being really cool, cosmopolitan and hip (three words which do not describe me under any circumstances.)

I was also still lying about my age back then, my whole life was a big balloon ready to pop and it reflected in my writing — it was shallow and self-aware and annoying. I gave up that online persona after three years, at the time my marriage was on its last legs and we were just trying to hold it all together and I couldn’t pretend to be anything to anyone anymore.

Later, when I went through the divorce, I started writing again and I was too exhausted and brokedown to invent an exciting online life. I didn’t even have a real-life life, so I just wrote what was on my mind.

I wrote about my new hobby — knitting — and I wrote about my cats and my anger at my marriage falling apart and I made jokes about my terrible just-dumped fashion choices.

Nobody read a single word for months and months and it was great, I just said any old thing I wanted! I used more swear words, too, that’s back before my parents started reading and checking up on me. And then all this stuff happened.

Readers. Advertisers. Essays published. A book! A book tour! My very own publicist (she’s the best in the business!)

And now at least once a day I get an email like this:

Dear Laurie,

I want to start a blog but I need some help. I don’t know what to do to make it a big success. Can you give me some advice?

Thanks, Reader

I’m paraphrasing, but most folks want to know how to get started with ablog and make a million dollars. I WISH I KNEW!!!! But seriously, I am more than happy to help if I can except I really don’t know if my advice is what anyone is looking for. For one thing, I just ended that last sentence in a preposition.

For another thing, I do not make a million dollars. Also, I know there are folks out there who specialize in blogging advice and how-to articles and “promote your website!” and so on, none ofwhich are my area of interest. I just like writing and would do it if no one read a word.

In fact, I did do that… for months and months and months!

And I really have an aversion to that word … “blog.” http://www.crazyauntpurl.com/ is just my personal diary and my little newspaper of spinsterness. I write my own column every night and my editor is covered in fur and sits on the laptop if I am not careful. We are happy in our delusions of fur & grandeur.

But since I get asked this blogging question through email at least once a day I will tell ya’ll what I tell everyone: just write what you know, do it because you like it, and write all the time.

Detach totally from any outcome and love the sheer act of putting words into the world.

No one likes that advice, by the way. They want to know about search engine optimization.

You have to ask yourself this question: why do you want to put up a website? blog? thingamajig? Because to me the only reason to do something is if you really want to do it or really love doing it. As far as blogs, I think that means either you are passionate about writing or passionateabout your subject matter.

For example, there’s a guy here in LA who has http://tacohunt.blogspot.com/ a blog about taco stands and taco trucks – he loves his subject matter and it shows!

You don’t have to make up a business plan, folks, you just do what you love and people will find you. If you write in your own unique voice and write frequently and love it, someone somewhere will start reading.

You also have to figure out what your goal is here. Is it to make money? Because there are better ways to do that — trust me. Is it to become an internet superstar? Get naked on YouTube. It’s a much faster route to notoriety. Is it because everyone has a blog?

Everyone has boogers, too, but no one is jumping up and down about it! But if you just want to write, or just have something you want to say, then SAY it! That is success.

After all, who would think a messy divorce +knitting + cat poop + growthy soliloquys of a bazillion words would be a winning combo? NOBODY!!! But my website grows every day and I never get tired of it because I love writing, even when it’s about the pedestrian day-to-day life of a divorced lady with a pile of cats.

In the end, my answer to this question is just write what you know, do it because you love it and don’t be attached to any outcome. That seems to be the best formula for happiness, anyway.

And happiness is success, even if it doesn’t pay the bills … yet.

Laurie Perry is the author of Crazy Aunt Purl’s Drunk, Divorced & Covered in Cat Hair

                                                     

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