I’ve been writing my Cinema Toast blog for over a year, and it’s one of my favorite things to do each week. Do I have a huge following? I doubt it. Will I get famous or make a fortune with my little blog about movies? Nope. Why bother spending an hour or so every week to write something that will only be read by a dozen people—maybe less?
I have a few reasons, and they’re good ones.
When I first became serious about writing, I was constantly hearing the same advice, “It’s very important to write something every single day.” I tried writing on my novel every day. What I ended up with is a few great pages, mixed in with lots of other “stuff” that needed to be trashed. My technique was only improving marginally, but I was writing every day.
One day at our bi-monthly meeting of the Panhandle Professional Writers, I heard a speaker talk about blogging. She explained about how you can create a web presence and a writing platform by blogging. She used celebrities and well-known bloggers as examples, and offered several ideas for getting your name out there. I thought about what she’d said.
I went home and thought some more. At first, I considered blogging to be kind-of self-indulgent and a bit Narcissistic. I just couldn’t see anyone being interested in what I had to say about myself. I even try to keep my Facebook status short and sweet. Blogging seemed more like taking my diary and posting it for the world. (Believe me; my diary was never that great, anyway.)
Then I realized that lots of my “writing chaff” was a product of random ideas swirling in my brain that just needed to be written out. You know how you get something stuck in your mind, and you can’t seem to shake it until you tell someone about it? That was a big problem for me.
That’s when I decided that I could use a blog to release all of that fluff ‘n stuff into the universe. It could work. But if I were going to do it, I’d have to write about something I loved. It would have to be movies.
I pulled out my yellow legal tablet and compiled a list of topics to write about. I didn’t want it to be a critic’s blog, because I’m a glass-half-full kind of gal, and that would get boring. I wanted my blog to informative and thoughtful, and not centered around me. In twenty minutes, I had over a hundred ideas for posts, enough for a year of posting twice a week. I quickly decided that this was definitely the subject for me.
Another benefit of blogging about something I love is that not only does it provide me with legally documented proof that I’m a writer; I can also claim my movie purchases as a business expense. Hurray for tax write-offs.
Best of all the benefits of blogging is the fact that my novel writing has improved considerably. By clearing out the random fancies in my mind, I can focus on the story I want to tell. I can chisel it and move it forward. The members of my critique group help me edit and shape my work in progress. They can see that my chapters are tighter and clearer every week.
As far as fame or money is concerned, I’m not worried about that. I’ve met some wonderful people through my blog. I’ve even been blessed with the chance to “tweet” with some of my favorite movie icons. That’s always fun.
Is blogging for everyone? Certainly not. I wouldn’t have ventured into the blogosphere without a clear direction and purpose. For me, what I received from this virtual universe has been well worth it. I get a chance to clear out my neuro-cobwebs and interact with some great people. I get to express myself creatively and even help others discover a few movie gems along the way.