During this phase of social distancing and avoiding other humans so as to help flatten the curve of the COVID-19 virus spread, I determined that it is the time to perhaps start writing for a different purpose.
After writing a daily blog for three years, and gaining a modest readership, I would like to add some other writing projects. I recently started another blog called The Lone Oak for environmental education. But, it was mainly to advertise my services as an environmental educator and allow teachers and/or community members in the Driftless Area of Wisconsin a way to contact me and schedule presentations. Now, that schools are all working on a virtual platform, my service will not be needed until later this year. There will be time to relaunch that website and do the recruiting that was meant to be done this spring at a later time.
And, although I do want to continue writing this blog, I am getting the itch to try some other kinds of writing, perhaps in an effort to be published which is something I’ve always wanted. Thus, yesterday, I wrote down some possible writing projects I could work on. Most are non-fiction as that is what I like to write. But, I do have a couple of ideas for fiction books as well. In preparation for doing this, I started to read Wild Ink: How to Write Fiction for Young Adults (2008) by Victoria Hanley. After only thirty pages, I am convinced that young adult fiction is not the right fit for me! But, I think I’ll finish the book to glean some other general writing tips that are sure to be covered within the text.
One of the first things, I’ve decided to do is to gather all my poetry for a compilation. Poetry is a type of writing I have experience with teaching and writing. Once I’ve gathered what I’ve written and can reflect what I’ve learned and taught, I’d like to put it all together to share.
The other step I’ve taken is to do some preliminary research on topics that interest me enough to write about – either in a fictional or non-fictional way. Some of that information was printed on Saturday, and I will read through it today.
Lastly, while I take these preliminary steps I want to be sure I am moving forward with other writing projects because I (just me) want to. Several people (including family) have asked where my “book” is, or wouldn’t a book be “better” than my blog. I’ve written before about this. What makes a book better than a blog? I think they are two different types of writing. I’ve enjoyed writing my blog. I am not sure I’ll enjoy writing a book. However, I do like to research and organize information. Those two traits might be very useful in writing a book. We’ll just have to see, but I think the time is now to try it out.
Have any of you transitioned from blogging to book writing or visa versa? If you do both, how do you keep the two separate? Do you think books are more valued than blogs? Why? Any tips you can offer would be appreciated.
I’m using my blog for my book, but that’s because they’re both about my experience with depression. The book will expand in the posts.
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Oh, I am so glad to hear you are working on this! I think the key is to write about something for which you have passion. So, the TAG thing might be good fodder for me. It still impassions me and I feel like I have enough personal experience for a narrative to go with some of research and numbers on the subject. We’ll see. I’m making a list.
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I have done both. They’re very different kinds of writing. Blogging doesn’t require my total focus, but books do. I have to shut down all tech (so nothing is dinging) when I’m working on a book. Plus, I need larger swaths of time when I’m engaged in writing a book.
Good luck to you as you reinvent your writing life!
I do both, and I think you said it best – they’re just two different styles of writing, so I don’t know if it’s fair to say one has more value than the other. As for keeping my book writing and blogging separate, I think I just go at them from different angles. I view blogging as a quick and very fun way to get some writing out into the world and connect with other people while I hunker down for the long haul of writing books and getting them published.
Your time spent in retrospection is time well spent. I viewed your EE blog as well. I’ve wanted to start a similar project but didn’t know where to begin. I think a poetry anthology would be well received.
Some time ago,I purchased one from another SOL writer and love it! Here is her blog:
You have so much to offer, and so many opportunities through which to offer it! I’ve thought (regarding friends) about the idea of books versus blogs, and, in the case of one friend, the idea of live performance versus “making an album.” That’s a tricky question, in my opinion, and I’m only offering that opinion because you asked. In my mind, the Internet provides the ability to reach a huge audience if you’re able to help those people to get their eyes on you. Books, without a distribution network, oftentimes sit in boxes unsold due to lack of exposure. If, through social media, you get the word out about your online work, you can have a large audience, and that, in turn, might lead to the demand for a printed work. I think both are good, especially if one can lead to another. Good luck!