escape from something else into
what lies behind the printed page;
the quality of the dream may be argued,
but its release has become a functional necessity."
- Raymond Chandler.}
The effort to keep from thinking of the things only the dead know sometimes reduces me to the mental age of seven.
It suddenly seems the things by which we live are the distant flashes of lightning in a dark sunset.
I think Clemens is hoping to distract my sorrow by asking me to help the visitors to Roland's blog out.
It seems some of you are unclear on how to make your blog popular.
Join the club. If writers really knew the key to drawing droves of followers, they'd have swollen bank accounts ... and keep it to themselves.
Human nature is like that. But I'm a ghost so I'll share what I know on how to write well ... on your blog ... in your novel.
First though : A good title is one of the keys to a successful blog. A beautifully jarring picture in your header draws the reader in. Now, to the meat of my thoughts :
1.) A good story cannot be devised; it has to be distilled.
In other words, you must write, then re-write. Sit back, mull it over, re-read your post, then polish the rough spots.
A writer who is afraid to overreach himself is as useless as a general who is afraid to be wrong.
It's not about ability either. Ability is what you're capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.
Which leads me to ask :
2.) Why do you blog?
A) For approval?
You're going to get precious little of that from editors.
You'd better try developing a thick skin now. And what if you get it? Will it teach you as much as one sharp but accurate criticism? You know the answer to that one.
B) To use as a form of Writers Anonymous?
If you talk so much about writing, about queries, about summaries, about agents that you don't write, don't blog.
If you visit so many blogs that you have scant time to do any real writing, don't blog.
Do I sound harsh? Maybe it's because when I was alive I stayed up all night, writing letters to friends,
when I could have been actually writing a novel worthy of being dedicated to my beloved wife.
Don't be me. Learn from me. Like Clemens says :
Life is a coin. You can spend it any way you want.
But you can only spend it once. Spend it wisely.
3.)" From 30 feet away she looked like a lot of class. From 10 feet away she looked like something made up to be seen from 30 feet away."
Which is my wry way of saying : Let there be more than mere style to your blog -- let there be substance as well.
Cotton candy may be good for a lark. But if you want people to come back to your blog time after time, serve steak.
The challenge of blogging is to say much in little and then take half of that little out and still preserve an effect of leisure and natural movement.
Write to have people feel at home, and they'll return to relax when the world presses in on them.
And make no mistake : The streets out there in America are dark with something more than night.
Be a flame of friendship and of what wisdom your bruises have bought you.
4.) There is no trap so deadly as the trap you set for yourself.
Have your blog serve you. Once you find yourself serving it, being a slave to its deadlines. Revolt.
Leonardo da Vinci frittered precious years away,
designing intricate, short-lived party favors for princes.
Imagine if he had used that time painting masterpieces that would have lasted centuries?
5.) One last thing -- Forget your blog for a moment :
it is all about the story :
"In everything that can be called art there is a quality of redemption.
It may be pure tragedy, if it is high tragedy, and it may be pity and irony, and it may be the raucous laughter of the strong man.
But down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished nor afraid.
The story is the man's adventure in search of a hidden truth, and it would be no adventure if it did not happen to a man fit for adventure.
He has a range of awareness that startles you, but it belongs to him by right, because it belongs to the world he lives in.
If there were enough like him, the world would be a very safe place to live in, without becoming too dull to be worth living in.
Technique alone is never enough. You have to have passion in your story. Technique alone is just an embroidered potholder."
Finally, write your blog on subjects you'd like to read if you were stumbling upon it like a stranger.
Be there for your fellow writers. Sometimes it's a dark world out there for people whom you think haven't a care in the world.
Be a light for those people. Be a hero.
Be a light for those people. Be a hero.