Friday, April 08, 2011

What to blog?

There I was sitting at my computer at 5-something AM this morning, wondering what to blog about today, when I took a quick gander at my blog rolls over in the sidebar, and there's Jody Hedlund, one of the most consistent, prolific bloggers I know, blogging about what to say when you are out of ideas. If you've never read Jody's blog... it's full of informative posts about a novel-writer's debut experience, and the writing life in general.

But that doesn't let me off the hook for today. I've been blogging here since 2007, according to the dates in my archives. That's a long time for an unpubbed author to have kept up a running blog, posting 2-3 times a week, with no unscheduled gaps in posting (that I can recall, anyway). Blogging can be time consuming, brain-draining, and there's this thing called blogger burn out that happens to some. I've experienced it. It's part of the reason I usually only blog twice a week now.

As author Catherine West commented in Jody's post today, "I started to get stressed over my blog at one point, thinking about how it was a waste of time if nobody was reading it - well, I enjoy it, so it's not a waste of time."

That's the attitude I work on maintaining. I started blogging to see if I enjoyed it, if it was something I could maintain long term. For the most part I do, and can. Sometimes posts don't generate discussion. Sometimes they do. It's always fun when that happens.

It's also nice to have a place to mention good news in my writing journey. I have a small bit today. Just got the call from my ACFW Genesis Contest coordinator that my entry made it into the Semi-Final Round of judging. This is something new for the Genesis this year, an extra round of judging before the Final Round, and as I understand it, only three entries in each category will make it to that last round.

The best thing about the Genesis Contest is the detailed score sheets that come back after each round of judging. There's three of them each time. That's three judges' feedback on the first 15 pages and a one page synopsis, twice (in previous years)--for the first round and for the final round (in which editors and agents are the judges). This for a $35 entry fee. It's a very good deal. And since this is the first year I've been a first round judge (in a category other than the one I entered; dem's da rules), I know the amount of work (and prayer) that goes into judging these entries now. Far more than one might imagine.

I'm wondering if this year there will be three sets of three judges' score sheets, since they've initiated the extra Semi-Final judging round. In which my entry just slipped in (and this is starting to sink in)!

I'm excited for the feedback to come, and for making it this far.

12 comments:

  1. Blogger burnout can be PAINFUL. Ugh...one of my least favorite things EVER. LOL! I confess I do love it when a post generates discussion, but I stick with blogging as best I can and as often as I can because I love it as a creative outlet.

    Yay for making the semi-finals! :)

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  2. Congratulations on making it to the semi-final round of the Genesis!

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  3. Thanks, Ruth & Keli. Until it was mentioned on another blog yesterday that the first round would be announced today, I'd forgotten how much the contest rules had changed this year.

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  4. Congratulations, Lori! I haven't entered a single contest yet. Love what you said about the judges -- working and praying. That's heartening. I can't imagine what it would be like to have that kind of responsibility! And the time out of their own writing schedule it would take as well!

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  5. Congratulations! I hope you make it to the final round.

    Thanks for pointing me to Jody's blog. She has lots of good posts.

    And also--thanks the reminder that I really need to get blogging regularly. I won't say "again," because I was never regular. But I'd like to shoot for once a week.

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  6. That's certainly something to blog about! I'm so happy for you and know this is a great honor and that you appreciate all the feedback. I know, too, you'll be an awesome judge.

    I think it's great that you've been blogging so long. I have as well, and for me it's been a great discipline to write something publicly and consistently (well, most of the time). It's been a great confidence booster for me. I saw Jody's post and I liked her take on it. Coming up with new ideas, a new take on something stretches us and in the long run, helps our other writing endeavors.

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  7. Kav, judging was more demanding than I'd expected, but as one who has, and still does, enter contests, I know what the feedback means as far as developing a certain piece of writing, and developing as a writer. I wanted to start giving some of that back. I can only speak for myself for a certainty, but I can't think I'm the only one who went into the process with much prayer for wisdom, generosity, honesty, and divine guidance. :)

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  8. Thanks, Beth. Jody's blog is great, isn't it? She went through the who debut novel process with so much transparency. It was a great eye opener for me, and I'm sure so many others. And she just blows my mind, how consistent she is with her meaty posts. It's not an easy thing to do, as you well know. Once a week sounds good to me. I tried three times and kept it up for a long while, but now have cut back to twice a week.

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  9. That should read "whole" debut novel process

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  10. Carla, thank you! And it's true, blogging is a good discipline, and the closest thing I've come to writing under deadline. Self imposed deadline, but one that's obvious to the world when I fail to meet it. :)

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  11. Congrats, Lori! Although I am never surprised when you place in these rounds, it's always a joy to hear. May I ask what you entered?

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  12. Doree, thank you, my friend. I've emailed you about the entry. :)

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