I know people on both sides of the spectrum - those who wrote their book before ever starting a blog, and those whose blog eventually led to their book. Either way, I believe the two go hand-in-hand.
I had tried to write a book years ago. I had made several attempts, in fact, and the furthest I ever got was ten chapters. But truthfully, the story wasn’t compelling. There was no tension in the plot. There was no plot! So I gave it all up and decided I wasn’t a writer.
When I actually did start my book - the one that I saw through to completion - I stored the beginning manuscript in a file labeled “Final Attempt.” If this one didn’t work, I was really going to give it up for good. But the difference between my latest attempt that was successful, and my initial attempt that was not, was three years of blogging.
Blogging flexes your writing muscles. It keeps you writing. When you don’t have time or inclination to sink into one tiny part of a huge story, you’re still weaving words. You’re still observing what’s around you and deciding how you’re going to present it to your readership. With humor? Light sarcasm? Poetically? You stretch and push your limits when you blog, and you start to see what kind of writing fits your style - what kind of writing makes you proud.
Blogging serves another purpose. Every writer has to be a business person to some extent. You may have an agent and get picked up by a major publishing house, but to a degree the marketing work falls on you. When you blog, you are creating a following of people who care about your work. You are supporting other bloggers and writers, who will understand your passion, and who will in turn support you. You may not blog with that purpose in mind. (In fact, I hope you don’t, because it will show). But you are building friendships that you will need when the time comes to launch your book.
Blogging teaches you about social media in a way that non-bloggers have trouble understanding. You learn about twitter, and how important is the use of hashtags. You learn about Facebook likes, and how to boost posts, and how to join groups that are focused on the same interest areas you are. You even learn the power of Pinterest on the weekend - anything that can keep you connected to what’s happening around you - anything that can eventually help promote your book.
Blogging can be a writing distraction because you focus on supporting others on social media, and you write a little blog post rather than chipping away at your manuscript, but I think it adds more to the life of a writer than it takes away.
At seventeen, Jennie Goutet has a dream that she will one day marry a French man and sets off to Avignon in search of him. Though her dream eludes her, she lives boldly—teaching in Asia, studying in Paris, working and traveling for an advertising firm in New York.
When God calls her, she answers reluctantly, and must first come to grips with depression, crippling loss, and addiction before being restored. Serendipity takes her by the hand as she marries her French husband, works with him in a humanitarian effort in East Africa, before settling down in France and building a family.
Told with honesty and strength, A Lady in France is a brave, heart- stopping story of love, grief, faith, depression, sunshine piercing the gray clouds—and hope that stays in your heart long after it’s finished.
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Genre – Memoir
Rating – PG-13
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