To Blog or Not to Blog, that is the Question!

In my last post I wrote about how I started a new blog called, My Grandpa, the Woodcarver.  It was so easy and fun to write about my Grandpa’s House.  I enjoyed walking through each room in my mind!  Writing about Grandpa brought back many memories – memories that I do not want to be forgotten.

That may be why writing memoir is so popular today.  Regular people who are not even famous are writing memoirs.  In the foreword of Lisa Dale Norton’s book, Shimmering Images:  A Handy Little Guide to Writing Memoir, Hal Zina Bennett points out that people want to reflect on their lives and share what they have learned.  Lisa Dale Norton has been teaching writing classes for many years.  She explains how the memories that stay with us stay for a reason.  Those memories are our shimmering images – a part of our lives, our story.  I also found this book helpful because the author points out different ways to format memoir and what a memoir needs to engage readers.

When I thought about my new blog, I found myself jotting down my “shimmering images.” Suddenly I realized that I had the format of a book to be written laid out right in front of me.  If I chose to, I could begin writing a memoir of special memories that would include Grandpa’s woodcarving skills, instead of writing a blog.  Even though some shimmering images have been revealed to me, I realized that I need to uncover the other important aspects that make any story work, such as theme, the underlying meaning, conflict and resolution.  While I was going through this process, even more recollections came to me.  When I woke up this morning, I was surprised when the song “Won’t You Come Home Bill Bailey” kept playing in my mind.  I used to play that song for Grandpa on the clarinet that he bought for me!  I have not thought about that song in years.

Writing a book seems like it would be a lonely process.  When I blog, I sometimes get feedback that can be inspiring and it helps me want to write even more.  I’m afraid that I would not be motivated to write a book because I would not be getting that feedback.  I most likely would not let anyone read my book as it progresses because it wouldn’t be my final piece of work.  Yet, in my mind I keep hearing one of my friends say, “What’s with all this blogging?  When are you going to write your book?”

“A book?” I think.  Can I really write a book?  I know it’s not easy.  As you can see, I am wavering and indecisive.  I question:

  • Would all the work be worth it;
  • How long will it take me, a slow writer with a busy life, to write a book;
  • What if no one likes what I wrote; and
  • What message do I want to send?

What are your thoughts?  If you have had personal experiences with how to keep yourself motivated while writing a book or blog, maybe you could share your thoughts here.  I would like to hear what you have to say!

Whether My Grandpa, the Woodcarver ends up as a book or a blog, I plan to keep writing on My Reality Show!  Who knew blogging could be so fun!


13 thoughts on “To Blog or Not to Blog, that is the Question!

  1. Why can’t you do both? I can think of several bloggers who wrote books either based on or comprised of the material they had written in their blogs. (Heather Armstrong/Dooce or Ree Drummond/Pioneer woman)

    I completely agree that the feedback we receive through blogging is half the fun of writing in this format. It would be hard to give that up and work all alone instead. I would suggest you explore options to protect the work you put into the blog so that you might publish it as a book later.

    • Thanks for the information. I have not heard of either of these authors. I will check them out.

      I did think of the book and movie Julie and Julia, that was based on the blog written by Julie Powell. Julie took on the challenge of cooking a recipe everyday for 365 days from Julia Child’s book the Art of French Cooking! Funny how your blog post from today is called the Joy of Cooking!

      Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Gosh, I haven’t heard that song in so long, now it is jingling along in my head. 🙂

    I agree with Terri, half the fun of the blog is the comments and the people you ‘meet.’ But you can do both, you will just need to be disciplined.

    Yesterday I finally started my book. It is currently 1 page long and about 350 words. But I started it. Now that it is started I will need to set some time aside each day to work on it. Let’s hope I have the discipline!

    And If you didn’t know, I started my blog based up that very movie!

    • Congratulations on starting your book! Good luck with it. Anyone who can blog everyday is sure to have the discipline to work on a book.

      No, I didn’t know that you started your blog because of that movie.

  3. I also think you should do both! Blogging may even help you w/ your book, you never know who may be reading your blog…..especially if you use twitter to promote it.

    Visiting from Write on Edge.

    • I worked on my book last night, and I think I am going to try to write this in book format, not blogging format. I am going to set a goal for myself and see how it goes.

  4. I have the same list of questions for the book I ‘think’ I want to write. Ultimately the answers must come from within. Perhaps I need a ‘thinking weekend’ to mull it over. 🙂

  5. Not to tell you what to do, but you have my creative juices flowing…why not keep the blog posting from time to time about your progress, writer’s block, the process of the experience and publishing etc. Then you will get the support and feedback. Then keep the grandpa blog as your private place for writing the book. You could post only snippets you wanted feedback on here on the blog.
    So exciting, Mary Ann. The picture of your grandfather that I have in my head is enchanting!

  6. btw…I write and present a children’s message at church each week. This is the year I will attempt to pull together a daily devotional book based upon years of these. So, we can hold hands through this and keep each other moving if you’d like.

    • Your comments sound great. I was thinking about making My Grandpa blog private, and the other suggestions sound wonderful. I have set a goal: My goal is to write 2,500 words a week. I put a widget on my sidebar that shows my progress.

      I would love to hear more about the progress of your daily devotional book. From what I have seen on your blog, I bet it will be great!

      I would like to have someone keep me moving and I can give you a gentle push once and a while, if you need it!

  7. Writing a book is worth it. Especially your memoir. Think of the legacy it leaves for your family if nothing else. I do blogging and novel writing all the time, and it goes hand in hand. If you’re going to be a writer, you should be a blogger, too. Writing the book is the fun part, but it’s what happens next that’s the hard part. It’s still all so worth it. If this is your dream, go after it. A word of advice though– if you’re going to put your work into a book, do your best not to post it all here first. Publishers will frown on a manuscript that’s already been exposed to the public. If you self-publish, like Kindle or for other eReaders, it’s really your choice.

    I’m the same way about having anyone read an unfinished work. (my best friend is the only one who has seen anything partly finished) I guess that’s one thing best friends are for.) 🙂

    Thanks for stopping by and subscribing to my blog, Mary Ann.

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