The Best Moment Award!

It was a pleasant start to my morning to open my email and learn that my blog has received the  Best Moment Award, and more specifically, my page that offers Helpful Advice for Aspiring Authors. It is a great feeling to learn that my blog post sharing my journey to becoming an author has proved to be helpful to so many.

best-moment-award

So, as requested, per the award instructions, I have to give an acceptance speech:

My Speech:

First of all, let me thank Sharon C. Cooper for honoring me with this title. In January, I switched my blogging platform from Blogger to WordPress. It was  a big decision since over the past three years I’d acquired a large following of bloggers, writers, and readers who read my post for inspiration. I was an aspiring author when I started blogging, and enjoyed sharing the things I learned with other authors with goals of seeing their name on a book. The comments and feedback those posts  inspired me to keep writing more, keep researching, and to keep sharing. In doing so, I had unwittingly built a support system of hundreds of unknown, often times faceless, followers who cheered me on when my status changed to published author. I worried that changing blogging platforms would make it impossible for my blog followers to find me again, but to my surprise, they have! Though my blog no longer focuses solely on sharing information about writing, I still focus on the craft. To make it easy for aspiring authors who are looking for helpful advice, I created the M.J. on Writing- Helpful Advice for Aspiring Authors page which has direct links to all of my most viewed and helpful post on writing dating back to 2010. I still blog twice a month on such topics, as well as share weekly author interviews and guest post, allowing my blog followers the chance to meet and learn what makes other authors tick. I do this as a way to provide inspiration for those who feel they are alone when it comes to writing. Since January, I have picked up over 1000 followers….THANKS GUYS!!!

Now, that the hand waving and tears are out of the way, lol, it’s time to nominate other bloggers for the post that inspired me. (It’s supposed to be 15, but I’ll see how many I can remember!) So, here we go!

Carmen DeSousa- Why do you write? Does it matter if a major publisher discovers you, or just that someone reads your writing?

Christine Steendam- Overnight Success 

Synithia Williams- If Romance is Smut It’s All Smut

Stacey Deanne- Interracial Romance: The Most Popular Genre No One’s Heard About

Those are the only ones I can come up with off the top of my head…yep, I’ve been that busy writing that I haven’t read too much!!!

Congrats to all, and pass along to show appreciation of post you’ve enjoyed!

MJ

To Blog or Not to Blog?

blogThere was a time when I didn’t spend much time on the internet, much less read or follow a blog. Yet, in the last 3 years, I’ve become an avid blogger! Who knew? During this time my blog has undergone several revisions…from colors, to layouts, blogging platforms…and most importantly, what I blog about.

So, why did I start blogging? The answer is simple….to become a better writer.

Sounds crazy, right?

When I started blogging in 2009, I had no idea what I would write about. I mean really, at the time I was a stay at home mom who was attempting to write a book. What did I have to talk about? Hmm…kids, the community, my dogs. BORING!!! Who wanted to read that? LOL! In the beginning I had about 4 people who stopped by to read what I wrote. And that was only because I asked them to check it out. I had no idea how to format a blog post or how long it should be. Adding a picture was a hair pulling experience (did I mention I wasn’t THAT computer savvy?). Yep…suffice it to say I didn’t blog very often. Those blogs are still available if you’d like to read them:

 Four Miles and Counting….(my very first post!)

…Two Pit Bulls, One Paper Clip and a lap top to put it all in! (the next daring endevor!)

I know, I know, the big question is: did it actually help your writing?

The answer: YES!!!! (Seriously, take a look back then and now and you’ll see my writing technique has changed though my voice is pretty much the same.)

What are the benefits to writing a blog? As I stated above, writing a blog helped me find my writing voice, or rather, get comfortable with writing something, having people read it. Getting used to receiving comments and feedback about my blog post helped me get used to the idea of reading reviews as a published author. You can’t please everyone and of course everyone will not agree or like what you have to say. As writers, we have to get used to that idea. Why not do that with a blog?

And as they say about anything you strive to get better at: PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE and you will improve. I strongly suggest that if you are an aspiring author looking to practice the craft of writing, start a blog! Find a topic or subject that is important to you (your writing platform or niche), and use it!

As time went on, I gave up on my blog for several months until I discovered my blog niche was writing about my experiences as an aspiring author. The more information I ran across, practiced, or new technique I found, I wrote about it. Sharing my story led me to other writers who were doing the same thing I was. Forming connections with other writers lead to networking, networking lead to learning new writing techniques from more experienced writers…and well, here I am today! It took a lot of work and continues to take a lot of work to keep this blog going, but I am proud to say that as of right now, I have over 900 blog followers.

I guess what I have to say and share means something! Thank you guys!!!

The question I am asked most by writers who would like to start a blog but fear they will never have a following is: “I have something to say, but who is going to read it? How do I promote my blog?” The answer is simple. If you’re tied into the major social networking sites: Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Linkedin, Stumbleupon, etc., your potential readers are right there waiting. Choose a snazzy topic, a witty title, develop your layout, and use those free social networking tools. Before you know it, you’ll have a blog following, too!

Good luck and happy blogging!

MJ