Sunday, June 17, 2007

My Blogiversary

It's been a year. I can't quite believe it.

I suppose my first foray into the blogosphere actually came some time in February '06 when Diana Peterfreund had me guest blog about the weekend I signed with my agent and won 3 lottery type prizes. (4 if you count signing with an agent.)

But it took until mid-June of last year for me to attempt to create a blog of my own.

Now, I'll be the first to admit I've been a pretty inconsistent blogger. And keeping up with both my own blog and a post a week at Drunk Writer Talk has proven harder than I thought it would be, in spite of plans I'd had for "easy stuff" like posting the interview column I do for my local RWA chapter once a month. Somehow I've only managed to post a measly 3 of those. Terrible.

I suppose I'm getting to that point I've seen so many other bloggers hit. The point where you ask, "Why am I doing this?" or "Is it worth my time?".

For an unpublished author, such as myself, there's no big publicity payoff. In fact, I'm not even sure to what extent readers of books read author blogs. When I started blogging I had a few purposes in mind, although to be perfectly honest, I'm not sure these reasons were as clear to me then, as they are now. (But it sounds better to have had a reason beyond, "Everyone else seems to be doing it," which was probably closer to the truth.)

The reasons?

#1 To get my name out there in googleland. Used to be when you goolged Maureen McGowan you'd get a huge number of hits and would have to dig for several pages to find one that was actually about me. In fact, even when you added "writer" to the google search, another woman who shares my name, but writes Xena Princess Warrior fan fic, would come up way ahead of me. (At the time, the only online presence I had was my name on my local RWA chapter's site, and a few contest finalist announcements.) Now when you google my name, most of the first few pages are actually about me.

#2 To show editors who might be looking at my work that I'm serious about the business and about self-publicizing. (Although see the comment above about not really knowing how much publicity one gets from blogging.)

#3 But I think the main reason was, or at least the main pay-off has been, networking with other writers. I've met several other writers through my blog -- some who are becoming good friends -- whom I don't think I'd have otherwise met. I also feel like I've gotten to know several other writers much better and assume they feel like they know me better. (This begs the question about cyber relationships and how well you really know someone with whom 99% of your interaction has been online... I feel a major digresssion coming on... But one of my new blog-resolutions is to save my digressions for another post, so more on that next blog year.)

And finally, an unexpected side benefit of blogging has been that a few friends I don't see very often feel like they can catch with me through my blog. Of course, if they'd post comments... Maybe I'd feel more connected to them, too... Hint, hint...

All in all, I've enjoyed my year-o-blogging -- even when I started to hyperventilate on learning my mother had discovered it. Gasp. Hi Mom. The bad words I've used are just for my on-line persona. I don't use them in person. Honest.

Happy Blogiversary to me.


Barrie said...

Happy One Year Anniversary, Maureen!! I love reading your blog because you're so articulate. And I love all the movie reviews. Here's to another great year of blogging for ya! (raising glass of cyber champagne)

Alli said...

Happy One Year Anniversay, Maureen! I'm an avid reader, but rarely post..... Keep it up - and there is no doubt about it - the day will come when the name Maureen McGowan will be on the NYT Best Seller List!

Sara Hantz said...

Happy Blog-anniversary! I think we've got to know each other from loops and also blogging..... in fact, Maureen, I think of you every time I open my dishwasher (I'm sure you know why hahaha)

Christine said...

Happy anniversary, Maureen! I know I started blogging myself because of your blog. I've always enjoyed your blog and your prespective you bring to books, movies, TV, and writing. :)

I think you really can get to know at least one aspect of someone's personality from reading their blog. I'm glad I've had a chance to get to know you better. :)

Wylie Kinson said...

Happy Blogiversary, Maureen! For the record - I enjoy the digressions ;)

Nelsa said...

Happy Blog Anniversary! I enjoy your blog for a lot of things - your movie/TV show reviews, your insights on writing, and especially your self-deprecating humour. As long as you still enjoy writing the blog we'll keep reading it!

Marilyn Brant said...

Happy Blogiversary, Maureen, and congrats!! I've enjoyed your posts and am impressed you've been at this for a whole year--that's quite an accomplishment! Looking forward to meeting you in person next month :).

Eileen said...

Happy anniversary- and now I want to know why Sara thinks of you when she opens the dishwasher. That screams "STORY"

Kimber said...

Happy Blogiversary Maureen!

There are 2 big blogiversaries.

9 months 'cause that's when the average blog gets out of the Google sandbox (you start to get hits on "writing" instead of simply "Maureen McGowan")


1 year 'cause that's when the big boy bloggers start to take you seriously and link more often to you ('cause most blogs go out of business long before that).

You've passed both hurdles!

(Says someone who is back in the sandbox after having moved domains)

Amy Ruttan said...

Happy One Year!! I'm a lurker alot of time, but I find your posts enjoyable and informative and I always make a point of visiting you on Drunk Writer!

Happy Blogaversary.rdfxj

Kathy Holmes said...

LOL about your mother and your online persona. I do believe there's some truth to that. And I agree with all your reasons for blogging. Happy anniversary!

Nadine Dajani said...

Hey Maureen - you forgot one other her reason to keep blogging: don't tell me it isn't fun to speak your mind to an international audience (I'm in Cayman, so yes, that makes you international, baby!) I may not keep up with all the blogs I come across all the time, but I do keep checking in with the ones that are entertaining, and yours rocks. Pubbed or no pubbed, you have a fabulous voice that leaps off the page (or is it the screen?)

I feel the no comments despair with my own blog, and the reality is that most of us just wanna sit back and be entertained, with no obligation on our parts (don't worry, I read other people's blogs and don't comment regularly either...). It's the nature of the beast.

Happy blogoversary!

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