Don’t panic! Billy’s regularly scheduled post will be back tomorrow. This will be my first and most likely only guest post for What I Learned Today.
Truth be told, Billy is taking a much needed rest. A doctor ordered rest. Prayers are much appreciated.
Talent is a wonderful thing, but it won’t carry a quitter. And there always comes a time–if the work is sincere, if it comes from that magic place where thought, memory, and emotion all merge–when you will want to quit, when you will think that if you put your pencil down your eye will dull, your memory will lapse, and the pain will end. – Stephen King, Duma Key
Question: Are you a writer who blogs or a blogger who writes?
(Hint – If you had to ponder that question for more than a nano-second, I strongly suspect you are the latter.)
I will unabashedly say that I am a blogger who writes. I’ll even go so far to say that I can on occassion write well. But to put myself in the same category as some of you reading this post would be an insult to your talent, tenacity and the sacrifices and suffering you have endured for your craft. And I would never do that.
I like to think of myself as a romantic realist — a champion for the promotion of good writing. My heart cries “Injustice!” when I walk into the local bookstore. Because one only needs view the most prominently displayed books to understand that great writing doesn’t necessarily sell books. The size of an author’s platform sells books.
Which is why writers blog:
and have facebook accounts,
and engage with their readers as much as possible.
Which is not to say writers don’t enjoy blogs and social media. I assume that most do. They are a wonderful way to meet kindred spirits, be encouraged and encourage others.
So what’s the difference between a writer who blogs and a blogger who writes? Speaking from personal experience, I would say that as a blogger who writes, the social interaction is what keeps me involved. I want to write well, but (if I’m being honest) the writing doesn’t always come first.
But if you’re a writer who blogs, the writing MUST come first. The ability to write well is first and foremost a gift. But it also a disclipline. One must make a conscious decision to write consistently; to push through all the distractions that can easily become excuses for not doing what must be done. (Or you can continue to try and do everything until your doctor threatens to put you in the hospital. AHEM!)
While reading blogs and building personal and professional relationships on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter are effective and even enjoyable ways to help build an author platform, they must never come before your craft. Never forget why you got into this in the first place — to tell your story.
I will take both partial credit and blame for helping Billy Coffey build his platform, and I will continue to do so until he tells me otherwise. Why do I do this? Because like I said before, I am a champion for the cause of good writing, or in the case of Billy Coffey, great writing.
Billy would tell you in his typical humble way that he’s not a writer; that he is a person who happens to write. But I think anyone who reads this blog on a regular basis knows better. And come this time next year when Snow Day is released, so will everyone else.