I've heard clients worry that they have nothing to say. I don't believe that's the real problem. I think a closer reality may be, "I don't have anything I feel comfortable saying." At least in my life, this is true.
Look at people whose personal blogs you read all of the time. Those people have something to say. It may be raw or funny, but it is also deeply honest. These are people we care about, that we are invested in, why? Because their openness gives us a window into their hearts. The emotions on the screen are real and they strike a chord.
When you look at a writer's blog, what are you hoping to find? What draws a reader to search out a writer's blog? Isn't a sense of story? A wanting to understand what is going on behind the words?
As a writer, I find that a little threatening. Writing has been described as opening a vein and letting your life's blood pour out onto the page. How much of your life are you comfortable sharing?
Then there's the problem with permanence on the web. I heard a story about someone who shared a flippant off the cuff answer to a post in a forum several years ago...and then was horrified to find that slightly off-color remark listed as one of her top search results. Ouch. She worried--rightfully so--that a perspective agent or editor might see that and think she was a hot-head. (She's not, but was provoked in what she thought was a private environment.) I wonder some days what old skeletons of mine lie buried in the electrons of the web.
This last summer has been an incredible adventure in my life. You will have noticed a gap in my blogging. I was writing, folks. More than that, I was going through a series of life-changing experiences that are hard to put into words. Some of them may take me a while to process, but some of them I'll be sharing over the next few entries.
Okay and yes, I have to admit -- I crashed my blog early in the summer with a failed upgrade. You can all laugh at me now. I try out every new toy on my own site before putting them on customer sites. So, while customers may have a dozen extras, my own site has...too many. Sometimes they fight. This time, my site dissolved into a full-blown civil war and refused to speak to me. Since I was busy being stuck in airports and locations without internet, I was forced to let the components continue their battle unhindered. They've all been beaten into submission now, though. Amazing what can be managed with a stable internet connection and a functional computer. My precious father-in-law gave me a netbook for an early Christmas present. To answer the question on anyone's mind who has looked at the tiny things: yes, they work. I love mine.
On the writing front: I finished second-drafts of two novels and a rough outline of a third. My current focus is polishing one of the novels, digging deep into my emotional well to bring the characters to life. Does anyone else find this a painful process?
On the home front: major changes coming soon, and no I probably won't blog about all of them. One will involve our family moving. I'm sure that will play havoc with my writing schedule. Anytime you try to move 5 cats, pandemonium is sure to arise.
Up today is a long-overdue trip to my least favorite person: the dentist. If I am in less pain in a few days than I am now, I'll consider it a success. My experience with dentists leaves me somewhat dubious about the prospects.
Somewhere in the next few blog entries, you can expect some frightening honesty from me. You have been warned. This summer...was a trip.