Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Alice Walker: Blog Advisor

Undoubtedly best known for The Color Purple, which won her both the Pulitzer and the National Book Award (wowzers!), Alice Walker has the kind of career I suspect a lot of writers would sell their souls for. Which was probably just one of the many reasons why Writer's Digest approached her for an interview, which can be found in their October 2010 issue. She has a lot of interesting things to say, but this is what (naturally) jumped up and bit me:
WD: Now that you've been blogging for a while, how do you feel about the format?

AW: Well, I like it, I think. It's hard to know who's reading, or whether it's being read. Which is fine, because my responsibility is actually just to put it there. ....I also like it that it's free. I love that part. I've always wanted to offer what I offer freely, and I would like to do that as long as I can.
Yeah, this.

I used to get the occasional e-mails from wee lil' baby bloggers looking for advice, to which I am convinced I was no help at all. My expert advice? Jump in head first, and figure it out as you go along. It's your Internet wall, throw a bunch of "stuff" up against it and see what ends up sticking. Some people will like it, some people won't. Some of it will get read, and some of it won't. Blogging for me has always been a way for me to hear myself talk type. Mostly I'm doing it to amuse myself. To sort of throw up on my "Internet wall" whatever is rattling around in my 2 cent head. Connecting with other readers who share similar interests? A major bonus, and honestly the best part about this whole blogging exercise.

Is my blog ever going to be considered "important," "vital," or even "noteworthy?"

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! ::wiping tears::

Um, no. But you know what? That's OK. Because it's mine. My shiny pretty private bubble. An oasis away from...well...whatever I'm fretting about at any given time. And I'm a middle child, so you know I can be a champion fretter.

There's no right or wrong way to blog. Honest, there isn't. There's no secret handshake, no golden ticket, no secret formula, and the joy of blogging is that everybody does it differently. My three golden rules have always been 1) Be consistent 2) Be passionate and 3) Entertain yourself. I figure if I'm doing those three things, my tiny private blogging bubble will continue to float merrily along the Internet waterways. Others would probably argue with me that it's more complex than that - to which I say, "Uh, no. Not really." Be yourself. Find your voice. And blog about whatever the heck you want.

All this from an Alice Walker interview. If she knew I existed, I'm sure she'd be slightly mortified. Heh.


Kwana said...

Thanks for this post. I didn't know she had a blog great advice from both of you.

azteclady said...

I think if Ms Walker reads this, she'd agree and be pleased what she offers, freely, has reached you, Wendy :grin: just as you reach all of us.

Have I thanked you lately?

Leslie said...

One thing I've always liked about your blog is that it's real. No pretense, no guessing what you really mean. Being yourself IMO is the best advice.

Margaret Moore said...

As a person who has always loved libraries as well as being a writer, I really enjoy your blog. And bonus - another fretting middle child! There really is something about birth order, eh?

I think of my website as the formal me and my blog and Twitter as a more personal me. Today, for instance, I blogged about the present I made for my 90-year-old mother-in-law.

Looking forward to many more Super Librarian blog posts!

Rosario said...

I think there is a wrong way to blog, and that is to blog out of a sense of obligation. I suppose that's more of an issue for authors, who feel that they have to do it for the sake of promotion, but I've been surprised to see it in some reader bloggers as well.

Wendy said...

I've noticed that with some reader blogs as well - and I think the problem is that they try to shoe-horn themselves into what they "think they should be." Or they follow a model set by someone else - and it just doesn't fit or work for them.

The trick is finding that combination that works for you. Like your blog has a very specific focus on reviews. Which works awesome for you (and I love your blog - as you know!). But if I tried that model? Oh man. It just wouldn't work for me. I get too distracted by the shiny, and would miss going off on my blogging tangents like I've been known to do :)