A short while ago, I became a published Author. I was excited of course, but then the awful gut wrenching what ifs starting popping up with every new keystroke. Everyone, everywhere can understand the concept of the what ifs. They are universal. They know no boundary of color, race, creed, gender, or ice cream flavor preference. They sneak in like flies, first one, then another, multiplying into a hoard of buzzing nonsense. What if the book doesn’t sell? What if I get the most abominable case of writer’s block? What if I never write another book, let alone another paragraph, another sentence, another great word? Those pesky what ifs can cast a pall so dense you need a torch the size of Lady Liberty’s in order to even see the glare of the computer screen. I struggled to shake the what ifs.
My publisher suggested a guest blog spot on a blog that hosts other authors of my current genre. Guest Blog? Me? When I can’t even get a coherent sentence framed that even my neighbor’s seven year old could understand? What about? And more importantly why? To grow your audience, to bring in new readers to your published work, to make new friends, influence people, become a star! Well, okay maybe not an overnight sensation, especially if you read my first attempt at guest blogging, tomorrow April 12, 2012, on KoolQueerLit.com. My feeble attempt to promote myself will be viewed by several, perhaps many, and I am already second guessing myself and the content.
The nice thing about guest blogging is that you can start and stop all you want, as the content does not go live the moment you submit it, unless you are invited to guest blog a ‘live’ interview. For the most part, you can write your copy; stare at it for days, then edit, slash, burn, destroy and start all over again. Provided, that is, that your muse does not leave to get a cup of coffee and then decides to get said coffee in Costa Rica, leaving you alone in the Pacific Northwest. A muse is a funny creature; never around when you really and truly desire the help. I cursed my muse. I begged my muse. I even offered bribes like an extra shot of Crown Royal, or a large gooey cinnamon roll. Nothing worked. I was stuck writing my guest blog copy alone, without a creative juice to be squeezed out of my desert dry brain. I had all the adages from my childhood to fall back on. You don’t start walking at birth, you learn how to. You don’t start reading words, you start by learning letters. Okay, I thought, I can do this…one step, and one letter at a time.
It was not as bad an experience as I first thought. My guest blog copy is not earth shaking, nor is it ground breaking. I do not offer a cure for hate and intolerance, there is no recipe linked. Then again, that is not what I was asked to blog about in the first place. I went to introduce myself as a new Author, with a first published book, in hopes of finding a new following for my style of writing, and the stories I want to tell. It was a first for me, and I will admit, I hope it is not the last. Guest blogging is not open heart surgery even though your heart pounds with every word. What it is, is the free association of words that move you, the blogger. That is the advice I decided to take…free association of words that move me, the blogger.
You may offer your muse all manner of bribe and consideration, but in the end, it will be you, your words, that make the appearance as the guest blogger. Perhaps, your muse will read what you managed to write without their help, and realize they can be replaced. Just like your blog, your muse is subject to your whims of fancy.
View my guest blog here:
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