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You’re in for a real treat today!
SITStah Anna Lefler recently published her first book! We thought it would be great to have her talk about the process of getting a book published, and how it happened in the most surprising of ways. You’ll be inspired by her perspective as a member of our blogging community. Enjoy, and read on for an exciting giveaway!
People blog for many reasons. Even a quick skip through the Internet will give you a sense of the boggling variety of motivations that drive millions of individuals to spend their spare time wrestling with the graphic nuances of a masthead, weighing the SEO benefits of one post title versus another, and asking themselves the question that even the most prolific blogger faces on a regular basis: what shall I blog about today?
When I started blogging back in 2008 (yes, when you had to travel from blog to blog in covered wagons and the keyboards were made from sticks and leaves), I knew what my motivation was: silliness.
And I was serious about it.
My creative love was (and is) fiction. I’ve been a voracious reader all my life and for decades have carried a novel-in-progress with me, whether in my backpack as a student or in my briefcase as a professional. It wasn’t until I became a full-time mom, though, that I began seriously to write fiction of my own. That endeavor changed my life and, just as importantly, the way I viewed my place in it.
(One of my great regrets is that I did not start much sooner, but then again, I try to embrace the belief that things happen in your life exactly when they are meant to and when you are ready to embrace them. The key word in that sentence, of course, is “try.”)
I started my humor blog, Life Just Keeps Getting Weirder, for two reasons. The first was to begin building a readership for my comic novel, which I was still finessing and getting ready to shop. The second was to create a place to let my truly silly side romp outside the confines of novel structure (where imaginary letters to Angelina Jolie and grudge matches with Facebook probably shouldn’t live).
Little did I know that what I was actually doing was opening the door to an entire creative community filled with lovely people and unexpected opportunities.
Although the road to a completed novel can be a solitary one, blogging felt like a perpetual hurricane party where the doorbell never stopped ringing and folks just kept showing up with more food, drinks and party games. Blogging provided encouragement, commiseration and nourishment (much of which began with SITS, to whom I am grateful for putting me on the road toward a substantial readership). Also, people seemed to like the silliness.
I felt I was part of something, even as I continued down the occasionally lonely path toward becoming a novelist. At some point I embraced the fact that I was now on two parallel tracks that coexisted beautifully.
Cut to: present day. I’m in the middle of a book tour, but the book is not my novel – it’s a nonfiction book – a humor book – that came about through my exposure in the blogging world. Earlier this year, a very silly essay that I posted on a humor site caught the attention of a publisher and they contacted me through my very silly blog.
Once I finally accepted that their email wasn’t spam (even though it was nestled between an “urgent message from the British Prime Minister’s Office” and a notification from Western Union that my million dollars was waiting to be picked up), things moved quickly. Within a week, I was immersed in writing a humorous women’s dictionary on an aggressive deadline. That book – The CHICKtionary: From A-Line to Z-Snap, the Words Every Woman Should Know – just launched this month.
It’s been an amazing, humbling, eye-opening journey and I’m very grateful. Let me be clear: I don’t claim to be ANY kind of expert. However, I can tell you this with confidence: you just never know. You never know what opportunities will come your way, you never know what those skills you’re honing will ultimately be used for, and you never know who’s got their eye on you.
Is this exciting…or terrifying? Yes.
You have your own reasons for blogging, your own dreams. Whether you’ve scribbled them down in detail or whether you like to keep your aspirations free and loose, the fact is that the minute you staked a claim to that URL, you took the first step on a creative path.
My wish for you is that it takes you exactly where you want to be.
Anna Lefler (@AnnaLefler on Twitter) is the author of The CHICKtionary: From A-Line to Z-Snap, the Words Every Woman Should Know, a humorous dictionary of the things women say and what they mean (or don’t mean) when they say them (Adams Media, November 2011). For more information, visit www.annalefler.com or Anna’s humor blog, Life Just Keeps Getting Weirder.
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