Will posting chapters and parts of your book on your blog take away from your publishing success?
I have been told often that I should save more of my blog posts to include in my memoir. Usually this advice comes from people who love and care for me. I really appreciate that concern. I know this concern was not expressed for the fear of copyright, although I should be concern about that too; I am told I am ‘giving away’ a section of writing that may be building up tension or crucial to the climax of a chapter or even the memoir itself.
We choose what we share on our blogs. I know I could be just giving away the important parts in my memoir without realising it, but as I write the story evolves. I also feel the need to challenge my self even more by improving that story after I have posted it. Often I feel that if I re-write as much as I can, I like it more and the story becomes another story – an even better story. I remember things and add them. I show what I am saying better, with the right words. I enjoy details, sound, smell, how it feels and colours. When I re-write often, I speak the English word better, because it is not my first language and I need the practice. This may sound confusing, but it is about the evolution of the story and how the story journeys through its form until it becomes the one invention I and hopefully the editor is satisfied with.
I am grateful for the good advice, and without being too cocky, I must admit, my other fault lies in wanting to share immediately. My enthusiasm and thrill of a draft completion leads to, the need to read the story to someone. I want to tell the story. This may not be what other aspiring authors do. And, I am not advising anyone on what they should do with their potential best-seller. I wanted to make a point that whatever bits and pieces you read of my memoir is a piece of the story. I hope by the time I complete the memoir, I would still offer you a whole story and not six chapters of what I have left – from blog posts. Perhaps some of the blogger/author friends can share in the comments, how they manage this issue. Now, I have another story to tell…..
Recently through my friend and fellow WordPress blogger hiMe, I found another Papua New Guinea/Australia woman writer, June Perkins. As we bloggers do, we socialise while we write. For me to find a wantok, someone from your place, it is quite special. Perkin’s work has been published on Australia Broadcasting Commission(ABC Open) that hiMe writes for. Once hiMe gave me the link and I reached out, it did not take long for June to come to the meeting place – this blog.
I am very happy to get to know June (virtually) and read some of her stories. It is also wonderful to find stories between us that have similarities and that common place. Reading through June’s posts, I found this piece of writing and I was thrilled that it was related to my post tonight about how much is too much to share on blogs. I hope you enjoy June’s post and have time to visit June Perkins‘ blog in the future.
My blog is the place where the journey to my books has begun.
I have fed them continuously like journals with drafts and polished works.
Blogs have helped me make writing, remembering, reflecting and imagining a regular practice.
Blogs have encouraged me to make photography a regular practice.
Through reading other blogs I have found storytellers, poets, writers, travellers, film makers, and people who want to bring peace to the world through art. These people have inspired me with their journeys, writing, and photographs in their blogs.
Blogs have helped me so much so that when I have lived in the outer/country, I sometimes felt cut off from this larger creative world.
Blogs helped me heal from the damage of a cyclone to my old home and become a community journalist.
My own blogs have become a resource, full of roughly cut books. They have become archives for my family and friends to search our shared history.
Now I begin another journey. On this one, I take the rough cuts and unstructured writings shared the blogs and begin to place them into book structures.
It is time for me to polish more.
I move beyond the relatively free form of my blog and start to create anthologies and memoirs with sections, and chapters, and titles. I edit my blogs and add and subtract from them.
I create new pieces to connect blogs posts, and put them in these books, and save up for when they go public. They are held back from my blog to be surprises. My blog increasingly becomes a place for sharing the process of what I am up too rather than the final product.
The most inspiring things about blogs are:
1- The way they can potentially connect with the writer with readers and invite an immediate response.
2- The way blogs can respond to national and international events in the moment.
3- Their cheap access to a publishing platform for many in the world.
4- Their global reach.
5- Their capacity to build an audience for an emerging storyteller.
The challenges of a blog can be:
1- Blogging becomes addictive. You keep feeding your blog and not get on with sending off works for publication.
2- You share work you could or should be publishing as a book or article.
3- Copyright protection.
4-Some blogs focus too much on sales and not enough on content or connection. These blogs concentrate more on sale pitches and some are scammers.
5-Blogging can be challenging to build a large audience for your blog, and requires time, good quality content and social skills.
I will still blog when I have something I don’t want to forget, or something that moves my heart, or maybe a photo to share, but now I truly have to share a little less on my blog, and make you some SURPRISES.
(c) June Perkins