Blogging About Blogging: Author Blogs

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Hello! I’m Cecily Kellogg, a member of the Philadelphia Stories editorial board (poetry and non-fiction). I’m going to be writing here about blogs by writers, and how writers use their blogs. I’ve been blogging now since 2004, and I have to say, I have never been more connected to my writer’s “voice.” The nature of blogging–basically, keeping a public journal–has given me a real sense of who I am as a writer and what I want to do as a writer.

I won’t lie–all those people that read it every day? Yeah, they help too.

I also read blogs–I subscribe to about 150 blogs currently (I use something called Bloglines to keep track of them all). The blogs I read vary wildly–some are political, some are deeply personal, and some are by other people like me. People that are trying to make their living putting words on a page.

What I love about reading blogs by other writers is the sense of community I get from them. Hearing how other writers handle rejection, cope with writer’s block, or start the process of publishing a book gives me courage and teaches me.

Most of the blogs I read by writers are not famous writers. They are just other folks who either work as freelance commercial writers (as do I), or are aspiring novelists. But I do read several blogs by more well-known authors, and one of my favorites is by Philadelphia’s own Jennifer Weiner.

Jennifer Weiner is well known for her novels “Good In Bed,” “In Her Shoes,” and “Little Earthquakes.” She’s also published a mystery novel and a collection of short stories (which I just finished–it was excellent, but I wanted each story to be its own novel) called “The Guy Not Taken.” In her blog she often discusses publishing foibles and challenges, her upcoming events (or her past events and how they went), and all-too-rare mentions of her children.

But where her blog really shines is when she unleashes her considerable wit and irony on the publishing industry at large.

Because she’s a female novelist whose books often have pink covers (these are her words), she is cast into the category called “chick lit.” She both bemoans this fact but also embraces it, because so many women authors are labeled with this rather dismissive term. She often mentions books she’s reading, and authors she loves. She discusses the hypocrisy of book reviewers, and gently admonishes other writers for their egos (particularly those authors that both court attention and revile it). Reading her blog can often feel like a ring-side seat into the deep, dark world of book publishing and all that goes on there. When I keep up with her blog, I feel much more connected to the world of publishing–even though I don’t yet have a book to publish.

If you are interested in reading more, check out Jennifer’s blog here. You won’t be sorry.

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