Sunday, November 7, 2010

Do You Read Blogs?

I started reading blogs before I started writing a blog. So many different people write blogs: actors, atheletes, authors, journalists, musicians, chefs, singers, politicians and everyday people. And with all these people writing blogs, I wondered if people where really reading any of them.

The first blog I read on a regular basis was by Jorge Garcia, an actor best know as Hugo (Hurley) on Lost. I stared reading his blog half way through the run of Lost. At the time, he was living in Hawaii and working on Lost. His blog was called Dispatches from the Island (such a clever name!). He wrote about Lost but also wrote about things he did and loved (baking bread, gardening and his dog) and things that happened to him (a strang drunk who fell asleep in a backyard tree and a mouse loose in the house). Now, with Lost over, Jorge still blogs at Further Dispatches (

Almost all of the other blogs I read have to do with the publishing industry. I read the blogs of a few of my favorite authors, a local literary agent who has great insight in the business and a hillarious site from an agent who posts blurbs from query letters he has received (if you've ever written a query letter and gotten a rejection letter in return, check out SlushPile Hell).

I have two friends (that I know of) that blog and I check their blogs regularly as well, both of whom are super talented and creative.

So I guess I want to know, do you read blogs? If so, what are you reading?

Who is Reading This?

Writing is kind of a strange thing. You can write for yourself, in a journal, where nobody but you will ever see it or read it, or you can write for other people, in hopes that they will read what you write. I do both but I would much rather do that latter.

Ever since high school I've known I wanted to write. I got a degree in journalism and worked for several years as a reporter for a small town (population less than 5,000) daily (Monday through Friday) newspaper. I was getting paid to write but it wasn't easy. It was long hours and bad pay. We covered our town and neighboring towns and counties. We were everywhere with our notepads and cameras (we were our own photojournalists as well) covering everything from crime (very little) and trials (man is stabbed by screwdriver over parking space) to 4-H (hated the pig judging at the Arkansas Valley Fair) and high school volleyball (my sports reporting was TERRIBLE!). After my first few months at the newspaper I knew people many not have known my name but they knew where I worked. I once got pulled over for speeding on the way to a school board meeting and the state trooper didn't give me a ticket because he recognized my name from the newspaper.

At that time I tried not to think about people reading my stories. I knew the circulation of the newspaper but had no clue what people were really reading. Some days my byline appeared once and some days I'd have a couple stories in the newspaper. Every so often my story would appear on the front page, above the fold (and the obituaries, yes dying made front page news in this town) and sometimes I'd be back on page four, five or six. The only time I really knew if someone was reading one of my stories was when they complained. I was got corned in the Walmart by a school board member who was very angry over something I wrote.

I'm learning that blogging is a lot like writing for the newspaper, you never really know if or who is reading this blog. But that's okay with me because I'm writing and that's what really matters to me.