My career as a writer followed a predictable path. I began writing for local magazines “for fun”, did a stint as a stringer at my local newspaper, then began moving up the writing chain to larger markets, and more well-known publications. I was willing to try any kind of writing ˜ press releases, crossword puzzles…I even wrote some text for a Nintendo DS game!
One thing all these jobs had in common was rules, writer’s guidelines, job outlines. The people hiring me knew exactly what they wanted. They told me what was needed and I produced it. Until I received the email from Schuykill VISION, an organization dedicated to promoting my local area, unveiling their new website.
“Great website,” I emailed back to the director. “You should have a blog, too.” It was an off-the-cuff comment so I was amazed when she replied, asking to set up a meeting to discuss a Schuylkill VISION blog.
Now, when I mentioned that I was willing to try any kind of writing, I meant anything except new technology. I had to be dragged kicking and screaming into Twitter, and only because a job required it. My experiences blogging had been so frustrating for me and my co-workers at The Muffin that they usually uploaded my interviews for me. It wasn’t the writing. It was the formatting, editing, scheduling. I just wasn’t made for the computer world.
Still I went to the meeting and talked about the possibilities a blog offered (I may not have been blog-savvy but I did read them and even organize blog tours for authors). I convinced them. I had the job. A job they didn’t even know they needed someone to do until I came along. I job I wasn’t even sure I could do. A job with no rules. The extent of their directions was “Do it.”
Thankfully, their “web guy” set up the actual blog. I gave myself a crash course over the weekend and was happily blogging by Monday. (OK, there were a few kinks.) Each time I blog, I am reminded of how easy it is to fall into familiar habits and the excitement that comes from trying something new. Try something new in the writing world. Trust me, it’s fun.
Jodi M. Webb talked her county into creating a blog, Schuylkill Matters, where she could write about her amazing Pennsylvania neighbors. She liked her first experience blogging so much she created her own blog, Words by Webb. She even started<gasp!> tweeting @ wordsbywebb. But she’s still a pen and paper girl at heart. Maybe this will be the year when she finishes her novel and maybe it will land in a bookstore near you˜on paper!
BAM Advanced Fiction Techniques: First Pages
There are three basic ways to hook readers. Do you know what they are?