The title is a misnomer. I know nothing about Zen. And I probably know less than nothing about the art of blogging.
But I know more today than I did yesterday.
To back up, this has been the Month of Conferences. First Margie Lawson’s Master workshop last week, and yesterday the Carolinas Writers Conference. Although I took copious notes at both, I’m afraid I had so much information put in front of me that some of it might have drifted past me like so many dandelion puffs. I hope a few precious seeds landed in my subconscious and will grow there so I can dig down and pull them out when needed.
At the CWC, I took a two-hour workshop led by Tamra Wilson. She talked about writing columns and blogs. I wrote a weekly column for 10 years and have no wish to revisit that particular commitment. But I do write two blogs a week (the good Lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise) and I often find myself floundering. Tammy said we should take a good look at why we want to blog in the first place.
That was easy. I wanted to sell my books.
So I started writing Definition of a Dream. After awhile, though, I got tired of drumming that same old tune. I started writing about my life, much like my old newspaper column called “Confessions of a Yankee Housewife.” And since so much of my life is tied up in writing, I used the space to moan and groan about my failures, or brag about my successes, or simply share the process with my friends and relations. It’s a blog about writing geared to folks who think writers are a little crazy (we are) and who are curious about how we got that way. And occasionally I feel free to digress and talk about whatever is bothering or exciting me at the moment.
When asked to contribute a weekly blog to Mimosa Mornings, I decided to continue writing about…well, writing, but to a different audience. This blog is for those who take writing seriously as an avocation if not a career. Here is a place to share ideas and ask questions. So you won’t read much about my personal life here, but you will share my writing journey.
Right now, I am working on a sequel to “A Question of Boundaries.” I’ve never written a sequel before, so I haven’t progressed much beyond the first five chapters I mentioned last week. I know I can’t assume a reader will have read the first book, so I have to slide in pertinent information in a way that a person who has read “Boundaries” won’t be bored. So how do I do that?
A tricky question. Almost Zen-like.
I’m thinking of Elizabeth Peters (creator of pyramindophile Amanda Peabody Emerson) or Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series. Each book is a stand-alone, yet the author manages to include enough past information so you aren’t lost in the cross-references.
I’m not saying I will ever be that good. But you learn by studying the masters.
And by attending conferences with superb teachers.