As I am wrapping up 2013, reflecting and reminiscing, I’ve come away with a lot of lessons. Today, I will share the most recent lesson I’ve learned.
If you do something, find others that do the same thing. If you do something, and you find people who do the same thing, join them.
In other words, create a group to share ideas and information and general camaraderie. A group where you can come together and feel like you are not all alone. Whether it be for basking weaving, photography, exercise, or knitting breasts. But surround yourself with your kind of people. It comes in handy when you want to share your knowledge with others or when seeking advice.
I helped start a group here in north Alabama, for bloggers. We call ourselves the Rocket City Bloggers. I’ve been in the core group for a couple of years now. The group is growing and producing great things.
Recently, I asked them for some advice and suggestions about blogging. Specifically, what should I do with THIS blog. And wow y’all, I got a ton of great feedback that I am taking to heart. Their feedback was really validation for what I’ve been wanting to do all these years. Hearing it from them, in their feedback, from their voice, solidified my heart’s desire.
In 2014, I will use this blog to hone my writing skills. I’ve always had a love for creative nonfiction, but in an essay sort of way… not book format. I don’t know, is there a difference between essay and creative nonfiction? I don’t know but I just Googled it and I like the following explanation.
Creative nonfiction and personal essay are powerhouses in the story-telling genre. They’re the volcanic marriage of real life and fiction, and a chance to deliver our stories with sass, color and voice. By using a variety of techniques such as dialogue, melody and narrative, creative non-fiction and personal essay breathe new life into the ordinary telling of our tales.
Anything is fodder for creative nonfiction; the fight you had with the supermarket check-out person, the time your brother ran you over with his bike, your first real kiss and the lessons you learned about yourself when you stopped to give change to the corner panhandler. By delving into our experiences we squeeze the marrow from our lives and explore our emotional territory, sharing and making meaning out of the events in our lives.[ Source ]
Whether the above explanation is true or not, I like it and I’m going to run with it. It still does not answer my question, though, of the difference between personal essay and creative nonfiction. Creative nonfiction is the style while personal essay is the vehicle? Maybe? Yeah, I’m going with that, sounds good to me. I’m sure the academia group will come in later and school me on the differences.
I’m throwing away editorial calendars, the notion of branding myself, and the worry of traffic and stats. I’ll still keep the audience in the back of mind though. I think that’s only natural for a writer, a writer or blogger who wants to get noticed and published one day anyway. I’m only speaking for myself here.
This month, I’ll still blog about whatever but I’ll also start saving up stuff, observing, making notes, and generally start trying to pay attention to the mundane and ordinary things in my life. I then hope to take those mundane and ordinary things in my life and write engaging, heartfelt humorous articles/essays/blogposts/columns/pieces/whatever you call them.
Think Erma Bombeck, Nora Ephron, with a little bit of Dorothy Parker thrown in – that is the type of writing I’d like to do.
So there you have it.