Those of you who followed my recently concluded blog tour know that I wrote 50,000 words in 44 blog posts over 31 days. Whew! It was nothing if not intense. It was a fantastic virtual journey that took me all over the country and across the Atlantic, into many different worlds, some aligned with my own: writers and authors, readers and book reviewers; and some more far-flung: gardeners, PR executives, shopping mavens and travel experts.
It’s surprising how quickly a routine can establish itself. My daily schedule became: research upcoming blog host to see what his/her followers will find useful; write blog post essay; submit; answer upcoming blog questions; submit; interview blog host; write my own blog post as a thanks to the blog host. Write newsletter entry recap of blog visit. Repeat.
Somewhere in there I also wrote chapters, helped the marketing team with upcoming event planning, discussed book one with the publisher, discussed book two with the publisher, co-hosted Milford-Haven Socie-Tea events, gave talks, helped other writers, and sometimes even made dinner.
I’m pretty sure my conversation became insufferable. “But enough about my blog. What do you think about my blog?” Was there life before blogging? If so, what was it like? And perhaps more importantly, will there be life after blog tour?
The word “blog” is a contraction of “web log,” and the word “log” is a simplified iteration of “journal” or “diary.” A log—say, a ship’s log—is a terse, practical document that chronicles longitude and latitude, velocity and weather conditions, ship’s condition and crew’s behavior. Such a format is probably a perfect one for, say, a guy on a bike trip up the coast who wants to keep his family informed of his well-being and whereabouts, without going on and on with too many details.
But for a women’s fiction author like me, detail is the substance of things, but details have to be connected to themes like iron filings align to the shape of a magnet. Without the theme, there’s no shape, no purpose. So the blogging became an internal alignment-check, a quotidien course-correction. So, arduous though it was in sheer volume, it became a kind of spiritual thrill to be so fully present to my core mission.
What core mission? The one that opens a space for readers. The one that asks the internal question: are we listening only to head, or also to heart? This is the fundamental question asked in my upcoming novel What the Heart Knows. At its conclusion, my character Samantha offers a long journal entry about the awakening of her own heart. I think the blog tour allowed me to take my character’s advice and do some serious journaling. Perhaps we only really exist when we know what the heart knows and write down what it wants to say. If that’s true, it’s also true that I blog, there I am.
“I Blog Therefore I Am” Nonsequitur cartoon by Wiley Miller. For more information on the changes that are taking place with The Milford Haven Novels, please read my newsletter. If you have not subscribed, visit www. MaraPurl.com to have my newsletter sent to your mailbox every month.