When I started networking with the online YA lit community, about a year before I sold my first book, I read a TON of blogs. It was a great way to get an inside peek at the lives of writers---the creative side, the business side, not to mention the tv-watching and soup-making sides! Basically, I was trying to get a glimpse at what I hoped would be my future. Highly educational, maybe even more so for witnessing some not-so-lovely behavior and thinking about how I didn't want to come across when it was my turn to Be An Author. And, leaving comments and participating in the dialog and accumulating blog readers was a huge part of what helped my first book build by word-of-mouth.
In the last year, I've had to cut way back on the number of blogs I read because, let's face it, you can read blogs and Twitter feeds and Facebook updates all darn day and never a) write, or, b) live life, which is totally necessary for writing. But, there are still a good number I do read. Here are some of my favorites:
Debbi Michiko Florence - One Writer's Journey (the bumpy road)
I love Debbi's blog not only because she's a great person, a huge supporter of others, and a thoughtful reader, but also because Debbi has shared her ups and downs with writing and publishing so honestly. She's got a couple of great nonfiction books out, but is also a talented and disciplined writer of fiction who'd love to publish in that category as well, and it hasn't happened yet. I spent about 10 years there, wondering when it would be my turn, and know how it feels. I marvel at Debbi's ability to be so supportive of friends' success, good books, and good causes, while also keeping it real and sharing when she's just. over. it. Never cynical, but never faking it on a bad day. That's why I love Debbi's blog.
Space Station Nathan
Nathan Hale is an illustrator (most recently famous for illustrating Rapunzel's Revenge), and I'm so far out of the illustrator world that I don't even know my cyan from my red dye #5. But, I do know what I like, and Nathan's art is whimsical and colorful and humorous and GOOD. His blog is all about the art, and it's a nice break from all the talky blogs I like to read (and write).
The Bennett Madison Extravaganza
Okay, so YA author Bennett Madison doesn't post all that often, but when he does it really is the promised extravaganza. Where else can you read about Roxette, the hipster grifter, and F. Scott Fitzgerald all on one page? Nowhere, that's where. And look for his latest, The Blonde of the Joke, this September.
If you're of a Judeo-Christian religious tradition, and also a culture hound, this is your blog. Under the umbrella of the quarterly arts/faith journal Image, GL features brief but deep reflections that connect life to film, visual art, dance, poetry, culture, the natural world, and spiritual and artistic disciplines.
So there you have it---four vastly different blogs from my reader. Use them in good health!