Thursday, May 3, 2012

Guest Post by Karen Lange!!!

Please welcome Karen Lange, guest blogger from Write Now and great blogging friend, encourager, and writer.

The Great Blogging Adventure

By Karen Lange

To me, blogging is an adventure; there are ups, downs, and everything in between. Each portion of the endeavor offers valuable, hands on experience and helps stretch our skills.  It adds wonderful dimension to a writer’s life. We gain new friends, connections, resources, info, and writing opportunities.

I’m thankful for all I’ve learned on my blogging journey. While I don’t claim to be an expert, I have discovered a few things that boost blog success.  

1)      Be authentic. The more I write, the more Oscar Wilde’s words ring true. He said, “Be yourself, everyone else is taken.” Many writers stress over developing their writing voice. While voice is an important element, I think that it’s been over emphasized and writers get stressed about it. It’s important to relax, be yourself, and write. In doing so, our genuine voice emerges. 



2)      Pay it forward. When I started my blog three years ago, one goal was to help other writers. I didn’t profess to know everything; I just wanted to share what I’d learned. I’ve been blessed with help from wonderful, supportive friends, and wanted to pass that encouragement along. I began by offering tips and links in hopes that someone could use them on their writing journey.



3)      Don’t take unpleasant comments or loss of followers personally.  Your blog won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, and that’s okay. In a recent interview, author Ann Gabhart said, “Rejection is not fatal.” She was referring to submissions, but this applies to blogging too. Step back, take a deep breath, and objectively select any constructive elements. Pruning, when appropriate, hurts, but is necessary for growth.



4)      Confront challenges head on. Some think that the writer’s life is all roses and sunshine, but the reality is that it takes time and effort. Hours of thinking, reading, learning, research, writing, revising, and editing are the norm. It’s easy to get discouraged and quit. If we feel called to write, though, then we must press through the hard places. When I am stuck for ideas or a project isn’t flowing right, I pray. I also consult friends who help brainstorm, read drafts, or offer encouragement.  



5)      Interact with other writers. No man is a blog island. Writing friends, local and/or online, provide Inspiration, info, and encouragement. The writing life is solitary, so friends provide valuable feedback and help us keep a balanced perspective. Join a writer’s group or forum, visit and comment on other blogs, or take a writing class. Sometimes it is difficult for an introverted writer to reach out, but the people in the writing community are amazing, and a great source of support. It’s worth the effort!



 What have you learned on your blogging adventure?



Karen Lange is a writer, blogger, and online writing instructor at the Coffeehouse for Writers.  Her articles have appeared in parenting, educational, and writing publications. Visit her blog at karenelange.blogspot.com.

Photo credit: Stock Exchange
Write Now

39 comments:

  1. Excellent list, Karen! Excellent. I absolutely agree with #1. It's so refreshing when you meet someone who's comfortable in their own skin. And I particularly like that quote.

    Number three is something I really struggle with, so that reminder (it's not fatal) is a great one.

    I appreciate your faithful encouragement as a fellow blogger.

    Thank you for hosting Karen, Tyrean.

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  2. Great post, thank you Karen and Tyrean. Blogging is an adventure, I agree, and you meet such lovely people. I agree that you have to network and comment on other people's blogs. It's the only way to gain readers.

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  3. All excellent tips, especially paying it forward. I've found one needs to be consistent everywhere online as well.

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  4. Great list, Karen. What have I learned? First, you will find wonderful friends here. Second, stay true to your calling. If a writer, don't get caught up in being a blogger. Write your passion.

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  5. Rhonda - You're welcome! It's my honor to have her here!

    Susan - commenting and supporting one another is a great way to find friends.

    Alex - I agree.

    Carol - Good point! I love writing, and I like blogging, but I find it a struggle to keep the balance.

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  6. Tyrean,
    Thanks so much for hosting me! It's a great pleasure to be here. I always enjoy your posts; it's so friendly here! :)

    Rhonda,
    So glad you found something helpful. I struggle with all of these at times, so I have to say that I am a work in progress, always. :)

    Susan,
    Thanks so much! It's great to meet you! You do meet lovely people, and learn so much. :)

    Alex,
    Well, you are the poster blogger for paying it forward, that's for sure! I thought of you when I wrote that one. You are a great example.

    Carol,
    Thank you! As far as your advice about being a writer - you are so right! That's something I need to work on.

    Thanks again, Tyrean, for hosting me!

    Blessings all,
    Karen

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  7. Great to see you here, Karen! Couldn't agree more with your blogging advice! I found myself identifying most with your statement about blogging being solitary. It's wonderful to be able to reach out and meet other writers and take the occasional day off to get together with 'real' people!! Have a blessed weekend! Hugs!

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  8. Great guest post Karen, you certainly stay true to yourself. And you have been very encouraging, like the proverb you quote on your blog.

    Three years of blogging, here is to the next 10 at least. :)

    Keep well. xxx

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  9. Maria,
    Thanks so much! It was sweet of Tyrean to invite me over. :) So glad you can relate to these thoughts.

    Raymonde,
    Thank you! You were one of my earliest blog followers, and I so appreciate your encouragement and support!

    Thanks to both of you for your kind words!

    Blessings,
    Karen

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  10. I love your balanced approach. I especially appreciate your comment on being yourself! It's so easy to get uptight about trying to maintain some self-imposed standard...

    Thank you so much. You helped me. :)

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  11. Jennifer Brown BanksMay 3, 2012 at 12:06 PM

    Hi Karen and Tyrean,

    Wonderful words of wisdom here. And let me say that Karen "walks the talk!"

    Thanks for sharing.

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  12. Cheryl,
    Thank you! I appreciate your kind and supportive words. I know I waste too much energy on getting uptight, and I remind myself often when writing to relax! :)

    Jennifer,
    Thanks so much! Your words mean a lot, truly!

    Blessings,
    Karen

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  13. Maria - I agree - days off are a great idea. Thanks for stopping by to visit!

    Raymonde - Thanks for stopping by! Karen is very encouraging!

    Cheryl - like you I also appreciate Karen's advice to stay true to ourselves . . . everyone else is taken.

    Jennifer - She certainly does!

    Karen - Thanks for being present on the blogsphere today and making this post into a great conversation! I really appreciate it.

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  14. You are spot on, my friend. Your post is all I imagined it to be and more. Excellent! I love your list. And you are the champion at paying it back. I truly mean that! Look at all you have done for me. Great thoughts and a lovely, heartfelt post.Tyrean, thank you very much for hosting this beautiful woman!

    :-)

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  15. That is the heart of it, Karen. I'm glad folks have started being more forthcoming about blogging lately.

    Waving at Tyrean.

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  16. That's an excellent list. :) And I definitely agree about interacting with other writers--it's great to "meet" other people through the blogosphere.

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  17. “Be yourself, everyone else is taken.”

    LOVE it!!!

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  18. Wonderful thoughts, Karen. I had to learn to deal with #3. I especially like the idea of paying it forward.

    As usual, a very informative post.

    Hello to you Tyrean. I haven't been to your site before but I will try to come again when I have more time.

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  19. Hello Karen! Hello Tyrean! Loved the essay, Karen.

    I LOVE blogging. What have I learned in the more than 920 posts since October of 2009? Well, guess I've learned what wonderful people are out there in Blogland. It gives me so much joy to meet people and talk with them----from all over the USA, Ireland, Kuwait, Australia, and on and on. It's so doggone fascinating.

    I'm also humbled when people care enough to comment. I love it when people Follow. It's just joy. Sheer joy. So good to share both good and bad days. Love it. Susan

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  20. Robyn,
    Hey amigo, thanks for checking this out! You are such a sweetheart, thanks for your kind comments! With great blogging friends like Tyrean and you all, I am blessed! :)

    M Pax,
    Nice to meet you! Thanks so much for your kind words. I've learned so much through blogging. :)

    Golden Eagle,
    Thank you! It is wonderful to meet so many great people!

    Linda,
    I know - I love that one! Sums it up nicely! Great to meet you!

    Cecelia,
    Thanks so much! I'm still working on number 3, I'm still a work in progress. :)

    So glad you all came by,
    Karen

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  21. Susan,
    Thanks for your thoughts! You were one of the earlier followers I met and I appreciate that! It is a great adventure, that's for sure!
    Blessings,
    Karen

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  22. It does seem, at times, as though the well has run dry. I try not to push for something dull but wait for something that at least interests me too. I sure appreciate all your knowledge, Karen, thanks for sharing!

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  23. Thank you for this! I'm a relatively new blogger. I love to write, so I felt like a blog would be a good outlet. Unfortunately, I can't seem to find my niche. I find myself worrying whether anyone would be interested in reading what I have to write about, and I have even caught myself thinking it's just an unrealistic dream that I'm not cut out for. That being said, I do feel called to write in some capacity, just don't quite know what that is. Your tips were definitely helpful! Thanks, again.
    Christa

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  24. Blogging is certainly about the interactions more than anything. I think that's why I enjoy it so much.

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  25. Robyn - Thank you!

    M Pax - Waving back :-)

    Golden Eagle - Interacting with other writers is definitely the best part of blogging.

    Linda - That's one of my favorite quotes too!

    quietspirit - Nice to meet you!!!

    Susan - Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

    Sally - I'm sure your well will fill up with ideas again soon!

    Christa - Karen has helped me over some humps in my blogging adventure too.

    Lynda - Ditto! :-)

    Everyone - Thanks for stopping by and welcoming Karen, and making this a great discussion!

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  26. Sally,
    I think that's a good plan! Often time and space help us regroup with new ideas and such. Thanks for your kind words!

    Christa,
    Nice to meet you! I am sure you will find your place before long. Just be yourself. :) So glad to help. Thanks so much for your comments!

    Lynda,
    I think you are right. What would we do without the friends we gain through blogging? They are wonderful!

    Tyrean,
    Thanks again for having me. You are a sweet hostess!

    Blessings,
    Karen

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  27. Great list! When I first started a blog, I didn't realize the blogging community was so social and tight-knit. I had no idea what these things called blog hops or blogfests were. It has been awesome making new friends here.

    Allison (Geek Banter)

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  28. Allison - I agree. I'm glad you jumped right in and got involved!

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  29. Hi Karen & Tyrean,

    Thanks for having Karen, Tyrean.

    I particularly liked your advice not to stress out about voice. We don't sit around thinking about our speaking voice, why should we get anxious about our writing voice?

    Blessings,
    Susan :)

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  30. I love these! Interacting with others, confronting challenges, being yourself, paying it forward. All great advice. Thanks, Karen--and Tyrean for hosting!

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  31. Allison,
    Thanks so much! When I started blogging I had no clue what awaited me. It's been so rewarding and has taught me a lot. :)

    Susan,
    Hey, this is so true! Great point! I need to remember that. :)

    Carol,
    Thank you! So glad you can relate to these things. :)

    Blessings,
    Karen

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  32. All these are perfect, Karen. Thanks for the wisdom!

    I have become a better writer through blogging, learning what works and what doesn't in this medium, where people go on dozens of blogs a day, so don't want to read long, involved stories. It's taught me to tighten my prose, and that's a good thing.

    But the best bonus is the plethora of friends I've made, like you. You are a gem!

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  33. Jen,
    You are so sweet! I appreciate your kind words. :) You are right, the best bonus is the friends and I am thankful for you!
    Blessings,
    Karen

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  34. I’ve been a follower on your blog for a while now (10 pages back on your follow wedgit)and would like to invite you to visit and perhaps follow me back. Sorry I took so long for the invitation

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  35. Carol - Thanks for stopping by!

    Karen - Blessings to you too :-)

    Jen - Friends are the best!

    Covnitkepr1 - Thanks for the invite! I have to admit that I'm a bit behind on my follower page - sorry about that.

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  36. Hi, Tyrean:

    This is my first visit to your page--I hopped over from Karen's. I just became one of your followers! ;-)

    Karen, thank you for the blog success tips. I especially appreciate the tip to pay it forward. Like you, my favorite things about blogging are the new friends I've made, and the resources and writing opportunities I've discovered.

    Thank you for this post. Be well, ladies!

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  37. Janette,
    Thanks for stopping by. I know you'll enjoy Tyrean's blog! Glad these tips ring true with you too. :)
    Blessings,
    Karen

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  38. Karen,
    Wonderful post. I specially liked the first point: To thine own self be true. indeed writers get so caught up in the issue of 'voice' when all that is needed is to let your own true voice shine.
    Anjali

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  39. Thank you, Anjali! I think quite often we just need to relax and the rest will follow. :)

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