January 31, 2008 by 8junebugs
I don’t usually have to define “blog” for anyone anymore. Blogging is mainstream enough that anyone who can send email probably knows what they are. But for years I had to explain to people why I was so…entranced by people putting their diaries on the internet.
Here’s why: Things I Learned About My Dad: Humorous and Heartfelt Essays edited by none other than Heather B. Armstrong of dooce.com. She’s also working on a memoir about having a kid when you’re clinically depressed.
Without dooce.com, would Heather have had support (and, of course, grammatically nightmarish hate mail) from complete strangers through her pregnancy and post-partum depression? Would she have gotten a book contract? Would she be a household name? (Okay, my household, anyway. When Moira or Alicia are there.) Would the world at large have the chance to experience her sharp wit and clever writing?
She might have had a perfectly lovely life without her blog. She might have kept that job a little longer, too. But because of it, she has tremendous career and lifestyle opportunities, friends all over the world, and a way to make a living by just being herself. How awesome is that?
As a writer, little moves me as much as great writing. Blogs make that available to me 24/7. And, being human and nosy, I love to read about other people’s lives.
Say Heather would have gotten a book deal eventually anyway. I wouldn’t have known about it, and I might never have even considered her book. Because I’ve had the not-so-unique-anymore pleasure of reading her writing for years, I know what to expect and that allows me to support an author I truly care about. And I have the chance to put a regular person with regular problems at #197 on Amazon three months before the book drops. (#1 on the short stories list)
Besides, if she can do it, there’s always hope for the rest of us. 😉
Others on the list of “People whose blogs I’ve read forever who can now share their amazing writing in print”
Stephanie Pearl-McPhee at www.yarnharlot.ca/blog: At Knits End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much; Yarn Harlot: The Secret Life of a Knitter; Knitting Rules!: The Yarn Harlot’s Bag of Knitting Tricks; Stephanie Pearl-McPhee Casts Off: The Yarn Harlot’s Guide to the Land of Knitting
Molly at Orangette: A column in Bon Appetit and a forthcoming cookbook from Simon & Schuster
There are some knitbloggers I used to read who’ve done some pattern books, as well. I’m pretty sure the ladies of finslippy.com and fussy.com are working on something that will make me laugh until I pee, and if Jul over at thumbscre.ws doesn’t get a book deal, there’s no justice in this world. None whatsoever.