Happy New Year! I’m not one to make resolutions, but set goals for myself throughout the year. Some I keep. Some I don’t. And it’s okay. I do, though, love the newness of a new year and anticipating all it might hold. It’s also very satisfying to think back over the year just completed.
In my classroom, I displayed a quote by Confucius: Learning without thinking is labor lost. Not wanting to lose out on all my hard work(!), I thought it would be fun to reflect on my four short months of blogging in 2009.
After leaving my teaching position in May, I knew I had to get serious about my approach to writing if I wanted to do this full time. That meant creating a schedule (I find a lot of freedom in knowing what I’ll be doing with my time), stepping up the querying process, and jumping into the blogosphere.
For over a year, I had read a handful of blogs and commented sporadically. I read a couple of books that touched on blogging (HOW TO GET KNOWN BEFORE THE BOOK DEAL, for one, and a How To blogging guide from the library…I’m not super savvy on the computer). My idea was to blog along the lines of Lisa and Laura — with a partner. I figured I’d have double the readers and half of the work.
I approached a friend to ask if she might be interested in blogging with me (hi, Anna, if you’re reading!). Our story, I figured, was a natural draw: childhood friends who wanted to be authors agented in the same year. One writing for adults, one for children. One living in England, one in the US. See all the interesting things we could have discussed? Plus, imagine the pictures we could have unearthed of bookish girls in kilts and knee socks! In the end, the timing wasn’t right for my friend, who sent me on my way with best wishes.
I decided to tackle the blogosphere alone. While reading blogs over the previous year, I found I was much more likely to click on a blog with a memorable/quirky name than I was others. Caroline by line came about because of three things:
- I knew I wanted to blog about writing, reading, and the slow, steady process both involve — step by step, or in my case, line by line.
- I thought the byline pun too fun to pass up.
- I hate being Carolyn-ed. It’s always been a mystery to me why CaroLINE, so obviously spelled, would be pronounced Carolyn. Lyn is lyn and Line is line, right? If I called the blog Caroline by line, there was no way my name could ever be mispronounced again! (So far, this hasn’t panned out).
One thing I read about blogging is to stay on topic. I figured my focus should be the things I know and love: writing, reading, mothering, and teaching. Another “must do” I heard was the importance of posting regularly, and along with many of you, started a five day a week goal. Against popular wisdom, I’ve taken blog vacations over holidays, loving the time away.
Here I am at the beginning of a new year, 103 Blogger followers and 111 followers through Feedburner. Amazing, really. Thank you, everyone, for playing a part.
As for looking forward, I’d love to start some good discussions around here. I’m planning on sharing some quotes from Jeff Vandermeer’s BOOKLIFE: STRATEGIES AND SURVIVAL TIPS FOR THE 21ST-CENTURY WRITER and would love to hear what you think. I will continue with Fast Fives (mini lists of books I’ve loved, arranged by topic or genre) and information on my after-school book clubs. I’d love to be able to say I’ll sell a book this year and will have loads of information to share on the process of publication. We’ll see on that. I also realize I’ve neglected to talk about picture books here, a big part of my writing life.
I’d love any insight/suggestions about what any of you would like to read about here.
Here’s to a great 2010!