You’ll Never Be Published…
Much to my Indian father’s dismay, I was never a model student. I did okay in school but wasn’t the typical brilliant Indian kid who scored a 1600 on the SAT and had Harvard, Yale, and Stanford knocking on their door. My dad was usually disappointed with my report cards and would say things like “Your last name begins with the letter “A” so you should only be bringing “A’s” home.”
Remind me never to use that logic with Maya because 1. It makes no sense, and 2. I don’t want Maya bringing “D’s” home.
I think my embarrassing B/B+ average was mainly due to the fact that I have trouble focusing for too long. I can barely get through an hour of Tyra Banks and her interminable lessons on how to “smize,” nevermind listening to a 2 1/2 hour lecture on a widgets place in the macroeconomic environment. So when I graduated from college I swore up and down that I would never return to school. But this past weekend I found myself squeezing into a tiny little chair in a stuffy UCLA classroom (UCLA needs to take some lessons from USC on how to design a classroom) so I could attend an all day class entitled, “Writing in the Internet Age.”
Being back at school was an eye-opening experience. Can you believe there are people who have no idea what Google is? No idea! And Twitter was basically a foreign language for 60% of the class. I’m not an expert in social media but seriously? Are people living under a rock?
Anyway, this is what we learned after a marathon 8 hour session:
1. There is a 0.0001% chance that any of us will ever have a book published. Unless of course you self-publish and peddle your book out of the trunk of your car, which, according to one presenter, is a very valid way of promoting yourself!?
2. There is no money to be made in writing a book. Translation – you can write to your heart’s content but unless you churn out a crappy book a month like Danielle Steel or have a reputation like Jodi Picoult, you can forget about quitting your day job.
3. If you are a glutton for punishment and still want to pursue a career in writing it is imperative that you maintain a blog. With a blog you can get your name out there, develop a writing style, and you can use your blog as a platform to develop a presence. (Finally, something that made sense!)
As I listened to presentation after presentation, I realized I was wasting a Saturday afternoon to listen to “experts” explain that I was going nowhere. Fast. So you can imagine my surprise when the very last speaker ended up being the only one who really made any sense.
Have you ever heard of Nadine Jolie? Long story short, she began blogging anonymously back in 2005 about the secrets of the magazine and beauty industry. But when the New York Post blew her cover Nadine found herself fired for disclosing secrets about the Ladies’ Home Journal where she worked. Fast forward 5 years later and Nadine has managed to build herself an empire of sorts including 2 published books, TV appearances, and speaking engagements.
I was fascinated by Nadine who was by far the most engaging and “real” presenter of the day. Her story gave us all a little bit of hope – if it can happen to her than why not us too? She was honest about the challenges of the blogging and publishing world, but she wasn’t full of negativity. Nadine was even nice to a very rude audience member who told her that her site was basically worthless since it didn’t support her financially. She explained that while her blog doesn’t offer that much financial support it is still what got her to where she is today, and who can put a price on that?
Do you have any long-term blog goals? Are you doing it in hopes to make money eventually, or do you consider blogging more of a hobby?