Pièce de résistance: A French term from the early nineteenth century. Translated literally, it means "piece of resistance." It originally referred to the highlight of a meal which 'resisted' common conventions and practices, making the whole creation special. It is meant to give the sense that the item referred to is the most outstanding piece of the collection.
This blog post is not that.
This is what I've learned from the 30 Day Challenge--
1. Blogging is fun.
2. It's a lot of work. It takes up a much bigger chunk of my writing time than I thought it would--like all of it. In reality, I might have to choose...do I want to be a writer or a blogger?
I started this blog to give myself an on-line presence, because publishers and agents agree that it's an important part of getting published. If they have two equally brilliant novels, they are going to publish the one by the author who has a ready made fan base.
And if I decide to self-publish, a blog and the friends I've made in the blog-o-sphere will be my biggest assets. But it doesn't matter if I don't have any time to write fiction.
3. Blogging and writing require my creativity to be in different states--kind of like water. Blogging is more like ice, while writing fiction is more like the gaseous state. So far I haven't figured out how to make it morph quickly enough to be able to do both in any kind of productive way.
4. It's harder than I thought it would be to keep some anonymity for my family. Granted, if anonymity was my goal, naming my blog "melaniecrousesblog" was probably not the wisest of choices. But if you were a fan, who'd read one of my books and wanted MORE, having an easy way to find my blog seemed like a good idea.
Since then, I've read lots of information about protecting your children's identities--how important it is not to give out info, and I've tried. No pictures of my kids, no names, just initials. But the detective in me cringes, and knows that it wouldn't take a lot of effort for someone to figure out a lot about us based on the things I've said and my oh-so-discreet blog name.
5. And maybe I'm overreacting. Not many people, even famous ones, seem to worry about giving out personal info, especially in a blog post that's supposed to be about their own family. It's a conundrum.
6. I love blogs about book reviews. I have two or maybe three that I check on a daily basis for new book ideas. If they blogged about other things in the same space, I'm almost positive I wouldn't be as devoted a follower. So, although I could probably get away with writing an occasional book review, sharing an occasional music video or writing an occasional essay here, if I want to blog about them in any regular sort of way, they deserve their own blog space. Am I saying I want to start another blog??? Well...
7. Blogs about books take even more time to keep up than this one does. Because you have to read. Another conundrum for me, because although reading and writing both use up my creativity in its gaseous state, page for page, reading uses up as much creativity as writing does, and can quickly turn the creative places in my mind into the Sahara Desert.
8. There is money in blogging. It's hard to get started, but eventually this could be a good part time job.
Some interesting statistics:
Since starting this challenge, I've more than quadrupled the number of people who look at this blog. Granted, that's still not an astonomical number of people, but it is promising. It feels like such an honor that you took time out of your schedule to spend with me. Thank you.
My most popular posts are still the ones from the very beginning--the ones about hiking in Acadia National Park. (Yay! It's almost summer and hopefully I can add a few more.) I'm not sure why that is exactly. It must have something to do with the query searches, but it's all too complicated for me.
It took me 54 days to finish the 30 day blog challenge.
So, I learned a lot of things, but I'm still not sure how it will all play out in the end. If anyone has any suggestions, I would love to hear them.