Chicken or the …Blog?

I was thinking about this blog the other day, mapping out possible strategies for luring enticing more followers, and I started ruminating about its origins. It’s kind of an interesting story. Wanna hear it? Of course you do (like you have a choice).

I’ve been technically “blogging” since long before I had an official blog. I played around with the concept on Myspace five or six years ago and became enamored with exploring my creative side. The only thing I had written for fun before then, dating all the way back to my high school days, was our families annual Christmas letter. I do write a lot where I work, but those are technical journals and procedure manuals, so the opportunity to create something with some personality appealed to me. Mostly what I wrote was tiny slice of life episodes mixed in with the occasional fiction, posting maybe once a month. You can say I cut my blogging teeth on Myspace.

After a couple of years I migrated to Facebook because most of my friends and family were coming on-board there. I was still posting very infrequently, but I found the mechanics of blogging inside the Facebook conglomerate too cumbersome. I began to search for a way to make the process easier.

One of my earlier posts, way back during the Myspace phase, was my reminiscing of a road-trip with a group of my buddies to Panama City, Florida, during a college break. When I wrote that story I had already begun expanding my creative endeavors to include composing a few short stories. I took the seed from that road-trip post and decided to turn it into something fictional. What I created ended up being closer to a novella at 40 pages in length. My wife loved the story (she’s the only person that’s read the original novella) and more importantly, I was on-fire more than ever with an unquenchable desire to continue writing. I was like a man who had just dined on Chinese food, hungry again just a short time later.

I had to find something else to write about, and fast! I stared at the pages of the story I had just finished and asked myself, “What if I took my 40 page novella . . . and turned it into a book?” The more I considered the idea, the more the fear of attempting such a huge feat lost its grip on me. Besides, if I set a goal to produce a 300 page novel, I already had 13% of it written.

So off I went writing my first novel. The main character was a middle-aged widower with two grown children whose only claim to fame was a semi-popular blog he authored. When I set about assigning a name to his blog, I thought long and hard until I finally came up with Cruising Altitude. I don’t really remember where the idea came from, I just fancied the feeling it conveyed.

I finished the book (Slow Dancer), stuck it on a shelf for reasons discussed here, and moved onto my second novel.

Now during this point in time I’m still pseudo-blogging on Facebook and I decide it’s time for me to step out and create a real blog. Although it would serve a lot of purposes, its primary focus would be to document my path to published author...or dejected wannabe. A lot of the blogs I followed on a daily basis used Blogger as their tool of choice, so I figure why not me too. There I was, poised to create my official blog, and I get stuck on the very first question.

What do I want to name it?

I contemplate this for a time, then I’m struck with a thought – why not use the same name as the blog in my first book? It could be kind of cool. If I ever do get published and my passionate readers decide to Google the blogs name to see if it’s real . . . ‘lo and behold . . . they’d be delivered to the author’s (me) personal blog. Cruising Altitude would be the name!

I created the blog in January 2009 , but I didn’t really get serious about using it to promote my writing until August. I currently have 34 followers (38 when you include the links to Facebook) and 1153+ site hits (probably 1100 of those are me checking to see how many visitors I've registered). Fledgling, I know. But it’s young and has yet to stretch its legs. Give it time.

That’s my story of a blog that was fiction, before it became reality. Or is it the other way around?

What's the story behind your blog?

9 comments

  1. Now you have 35 followers. I was going through the blogs I follow and I was mortified to find that you weren't on the list (insert the face of Tom when he would catch Jerry about to knock over a vase).
    I could have sworn I was a follower. I apologize for my brain fart.

    I am now a proud follower of Cruising Altitude.

    I absolutely love your work.

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  2. *Pumping fist* Awesome! Thank you so much. I hope I can continue to be relevant, if not entertaining.

    (Confession ~ I really jumped up and down like a little girl, instead of pumping my fist. Our little secret though.) :)

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  3. Now you have 36.

    I've been blogging for about 5 years, but only in the last year have I seen it as anything other than just a venue to post pictures and prattle on (okay, I still do a lot of that). It really is a community.

    Glad to have discovered your blog (through Another Gray Day...I'm friends and crit partners with Kristin).

    ReplyDelete
  4. Don't sell 'prattle' short! Blogging was born from prattle.

    Thanks for stopping by and having a look see. Any friends of Kristin ...... well, you can fill in the rest.

    j/k Kristin. :)

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  5. Blogging is a commitment - not only do you have to blog but you have to read others and comment. Over time, it will grown. Im happy to say im in the 35 count :)

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  6. Yes...Shelli is one of my followers who, one of these days, will be able to say --

    "I remember when he was first starting out...I could see so much potential...look at how far he's come."

    OR

    "It's such a shame."

    :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Haha. Love your story about your blog origins. I started mine because I've wanted to have one for some time. (Seemed the "cool" thing to do) But it took awhile to figure out what I wanted the focus to be on. I have my fingers in so many topics: sewing, crocheting, embroidery, D&D, SF/F, writing, parenting, SCA... (the list keeps going and going)

    I finally went with talking about all things SF/F, because of how much I enjoy telling people about my favorite authors, mostly in that genre. I got my blog name from puttering through my Flip Dictionary. Under Book Terms, I found "bookplate inscription 'from the library of': ex libris." Just added dragons (one of my favorite mythical creatures) to get Ex Libris Draconis: from the library of the dragon.

    Now I just have to update it more often. *sheepish grin*

    ReplyDelete
  8. Since you were #3 on my blog, I thought I would return the favor.

    I just started my blog in November, and I have yet to figure out what to do with it. Right now I'm using it to track my writing and such (and maybe use it as a diary so I know what I've been doing all year!)

    You seem to have a better knack at it than I do. Maybe with practice I'll get better (I can only hope).

    ReplyDelete
  9. I think your off to a great start. I'm just figuring it out as I go along, and that's what most of us do.

    Keep it up!

    Thanks for the support.

    ReplyDelete

 

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