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?