Friday, April 01, 2011

My New Life as a Blogger and Book Reviewer

Growing up my intention was to be a novelist, screenwriter, and veterinarian. Yes, one of those things is not like the other, but those were my goals. Reality intruded, mostly in the form of parents, but also in the discovery that sick animals are icky (and I'm not all that good at hard science). As for the first two items, writing was given up for a new dream in advertising copywriting and graphic design because business was a "safer" major. Parental pressures continued and advertising was given up for accounting. This is the point in the board game where you've gone back so many spaces you know that you have no hope of winning without a magnificent stroke of luck.

In many ways my magnificent stroke of luck has been the advent of the world wide web. Without it I would still be writing all this stuff, but in notebooks that were tucked into my purse and under the bed. Being able to share my thoughts and creativity online has spurred my own productivity, and being able to learn from and "hang out with" all my online writing friends has been invaluable.

But a funny things happened on the way to the market.

For the longest time I've been receiving free books. Even before setting up this website for my own writing or talking much online about being a writer or what I was reading, somehow my online friends identified me as an avid, enthusiastic reader with whom they wanted to share their work. I was honored but also confused. I wasn't a reviewer and wasn't precisely sure what I should do with these books other than read and enjoy them. Slowly but surely I began to work reviews into my posts on my blog Thoughts That Get Stuck in My Head. And I began to meet more and more writers online.

It struck me that it would be cool to have a forum where we could read interviews with unpublished authors, both to support and validate their dreams and to connect with each other. Then some of my contacts got their first publishing contracts. Then I started making contact with "bigger" names in the industry. Out of all this grew the website Writing Insight where you can discover writers at all stages in their careers.

Then today I rebooted an old idea for an entertaining blog about occult topics called The Arcane Hour, this time being joined by a great list of Contributors. I took the day off from work so that I can finish two articles and an interview with the science fiction living legend Frederick Pohl. It was at this point that I thought, holy mackerels, things sure have changed since I set up Thoughts That Get Stuck in My Head back in 2003 with the slogan "My Virtual Frontier Cabin."

So I guess what I'm trying to say is thank you. Although not having arrived yet at the square on the board labeled "novelist and screenwriter," being a blogger and book reviewer is a heck of a lot closer than accountant. And it's because of your interest, sharing, and caring that I'm here in the first place.


  1. Great post, Sue! Your enthusiasm for writing and writers (and great humor on twitter!) is infectious. Best of luck to you in all your ventures!

  2. Hi August! Thanks for stopping by - with alacrity! (For those who haven't stopped by her blog today, that's a play on her own post.)

  3. I Love this. So good as a writer to read!

  4. I am familiar with your situation. Except I wanted to be a writer and an astronomer. And I ended up a lawyer.