Thirteen months ago, I did not even know what a blog was. At the San Miguel Writers’ Conference, I heard the term for the first time. CM Mayo, a well known writer in Mexico suggested blogging as a useful way for new writers to get themselves known.
That sounded like the ticket to me. I had three books on the go and no contacts. I wanted people to know who I am so they’d be interested in my writing. My first step was to contact my friend Debi. I knew she had a blog. I must confess though, I had never even seen it.
Debi sat down with me and in one afternoon, “Writing from Merida” was up and running, courtesy of WordPress, the free server I use. Since then, I have been absolutely blown away by all that my blog has done for me.
Now I realize that many blogs receive 40,000 hits in very short periods of time. I attended a workshop a couple of months ago where Bill Belew gave us his amazing statistics. Millions… yes, that’s right… millions of readers go to his sites every year. He actually makes a healthy living from blogging. I aspire to nothing of the sort; I blog because I like writing and want to reach new readers.
I use my blog to inform readers about issues I believe in, for instance, the sustainable economic development project in the town of Santa Elena. I’ve informed readers about interesting events, personalities, trends and, on occasion… I have voiced my opinion about controversial topics. Something I enjoyed writing about was the lead up to Mexico’s bicentennial celebration. I’ve posted pictures of the flowers in my garden and recipes I’ve created. I’ve told about very cool events I’ve attended and I’ve written travelogues when I go on trips.
One of my happiest blogging experiences occurred last July… I had written a tongue-in-cheek post about how the publishers of the world were not exactly beating a path to my door and fighting over my manuscript. You could have picked me up off the floor when I received an email message from Richard Grabman that said, “I am the acquisitions editor for Editorial Mazatlan and I want to see your manuscript.” Four months later, my book “Magic Made in Mexico” was published. Since December 2010, it has been available in bookstores, on Amazon and as a Kindle book.
Through “Writing from Merida” I have made many new friends – other bloggers as well as readers. With two other Merida bloggers, Theresa and Debi, I organized a local conference that was attended by about 20 other Latin American bloggers. We had fun and learned a lot!
For me, blogging has opened up a host of new possibilities. From my little corner of the world, I can communicate with people in all the other corners… Unreal!
So… is there a downside? I would say there is. I do feel “pressure to post.” After a few days have elapsed and I’ve not put up something new, I get feeling like a slacker. And blogging regularly does take time away from my “real” writing, Nonetheless, I consider the hours spent on my blog, as useful writing practice… something I do nearly every day that improves my “real” writing.
By my own standards, I have written some “good stuff”. I have also put up “filler.” Throughout these past 13 months, readers let me know when they enjoy my articles and they graciously forgive the not-so-good stuff.
I thank all of you for visiting “Writing from Merida.” I hope to continue here, courtesy of WordPress, for a long time to come.