Welcome to Following the Whispers blog

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here whenever I feel the need. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair. Now, my focus is sharing this journey we call life.

“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.” Naomi Wolf

“We are called human beings, not human doings.” Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Theodore Roosevelt

Monday, May 4, 2009

Blogging versus journal-writing

It's Monday morning and I'm getting ready to go to my chorus practice - trying to fulfill my obligation of blogging each day for 30 days. It's got me pondering the difference between blogging and journalling. I started keeping a journal in 1978 after I lost custody of my only child. It literally saved my sanity. The entries were extremely personal. I would write whatever I felt in my heart and soul and knew no one would ever see what I wrote but me.

Blogging is a whole different animal. I am really not at all sure what the purpose is and how blogging will translate into sales of my book. I hesitate to write extremely personal things, yet how else are strangers to get to know me? Is the idea that if they get to know me, they'll want to read my book? I suppose that could work. Blogging is so new to me, I'll just have to postpone judgment for awhile. On to comments on other blogs. Till later,


Lynnette Labelle said...

Hi, Karen. I sent you an invitation to Writers_on_Writing. Feel free to tell your other group about us. We welcome all writers (18 years and older). See you on the inside!

Lynnette Labelle

The Practical Preserver said...

Many writers are introverted and getting our souls out there in the ethernet is uncomfortable. Still, a blog is just a web log. As with email and cell phones, don't say anything you don't want the world to know.

Anonymous said...

Nice post, Karen.

I think the difference is that a blog is supposed to interest readers. You only want to post things that people will want to read. And sometimes that just means re-framing your thoughts so they apply to readers.


Gayle Carline said...

Hi, Karen! I, too, wondered what I was supposed to blog about. Some bloggers do treat it as an online journal, but I don't really want my private thoughts wandering around, unattended, in cyberspace.

I think of it as entertaining guests in my home. It's hard not to monopolize the conversation, but I try to ask questions to get a discussion going. I also mix up the pure sales aspect with the pure entertainment - you don't want to constantly bombard people with THIS IS MY BOOK! BUY MY BOOK! It's boring.

Keep going. You're doing fine.


K. A. Laity said...

I can understand the reluctance to be too personal. I am always aware of my parents and in-laws reading my blog, so I tend to keep the topics from getting too cranky. There are also complete strangers stumbling upon the site via a Google search, who might want a little context.

If you're already driven to write, you have thoughts and opinions that are worth sharing. What do *you* know? What can you offer as a little gift to the world here?

Spartan20 said...

Hi, Karen,
I'm naturally a reticent person, so, Facebooking, MySPacing, Blogging, and Twittering run counter to my nature. So, I'm right there with you. I understand the theory, as do we all, the practical application is hard to do.

AlanChinWriter said...

I've known several published writer, myself included, who have difficulty determining how much of themselves to reveal to their reading public. Of course it's different for each of us, and I think the readers want to know as much as we're willing to give. Why it makes a difference I don't know.

As for blogging, I view it more as a way to flaunt your creative style, make the readers want more of you, and more importantly your writing style. Readers are cautious about plunking down money on an unknown. This is a way to let them know you and feel comfortable with you.

Hope you learn to enjoy blogging as a creative outlet.
alan chin

BTW: You have word-verification turned on. You might want to turn it off.

Lynnette Labelle said...

Hi. I agree with you that the cooking comment should've been done off loop. I'll explain to the crew how to do that, so we can keep the discussion on writing only. How do you have your account set? If you put it on daily digest, you'll only get one e-mail a day with all of the links. I don't even open these. I just save them into a file. Instead, I go directly to the Yahoo group to read through the messages. Would that be easier for you? I think this is already a great group, but it's up to you whether you have time for it. Don't feel like you have to follow every conversation either. Have a great night!

Lynnette Labelle

Lynnette Labelle said...

P.S. I choose to keep the word verification on my blog because of the spammers out there. But thanks for mentioning it just in case. :)

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Well, after a month of blogging every day, you'll be an expert! :)

I keep mine professional, for the most part. I have a journal I use for personal thoughts.


Enid Wilson said...

I actually think blogging is like chatting to people, but you don't know who they are. So if you have something you want to chat about, just do it. Don't tie it in with sales of books, then you won't feel so much pressure.

Fantasy stories by Enid

N A Sharpe said...

As I see it, the problem with blogging is you don't always get feedback so you don't know if you are posting something that others are interested in and simply not commenting on or if you are missing the target...or no one is stopping by. It can be disheartening until/unless you are getting feedback somewhere along the line. For what it's worth, I am enjoying your blog!

NA Sharpe

Patricia Stoltey said...

Hi Karen -- I'm finally getting the rest of the blogbooktour challengers on my blog roll and reading their blogs. Sorry it took so long. Your question of what to blog about is the very reason I resisted blogging for so long. I guess we'll eventually morph into our own styles and focus on preferred subjects. At the moment, I'm testing various subjects to see what kinds of comments I receive.


Lynnette Labelle said...


I changed your membership to daily digest. If that's too much, I can change it again to special notices only. Let me know which you'd prefer.

Don't forget to invite some of your writer friends! ;)

Lynnette Labelle

Cranky Mom said...

You have to write your passion - whatever that may be. It should be close to your book. But take a spin on it - a news article, a current movie, another book, a random thought - all of those are things I use. Usually environmental news or children's health news, but that is relevant to my book.

Jennifer Taggart

Anonymous said...

Tough call. But like writing fiction, YOU are in control of how much of 'you' you share on your blog. I personally choose to share as much of my life as pertains to the topic of the blog, and that may enhance the experience on it for my readers. Not every nitty gritty detail of my life.

Drawing that line is important, especially when you begin to dabble in social networking via Twitter or Facebook, where it's too easy to reveal parts of 'you' that you don't really want to!

All success
Author: "Think, Write & RETIRE!"

Anonymous said...

I didn't take blogging seriously until last year. I had a blog for 2 years before that, but never saw much point in it. But when I DID take it seriously, and realized how I could build up a following through a popular blog, my book sales increased dramatically. And now when I publish a new book I have a waiting audience ready to buy it.

Marvin D Wilson