Am I a sun or just another star?

I read a thought-provoking blog post on January 22, 2020 – yes, nearly two years ago! I made a note about it in case I wanted to write about it in a future blog post.

That blog post was written by Cristian Mihai for his Art of Blogging blog. The name of the post was “Blogging Mindset – You Are a Blogstar.” 

Photo credit: Davide Cantelli on upsplash.com

In the blog post, Cristian Mihai compared the blogosphere to the number of stars in our galaxy. He recommended that I, as a blogger, try to be the sun so I won’t be overlooked like the other billions of stars.

Photo credit: Klemen Vrankar on unsplash.com

Instead of emphasizing the need to get more followers than other bloggers, in this particular post Mr. Mihai wrote: “And yes, it takes back-breaking amounts of work to stand out, to be relevant to your readers, but if you turn yourself into a sun, no matter how small your audience is, you’ll find out that the benefits of blogging are more numerous than you ever thought possible.”

Speaking for myself, I want to attract blog followers who will also want to purchase my novel when I get it published. The trick is to find a balance between my journey as a writer, my lifelong interest in American history, my love of reading, and my long-range goal of providing you with historical fiction you love to read.

It’s a winding path. The path has been fraught with detours and incidents that appeared to be deadends.

Experts in blogging tell us that a blogger needs to solve a problem for the reader. In his August 12, 2019 blog post, “Blogging is All About Problem Solving,” Christian Mihai stated, “Now, what problems are you solving by blogging? That’s a serious question, and you should think about it, because your success depends on what you answer.”

This question has buzzed around my head for more than two years. I’m just trying to write a good historical novel, so how will tales of my journey solve anyone’s problems?

The best answer I’ve been able to come up with is this: 

While I try to write the best historical novel you’ve ever read that’s populated by unforgettable characters — each playing their part in a story that will linger in your head long after you’ve finished reading it – I must convey to you through my blog posts that I have writing skills that are worthy of your time and hard-earned money, and that I know the history of a time and place so well that I can transport you there with my words.

No pressure there!

My Conclusion

I appreciate each and every one of you who have stuck with me since I started my blog June 24, 2010. I have my nephew-in-law to thank for setting up the website (http://janetmorrisonbooks.com) through which my sister and I publicize and sell our three Morrison genealogy books. Shortly after designing our website, he told me I should blog. The idea had never occurred to me.

When I started my blog, I didn’t know what I was doing. Some days, I still feel like that, but this is my 548th blog post. My posts were erratic in the beginning. I tried many different schedules. I settled on posting every Monday morning beginning June 26, 2017. That has worked well for me, but I wonder if I need to adjust that schedule again.

I keep promising you a novel. Hold on tight. The road will continue to be bumpy, but I believe there is light (and a novel) at the end of the tunnel.

I’ve concluded that, in light of Christian Mihai’s blog post referenced in the beginning of this blog post, I’m a star and not a sun.

Every minute of every day, 4,000 blog posts are published. There are more than 570 million active blogs in the world today. I don’t know how many suns there are in that 570 million, but I don’t expect Janet’s Writing Blog to ever qualify as a sun. For the time being, I’m happy to just be a star in the blogosphere.

Since my last blog post

Since last Monday, I’ve read Three Sisters, by Heather Morris, and The City of Mist, a collection of 11 short stories by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. I’ve also read How to Write Winning Short Stories, by Nancy Sakaduski and How to Write a Series: A Guide to Series Types and Structure Plus Troubleshooting Tips and Marketing Tactics, by Sara Rosett.

I continue to work on my novel. Do I dare consider it might be the first book in a series? If that’s a possibility, it will influence some of the details and plot lines it. Part of me thinks it’s presumptuous of me to think in terms of a series when it has taken me more than a decade to write the first book and it’s still in the editing stage.

Until my next blog post

In case you want to check out Cristian Mihai’s blog, you can reach it through his website: https://cristianmihai.net/. He’s been a full-time blogger for nine years.

I hope you have a good book to read and find fulfillment in your activities.

For those of us who are Christians, this is the Advent Season. I wish you joy, hope, and peace in the days leading up to Christmas Day.

Let’s continue the conversation

What do you look for in a blog? What do you look for in MY blog? I really need to know. What do you like about my blog? Do you wish I’d write more posts about a particular topic? Do you want me to continue my occasional “#OnThisDay” posts? Are you sick and tired of hearing about the novel I’m writing?

Janet

26 thoughts on “Am I a sun or just another star?

  1. Well Janet I must say that I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog since the first time that I discovered it, I think it must be more than a year now. I am interested in history, in books and the way you have brought them to life on the blog was the ideal way. I am amazed at your capacity to concentrate and to read so voraciously, which is something that I admire and envy as I am so lazy when it comes to that, although reading…I always say…is one of my passions. I don’t do a lot of analysing about blogging, to me it is fascinating to reach out and to actually correspond with other bloggers out there regardless of what they blog about. Although it is not a business for me, I would like, like you have said, that some people out there will recognise my work and actually watch my videos and read my posts, but I have noticed that is not the case with many other bloggers who only look for stats. I wish you a happy, creative and productive end of the year and a blessed Christmas season. All the best,
    Francis

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Janet, Thank you for this thought provoking post! I like the distinction between star and sun. I think blogging can be a journey of self realization. The question a blog answers or the service it provides is important to think about. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I entered the blogosphere with THE WIFEFLY PERSON SPEAKS (https://wifelyperson.blogspot.com) a year after my husband passed away. I’ve been blogging every Monday night since July of 2010, and I’ve not missed a week. What started as a blog about widowhood quickly became whatever I felt like writing about. I never monetized, but I did get paying gigs writing commentary with several news outlets.

    With my 3rd novel, however, I decided I needed a separate site as an author, hence S.J. Schwaidelson: The Author is In (https://sjschwaidelson.com.) It’s brand new, but it’s gaining traction. I find I’m writing about my process of writing which people seem to want to read. The response is good.

    What I’ve learned from two blog sites:
    1)They are vastly different, as are the audiences.
    2) WP readers want current events, my rants, and for reasons I cannot explain, my take on the Constitution. Go figure.
    3) AUTHOR IS IN readers want process and nuts&bolts. They wanna know the act of writing. They also like to know what’s making me crazy for the next book. Lots of emails, few public comments.

    Some of my long term WP readers are now reading both, and their comments lend credence to my early conclusions. So, to answer your question: write about your process and its application to your new book.

    BTW, “An Adventurer’s Personality? Who, me?” was delightful.
    sj

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you, Francis. Based on your comments, I’ll probably keep doing what I’ve been doing. “They” say a blogger needs to find his or her niche. I’ve just never been able to settle on blogging about the same thing every week. I like writing about a variety of things, and I hope my readers like reading about those same various things. As much as I try to read and comment on several blogs every day, I don’t find there’s a lot of reciprocation in that. I’m beyond happy, though, with the handful of bloggers I’ve formed relationships with — and you are at the top of that list. It amazes me that we’re able to connect with one another instantaneously from across the world. This was the stuff of science fiction just several decades ago. Every time I see that my blog has been read by someone in China, it gives me pause. I hope something I write from my comfortable place in freedom reaches someone there and gives them something to cling to. It’s a sobering thought.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I agree with you. That’s been my experience, too. It’s a wonderful platform for so many people like you and me who just have something we hope is worthwhile to say and a place to put it out there. There are many good writers out there. I guess there always have been. WordPress offers a safe place for writers that was the stuff of science fiction until a relatively few years ago. It’s astounding!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you so much for your comments, S.J. That’s interesting about your having two different blogs. I can see how each one would attract a distinct audience. I’m impressed that you have time to keep two blogs going. Some weeks I have trouble settling on a one topic, much less two. Thank you for your insight and your recommendation for writing about my process. I’ve been writing about my WIP for so many years, I’m afraid people are going to give up on it ever getting published. Thank you for telling me how much you enjoyed “An Adventurer’s Personality? Who, me?” It was fun to write because it seemed so out of character for me. Take care — and I’ll check out your blogs. Janet

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I quite agree with you Janet, the pleasure in blogging is that reciprocity factor which lets one know how one has reached someone else. I am happier now with my new blog, less followers but more real and that’s what I like. And I too appreciate greatly your support and participation with my postings, certainly top of my list as well. I have learned much from many people here and the opportunity to communicate with those so far away is certainly a blessing. Thank you and all the best,
    Francis

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I have enjoyed your blog and you sharing the books you have read, that gives me a chance to compare notes and get new suggestions. I follow a few bloggers and each is as individual as the writers and that’s what I like best.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hey, Randall! I have neglected to let you know how much I appreciate your reading my blog. I apologize for that. I’m glad you’ve found my comments about books helpful. I take your comment about the bloggers you follow being individuals and interesting in their own way, so to speak, as a compliment. I appreciate your input — always.

    Like

  10. I enjoy blogs that are written from the heart as well as the head, that make me think about things in a new way or expose me to ideas that I haven’t yet bumped into. And of course, I am looking for prose that makes me sit up and take notice!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. You expressed yourself beautifully, Trish! Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I’m going to print what you said and tape it to my computer screen as a reminder. Lovely!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Hi Janet,
    this is my first time visiting your blog and i really loved this post. I am following you as well. thank you. you can check out my blogs on monasblog952217659.wordpress.com/blog/

    Liked by 1 person

  13. This is the first post of yours that I’m reading and man oh man is it brilliant! It’s so important for us to be the sun and focus on our own niches that to be trying to conquer the universe… that’s the best way to add value!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Thank you so much for finding my blog, Shelly, and for taking the time to leave a comment. I just visited and followed your blog. I’m impressed that you work fulltime, have a family, and a blog. How do you find the time? I read your blog about the five blogging “fails” you’re grateful for. I’ve sort of been down the same road. I really struggle with topic now. After blogging for many years, I feel as though I’ve said everything I have to say. It’s tough to keep a blog fresh. Somewhere in your blog I read that you were/are posting four times a week. I’ve played around with several different schedules. Posting once-a-week has worked best for me. You have a lot of followers after blogging for one year — and you get a lot more likes than I do. You must be doing something right, so hang in there and keep on doing what you’re doing. Your graphics are beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Aww thanks for this Janet, you really made my day! It’s great that you’ve found a schedule that works for you and doesn’t leave you drained. And I think there’s a beauty in blogging about what you truly feel like writing than pleasing the masses. I’ve noticed that the posts that get the most likes are the ones that are so generic. When I pour my heart out, I barely get any views 😅
    As for time… I don’t find it~ it finds me… in the middle of the night when I should be sleeping 🙈

    Liked by 1 person

  16. You’re welcome, Shelly. I was so encouraged and surprised by all the comments I got after last week’s blog, I just had to share some of them this week. I can picture you now at your computer at 2 a.m. churning out your next blog post. Then, getting up after three or four hours of sleep and starting your routine all over again. I’m so glad I’m no longer working. You do what you have to do, though, at the time. Bless you!

    Liked by 1 person

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