Yeah, I’m BAD

I had lunch with my friends Jan and Anna today. They are a dynamic mother and daughter duo.   Somehow, the topic of blogging/writing came up; OK, it always comes up when Jan and I talk.

“Cathy, you have a problem.” Anna smiled.

“Yeah, I think I realize that.”

Jan interrupted “Oh are you registered for Blogathon?”

“Jan, what is Blogathon?”

“You commit to posting a blog for 31 days straight in May.  I am emailing you the link now.”

I have always dreamed of being a writer.  I actually dreamed of writing a bestseller and having Oprah beg me for an exclusive interview.  I dream big. I have written my bestseller several times – in my head.   I have written four or five versions of the first chapter and changed the name several times.

I was seeing a therapist two years ago and it was not for being an obsessive-compulsive writer.  During the time I was in therapy, I attended a writer’s workshop.  I shared some of my writing with her.  When I left therapy, she encouraged me to purse my writing.  I wasn’t sure how to begin.

I bought a domain and created a website that had a blogging feature.  About that same time, my son told me he wanted to pursue writing.  I knew he was talented.  He had started a blog.  I discovered two other friends who had starting blogging as well.  They used a Google program called Blogger.  I decided to jump in and try it.

My first blog was not an instant success.  I wasn’t sure what to blog about so I played with a variety of things.  Eventually I seemed to find my niche.  I wrote blogs as the amazing rate of about one every month or two at first.  I shared my blog with a total of ten people.  They “followed” my blog and would often comment on my posts.  Realizing that someone had read my words was an amazing rush.

About a year into the blog, I created a second blog on WordPress.  This system is a bit harder to navigate and seemed to be for the more serious blogger.  I kept this blog private.  I was free to write without editing or censoring myself.   I would occasionally share a post with a couple of people.  I kept both blogs going until January of this year.

I believe I have a story to share with people to encourage and give them hope. I would even be so bold to say that maybe I have a bit of talent.  Did you hear the confidence in that statement?   I believe I have a journey of faith that will resonate with people. I believe God has called me to do this.   I know writing is therapeutic for me. I know I have to write.

In October last year, I took a short course in writing fiction.  I had never given much thought to fiction writing but wanted to see if it might be a fit for me.   I quickly learned that writing fiction is much different from blogging.  There are things like voice, character, settings, conflict, resolution, verb tense, and more.  I was falling more and more in love with writing.

My son had participated in something called NaNoWriMo.  National Novel Writing Month’s goal is to write a 50,000 word, (approximately 175 pages) novel beginning on November 1 and ending by 11:59:59, November 30.  I decided to try it.  Writing 50,000 words in a month is much more difficult than I imagined.  I managed to finish just one day before the deadline.

In January, I made the decision to switch from my Blogger to my WordPress blog and make it public.  By now, I had a facebook account, Pinterest, and Twitter.  I also created a Tumblr and Digg account, although I am not sure I know what they are. I created a group on facebook and shared my new blog with about twenty people.  I kept it public so anyone could find it, knowing no one would  search for it. I was still dealing with some old demons of fear.  I was afraid it wouldn’t be good enough.  I worried about friends or family learning things about my life that may change how they feel about me.

I quickly realized that I would never be able to write my book if I was afraid of sharing the very things I so desperately wanted to share.  I knew it was time to jump in with both feet.  I shared my blog with my 350+ facebook friends list.  Some shared it on their profile.   I created a facebook page.

I started getting more hits.  I knew that because now I had a stats page that told me so.  I started getting more comments.  People seemed to like my blog posts.  Some said they were inspired or encouraged.  Someone sent me a link to a weekly blog site where you write and submit a post on the site every week.   I didn’t know such things existed.   I had to learn how to post a button and link my blog.

My posts started getting more hit and comments.  One of my posts received the Lurkers Favorite Award.  More people started following my blog.  Now I was committed to writing on a deadline.  I would wake up in the middle of the night thinking about the next blog post. I read blogs by people who shared the same subject matter as my blogs.  I started hitting “like” on people’s blogs in order to lure them to my blog.  Occasionally someone would ask a question and I would answer with, “You will just have to read my book when it comes out.”

I joined a large blog site that required a paid membership.  This would mean writing a second blog each week with a bit of a different voice.  Before you ask me why I would do that, let me explain.  This blog site has published authors, editors and publishers who will read your blog and give you some honest feedback and recommendations about your writing skills.

In the past two weeks, I have linked my blog to several blog sites. I am now on Write on the Edge, Blogaholic, YeahWrite, FaithWriters, Lightening Bug, and Sober Blogs.  I still keep my Blogger account and link to it.  It may take you as long to see all of the links in the right hand column of my blog as it does to read a new post.   Some of the sites have weekly blogs with specific topics and time deadlines.  OMG—that is going to mean writing more blogs each week.

Today, I followed Jan’s link and signed up for Blogathon.  Yes, that means I will writing one new blog post each day for the next 31 days.  This blog about blogging will be my first.  Did I mention Camp NaNo?  It is the same idea as NaNoWriMo but takes place in June.  Of course, I have signed up for that as well.

To round out the first four months of 2012’s writing and blogging, I will be traveling to Montreat Conference Center on Friday for a three-day retreat and workshop.  Go ahead; guess what kind of workshop it is.  Yes, it is a writer’s retreat for women.  Now I just have to figure out how to write three blog posts while I am there.

I read a blog (bet your didn’t see that one coming) that described a new disorder they hope to add to the DSM-5 (the book psychologists and psychiatrists use to pick which disorders you have).   They are going to name the disorder, “Blogging Addiction Disorder” or BAD for short.

Yeah, I’m BAD.

 

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55 responses

  1. Adriana Ryan | Reply

    Cathy, that’s AWESOME! There are so many writers who’ve turned their blogs into books, too, so that’s a route you could pursue at some point if you were interested. Have you contacted the LRWA? They don’t just cater to romance writers, and offer a lot of writing workshops, both online and in person. I’m taking one right now on writing fight scenes and love it. 😀 By the by, check out Kristen Lamb and her book on blogging: it’ll totally change your life!

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  2. I am a new blogger and really appreciate this! Good luck on your blogathon!

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    1. God Luck Anna. Welcome to the blogging world.

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  3. mondayswithmac | Reply

    Every day for a month?! That sounds challenging! Good luck!!

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  4. I think we’ll be at the same workshop this weekend! I’m looking forward to meeting you in person. I’m staying at Assembly Inn. How about you?

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    1. OMG…I am going to the ClarityWorks workshop and Yes, I am at the Assembly Inn. I am coming on Friday before the retreat starts. TWO Anne Lamott fans — she is my favorite author as well.
      Cant wait to meet you!!

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  5. I think this is great! I’m so glad you’re finding your confidence as a writer. It sounds like you’ve already found your voice! 🙂

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    1. Thanks Emily. I am getting braver all the time.

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  6. Haha! Yep you got yourself a serious problem! But there are worse ones out there so lets just continue in our denial and keep writing! Found you on the Blogathon role! Let’s do this!

    http://www.recoveringchurchlady.com/

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    1. Susieklien…Love your blog title. So glad you found me. I haven’t had time to read any on Blogathon yet but am heading there now.
      Cathy

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  7. Way to go! After just finishing the A to Z Blog Challenge, I opted out of the Blogathon. LOL! Good luck!

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    1. A-Z Blog Challenge? Another challenge? I missed it. LOL

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      1. Donna B. McNicol [@donnabmcnicol]

        You need to check it out for next year. May 7th will be when everyone posts their reflections on it. Check out my blog that day. It was a blast!

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      2. Thanks Donna I will be watching for the post on May 7th.

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  8. You are a rock star of blogging. I’m still new at it myself so the idea of writing a post everyday for 31 days is mind-boggling. But in no time I hope to be BAD just like you. Good luck with the Blogathon!

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  9. Ha! Being BAD is awesome! Sounds like you’ve had quite a blogging history!

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    1. Thanks so much. 🙂

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  10. You have just inspired me to embrace the writing jobs that I just committed to! You are a very busy lady. You are also a testament that you can never be too overwhelmed with writing aspirations! I am so glad that we are now following each other. I also look forward to reading each of your blog posts this month! Good luck!

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    1. Thanks so much. I have started everything later in life than most people but I wouldn’t change any of it. I am loving the journey I am on. Thanks for following.

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      1. You’re more than welcome an keep up the excellent job….very inspiring!

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  11. Glad you joined Blogathon. I look forward to your posts! I am constantly toying with the idea of switching to WordPress from Blogger, but I need a fairy to grant me more time (okay, and more patience).

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    1. I have the free WordPress for dummies version. It is just a small learning curve but no more time. The hope is to convert to hosting on WordPress which will indeed take more time but my son is going to blaze the trail and try it first. Good luck.

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  12. Cathy, WOW! You are one beautiful woman who proves that nothing can stop a dream, especially a big dream. All the best with the Blogathon!

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    1. Thank you so much. I have been amazed at the community of writers I have met. And the willingness of everyone to share. That has made this dream even better.

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  13. That is an amazing list of accomplishments. A total bonus that you can share this with your son and your friend. I wish you luck with each new challenge!! -LV

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    1. Sharing with my son and my friend as an amazing bonus on this journey. Thanks

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  14. Oh, you’re bad! I’m bad. We’re bad. You know it…
    Ok, before I become Billie Jean’s lover, let me say that your journey is incredible. I too know that despite my shortcomings in high school English class, there is a writer in me.

    Good luck with the post per day. I participated in something similar in January. It is a lot more difficult than it seems. I will impart the one trick I learned…write when the writing is good. Don’t simply say, “I’ve done my post for the day…” write another. Start as many as you can when the creativity is there.

    WG
    http://itsmynd.com

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    1. Thanks Scott I think the biggest challenge for the Blogathon is to try and still write quality and not just throw something up to say I did it. I can’t promise that will happen everyday but I will make that my goal. And I love Pinky.
      Cathy

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  15. Loved reading about your development in writing and blogging! Keep at it!

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    1. Thanks Looking forward to reading you blog as well.

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  16. […] Yeah, I’m BAD (cathysvoicenow.wordpress.com) […]

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  17. hehe i love the way you ended this, you BADass, you. ;D
    i’ve always been drawn to writing- it kinda saved my life as an angsty kid. so i totally get what you’re saying here.

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    1. Yeah, writing is a live saver for sure. 🙂

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  18. Yes – you are BAD! Phew, so glad I’m not! 😛

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    1. You are gonna stick with statement? LOL

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  19. Cool challenge! (One that I am totally not up for, not if my family wants to eat and wear clean clothes, that is.) I look forward to seeing what you come up with!

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    1. Thanks I can’t wait to see what I come up, too

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  20. Make sure you stretch properly and drink a lot of water.

    Glad I found your place through yeahwrite55. I look forward to you not pulling a blog hammy during May.

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    1. Thanks Lance. Looking forward to reading you blog as well.

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  21. I absolutely loved this post. I can completely relate, both as a writer and as a new blogger. I think you captured the emotion very well that we all experience, to some degree.

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    1. Thanks David.

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  22. Yay! Good for you! It takes courage in the beginning, doesn’t it?

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    1. True..it does. Then it is like rolling downhill. You just can’t stop. 🙂

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  23. Good for you for making such an effort and getting out there! I’m loving the posts of yours that I’m reading and look forward to more! I keep wanting to do those month long blog things, but the timing is not good. Enjoy it!

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    1. It really helps me deal with some of life’s craziness. I hope to retire in another year and a half and have lots more time. Thanks for your comments.

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  24. Oh, man! I think I may be BAD, too! Isn’t blogging great? It’s really changed my life and helped me become a better writer. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

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  25. Congratulations on making the leap! I can’t commit to that much writing – so I’m impressed when someone else does.

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  26. Wow! I find it hard to manage just ONE blog! Way to go you! I would love to attend some of the blogging workshops that are out there. And learning to write fiction sounds like SO much fun! That is also a dream of mine!

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  27. Awesome way to start May! I wish you lots of luck in finding inspirations for every day. And that is so cool that your son blogs and writes too. I’m secretly wishing my 7 year old daughter was old enough to blog so we could blog together. 😉

    And seriously? Blogging Addiction Disorder? You’ll have to send me a link. I might be BAD too. And I know a couple of people who might need to read it as well. hehe.

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    1. Thanks so much Janice. It would be fun to have your daughter join you. My son is almost 40 (did I say that outloud?) so give it time.

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  28. mannahattamamma | Reply

    It’s odd, isn’t it, that conflicting fear: that SOMEONE will read the blog and then also that NO ONE will read the blog. And yet we keep on keeping on. Congratulations on continuing to find your voice – I think that writing into the interwebs helps that voice emerge, and writing a lot helps hone the writing muscle, which needs training like everything else.

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    1. Yes..that is it exactly. It is amazing that people are reading my blog and commenting and OH NO people are reading my blog and commenting. But I do love and I am learning so much. Thanks for commenting.

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  29. I know that feeling! I started my blog anonymously. No one except my husband knows I blog. Being anon is helpful in some aspects, but it has it’s downsides (more like frustrations) also.
    You’re doing a fabulous job! Keep up the great work! 🙂

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    1. You can share it when you are ready. Anonymous works too. 🙂

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  30. From what I’ve read here, you’re an entertaining, engaging (I read thru to the end) blogger. I look forward to exploring & hearing more 🙂 EllaDee

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