Your newest reality TV: A writer's life

May 18, 2009

While browsing my @alexisgrant replies on Twitter recently, I noticed a message from a follower I didn’t even know I had: @jtlongandco, or JT Long, author of The Writer’s Secret: MasterMind Your Way to Publishing Success.

“I love your blog,” she wrote. “It is like reality TV for writers.”

“Guess I should consider adding more hair pulling and sex?” I wrote back.

I’m not a huge fan of reality television (although I’m admittedly addicted to The Biggest Loser — Helen wins this season? What?!), but her comment made my day. Something I’m writing here must be resonating with other writers, and that’s what I hoped for when I started this blog, to share as a means of learning, inspiring and occasionally entertaining.

But the short exchange also got me thinking about what I could do better, how I could liven up this blog. Readers return to certain blogs not only for the information they find there, but for the personality behind the words. It’s the same reason people buy books.

That’s why blogs like Penelope Trunk’s Brazen Careerist are so popular, right? Because they offer insight into their specialty and their personal lives, details that make readers laugh and think, Wow, I can relate to that. (That reminds me: Check out Penelope’s recent post about how to write a blog post people love.)

Of course, there’s a fine line between sharing enough about yourself to interest readers and offering TMI. I’ve already posted embarrassing tidbits about myself, both on writing and my personal life. But unlike Penelope, I will not be delving into the bedroom behavior of the men I date nor will I offer details about my partying habits. (For that, you’ll have to read my book!)

If this blog is going to meet the standards of drama-laden reality TV, I’m going to have to step it up a notch or two!

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