First of all, thanks so much for the encouragement regarding my new adventure! It not only is a huge boost in the confidence department, but a good reminder that I’m doing exactly what I need to be doing!
Those who have known me for a little while know that this website isn’t my first shooting match. Over the last 10+ years, I’ve staked my claim on several little patches of the Internet expanse, evolving from my first, angst-filled LiveJournal my senior year of high school to a healthy living-mommy blog hybrid.
While my content has been changing according to what’s going on in my life, the World Wide Web has done just a little transformation of its own since 2002. Now, pretty much everyone has a website (and I love that!) but there seems to be a certain formula to standing out among the crowd.
Let’s assume, just for giggles, that you’re not a celebrity. You have to work hard to prove that you’re knowledgeable, fresh, relevant, and most importantly, engaging about your subject matter, whether that’s documenting life as a stay-at-home mom, writing recipes, or breaking life changing news. But again, there are also some rules to follow — or at least a prescription for success.
When I first got the idea to start this website, I became hyper-vigilant of this formula. I studied other writers’ websites and read articles about platforms and niches and areas of expertise. A lot of this I already knew because of my experience as a book publicist. But to establish myself as a credible source with industry professionals, other writers, and perhaps someday, even my readers, would I have to stop using words like “doneski” and “wowsers” in civilized conversation? Would I have to limit the number of baby pictures with which I was inundating my Twitter feed?
Then there’s my whole hang-up with expertise. If I limited myself to writing about what I fully know, this website would be a whole lot of books, random sports trivia, and some Harry Potter and Madea movie quotes thrown in for good measure.
Let me just say this up front because it will be better for everyone involved: I don’t claim to be an expert about anything. But if I had to choose, and I will, it would be books–particularly stories, both to be specific and to provide a broader spectrum. I’ve been writing stories since I was a little kid (see image above for proof), have read more books than is probably healthy, studied literature in college, and promote books for a living. Besides that, I feel the number one perk about getting older has been the ability to truly appreciate the stories that are taking place all around me. The redemption and beauty God has written and orchestrated in my own friends’ lives.
So while I’m not an expert about anything, maybe you can find out something about life and books and grace alongside me as I learn. And I’ll do my best to be myself: genuine, evolving, and hopefully unapologetic. To me, that’s the most important formula for success on this adventure.
No promises about the Madea movies, though.