Helping A Former Student


I find myself in a rut these days. It could be any number of things–the fact that I hate my job, the fact that I’m perpetually tired, just regular life getting in the way. I know what I want to do–what I want to write. I tell myself what I’m going to do–what I’m going to write. But these days, it’s not happening. It’s not happening and I’m getting madder and madder at myself.

Well, the only to break out of my rut is to write, right? Enter Eli Fernandez, a former student of mine who is currently studying at Florida State University. Eli is a talented writer in her own right, and one of the students I have fond memories of. So, when she sent me a message requesting some help with an Article and Essay Technique class. She was tasked with interacting with other writers and talk to them about writing, and she thought of me. Eli to the rescue.

I’ve decided to post the little interview here, because, well, I’m not writing anything else these days and maybe this is just the swift kick in the ass I need.

The Interview

ELI: -What made you want to start a blog?

ME: I guess the thing that sparked my interest the most is that blogging gives me the ability to share my writing on a platform that will reach readers immediately. I’ve always sought an audience beyond the small circle of eyes that had read my work in the past, and blogging seemed like the best way to do that.

ELI: -Did you ever have any doubt that people would read your blog?

ME: I doubt people will read every time I post. I hope they will read. I wonder if there’s more I could do in terms of exposing my writing to new readers, but yes, I’m perpetually doubtful.

ELI: -I saw you’re nominated for a blogger’s award! Can you tell me more about that?

ME: The blogging award was called the Versatile Blogger award. It’s this aspect of the WordPress community that allows bloggers to nominate other bloggers they enjoy reading. The benefit is a reciprocal one, the nominee writes up a post about the award and links to the nominator’s post, and as part of the post the nominee selects a number of other bloggers to nominate as well. Then those new nominees will write new posts that link back to the nominator, and so on and so forth. The draw here is the links. The more links and ping backs you get, the more your blog gets noticed. It’s all about getting read.

ELI: -What do you hope to gain from this blog? What do you hope your readers gain from this blog?

ME: My biggest hope is to build a bigger platform for my writing, and by building this bigger platform, developing a consistency to my writing that I seem to be missing. The end goal had always been to be a traditionally published fiction novelist, and blogging is simply one of the avenues I’m driving down toward that goal. For my readers, I hope to share my journey to that goal—maybe they learn something and are entertained along the way. I learn so much from the other blogs I follow that, if someone else who has similar aspirations can glean something of value from me, all the better. I guess it’s the teacher in me that thinks this way.

ELI: -What advice would you give people looking to start a blog? (I’ve been thinking about it).

ME: The biggest piece of advice I would give is something I myself need to listen to: establish a consistent schedule. Once you start, keep at it. To develop your platform and audience, you need to regularly post so that your readers know when your new work is coming. It’s the thing I struggle with the most, really. A bonus bit of advice would be to develop some kind of theme or angle to your blog. You know, make it a writing blog, or a travel blog, or a sports blog, etc., so that people know what to expect. Once you’ve developed your own style and carved out your niche, then you can dabble in different things.