Monday, February 24, 2014

Guest Post + Giveaway: How has blogging helped my writing career?


I am absolutely delighted to welcome author of Ask Again Later, Liz Czukas to the blog today to share a Guest Post on How blogging has helped her writing career

Her debut, Ask Again Later will be hitting the shelves on the 11th of March 2014!

So without further ado let me turn the blog over to Liz.....

How has blogging helped your writing career? 

This is kind of a funny topic for me, because I consider myself to be a terrible blogger!  But I have had a blog since 2009, so I guess maybe I'm not as bad as I thought?  Or is is that I just don't know when to quit?  Hmm...

When I first got started, I was very enthusiastic about blogging.  It was a really fun outlet to put down my thoughts on just about anything!  And I did.  Which isn't really the best method for drawing traffic to a blog.  People kind of want to know what they're going to get when they come to your little corner of the internet and I definitely wasn't delivering anything consistent.  I talked a lot about writing--surprise, surprise--as I felt my way through the early stages of trying to become an actual, professional writer.  That's interesting to the very active on-line writing community, but on the other hand, a lot of people had already said what I was trying to say.  I felt kind of lost.

I think as a reader, there's nothing more boring than a blogger who clearly isn't enjoying herself.  That was pretty obvious in my own stuff.  Not so much in the beginning, but as time went on and I could feel myself forcing it.  It wasn't good and I knew it.  I'm pretty sure everyone else knew it, too.

It wasn't until I gave myself permission to stop updating it regularly that I started to enjoy blogging again.  I would only write about things that inspired me, or do blog hops that seemed like fun.  Anything that was challenging, interesting, or different.  That's more fun for me than focusing on regular updates.

Ironically, right around that time, I took a professional freelancing job where I had to write not only regularly scheduled blogs, but what they call evergreen content--stuff that serves more as a reference for longterm use, rather than the topics of the day.  I'd never written so much on demand in my life.  I learned to be a lot more succinct, and to find the angle that applied to my topic in even the smallest ways.  And I learned that sometimes you have to go through with something even if it seems too hard, dull, or depressing (my topic was emotionally draining).

So how did I put that all together into my writing career?  A lot of small bits have applied.  I've learned that I can write even when I don't feel inspired and nine times out of ten just getting down to it can bring inspiration.  I've learned that a blog is NOT a journal.  Putting down every little thought in your head is not meant for public consumption.  Save it for your best friends or a paper journal no one will ever see.  I've learned that it's okay not to blog on schedule, or even with no recognizable pattern.  I know that seems in direct opposition to writing when you don't feel inspired, but that applies more to long term projects than blogs, in my experience.  Your life on-line is what you make of it, and you don't actually owe anyone anything, despite any kind of pressure you might feel.  The minute you let go of a desire to be something you think you should be and just be yourself, your blog will be more interesting to other people.  The same is true of books--don't chase trends, don't write for the market; write the stories you want to tell.  It's okay if no one else wants to read everything you've written.
Meet The Author:

Liz Czukas is a freelance writer who lives outside Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Ask Again Later is her first novel. She collects college degrees she doesn't use, types too loud, and always has a song stuck in her head. In high school, Liz did go to two proms but not at the same time.


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Ask Again Later
AuthorLiz Czukas 
Title: Ask Again Later
Release Date: March 11th 2014 by Harper Teen
Buy the book: 
Amazon    Barnes and Noble   Book Depository
Synopsis:

Despite what her name might suggest, Heart has zero interest in complicated romance. So when her brilliant plan to go to prom with a group of friends is disrupted by two surprise invites, Heart knows there's only one drama-free solution: flip a coin.

Heads: The jock. He might spend all night staring at his ex or throw up in the limo, but how bad can her brother's best friend really be?

Tails: The theater geek...with a secret. What could be better than a guy who shares all Heart's interests--even if he wants to share all his feelings?

Heart's simple coin flip has somehow given her the chance to live out both dates. But where her prom night ends up might be the most surprising thing of all...

US Only Giveaway
Prizes are:
-One annotated ARC of Ask Again Later + Swag
-One finished copy of Ask Again Later + Swag

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What do you think of Ask Again Later? 
Are you an aspiring author who is also a blogger? If so, tell us how has blogging helped YOUR writing career?

3 comments :

  1. 'Ask again Later' sounds like a fun YA book. I love the cutesy cover too!

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  2. I've always blogged just for me, but now I blog for a living and I've learned a few things! Mainly, I've learned that if you want to keep people coming back to your website, a regularly updated, interesting blog is a great start! Your book definitely sounds like something I need to add to my to-read list.

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  3. I found Liz Czuka’s words on blogging very inspirational. Sometimes I get into a tug of war between deciding should I follow through the reading trends of another, or stick to my own personal taste. Needless to say, I’ve learned to stick to my own, creating my own blogging trends by combining other things that I love into expressing what I feel about books that I’ve read and want to share. With that I take my time and blogging pace, just as she mentioned.

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