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I suppose it would be possible for some people to invent believable artificial blogging identities for themselves. But for me to do that would require so much time and effort that it would probably take me about 40 hours a week to just come up with one post per week.

So, blogging, for me is all about being myself and becoming the person I want to be. I have no choice but to write about things that are a true reflection of my current creative struggles and triumphs. I’ve attended writing and art workshops in the past where it was recommended to start a blog for the purposes of marketing the work. But I have a very successful career as an artist/illustrator, and it provides me with the luxury of not needing to market myself at all (I have an agent who does all that stuff for me). I went through a phase where I thought I wanted to become a novelist, but in the process of writing my first novel, I’ve come to the realization that I don’t want to make a whole career out of writing novels. However, I did manage to finish a first draft of my first novel, and it was a rewarding creative experience.

At the writing conferences I’ve attended, many of the speakers recommended to writers “Be yourself.” They didn’t recommend writing to the market. However, when I had the first ten pages of my manuscript critiqued a few times, it seemed to be largely about if and where my novel would fit into the marketplace. One editor told me it would be an easy sell to libraries, but a very difficult sell to the big box book retailers. And the main reason it wouldn’t sell into a chain like Barnes and Noble was that it was not a fantasy genre book! Talk about confusing!

Now, the funny thing is that I find myself blogging (a thing I had vowed I would never do), and I’m finding it just as much of an enjoyable and satisfying experience as writing that first novel! I doubt my novel will ever find its way onto the shelves of the big box bookstores, but I’m OK with that, because I’m not willing to sacrifice who I am just to make that happen. Plus, my blog is already published on a daily basis without the approval, criticism or paycheck of an editor or publisher. I can’t get any more true to myself than that.

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