I started blogging with the Chicks when we opened on January 1, 2009. As I recall, it was a Thursday, the day Anita had picked to blog, so she was up first (correct me if I’m wrong, Anita). Friday was Janet’s day, and then my first blog went up Monday, January 5, 2009.
When we started I didn’t have a clue. I rarely visited blogs and I had only written one blog post before, for a guest blog I submitted to Romancing the Blog (which I see has also folded.)
But I was enthusiastic and excited about this new venture. Janet and I had talked about setting up a blog for some time, but I was hesitant because of the time commitment involved. I’d heard that to attract readers a blog needed a new post every day. There was no way I’d have that much to say! But we figured there was strength in numbers. What if we started a group blog devoted to everything writing, with an emphasis on romance?
With that in mind, we recruited fellow interested members of the Saskatchewan Romance Writers, and Anita, Susan, and Karyn signed on. We had ourselves a five day a week blog! Hooray!
It wasn’t all roses and lollipops. After a few months, Susan, who works full-time at a high stress job, found weekly blogging too much and had to bow out. So then we recruited a few more SRW members. Helena, Molli and Connie took turns filling the Tuesday slot.
By the end of the year, we were all getting tired. It was time for fresh blood. Hayley, Anne, Stephanie, and Joanne came on board in the new year, and I can tell you, it was a huge relief. It meant that I could go from blogging once a week to once every two weeks. Having such a large and diverse group was good for the blog as well. We all write different types of romance, from contemporary to historical, comedy to inspirational, suspense to paranormal. In fact, Hayley really doesn’t write romance at all. She’s a fantasy writer, but she liked us all at Saskatchewan Romance Writers so much that she joined forces with us. She, and all the other writers of this blog, have different viewpoints and are in different places in their writing careers. It makes for an interesting blog with much to say.
After nearly two years of blogging what have I learned? A lot. I knew nothing about Blogger when we started. Under Janet’s gentle tutelage I learned how to put up a post and how to schedule it. She did teach me how to do some of the maintenance of the blog, like putting up the names of future guest bloggers, but I confess that I didn’t help in that area (sorry Janet).
I’m now much better at research, particularly Internet research. I know I can meet a deadline. I am proud that over a year and ten months I have never missed a spot. In fact, I found that I am totally anal about deadlines. When the other Chicks talked about writing their posts the night before they were scheduled to go on the blog, I broke out in hives. Like any good Brownie (I didn’t make it to Girl Guides) my motto is “Be Prepared”. For the most part, I always had one to three posts “in the can”, ready to go, because I think I’d be physically sick if I had to scramble at the last minute.
I can’t say I have any regrets. Janet and I wondered if narrowing the blog’s focus to writing related posts limited our readership and also limited topics for our bloggers. As a published author, one of my goals was to gain more exposure. That’s been limited to exposure to fellow writers, however.
Still, I wouldn’t trade my time on Prairie Chicks for anything. Though we’ve had our trials and tribulations, working on this project with friends and with people who have become friends, has been a joy. All in all, I feel like a more confident, experienced writer, ready to take on the next challenge.
I hope that some of my posts have been useful to other writers. I’m pleased that Prairie Chicks will remain live, and I hope that my posts here will continue to be read by writers looking for information and inspiration.