A lot of people say a blog should have focus. There are tech blogs, mommy blogs, fashion blogs, etc. So what does my blog fall under? Um… Yeah.

When I first started blogging 15 years ago — no, seriously, at age 9 I coded every post by hand in Notepad then uploaded the html file to my Geocities or AOL Members page — I was just venting. There was a lot pre-teen/teenage/college-age angst. Sometimes I tried to make it “poetic.” Mostly it was about boys. Of course.

When I graduated, I decided that having all that angst floating around The Interwebz was not a good idea, since I wanted to have a successful career in a semi-public arena. Amy Tan doesn’t get stalked like Kristen Stewart, but some writers do become celebrities of sorts, and I just wanted to be cautious. So I started this blog/site with the idea that it would be a combination of personal and professional, a record of my journey to becoming a published author.

However, two years have passed since I graduated college with my B.A. in creative writing, and so far, no publications.

So now I’m thinking about refocusing my blog: How NOT to Become a Professional Author.

I’m only half joking! I have a lot of bad habits, and personality traits that are not conducive to the solitary, self-driven lifestyle of an author. As I work through them, I figure it might be good for me and other aspiring writers to see what they are. After all, the first step to solving a problem is identifying it, right?

So, #1 on the list: Lie down on your couch to read a book, and end up falling asleep while cuddling your puppy. This is absolutely guaranteed NOT to help you become a professional author. Because you can’t write, edit, or query an agent with your eyes closed, your brain off, and your face full of fur.

You CAN, however, look quite restful and cute.

11 responses to “How NOT to Become a Professional Author (#1)”

  1. Les Avatar


    I bet I’d be even better at that than you… even when I DO write there’s not one single end purpose to any of the letters coming off my fingers.

    If I could add to that list, it would be:

    #2: Make sure you can’t think of a single good idea for a story, and that when you do, it’s pretty much a ripoff of one of your favorites.


  2. Sonja Avatar

    If you want to get a lot of hits to your site, you might want to write a post about Dek-Blocks. I wrote about building the foundation for the cabin in our back yard. I used Dek-Blocks for this, and I included pictures (this was June 2008). I get hits EVERY SINGLE DAY for this post. People from Canada, in particular, want to see those Dek-Blocks. Far and away, this is my most popular post. Far, far and away.

    Sometimes I think that maybe I should just blog about our home improvement projects – if all I wanted was hits. But I remind myself that I’m writing to 1) have a record of our lives and 2) to share our lives with out out-of-town friends and family.

    • Sonja’s recent blog post: Conversation from the deep South

  3. Todd Newton Avatar

    Well put. But who can resist cuddling with dogs like ours??

    • Todd Newton’s recent blog post: False Continue

  4. Kristan Avatar

    Haha! But hey, don’t call it a “ripoff,” call it “inspired by,” and you’ll probably be fine. I mean, Pride & Prejudice & Zombies? :P

    Dek-Blocks, eh?

    But yeah, I know what you mean (hits vs. what you really want to write). I’m definitely not just looking for hits. If I were, haha, I’d just copy Perez Hilton.

    I KNOW!

  5. Todd Newton Avatar

    By the way, these are our weirdos:

    • Todd Newton’s recent blog post: False Continue

  6. Angie Avatar

    Not sure what you would qualify JBU as…random blog?

    Just keep writing, revising and submitting. I’m hopeful that the Kenyon Review will get some stimulating in!

    • Angie’s recent blog post: The gift of music

  7. Kristan Avatar

    JBU I don’t count because my dad publishes it…

  8. floreta Avatar

    that’s so cool that you’ve been blogging since you were 9! :D i’ve been blogging since i was 13 which i imagine was around the time you were 9 :D

    • floreta’s recent blog post: Inch by Inch: Rain

  9. Eric Avatar

    Writers need sleep and puppy time just like everyone else. That’s like saying eating dinner isn’t conducive to writing–it is, it’s just several cycles removed.

    The puppy eases your mind, the nap makes you rested, the book makes you educated. Put those together and you’re perfectly set up for some writing time, in my opinion.

    • Eric’s recent blog post: A Continued Discourse

  10. Kristan Avatar

    I think puppy time is slightly more indulgent than dinner… but, lol, your point is well taken.

  11. Jamie Avatar

    Hi there (k) from across the pond. Intresting story – ‘how not 2 bcm a wrytr although (notice i spelt ‘although’ the rite way! Lol none of this yankie tomato/tmayto pish! Anyways u call uself a writer, i beg 2 differ, where’s the atmosphere the sumptious feel n taste from the story!! :- describe the room, is it musky, fragrant etc… The puppy wot ‘breed’- is its fur long or short, matted or fine wots its temperment, the couch wot does it feel like hard or soft etc… N wot sort of mood r u in etc…