Not long ago a young lady blogger named Melissa asked me if I would do a guest post for her blog. I decided to do so, and I’m glad I did. It forced me to think about how to write to a different audience. After all, the whole world does not consist of old doctors and bluegrass pickers.
At first I wondered what I could write for a group of young people. I walked by a picture of my daughter, and it came to me. Write about what you know and love. Easy enough.
I recalled the words of my agent several years ago.
“Son, you need to start a blog.”
“What’s a blog?”
“Here’s one to check out.” He gave me a link to click on. “A new writer has to have one. Your readers will teach you how to write.”
He was right. Over the years I have gotten a lot of feedback from readers and have learned something from all of them. On my last post I got one from Sharon of Australia that said a lot about why we write. I love this comment.
“Good writing is so much more than stringing pretty sentences together. Good writing is connecting with people; it’s writing what everyone knows, but most cannot express; it’s delivering a good story that others can recognise and identify with.”
After my guest post for Melissa, and then Sharon’s comment, I decided to expand this interactive process, and would like to open my blog for guests. I post twice a week, so I’m gonna revise my publication schedule. I’ll post on Monday and Wednesday, but I’d like to leave Friday open for my readers to weigh in with their perspective.
As usual, I’m laissez faire about the whole process. I don’t have too many rules about the blog or life in general. If you want me to be serious, book an appointment to talk about cancer or heart attacks, but this is art, so let’s have fun. After all, writing isn’t a matter of life and death; it’s much more important than that.
I’d like to hold each post to less than 800 words, ’cause I have found if I exceed that by too much no one reads mine. Also I do ask that you limit it to PG-13. My mom reads my blog, so anything stronger than that I’ll have to ax. Other than those restrictions, I’m flexible and prefer to let it run wherever it might go.
I’m gonna reserve the first Friday for Melissa since she inspired the idea. Here’s the link to her blog: www.thestoryinme.wordpress.com. I hope Sharon of Australia will consider the second one. Sharon’s blog is: www.thesunlitdesk.wordpress.com. I’d like to see Ted Lehmann, Cindy, and slightly do one, and I hope over time all my readers will have their say. Also, I’d be happy to return the favor for anyone who wants me to. We’ll see where it leads.
To update you on “The Mandolin Case,” I’m pleased with the early progress. It has some nice reviews on Amazon, my friends all seem to like it, and my wife and I are having fun promoting it. We’ve already made a lot of new friends, and have been asked to several festivals we’ve not been to before.
We have two stops in Chattanooga this weekend. On Friday July 30, I’ll be at Smoking Ed’s Barbeque for a late lunch (1:30) and then at the Signal Mountain Opry that night for a second book signing and jam session for the day. I’m off-limits Saturday and at a wedding my wife is in, so I’m gonna be a good husband and leave the mandolin in the case. After that, I’ll be back at the Doc gig for a while. We’ll be at IBMA this fall, and also have a couple Saturday outings close to home planned.
The first month I got carried away and booked too much, so I’m gonna try to limit it to one weekend and one Wednesday a month. When you’re on the road, get homesick, and long to listen to your monthly CME tape on “Advances in Urinary Incontinence,” I guess old Doc is still afflicted with the “I wanna be a country doctor and help people” syndrome. Co-dependency can be a beautiful thing if you harness it right.
If you have places you’d like for me to show up with my strange physician bluegrass fiction dog and pony show let me know. I’ll do my best to work ’em into the schedule over time.
It’d be the least I could do ’cause my agent was right; you are the folks who taught me to write. Y’all think about a guest post; I’d love to have you come visit.
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