I’ve read and commented on many blogs for years, and for years I’ve been told, you need to blog. Get your word out there. It’s a necessity if you want to be a published author. For years, I’ve avoided it. Until now. Finally, I’m with the program. I created my Facebook author page and started my own website. Now for the hard part; my first blog post.
The wheels started turning. What’s the correct way to blog? Is there a word limit? Do I need graphics? After talking with several bloggers, I had several different answers. My conclusion, there is no correct way to blog. You just need to put yourself out there.
Laptop open, I was ready. My fingers rested on the keys, but they weren’t moving. I started to sweat, and my stomach was churning. This was harder than I thought. Several questions invaded my head. Will they like it? Will they respond? Will anyone actually read it? Of course, my family will. But what about my followers. I stared at a blank page.
Because this was my inaugural blog post, I wanted it to be perfect. Several ideas floated around in my head, and I struggled to pick the perfect topic. Then it hit me. The stomach flu. So much for the perfect post. My new focus was dealing with the flu.
Everything changed. My normal routine shifted into sick mode. Daily chores became a herculean effort. Cooking was impossible. Even the dogs knew something was wrong. Their routine changed as well. I couldn’t believe that something such as the flu changed everything.
Getting the flu made me realize, life isn’t perfect. There’s always something that forces us to change our plans. The flu forced me to be dependent on my family. They had to do the cooking, cleaning and laundry, in addition to taking care of our two very dependent dogs.
I wasn’t getting anything done. My family avoided me; they didn’t want to get sick. And they made jokes at my expense. I know they love me, but it was brutal. Another realization about my writing came from this. Adversity, no matter what or how small it is, makes life interesting.
I picked up the current piece that I’m working on and realized, my characters were very sterile. They’re boring, flat, and one dimensional. I tried so hard to make them perfect, I forgot that life isn’t perfect and people aren’t either.
So that character in your head, he can’t have the perfect life either. Some obstacle needs to invade his life. Maybe he gets sick, or is in a car accident. Does she lose her job? All these struggles make her human, and believable.
What will you do to make your writing and your characters more believable? What are you going to create to make us like, or hate, your character? How will use your obstacle to force your character to depend on someone else? Obstacles set the tone for her struggles, and triumphs, and they make your story more compelling.
Share your character’s obstacles with us. I’d love to hear them.