Lisa M. Forester

Lisa M. Forester

Beginnings...

A while ago I wrote a blog post entitled 'Beginning to Blog'. This post got more hits than any other post I've written before, or since. I think it was because of the nature of the content - we've all been there, right? We've all been that newbie blogger who decided to start book blogging because they got fed up of reading a book and having nobody around who wanted (or cared) to dissect it. We've all been that person who played with backgrounds and headers on blogger or wordpress - making sure it looked just right. We've all sat and typed up our first review, hit 'publish', and then sat back and wondered what the hell happens next?

Because, what the hell does happen next? Is anyone even going to read this review? Does anyone care? Would I bet just as well writing these reviews in my diary?

And that's not even mentioning twitter!

Twitter is a wonderful and frightening place. When you first join twitter - you go and hunt down the owners of the blogs that you've been reading forever, and you start following them. Suddenly, you realise that everybody knows each other and they're all commenting on each others status' and retweeting each other. You feel like the new kid at school - stood on the periphery and watching the cool kids interact whilst you twiddle with the buckles on your satchel and pretend that you're invisible. Occasionally you'll go to comment on someone's tweet, delete what you've written, and then rewrite it in a more socially acceptable format until you're satisfied that what you've said doesn't make you sound like a total buffoon. And occasionally, somebody wonderful will tweet you back - strike up a conversation with you and maybe even follow you. And you realise that Twitter isn't that intimidating after all. In fact, give it a day or two and you'll find yourself immersed in conversations with the wonderful blogging community about all manner of bookish things.

Change the words 'blogging' or 'twitter' in the above paragraphs to 'writing'... and you have yourself an author.

Seriously.

Be under no assumption that  somebody who has written a book is a completely confident, empowered person who has buckets of faith in their ability and demands that the world needs to read their work. This is very rarely the case, or should I say - especially in my case.

 

I like to write. I like to create worlds in my head where I can be whoever I want to be. I can abandon Lisa Forester for a few hours and take on any situation that my imagination can concoct. It's like daydreaming in word format, only better. 

I've always written bits and pieces of things, but FREAKS is my first fully finished novel, and I wrote it mostly in my pyjamas without thinking that anyone would ever really read it. I typed away a young adult book in particular because I liked the freedom it gave me. I liked that I could stretch my imagination without having to tackle real life, mundane issues like mortgages and bills. I liked that there were no boundaries to my thought process.

When I finally finished FREAKS, I slid it across to my husband who read it with a red pen in his hand. He promptly and dutifully edited the errors and noted inconsistencies, and slid it back across to me with gusto. He liked it! After I'd tweaked things here and there according to his specifications... I'd done it. I'd finished my first book!

And, much like the very first review I ever wrote on my blog, I wondered if I'd be just as well writing this book in my diary. I mean, I didn't write FREAKS ever expecting anyone to read it. I wrote it because I enjoyed writing, and the achievement of actually writing (and finishing) a book was something that I was incredibly proud of. But now that I'd finished it - I felt like leaving it inside the memory of my laptop was cheating. How is it a book if nobody ever reads it? Much like question; does a tree that falls in an empty forest make a sound? Does a book that lives unread inside a laptop ever really exist? If nobody reads a book, is it still a book? Hmmmm.

Enter: My best friend.

Okay, so she's hardly impartial - but she has eyes. And she reads. A whole lot. Her eyes could make my book come to life. Her eyes could make my book become an actual book, right? If FREAKS could come alive in at least one person's imagination, then it was worth it, right?

She read it in one day.

And she passed it on to someone else, who read it in two days.

Who passed it on to their 14 year old daughter - who read it in one sitting and text me asking for a sequel. 

Suddenly, FREAKS felt like more like a book than a word document that was hidden in my laptop. People knew about my book. People were talking about my characters. It was surreal and amazing all at once. It's a strange feeling to know that people are reading your words. It makes you feel exposed. Vulnerable, almost. And any qualms I had about blogging and it's intimidating introduction to social networking were magnified tenfold.

For about a day. 

No sooner had I mentioned to people that I'd written a book, people were bubbling with enthusiasm and excitement for me. The bloggers and twitter friends that I had spent so long chatting to were now brimming with encouragement... and it made me realise, once again, the power of social media. Sure, I may never have met these people - but I can tell you that their tweets make me smile on a daily basis. Their motivation and support
are inspiring, and it's so hard not to be motivated when you're surrounded by people who are taking the time to read your words, encourage you, tweet you, blog about you. Who needs more inspiration than that?

I guess what I'm trying to say is... thank you. Nobody should ever underestimate the power of the blogging community. They are a group of people who can rally behind you like the most awesome cheerleading squad ever, making you feel like you can achieve anything.

 

And - fellow authors - if a blogger takes a particular shine to your book... just watch their love spread like wildfire throughout the Twitter-verse. Bloggers are a force to be reckoned with, and a force to be appreciated!


So, if your reading this blog post - thank you! You have taken time out of your day to listen to my thoughts and given me the opportunity to express my thoughts.

If you have tweeted about FREAKS - thank you! You are helping me to spread the word about my book, and helping my characters to come alive. I truly do appreciate you all!
If you follow me on twitter - thank you! Thank you for taking the time to read any tweets I may have posted and interacted with me about them.
If you've visited my blog before - thank you. 
If you've already read FREAKS - thank you.
If you plan on reading FREAKS - thank you.
If you've added FREAKS to goodreads - thank you.

To each and every one of you... THANK YOU!

Blogs and books and twitter posts are similar in so many ways - they are all nothing without readers. They will never be anything without readers. And as a writer of all of these things I just wanna say.... YOU ROCK! \m/

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