Welcome to the Blogger Spotlight Interview. This week we have Chris from The Blank Page taking part in the Blogger Spotlight interview.
If you would like to take part, and your blog is under six months old, or has been re-launched in the last six months, please email me firstname.lastname@example.org
1 Firstly, tell us a little bit about yourself
Hi, my name is Chris and I keep writing stories. I’ve been writing them since I was in primary school and I like to think I’ve gotten better at it over the years.
For a long time, I was just writing for myself and never really finishing anything. However, in 2013, I started writing ghost stories and they seem to be doing pretty well.
I was self-publishing for a while until, for their sins, Kensington Gore Publishing signed me. So far, we’ve brought out six novellas, three collections and a novel together. With a second novel on the way.
2 What is your blog’s name and what is it about?
My blog is called The Blank Page. It’s basically about the love/hate relationship I have with writing and, to a certain extent, myself.
Some posts will be about where I’ve gotten to with writing. Others will be random things that have occurred in my head over that week.
3 Why did you decide to start a blog?
It was something people had been telling me to try for a while. I’d been keeping the idea on the backburner until I started to really struggle with my second novel.
The fact I wasn’t getting anything finished or getting any feedback from people really locked me into my own head. Which is not a good place for me when I’m failing.
That’s why I decided to give blogging a try. It’s given me something to aim for every week and it’s let me talk about the process of writing without feeling too pretentious or desperate most of the time.
4 Do you have any goals for your blog?
The one goal is to communicate with people. Writing, while brilliant fun, can get a bit lonely. It’s far too easy to get lost in your head.
The blog helps to get me out of that habit. It keeps me writing and trying out new ideas. It reminds me there’s a world past the keyboard and my own doubts.
5 Tell us one random fact about you
I have an extra tooth. That’s pretty random. It’s hidden on the inside of my lower jaw, behind and below my normal teeth. It occasionally freaks out a new dentist, which is always fun.
6 What is the best piece of blog related advice you have received so far?
I’ve not really received a lot of advice, so far. I think the main one I’ve had is to be yourself and they were absolutely right. There are so many great blogs out there. So many people telling their own stories and talking about their lives, their loves and their aspirations.
If you want people to invest in what you’re writing, then the one thing you can do is be open and honest with them.
7 What is your favourite thing about blogging?
I’ve come to realise that I can try out anything on my blog. There’s nothing set in stone. There are no rules or expectations. I don’t have to write a story. It doesn’t have to contain subplots, context or sometimes even a point. It’s really liberating.
It means sometimes I can speak honestly about my problems or, if I feel like it, I can just have some fun. I’ve put up confessionals about failed projects and my writer’s block, but I’ve also talked about my current boredom of zombies, toyed with an idea for a grown up sequel to Back to the Future and, one time, I interviewed myself to try and work out how I was feeling.
You have around 1000 words and whatever is in your head at the time. You can’t win or lose, really. You can just try something out and see if you reach someone with it.
8 Is there anything you would do differently if you were starting over knowing what you know now?
If we’re talking in terms of life in general, then I would stop myself from ever trying a Brussel Sprout. I should’ve known from the start that those things are evil.
If you mean in terms of blogging, then I guess the only thing I would change is when I started. I wish I’d started trying this out a long time ago.
9 Anything else you’d like to share with us?
I suppose I should mention you can buy all my books on Amazon but really I’d just say enjoy what you’re doing and don’t doubt yourself any more than you have to on a given day. We’ve got a limited amount of time and attention on our hands. No point wasting it, right?
(But, if you want to buy my books, that’d be great. There are links to them all on my website.)
10 Where can we find you? (blog link and links to any social media)
My blog is up at https://www.cjlongwords.com/diary-of-a-lazy-writer/ . I try and post on either a Sunday afternoon or a Monday lunchtime. I’m still figuring out when works best for people.
You’ll often find me tweeting under @cjlongchris. I tweet a lot. As in far too much some days.
Also my Facebook page is www.facebook.com/PlotMonkey. I try and put up some pictures and general ramblings and observations there from time to time.
To say I used to write on pads of paper and sneer at computers, I’m quite the 21st century sell out these days.