I'll write what I want, dang it

I'm jealous of Steve and his freeform blog. I have thoughts that don't fit neatly into a SteveandAmanda post or a parenting article or into a polished essay. And I guess that's what blogging's for, nu?

I started AmandaCaldwell.com back before blogs existed. Heck, we started SteveandAmanda back before blogs existed. (Remember way back then? We still had dial-up.) I wanted AC.com to be a place for a public collection of my writing and other artwork to reside.

I had warnings from Writer's Digest and others to keep my author site professional, (a) not to sully it with inanities and banalities but to treat it as an extension of your writerly self, writing only about issues that might intrigue readers, teach aspiring writers, and impress publishers; and (b) not to be too personal, so that your crazy stalker fans couldn't find you.

Well...maybe. I am in the final-revision process of my murder mystery (working title: Poisoned, by God!), and I do intend to publish it under this name (i.e., my real name, unlike a romance I'm working on — I don't want people to get confused about whether people are killing each other or having sex). And there is a part of me that knows I could win more acclaim (from my mom) if someday I published a literary novel (read: a sad ending), which presumably would go under the same (real) name. Or maybe with a middle initial, to be ever so slightly more pretentious.

(NB: I'm not bashing genre novels here. I love them. I eat 'em up. That's why I'm writing them. I actually find literary novels in the main distasteful, but maybe I can do a version I can live with? Say, where the characters end up [gasp!] happy?)

See, this is the very thing Writer's Digest was trying to warn me about: being too forthright, too opinionated and open. I should try to keep everything bland and unexceptional, the better to assuage my future publishers.

Well, I say, let them see that I have a vast readership (two, counting me) who turn in to hear the latest news on how my haircolor adventure is going (that's to come). And clearly I have little to no concerns with privacy (this may change as I acquire crazy stalker fans), since Steve and I, you know, had a blog named after us with umpteen pictures of our daily lives before blogs and online photo albums were a thing. To keep this site at least somewhat writerly, I will say that every post is in fact writing. See! And, I will try to include all relevant news about my writing and art, and continue to post new work as I create it, and update with old work as I have time.

By the way, that's a good point: I'm still uploading older works, so feel free to browse the archives from time to time to discover anything you haven't encountered yet. (Yes, I'm talking to all two of you! Including me!)

In the meantime, sit back and relax and get to know the real me a little, banalities and all.

P.S. I'm the one on the right. As you can see, I've always been very friendly.


Courtney said... Best Blogger Tips

I definitely understand the dilemma you have between being "professional" and being "real." Most of the time, I opt for being real but always feel a bit disappointed with my "unprofessionalism." Speaking from the perspective of a "reader," though, I like knowing unconventional details about the people behind their art, whether it be writing or painting or photography or what have you. Art is such a reflection of the artist and I think you get a fuller understanding of each when you bring them together.

That picture is hilarious. Love it!

Amanda L. Caldwell said... Best Blogger Tips

Oh, I absolutely love it, too. I could see being disappointed in somebody, though, if you had built them up in your mind a certain way and then found out they were quite normal. I remember seeing a favorite actress on a talk show once. Her roles were all played with gravitas and complexity, and then it turned out she was a complete ditz. I can't even remember which actress it was now, but feel free to speculate.

But, anyway, I would hate to have to hide who I am from my readers, such as women publishing "masculine" stories who had to pretend they were male, etc. And I want to firmly agree that you would not be you if you were professionally distant and not so real and creative and artistic. I so appreciate your realness.

Also, I appreciate that you comment on my blog! My one loyal reader apart from me! I want to respond to them all, so here I begin, and Corin's trying to stop me already.

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