On Friday, we discussed Julie Powell, her blog, her book and the movie that came out of it: Julie & Julia.
Today on mediabistro.com features an interview with Powell about why she started her blog, why her blog attracted such a large following and how it helped her to become a better writer. Powell also offers five tips for developing a personal blog that will interest the public:
1. Use blogs to develop your voice and become a working writer. “Blogging was absolutely responsible for me developing my voice and becoming a working writer. I don’t know that I would have ever gotten to that place on my own.”
2. Identify a blog’s appeal, and build on content that keeps readers involved. “I saw from comments and people really getting involved in the personal aspect of the story that this is where the heart of it is — in how the food is intersecting with this particular life at this particular time. That’s what people are coming back for. That’s what creates the suspense.”
Read on for more of Powell’s tips
3. Be acutely aware of ethical considerations in personal writing, and keep your motives and emotions in check. “Put yourself out there as much as you want, but when you’re dealing with your friends and your family, that becomes a much more delicate issue. As I move forward and continue to be a writer who mines my personal life for subject matter — it has to be done with respect. If I’m veering into mopey-ness or vengeance or any of those sort of lesser emotions, that’s when you have to say, ‘Wait, let’s stop.'”
4. View blogs as tools to address subjects of interest and a way to become a public writer. “It’s almost impossible to see a blog as being an end in itself; certainly, some people do. But if you see yourself as a writer, blogging is a way to get yourself out there. It’s a way to address the things you want to write about in a way that people can access it.”
5. Remain focused on the craft of writing. “Keep your eyes on the prize in terms of writing about the things you are passionate about, writing about the subject matter that you really love. If you get too concerned with branding and getting the links and making sure that enough people know me — getting away from writing about what you want to write about as well and clearly and evocatively as you can — you might publish a book that way, but you won’t turn into a writer. The writing always has to be at the center.”
Also today, our colleagues at FishbowlLA called Julie & Julia “the Patterson clip for loyal and adoring (yet not cardboard) husbands. There have been many sightings but never before have they been caught on film.” If you’ve seen the film, leave your thoughts in the comments below.
(Photo by Kelly Campbell)