Blog to book, can it happen?
Well of course it can. Just like a lone parent writing a book in coffee shops, living of benefits can create the Harry Potter sensation.
Look at New Yorker Julie Powell, who aspired to cook all 524 recipes in Julia Child's cookbook in 365 days, a challenge she described on her popular blog that would make her a published author and eventually have a film made about her story.
We all know the rags to riches stories. Have mates who have been trying to get published for years, and then become an overnight success.
I started my blog and twitter account because I was told that's what the publishing world wanted. I tend not to grumble about the new hoops, but just jump right through them. I'm going to pitch to an editor on Saturday, and I have tried to increase my followers yesterday by pointing out on the local hubs Facebook page that I'm following loads of blogs - and I'm not being followed back. Cheeky scribes!
On the 18th of November, despite having a couple of paid deadlines looming I dragged myself out into the cold to a Business of a Writing Seminar. The tickets were rather expensive, but Tom Sykes gave a frank and useful run down of his experiences of travel journalism and creative non-fiction, as well as how to find writing opportunities abroad. He proffered some excellent links.
I felt Sean Tyler, billed as 'an award-winning Hampshire-based playwright, who has had multiple plays performed in New York,' an interesting guy, but the unicorn in the room. His story had the magical element that many writers understand, he took a risk it paid off, but there was a good dollop of luck.
Although, I would have found Helen Wallen, a local professional copywriter, now mother and blogger of Just A Normal Mummy, interesting. I would have enjoyed seeing her at a social media event certainly. She's got over a thousand followers, bagged a few awards. I was a little miffed.
I had paid to listen to paid writers. I'm currently not earning enough to live off, but the cheques are finally coming in. I'm focused on the next step, always looking for that next opportunity.
Helen did say something interesting though. She mentioned a magical three to four thousand following would then automatically lead to the book deal. Maybe it will. It certainly wouldn't hurt anyone's chances. If you can sweeten your attraction to an editor, offer a little extra that your fellow writer doesn't have perhaps it would swing things your way.
I personally think it comes back to the writing. Good writing, a unique voice, something different gets the publishing deal.
I now write my blog because I enjoy it. And because every day it forces me to think about my aim.