Emily Rae Robles

the paradoxymoron

Blogging for Introverts: How to turn blogging into therapy

Dear World,

I am an introvert.  A positively anti-social, privacy-obsessed, telephobic introvert.  And yet here I am, posting my soul on the internet.  Why the paradox?  Answer: I’m human.  However, I’m going to give you some tips on how to survive the blogosphere when social anxiety overwhelms any other sphere.  For those of you who love lists, I’m going to create one to clear up the contradictions and hopefully inspire anyone out there who is suspicious of blogging.  True to my lack of form, this list will be all over the place, but you can deal with it.

Five tips on turning blogging into therapy

1.  Blog consistently

Consistency is your friend.  If you write even on those days you don’t want to write, you’ll force yourself to deal with emotions and fears that you’d normally ignore.  This doesn’t necessarily mean that you are writing ABOUT not wanting to write; it just gets you past that writer’s block and forces you to be active.

2.  Blog creatively

Consistency is your friend, but repetitiveness is not.  Don’t limit yourself to one medium (e.g. lists, ramblings, stories, poems) on one topic.  Push your boundaries a bit.  Write about a topic you’re comfortable with in a form that you may not experiment in often.  Do you blog about parenting?  Or self-help topics?  Or writing?  Or about writing to self-help your parenting?  Find your niche and then stretch its boundaries.  Writing more creatively will push you out of your box and force you to deal with fears in a constructive way.

3.  Blog purposefully

Journaling is great, don’t get me wrong, but make sure that your blog is more than just musings on your day.  Or, if it is, give purpose to those musings!  Tell readers why your daily revelations are important! This helps both your readers and yourself.  Readers will stay more interested in your writing if they believe they will gain something from reading it.  As for you, the writer, having a purpose in your writing will give you confidence in the rest of your life.

4.  Blog actively

Stay active in the blogging community.  Involve yourself in other bloggers’ contests, questions, comment threads, whatever it takes.  This gives you a support system that will encourage you to blog more consistently, creatively, purposefully, and everything else.  Plus, reading the writing and ideas of others is therapeutic in itself.

5.  Blog encouragingly

Don’t just write for yourself; write so that others will somehow gain something from it.  Whether you literally are writing advice or simply an encouraging or moving story, keep your audience in mind.  Writing for someone else will give you more consistency and purpose and will help make the endeavor seem that much more worthwhile and fulfilling.

I may be an introvert, but blogging can help me get out of my comfort zone in a productive way.  Hopefully all you bloggers out there will stretch yourselves and learn to turn something potentially terrifying into something therapeutically awesome.  Any other comments?  Ideas?  Tips?  Leave them in the comment thread!



February 24, 2011 Posted by | thoughts | , , , | Leave a comment

Writer Wednesday: Courtney Conant (The Blood Moon of Winter)

I know I posted a link to this book review earlier this week, but I thought I’d feature it again for my first Writer Wednesday.  This was originally posted as a guest post on Emlyn Chand‘s blog.  Enjoy!

Imagine that you are an avid reader who unexpectedly meets your favorite author.  Now imagine that your favorite author unexpectedly begins to fall in love with you.  Sound like a story?  Well,now imagine that right at the moment you begin to fall in love, you realize that you are meant to exist not in this world but in a world you formerly believed to be only a dream.  Congratulations, you have just entered the life of Lilyana Makay, the heroine of Courtney Conant’s novel The Blood Moon Of Winter.

Lilyana is a reader’s sort of protagonist because she herself constantly immerses herself in books.  Reading The Blood Moon Of Winter is reminiscent of standing in a hallway of mirrors, watching your image reflect itself back over and over again.  The novel is a sort of a meta-story, demonstrating its understanding of its own plot and characters as plot and characters through sly little comments about the path the story is taking.

Reading the novel also gives the reader a glimpse into the invisible character of Conant herself.  An avid reader, Conant admits that many of Lilyana’s characteristics ended up being unintentional representations of her own self.  Coming from a childhood that voraciously absorbed the imaginary worlds created by literature, Conant aims to bring her readers into a world that will capture their interest in the same way hers was captured as a child.  The life of Lilyana, who is torn between newfound love in one world and newfound purpose in another, will resonate with readers who often feel torn between the real world and the world created by literature.

Unlike most fictional worlds that take ages to invent, Conant’s flowed out of her like a story that needed to be told.  A writer since the prodigious age of four, Conant’s writing came to an abrupt halt at 16 when her entire body of works was burned up in a fire.  From that time until she began work on The Blood Moon Of Winter, Conant suffered severe writer’s block.  It wasn’t until she discovered NaNoWriMo (an annual contest where writers attempt to write a full 50,000 word novel over the course of the month of November) that her creative juices began to flow freely again.

With a newfound motivation to write, Conant began with one sentence and watched, shocked, as that sentence transformed not into just any book, but a book that contained worlds within it.  As the plot progressed, she thought she was writing chick lit, but suddenly a fantasy plot appeared, seemingly out of nowhere.  This unexpected shift of genre left Conant astonished at the power of unknown creativity and leaves readers astonished at the power of integrated genres.  By crossing the gap between two genres, the story of Lilyana becomes even more compelling, speaking to an even wider audience.

As a versatile musician whose day job has very little to do with art, Conant knows from personal experience the power of crossing boundaries and integrating genres or disciplines, both in literature and in life.  She proposes that few people are merely one type of artist—whether through the way they approach life or the actual artistic activities in which they participate, artists maintain a passion that influences the way they think, act, and create.

Conant’s passion is obvious in how she handles her characters, themes, and plot.  The book as it stands has been edited very little since its NaNoWriMo inception, so the creative passion that inspired it is obvious in every progressing sentence.  The romance aspect of the novel flowers as naturally as the writing style of the author.  The characters become so real to the reader that the transition into a fantasy style becomes all the more jarring, yet somehow natural.

Throughout the novel, Lilyana’s two separate worlds serve as a reminder to the reader of the duality in all of us.  Reading The Blood Moon Of Winter not only draws readers into fantastic new worlds but also grounds them in the reality that is imagination.  Conant’s creative abilities and passion for her work bring out the artist in all her readers.  The Blood Moon Of Winter is truly an inspiration for writers, readers, and artists of all sorts

February 24, 2011 Posted by | book review, my guest posts | , , | Leave a comment