Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

On becoming a Blogwala

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WordPress tells me I’ve been blogging since February 2007. I started because I was supposed to; with my first novel being released later that year, I needed to build my digital “platform”, now a standard requirement for authors. For the same reasons, I needed a Facebook profile and had to start tweeting. What began as self-promotional chores turned into regular parts of my writing life.

I was told that readers enjoy knowing about authors’ lives. I’m not sure who reads my blog and why they’re interested. Sure, WordPress sends nifty, annual reports, letting me know how many Boeing 747s-worth of people viewed Blogwala (in my case, 5) and which posts were most popular (“Location, location”, about where people like to write).

In the end, I write my blog because I like writing my blog. It’s so different from novel writing. With the latter, I focus on page-count goals, work hard at staying in my characters’ voices, keep a very long narrative going. The project is so lengthy that the paragraphs I write today might not be published for many years.

With blogging, I get to write about stuff that makes me curious, right here, right now. It’s free writing, in my own voice, perhaps just a single page. It’s quickly published, sometimes even with typos. Facebook status updates and tweets are fun for the same reason.

I’m really pleased to be the Writer in Residence guest blogger this month at OpenBook. I’ll get to share my thoughts about writers’ groups, touring, my homemade writing retreat (just add water!) and grant writing. I’ll highlight artists I think are talented, and promote events and work that excite me.

By the way, I’d love to know who reads these posts, why you’re interested and what you think of them (see that comment box below?).

The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book: Toronto.

Farzana Doctor

Farzana Doctor is a Toronto-based author and the recipient of the Writers' Trust of Canada's Dayne Ogilvie Grant for an emerging gay Canadian author (2011). Her first novel, Stealing Nasreen, received critical acclaim and earned a devoted readership upon its release in 2007. She is currently touring her second book, Six Metres of Pavement (Dundurn 2011).

Go to Farzana Doctor’s Author Page