Saturday, February 24, 2018

How My Blog Saved My Writing Career Before It Had Begun (aka The Left-Handed Typist turns 2)

At the time you're reading this, I'm kicked back at a mansion on a lake celebrating my blog's 2nd birthday. I kid you not. (Except that being at the lake with my church has nothing to do with my blog but the weekends lined up, okay? :P)

I started this blog over two years ago. o.o Where has the time gone?! You tell me. All I know is I have loved blogging. Not all the time, sure. But it has literally saved my writing career.

To be totally forthright here, I used to laugh at blogs. As much as I liked the idea of journaling, I was never happy with it or consistent, so why bother? To me blogging was journaling online. So why would I care to read blogs (except for an occasional recipe), let alone write one and be all authentic and extroverted (*shudder*)?

Well, the first writing blog I ever found was Katie Grace's and I was blown away. I was enjoying this? More than that, after several months of e-mail communication with her, I'd roped her into helping me start my own blog. Ha! (Poor girl didn't know what she was getting into when I sent her that initial "I love your blog and I never love blogs!!!" e-mail.)

On February 24, 2016, Katie was so so kind and posted this post on her blog sharing her side of our God-orchestrated meeting and my first ever blog post (*hides from the cringe*).

The funny thing about all of this is, it was totally God. As in, I was inexplicably compelled to start a blog and my mom was like "I thought you hated blogs!" (Think of Lizzie when she wants to marry Mr. Darcy. That was me and Leftie here.) Now, two years later, this "fluff writing" that was so dreadfully personal (blech!) has become the very crux of everything I do. And I would even say that this blog saved my writing career before it had even begun.

How? IT GAVE ME ALL OF YOU OF COURSE!!! No blushing, I'm dead serious! Blogging isn't just an outlet I didn't know I needed, and it's not just a platform for numbers needed for traditional publication. Because that outlet is me getting to connect with the real people all over the world that each of those numbers represents. YOU!

Here's the cliff notes version. Without this blog I never would have:

  • flown halfway across the country to OCW with Ivy Rose and Emily McConnell
  • had the first agent experience that I did
  • had people in multiple countries interested in Martin Hospitality
  • had 16 beta readers volunteer to read my messy second draft
  • known there were so many people like me
  • seen internet friends as real friends
  • been blessed with so many smiles and encouragement and yes, teary eyes, in relation to my books and your friendship
The easy way to apply to some of this to your own blog (without guaranteed results) is to:
  • have someone launch your blog
  • guest post
  • be yourself, but professional
  • interact in the comments
  • engage beyond your blog (social media)
  • be willing to seek people out and follow up
  • be prompt and genuine in your replies
  • don't make promises you can't keep
  • post consistently
All of that has had a huge effect on my befriending all of you :) Books are nothing without an audience and writers are nothing without support, so I cannot thank you guys enough for being that to me every day. The real reason I keep blogging? I know I'll get to see all your shining faces in the comments and that brightens up my life. All these words I share both here and in my books amount to me hoping to shine back, even just a little, into yours. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for that opportunity and privilege. :)
Bloggers, what keeps you blogging? Non-bloggers, why do you follow blogs? Have you ever considered starting one? I want to know it all!!!

(And yes. As of now this blog is known as Leftie.)

Also, congratulations to Seneca, Keturah, and Faith Potts! You guys won the giveaways and should each have an email in your inboxes :)


  1. What keeps me blogging? I love it, I love people and words. Why do I follow blogs? I follow blogs that feed my need for good thoughts, or blogs that please my eyes or mind by just being awesome :D

  2. AWWW. *happy flails* This makes me so incredibly happy. I’m so proud at how you’ve grown that initial platform of readers. Now you’re a publishing QUEEN. The sides have changed - I’ll be coming to you for help instead of vice versa. xD

    But I totally agree. I’ve met so many people (like you!) through blogging, and it’s just made life an awesome journey. It’s crazy how deep full I can feel for people thousands of miles a way! So cool.

  3. Happy blogoversary! It's amazing that you've been blogging for two years - and you've come so far in that time. As a new blogger, hearing just how much blogging has affected your life is so encouraging. You have such a wonderful blog, with content that I am always eager to read. I hope that the next few years are as wonderful for you as these last two have been!

    ~True //

  4. That's really cool!!! Authentic and extroverted goes with shuddering??? Ha-ha, that's me...
    Great job!!! I've been really liking this blog, and just finished listening to my kindle read me Martin Hospitality. So, this year I've gone through your book twice... and loved it both times. That's saying something because I generally don't love modern fiction. GREAT JOB!!!!

  5. Aw, this post makes me so happy! I'm so glad you chose to join the blogosphere, and I look forward to (hopefully) the many MORE years you'll spend posting on here. ^_^ Happy 2nd Birthday to The Left-handed Typist! :D

  6. Nice post, thanks so much for this sharing!

  7. Congratulations on 2 years of blogging, Abi! I remember the first time coming across your blog (because of Katie Grace) and how stunned I was to be finding more young, Christian, homeschool writers around me everywhere. And now this blog is one of my favorites that I look forward to reading each week, and I've gotten to read 2 great stories I would never have had the chance to otherwise. Which is all totally awesome! Hurray for the blogosphere!

  8. I just blog because I really like writing reviews and also have so much that I want to post for others to see. It's good to have some sort of voice in the online world when you don't have much of one in real life. I honestly don't remember how I started following your blog but I think that perhaps Katie Grace put a link in one of her posts? One can never be too sure...

    Also, I'm happy you found an audience through this blog! Authors like you give me hope that I can self publish my story one day if I'd like to (but I think I may be a hybrid author - you were the one who made me realise that was possible).

  9. I can't get over the fact that I've been reading your blog for two years now! So glad that you joined our crazy little community. :)


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