i recently watched the film Julie & Julia.
for those of you who haven't seen the movie, it's the true story of a woman, julie powell, who begins a blog documenting her year-long journey to cook every recipe in julia child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking. the film cuts back and forth between julie's blogging adventure, and the story of how julia child became a great chef and the author of one of the most popular cook books in history.
i really enjoyed the film, and as a blogger i found a sort of kinship with julie powell.
i remember so well getting that very first unsolicited comment on my blog. i remember how validating it felt to have more than a handful of people regularly reading my posts. i felt honored when people linked my blog on theirs, and downright giddy when i had on average a hundred page hits a day.
when i started my former blog, i had no expectations at all. it was just a way to blow off steam so i wouldn't blow up at customers. it was also an exercise in writing - a way to help fine tune my craft.
it wasn't a way to make money or gain notoriety. in fact, since i was writing anonymously, i wasn't really looking to make any waves in the blogosphere.
but then a crazy thing happened.
in the matter of one day my readership increased 400%.
i discovered an online article had mentioned and linked my blog. i now had readers from all over the globe. more and more online journals and columns began mentioning and linking me and i began to fear i'd be outed and fired from my job (which thankfully never happened, although someone in starbucks corporate was a regular reader of the blog).
during this time i was querying agents, hoping to land representation for my novels.
i mentioned my blog in my query letters, and received quite a bit of interest in it, but not in my young adult novels. i had a few agents suggest i write a proposal for a non-fiction book about my blog, and at one point i even sat down at the computer and tried to write one. but i couldn't.
i didn't want to.
now mr. write, to this day, thinks i blew a golden opportunity. although very supportive of my writing, he doesn't quite understand why i do it.
it's not for money, nor is it for notoriety.
it's for the sheer love of it.
of course, it would be a DREAM COME TRUE if i could one day be published and get paid for doing what i love. but even if i never land an agent, i will still write.
as crazy as it may sound, i did not want to be known as a blogger-author. i didn't want my first published work to be a regurgitation of a blog i did purely for enjoyment. i didn't want my passion for writing fiction to fall by the wayside because there were agents who wanted to jump in on a trend.
so, it's funny.
even though i felt that kinship to julie powell, i actually related better to julia child.
it was julia who was driven by her passion. it was her passion that led her to perfect recipes. and those recipes became part of a seminal work.
it's her journey i'd prefer to emulate, truth be told.