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From Blogger To Great American Novel: Guest Post By Toni Rankin

October 21, 2010

Growing up, I always wanted to be a writer. Seriously. A wonderful neighbor lady encouraged my voracious reading habits, and early on I decided that was my goal. I had (OK, I still actually have) notebooks full of stories. Then I started writing my stories online. Let’s be honest, the online stories were fanfic, cause I’m a super geek. (*I’m super geeky, yow*) But I rarely shared my stories. I kept them to myself.

Then came blogging. Suddenly, I could write, I could say stuff and people might actually read it. One or two people anyway. I started out with a blogging network and ended up with two entertainment blogs. It wasn’t really what I wanted, but I had to take the best from what was available. I chose one about sitcoms, thinking I would have lots to say, but as it turned out, I didn’t watch any sitcoms and really hadn’t since probably Happy Days. Who knew?

The other blog was about the CW. It was a new network and it seemed like a good fit, because it was catering to the teen crowd. Except that I wasn’t a teenager. I was 27 and, although several years have passed, I still am. (As an aside here, I never thought I’d be one of those women who was in denial about her real age. I was wrong.) In any case, mentally, I’ve basically been about 16 since the 80s. My CW watching didn’t help me to grow up, either. Suddenly, I was watching even more teen shows. And sitcoms, which, as it turns out, I hate. I used to think I loved them because I have this super short attention span, and I’m pretty shallow. But I found out that I do actually have some standards.
I’ve tried to get away from just TV blogging, partly because most good entertainment bloggers actually care about stupid celebrity crap and I don’t, and also because…no, wait, that’s it. I just don’t care enough about what celebrities are doing to spend all my time talking about it. So now, I consider myself more of an eclectic blogger. Which, I’m finding out, is not a good thing. It’s hard to brand yourself as eclectic, since it mean everything and nothing, all at once. I still have a TV blog that I occasionally visit, mostly to write my snarky American Idol reviews, which, if I do say so myself, are amazing and you should go read them. But mostly, I hang out at my personal blog, tragicchainreaction, named from a line in a Buffy episode cause I thought it sounded cool. It does. #totally

William Faulkner's Underwood Universal Portabl...

I’m still reading, still blogging, still working on the stories and still thinking about my great American novel (although I’m not sure what I honestly think that is, since I’m not exactly Faulkner. I’ve never even read any Faulkner. Um, is he even American?) I’m joining NaNoWriMo this year and hopefully can add to my GAN. Wow, is that really the acronym for Great American Novel, ’cause it’s stupid.

But even more importantly, I’ve found some amazing people in the form of the Indie Book Collective who can help me. Trust me, I need all the help I can get. They’ve got wonderful information and they’re willing to share, about branding, social media and how to go about self-publishing your GAN (no, that’s just too stupid, I’m not using that again). So if you, like me, are a hopeful and as yet unnoticed writer with no direction and delusions of being a published author, you should check out their site and be sure to register for one of their workshops.

Cause my goal, now that I’m all friendly with the lovely chicks at the IBC, is that hopefully, sometime in the very near future, when you come to visit my blog, I’ll be branded. But, you know, in a good way, and without the use of any hot metal implements.


After more than 20 years working with attorneys, Toni has decided to use her powers for good. She now divides her time between Twitter, reading, cooking (#eating), mocking out American Idol and re-watching episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. If you want to know more, check out her blog at Tragic Chain Reaction where she occasionally deigns to be snarky about everything that’s wrong with the world. She can also be found at Toni TV, Twitter, Facebook.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Andrew Mocete permalink
    October 21, 2010 9:19 pm

    Yeah this IBC has got me pumped. Feels like I decided to go indie at the right time.

  2. October 23, 2010 1:41 pm

    Valuable perspective. I stumbled into blogging and have only recent come to know the power of having a strong blog presence with a focus. I am admitting my problem and getting the help I need to face it.

    Thanks for this 😉

    • Kait Nolan permalink
      October 23, 2010 6:14 pm

      Join us over on the IBC forums. We can form a support group 😀

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