Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Pioneer Woman Inspires This Former Jersey Girl

Almost a year ago – when I started my blog – some friends told me that my style of writing was similar to Ree Drummond, creator of the blog, author of several best-selling books, and the star of her own television show on the Food Network. 

Whoa, what a compliment.

So, I immediately I signed up for the daily RSS feed of Confessions of a Pioneer Woman and have certainly enjoyed her lifestyle posts over the past year.  However, I knew she had a New York Times bestselling book but I had never had a chance to read it until just recently.

While at the airport in Panama City, I was desperate for a book to read in Costa Rica.  Unfortunately, the bookseller did not have my current book in the The Immortal series, my newest obsession.  (Alas, will I never grow up?)  So I quickly purchased The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels and boy did I make the right choice.

The book was fantastic; an autobiography about Ree’s break-up from her long-term beau in Los Angeles and homecoming to Oklahoma only to move back in with her folks when – unexpectedly – cupid’s arrow struck. 

The story is one about love and how life decisions – albeit how easy or hard they may seem – can change your life.  The book regales Ree’s falling for her future husband – whom she fondly refers to as Marlboro Man – and all the funny anecdotes of transitioning from a city girl to a country girl.

It was quite an endearing tale and her witty voice immediately made me feel like I was right there with her.  But what really inspired me most was that Ree’s book sprouted from her blog. 

In the book’s introduction, she discusses how she had jotted down the story of meeting and marrying her husband but then suffered from writers block.  Sometime down the road, she pulled out the pages and posted them on her blog.

Her readers responded with positive feedback and asked for more; Ree’s motivation to write her love story grew out of her posts.

It is quite obvious how this motivates me.  My own story about traveling from New Jersey to Los Angeles to meet my own hubby has been documented in this very blog.  Not to mention my posts about moi's hobby, passion, addiction -- fashion.

The writer working VERY hard!

With each post that I publish, I have a sense of accomplishment and, as much as I enjoy writing about fashion, the written words for my personal essays come easy and give me the most satisfaction.

I have kept a journal since I was in high school.  A dream of mine has always been to take those transcripts and create my own anecdotal auto-biography of growing up on the East Coast. Growing up Jersey and then moving to the Big Apple and finally landing in the City of Angels.  I imagine it would be funny, light-hearted and laced with my self-deprecating sense of humor; but first things first; I have to find the time to write it. 

It would be now that I hear my grandmother’s voice in my head: "If you really want this, you will find the time."  So, I realize that, if I really want this, I have to make it happen at all costs.

There are several insecurities that keep nagging at me though:  Does it matter if no one cares – except for me – that I write a novel?  Would anyone other than my family and close friends want to read it?  AND, would they only read it out of pity? IF, I can even get it published, would it instantly be on the clearance rack at Borders?  (Hey wait, isn’t Borders out of business?)

Actually, if I can just write it, I would self-publish it online; no need to get anyone else involved and that just might be the best action plan because – other than my family and close friends – I’m just not sure how well my blog, All Things Fashionating, has even been received over the past year.  I don’t hear anything but crickets out there.
Me in my office -- see Jersey in the background!

By looking at my statistics on Blogger, I know that I have had 12,560 page views over the past year. I have carefully selected the button that does not count my own page views, so I am certain that there are some people out there who are following ATF.

I also know that I have “somewhat” of an International following as Blogger has tracked on a very broad basis where my readers reside -- for just this week -- they hail as far away as:  Australia, Russia, Singapore, Trinidad, France, Japan, UK, Turkey, Switzerland, Denmark, Bangladesh and some Kiwis in New Zealand.  But other than my Aunt Barb (and I don’t take her comments for granted so thank you very much!!!), I don’t get very many comments about ATF from my readers.  I’m not sure what I am doing wrong.

I know that between being a mom and wife and working full-time, I don’t have a lot of free time to cultivate my blog.  I wish I had the ability to peruse Bloglovin’ all day long and comment on the posts of my comrades in the blogosphere.  (Although, I suspect that would made easier if I had my “own” iPad Daddy-o! Just a subtle hint m’love!) 

I attended the BlogWorld Convention in Los Angeles to network and learn how the hell to schedule my blogs.  Surprisingly, I found it very informative and felt that I walked away a wee bit knowledgeable. But, as my sporadic posts reveal, sometimes it is all I can do to just to find the time to sit down and write.  So I take full responsibility for not taking the time to nurture my blog and be more motivated to make things happen. 

But I can’t help but wonder if anyone would notice if my blog went away?  If anyone out there does care – in addition to Aunt Barb – please let me know.  Don’t worry; I’m not going anywhere, but I just want to know what you readers out there think. 

What would you like to see more or less of on ATF?  Does my blog do anything for you?  Similar to Ree, would you like to see some examples of what I would write in my book – if I ever got around to writing it?  Would you support me if I asked you nicely?

I’m open to any feedback – the good, the bad, the ugly – I just want to know that you are out there.

Well, this is certainly a passive aggressive post and a somewhat desperate attempt to get some comments on my blog ( and, one more shameless request, don’t forget to sign up as a follower.  Those 15 followers happen to be my best girlfriends and close family members, so I could use some more.

With a year of continuous blogging under my belt, I feel that I have come to a cross roads.  I am going to continue to post to my blog, but the Pioneer Woman has motivated me to grow ATF to the next level, so why don’t you readers let me know if you want to hear more from this Jersey Girl.

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