"Required reading" for today's smart writer.

"Required reading" for today's smart writer.
Information & inspiration to hone your craft and increase your cash...Since 2009

Friday, September 15, 2017

Food 4 Thought Friday-A New Monthly Feature!

Greetings, Pen & Prosper Readers,

In my ongoing efforts to inspire, inform and entertain, I have opted to add a new monthly feature here. Food 4 Thought Friday will be an array of different opinions, essays, motivational quotes, quips by my mom and poetic pieces that I hope will enhance your reading experience, inspire you to view things from a different perspective, or simply make you smile in the midst of life's madness (especially the writing life).
As many of you are aware, I have been blogging at Pen & Prosper for over eight years now. And as with all "relationships" it's important to add a little variety to keep things interesting.

Some posts may be long-form; others may be short and sweet.
It all depends on my mood and the topic being covered.
I also invite you to share your own commentary pieces and "thoughts" to add to the mix here.
I'm sure you'll agree that this is how we learn and grow as creative artists and as people in general.

Just a few guidelines here, before we get started.

  • This is in its "testing" phase. Your comments, (or lack thereof) will determine if this new feature continues. So, if you like it, be sure to leave a comment to keep it going.
  • Let's agree to disagree in a polite, professional manner. Please show the respect you would like to receive. Remember, we don't have to be like-minded to like each other. :-)
Now, cop a squat, grab your favorite brew, and let's get on to Friday's thoughts...shall we?


Let’s face it: bloggers are considered lightweights in the literary world: “children of a lesser God.”
We often garner the same response as “domestic engineers” when people in social gatherings ask us what we do.

In fact, there’s a certain smugness and subtle disregard that occurs whenever I discuss my blog work and associated awards even amongst writing peers.

It’s not much different than when our kid comes home with the “opus” created in his art class at school. We smile and pat him on the head for not coloring outside the lines, and then send him off to play.
The prevailing mindset that blogging is not “serious writing” is even echoed when suggesting to novelists, authors and columnists who are friends and associates of mine, to hop on the blogging bandwagon and start their own site. They usually express how they are much too busy to devote time to something they perceive to be a form of "trivial pursuit". To each his own.

But, don’t get it twisted. Blogging may not require a college degree or formal training to break into; and it’s definitely not rocket science. Still it’s a genre of writing that merits respect-- no different than screenwriting, journalism, poetry or plays.

Consider the following stats and studies:
  • There are over 152,000,000 blogs on the Internet (and counting).
  • Bloggers are considered the third most trustworthy source of information, behind friends and family, according to an independent
survey of UK consumers commissioned by affiliate network, affilinet.
  • 61% of U.S. online consumers have made a purchase based on recommendations from a blog.
(Source: BlogHer)

Gone are the days when blogs are primarily used as a forum to vent about bad bosses or showcase poorly written work that can‘t make the cut elsewhere. This “art form” has resulted in major book deals by traditional publishers, syndicated columns, and an income source for those who do it well. For example, Yuwanda Black, a blogger over at Inkwell Editorial, was approached in 2016 by Adams Media to pen a book titled “The Ultimate Freelancer’s Guide.”
She states on her blog that she never even pitched or queried them. They discovered her randomly through her blog and information products, (and the rest as they say is history.)

Though many are called, few are chosen. Blogging is extremely competitive and requires a strategic approach to stand out and stay relevant. Not everyone can pull it off or do it well. It’s the reason that so many sites actually end up folding within the first few years. It’s much harder than it appears.

Blogging requires discipline, commitment, creativity, time management, effective communication, technical skills and consistency.

That’s a tall order.

So, if you’re a blogger reading this, hold your head up high.
Your work may not lead to a cure for Cancer, or result in world domination.
You may not even have “the moves like Jagger.”

But your work inspires, informs, empowers and educates the masses.
And that’s not too shabby either.

Thoughts? Agree or disagree here?

Image credit: Diamond--Pixabay.com


  1. What I have learned from blogging: To stay on topic as I write,
    To clarify my thinking, to meet self-imposed deadlines, to stay with the process, and to improve my skill in the craft. These things sounds excellent to me.

    1. Jennifer brown banksSeptember 18, 2017 at 3:53 PM

      They sound excellent to me too! Much continued success. Thanks for sharing here today.

  2. Sounds like a great feature, Jen. Looking forward to your posts. We may not need a graduate degree to blog, but we do need perseverance and creativity, among many other things. Blogging has taught me much over the years, and created wonderful friendships with great people. You are among those I've been blessed to meet. :) Happy weekend!

    1. Jennifer brown banksSeptember 18, 2017 at 3:56 PM

      Aww, you are too kind...and add great value to the blogging community. Thanks Karen, for all you do.

  3. I like it! And I agree that blogging is worthy. Takes a lot of chutzpah to keep one going. I don't have many readers, but the ones that do come over are loyal. I can't wait to read your Mom's quotes! How fun is that? Go for it.

  4. Jennifer brown banksSeptember 18, 2017 at 3:59 PM


    Thanks for the needed encouragement here. I truly treasure your feedback. Hugs.

  5. Hi Jen. I have been missing in action for a while because of a study program. I'm glad to have some time now to catch up and comment. Food 4 Thought Friday is a great idea. About blogging, those are some encouraging thoughts you shared. Whenever I neglect my blog, I feel like I am neglecting my child, pet or plants, and I have to get right back to keeping up to date with my posts. Getting comments from readers is encouraging. Just last week, a reader found my blog while searching for another topic, and asked me to publicize a writing conference in Belize next year. I was so happy to do that.

  6. Yay!
    So glad to have you back on the blog scene. I could not agree with you more/ receiving comments from readers is encouraging.
    Hope to hear from you again soon.
    Take care.