Three divrei Torah on Balak

70 faces featured on How to Blog a Book

My book 70 faces and I have the honor of being featured on Nina Amir's How to Blog a Book today. Nina started that blog as a place to talk about "how to blog a book" -- how to use a blog for the purpose of writing a nonfiction book -- though once the blog was underway, she found herself also posting about blogging and books more generally, as well as "how to book a blog" (how to repurpose existing blog posts into a manuscript.) Anyway, she asked me some fun questions, and I had a good time answering. Here's a taste:

70FacesSmallI begin the month with an interview with a blogger I’ve followed for quite some time in the world of Jewish spirituality. Rachel Barenblat is a rabbi and a poet as well a blogger, and in 2008, TIME magazine named her blog one of the top 25 sites on the Internet. Pretty awesome, right? At that time, I said, “I want to figure out what she is doing right.” She was writing poetry and recording it—poetry based on the weekly Torah (or Old Testament) portion read in synagogue each week. And at that time she wasn’t even a rabbi yet!

Anyway, she already had a few chapbooks out, but now she has more published books. So, here’s her blog-to-book story, chock full of great advice on how to blog well, blog a book, book a blog and generally succeed as a blogger and an author or poet...

What advice would you offer to aspiring writers who might want to turn their blogs into books or blog a book?

Set yourself a goal and stick to it. One hundred words a day? One page a day? One post a week? Whatever it is, pick it and stick with it for at least a month—long enough for the habit to begin to become engrained. And cultivate friends (readers, other bloggers who are also writers) who are interested in commenting on your work! A good reader is worth their weight in gold. (For what it’s worth, I’ve found that the best way to interest other writers in my work is to be interested in theirs, and the best way to get other bloggers to read me and comment is for me to read them and respond to what they’re doing. So there’s an investment of time. But hopefully the ensuing relationship is its own reward.)

Read the whole thing here: Rachel Barenblat Speaks About Blogging and Booking Poetry. Thanks, Nina!