Today’s topic asks what we are doing beyond the blog, whether it be monitizing, writing articles for pay, going to events or whatever crazy places you blog has led you to reach out.
Chew & Digest Books and my other blog have given me so many opportunities. There have been blogging conferences, wonderful books, sponsored posts, relationships with people I never would have met in real life, new career paths, etc.
What I never thought a book blog would do was bring me face-to-face with a man sitting on death row for the murder of his brother and parents.
Let’s back up a minute. I love non-fiction, especially historical crime like the work of Erik Larson. The idea of writing history as riveting as he does seems so daunting. The guy not only has writing talent, but amazing research skills. Still, there is one story that has stuck out in my mind for years. It was a story that I had a tangential connection to and no one has written about it.
You see, I grew up across the street from a boy that later went on to brutally murder his family. It is easy to look back now and say he was a bully as a boy and something about him wasn’t right, but none of us would have thought he would go that far. Most of us had moved away, grown up, been long gone by the time it happened.
Still, when I read the story in the news over a decade ago it hit me like a ton of bricks. I knew him. I grew up with him. My dad almost throttled him when he knocked me off my powder blue banana-seat bike.
Over the years, there has been this tug to learn more about this story. Earlier this year, that tug turned into something stronger, a sort of this is the story that you need to write yank. That yank has led to research and talks with lawyers, clerks, other neighbors, an editor, an agent, and one day soon, it will lead me into a maximum security prison to meet the boy that used to call me runt that grew into the man that did horrible things.
This is where your blog can lead you. It can lead you to the story that you were meant to tell.