Lorna Seilstad: Group Blog Coordinator


Lorna Seilstad loves God, her family, friends, chocolate, and writing. And yes, probably in that order. Her first novel, Summer of Truth from Revell, will be out in the fall of 2010. The next two in the series will follow in subsequent years. Lorna’s unique take on blogging is that she coordinates a group blog titled, Inkspirational Messages. As one of “the 10,” I can say contributing to a group blog has been a great experience, and I’m grateful to Lorna for all the work she does to make our blog such a success.

Blog? Who Me?

Just the idea of being solely responsible for a blog’s daily content scared the bejeebers out of me. However, today authors are expected to blog. It’s like an unwritten law.
It’s a great way to connect with readers and establish a reader base.

So, when I signed my first 3-book contract with Revell for the Lake Manawa Series, I knew that I needed to step out of my comfort zone, but I had no intention of doing it alone.

Enter my writing friends.

I’d been blessed to be part of two writing groups made up of wonderful writers. I also had a couple of  writer friends who I thought would make excellent bloggers. This would make ten of us—one blog every two weeks. Definitely doable.

After doing some encouraging, prodding, and arm twisting, I had a commitment from each of them. Through an exchange of ideas we came up with a name and began a discussion of what our blog’s audience should be. Although we were all writers, we decided that our blog would be directed at the Christian fiction reader.

Because I was the only one who knew all nine of the other bloggers, we spent the first two weeks introducing ourselves in our blog entries. This was a great way to begin to get to know our fellow bloggers, and those intros are available in the archives for any new visitors to our site.

When the time to develop content arrived, we knew we needed something to offer that would draw readers in. We chose to offer several topics we hoped would interest the Christian fiction reader including devotionals, chatterbox topics for fun, what we’re reading, and our writing journey. To keep things interesting, we alternate between those four categories with the topic of the two weeks. For example, we just finished “Things That Go Bump in the Night” under the category of Chatterbox, “From the Page to the Stage” in What We’re Reading, and now we’re writing about “An Attitude of Gratitude” in the Devotional category.

With ten bloggers addressing the same topic, you might think we’d duplicate material. Not true! That has been the most amazing part — seeing the direction ten writers can take on the same topic. Readers return again and again just to see what the next writer came up with. Adding an occasional weekend interview with an author has also helped draw readers.

The blog has been so much more fun than I anticipated. I love reading what my fiction writing friends share on the non-fiction page.

Ten bloggers to write.
Ten bloggers to comment.
Ten bloggers to bond with each other and our readers.

Can it get any better than that?

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#1 Dawn Ford on 11.25.09 at 8:56 am

It is a wonderful thing to be a part of and I’m glad you twisted my arm. I feel as if I know these women we blog with and we are taking the journey of writing together. That would not have happened without the blog. I can say for a surety that blogging has changed me in some ways. And they are all for the good.

#2 Kav on 11.25.09 at 9:14 am

Fancy meeting you here, Lorna! You’re blog hopping! LOL. Blogging has been much more fun than I thought it would be…and a whole lot more nerve-racking…but you’ve been a great mentor. You’re so unflapable!

#3 Kim on 11.25.09 at 9:30 am

Lorna, I’m glad you decided to start that group blog. It is a blast to not only blog for but to read as well. I walk away every day with a new perspective. Uplifted and ready to carry on no matter what my doubting Thomas of a soul thinks!

#4 Brenda Anderson on 11.25.09 at 10:18 am

Lorna, you have done a terrific job of coordinating this blog. Every morning, that’s the first thing I read. I’m with you, the thought of writing a blog post every day would be daunting, but once every two weeks? That’s doable, and it’s definitely stretching my writing muscles.

I’m continuously amazed at everyone’s depth of writing, but best of all, I’ve met beautiful people. Thanks for bringing us all together.

#5 Linda Fulkerson on 11.25.09 at 10:49 am

For me the best part has been the camaraderie of our little group. And I’m always blessed by the posts my fellow blogger share!

Thanks, Lorna, for letting me – the rogue non-novelist – crash your group and join in the blog!

#6 Shannon Taylor Vannatter on 11.25.09 at 1:38 pm

I’ve enjoyed the camaraderie the most as well. And Lorna is a great leader. Every other week, she fixes my pictures. The first one loads without a hitch. The other two won’t. Maybe I should do one picture blogs to lighten her load.

#7 Regina Merrick on 11.26.09 at 5:51 am

Great blog . . . on blogging! I’ve loved being a part of Inkspirational Messages, and I have some local friends who love keeping up with us! Lorna, you are our natural leader – not only do you know all of us, but you also know just how to nudge each of us along when we think we aren’t up to snuff come blog-time. Bless you for that!

Hmmm . . . I think I’ll send the link to THIS blog to some friends of mine who are late getting in the game . . .

#8 Marlene on 11.26.09 at 5:40 pm

Lorna, you’re a wonderful Blog Coordinator. You make it so fun and easy. Thanks for dragging me into this LOL

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