#imaDUFF, blogging, and honesty


Kody Keplinger’s THE DUFF was released. And to help promote it both Kody and her agent J. Volpe were encouraging people on Twitter to share their DUFF stories. A time when you felt excluded. I shared about a time when I wore what I considered awesome sneakers to school in 7th grade. I caught a couple girls whispering and laughing (and I could just tell they were at my sneakers) and I never wore the sneakers again. Clearly, I was not the fashionista of the family.


Also the blogging trifecta of Elana, Jen, and Alex have been blogging about blogging all week. As in how to grow your followers – what to blog about, commenting, and following. The whole shebang.

On the topic of followers, there are so many blog contests going on that I’ve become numb to them. Ever since BEA there have been so many arc giveaways I can’t count them. And now it’s critiques. And gift cards. I’m not complaining. I’ve won several books – in fact I won an arc of THE DUFF and read it over the summer. (A great read!)Contests are great, they are a way of paying it forward and giving back.

Sometimes though, I feel like contests are a manipulation to get more followers. I’ll click away if I’m asked to do like ten million things. I’ll follow, I’ll comment, and I’ll tweet. Once in a while I’ll blog about a contest. That’s my limit. Because beyond that – contests can take up a lot of time. Time I don’t have.


Sometimes I feel like a DUFF in the writing world. Whether it’s blogging or twitter. I have a feeling even agented and published writers feel that way because there is always the next hump to get over. The next circle of bloggers or writers to get chummy with.

But then I remind myself that the writing world is not middle school. (Thank God!) And bloggers, industry professionals, and writers are some of the most kindest, giving, encouraging people I know.

And then I remind myself that the single most important thing in getting an agent, selling a book, and having a writing career is about the writing.  And writing a compelling story!  

So my advice? Figure out the core emotional truths about yourself and inject that kind of honesty into your writing. (I’ll probably need a therapist.)

Do you ever feel like a duff in the blogging/writing/twitter world? Don’t worry about it – get back to your writing!

16 Responses to #imaDUFF, blogging, and honesty

  1. Sherrie Petersen September 10, 2010 at 6:50 am #

    I totally agree with everything you said! And as for being a Duff, I was an Ugly Betty look-alike in middle school. And (unfortunately) I have the horrid pictures to prove it 😀

  2. Kelly B September 10, 2010 at 11:03 am #

    I am so with you on this. Do I want more followers on my blog? You bet I do, but I want people that are interested in what I have to say not just in elevating my stats. I am okay with taking it slow and stead, because hey doesn’t that always win the race.

    I do agree however that this community is full of very generous people and I feel very blessed in that capacity. So keep on trying and keep on writing.

    • Laura September 10, 2010 at 12:16 pm #

      Kelly B – I’m with you. I don’t want followers that just elevate my stats. I want followers that truly want to follow me!

  3. Stina Lindenblatt September 10, 2010 at 11:33 am #

    I haven’t been on Twitter much during the last few days so I’ve missed the fun (tho I’m sure it’s still going on).

    Great post. I was suprised, though, when I held a contest at the beginning of the year. I had tons of new followers, but not all of them entered the contest.

    The ironic thing is, I left comments on Kody’s blog long before the hype about the book, but she always makes me feel like the duff, or at least not part of her clique. So I quit visiting her blog. Still bought the book, tho.

  4. Laura September 10, 2010 at 12:14 pm #

    Sherrie – Well you’re beautiful now!

    Stina – There is a certain clique amongst agented, the published and agents themselves – I guess that’s to be expected. I think when writers have an agent or are published they feel more confidence interacting with agents and feel like they aren’t stalking them.

    I have to say though I have huge respect for Rachelle Gardner. She’s the only agent that ever followed me back on Twitter and I totally respect her for that. That was pretty cool.

  5. Jen September 10, 2010 at 12:22 pm #

    I really want to read this book! Everyone has given it so much hype this week that I think I might have to make a special unwarranted trip to the bookstore this week… in fact I’m going to a book signing so I can pick it up there! Problem solved!

    You’re a doll, thanks for the awesome shout-out! We hope to have helped at least one person!!! 🙂

  6. Laura Marcella September 10, 2010 at 1:57 pm #

    Sometimes I feel like a duff in the non-writing world because not many people understand my writing dreams and goals. Good thing I have a husband, best friend, and parents who do!!! Or at least try to!

    I have an award for you over at my blog today!!!

    • Laura September 10, 2010 at 2:05 pm #

      Laura – That’s true. Non writers def. don’t get the whole writing thing. And thanks!

      Jen – You’ll enjoy The Duff. A journey of the heart.

  7. Laurel September 10, 2010 at 2:45 pm #

    I know just what you mean about feeling like a duff in the blogging world. I don’t find it natural to exude confidence and “I’m so cool”-ness that I see so much elsewhere. My following has built up slowly, but in exchange I think I’ve met some of the best people who I honestly enjoy knowing.

    I’ve become a bit numb to the contests, too, but felt I ought to give back on a blogging milestone I hit recently.

  8. patti September 10, 2010 at 4:06 pm #

    Um, not really.
    I have asked God to show me a heart for my writers/readers and just go for it using another venue, this one!!!

    That way, it’s a joy.

    But I have to ask Him constantly what to write!!!

    Blessings, dear one.

  9. Susan R. Mills September 10, 2010 at 5:42 pm #

    I agree with you completely. There have been many times I feel like a Duff when it comes to social networking. I just remind myself that everyone feels the same way at some point and what you said about it being about the writing, not the blogging/twittering is so true.

    • Laura September 10, 2010 at 6:10 pm #

      Laurel – Yes, at some point, I’ll hold a contest. They’re not bad or wrong, there’s just so many of them. I could spend all day entering them! Srsly.

      Patti – And you are great at cheering on your readers! I always pray that God is behind my ideas. And what I should do in my life!

      Susan – I keep reminding myself all the time that it’s about the writing!

  10. kris September 10, 2010 at 8:19 pm #

    I’ve got to read this book. I’m with you on the contests…I love to enter, but the hoops are hard to take. I’ll remember that next time I hold one. 🙂

  11. Kelly Polark September 10, 2010 at 9:29 pm #

    I won The Duff on a blog contest! I’ll be reading it soon!
    I was the Designated Mother Hen among my friends in high school. I tried to be the voice of reason!

  12. Shelley Moore Thomas September 11, 2010 at 12:24 am #

    I was a 6th grade DUFF.

    And, yeah, in the writing community, I just can’t bring myself to twitter. (There is this piece of me that is a private hermit.) But then people have their twitter feed running down the side of their blogs and I feel like that kid in mid-school who knows there’s a party, and knows that EVERYONE else is going, but is sitting on the sidelines.


  13. Jemi Fraser September 11, 2010 at 3:03 am #

    Like everyone else I’ve had my DUFF moments – thankfully less of them since becoming an adult. I do get them on Twitter though – I’ve avoided a few chats now because of it.

Leave a Reply