[A]s a blogger, I was obviously inspired. Inspired by the fact that this whole blog world really DOES have the power to change your life, in ways beyond your imagination and also inspired by the COMMITMENT. Blogging is like signing a lease, an unofficial agreement- that you will work through and share your life- you will commit to a community and to your MIND and that you will give it a platform to release it's mind-y thoughts on. And in turn, you'll lessen your crazy by becoming your own personal therapist through each blog post and you will possibly, just maybe, put yourself in the position to have something fucking GREAT happen to you. I.E. Julie Powell. She committed. She committed to her beef bourguignon and her blogspot and BAM she's got a damn movie.
(Yes, she really writes like that)
True, the film does show the importance of perseverance. And yes, many popular bloggers have moved up to bigger and greater things. However, I just want to point out one thing: just because your blog is so popular you get a book deal, it does not mean that you will automatically produce a great book.
Consider the original Julie Powell memoir Julie and Julia. While I thought that Powell came off as egotistical and whiny in the movie, I didn't want to automatically assume that she was like that in the book. Well, after checking out the original Julie and Julia book yesterday at the library, allow me to reassure you, dear readers: yes, she really is like that.
The popularity of Powell's blog The Julie/Julia Project was based only on the blog's novelty shtick: a woman cooking every recipe in Julia Child's famous Mastering the Art of French Cooking in one year. Her prose is just too forced; she's trying way too hard to be witty and self-deprecating. Instead of being funny, she ends up being self-absorbed. I think I made it up to page 7 before I finally gave up.
Now I'm the first to admit that I'm no F. Scott Fitzgerald. However, I do know that what works on the computer screen does not always work for the page. As Andrew Sullivan points out in his essay Why I Blog:
The blog remained a superficial medium, of course. By superficial, I mean simply that blogging rewards brevity and immediacy. No one wants to read a 9,000-word treatise online. On the Web, one-sentence links are as legitimate as thousand-word diatribes—in fact, they are often valued more. And, as Matt Drudge told me when I sought advice from the master in 2001, the key to understanding a blog is to realize that it’s a broadcast, not a publication. If it stops moving, it dies. If it stops paddling, it sinks.
With a book, you have more time to explore. The prose can develop itself slowly. For many bloggers who are used to quick witty posts, having the task of filling 300 pages worth of material can be a challenge. In Powell's case, she has a tendency to overdo it, making her prose even more superficial than her blog.
So let this be a lesson to all you bloggers out there: if by some strange twist of fate a publisher likes your blog and wants to give you a deal, don't assume that what works for your blog will work for your book.