Saturday, August 08, 2009

Julie Powell, the Ulitmate Blogger Success Story

Here's a dirty little secret: I started blogging because of Julie Powell. Sometime in the spring of 2006, I came across some information about her book that was going to be published (or had recently been published) that was taken from her blog which was all about her project to cook and blog her way through Julia Child's Mastering The Art of French Cooking. I found her original blog online and read through it, entry by entry, four years after she wrote it.

Eventually I read the book Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously as well.

When I found out that there was going to be a movie made -- starring Amy Adams and Meryl Streep, no less -- I was beyond excited. I knew I had to see it. And though I see only a few movies in the theater each year, I knew that this was one I would see. I couldn't wait. My husband and I tried to get a babysitter, but we couldn't, so I went off all alone and saw the first showing this morning.

It's a wonderful, lovely, perfect movie, and you can hear all about how much I loved it if you read my Books on Screen column at 5 Minutes for Books on Thursday. But I urge you to go see it if you can squeeze it in this weekend.

Now back to Julie. Watching the movie reminded me that she is the ultimate blogger success story. There are others such as Heather Armstrong aka Dooce, Ree Drummond (check out Janice's interview with her), and even "our own" Shannon from Rocks in My Dryer (have her seen her professional news?) who are probably achieving more success -- financial and otherwise -- from blogging than they ever dreamed. But Julie did what she set out to do. She had a goal to cook and blog her way through Julia Child's landmark work. She did it. She grew her blog, and in the end she published her book and sold the rights to a movie as well.

Now obviously I am nowhere near a book contract, nor am I at all seeking one (nor writing anything other than this blog and book reviews). My goal in blogging was to get back into the habit of writing. I did that, while also enjoying the community that I found online. Thoughts of the blog actually getting discovered or becoming something more than what it is were fleeting.

BUT has this little blog changed my life? Indeed it has. Not in a "I've found my calling" sort of way, but in a way that provided income for a bit as I worked administrating contests for 5 Minutes for Mom, and more importantly, being reminded of my love of reading and turning book reviewing into something of a gig over at 5 Minutes for Books.

It's forced me to record family memories -- sometimes simply and other times in a more literary fashion. It's brought me closer to real-life friends who are also blogging, and introduced me to a whole new batch of people I never would otherwise have known. And professional opportunities continue to crop up, for which I am amazed and grateful (and excited!).

So, thanks Julie. Just as Julia changed the course of your life, I believe I have to say that you changed mine.


Ed said...

Have you sent Julie any direct messages, comments, or whatever to tell her about her impact on you?

You should start up a dialog if you can.

I believe Julie should do whatever she can to mentor others on how to take action and lead a fulfilling life.

Although I am sure she gets too many offers to count, I am currently trying to contact Julie to coax her into serving as a "millennial icon" for self empowerment. In that way she could simulantaneously mentor msny people.

I still keep in touch with my heroes, including Dr. Noam Chomsky. I think that this is critical for the advancement of society.

Let me know if you get contact info for Julie.

Good luck in your blogging and self-discovery!

Ed Breaux

Laura said...

I'm looking forward to this movie. Do you know if Julie Powell still has her blog out there?

Katrina @ Callapidder Days said...

I remember you telling me about her blog (years ago!). I agree -- her blogging success story if very cool. But the blogging stories of our "bloggy friends" are very cool too.

Dianne said...

Neat story and I am looking forward to the movie as well. I guess the takeaway for me is, success is however we define it for ourselves.

Angela K. Nickerson said...

Fantastic post! Thanks for making a comment on my blog, too. I think Julie & Julia is the first big movie about a blogger -- and I'm sure it won't be the last. This Gypsy is always glad to meet other writers who are like minded. :)


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timetochill said...

I watched this movie and found it inspirational especially as a newbie blogger. Although never in my wildest dreams do i dream to be that successful, perhaps i can take a leaf out of her book and follow my dreams.