Sarah Dessen’s blog falls mostly into the “stories come from somewhere” category of author blogs. That is, Dessen’s posts tend to be more focused on providing readers with insight into her day-to-day life than on discussing her writing, to the extent that references to her novels sometimes feel almost out of place in comment threads full of responses to stories about her family, dogs, and travels. She maintains a fairly regular habit of posting a Friday Five, offering five brief updates about her life and activities in the past week. These posts do usually include at least one update about Dessen’s work — perhaps an image of her latest cover or news about an upcoming appearance — but readers will also find pictures of Dessen’s dogs, stories about her daughter, and entertaining anecdotes, like this one about her role in a couple’s proposal story.
Those who visit Sarah Dessen’s blog will find hints of what it’s like to be a popular and prolific writer, but mostly they’ll find a person: quirky, genuine, and accessible. The value of this type of blog to students is perhaps less direct than that of author blogs more focused on the writing process. Readers don’t hear about pushing through writer’s block and rejection letters, and they don’t see a commitment to careful editing. They might, however, find someone to whom they can relate, who makes writing something that touches people feel like a realistic possibility.