When justifying the time and effort it takes to establish and maintain a current blog – one would question its purpose in the writer’s life. As a writer and publisher, I have committed to several blogs owning to the responsibility of sharing information even if it is only from my point of view. That sharing aspect is one third of my writing triad – learning, sharing, and creating. Ask yourself if you have doubt about the value of a blog for you – what is the one thing a writer should do to improve their skills and hone their craft?
Plain and simple, just write; no matter form, format, length, style, genre, perspective, and topic… so on and so forth… I believe you get the idea. Writing is the one constant task a writer needs to do. Nulla dies sine linea. Not a day without a line.
There is much discussion regarding the value of a blog to a writer. Testing the literary waters on the Internet can be very intimidating for many, especially emerging writers. New and established authors wanting to promote their work will find this a great source of advertising if you are consistent and true to your creative spirit. There is, of course, consideration on both sides of the measurement scale – good vs. bad. As a writer, you really have to look at the reason for your writing and what you want to achieve with it. I have expressed this statement before, although it has been more in the context of why you want to publish your work. There has to be confidence in doing so and some benefit, even if it is intangible and hard to evaluate.
The purpose of a blog is an online journal of your writing – if you are comfortable sharing the thoughts you would write in a physical journal then sharing on the Internet shouldn’t be a problem. If your journal is more of a cathartic exposé of your inner most thoughts and deepest feelings, posting your diary for the entire world to see might need more consideration. Again, it goes back to evaluating your writing and why you are doing it. Perhaps, testing for interest in a riveting memoir? We all know a writer writes because we have to. We have an impassioned attachment to words and their interrelationship and it is as inherent a part of our creativity as if it were an arm or leg. How we display this passion, however, varies and we find value in different ways of expression. You must objectively assess whether your words are for public exposure or for private consultation. Once on the ‘Net, always on the ‘Net.
A blog is writing and it could be argued that the exposure you receive from using this online medium is just what the writer ordered. You can create a following; receive comments that may or may not be feedback on your own writing skills but it will at least contribute to your ability to create a relationship or discussion between writer and reader; it gives you another outlet to practice your discipline; it creates an awareness about you and about your work. Make sure the blog reflects what you stand for as a writer; ensure it is a true duplication of how you express yourself and what you believe; it could draw the attention required to take your writing career (if that is what you desire) to a whole new level. Book and movie deals have been made from the creative offerings of a writer’s blog. They have been the raw words used to build other works.
Reap the rewards of your blog work. If you use the blog for posting shorter pieces, use the pieces to expand your writing in another genres, such as a short stories, articles or essays. If you post short stories, articles, or essays on specific topics, collect them, edit and do some rewrites, then format them into a book – perhaps, travel stories, diet and lifestyle tips, mommy lessons, etc. You can also use your blog to expose longer written work to an audience who could give you valuable feedback. If you want to test the reader waters with a new novel idea, a biography, a how-to book, or business self-help – post snippets to entice a following while offering links or directions on how to purchase your book. Others have posted novels, chapter by chapter, treating their online audience to an online book. Stay with what’s comfortable for you – don’t do it because everyone else does.
January 2013 Addendum: The great thing about writing blogs is when you target topics to the reason you are blogging, old posts are possibly something we can use as a new post, perhaps… a reminder for seasoned writers and a learning tool for new writers. It is not always the case that a reader will go back into your archives and find a post – especially if you haven’t used the tags and links to connect with the ongoing, leave you behind Internet world. This blog first appeared in the spring of 2011 but with a review and an update, and the addition of images, this post is as important now as it was in the past. This resuscitation has allowed me to post something timely, hopefully interesting, yet while you read this I am off writing away on my passion-filled WIP> An Elizabethan Affair.
Yes, blogging is an important part of my writing life. Love you all and keep on writing ~ Linda.