Blogs, Blogs, Blogs, Why?
You’ve probably heard from your friends, family, or fellow writers, “Hey, you should start a blog!” and they are right! Every writer should have a blog! You should start a blog, but you may be asking yourself if it’s worth it. Well, it definitely is, and let’s talk about why.
A Blog Establishes Writing Discipline
In order to maintain a blog, you have to have some form of discipline, and the only way to grow a following is to establish some routine in posting. For example, I post every Sunday at 9:00 am. So I know by Saturday night, I need to have a post written and scheduled before I go to bed. This discipline is exactly what you need when you are working on a novel. You may then say, “Well, I could just start learning that discipline by just working on my novel,” and that is totally true! However, something to consider is:
One issue you will probably run into frequently when working on your novel is that there is not a lot of feedback during the early stages. Consequently, you can feel like you’re doing a lot of work for nothing. By maintaining a blog, you can get that instant feedback without having to stop your writing. With a blog, you can get that discipline, pump out short blog posts, put them out on the internet, and get feedback. Whenever I see my pageviews go up after a blog post, I get that instant gratification I am looking for, and I can use that renewed fire to keep my novel going.
Writing and Research Practice
Since you will have to keep writing post after post to maintain a blog, you will have plenty of ways to practice your writing. Similarly, depending on your blog content, you may have to do some research. Both of these skills, unsurprisingly, are integral to your novel-writing. The more you practice writing, the better your writing becomes. Likewise, the more you have to research, the better you become at researching. So as you work on your novel, your writing will have improved, and you’ll find it much easier to research different topics and aspects for your story.
If you’re like me and you talk about your own projects on your blog, you have a form of accountability out there in the world. Now people other than yourself know that you are working on a novel. Of course, not everyone who reads your posts cares if you finish the novel or not, but that pressure could be enough to keep you writing. Thus, a personal, writer blog is a great way to hold yourself accountable.
Building an Audience
While I am a firm believer that we shouldn’t put all of our focus on building an audience, that is the entire point of a blog (or any social media platform, really). We don’t put our work out there for no one to read it. We write and publish specifically so people can read our work. Thus, start building that audience early and start a blog. It will do you plenty of favors when you begin submitting that novel because agents and publishers love to see the foundation you’ve setup for yourself. Then you may say, “Well, I use twitter and facebook, isn’t that enough to build an audience?” and that leads me to my final point:
Connect With People Who Read
While there are readers and writers alike that use facebook and twitter to connect with other readers and writers, not everyone you meet on those platforms actually have the attention span to read a full-length novel. By utilizing a writer blog, you are culling out the people who won’t read more than 280 characters at a time. The followers you gain from your blog, while they may be fewer than facebook are twitter, are more likely to actually read your book when you publish it because they are engaging with your blog posts that are, hopefully, longer than 280 characters.
Even if none of these reasons are enough to make you start your own blog, blogging in itself is just fun, and I would recommend it to anybody. Do you have your own blog? If so, what do you post? Let me know, and comment below.