I’ve been asked to speak to a writers’ group about blogging. Cue imposter syndrome telling me I’m not a proper blogger, let alone one who can tell other people how to do it. But then I realised: they are wanting to know how I blog, not how anyone else does, and besides, I’ve been blogging for three and a half years, it’s not like I know nothing. So with that self-doubt kicked into touch I set about preparing.
The first real question I asked myself was ‘why do I blog?’ Why do I bother? I don’t earn anything from it, I haven’t even managed to wrangle getting free stuff because of it, so why do I take the time to write, edit and publish a blog?
I have a mixture of reasons, some for my benefit, some for the benefit of my readers:
- When I first started seriously writing, I craved to be read. As anyone with even a passing interest in the publishing industry will know, getting a book written, published and read is not a quick process, whereas posting a blog is. I can connect with people through my words and that feels good.
- To make notes on my writing process, which might also be helpful to other writers. If I found something hard, or tried a new way of tackling a problem, odds are I wouldn’t be the only one.
- To prove I could write something other than stories. Just in case a prospective publisher should happen by.
- To procrastinate (this counts towards a daily word count right? Right?)
- To process. When I’m struggling with waiting, or rejection, or drafting, or editing, writing about it helps me see the bigger picture – it gives me perspective. The act of writing about the hard parts helps me feel better about them. It also brings me in contact with others who are in the same boat and I have connected with some lovely writerly people through my blog. It’s also good to share the sucesses when they come – I was positively addicted to ‘how I found my agent’ blogs when I was querying.
So, if you’re thinking of starting a blog, or have an old one kicking around you might dust off, think first about why you would be blogging. Be honest with yourself about how much time it might take up. Would you be blogging daily, weekly, monthly or like me, intermittently when you have something to say? Think about your topic – choose something you have a passion for. It doesn’t have to be book or writing related for it to be a showcase for your writing. If it’s something you are interested in, then your enthusiasm will show and writing the blogs won’t feel like a chore. Remember: it’s your blog – you get to set the rules and do things your way. As with so many aspects of writing, there is no right or wrong, just what works for you and what doesn’t.
Image courtesy of Freepik