ten reasons for writers to blog – #whatImwriting

Being a writer who also blogs is a bit like being on a seesaw – one week you’re high in the air, working away on your manuscript while the blog crash-lands on the floor, the next week – wheeee! – up goes the blog while – THUMP – the writing hits the ground.

sky

I often struggle to find the balance and have even wondered, given that my desire to write creatively is never in doubt, if I should quit the blog to focus on my novel and picture books. Juggling blogging with motherhood, work and household stuff means progress on my books is achingly slow so imagine how much more I’d get written if I wasn’t constantly sidetracked?!

I can understand why a published author would have a blog – they can be great marketing tools and a way of engaging with readers. It’s almost expected these days. But I’m barely published – what about writers at an earlier stage of their writing career? Is blogging not just using up our valuable time?

Well, I’ve been thinking about it and my answer is no. Here’s why:

Ten reasons for writers to blog:

1) The community – I’ve put this first because it’s so important to me. Being a writer can be a lonely business but in the blogging world you can find many like-minded souls. I particularly love our #WhatImWriting linky group. This lovely bunch all cheer each others’ successes, support each other in bad times and assure us, through it all, that we’re not alone. This kind of support is priceless for writers.

2) The satisfaction of publishing – Ok it’s ‘just’ on your own blog, but it’s still getting your work out there. Each post is a little piece of writing that you created, refined and published yourself. It’s an achievement.

3) The ‘instant hit’ of comments – you write something, post it on your blog and (hopefully) people say nice things about it. This is a real boost and much better than keeping everything hidden in the dustiest corner of your hard-drive (been there, done that).

4) Learning from other bloggers – writing a blog – unless you’re completely insular about it – means reading other people’s blogs too and there’s so much out there to learn! You experience many different writing styles, ideas and forms of expression and glean masses of information on just about everything you’ve ever thought of. Spend enough time in the blogosphere and you start to pick it up via osmosis (kind of).

5) Motivation to improve your writing – the thing with unpublished, un-submitted work is that there’s never really the motivation to polish and refine it. It’s more likely to remain a rough draft. Putting something on your blog though, makes you more likely to look at it again with a more critical eye and before you know it you’ve polished your rough-hewn stone into a gem.

6) Practicing your craft – You’ve got the motivation, now you need the practice. The best – the ONLY – way to become a better writer is to write. Admittedly this could be a reason not to blog (but rather spend time on your manuscript) but you still learn masses about writing through blogging.

7) It’s the perfect procrastination tool – all writers need something to procrastinate about, right? Blogging is perfect… I just need to get this chapter written… PING… oh, new blog comment, I’ll just check that… and then reply… oh and that sidebar really needs tinkering with… I’ll just check my blog stats while I’m here…

8) It’s the perfect ANTI-procrastination tool - When you’re focussing on a novel you’re often working to a deadline far off into the future and unless you’re very good at self-motivation you can get a bit lost sometimes. A successful blog however, needs regular, focussed attention. If you look at your stats you get the sense you should post at least once a week and quite possibly more often. So you get focussed. You write to a deadline. It’s great anti-procrastination writing practice.

9) Understanding your readers – Ok your blog readers aren’t necessarily your potential novel readers but a) they might be and b) they’re still an audience. Listen to them and find out what they respond to. Blogging is a type of market research and you don’t have to be a big-shot author to make use of this.

10) Confidence – Before I started blogging I never dared show my stories or poetry to anyone. I was too scared they’d hate it. Then I finally published a poem on my blog and got positive feedback. So I published another and another and before I knew it I’d plucked up the courage to submit some work to a few publishers. I got some rejections, sure, but I also got an acceptance! Without a blog I think it would have taken me years to pluck up the confidence to make any submissions at all.

 
Well I think that’s quite enough confidence-building, motivational, procrastinatory, anti-procrastinatory, satisfying writing practice for one evening – I’m off to bed.

Let me know if you can think of any more additions to the list!

Writing Bubble

18 thoughts on “ten reasons for writers to blog – #whatImwriting

  1. Nicola Young

    Love this and I totally agree. It is a balancing act but a necessary one for your sanity as much as anything. Like you say, writing is a lonely world and it’s great to find there are other’s out there who understand this.

    Reply
  2. Morgan Prince

    Brilliant post hun. I couldn’t agree more. Although a blog can feel like it’s ‘pinching’ time from a novel, as long as you’re dedicated enough you can do it. On my journey I’ve learned about what I enjoy writing and I’m focusing on the blog right now. But writing is writing and practise makes perfect (or nearly anyway). ;)

    Reply
    1. Maddy Post author

      Thank Morgan! I think it’s great that you’ve figured out what you enjoy writing most and are going for it. Blogging is a great thing to go for. Glad you liked the post. xx

      Reply
  3. Susan Mann

    Great post and yes I could be doing with leaving my blog stuff for writing to be honest, but worked so hard to build it up it’s hard to let it go. I think you’ve made some very good points here xx

    Reply
    1. Maddy Post author

      Blogging can be addictive like that – but maybe you can just rest the blog for a bit then go back to it later? Thanks for commenting Susan x

      Reply
  4. Emily Organ

    Great post Maddy, I completely agree. I wrote a post a while ago about how blogging prepared me for writing and although I only blog once a week on average (otherwise it eats into writing time), it still feels good to be in a blogging loop. I struggle to know what to write on my blog sometimes, I don’t really want to talk about myself too much and I don’t want to venture into a ‘writing advice’ blog either so it kind of plods along at the moment until I get more inspired.

    Reply
    1. Maddy Post author

      I love your blog Emily and I remember that post – and it made sense! I think it’s better to write fewer, more interesting posts than just post for the sake of posting though so once a week sounds like a smart move. Thanks for commenting. xx

      Reply
  5. Sophie Lovett

    So funny – I’ve literally been sat here for the last hour or so mulling over whether I should really be spending time blogging when I could be just focusing on fiction writing… But completely agree with all your points! The confidence and community ones are huge for me – there are so many times my nerve has wavered with the whole writing thing, and I dread to think what a gibbering wreck I’d be if it was just me and my imagination! I think it’s the seesaw thing that bothers me sometimes, but I should probably just go with the flow. And remember to stay open to the inspiration to write when it comes, and not feel afraid to neglect the blog for a while. It isn’t the priority after all – but it is pretty damned important all the same xx

    Reply
    1. Maddy Post author

      Sounds like it was a timely post for you Sophie – I knew I wouldn’t be alone in pondering the issue! Community and confidence are the big ones for me too – I don’t know what I’d do without you all! And you’re right, we need to be ok about letting the blog slide sometimes although it’s easier said than done isn’t it?! Thanks for commenting. xx

      Reply
  6. Rachael

    Great list! I’m not writing a novel just now but having a blog (or three!) keeps me accountable and makes sure that I’m always writing something… And reading other blogs helps to motivate me not just to write, but in others areas too.

    Reply
    1. Maddy Post author

      I have no idea how you cope with three! But it’s great that they keep your writing momentum going, and yes, reading blogs teaches us all sorts about all sorts doesn’t it? Thanks Rachael. x

      Reply
  7. Dana

    Ha, love this Maddy! I struggle with this too, but #1 on your list really is enough for me to keep going. I love the support, camaraderie, and connections I’ve gotten from blogging. But for me, boundaries are necessary or I’d never do my regular writing, so I try to blog once a week or every other week and not beat myself up over it, but everyone has their own set of rules, which ideally should be flexible :)

    Reply
    1. Maddy Post author

      You’re definitely a ‘quality over quantity’ blogger which is great – takes less time away from your writing but keeps readers because you write great posts! Thanks for commenting Dana xx

      Reply
  8. Carol Cameleon

    Spot-on with all of the points Maddy. I particularly like the one about reading other blogs being a bit like osmosis. Took me right back to my biology days at school! I reckon there’s a cheeky limerick in there somewhere for you too! I do think that sometimes bloggers (me included) can forget to look around others’ blogs and interact with comments too. Thanks for linking another great post to #WonderfulWorldofWriting :)

    Reply
  9. Iona@redpeffer

    You sum it up perfectly Maddy. I completely agree with everything you say and I have also felt (and still do every so often) that I should give up on the blog to concentrate on other things. But it ticks all the boxes you’ve mentioned and yes, it’s been the first time I’ve ever put myself ‘out there’ too which has given me incredible confidence.

    Reply

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