Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Should writers blog?


On December 21st self-published author Joel Friedlander 'The Book Designer' wrote an article he titled 'Should Fiction Authors Be Bloggers'. The photo that accompanied his article was of a woman biting her computer. So it's not surprising that his answer is, 'it depends'.

I'd like to thank Mr. Friedlander for his finely penned article. It inspired this post...

First, I'd like to address the points Mr. Friedlander made in his article. Then I'd like to tell you a little about my blogging experience.

Mr. Friedlander wrote that a 'common problem (encounter by bloggers who are "unknown" authors is that) many of the blog's readers appear to be other struggling fiction authors'.

I fail to see why this is a problem. Writers read. That's what we do. If I follow your blog there's a chance I'll read your book.

Mr. Friedlander suggested that blogs be created around on a central theme.

This is good advice. It's what I've done. And it works.

Mr. Friedlander explained that blogs offering articles inspired by a central theme encounter a problem. He wrote, 'people read novels for different reasons than they read informational articles.'

I understand his concern. I read fiction but I rarely read non-fiction. 

However, to me, the solution is clear--offer short stories on your blog.

Mr. Friedlander suggested that instead of blogging an "unknown" author should concentrate on creating the best book they can.

This is good advice. I think, we as--"name" and "unknown"--authors would be wise to follow this advice.

However, it is possible to be a businessperson, an author and a blogger.

He concludes by advising "unknown" authors to wait to create a blog until after you have an appreciative audience.

But...

But...

Wow, but...

In blogging, everyone starts on the same square. Everyone begins by creating a blog and writing your first post. Everyone...does...this.

And...

And...

Just because you're a "name" author doesn't mean you'll be a popular blogger. Blogging is a skill. And like all skills  you must acquire it.

Did I wait until I had an appreciative audience before I began to blog?

Nope. 

What has blogging done for this "unknown" author?

Blogging has helped me to see value in my words and to improve my writing skills.

Some of you may be surprised to read that this isn't my first blog. 

I created the blog "Designer's Notes" (November, 2005) as a way of promoting my knitwear design website. When I started publishing my short stories your kind support helped me to see the validity of my words.

I'd been writing short stories for years. But it was your page views that convinced me to pursue my dream of becoming a published author. 

Encouraged by your support, (in 2005) I made a commitment to blog every day.

Blogging has helped me to network with other authors.

I live on an island.

If I didn't blog, networking would be limited to monthly meetings with a handful of local authors.

Thanks to my blog, I've connected with over 100 authors. And this list grows longer every Friday.

Blogging has helped me to cross time zones as well as geographical and language barriers to reach my readers and potential readers.

Blogging has helped me to keep track of the lessons I've learnt as I grow as a writer.
Please visit my 'writers' resource' page.

For more reasons why you should blog, I encourage you to visit Kristen Lam's blog.
Especially these articles...
The Most Powerful Social Media Tool for Building an Author Platform
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Do you want more? Read these posts...

 Anne R. Allen's article:  5 Blogging Rules Authors Can Ignore...And 5 You Can't.

Judy Dunn's article:  What I learned on my 5 day social media diet

My bottom-line...
Blogging works, for me. Blogging is what brought me here. Blogging continues to work, for me. Blogging keeps me writing. Blogging keeps me connected. Blogging acts a living record of my progress on my author journey.
My advice to you...
If you want to blog--blog. Don't look for excuses not too. If you find value in the process--continue. 

And if you do give it a try, here's some helpful advice and some more here

Parting words...
  Yes, I disagree with some of the points The Book Designer made in his article. However, this doesn't mean that haven't learnt many useful things from reading his past articles. And I look forward to learning more by continue to read his words.


6 comments:

Meg said...

Hi Leanne--I read JF's post, too, and had a similar reaction to it. If you don't create a batch of readers before publishing a work of fiction, it makes it that much harder for the book to find its market. But, of course, if you spend a lot of time blogging and networking, it doesn't leave much time for writing a novel, as he points out.

At one point I was maintaining four blogs, and burned out faster than a cheap sparkler. Then I tried to combine them into one master blog, and that was a mess to navigate and read. So then I faced the music and realized the problem was my focus in my working and personal life, and I was going to have to make some hard choices. Now I have two, my personal one that has all the readers, and one that is more specifically about writing that I only post to occasionally, but which I keep on because I have a feeling that I might need that site at a later date. It's no hardship, since the focus of my life and my work is now narrowed down and sustainable, regardless of the number of blogs or writing projects.

I guess the lesson is knowing yourself, what you're really all about. "Your" people/readers will recognize a kindred soul/point of view, and that's how you'll build an audience.

Laurie Buchanan said...

"If you want to blog--blog. Don't look for excuses not too. If you find value in the process--continue."

I whole-heartedly agree with you!

Leanne Dyck said...

Hi Meg,
Thank you for your comment. I really like your summary--be yourself and you'll find friends. It worked in grade school and it will serve you well in the rest of your life. : )

Leanne Dyck said...

Hi Laurie,
Thank you for your comment.
I thought we'd agree--as in blogging you're one of my mentors. Well, in others things as well but I don't enough space to list them all. : )

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