I’ve been hearing a lot of chatter lately from various sources about how blogging is a waste of a writer’s time. How their hours should be more focused on putting words down for their own work, rather than sharing personal experience or insight.
Okay, so I agree that if you’re not committed to blogging it may not be a good use of your time, but on all the other stuff I call TOTAL B.S. and here’s why: For me personally, blogging has been life-changing. And no, I’m NOT being dramatic. Honest.
When I started writing my first manuscript, I was like a woman in a dark forest on a moonless night, stumbling around without a flashlight completely clueless. I made all the rookie mistakes: querying too early, sending in a request formatted incorrectly, misspelling the title of an agency. Name it, I probably did it. And I’m not sorry to admit this, because I think most starting writers make most of, if not all of, these mistakes. But instead of wallowing, you know what I did? I shared my experience on this blog so that other writers could learn from my screw-ups.
What started as a blog about navigating the strange world of publishing turned into so much more for me. I found my voice as a writer and wanted to share what I learned along the way. For instance, when I first started querying I was totally shocked by how quickly the rejections came. So you know what I did? I reached out to other writers and asked them about their query experiences and their path to publication. Those writers’ willingness to share their stories turned into my Writer Odyssey Wednesday (W.O.W.) series-which is now closing in on 100 posts! Crazy, 100 writers sharing their ups and downs on the way to being published. That feels like a HUGE accomplishment. One I wouldn’t have had if I’d listened to those who said, “Don’t Blog!”
On my second manuscript I was sure things were going to be different. The requests would come flying in. And luckily they did, but after I turned in my requested materials, the “R”s came shortly after. At that point, I wondered what the heck I was doing wrong. I reached out to an agent and asked about beginnings and openings pages. That desperate need to understand the importance of how a story starts turned into my FIRST FIVE FRENZY series. That series has not only changed how I approach beginnings, but it gave me my first connection to Roseanne Wells, who would later become my agent! See my point…life-changing!
Out of my desperate need to understand this business, I started a few other series: Query 101 and Behind The Curtain. All meant to not only teach me, but hopefully other writers, some tips and tricks about this business.
Blogging should not weigh you down. If you have something to share that you feel will help others, than I say go for it! Don’t let the misconceptions keep you from posting what you want. Yes, it’s true, don’t start a blog and then only post once a year, but you can set your own parameters for how much you want to post and when. And the topics can be varied. You’re not forced to stay in one niche if you don’t want to. Don’t be afraid of the those who say it’s a waste of your time. That is for you alone to decide.
For me, blogging has been a total blessing. It’s made me a better writer, critique partner, and listener. Had I believed those naysayers I think my writing life would be in a totally different place today-a place I would not be happy with. So I say this, if you’ve got something you want to share, and you can commit, then BLOG!! It may be the best writing decision you ever make.
What do you think about blogging? Does it help you as a writer? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.