The life cycle of a blog
Every blogger has been there.
The haze of enthusiasm that first hits when you set up your blog and you realise you can share your thoughts on almost anything with practically anyone (within reach of a computer and internet access). It might even feel a bit daunting, but you find yourself blogging furiously, ideas flowing from you in rapid succession, to the point where you need to keep a list somewhere (or is that just me, over-organised list person?)
2. Routine blogging
Once the adoption phase subsides, most bloggers settle into a vague routine, so you set aside time to blog and there’s a regularity, or at least, frequency, to your blogging.
This works nicely for a while. You start to see people are actually reading what you’re writing (who knew?!) and you might even virtually meet some interesting people through the comments left on your blog. The odd few may turn into friendships – again, this is an unexpected bonus.
3. Blog neglect
Then apathy sets in. It’s usually sparked by some sort of inciting incident – (paid) word demands, family life, illness – all acceptable and entirely valid reasons. The result is your blog sits there happily neglected for a while with the content you’ve written. Good news? People are still reading it. Bad news? Your motivation is low and your inspiration is too.
You start to question what you are getting out of the blogging caper (other than just a boost to your ego, that is). After all, it’s such an awful lot of effort, when all is said and done.
4. Decision time: where does your blog go from here?
Now if blogging is simply a pastime about your life or a hobby you’re passionate about, I think it’s safe to say that the world will not stop turning if you don’t blog for a while (hopefully you didn’t think it would…)
But what if you’re a writer? Do you really need to blog?
The answer to this question struck me with simple clarity last week. It doesn’t involve long lists of bullet points detailing reasons why you should blog and the benefits it creates…I’ll leave those to other bloggers out there.
Instead I’ll share some background:
It was one of those weeks. Or months. But you know what I mean, don’t you?
Without going into too much detail it involved juggling the mess that can sometimes be life and I realised, probably a little belatedly, that I hadn’t blogged for a while. My blog was decidedly good-natured about it. I think it actually took one look at me and didn’t so much as whimper, but made a speedy exit to avoid getting involved in my life. Wise blog.
OK, writers, grab your blog. It’s exercise time!
Clarity hit me in the wee hours of a the morning, my blood shot, dry eyes staring at my computer screen. I was madly trying to finish a guest blog post for my upcoming book blogger tour for my paranormal romantic suspense novel, Radiant.
As I sat back and read over what I had just written, it hit me.
Yes, it’s important for writers to blog. Not because of your profile (although it certainly helps). It’s more basic than that.
Blogging allows a writer to flex their writing muscles.
If you are an athlete, how do you prepare for a big race? You keep fit and you work out regularly.
The same goes for writing:
Blogging keeps you writing regularly.
That’s it. It’s that simple.
Between the demands of life and editing my second novel, blogging is the one thing that keeps me writing on a regular basis. It allows me to flex my writing muscles and keeps them fit and healthy. This is especially true during the painstaking task of editing when you are doing less writing and more fact checking and trouble shooting, than writing.
It keeps my writing mind agile and my confidence steady during the ups and downs of my fiction writing. And better yet, it allows me to connect with other writers, just like you.
If you’re reading this and you’re a writer, how do you feel about blogging?