Why writers should blog. No, really.

The life cycle of a blog

As featured in Carnival of the Indies, Issue #34 July 13

As featured in Carnival of the Indies, Issue #35 Aug 13

1. Blog adoptionBlogging

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?

Those weeks.

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?

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15 thoughts on “Why writers should blog. No, really.

  1. Rob Kennedy says:

    “Blogging allows a writer to flex their writing muscles.”

    That’s it. You’ve hit the nail smack in the middle. This is why I blog, and of course it’s to communicate with people, but blogging makes me connected, heard and feel valued.

    There’s not a lot of places where this can happen in the lonely craft of the writing world. But something so simple, as putting words together, to express how you feel, without the endless effort of draft over draft, editing, spell and grammar checking, beta readers, relatives hating you, and gaining the sense of some actually achievement – blogging make me feel better about myself.

    Thanks Belinda. I’m glad I follow your blog.

    • belindawilliamsbooks says:

      Hi Rob. Yes! I’m so glad another author can relate. And you’re right – writing is lonely and solitary and blogging can ease some of that. It’s also more short term, as you’ve mentioned, which is so very nice in contrast to the never ending task of writing a book. Thanks for commenting.

  2. Huw Thomas says:

    Completely agree. I wrote a post on my blog about cures for writer’s block earlier this week and one of my tips was, if you can’t write your story/poem, to write something different like a blog, diary or letter.
    All writing is worth doing if you want to be a writer. Even if it gets thrown away/deleted later, you need to write something if only to practice.

  3. Michael says:

    For me, it’s quite the opposite. I started with the intention of blogging only with disregard to the way words are actually crafted. Then, I realized, this (writing) is kind of cool, and I can be good at this if I would practice regularly (by writing posts, of course).

  4. Amy Mackin says:

    I agree. Blogging allows me to think like a writer and explore a topic in depth–flex those writing muscles, as you say. Some posts morph into more formal pieces that I submit for publication, and blogging helps me see the areas where I want to expand the conversation. Great post–the life cycle is spot on!

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