This is topic I'm about to get into the blogging thing in forum Open Discussions About Writing at Hatrack River Writers Workshop.

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Posted by Captain of my Sheep (Member # 10362) on :
I bought a template. I've set up a realistic posting schedule and I'm almost done with my first post. Finishing my story takes precedence over blogging. I plan on doing this for at least 2 years, see how it goes.

I have a question for the folks who've been blogging for a while:

What do you wish you'd known when you first started blogging?

I have another question for the folks that find writer's blogs boring, or unappealing:

Why do you?

(I'd be delighted if you included a link to your blog, as well.)
Posted by Denevius (Member # 9682) on :
Why do you?
I've never seen infinity, but I'm pretty sure the number of blogs that exist comes close. And staring out into the endless void is probably about as exciting as finding yet another blog in the blogosphere.
Posted by Captain of my Sheep (Member # 10362) on :
I've never seen infinity, but I'm pretty sure the number of blogs that exist comes close.
Haha. Yeah, it's a good point. I can't deny there are a lot. However, few that are updated regularly, and even fewer that are dedicated exclusively to writing.

Sill, I see your point.
Posted by extrinsic (Member # 8019) on :
Things about blogging I dislike:
Reasons I find a blog boring and unappealing

[ April 06, 2015, 12:54 PM: Message edited by: extrinsic ]
Posted by Captain of my Sheep (Member # 10362) on :
Fantastic list/rant. I loved it, extrinsic [Smile]

I agree on quite a few points. This one, especially:

Content which is solely intended to promote a product or line or opinion that is under-developed and unsaleable, or unmarketable anyway, in the first place
Mostly with the bolded part. Namely: a self-published book being the product.

I've learned a lot from writer's blogs during the years, though. I would've never thought of checking an agent's blog, if it weren't for the blog of an unpublished writer.
Posted by extrinsic (Member # 8019) on :
Consider defining a broad though focused topic area for the blog. Also, consider a mission, purpose, or function of the blog. The overall slant, so to speak.

For example, creative writing, focus topic and mission onto category, say, fiction, short form, conventions of military science fiction; mission: development of clearly realized conventions thereof and promotion of the category, and for learning, for the blogger and followers. Introduce new knowledge to further the category development for present and foreseeable future projects. In other words: Specialize.

Be open-minded and flexible and respectable toward commenters' contributions. One may break a logjam and contribute a new and appealing idea not seen before within the category. This is how teachers learn. Recognize and faithfully attribute exceptional contributions, timely, sincerely, and judiciously.

All the above makes for a lively blog and offers inspirations for ongoing, individual topic inventory development. If military science fiction, this week: military weapons of the future. Next week: military ranks and insignia. Vessels, fortifications, military units, cultures, liberty and duty, the fast strider scout and courier class, a launch vessel, of the NSS, N-Space Ship, Howl, and so on. Also, consider the category's intangible convention topics, honor and duty, perhaps glory, wealth, and fame, for example, moral and social values of military culture. Individual topics narrowed to specific motifs.

Another topic area(s): markets and representatives of the category; publishers, agents, critics, reviewers, etc. The knowledge and wisdom imparted need not be brand new, only new to or newly organized for focused niche access by followers.

These above then become the bases for dynamic networking, social networking, the very mission of any blog, and substantive and meaningful, not some mere self-involved cult of personality and popularity pageantry. If this is that latter kind of dynamo, then self-promotion of a related product line is a sideline, though one that covertly recommends itself to consumers by the caliber of the blog.

[ April 07, 2015, 04:33 AM: Message edited by: extrinsic ]
Posted by dkr (Member # 10397) on :
Captain! My question exactly. Very good comments extrinsic, answered loads of my own concerns. I would add the questions - Does a blog help sell books? If done correctly is it worth the effort? I am being told that a great deal of recognition is there for someone willing to TWEET and Blog. I have absolutely zero desire to do either.
Posted by extrinsic (Member # 8019) on :
For early days, maybe a bite of the bullet at the social network trough is warranted. Later days, an allied person with desire and passion for blogging and twaddling can do that work. Advantage there is someone else rings the summons bell, sings the praises from the rooftop, announces the cryer's shouts from the town square, manages the marketing mischiefs.

If a blog is packaged for dynamic social network conversation, topically focused, well-crafted, appeals as enumerated above, the blog sells products as a sideline, a blog does help sell books. That puts the horse before the cart.
Posted by Grumpy old guy (Member # 9922) on :
My first question is: Why are you writing a blog?

Do you have something to say, some soapbox to pound, some cat to torture with sequins and feathers: or are you going to try and promote your novel?

First piece of advice--finish the book. Once it's as perfect as you can possibly make it (layout, design, typesetting, and proofed), then think about promotion. And, why a blog? To promote your book on your blog you will need people to read your blog which means you will have to promote your blog first so you can promote your book. Pant, pant, pant . . .

I'll post something more in-depth later. I have a cold, or the flu, and my brain is slurpy.


P.S. I agree with everything extrinsic said about content guidelines. More later.

[ April 08, 2015, 01:48 AM: Message edited by: Grumpy old guy ]
Posted by Captain of my Sheep (Member # 10362) on :
I plan on doing this for at least 2 years, see how it goes.
That's cute Past-Captain of my Sheep, that's very cute.

My blogging experiment was a success: I know for sure that blogging takes up too much of my writing time. At this point in time, I'd rather be writing a short story than a short blog post.

A few scattered impression on this whole blogging adventure:

1. My lesson cost me about 100 bucks, but I'm wiser now. No more stars in my eyes. [Smile]

2. I made a total of 3 posts, I think. Each of them took me a month and no less than 46 revisions before I posted them.

3. I got two comments from a blogger I respect. I was, and still am, overjoyed about my two comments.

4. I abandoned the endless Twitter race that comes with blogging, and that seemed manageable until I was forced to follow more and more people. (Because that's what you do.)

About Twitter I concluded:

-In my particular situation, Twitter will help a lot once I have a finished novel in the querying stage.

-Following agents on Twitter is fantastic to get a quick impression of what some agents are thinking, and how they operate. After I got my quick impression, I found that it would be better for me if I traded 30 minutes of Twitter for 30 minutes of writing.

5. Finding something worthy to say is a lot harder than it seems. I knew it was hard, but no, it was harder. It took me way too long to find my own angle on a topic.

6. I don't have the time needed to grow a blog in a manner that would satisfy me. Quality content, or my version of it, took a lot of planning. Maybe the day will come when I can both write, work on my craft and maintain a blog. That day is not today, or any day in the coming year.
Posted by pdblake (Member # 9218) on :
I started to blog when I got myself writing again but to be honest I've not got the time to spend building up a following and really don't have the inclination. If I'm going to write something I'd rather it be a story.

The link is there on my website but it's used only for news and promotion, which is probably a bad use of a blog.
Posted by Reziac (Member # 9345) on :
Why I don't blog: Nothing to say.

More accurately, by the time I've spent what I had to say in some other blog or forum's comments, I don't care enough to dink with it myself. I once figured out that I've made somewhere upward of 60,000 such posts.

I do have a couple pages of random observations, complaints, and snark. It's taken me 17 years to accumulate 5000 words of that.

Nope, nothin' to say.
Posted by LDWriter2 (Member # 9148) on :
I see this one has been revived

I started a blog over a year ago because I had things to say. Didn't need tons of readers for it but than again pounds of them would be good. [Razz]

I don't know if there was much I wish I had known before I started it.

No one else has posted their blog address maybe because none have one?

Posted by walexander (Member # 9151) on :
I'm more of a support your local paper person. I believe if you really want to let the public know something...something have to be objective, research both sides thoroughly, hunt out the real facts, and not be swayed by personal political opinions or public pressure. We need more defenders of journalistic Integrity.

If you are going to blog. I feel it should follow similar rules. Anyone one can rant. Heck our cable news have become overwhelmed with ranters. It is so hard to get valuable news anymore.

I also again support if you are going to blog you become a contributor first. There are thousands of blogs already out there on a multitude of subjects. Many look for contributing writers. It is a good way to get your name known and deal with what the court of public opinion thinks about your writing. Because if you are afraid to hand your article over to an editor you may not be ready to just through your feeling out onto the net. There is no taking it back once it is out there. An editor should be the least of your worries. If you've done the work you should have no worries.
Posted by Captain of my Sheep (Member # 10362) on :
I also again support if you are going to blog you become a contributor first. There are thousands of blogs already out there on a multitude of subjects. Many look for contributing writers.
That's a very good idea.

The bottom line, for me, is that I didn't enjoy blogging as much as writing and editing a story. I'm willing to bang my head against a desk n-times, if it means that at some point I'll solve my story problem.

I'm not willing to do the same for a blog post.
Posted by Disgruntled Peony (Member # 10416) on :
I've never successfully gotten past one or two entries any time I attempted a blog. XD I don't have the attention span for it.
Posted by Captain of my Sheep (Member # 10362) on :
Hehe. [Big Grin]

(I read somewhere that what happened to you and me happens to a lot of people.)
Posted by extrinsic (Member # 8019) on :
If I were to blog, as it were elsewhere than writing sites, I'd make it a full-time effort, thus a vocation and attendant revenue stream.

I'd, though, work a single topic from different approaches, and use all the composition tools at my disposal -- rhetoric's pantheon of persuasive, seductive, subversive influences. What? About affirmation of the moral human condition.

Socrates failed to reform Athenian society for the better, as he intended and remains a social matter today, because he was disliked. Better to be likable than right and disliked. Better likable and right though of a persuasive nature so that genuine advancement of the human condition transpires. Being likable furthers that goal, Dear Socrates . . . signed, poeticus.

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