Thursday, March 15, 2012

Does Blogging Help or Hinder?

I was just curious as to what the majority of bloggers thought here regarding the subject of blogging—specifically if it helps or hinders your own writing. I write or try to write a blog subject at least twice a week and hope that it is enough for my audience to enjoy. I never know personally how much is enough or too much! Some bloggers feel the need to write every day…I am not one of them. And I do not mean that in a snarky way, I just feel that 2-3 times a week seems to work for me.

It is difficult to find time to write blogs when working and writing full time, but I think it affects me in a few ways. For one, it keeps me disciplined. Forcing myself to publish a blog post on a schedule mimics deadlines and keeps me honest, even if they are self-inflicted deadlines. Secondly, I think that it keeps me in touch with my audience. I very much enjoy the comments I receive weekly on subjects and topics that involve you--the readers--to entice you enough to want to respond. I also need and appreciate your feedback in many instances, often learning from you.

I do feel sometimes that it takes me away from my own writing, but in all honesty, that is a good thing. Fresh eyes are needed for editing and writing. No one will argue that, right? It also helps me with my communication skills in trying to elicit a response one way or another. I always endeavor to be engaging with my writing, no matter the delivery system. One can never have enough practice when writing I think, and I often find myself learning things on a daily basis!

So, what do you think about blogging? When you write a few times a week, or every day, or whatever your schedule happens to be, do you think it helps your skill-set? Does it take too much time away from doing other things? Does it distract you from your own writing if you are a fellow scribbler? I’d love to know your thoughts on this one!

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  1. I don't blog as often as I should, but your idea on a self-inflicted schedule would work well. I too, do better when there's a deadline like when I had to write papers for college courses.

  2. I think blogging is a good tool to use, but I struggle to find the time and, to be honest, the content. I think I'd rather be writing my next novel... but I think it's important to keep at the blog just from the view of self-promotion and marketing.

    I think pretty photographs help too.

  3. I think it's important. In this digital world, people expect a lot of content. Blogging allows authors to give them small amounts of content each week while they're working on their next project. Also, it can build an audience between books. If you've got good content, people are going to want to read it, and when your next book comes out, they'll remember your funny story about dogs, or your great article on writing setting, or your really inspirational story about basket weaving or whatever. Just my two cents, but as a reader, I tend to read people who are active on their blogs.

  4. @Darlene, thanks for the comments! Deadlines are deadlines I have been saying. I can liken it to paying cash to your savings account as a self-inflicted bill in order to accumulate some money over time.

    @Craig, thanks also for the comments! Finding content is extremely difficult, especially something that really engages, but I try...

    I would certainly love to be spending the time writing my own material, but in the same token, I want to give my readers a taste of my writing along with a sense of friendship or to express that we are all peers. I do enjoy speaking to my audience and love to hear your opinions on everything. Self-promotion and marketing is certainly a side-effect that I am hoping for as well.

    Thanks so much for the comments, you two! Please stop by again in the very near future!

  5. I almost feel guilty for not blogging's a terrible sin for a blogger to be sporadic, isn't it? Maybe it would be easier to post if I put out more informal posting but everytime I sit down to blog, an entire article pops out. If blogging is an online journal, then apparently I must prefer an essay-collection for a memoir.


    I'm trying to get better at this...I really am! :)

  6. I tried to convince myself that the self-imposed deadlines only helped me in the broader sense as a writer. I've even tried to convince myself that no matter what I write, it only helps to improve my practice. And yet... here I am only a couple months into it, and I have lost all the enthusiasm for actually posting on my blog. (Which was only 3 times per week, by the way.) sigh... Looks like you've got a good thing going though. :-)

  7. Ash and Stephanie, thank you both for stopping by to share your thoughts with us!

    Ash, I think it comes with the territory. Coming from someone who constantly works either in my day job or writing, it is time-consuming! So I wouldn't beat yourself up about it. I am sure that I will find weeks where I have nothing to chat about, so I will wing something. No one says the blog content has to be poignant every single time!

    Stephanie, See the comment above! I don't think it needs to be earth-shattering or even long in words. Blogs only really are there to engage your audience, inform them and share ideas and opinions. That's what I try to do at least.

    Coming from a busy schedule and one that involves writing in a completely fictional world, my time is pretty much devoted to that! I would love to devote all of my 'free' time to it, but it would be silly of me not to share my thoughts with my readers and invite them to share their opinions with me. I wish you both the best of luck in continuing with the writing!

  8. Bryce, I am sorry that I missed your comment there sandwiched between the others! Thanks so much for the comments.

    I think you bring some very sound advice to the table here. Building an audience and sharing stories with them makes you more tangible and real to your audience. I couldn't agree more. Building an audience for any work is a difficult task indeed! As a side note, I was thinking about serializing a novel in the near future and releasing it in smaller chunks to an audience as well. Just a thought.I still have a good deal of research to do on how to execute it. Thanks again for the comments and please do stop by again!