Wednesday, November 2, 2011

To Blog Or Not To Blog

I’ve noticed a slew of blog posts of late that discuss whether blogging really is a worthwhile endeavour for writers. I think these two posts cover the issues surrounding this question rather well: author 
Roni Loren’s post, Is Blogging Dead? and Anne R. Allen's Duelling Agent Advice On Blogging. The main argument against blogging appears to be that as a marketing tool, it doesn't work. Blogging just doesn't sell huge numbers of books. And - and this is just my opinion -  I do think there is truth in this point. Speaking as  a reader, I am much more likely to buy a book after reading a review of it, or when it's endorsed by someone other that its own author on their own blog. Word of mouth does sell books, but only when it's not the mouth of the book's creator shouting its virtues to the world. But I’m not convinced it’s time to stop blogging. Far from it, for a blog is so much more than just a marketing tool.

Blogging connects you to the writing community and helps you build relationships with other writers. This is so very important, especially for new authors (published and unpublished) who might feel daunted and alone in the world. Finding people who understand what you do really does help you find your feet and gain confidence in yourself and your writing, which takes you a long way to becoming a successful writer, no matter where you are in the game.  

Blogging is also a good way to showcase your writing and your personality, and what makes you tick. I don’t think there’s an agent alive who wouldn’t google a writer’s name if they’re interested in their manuscript, and a few lucky writers have even been signed by agents solely because of their blogging. And I’m convinced blogging makes you take yourself more seriously as a writer. Your name is on what you write, and what you write is being sent into the blogosphere for anyone and everyone to read … so you'd better do it well!

But most importantly, blogging about writing forces you to really analyse writing and the writing life, to dig down deep into issues you might otherwise have skimmed over or not given a thought to at all. I know that I’ve nutted through some of my writerly neuroses by blogging here at ATWOP, and have connected with others experiencing the exact same issues (always good to know that no matter how mad or messed up you think you are, you’re never really alone. :-) ) 

Some bloggers - Nathan Bransford springs to mind - say that it's the time-suck of blogging that has made them tire of the whole show, and they do have a point. Which is why I am grateful for the day our Kristen suggested we blog as a group. She says she was just being lazy; I say she was one smart cookie. :-)

In the end, the decision whether to blog or not depends on why you’re doing it and what you get out of it, and how much of your time it takes up. And if you’re happy with what you're doing, then just keep on bloggin'!


  1. I agree! I love the community connection that comes with blogging, and how much more serious it makes me feel. I'm not just a teenager scribbling stories in my room, I've got followers who want to read what I write! *gasp* Having any kind of audience helps me keep my butt in chair :-)

  2. I love the connection, but hate the time drain. When I've not posted for over a week, I feel very guilty. Sigh. But I'm not stopping either. ; )

  3. Naw, I was being lazy. lol. Actually, it's also way more fun to be amongst friends who'll get your back when you need them.

    I agree about how it helps you focus on your craft. If you're analyzing things, your mind comes into sharper focus.