Look, I think there’s common wisdom out there that’s incorrect and I have one particular instance of common wisdom in mind.
That writers need to keep a blog.
And here I am ignoring my own intuition. Seriously, I keep a blog for me, not for anyone else. The reason I do this is because I want to keep track of my progress in the writing world. I also need to vent sometimes and well, writing this blog helps.
I’ve made a long term commitment, said my vows, been on the honeymoon and now the reality is setting in.
Writing. Is. Hard.
And these types of realisations are important to keep track of, right? I mean, imagine five years from now, what would you have learned about writing? What sorts of experiences would you want to reflect on?
So why are blogs bad for writers?
Well, I think in order to have a blog that brings in readership alone, you need to be engaging, entertaining, and basically Robin Williams. I don’t see myself as having those qualities and thus why would I even want to bother trying to write ‘7 Tips On How To Be A Writer’ or ‘Common Mistakes Writers Make.’
For other writers, I see blogs as a ploy to bring in readership. And I think that’s great when writers already have a fan base for their books. But when I see writers pushing themselves to produce one blog a day on writing topics in order to try convince everyone else and themselves they’re a writing expert, I worry how their writing suffers. When I see them consuming the wisdom that ‘having a blog will bring you popularity and a passive income,’ I sigh and shake my head. I think it’s possible, don’t get me wrong, but I also think that writers posting for the sake of posting, writers posting without energy, or motivation to do so, are shooting themselves in the foot.
Turn off the internet and work on your latest book. That seems to be the only factual conventional wisdom. Write. Write. And when you’re sick of writing, write more. Blogging is not writing. Blogging is not going to put food on your table and pay your bills.
But what do I know? Here I am giving advice with no evidence of my own to back it up. I do hear though that writers who’re already spending so much mental energy to produce great literary works are also trying to publish 500 – 1000 word blogs a day. They must be exhausted. Writing. Reading. Writing. Reading.
So draining, so absolutely life sucking *hyperbole*.
Right now, I’m still editing. I have one chapter that I consider in pre-editor copy. Which means I feel good enough about that one chapter to send it to an editor. I’ve got a deadline of September 17, 2012 for having my good copy completed in full and the business of going through and nit-picking my manuscript is a little heartbreaking.
This is my first time actually attempting to publish a novel. I’m sure that the first time writing is the hardest. I’m sure that the first time editing is the hardest. And I’m planning to repeat this process over and over until I’m dead. As in, write, edit, publish until I’m in my grave. Conventionally, I have about 50 – 60 years left. I am currently three years into my writing efforts. Imagine how much better my writing will be in twenty years, or forty years.
Imagine how old my blog will be by then? Imagine how amazingly irrational and naive my youthful writing will seem to my mature, wiser and experienced self.
So, while I’m not that entertaining and I’m not an expert on writing/publishing/editing, yet, I’m sure in ten years time I’ll look back and LOVE this blog. It will be my portal back in time, a sort of secret garden and oh how my writing skills and talents will have grown, blossomed and flourished.