Sunday, 13 December 2015
To Blog or Not to Blog
Today's blog post is inspired by Carol hedges' post A Blog about Blogs in which she discusses why she continues to blog when so many writers are giving up. It's well worth a read.
The funny thing is, I read it at just the right time. You see I'd had a bit of a blank about my own blog. For the first time in a long while, the act of writing and promoting it seemed quite a chore. It occurred to me that if I was struggling to think of a topic, then whatever I wrote would be just for the sake of updating the blog rather than because I was enjoying the writing or adding value to it.
I've been writing my blog since 2012. At first I wrote three times a week (how did I manage that!) but I soon began to settle into a once a week pattern. I've always enjoyed writing it, have made some good friends through it and have had some fabulous guests. Recently, though, I've been questioning why I am doing it. This is partly because blogging is a two-way process. It's no good just being a blog writer - you need to be out there reading other people's blogs and commenting. You also need to promote your blog if you've any hope of having a healthy readership (the whole point of writing, unless you want to talk to yourself).
All this is time-consuming.
When I started Wendy's Writing Now, I was at a very different stage in my writing career. I'd just had my first story published and the idea of the blog was to chart my journey from that point. There was no pressure, to be witty, informative or entertaining as there weren't very many people reading it. Now, 150 story publications later, with my first novel written and a high number of pageviews per post, I'm wondering as to the purpose of my blog.
I looked at the list of blogs I follow and realised that there are only about a third of these blogs still active. These writers have moved away from their blogs but I still see them on Facebook or Twitter. Others resurrect their blogs when they have a book out... then fall silent again. I'd like to ask them why they stopped - or more importantly whether they are glad they did. Also, it made me wonder about those of you who continue. Is it because you love writing it? Is it because you hope it will promote sales? Is it because you're scared to stop? If you feel inclined to tell me - please be honest.
One of the things that was worrying me was the fact that my blog isn't a 'How to Write Better' or even a particularly serious blog. When I looked back at my old posts, I saw that there was a lot more about my bad step-dog, Bonnie, my dancing and singing and even my holidays. Not exactly a serious writer's blog.
Did it matter though?
Through the simple act of writing this post, I've realised that maybe it doesn't matter. Wendy's Writing Now was never meant to be serious and I must stop thinking it must be. I don't want to teach or preach. I want to enjoy my blog and allow it to show the reader a little bit more about me. My blog post To Read of Not to Read (where I talked about not reading the magazines I write for) has become legendary and garnered some of my highest number of comments and pageviews! That post was me just being honest.
Over on Carol's blog, book blogger Rosie Amber, says that she loves writing her blog but 'when she gets fed up, she'll hang up her hat and walk away'. Clever lady.
Giving up on my Wendy's Writing Now would be like saying goodbye to an old friend... and I'm not ready to do that but if that time ever comes, I hope I shall have the courage to do the same.
Please let me know your thoughts.