When I published my first book and realized that I’d have to – you know – actually get out there and introduce myself to the world, the notion was alien – When you’re used to living quietly (or actively) in your own imagination, coping with the physical world on autopilot and channeling every experience into your work and into your characters, the idea of putting yourself forward and talking about – gulp – yourself is pretty daunting.
The book came out a year ago this month, on the 2nd of October 2012. It took me the rest of that month to research “blogging” and put together my own site, which I launched on the last day of that same month.
Everything was pretty new. Getting the technical side of things sorted out was actually not too bad, it was the “What will I write about?” that was much harder. I felt that there were only so many ways I could say, “Hi, I’m a writer.” I thought it would be hard work. Worse than that, I thought it would get in the way of writing.
So, what happened?
First I simplified things by ignoring the world. That’s right. It’s easy to get nervous when you think a bunch of strangers are watching you, judging you. The truth is it’s not like that at all. Anyhow, I decided to write as though I was writing to close friends and telling them about my day (or whatever). That took pressure off to “perform” and helped me to relax.
A year will have gone by next week. In that time I have produced and published my second book, and grown from blogging once a week to blogging about five times a week.
Here’s what I have found:
What I thought would be a promotional chore and a headache has turned out to be a great motivator.
The WordPress blogging community is incredibly friendly. I have found some wonderful sites, I chat with some of the nicest people you could ever meet. It has become part of my day now to see what’s going on where, to comment where I wish, to exchange ideas, to share, to have a laugh – and then get on with my day.
I am kept in an excellent mood always, thanks (at least in part) to this exchange.
Blogging regularly also promotes a steady output of the written word. If you’re a writer, this will improve your productivity and your creativity – you have to keep mentally mobile just to keep on coming up with stuff to write! It’s a great exercise.
The interesting thing that I have found is that it hasn’t slowed down my story-writing at all. In fact, I was staggered that I produced book two (which was mostly a story that wasn’t planned for at all in the series layout) in nine months. Now, that’s good for any book, but this one was over 550 pages long, matching the first (almost), which makes it an excellent achievement.
Now, before you get too excited about how maybe I’ll finish the third book before July next year – after two fat books written and published back-to-back, I took some needed time off, so I expect the third one to take the full year (sorry to disappoint).
So, blogging has proven to be fun, restful, productive, motivating and stimulating, and forms good writing habits.
That’s a win-win!
So what about you? What do you love about blogs or blogging?