When justifying the time and effort it takes to establish and maintain a current blog – one would question its purpose in the writer’s life. As a writer and publisher, I have committed to several blogs owing to the responsibility of sharing information even if it is only from my point of view. That sharing aspect is one-third of my writing triad – learning, sharing, and creating. Ask yourself this question if you have doubt about the value of a blog for you – what is the one thing a writer should do to improve their skills and hone their craft?
Plain and simple, just write; no matter form, format, length, style, genre, perspective, topic… and so on and so forth… I believe you get the idea. Writing is the one constant task a writer needs to do – every day. Nulla dies sine linea. Not a day without a line.
There is much discussion regarding the value of a blog to a writer. Testing the literary waters on the Internet can be very intimidating for many, especially emerging writers. New and established authors wanting to promote their work will find this a great source of advertising if you are consistent and true to your creative spirit. There is, of course, consideration on both sides of the measurement scale – good vs. bad. As a writer, you really have to look at the reason for your writing and what you want to achieve with it. I have expressed this statement before, although, it is has been in relation to attempting to publish your work. There has to be confidence in doing so and some benefit, even if it is intangible and hard to evaluate.
The purpose of a blog is an online journal of your writing – if you are comfortable sharing the thoughts you would write in a physical journal then sharing on the Internet shouldn’t be a problem. If your journal is more of a cathartic exposé of your inner most thoughts and deepest feelings, posting your diary for the entire world to read might need more consideration. Perhaps, testing for interest in a riveting memoir? Again, it goes back to evaluating your writing and why you write. We all know a writer writes because they have to. We have an impassioned attachment to words and their interrelationship and it is as inherent a part of our creativity as if it were an arm or a leg or a hand. How we display this passion, however, varies and we discover over the course of our journey value in different ways of expressing this passion. You must objectively assess whether your words are for public exposure or for private consultation. Once on the ‘Net, always on the ‘Net.
A blog is writing and it could be argued that the exposure you receive from using this online media is just what the writer ordered. You can create a following; receive comments that may or may not be direct feedback on your own work skill but it will at least be a tribute to your ability to create a relationship or discussion between writer and reader; it gives you another outlet to practice your discipline; it creates an awareness about you and about your work – what you stand for, how your express yourself, what you believe; it might garner pointed attention to take your writing career (if that is what you desire) to a whole new level. Book and movie deals have been made from the offerings of a writer’s blog.
Reap the rewards of your blog work. If you use the blog for posting pieces, use the pieces to expand your writing in another medium, such as a short story, article or essay. If you post short stories, articles, or essays on a specific topic, collect them, edit and do some rewrites, then format them into a book – perhaps, travel stories, diet tips, mommy lessons, etc. You can also use your blog to expose a longer work to an audience who will give you valuable feedback. You want to test the reader waters with a new novel, a biography, a how-to book, or a business self-help? Post snippets to entice a following while offering links or directions on how to purchase your book. Others have posted novels, chapter by chapter, treating their online audience to an online book.
Written work posted on the Internet is considered published. Remember when submitting your work to other sources of publication – they may stipulate that Internet published is “previously published,” therefore disqualified from “original, non-published works.” Use your blog accumulation in your favour if you keep it in good repair (current and free from frivolous postings) – it is a great reference on your writing resume. Some blogs can even be picked up by other blog sites, whereby increasing your exposure on the Web. Remember to edit, include sources or references, and always, always credit another writer for their work if you quote someone – it is something we hope is offered in exchange.