What’s it all about, this blogging stuff?

While I’ve been away from the blogging world this summer I’ve noticed that people seem to be blogging a lot less (at least in the writer’s circle). Friends who posted ritually are now posting erratically or a lot less. I’ve been thinking about this, wondering why, and at the same time wondering what brings me back to my own blog after my hiatus.

We all seem to use our blog differently. I’ve noticed some use theirs as a personal journal, others as log book to chart their work and progress, or as a reference source providing valuable information to other writers, and others as a chit-chat session (I think I fall mainly into this group, but of course cross over at times).

At the moment I’m working, writing every spare chance I have, and creating space to write even when it’s not apparent. And it feels great. I think this is the most I’ve poured myself into my work since I began writing.

Why blog? I ask myself this question. Why take the time away from work to write posts, to read posts, to comment? It’s not because I’m gathering a huge following to market myself with. Maybe this should be the answer, but it’s certainly not the case at all. The answer to why I’m drawn back to blogging is the sharing of experience. It’s almost the same reason that I read and write. To share ideas, to explore thoughts, to see into people’s minds. Sounds kind of scary and intimidating when put that way, but that’s the truth of it. Plus, talking about writing leads to better writing.

What about you – why do you blog, and how do you use your blog?

22 thoughts on “What’s it all about, this blogging stuff?

  1. I asked myself why a couple of years ago. I decided that I needed an outlet that won’t compromise anything I believed in. I ended up using my blog as a repository of my ideas that I should leave behind. In a way, I use the blog to help me focus on what is essential in my life. 🙂

    Good luck on your blogging.

    1. I love this answer! I think it’s wonderful.
      “a repository of my ideas that I should leave behind”. Your comment is exactly what I was talking about in my post – thanks for sharing!

      1. Readomattic is a great thing. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have stumbled upon your blog.

        Thanks for dropping by my blog, too.

        And good luck with all of your writing. 🙂

      2. You know I don’t use readomattic or google reader or any tools that are actually time savers. Funny, eh? I haven’t taken the time to set them up…

  2. Blogging is fun, but I’m a fiction writer. I’ve started and stopped blogging three times. This summer I scaled back from 2-3 times a week to once or twice a month. I’m not reading nearly as many blogs and I comment intermittently.

    Each time, seven or eight months into blogging, I wake up and ask myself, I have an hour and a half to write each morning – am I going to spend that in the blogosphere or writing fiction?

    Also, I think it’s the rare blog that is a “platform” for a fiction writer. To me, a fiction writer’s “platform” is her fiction and that’s where I need to spend 92% of my focus.
    I’m probably repeating myself here, but although I need a writing/artists’ community, physical and virtual, I think Stephen King (and probably others as well) said something to the effect of, at the end of the day, you go into that room, close the door, and face the blank screen alone.

    My comment sounds a bit intense, but I’ve struggled with this a lot, and I didn’t even answer your question. 😉

    1. I hear you, Cathryn! I also don’t see a blog as being a platform for us fiction writers, and it is a difficult choice for those of us who guard our time preciously. I would never think of speaning 1.5 hours blogging istead of writing. I treat my blog as a break from work. Sometimes it’s my time out from my kids. Either way, I use it as a way to propell myself into creativity and into work. I think it’s normal to go through periods when we are in touch more with our blogs, and other periods when we question our use of time. The internet is a scary time sucker, and I try to use it sparignly. As for locking myself away when I write, yes I do write alone, but then I discuss my plot and characters with people around me. It’s how I am – I need that interaction, and it drives me to ideas I don’t think I would have otherwise. All the best, and happy writing, Cathryn!

  3. I write to get stuff out of my head (the number of times I’ve had a ‘eureka!’ moment while blogging is huge), to connect to other writers, to have a space where I can look back and see what I was working on, and how I am growing as a writer.

    But mostly it’s the connections. Despite the fact I’m an introvert, I like hanging with other writers online, and blogs are a great place to do that. I’m so thankful for the lovely writers I’ve met through blogging, and I want to be part of that.

    it’s nice to see you back! We have one more term of school and then it’s summer holidays here – I think I’ll be scaling back even further, but at the moment, taking a very low pressure approach to my writing and loving it. I think it’s sustainable even over summer.

    1. you, an introvert??!!! I don;t see that that at all JC.
      It’s great that you’ve had such eye-opening experiences when blogging :))

      We’re coming off of summer vacation – it was super humid and everyone was sick all summer, and we found out our house was mold-infested, so it’s actually great to back into routine and school! But there were some great moment in it as well! Hope yours is smooth as butter. And happy writing when you can.

  4. I think Cathryn’s right. Real writers write books, not blogs. They are very different. If you are a creative writer, a blog is a distraction. It drains your creative energy and takes it in the wrong direction. The myth that writers need a blog as a platform was spread by people desperately trying to understand a business model that was evolving beyond recognition. If writers are going to do their own marketing, a blog is not the best vehicle for that. Besides, the books should come first. Then, when you are ready to market them, a blog is too passive. You need a much wider and more diverse target market than you can reach with a blog. Writing a blog is still fun, though, so long as you don’t let it take over. It allows you to make some connections that you wouldn’t otherwise make.

    1. Hi Joseph,
      Blogging certainly isn’t the proper platform to gather a following, unless I suppose you’re writing a serial blog, which sounds like fun to me, but very time consuming so not on my radar any time soon. And your remark that we need to be cautious and not let the blog become too poweful is one I fully agree with. I feel this way with the internet in general, and don’t enjoy spending too much time there. I wish any further time you spend blogging to add to your creativity and not take away from it. All the best.

  5. Sixteen years ago, when I lived in Boston, it was not an exaggeration o say that there was a poetry/reading venue every night of the week…somewhere. Afterwards, the camaraderie, the discussion, the coffee or soups or salads (hey, what else could poor writers afford?), the clove cigarettes.
    All these years later, life got more complex, more responsibilities, less time to go to places where you can get coffee and soups and salads and (god forbid) smoke clove cigarettes. So, we blog and do Facebook and have digital social networking to replace the human interaction.
    How else could a nearly fifty year old crime writer from Wichita, Kansas interact with a Canadian writer and mother?
    I miss the “old days” but I am certainly grateful for these opportunities.
    I hope there are many more.

  6. Sometimes I wonder why I have a blog. Blogging seems to be more a time sucker than a help. Time that is better spent writing my next book.

    At one time I was informed that I need an author platform to publish books and that blogging was a cheap way to do it. I don’t really see how it helps since many readers find books in bookstores or ebookstores without even knowing who the author is. Even the author reader’s love to read doesn’t guarentee that they’ll visit the blog/website. Even though I decided to go a different route in my writing career, I’ve kept the blog, although there are times when I think I’m going to make it a static site.

    More often then not I think a blog is more for the writer than the readers. It’s a place for us to play, experiment, vent, connect to people (both writers and readers), or share our thoughts and dreams, etc. I hope that makes sense 🙂

    1. I agree that a blog is for the writer and not the reader. As a reader I will occassionally look up an author, and if they have a blog I rarely connect with what they’re saying. I wish it weren’t the case, but it is. Here, writers from all genres can vent about the same things, and I think it’s pretty neat. Hey, we need a place of our own as well, don’t we?

  7. I often ask myself that very question, “What AM I blogging?” I think I like the interaction with other writers/bloggers, which is something I haven’t experienced before. I really was one of those writers who wrote in solitude, and didn’t know any other writers. For this reason, blogging’s been a very positive thing in my life. But on those days when I struggle, and wonder just what the heck I’m doing, I know in my heart that if I didn’t write another post most people probably wouldn’t even notice.

    I’ve been trying to post once a week right now as I really do want to devote more of my time to actually writing. To me, that makes more sense.

    1. I would notice, Laura, if you stopped posting one day.

      Blogging is one on a list of things that I do to distract myself, recharge, to organize my ideas, to overcome stumbling blocks, etc, but I think if it starts to interefere with writing then it’s a problem. Blogging should never be the excuse not to be writing.

  8. Great, interesting, DIVERSE responses here! 🙂

    I’m careful that my blog (and other non-fiction) doesn’t replace my fiction writing, and I related a lot to Stephannie’s comment, “a blog … [is] a place for us to play, experiment, vent, connect to people (both writers and readers), or share our thoughts and dreams, etc.” Her words sum up the reasons I blog.

  9. My blog has change a lot over time, and in many ways it’s a good thing. But then mind you, I can’t seem to break. Except when my partner in crime decides she’d like to post. Still it’s a combination of many thing– writing chit-chat ect….

  10. For me, blogging is about expressing myself and developing a voice/plus potential audience, as well as about web design and general IT/online stuff. Occasionally, I question the purpose of continuing my blog -especially as it’s nearly three years old now – but I love coming back to it and developing what is already there.

    1. It’s amazing how time flies – 3 years! I think we got started at around the same time, and I was just realzing the same thing, Lawrence. Glad that you come coming back and enjoying it!

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