I’ve noticed the question, ‘Should writers blog?’ appearing on several writing forums. The thread usually follows the line of what a writer’s blog should contain, whether they have anything useful to say or advice to give and what sort of numbers are reading. If the readership is low then it seems to reimburse the right to question, why bother?
No one ever asked that question about keeping diaries, so why blogs?
I’m guessing it’s because a blog, unlike a personal diary, has a potential audience. It’s out there; it’s published. And for the writer, that’s a good thing. Just having a blog puts a pressure on you to update the thing. If you include “writer” as a hobby or occupation, then there is added pressure to make sure the posts are something half decent. Not only do you have to think of a subject worthy of posting, but have to edit it and kick it into shape to prove you really can do what you claim.
And that, for me, is enough reason to sit in front of a screen and bash out updates to a blog that perhaps only one or two people ever read.
There is always the chance of an editor considering a manuscript to Google my name and end up on my blog, so I have to maintain a certain quality of narrative. Sometimes I post about writing, sometimes about personal stuff, and sometimes I post book reviews. But it’s all writing. It requires planning, drafting and polishing to a level you might not do if the work wasn't going on show.
So, should writers blog? My opinion - yes, because the more a writer uses those fundamental skills, the better those skills will be.
But, if you are a writer who blogs, bear in mind that you really are putting your wares on show to the world. It really is essential to produce work you’re proud of, because the bottom line is as simple as this: if your blog stinks, maybe your fiction will too.
Colin Mulhern writes dark fiction for Young Adults. His first novel, The Devil's Prayer is currently with publishers. While waiting for the millions to roll in, he works as a teaching assistant in a primary school. Check out Colin's blog here.