A writer friend of mine brought up a good question. Why blog? Why do we do it? I know editors and agents are saying writers must have an Internet presence, but why do we need to have a blog to accomplish this? What is the purpose of blogging? I know I find some of the blogs I read very interesting and informative, but there are hundreds, no thousands, maybe millions of blogs being written and posted ever day. At what point do we say there are too many blogs? And what are all of these people blogging about?
Lately I’ve been focusing on writing with my blogs, but there are lots of blogs past and present about writing, and I know there will be lots more in the future. What can I say that hasn’t already been said? To be honest, there are some Wednesdays when I simply don’t know what to say. If I’m going to take the time to write a blog and ask others to take the time to read it, I feel I should try to impart some tidbit I’ve either learned or come up against.
So should I only blog when I feel I have something important to say?
From what I’ve heard, you need to be consistent. Blog every day or blog on certain days, but create a pattern that readers can begin to expect. In that case, blogging is much like writing. We can’t simply write when the mood or inspiration hits us, we must do it in a consistent manner if we expect to succeed, and yes, some days we might not write anything worth keeping, but after a while we will end up with a story (and we can always cut the writing from those bad days. I guess we could also go back and delete the bad blogs…but they say once it’s out there it’s always out there.)
I decided to blog on Wednesdays, and I’ve been fairly consistent, but one things I’ve discovered is blogging takes me away from my regular writing. If I want to impart information in my blog, I often have to do some research. That takes time. Actually, there are many subjects I could and would like to blog about, but I’m lazy. I don’t want to take the time to do the research those particular topics would require. And I don’t want to write about myself. I’m a fairly private person, but beyond that, I don’t see why anyone would want to know three (or any number) things about me.
My friend (the one who asked this question) says: “I feel both a desire and a responsibility to read the work of my colleagues even if I let them pile up in my mailbox in-basket to the point where I want to shout and wreak havoc on my hair … then calm down and gently go through each one and find the pleasures and wit and humor and wisdom that my friends and colleagues care enough to share with me.”
I’m not as generous with my time as he is (and I admire him because he’s very busy). Unless the blog is about something important to me, either as a person or as a writer, I’ll usually skip the blog. I’m on the Internet way too long as it is.
Anyway, I don’t have an answer to my question. I’ll probably continue blogging on Wednesdays. If you don’t have time to read my blog, I’ll understand. If you can tell me why I need to blog, please do. Otherwise, have a good week. Stop reading blogs and get back to that story you’re writing!