Why Blog?

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!

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16 Responses to Why Blog?

  1. Seems like many of us are posing similar questions these days, I did a blog post about this last week. For me, I blog to connect with people (writing can be lonely sometimes!)
    Here’s my post and what I decided! http://thesaucyscribe.com/2012/03/19/monday-minute-why-blog/

    Have a great day!

  2. Maris, you’ve asked the very question I ask myself every week when I try to come up with an interesting topic for my blog – one that hasn’t already been done. I don’t have time to read all the ones I’d like to read, so how can I expect busy people to read mine? I’ll let you know if I stumble across the answer. Meantime, like you, I’ll keep writing my stories, too.

    • Maris says:

      Loralee, you are the best example I know of persistence…so yes, keep writing. And if you do stumble across the answer, I’m eager to hear it.

  3. Susan Jaymes says:

    I don’t have a blog yet, but feel I should. I’m hearing every where you must have a blog to get your brand out there to sell books. I don’t have any great ideas for a blog but now I see I’m not the only one that feels that way. So in the mean time I continue to try and put some thought into what to blog about. I will have one up and running soon. I hope.

  4. Mia says:

    I think a blog can be beneficial if you’re promoting a productor service. It helps with name recognition, it allows consumers to get a feel of who you are and determine whether they want to spend their time and/or money on your product. A blog can help create an interaction between you and your customers. It can provide feedback on ideas. And it can create networks between peers.

    I read this blog every week. I also read several other blogs everyday. The ones I like the best don’t actually astound, or wow me… They’re just regular people commenting on little things they picked up along the way, or an everyday experience they had, or a different take on the mundane. Just be passionate about what you’re saying…. even if it’s not going to revelotionalize the world, it can touch someone and make them see things slightly different then they did before.

  5. Good question & good post! I like reading blogs more than writing them. I feel like I always learn something. Feel vindicated in that!

  6. Maris, you’re question is very timely as I struggled yesterday to come up with a topic for my post today. I just purchased (but haven’t read yet) Are You There Blog? It’s Me, Writer and We Are Not Alone: The Writer’s Guide to Social Media both by Kristen Lamb. I’m hopeful they two books will impart some wisdom in answer to this not-so-age-old question. ( :

  7. Diane Burton says:

    Good post, Maris. I, too, understood that a writer needs to have an Internet “presence”. That a website isn’t enough. I was rather intimidated by the thought of writing a blog–who would want to read what I have to say? For me, it’s an exercise in meeting a deadline. As writers, we are in a solitary profession and get so little feedback. It’s very rewarding when I hit a topic that inspires others to comment. So, does that make blogging an ego-trip? A way to attract buyers to our books? I don’t know. Very thought provoking.

  8. Maris…you raise the point I made a few years ago…’what a foolish endeavor–it takes time away from writing’….I still beleive that but I blog on occasion and I enjoy reading some blogs…a very few that is. I don’t feel obligated to do so and I wouldn’t want that obligation motivating my blog readers. Most of us have very little to say that will impact the world. I’ll narrow that down…most writers have little to say that will motivate other writers, turn them into the next ‘top of the list best seller’. But I do think it’s good to hear what serious writers have to say about this journey. And I do think there are worthwhile events, circumstances, bits of wisdom to write about. Sometimes it makes me feel better to vent my frustrations about this world we live in and…then…I go back to writing. Perhaps you have incentivized others to do the same. Keep up the good work…and blog when the mood hits you or your readers demand more! Cheers….

  9. Diana Stout says:

    Nice blog. I’ve asked myself the same question. I have a blog and yet I rarely write in it (more in part to my schedule and other activities than anything); when I do, I write several blogs at a time that are relevant to writing, but will that entice regular readers? Not really. So what are we doing? Writing public journals? Writing to promote? Writing to question? Writing to raise our hand and wave, as if to say, I’m here, I’m here. Notice me, I’m here. A little of everything, me thinks. I agree about so many blogs, so little time, but when I read a great blog that gets me to think or to respond, I’m always glad for that blog. So, to that end, this blog was extremely successful!

  10. My network is consuming more and more of my time. I have not written a new scene for six months. I’m not saying I’m addicted, but emailing and blogging are NOT WRITING. Perhaps, just maybe, blocked writers attend more assiduously because we are blog-blocked writers, not writing new material. Am I wrong?

  11. Lucy Kubash says:

    I feel I am always catching up with the few blogs I follow, and thus, like this comment, always coming late to the party. Time spent “playing” on the Internet can take up way too much time, and yet, reading blogs is one way of staying in touch with other writers. One way of having mini-discussions about different topics. It’s a balancing act, for sure. I have not been faithful with the blog I started but am starting a new one to tie in with my Pet Corner column. Then I’d have something to say at least once a month when I write it.

  12. Kaori says:

    I, too, joined LinkedIn (thanks to your iitnve, Maris) and like you I’m not so sure about the benefit. It looks like it’s for professionals in various industries and but not necessarily for writers. Maybe if I’m there long enough I’ll see how to use it better. Thanks for the post. I feel like I’m not alone.