I’ve just read an interesting blog post which gave some advice to aspiring authors. The first thing the blogger recommends is not to post any of your writing on the internet, including in a regular blog. This is because, the blogger says, most of what people write on their blogs is not really ready for public consumption. I suppose she (the blogger) sees incomplete or poorly written blog posts as millstones around an aspiring author’s neck.
Perhaps she’s right.
I put a lot of effort into my blog posts, and I take my time over them every morning. Even so, of course, errors creep in and badly phrased sentences pop up here and there, or I write something in a way I’m not completely happy with. In an age when a person can go from having a very long Word document on their computer to having a published book via Kindle Direct Publishing in under 24 hours, and when it takes only seconds to publish work to a blog, I think I can see the wisdom of this blogger’s point of view. It’s always better to take your time, not give away too much of your writing too soon (and for too little, perhaps), and to make sure your writing is of the highest possible standard before you release it into the world. It doesn’t pay to be hasty, perhaps, when the written word is on the line; one-click publishing means that all those errors made in the enthusiastic rush of writing a book don’t get a chance to be fixed, and instead end up in your shiny new e-book, tormenting readers and destroying their faith in literature, and in you as a writer. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to ensure quality across the board, even with something like writing – after all, it’s a product like any other. But, somehow, I feel a little bit sad about thinking this way.
I like to blog, you see.
I usually like to kick-start my writing day by posting here on ‘Clockwatching…’ before I get stuck into the meat of my WiP. That’s not to say that my blog is merely a dumping ground for any old nonsense, just to get me in gear for my ‘real’ work – the writing I do here is entirely different from the work I’m doing on my current project, and it’s good to write in different styles. It’s like stretching different muscles, surely? That, to me, is the value of a blog. I think writing here has improved my style, and it certainly helps me to think. When you know you have to come up with enough material to fill a blog post on a regular basis, your brain gets used to looking for inspiration everywhere and coming up with ideas.
So, those are the reasons I blog. As well as all that, I enjoy connecting with the people who read and comment regularly on my blog – it’s wonderful to feel you’re reaching people via the medium of words.
What do you think about this advice? Do you think aspiring authors should not blog, or (if they simply must) that they only blog once in a while, when they have a perfectly crafted jewel of a post? What do you think the benefits (and, perhaps, drawbacks) of blogging are?
Thanks for reading – happy Friday, and have a wonderful weekend.
Blog to your heart’s content. Readers will either like the way your write or they won’t, they’ll read your future literature or they won’t. Blogging connects you with people who like your work, the odd typo or bad sentence isn’t going to change that. Save your trump cards though, show those when you’re good and ready!
Thanks! I’d like to think so, too. Reading that blog post this morning shook my opinion a little bit, though. Thank you for your comment, and for helping me to see that a blog doesn’t always need to be perfect. 🙂
I think this advice is rubbish! I love reading blogs of my favourite writers. It makes me feel closer to them, even if they never reply to reader’s comments (sometimes they get so many I’m not surprised they don’t reply). When they do reply, it’s really nice, regardless of whether it’s a well-known writer or someone who has just written their first book.
I’m not sure if you’ve ever heard of Boris Akunin? He’s quite-well known in Russia and I love his books. Well, he has a most wonderful blog and he posts regularly, and the topics are anything – from Russia’s current political situation to real stories of women-murderers. But each time it’s a treat. And I haven’t noticed any decline in the sales of his books since he started blogging 🙂 Actually, I remember he even used to put his whole books – older ones – online where you could read them for free. Which only shows – when someone’s really good, no amount of copying and downloading will stop people from buying their books for real.
Anyway, back to your blog – I really hope you go on writing, and you will do it not just “once in a while” because I enjoy reading you a lot. I’ve just discovered this blog but already it’s one of my favourites. So please don’t listen to any advice! If you have something to say and there are people who want to listen, why not say it?
Thank you for your comment! I really do enjoy blogging, and I certainly hope I’ll always have something interesting to say on this blog, and (hopefully!) in my books. I love getting comments and ‘meeting’ people whose only knowledge of me is the words I put on this blog. It makes me feel wonderful to be read, and so I think you’re right – the opinion in the blog I read this morning *is* rubbish! (It was a very well written blog, all the same!)
I’d never heard of Boris Akunin, but I looked up his name on Google a second ago and found his lovely website. I will make a note of his name and try to get my hands on some of his work.
Thank you for vising me again, and for taking the time to leave your thoughts behind. I’m glad to know that this is one of your favourite blogs. I hope it will be one of your favourites for a long time to come. 🙂