Mention blogging around many writers, and it’s like speaking the name of the one Who Must Not Be Named. You see it in their eyes: Overwhelm. Resistance. Fear.
Blogging has made me a better (and quicker writer), improved traffic to my site, and brought me into contact with people I would otherwise have missed out on — to my loss.
I thought maybe blogging for authors works only for nonfiction.
And then I received a copy of Larry Brooks’ 101 Slightly Unpredictable Tips for Novelists and Screenwriters. Number 26: “Start a Blog.”
It can jumpstart your creativity. It can resurrect the muse.
Larry recommends blogging about writing. But Larry writes writing books as well as thrillers. For you, the topic might be different.
If you’re a fantasy author, blogging about book reviews or glimpses of your world might be the thing that enriches your writing life.
Blogging for an author of narrative nonfiction might focus on the fruit of your research and how it plays out in current events.
For an author who writes for a cause, your blogging might focus on the people who are affected by whatever your cause is.
If, like me, you write to help people accomplish something, the blog topic might be all the fine points and implications of that something.
Whatever it is, can you spare 500 to 1,000 words a week? That would be one or two (or three or four) blog posts, depending on the length of the posts (and longer is not always better).
I’ve found that my writing muscles are getting stronger, and I have an easier time getting thoughts into words. I’m learning to write more quickly without sacrificing quality. I’m learning to trust the terrible first draft and to enjoy the process of editing a post to be publish-ready.
The other benefit of blogging for authors is a growing website that attracts traffic both from the search engines and from your readers who return again and again and share the link with their friends.
Some authors — Seth Godin and Michael Hyatt spring immediately to mind, but there are many more — have pulled books from their blog posts, strung them like beads on a theme, stitched them together with transitions, and published.
Author blogging is just not going to work for you? OK. But Larry’s got another hundred tips for you, and even though he says they’re for novelists and screenwriters, many of them are great ways to prime the creativity pump, which will serve you no matter what you write.
So I would say, get over to Storyfix.com and sign up for his newsletter, and get your free copy of 101 Slightly Unpredictable Tips for Screenwriters and Novelists.