(For other entires in the Diary, check here)
That’s my workspace in the photo. I use a standing desk because sitting all day is really bad for you. Anyway, that’s besides the point… Why do writers blog? Isn’t that a waste of time that could be spent writing your actual novels, short stories, poems, whatever? Nope and here’s why:
When you start writing, your blog IS your body of work. You have what, one book you’ve just self-published? Your blog introduces you to the world. With the ability to link to all manor of social media, you are connecting to not just your potential readers and book purchasers, but editors, publishers and agents. Remember my friend Kevin that used to work for the big publishing house (that shall remain anonymous!) in New York? He said they find new authors on Amazon all the time. Not only that, but even writers publishing on free sites like Wattpad have been discovered. Check out this article: One Direction Fan Fiction Writer Gets Six Figure Book Deal. Isn’t that crazy?
For maximum exposure, link your blog to all the social media sites WordPress makes available. In the left column here in the new editor, is a sharing button that will automatically send your blog posts all over the place. Besides that, you should also set up an author page at Amazon. They have a nice little walk through that helps you every step of the way and guess what? You can link your blog to that too! But you have to do it through Amazon. It’s not hard; trust me, if I can do it so can you. Also, Facebook let’s you create a dedicated author page. That way new readers can “like” your page and it won’t get mixed up with your personal stuff, cat videos, drunken office party photos… you know what I mean!
What should your blog contain? That’s entirely up to you, really. However, I’ve tried to follow this path. I’m a writer so my blog needs to focus on writing related subjects. I always joke that my head is exploding with ideas so my blog is full of short stories and my serial fiction piece. Perhaps you want to reserve your creative juices for the novel you’re working on. That’s fine. Maybe your blog could share some of the research you’re doing on your subject. Or you could share a writing tip or two. How about something that helped inspire your story? Tell us about an author you admire, how their writing influenced you. What about some of the obstacles you’ve overcome in order to write? How do you get past writer’s block? Any and all of those things are great material for your blog and unique to each writer.
Another thing to consider is that in the chance that a potential agent or publisher stumbles across your blog (hopefully!), you need to treat it kind of like a resumé. That doesn’t mean it has to be stultified and seamlessly professional. It should reflect your personality, so be funny, outrageous, provocative and controversial if that’s your thing! Just make sure that whatever you post is what you want the world to see.
I think this goes without saying, but use the blog to connect with other writers. Like I mentioned last week, no one will understand your feelings like another writer. When writers share their thoughts on their blogs, it only helps the readers understand the lengths we go to in order to write. Taking that one step further, we as writers should be actively responding to and engaging with our readers. Answer their questions, ask them for feedback, go to other blogs and leave thoughtful comments there. Be part of the community!
I hope you’ve enjoyed Diary of a New Writer because that’s the end! Not the end of my story, though! I will continue to post about my journey but I just didn’t want to continue it as this series. After all, eventually I will no longer be a new writer! And Diary of a New Writer – 78 sounds ridiculous!