Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Should Writers Blog about Writing?

In case any of you writers out there don't know about it, WriteOnCon - a free online conference for writers (focused on YA, MG, and PBs) is going on right now!! It's awesome and full of lots of great opportunities to get feedback on queries/first pages from fellow writers/authors AND from ninja agents.

Yesterday, the below vlog on using social media was posted as part of the conference.

And one piece of advice for writers was to blog (yay! doing that already), but to blog about something other than writing (oh...crap). Meredith advised writers to blog about something else they are passionate about.

This advice is something I heard a week or two ago from an agent on Twitter, too and hearing it reconfirmed made me panic a bit. And then, I started to feel a bit upset, overwhelmed even.

I mean, I understand the idea behind the advice - a blog on writing is going to speak to other writers and other writers aren't necessarily going to be a novel's/author's fan base - and I totally appreciate industry professionals actually taking the time to share their knowledge and tips with aspiring authors and writers out there.

It's just, this time, it felt personal - I suppose that's because it pokes a hot iron right into an insecurity of mine. What if I don't have what it takes to be the super writer/blogger/promoter/human being the publishing world seems to expect me to be?

Blog about one of my other passions?! Am I suppose to have time for other things that I'm as passionate about as I am about writing/reading/critiquing/Beta-ing? Because honestly, I would have to give up my day job, my family, my friends, this blog, and all the side hobbies I wouldn't blog about, but which I still enjoy (ex. reading other people's blogs, interacting on Twitter, going to the movies, watching Breaking Bad, snuggling with my cat, baking the occasional pie) to make room for another serious passion. And that is not something I am willing to do.

As soon as I finished freaking out on that level and came to terms with the idea that I am not going to quit blogging about writing, I thought about what this blog means to me and why I feel so strongly about it being a good choice for me.

Being an active part of the writing community already takes up more of my life than I had intended it to - not that I'm upset about that :) And I really can't imagine what this journey would be like without all the writing friends I've made along the way - which I probably wouldn't have been able to do without this blog. So, for me, the benefit of blogging about writing has been so HUGE, I just can't imagine advising fledgling writers to forego the experience. I've learned and grown so much as a writer through blogging about writing - I wonder  where I'd be, and how long it would take to get to where I am now, without it.

So, for me, at this point in my writing journey, I don't feel the need to stop blogging about writing and start blogging about something else. I'm comfortable with my choice, though it may go against current advice from people who know this industry better than I do. And that's because I know ME better than they do - and without all the amazing support of the writing community this blog makes me a part of, who knows if I'd still be writing with the intent to be published one day?

So what about you? What do you think about Meredith's advice? Do you have a writing blog? Or more than one blog?


  1. I thought that was a really interesting point, too--and also freaked out a bit. I don't think I'll give up writing about writing completely, but I'll probably expand my horizons more than I have been. After all, we don't write books about nothing, so those passions that have influenced our fiction can also influence our blogging.

    1. That's a very good point - I'll have to see how creative I can get about crafting posts which have to do with the things which influence my writing, but aren't specifically about writing :)

  2. I think the most important thing about blogs is they have to be about something you are deeply passionate about, and if "writing" is your first and foremost passion, writing about anything else will feel and read like it's second rate. And that can't be good.

    IMO it would be a good idea to brainstorm about what other things you love that flow into your writing, and occasionally blog about those in addition to blogging about writing. Test the water with your pinky toe, so to speak.

    Great post, by the way. ;)

    1. Thank you so much for commenting and sharing to Twitter :D

      I completely agree that blogs need to be about something the blogger is deeply passionate about and I guess that's why the idea of blogging about something else freaked me out a bit - the idea of being just as passionate about something else as I am about writing is SCARY! Because, if I were, then I wouldn't have any room left to breathe, you know?

      But, it's a good idea to brainstorm the things which feed into my writing and maybe do some posts which focus on those things - it's still writing-related, but a bit more indirect.

  3. First off, thanks for your transparency and honesty in this post. It's good to see the *heart* of a blogger.

    I do blog about my writing journey, as well. I mean, it is the overarching passion in my life. [And since the subtitle is: Chronicles of a Fellow Seeking to Publish a Novel or Twelve...)My thoughts on this topic have morphed a bit over the last couple months.

    Early on, I only posted about my process, progress, info I was learning about querying & the industry, etc. I needed to. For my own sake. A sort of digital diary so I wouldn't forget where I'd been. I also knew it would help others on the same journey.

    But then I realized that there are spurs which branch off my writing experience that are worth sharing: connections I've made, conversations I've had, random tidbits discovered while researching. So, I began grafting in posts regarding those tangents.

    Writing is still the trunk; the limbs all branch out from that source of life. The sap of that passion for writing flows out through the supporting topics.

    This way, I am still focused on my passion for writing, yet can add new content which isn't just all about me, me, me. This switch has definitely gained me new readers & followers and expanded my reach. I dare say my blog is richer for it. [And it didn't even hurt!]

    Perhaps this is a way to "blog about something other than writing". I believe that advice was more about expanding the lushness--adding more leaves to the writing tree. If you think of it this way, maybe it's not such a scary chore afterall?

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by :)

      I do see what you're saying and completely agree! I sometimes blog about things which branch off from my writing experience and certainly plan to do more of it in the future :) But, the advice I've been hearing from industry professionals lately is that writers should blog about something completely different - like their passion for white-water rafting, knitting, painting, music, etc.

      I can certainly imagine how those things might relate to writing and how I could write a post or two on any of those subjects depending on my current WiP. But what I can't imagine is having a whole blog (with its own branches/tangents) dedicated to one of those topics.

  4. I've struggled with this as well. I think what it comes down to is what lens/theme you want to blog from as opposed to which specific topic. For example, you could use creativity as your theme, which would allow you to post about your writing, as well as some other things you might be passionate about. Most of your posts will probably still be about writing, but you'll give yourself enough room to show other aspects of yourself within the same context, which can help broaden your blog's appeal. Hope this makes sense...

    1. This is very true and totally makes sense :) Good idea!

  5. I'm blogging about my journey to finish my first book, and I had pretty much the same reaction to the above video from WriteOnCon - "Oh crap...did she just say that I shouldn't blog about writing? Uh oh...." Thanks for letting me know I wasn't alone in my mini-freak out! I like blogging about my writing process, with all of its ups and downs. And who knows maybe eventually I'll branch out and add other topics. But right now, blogging about writing is kind of therapeutic for me...and Lord knows I need the help!

    1. Thank you so much for your comment - glad to know I wasn't alone either :) I feel just the same way as you - I need to blog about writing at this point in my writing journey and I'm sure my needs will evolve over time. But it sure was scary to have to think about industry professionals having an opinion about my choice of blogging topics already - I kinda thought it would be enough just to be blogging at all - about anything (even writing).

  6. Greetings!

    I'm hopping over from GUTGAA and thought I would start visiting blogs early. Nice to meet have a lovely blog!

    Donna L Martin

  7. I feel the same way about the whole blogging thing. If writing's my biggest passion, why should I talk about something else?