Thursday, June 28, 2007

To Blog or Not to Blog

By Heather Moore

Should you start a blog even if you aren’t published yet? If you write, you are a writer. And blogging is just that: writing. Short answer: YES. Start a blog.

Here are some tips that will make the process easier.
1. Write down several names for your blog-to-be.
2. Log onto blogger.com and follow the easy set-up instructions.
3. Keep your blogs to three or four paragraphs. There’s nothing more boring than a very long-winded blog. You’ll be sure to lose readers fast.
4. Don’t name drop. This includes naming personal friends, children, spouses, or that agent who was a fool to reject you.
5. Write with a purpose. Blogging is not the same as journaling. We don’t need to know how many times you were up in the night.
6. Keep it varied and interesting. Chronicling your cat’s daily escapades will become too tedious for others to read.
7. Read other blogs by agents, editors, writers. You’ll be surprised how much you can learn.
8. Most of all be yourself. Let your personality shine through. Your blog doesn’t have to be perfectly edited, but take care to produce something intelligible.

Writing a blog probably won’t increase your chances of getting published, but it’s great writing practice and gives you a forum to voice your opinion on what matters to you.

Finally, have fun with it. Just don’t say something that you’ll regret later when you are a famous author.

10 comments:

Karen Hoover said...

Good advice, Heather. It's nice to know there are some guidelines in place to make blogging more enjoyable for reader and writer both. Thanks for taking the time to let us newbies know.

Annette Lyon said...

Blogging is a great tool! You've got some great tips here. I don't agree 100 percent with all of them (I enjoy blogs longer than 4 paragraphs, but yeah, a tome isn't fun to read), and I've also had fun reading about the lives of several authors, so personal stuff can be fun in pieces (just not about every hang nail and diaper change). Seeing a fun snapshot of their life can make them feel human--and me more likely to pick up their book. It's definitely a balance.

Heather B. Moore said...

Hey, Karen. I enjoy reading your blogs. Annette, you're right, it is a balance. I'm probably more "shy" than most, so I'm reluctant to get too personal, but it's nice to know that the life of an author is similar to everyone else's . . . (although we can be quite eccentric :)

Sandra Tayler said...

Not all writers have to be bloggers. A blog is a very different thing than a novel. Being a marvelous novelist does not guarantee that you'll be good at blogging even though both are forms of writing.

Starting a blog can be a useful promotional tool, but it is not the only tool available. Someone who does not want to blog should not feel that doing so is a requirement to being a successful author.

Josi said...

Sandra--that is true. It's certainly not a requirement, but it is one more presence. If you spend time online, it's a way to get yourself out there. But no, not everyone wants to, and based on some blogs I've tried to get through, not everyone should :-)

recently LDSpublisher gave several blogs about how to set one up. She had some great advice. www.ldspublisher.blogspot.com

Lu Ann Brobst Staheli said...

I've found blogging to be a great way to introduce new writers. I've followed links and actually bought books by people I'd never read before, simply because I found their blog entry interesting. If you're worried about your blog not being focused enough, you might set up several blogs. I personally run two blogs, moderate a third, and participate in this one as a writer, too. Each blog has its own audience and purpose and allows me to share my knowledge, opinions, and that occasional rant. Thanks, Heather, for outlining some reasons to blog for us all.

Sandra Tayler said...

Josi-- I hope I didn't come across as anti-blog. I love blogs. I have one of my own and it has been a delight for me. I guess I've just heard too many aspiring writers wallowing in guilt over neglected blogs.

Thanks for the great link!

Tristi Pinkston said...

You don't want us to blog about how many times we got up at night? Darn it, Heather, you just ruined tomorrow's blog. (sniff)

I guess this means my hair washing blog is out too? :)

Heather B. Moore said...

LOL

Julie Wright said...

I love blogs and spend way too much time reading them but yeah some people shouldn't be blogging . . . I do have to admit, Sandra's blog is one I spend a lot of time reading. She absolutely should be blogging. Great information. I'll stop giving details about my cat. Wait, I don't have a cat . . . Who's cat have I been blogging about???