What has blogging ever done for me? Over at her Confident Writing site, Joanna Paterson has encouraged readers to consider What has blogging given you the confidence to write or create and then *share*… that you wouldn’t otherwise have done? She has a huge blog, with loads of fantastic information, and comprehensively hyper-layered. One thing edging sideways into the writers blogosphere has shown me is the amazing amount of work and love some people put into their sites, with humbling results. Keep it coming, though, because I learn so much.
I found this challenge just as I was starting this blog, and Joanna’s set today as the deadline. So I left it to find out what I might learn in the first few weeks. On thinking about it last night, though, of course, I’m not new to blogging. I keep a travel blog too, which I’ve been writing since 2007. So some of what I’ve learnt comes from that longer experience too.
Comparing the two experiences, shows that the travel blog is much easier to write because it’s about stuff ‘out there’: places we go, people we meet, adventures on Roaring Girl. So I can allow myself to think that the stuff I’m writing about is objectively interesting. Also, we set that one up primarily for our close family, and additional readers are bunce. I have found, though, that our adventures have garnered a secret audience. People don’t comment that often but suddenly we’ll get an email from someone in California or New South Wales. Or we’ll turn up in a port and someone we’ve never met will say oh, yes we were expecting you. The stats for this blog show, though, I haven’t got so far with this one yet. Perhaps this whole group writing thing will help.
I’m stepping, sidling sideways, into describing myself as a fiction writer. Of course this blog has a marketing element, for when I publish The Melkjeven Commitment and the next WIP that’s just getting underway. I’m learning now how to blog/tweet/use social media in a quiet corner, before Hollywood buys the film rights.
More immediately, it’s a great discipline. For a long time I did my morning pages, and found them great. But, they could also become a boring journal of whatever was annoying me that day, and more of a blockage than a release. This blog is making me write about writing, not just about me.
It’s also about building a writer’s community. With a friend yesterday, I am looking to re-establish a local, focused, project-driven writing group. That will be great. But there’s all those millions of writers out here in cyberspace too, to enable me to build networks and sustaining friendships. Do feel free to comment!
And, yes, it’s building my strength to say here it is. I think it’s good enough for you to enjoy. For me, that’s the hardest part of all, and building this blog is a key part of developing that confidence.