I’ve been blogging for about 3 1/2 years. In that time, my site has experienced quite a bit of evolution. But for a few months now, I’ve been posting once a week on whatever comes to mind, plus a regular update for A Round of Words in 80 Days (ROW80).
Lately, I’ve been asking myself: What’s the point? Why am I blogging? What’s the purpose, the goal, the focus of my blog?
Some answers are fairly clear, and others more elusive.
Better writing. I strongly believe that regularly writing blog posts hones your writing skills. All these blog posts have tightened my writing and helped me develop consistent output. The more I’ve written here, the better my writing overall has become.
Building community. Through blogging and commenting on others’ blogs, I have increased my involvement with the writer community. Many of those who read my blog are also writers, and I read their posts as well. (Although one frustration is not having enough time to read all the blogs I’d like.) Not surprisingly, online communication builds online interaction.
Accountability. Maybe this one is less clear, but it’s been a good one for me. There’s something about having a blog, and posting updates for ROW80, that has kept me on track. Preparing for blog posts has increased my desire to learn new things, share what I know, report progress, and publish my stories. If I zone out here, it could reflect me zoning out with my writing in general.
Outreach. This is the main goal most authors have with websites — ultimately, we’re trying to reach potential readers. And this is where I think I’ve struggled. I currently write for teens. But how many teens are reading blogs? The teens I know are on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, etc. They aren’t usually combing the web for 800-word posts on this, that, or the other. So how much outreach is happening on my blog? It’s a question I’ve been asking lately.
Fun. I don’t want to discount the enjoyment I get from writing blog posts, reading others’ posts, and the interaction we have. I love to write, love to laugh, love to engage. So yeah, this whole blogging thing is truly fun at times — most times. If I had no other reason, I might blog simply for the fun of it.
I’m still ruminating about the focus of my blog, the brand I want to convey, and the methods I can use to engage with others. But I don’t have hard-and-fast answers just yet. I hope you’ll share with me below why you do or don’t blog.
In the meantime, it’s time for that accountability thing — with my weekly report for A Round of Words in 80 Days, the writing challenge that knows you have a life.
1. Finish editing Sharing Hunter, young adult contemporary novel. My novel has sat for a full week so that I can have fresh eyes for the next edit — which begins tomorrow. Anyone want to join me beach side, where I hope to go through my novel in one sitting with the viewpoint of Jane Reader?
2. Edit, polish, and release two more short stories in my Paranormal Playground series. I worked on one short story this past week, with good progress.
3. Read 12 books. Finished Promise of Magic by Melinda VanLone and started Sass and Serendipity by Jennifer Ziegler. I’m at 11 books for the round.
4. Attend RWA Conference and Day of YA in San Antonio and follow-up as needed. Finalizing my query, polishing the novel, then following through with those who requested the manuscript. I think I’ll make it before the end of the round.
Now, why do you blog or not blog? What are the benefits to you of blogging or reading blogs? How do you engage with your community and potential audience?