It's Not Enough to Have a Blog: Advice for Writers Who Wanna Join This Blogging Thing

Blogging has been cool for writers ever since Neil Gaiman had an online journal around the birth of American Gods. Then there’s Warren Ellis and his various forums, John Scalzi’s Whatever, Elizabeth Bear’s they must need bears …. as well as all the reasons for having at least a website that Rachel Vater mentions.

(Rachel is Lit Agent X, by the way. Better add her to your bookmarks or your feed reader.)

But blogging is a new thing for a lot of writers, oddly enough. If you’ve never worked in various mediums before, blogging will be a rather different experience. And even if you have, blogging still merits a different approach than anything else out there.

So I’m starting a weekly series on blogging advice for writers.

Who am I to offer such advice? Three things.

First: I write well. Yes, I know; you aren’t supposed to say that until you’re published and have proven your worth, but though I’m unpublished, I write strongly enough to be published on the non-fiction front. My CV:

Some say I also write fiction well, but you know, I’m more shaky on it than the non-fiction stuff (I mean, I write technical specs as part of my living):

Secondly: I’ve spent some months taking the blogging far more seriously than most writers do—doing the research, immersing myself in reading the top blogs about blogging like Problogger and Skelliewag; but more importantly, experimenting for myself. I covered some of this ground in Writing on the Stage: Blog Training.

And third: Both blogging and what may be thought of as more traditional writing matter to me, very much. I haven’t got a chance of being published due to a heavy non-compete from my job (which you can read more about near the bottom of this page), so blogging has been my lifeline. It’s the feedback, and the interaction with a live audience; I have the site metrics analysis packages to know when my posts hit the mark and when they don’t. Plus comments are, of course, a key indication as to whether I’ve got it—or not.

Those are my credentials; take them or leave them.

So are you a writer who wants to learn more about blogging?

Then visit Spontaneous Derivation every Wednesday, starting next week.

Peace out, and keep the writing faith.

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