Everyone tells me, you’re such a great writer, you should have a blog! My writer friends tell me, if you’re going to be a writer, you’ll need to have a blog.
So I believe them, and I get a blog. It is, in fact, this very blog that you’re reading right now.
The purpose of the blog, I suppose, is to build an audience; an audience that might buy the books that you’re going to publish at some unspecified point in the future. So the next step is to publicize your blog. I think to myself, well… I can do that. There’s not much in this world that I can’t do, after all, and I fire up the old Google machine because the first part of figuring out how to do anything is to find out which way is up.
Do not, under any circumstances, Google any phrase having anything to do with publicizing a blog.
Let me sum it up for you. It’s like, being at MTV’s Spring Break, and everyone around me is waving their hands in the air and screaming and flashing their boobs at the camera and the noise sounds like sobs ripped from god’s own horrible throat, and I’m standing in the back of the throng with my fists clenched, feeling my soul being worn away to a nub by the unstoppable tides of attention-seeking and scheming. And I wait, and I wait, and I wait, there in the back of the crowd, with my teeth clenched, for all of the furor to die down and for almost everyone to leave so that I can get a taco and a margarita and sit down in the cool of sunset and maybe, if I’m lucky, strike up a conversation with a different straggler who hopefully was just as horror-stricken as I was.
Here’s the thing. I don’t care about blogging.
I don’t care about blogging at all.
I only care about writing.
Now you can say that at its essence, blogging is writing, and I would agree with you. There is a reason why we have different words for the two actions, though, and that’s because one of them is public. Now I don’t have a problem with putting things that I write on the internet; I’ve done it for years in one form or another. But it would appear that blogs need to be looked after and nurtured, and that’s not something I’m great at doing. In fact, this is the longest time I’ve been able to maintain a blog in a non-social format for over a decade.
I used to blog extensively in my early twenties, but it was awful. Just trust me. I was an awful, miserable person and my blog was miserably awful. It was a monument, constructed entirely from turds, to my own towering hubris, and as such I maintained it faithfully. Aren’t we all a bit lost in self-interest at that age?
So the thing I’ve liked about blogging over the last month and some, is that I have a reason to take time out of my day to write, every day. I love that. Especially when my work on the manuscript has slowed, I find that writing something, even if it’s completely unrelated, sometimes leads to new stuff for the manuscript (read as: the thing that actually matters.)
Unfortunately, the structure of blog writing makes me feel like I’m really phoning it in.
You read that correctly. I think that almost every post I’ve put up in the last six weeks or so has not been my best work. I feel as though they are simplistic, uninspired, and slapdash. I don’t edit anything.
I think this is an inevitability. Blog posts are by nature short and fast. I don’t post every day, so in my case I have at least a couple of days usually to come up with a topic and refine it and then sit down and spit it out. I am by habit a fiction writer, and when you’re writing fiction it really pays to have it perfect. That’s not only not always an option with blog writing, especially if you’re posting multiple times a week, but I don’t think it’s really within the style of blog writing.
If I’m lucky, on a really productive day, I can put three or four blog posts in the can and squirrel away a few writing hours for working on my manuscript.
As far as publicizing the blog goes, I’m putting all of that on the shelf for now. All I know for sure on the subject is this; I will never write to keywords. I will never do nonsensical link sharing schemes. And if you’d like to sit down, have a taco and a margarita in the shadow of chaos, and talk sometime, I would be absolutely thrilled.