I was reading through a number of blogs – I’ll post a bunch of links next week so you too can
procrastinate develop a feel for the writing blogs out there, those by writers and those for writers and the ones in between (I am master of procrastination, one day I’ll collect all my tips and share them for the greater good of procrastinators all around the world!).
Blogging, whatever the social network (Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter, Tumblr, etc), always seems to be the one essential platform building tool. Making yourself known, creating an audience, etc etc. Some people are incredibly good at it, and they have in fact built a reputation and a profession on their use of social networks, and they happily share most of it for free and some of it through books and workshops and seminars. Which is brilliant, and a great help for those of us just starting out with the platform building.
I can’t help thinking that it all sounds really very involving. The best way I know to build/enter into/be part of/help grow a community is by interacting.
Interacting requires reading other people’s posts, commenting, establishing a rapport, asking questions and offering answers. In a global world, where some of the blogs you read could be in the opposite part of the world to yours, it means a potential 24/7 influx of conversations. And it’s brilliant, absolutely brilliant. But again, really quite time consuming.
Is blogging really that powerful, then? So necessary and impossible-to-do-without?
I don’t think so. And yes, I am blogging as I write this, but bear with me.
What most of the blogs out there don’t say is this: once you have written your books, short stories, essays…then yes, becoming part of a community and sharing what you’re writing and hopefully making it interesting enough so that people will want to buy your work (whether traditionally or independently published) is absolutely worth the effort and time needed. Also good for keeping up with those social skills you’ve been neglecting while writing.
But until you have that material available to you (not all that you’ll write in your writing career, but an initial portfolio), you should focus on writing and getting better at it with every new thing you write. Blogging is fun, and it’s good to be able to share your thoughts and experiences, but, if you’re a writer, writing should always come first.
It’s about discipline, of course, and discipline doesn’t come easy (to me, anyway, I hope it’s easier for you). Which is why I’m going to switch the internet off right now and go write, because I have a novel to finish (and a second one to plot, and short stories to polish, and ideas to consider) and all the platform building in the world will not write it for me.
Are you disciplined? Do you think blogging is essential? Let me know.