chasingthecrazies

Chasing my crazy dream in the writing world…

Monday Musings: Blogging – Helping or Hurting Your Writing? July 14, 2014

Filed under: Blog,Publishing,writing craft — chasingthecrazies @ 6:56 am
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Over two and a half years ago I wrote my first entry for this blog, and last Friday I published my 350th post! I’ve said this before, but I had no idea what I was doing when I first started. I’d read somewhere that as a writer you needed to build a social media platform, so I googled blogs, WordPress came up, and I dove in.

 

When I look back on those first posts, I cringe (I really was clueless about blogging), but with every new entry my confidence grew and my writing improved. Yet when I started on my third manuscript, took on an editorial internship, and agreed to beta read for several writers, I found myself regretting my commitment to blogging three days a week. How could I fit it all in? Out of all my commitments, which was most important?

 

The truth is you have to decide what you want to get out of blogging. If you only write posts because you want to build your exposure, then in my opinion, it’s not worth it. Coming up with solid content, and sharing new ideas every week, takes a lot of work. Struggling to post something new is not only a waste of your time, but eventually your lackluster love for your blog will show in what you publish.

 

For me, I continue to blog because I feel it improves my writing. Each week I tackle new topics and try to push myself to find something important to say about writing and/or publishing. When I share a new Writer Odyssey Wednesday or First Five Frenzy, I’m not only providing information I hope will help writers, but I’m learning something new too. In August I’m starting a new series called, QUITE THE QUERY, posting successful queries from writers. My hope is this new series will inspire writers to create a successful query of their own, but I know by sharing each of the entries, I’ll also learn something valuable.

 

In the end, you need to decide how much of your time you want to commit to your overall writing. If you can’t write a new manuscript, revise, and CP, all while maintaining a healthy blog that is okay. The important thing to remember is blogging is a commitment, but it shouldn’t be something that overtakes your writing life. It’s all about balance and finding the right path for you.

 

In order to celebrate surpassing 350th blog posts, I’m giving away a copy of Leigh Bardugo’s RUIN and RISING and Maggie Stiefvater’s latest, SINNER!

 

GIVEAWAY IS OVER. WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED THURSDAY, JULY 17. THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO ENTERED!

 

 

 

350giveaway

 

 

 

To qualify for the drawing, share with me one of the most important lessons you’ve learned about writing in the last year. After leaving your comment, please include contact info (either email or Twitter handle).

 

Entry window will close at 12pm EST on Wednesday, July 16. Open to U.S. residents only.

 

Thank you for reading my blog! I appreciate each and every one of you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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26 Responses to “Monday Musings: Blogging – Helping or Hurting Your Writing?”

  1. One of the things that I learned in the last year was how to develop a character’s Goals, Motivations, and Challenges. This has helped in making sure my plots don’t wander. I have also learned how to do some plotting before I write.

  2. Congrats on hitting your 350th post!
    I’m not a writer, but a blogger, so I’m not sure if I really apply, but I felt that I’ve learned a lot this year about the business side of publishing. It’s be very interesting learning about the various stigmas that plague the industry and more importantly, seeing those stigmas being debunked. I love that there’s now so many platforms in which I can interact with my favorite authors and new to me authors alike.
    iheartbigbooks [at] gmail [dot] com

    • Hi there and thank you for your comment!

      I absolutely agree with you. I love social media because it has taken away the stigma of the solitary writer. Now we can celebrate and commiserate together. It really is a wonderful thing 🙂

  3. jrhoward9 Says:

    I think one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is to be concise and leave out the parts that I, as a reader, would likely skip over. My first MS had an astronomical word count, but now that I’ve been able to pick out the important pieces I’ve whittled it down into something much more readable.

    @JRHoward9

    • Hi JR:

      Yes, it’s so hard to cut words. That’s why I think it helps to have good CPs. They can tell you where you’ve got too much backstory etc. and help you whittle things down.

  4. Congrats on 350 posts! That’s a very impressive milestone. The most important thing I learned about writing this year is how important it is to have multiple eyes on my work. My CP group is amazing and I’m always surprised by the things they catch in my MS that I can’t see no matter how many times I read it. @chelleswrite

  5. brennalayne Says:

    Great post! And it’s very cool of you to do a drawing. 🙂 I think about this often, and you’ve expressed it very succinctly. Possibly the most important thing I’ve learned about writing in the past year is that writing a novel, like raising a child, takes a village. The original act of creation may be mine, and done in solitude, but each person who reads a draft and comments on it shapes it in some way–leaves their own fingerprints on it, until it becomes something that, while not collaborative in the strictest sense of the word, wouldn’t be as good if mine were the only ideas and opinions involved. bflayne at google.com

    • Hi there!

      Thanks for this great comment. Although it’s cliché, it’s true that you can’t see the forest for the trees sometimes. Another set of eyes can really help show you where your plot is failing or where you characters need polish. It does feel like a collaborative effort sometimes, but a good one!

  6. What I’ve learned in the past year? Not quitting.

    My son was constantly sick, and other personal issues were getting in the way of writing. I honestly thought at one point how easy it would be to just give up and focus on the needs and demands at hand. My current WIP at that time was on its second rewrite, clocking in at 66K, but it didn’t feel right to me. I was frustrated, I was tired, and I had a million other responsibilities. In a word, I was overwhelmed. But then someone very wise (my lovely agent) told me to keep on writing, to push through the block and ick and insecurities, because quitting would not solve my problems but would only aggravate it. Writing would help me clear my mind, find perspectives, give me a dream to aspire to. Writing would help me find my way again.

    So I did just that. I scratched the 66K and started anew with rewrite #3. For some reason, it’s working out better than I could ever imagine. And the external issues all cleared up anyway, so they were only temporary hurdles. Imagine if I had quit because of a temporary detour sign. I would have done myself a disservice. So yeah, don’t give up so easily on your dreams.

    • Hi Precy:

      I’ve felt like this way many times, but I absolutely agree with your agent. You have to muddle through the bad times in order to enjoy the good ones. I know you are an amazingly talented writer, and I can’t wait to read what you’ve got coming next! Good luck 🙂

  7. I’ve learned a lot over the past year but if there was one, it would be
    *while most feedback is well intentioned,not all feedback is created equal and you must remain true to yourself first, that is not to say you shouldn’t NOT listen to and thank those helping, but it’s help, its not a law, and if you’re going to go down, go down with your words and faith in tact*

    • Great advice. Early on in my writing career I had a hard time with this one. Many times, I just tried to change everything. Now I really mull over my critiques and only apply the advice I feel is true to the character.

  8. Elinor Says:

    Something that I really began understanding/learned in the last year is how important it is that if you can cut something and make the meaning stay the same, then 90% of the time (or something like that) you should cut it. That less really CAN be “more”.
    https://twitter.com/elinorsattler

    • Hi Elinor: Great comment. I’m still working on this one. I tend to overwrite, cut, and then have to go back and rewrite for it all to make sense again. Guess it’s a good thing we can have many drafts! Haha!

  9. Most important thing I’ve learned is the value of writing EVERY DAY. Even if it’s just for ten minutes or 250 words or anything. Forming good habits and practicing consistently have done wonders for both my productivity and my skill as a writer.

    My twitter handle is @skrutskie

  10. Spring Paul Says:

    I’ve noticed a number of writing blogs where writers have found agents through contests. I’ve always ignored them before, but I’m thinking I need to be less of a lurker and more of a participant.
    springnpaul@gmail.com

  11. Amy, thanks for this post… though I’m a proponent of author blogging, it needs to be said that it *can* do more harm than good. For example, if it takes away too much from the real writing, or if a poorly-executed/rarely-updated web presence gives agents or editors a poor impression.

    As for writing lessons from the past year, one of my favorites is this: no writer can go it alone. Writing itself is a solitary activity, but finding success is far more likely when you have critique partners, supportive writing friends, mentors, and career advisors (e.g. a literary agent).

  12. Sarah Floyd Says:

    Great post! I have learned to let my work rest before declaring it “done.” There is no way to read/revise with fresh eyes without taking a break from the story.

    Thanks for the opportunity to win those fabulous books! @kidlitSarah

  13. I think the greatest thing that I have learned about writing in the last year is that it’s okay to start over when something isn’t working. So often I get 30 or 40 pages in and try to force myself to keep going, to continue to hit my daily writing goals, even though it doesn’t feel right. It’s okay to step back and take a break. It’s better to write a good story slowly than to force yourself to push blindly forward and reach word count goals on a story that isn’t currently working.

    Twitter: @annsulliva


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