When I decided it was time to start working on my novel, it was suggested to me that starting a blog about my progress could be beneficial. I thought, In what way can a blog really help me with writing a piece of fiction?
Turns out it can… And it did.
And it still is.
Here are 4 ways blogging can help a budding writer:
Easing into writing
Having not written in a long time, whenever I thought about the huge task of writing a novel, I would find myself panicking about a number of things, such as:
- Do I even remember how to write in a comprehendible way?
- Do I know enough about writing?
- What if my writing sucks and NOBODY likes it?
These were valid questions, and that’s why starting a small blog helped me ease back into writing. My first few posts were not to a standard that I know myself capable of achieving. And there’s nothing to say I’ve reached that potential, even as I write this one. But the key is that it got me started somewhere, so when I finally began the first draft of my novel, it was no longer as daunting a task.
To develop on the point above (regarding potential), after having started this blog, I can see that I am developing and learning with each new post. As I revisit my previous ones, I can see that the quality and quantity of my writing is increasing, as are my ideas on what to write.
This gives me confidence that I am getting better with practise, and that confidence reflects onto my novel writing. I am willing to try new techniques and different writing styles without the fear of failure nagging at me. I realize that I have the ability to play around with words without necessarily committing to them. My words are not written in stone… Especially not the first draft!
My blog contains the steps I’ve taken in my first attempt at writing a novel. This can be incredibly useful for future projects as it is a record of what I have done, that I might want to repeat. Obviously, this will depend on whether or not I’ve discovered that a different method suited me better during the process.
The point is, it’s there to act as a reminder to stay calm and keep going when I’m (probably) suffering through the anxiety of starting a second book.
Engaging an audience
A writers main job is to engage an audience with their words, ideas and artistry. Blogging is a great way to gain a readership, explore their views, criticisms or encouragments. It gives you the chance to experience what it’s like to have your own audience, but to also be a reader of other similar bloggers.
Following other bloggers can provide you with insight into how they manage to engage their own audiences, and encourage you to try different ways to do so with yours.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not telling you to change your writing style to match other writers out there. I’m just saying that sometimes it’s useful to step out of our comfort zones to see if there’s something that might work better for us, that we hadn’t yet thought of ourselves… Or had the courage to attempt.
So, for any budding writer out there that doesn’t quite know how to get back into the writing game, my advice would be to start a blog. Even if you don’t have too many followers, or likes, or comments, it’s something that is beneficial for you as a writer.