I’m sure that a lot of people blog when they can. Just like writing a book, screenplay, or even a short story we have to write regularly. Every book or article I’ve ever read says the same thing. Blogging is writing so…
You have to write every day.
Because these books or articles are written by ‘published’ authors I believe this rule to be true. Each self-help book or article gives a different formula for meeting this daily goal of writing.
Years ago I read a book that had compiled a group of published and well known authors who gave tips on how they succeeded in not only finishing their books but getting them published. It was an interesting read. John D. MacDonald, writer of the Travis McGee books and hundreds more ‘non-McGee’ books had a brilliant point to make about plot.
More recently Stephen King wrote his own take on the ‘how to book‘ of writing. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft is a brilliant little book that explains the basics, gives a good list of do’s and don’t’s and gives us a little look into King’s own writing process. I bought it and still read it when I need inspiration.
One thing King does mention is that most people have the essential tools already. If you want to read King’s On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft it is available on Amazon and most book retail sites. I enjoyed it, but then, I’d enjoy reading Stephen King’s grocery list.
I am in the process of writing a book, a short-story or two, and a memoir. I am doing all these very, very slowly. I keep getting distracted. Bills, cleaning the house, going to work, working out in the garden and blogging all take me away from the writing I need to do.
Blogging is perhaps the biggest culprit of all when it comes to distraction. I will admit that blogging is, at least, a pleasant diversion. It has the advantage of relatively fast feedback. You publish it. There is no waiting around to be published. At the stroke of a laptop key or two there you are, up and available for the world to see.
I didn’t read any ‘how-to’ articles on blogging I just started doing it. But there are lots of guides out there to help you become a successful blogger. Although I’m not sure how you would measure what a successful blogger is. For now though, lets look at the articles that can help you become a more consistent blogger.
WordPress.com has a great support system which features all kinds of great advice and tips on blogging. They even go so far as to tell you how your blog can be featured on the much desired Freshly Pressed section. But don’t stop there. The net is full of blogging tips for burgeoning bloggers.
Most of these tips come from successful bloggers who have hundreds, if not more, of followers. They write well and know how to engage their readers. They are a mix of people. Some are published authors who blog because they have a dearth of information or opinions on things beyond their books.
A lot of them are people who love the written word and writing. They are not hesitant to help new writers to get started because they know that new blood is needed to keep literature alive.
I didn’t read any articles on blogging until I left my old blogging site. By the time I ‘defected” I’d been blogging for over a year. I just kept plugging away and kept an interested eye on what got read and what got ignored. I slowly began to realize that what I could write well and what I was better off leaving alone.
Of course writing anything like a blog, or a book for that matter, is all about communication. If you can’t do that you might as well stop now and take up knitting or stamp collecting. If you are good at communicating then go on. Write and publish and practice.
While you’re doing all of that writing, teach yourself to edit and re-edit. When I write I do it quickly. When I’ve got that bit between my teeth I gallop across the keyboard at breakneck speed. When I’ve finished I’m always amazed at the mistakes and the utterly cringe worthy ‘boo-boos’ I’ve managed to make in just one blog post.
I will then re-read what I’ve just corrected to make sure that I’ve gotten rid of all the things in the post that make me look mentally challenged or at the very least like I’ve typed the damn thing with my eyes closed. Invariably, after I’ve posted it I will read it and wince because I’ve missed something.
But the nice thing about posting your own blog is that you can go a edit your post as often as you want. That is, if you even want to. I still do it months after I’ve posted something. I cannot imagine getting a book published and then finding out that after (hopefully) thousands of copies have been printed and sold that I’ve left some whopping great error on page 21.
The chances of that are slim I know. That’s why you have editors. But I do still have this paranoia lurking around the back of my mind that worries nonetheless about making myself look semi-literate.
I have just remembered the other thing I like about blogging. The community. The blogging community is supportive, helpful and generous in their feedback on your efforts. It is also full of fascinating folks that you would never meet outside of the blogging world. Folks who have lead interesting lives much different than your own.
Some are well known. Others are very well known. A lot are on their way to getting noticed in a big way. But in the blogging community we are all on the same page, if you’ll pardon the pun, and on a level playing field. We all share the love of words and the act of stringing them together to create ideas, stories and more.
So what about you? Do you have any tips or advice for beginning bloggers. I’d love to know, because I still class myself as a beginning blogger.
- Guest Post By Robert Zimmermann (amberjeromenorrgard.com)
- Writing through the grief (randomthoughtsfrommidlife.wordpress.com)
- I’ve Been Given the Beautiful Blogger Award! Wow (mikesfilmtalk.com)
- Book Review – On Writing by Stephen King (paulineprobynblog.wordpress.com)
- How I Write (neilperkin.typepad.com)
- The State of my Blog (jlroeder.wordpress.com)
- Writing Our Stories (creativityorcrazy.wordpress.com)
- “I am Only A Blogger, And You Are Only A Reader” (baldrunner.com)
- Let Your Blog Be What You Want It to Be (revolutionarypaideia.com)
- The Internet And Its Lack of Social Etiquette (ewokmama.com)
5 thoughts on “Do it Yourself Blogging or the Self-Help Blogger”
I just do my blog for a weird hobby, I am actually a programmer in university who watches too many films haha 😀
But in terms of advice just give your opinions and try to get involved with other peoples blogs, liking and commenting 😀
Reblogged this on Serendipity and commented:
And, in the spirit of writing something every day, I’ll let Mike write for me today. Thanks Mike! I couldn’t have said it better myself.
I am always surprised at how we write, but our own unique approach. I enjoy hearing how other people do it, but I have no idea how I do it . I just do it. I sit and words fall out of my fingers, sometimes words I didn’t know were there. FYI, I accidentally deleted one of your comments because it was in my spam folder between “Naked Masturbating Women” and “Solve your Erectile Dysfunction with Natural Remedy.” I don’t know why the Spam filter hates you, but I apologize. By the time I saw it, it was too late to “undo.” We need an “oops” key that undoes whatever we just did that we really wish we hadn’t.
‘At the stroke of a laptop key or two’… isn’t it true?
MARVELLOUS follow up to your FP piece Mike, because, we all like to read about the tribulations of writing :>
All of what you say is true, MIke! I also really liked King’s On Writing (and is his grocery list on Amazon ’cause I would totally read that too). Like you, I didn’t exactly think/plan ahead when I started this little blogging experiment and still wonder if I’m doing it “right”, but it’s really more for fun than anything else. I do write every day, just most of it isn’t fit for human consumption. It takes me awhile to get things the way I want them. In my edit, re-edit process I find it helps to step away from it for at least a few hours or maybe a day or so… I find perspective and distance helpful editing tools. Of course, the down side of using said tools is neglect… sometimes I don’t get back to things in a timely fashion. But my weekly blogging deadlines do help keep me focused.
Thanks for all the useful tips – and the support you mention is so key in undertaking what often feels like a very solitary exercise. Another great post!