Blogging – its Joys and Discontents, and Other Grabs at the Brass Ring

Can You Blog??

Can You Blog??

I’m new to AAGA, but Jack has suggested we blog here, so this….

A couple of pals and I had a mini conversation recently via our own blogs, and our roundabout subject had to do with the merits of and success with….well….blogs.

Blogging, of course take time. One has to divine a subject, possibly perform research, write, edit, then orchestrate Q&As. Those of us who are also other-than-blog writers must have time for that, too, along with day jobs, maintaining home and health, managing relationships and marriages (this last one is often a sore point to partners and spouses, who must contend with their semi-hermit writers). But back to the subject at hand.

Writers often let their talent spill over into blogs for a couple of reasons:

• It seems to be a form of instant gratification for the urge to publish.

• Writers want to share what they know and perceive, their insights, their views of the world around them.

• We’ve often been told blogs are a good way to market ourselves and our writing.

The trouble with that:

• Blogging rarely pays, unless one posts every day or every other day and seeks advertising. Otherwise, readers will lose interest in our blog sites.

• Editors in a recent Poets & Writers interview say they never reach new writers through blogs.

But…

Blogs are an outlet, a way to change pace, style, and substance from the marathon of those drawn-out novels, memoirs, or historical pieces we spend years researching and writing. And it’s always gratifying to see hit counts mount up, to receive comments or questions and provide replies.

hitchnews’ most recent post confirms virtually all of the above. hitch also encourages collaboration – a sterling idea, but hard to accomplish when it comes to prying other writers’ hands from their keyboards long enough to set up such a collaborative effort.

Also, hitch encourages soliciting comments. Most readers are what I call (and I don’t mean this as a pejorative) lurkers. They’re shy about making their presence known. So let ‘em know you want ‘em to comment.

But if you really want to generate readers, try Facebook and/or My Space and direct them to your blog. Of course, those take time, too.

A totally beside-the-point aside regarding marketing your stuff: that recent Poets & Writers interview reveals something that surprised me:

Editors and agents do read litmags, and they do try to find new writers through those publications. But most of the writers they might be interested in are already signed to agents or publication houses. Agents submit pieces FOR writers to litmags, it seems. But don’t try to find an agent to do this work for you. I suspect agents do this to beat the drums for already-signed writers.

All this being said: we gotta do more than just write. One of the challenges to groups such as AAGA is to experiment, find what new wrinkle will work in getting our writing out there. Who knows? Someone might say they knew us when.

Bob Mustin

5 Responses to “Blogging – its Joys and Discontents, and Other Grabs at the Brass Ring”

  1. J Russell Rose Says:

    Oh the “JOY” of blogging… Oh the “JOY” of marketing our words and ourselves. It all seems rather daunting. With such a remote chance of ever making our names known, why do we continue to do it?
    Because we have to. There’s no other explanation. Writers write. That’s all there is to it.
    Thanks Bob.

    OK readers, don’t be “lurkers”. Make your presence and your opinions know.
    BLOG!!!

  2. Adda Leah (Addie) Davis Says:

    I like Bob’s comments. I have to write but I know very little about blogging. I have writtten since I started printing my name. Most of that early writing was burned but since nobody gets inside one’s head I still have a storehouse of memories and ideas that constantly nag at me. They want to be set free.
    I’m also on Facebook but do very little there since I am technilogically challenged. When I finally gain enough courage to try something new it is obsolete.
    I will certainly share or make comments about things I’m interested in such as Bob’s comments so keep me informed.
    Adda Leah (Addie) Davis

  3. Tim Rouse Says:

    Blogging . . . the very sound of the word or action makes my writer’s mind cringe! I love to write, but to “BLOG” add it up, it’s a four letter word! But I have to agree with Jack, it’s still writing, and there’s another four letter word Jack reminded me of, it’s called EDIT . . . We have to write, we have to edit, we have to read and most of all, we have to find a way to make our writing work for us. In saying that, I do not mean our writing only has to pay off financially, but we have to let our words OUT. We have to open our writer’s purse and let the words go free. God gave each of us a “Pandora’s box” – it’s not so much WHAT we say, it’s HOW we say it. If it’s a blog, then BLOG away! If it’s a manuscript, then write, write and write some more; then edit the heck out of it. Above all, be true to your talent and your calling, the words are in you writer . . . now let them out.

  4. appalachianauthor Says:

    To paraphrase Dylan (Bob, that is) “blog” is just a four-letter word, but in today’s techno-age, it’s a powerful means for getting your message out there.
    So, blog, blog, blog…

  5. Adda Leah Davis Says:

    If “blogging” is responsible for the increased number of hits on our website then blogging is the way to go if we want sells. I do agree with Tim Rouse that the word “blog” makes me think of “Yuck” which doesn’t have a pleasant connotation. However, I have to write whether I sell or not but it certainly makes the family happier when I can bring in some extra cash.
    To me, writing is a necessity as much as eating or sleeping. Without any of these I become depressed and very grumpy. That accounts for my happy disposition; I write, eat, and sleep every chance I get. Some of my work is good, some mediocre, and some pretty awful (these I try not to show to the public) but, I think even bad writing can generate ideas. When I’m not eating, sleeping, or writing I am reading which is also a must for writers.
    As a wife and grandmother I do a few other things as well but my heart isn’t really in it except for my church doings.

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