How different, truly, is writing a blog from being an author and diving into that next novel?
I love blogging, particularly because it involves a different kind of writing than fiction. The process is different; the prepping and the aim are different. To go from writing a first draft or from editing to working on my next blog post can be a nice change of pace. I feel almost as though it engages a different part of my brain.
In my blog, I get to write in my own voice, not hide behind a narrator. I get to be informal and not worry about style so much. I get to write nonfiction and explore the real-life topic of crafting fiction, rather than immerse myself in my fantasy world.
I have a different audience when I write for the blog than when I write about Herezoth. Herezoth’s for fantasy and adventure fans: those who like Harry Potter and Katniss Everdeen. I blog for my fellow authors.
And that’s created a marketing problem for me–one of the reasons I’m turning my blog into a writer’s handbook, so I have some useful material to offer my audience here beyond the short, simple posts I put up every day.
The simple fact is, though, I wouldn’t blog about writing and marketing fiction if I didn’t write fantasy literature. And I’ve discovered that the skills I need and that I’ve developed for the latter also help me with the former.
Good writing, in many ways, is good writing: whether you’re blogging or writing poetry or writing a novel, the following apply.
- Always try to say what you have to say in as few words as possible. No one likes a rambler. No likes you wasting their time. Say what you need to say in a direct, concise, understandable way, and then move on.
- If you don’t have something interesting to say, don’t say anything at all (To put a different spin on your Mom’s advice about being nice to people.) If what you’re writing won’t help or interest other people, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t write! It just means, maybe you shouldn’t share in such a public format.
- Feedback is valuable and will improve your writing. Listen to your beta readers/editors. To those who take the time to leave comments on your blog. Answer their questions. Use their comments to give you ideas about how you might make your writing even more engaging in the future.
- Write from the heart. Always be sincere. Speak from your experience. Don’t hold back, don’t be misleading, and when off noveling, be true to the heart of the story you know you have to tell.
- Grammar matters. It truly, truly does. Make sure you avoid these mistakes in particular.