Monday, February 6, 2012

Why Blog?

There's a good chance some new people will be stopping by my blog in the next few days as Rachael Harrie's Fourth Platform-Building Writers' Campaign gears up. Since most of those people will be writers with blogs of their own, this seems like a great time to discuss why I blog and get to hear the input of readers about why they blog.

First off all, let's talk about a reason which is not part of my rationale for blogging. For me -- and probably most of you as well -- it's not about making money directly from advertising or anything of that sort. I don't run any ads here and my little Amazon search box has led to exactly one purchase in the lifetime of the blog. So, yeah, not a moneymaker. And that's just fine.

Here are the three main reasons I do blog:
  1. For the socialization. Getting to meet and talk things over with other writers has had multiple benefits. For one, I've learned from them. A second benefit is that it's been fun getting to know a lot of other writers. The biggest benefit for me, though, has been having a community that I can chat with when I'm feeling good or bad about my writing and a set of people that I've traded critiques with where hopefully all of the parties involved have gotten useful feedback on their work.
  2. Producing blog posts regularly forces me to be introspective about my writing and organize my thoughts on writing.  A large number of the posts that I end up writing here come directly from my own attempts to sort out how I feel about one writing topic or another. The Dissecting the Short Story series (currently on hiatus) was one example of this, where I would try to see what I could learn from stories published by pro-rate fiction markets. But I've also written about dealing with stress, planning for novel revisions, etc.
  3. As an additional writing-related creative outlet for days when trying to write fiction isn't working well for me. If you've followed this blog regularly in the past, you know that I've written 500 words or more every day for over five months. One of the things that's been a bit part of my success at keeping that writing streak alive is not absolutely having to write fiction every day. Some days I either don't have a fiction work in progress or -- more common -- the ones I do have aren't ones that I feel ready to move on with quite yet. Those days, having the option of putting some writing energy into a blog post and keeping myself moving forward in general with writing has been hugely positive for me.
I'm sure I could come up with some other good reasons to blog, but those are the three most prominent for me. What about you -- why do you blog?

41 comments:

  1. Yep, the socializing is a big one for me. I've learned so much from other writers. I've also picked up my critique partners from those I've met through blogging too.

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  2. I started blogging to get out there in the internetz. Loving it was just the icing on the cake. I, too, have found the writing community to be so wonderful, encouraging and exploding left and right with so many helpful tips and things.

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  3. I suppose the socialization. It also allows me to spew things on writing, the different approaches, my own progress, and so on. It also seemed appropriate to have a blog since most writers had one. At top of everything else, blogging is just fun to do.

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  4. I'm a member of your YA group and am stopping by to say hello. I also use my blog to pontificate on matters that are important to me but nobody else. : )

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  5. I tend to ramble on my blog. Ramble or go over things I've figured out as a writer hoping to help someone else along the way. Or my corgis, or my dolls...

    I'm really glad to see you back on the campaign :D I think I'm in your YA, SciFi and Fantasy groups lol!

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  6. I have kept a journal since middle school and blogging is a fun natural extension of that. I also love meeting new people with my same interests.

    I look forward to seeing you on the campaign trail. Go team fantasy! *grin*

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  7. Thanks, all, for stopping by to say hi and give your thoughts on blogging! It sounds like there are a lot of common reasons for having a blog among us.

    For those stopping by for the first time from the Writers' Campaign, welcome! I'm looking forward to getting to know you all.

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    1. Hello Michael! Just wanted to stop by and meet everybody. I'm fairly new to blogging and I love to for education, book promo, and FUN!

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    2. Thanks for stopping by, Jennifer!

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  8. All great reasons to blog. I do it for the experience, education and socialization.

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  9. Excellent point, Michael. All of them.

    I saw you in the Fantasy campaign group. It's good to see you on board again! :)

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  10. Such a great post... gosh, the support means the world, truly. This business is hard enough... and we can't do it alone. And you're right, I have learned so much from my writer friends. That feeling of unity... that we're all supporting each other, that we're in this together is everything to surviving.

    New follower here... found you by the campaign. I'm glad I found you--I'll be excited to read your future posts ;)

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  11. We are in the same group for the platform-building campaign so I thought I would stop by and say hi! I blog because it is a fun outlet for my writing compulsion and a great way to meet others with the same interests.

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  12. I also blog to meet others and learn from them. Hoping to meet many new bloggers in the Campaign. :)

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  13. Good to hear from more new followers. I will be stopping around to your blogs, too, in the near future.

    Nice comments on reasons for blogging, too.

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  14. I blog for exposure and for the socialization. Honestly, they go hand-in-hand. But it's a lot of fun too. It's nice having people to talk about my writing progress with.

    Alsosaying hi from the campaign. Nice to meet you!

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  15. 500 is my word count as well. Hard to write much more with children under foot. I blog for creative outlet, and a connection to the outside world. It's nice to have a soapbox.

    Also I'm a fellow campaigner in the sci fi category.

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  16. I'm a fellow campaigner just stopping in to say hi! And to answer your question about why I blog: I blog in order to meet other writers, see what they are doing, what works for them in their writing endeavors, and so forth. I live in a small town in a really big, fairly unpopulated state; so, I don't get out much. I have found that writers to to think about and see the world differently than most folks. It's nice to meet like-minded folk! That's why I blog. I have these words inside me that just need to get out!

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  17. Sherri, I can imagine that living somewhere semi-remote it can be really beneficial. Thanks for stopping by!

    Also nice to meet Hildred and Super Happy from the campaign!

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  18. Hi Michael, just joining up for the Platform-Building Campaign. It is nice to meet you.
    I blog as part of my late night quite time, when everyone in the house is asleep and I get to have some time to myself. I enjoy putting my random thoughts out there, for people to read!

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  19. Hey Michael, just found you from the fantasy list on the campaign. Interesting points. I've just started blogging, but I believe my main motivation is simply the love to write. :)

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  20. Socializing for sure! I'm so pro-blog it's not even funny. Hello from campaigning!

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  21. "Hello"s to CM, Andrew, and Jon! Thanks for dropping by to introduce or re-introduce yourselves! :)

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  22. Hello! I am stopping over from the campaign. These are all great reasons to blog, I agree with them!

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  23. Heya Michael, I'm a fellow campaigner too. :)

    Having no idea what kind of community was out there I started to blog a year ago; just to share my creativity; then the delightful world of writers called to me; it's just great to be able to interact with such talented and enthusiastic people. :)

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  24. Hi there! I'm in the same Group3 with you. Just wanted to pop in and say hello! Good luck and have fun with the campaign challenges. :) Nice to see you again.

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  25. A quick "howdy" to Yvie, Yikici and Alynza! I appreciate you leaving a comment to let me know you stopped by.

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  26. Hey Michael! Great post! I agree with your points. It's a great way to connect and to know you're writing when your WIPs are a bit too much to handle.

    We're in the same Write Campaign Group (Short Story) and I guess YA as well. Looking forward to hearing more about your process!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Jennifer! Looking forward to seeing you around the campaign.

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  27. Hi Michael. I stopped by from Group 16 at the 4th Writers' Platform Building Campaign.

    I've been blogging for over a decade now. I always figured it was because blogging is writing, and I love to write. On certain niche blogs of mine, I found a bonus in the socilaisation aspect, yes. But it was more about having an outlet for my voice.

    It's only in the last year, as I make plans for writing and publishing, that I find I am being told I should be blogging for the networking aspects. Any connections are a bonus to me, which is why I love this platform building campaign, and the capability to meet other writers in this way. Thanks for the interesting question.

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    1. Hi, Hunter. That's impressive that you've been blogging for so long now! Thanks for stopping by.

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  28. Hi,Michal. I'm in Group 8 (science fiction.) I've been blogging not quite 2 years and I'm still a bit uncertain about what to write. I used to write a popular science column, and I've been doing that about 1 day a week. Will subscribe if I can figure out how atom works.

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    1. Sue Ann, that's very interesting that you've been blogging about science-related topics. I'll have to stop over and check that out. I've always enjoyed reading popular science columns/essays, going back to when Isaac Asimov regularly wrote those.

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  29. What a great post! I just joined your Short Story group, and I blog for all the same reasons. Especially #2! I've had a few breakthroughs by blogging about whatever writing problem I'm struggling with.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, digilette! Yay for short stories! :)

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  30. Those are all good reasons, that apply to me. Getting to connect with other writers is probably the biggest reason, though.

    See you down the campaign trail!

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    1. Hi, kelworthfiles! See you around the campaign.

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  31. Hey Michael, good to see a fellow #writemotivation-er in my YA Campaign group. I honestly started blogging because I kept hearing over and over (and over!) that it was one of those things I HAD to do to get myself out there as a writer. But I'm actually finding I like it more than I would have guessed for the very reasons you mentioned.

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    1. Jocelyn,

      Glad to hear that you've found blogging enjoyable even if you started it from a perspective of "obligation."

      I actually started blogging just because I had a bunch of writing-related thoughts bouncing around in my head and I wanted somewhere to put them. It was only after the fact that I found how useful it was for connecting with other writers.

      Funny how we all end up in similar places from different beginnings!

      See you around the campaign.

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  32. I blog to connect with other writers and to help cultivate a daily writing habit that's visible to other people.

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    1. Good reasons! The point about having the habit be visible is particularly noteworthy as it ties in to the idea of working with other writers to keep yourself accountable, etc.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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