How Blogging Helped Me Develop My Fiction Writing
I’m a story person. I read some non-fiction books, but not many. I need story in my life.
Those of us who write novels know it is a delayed-reward process, since it may take a year or more to write a novel, followed by editing, then the publication process, whether that’s royalty or indie. It’s a long-term work that can seem endless and muddled at times.
What can a fiction writer do to combat this problem? Write non-fiction.
After the release of my first books, I decided I needed a website for visibility. If someone wanted to google me, I wanted them to find me. With the help of a friend I set up a website. It’s simple, but it’s out there.
I blogged a couple times the first year, then realized it was an all or nothing venture. No one would visit my blog a second time if there was nothing new to read. The next year I created a schedule for myself and committed to it.
- Week One: devotional/inspirational piece
- Week Two: interview a fellow writer
- Week Three: book review (if possible, a book by this month’s interviewee)
- Week Four: my own series of posts titled Fiction 101
This year I’ve changed it up, but I still plan to post one blog per week. Besides this, I guest blog on several other sites.
What did I gain by breaking into the blogging world?
1. I learned to write for a deadline – doesn’t matter if it’s self-imposed or not
2. I learned to write more tightly – blogs tend to be about 300 words, give or take
3. I learned to appreciate the sense of accomplishment when I posted a blog every week
4. I learned how to use WordPress (well, enough to post my blogs)
5. I learned to be more decisive – there’s a time and space deadline
6. I learned to do my best and then let it go – the key is communication
7. I learned to broaden my horizons – choosing topics makes me pay attention to life
8. I learned that varying the type of writing I do adds interest both for me and my readers
9. I learned that blogs make me write more regularly
10. I learned that blogs can help and encourage others, as I’ve been encouraged over the years
11. I learned that although these blogs are not books, they can be combined and published
* Note: For an example of this, check out these books by Kristen Eckstein
12. I learned that researching and writing blogs can feed my fiction
Through my connection with my current publisher, I was encouraged to branch out into various social media, and these efforts were also beneficial in many ways:
— They helped me establish a network of friends and readers
— They helped me learn to write concisely (Only 140 characters for Twitter)
The important thing is to schedule in time to work on my novels. After all, I'll always be a fiction writer first.