Do Writers Need a Blog?

The Christmas holidays gave me some time to reflect on writing and the flu, which are an oddly similar afflictions.  One of thing that I kept circling back to was this question: Do we writers need to have blogs?

Nessie

I started this blog back in 2011 to give out free writing advice, for what it’s worth.  I then rebooted it last year to focus on writing science fiction or — as I call it at cocktail parties — sex scenes.

But seriously, even under the huge umbrella of science fiction, fantasy and horror, I don’t really have a focus.  Just think about all the things I’m interested in:

  • Science fiction
  • College football
  • Fantasy
  • Television
  • Home improvement projects (I even do windows)
  • Time travel
  • The Civil War
  • Creative writing
  • Computer modeling
  • Graphics
  • JFK
  • Encyclopedias
  • Maps
  • Atlases
  • Classic rock
  • Cuba
  • Gnosticism
  • Humor
  • Horror
  • World War II
  • Beer
  • Collecting books
  • The Cold War
  • Old school D&D
  • Pencil-sketching
  • Restaurants

This is pretty typical of writers, being interested in lot of stuff.  We’re sponges.  We’d probably make good Jeapordy contestants.

My dilemma is that I have the attention span of a puppy running through a pet store.  If I start writing a time travel story today, by Friday I’ll shelve it and start working on a nonfiction piece about beer.  I’ve written three novels, hundreds of short stories, and enough blog entries for a decent book.

Sure, I’ve been pimping my one published novel and my thin collection of published shorts (not boxers), but my writing has not exactly zoomed into the stratosphere.  And I’ve been doing this for 20 years.

So, why continue with this blog?  This isn’t a pity-party.  I’m not slumped-shouldered (except when grave-robbing).  I’m asking a real question: Do writers need a blog?  I’d be curious to hear your thoughts.

Until next time,

Peace, from Keith

Copyright © 2013 Alan Keith Parker

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5 thoughts on “Do Writers Need a Blog?

  1. teramis

    I have a lot to say about this (surprise, I know). So I blogged about it instead of hijacking your thread. Post is here: http://www.deborahteramischristian.com/think/a-writers-blog/

    My short answer is, yes, writers need a blog, but it needs to be selectively focused and it serves some purposes that an ordinary blog does not. Most important thing is to get clear on the strategic purpose of your blog. Once you do, the question about what topics to write about will sort itself out.

  2. Do Writers need a blog?

    I suspect that depends on what kind of a writer you are. If you’re the sort of personality that can, after having done all the necessary research and plot outlining, sit there and conscientiously put out several thousand words a day, no. Blog superfluous to requirements until famous enough to need said for fans.

    I can only do this sort of writing if setting out a paper better used for birdcage lining (sorry, ignore that) or a banalysis … ah …analysis. It’s boring. The only joy from this sort of writing for me is a.) a job well obfuscated … I mean done, b.) that it’s thank you God over, and c.) a certain intellectual satisfaction in my Monster … oops, that should read “creation.” And I doubt I’d ever become famous enough from this sort of writing to require a blog on the subject of how to be boring and tedious.

    While I don’t consider myself a writer of anything more than the minute story (define as you wish), and am in very much doubt I could write a single, coherent novel (even though by writing this, I am a writer, of some specious. Species, I meant). Any novel I write would be indeed, novel, with it’s multitudinous, incoherent and raving personalities, by the bye, Bye.

    I believe that a writer can use a blog to explore possibilities and play with concepts and ideas before committing them (insert mad giggle and drool here) to the larger, more … errr … well, I’m at a loss to to say just what larger and more “errr” the actual novel or story would be, because, I suppose that’s up to the author of the larger, more “errr.”

    For example, if an author were to feel happy about creating a science fiction novel about a college football fantasy television program about a home improvements specialist in windows who travels back in time to the Civil War and finds a creative Mueller – Babbage difference engine graphics modeller who is an ancestor to JFK, who finds employment selling encyclopedias, maps and atlases, who dabbles in what will one day become Cuban Classic Rock, and is a vociferous Gnostic, and who, to the humor and horror of all, had a vision of WW II and its development into the Cold War, with an inexplicable background theme of people sitting around a table rolling twenty-sided dice, after he drank too much beer and passed out on his book collection of pencil sketches of restaurants, the author may wish to first explore some of this concept in a blog. I hope you could follow that. I’m not sure I did, but it sounds not unlike a novel I would attempt. See what I mean about “…several, incoherent and raving personalities, by the bye…?

    If you have the attention span of a puppy gambolling through a pet store, so what? Use your blog to train your puppy. Let him piddle about in the blog, use some of the excrement that comes out to fertilize the roses of your larger, more “errr” novels and stories.

    Continue with the blog, please – it often gives me a good laugh or an enjoyable view, or food for thought, as well as something to occasionally use the finger equivalent to verbal diarrhea … ah … that didn’t come out properly, did it … well, you know what I mean … I hope …

    Myself, I started this blog at the behest of my poor, long suffering sister, who had to put up with all my bizarre thought (?) processes. Processies? Nice of her to want to share the pain with others, isn’t it?

    Why do I blog? Mostly to keep my head whirling off into space and becoming a navigational hazard to all the aliens that keep visiting us all the time.

    For me, it’s an outlet. I even have Christmas sales and everything (though I could do without all the tacky seasonal music)!

    Take Care.

    Mirkin Firkin.

    ps glad to read you’re over the flu.

    mf

    1. Your comment is great … in fact, your idea for a novel is one of the funniest things I’ve read in a while. Contrary, perhaps, to the tone of my post, I’m not down in the dumps about this … I’ve simply wondering whether it makes sense to continue a writer’s blog since my main focus is writing science fiction, fantasy and horror. And the answer is yes, thanks very much to Teramis’ own thoughts on the matter here:

      http://www.deborahteramischristian.com/think/a-writers-blog/

      Your blog, as I’ve said, is great. Thoroughly enjoy reading it.

  3. Reblogged this on Chokulats and commented:
    My answer? Writers ultimately will have restrictions. A blog doesn’t. I don’t think it would confuse you if you pick a topic as a blogger that you don’t talk about as a writer. If anything, it gives you more perspective, more views to ponder on, and reach out to a more diverse audience.

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