Blogs are an essential part of the writer’s experience. I think most writers have them these days, which makes perfect sense. Our blog posts are aimed to entertain, educate, and keep in touch with our readers. They’re also here to find new readers by providing a sampling of what we have to offer in our books free of charge to people who randomly stumble across us while searching the internet.
Blogs are the one thing that I feel like most writers are doing right. Twitter is a dismal wasteland of people barking, or rather tweeting up the wrong tree. Facebook is something most writers almost have right, but at the same time I’m not sure if all of us know what we’re doing with the tool. Everything else, from LinkedIn to Google+ to Pinterest, is sort of catch as catch can but mostly head-scratching on the part of writers.
But blogs are something we’ve got right. And it makes perfect sense. Blogs are all about writing. Strangely enough, that’s what we writers do best. I’ve come across some of the most fascinating bits and pieces about everything from the writing craft to up and coming books to slices of wisdom about the particular writer’s area of expertise or interest. I’ve learned so much and been so entertained just by reading blogs. So bravo for the writers out there.
If I had one complaint about the way that writers write their blogs it would be the same complaint I have with the rest of the way we do social media. Too much of what I see is aimed at other writers instead of at the reader. It’s an easy trap to fall into because other writers are the “low-hanging fruit” of the social media audience world. Other writers are looking for attention, readers aren’t necessarily. Writers are like the people at the airport hanging around baggage claim with signs that say “Smith” as they try to attract the attention of their audience. Readers are just there to get their bags and move on. They’re much smarter than we writers are.Anyhow, blogs are the best way to attract the attention of the people we’re trying to reach. Here in this forum we can be ourselves and we can do what we do best. And we don’t have to go out and aggressively recruit readers the same way we would with Twitter or Facebook. We do have to reach out, but not as invasively.
Yep, blogs are important, but today I didn’t have time to write one.
You see, I usually write my blog posts for the week over the weekend. I aim for three blog posts a week these days, four if I’m feeling chatty. I try to include one about history, one about writing, and one fun or silly post about me each week. But this weekend I just didn’t have time to write.
Saturday I spent more than six hours working on revisions for my next book, The Courageous Heart. See, I wrote the first draft under less than ideal circumstances, gave it to my trusted beta readers, who kind of quirked their eyebrow at me and said “Really?” and then I rewrote the entire first half. In the process I changed so much of the plot and focus of my characters that it’s kind of a whole new story. Which would be fine under normal circumstances, but I have a deadline. It’s due at my editor a week from today. So my nose was firmly to the grindstone of work on Saturday. I don’t think that the majority of the world understands how hard writers have to work to produce something readable. Remember writing term papers in school? Multiply that by a thousand and you’ll begin to have an idea.
I also ended up grocery shopping on Saturday, which was depressing because of how much money I don’t have. And I ended up buying twice as much meat as I needed because I got distracted talking to the nice butcher guy at The Fresh Market who I like. What? Merry distracted by a man? NEVER!
Now I would have had time to catch up on my blog writing on Sunday, but once again I had to work on the book in the morning, then I went to help my friend Kristine move some of her stuff into my brother’s apartment (they’re getting married in December). My brother, Stewart, lives on the second floor. He has a wonderful balcony up there. We had to hoist a mattress and a sofa up over the balcony and into the apartment and move two chairs and a different mattress out over the balcony and down. We did this by backing the U-Haul up to the side of the house and working in teams to lift stuff. Note to anyone who might want to try this in the future: the roofs of U-Hauls are made of very, very thin sheets of tin foil. Be careful.
After that I went to a cricket match. My team won pretty easily. But the best part about that was that my “cricket daddy” Mike had come down from Boston, where he moved last year. I haven’t seen him since April, and it was SO wonderful to catch up with him. After the game I went to the pub with the guys and ate nachos and drank a shandy while watching the end of the Eagles game. Then we talked loudly about cricket for over an hour. So much fun.After that I had to go to my aunt’s house for a family dinner. I didn’t get home until well after 8, and I was so exhausted that I couldn’t look at the computer, let alone write a blog post.
So that’s why I didn’t write a blog post today, even though blogs are essential for writers. Oh well, the week is young yet. I’m sure I’ll get something out there by Wednesday.