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Aug
19
2015

Blogging That Isn't Blah. -- by Jon Goff

Is it a blog you have, or is it just blah?  What you blog about as a writer matters, yet many new writers blog about things the average reader doesn't care about. 
 
We're writers, so it seems only natural that if we have a blog that we should blog about writing. Right? 
 
Absolutely not.  Think about it, unless you're a well known, bestselling author, people aren't going to be interested in what you have to say about a field you have yet to establish yourself in.  Even if you are, the majority of the people who visit your blog aren't interested in the process. They're  interested in you, your world(s), and your characters. 
 
They really don't care about how you develop characters or pacing, or where you get your ideas. Writers do, and you'll have some come to your site who are interested in those things, but most people aren't.  They came for you, so treat them like the welcome guests they are.  No one visits a friend to talk about work and how they do their job. They visit to spend time with someone they care about, and with whom they feel some sort of connection. If all you do is talk about your job, they'll stop coming.  
 
Look around, read the blogs of successful authors like Brandon Sanderson, Stephen King, James Patterson, George R. R. Martin.  Their blogs aren't about the writing process. They're about the author and the worlds and characters they create.  
So, why are you writing about writing? 
 
Well then, if we're not going to write about writing, what should we write about?  
 
The answer is simple.  They've come to learn about you and the worlds you've created, so write about everything that isn't about writing. Write about your characters. Talk about your book your stories, your world. Many of us spend a lot of time creating back story that never makes it into the book (which is as it should be), so introduce it in your blog.  Write a short story about a minor character and post it. 
 
Write about your favorite books, movies, music. Write about what's happening in your life.  Readers like to feel connected to the people who entertain them.  You don't have to open up your personal life and wear it on your sleeve. In fact, don't.  You don't want to write about deeply personal things like marital problems or drug abuse, not unless they're in your past.  But you do want to write about your experiences.  Write about a movie or book you just saw or read, not as an author, but as a reader. 
 
Share recipes. Share humorous anecdotes. Share awesome, inspirational posts from Facebook or another blog, but for the love of heaven, do not talk about writing!
 
Make a list of things that interest you, then write about them. They're coming to your site to get to know you, not learn about writing.  And if you really want to, go ahead and put a link on your page for your ruminations on the writing life. There will always be someone who might be interested, so tuck it away in a corner, easy to find, but not out where everyone who doesn't care has to step around it to get to you.  Believe it or not, you're the reason they came.  It's you they want to spend time getting to know, so talk about yourself. Most of us were raised to believe it's bad manners, but it's what your visitors want, so open up. Be warm, be generous, and be kind.  They'll love you more for it, and visit often. 
Posted by Jon Goff 19 Aug 2015 at 01:50
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