Sunday, September 25, 2011

About that blogging...

I’ve been a little scarce around the blogosphere lately, mostly because what little time I have I’ve been working on my latest YA book. When you work full time and have a family and tons of other commitments, time is a scarce commodity. I’ve had to prioritize in order to meet my writing goals, often at the expense of reading and commenting on blogs. For this, I apologize. I’m headed down the homestretch, though, and I hope to get back to visiting all of your blogs soon.

I once read a comment from an agent (not mine) who said something along the lines: No offense, but most of the time writers who blog are just talking to each other. I was a little taken aback by the comment, mostly because I had hoped that I was reaching a much larger audience. And I wondered if what she said was true, did it matter that I was only reaching fellow writers? Did it matter that maybe no agent or editor would ever read one of my posts? Why was I blogging in the first place?

In the end, I decided that my blog was a way to share a little part of my world, and I hoped that in doing so my posts would speak to others or help them in some way. Are my posts always great? No. But the blog provides a platform on which to share one of the most important things in my life – my writing.

What do you think? Do you think we are just talking to each other? And if so, does that matter? What sorts of things do you do to reach a wider audience?

I think that cross promotion is essential to our success. We should be tweeting about our blog posts with links to send people to them. Same for Facebook and Linkedin or any other social media platform you use. And as a writing community, we can help one another by cross promoting. Several of you do this extremely well with what I call “link salads.” These weekly link roundups, such as this one from Adventures in Children's Publishing, helps to get more eyes on our blog posts and drive more traffic to our sites, hopefully increasing our followers.

I’ve seen your blogs grow in followers over the past few years, and it warms my heart to witness their growth. You are reaching more people each and every day. How awesome is that! Keep up the great work, and I hope that the ink is flowing and that you're proud of all that you do.


  1. I think we are just talking to each other in many ways but also sharing what we learn along the way, successes and failures, hope, encouragement, links to real resources (the practice room and the bookshelf muse come to mind), and promotion.

    That's some great talking to one another in my book :)

  2. I can totally relate to the lack of time and I have to make the writing more of a priority to reading blogs.

    I do think blog friends can help spread the word when your book is published. But it takes time and commitment, ie following each others blogs and commenting regularly to develop those relationships. My blog with Casey has grown because of her WriteOnCon work and all the author interviews, mostly debut authors, and my work following other blogs. So even though I haven't written as much as I'd like, I am getting the social networking down.

    I'm not on Twitter yet. I just don't have time.

  3. I think bloggers all talk to each other but I think we also talk to other people outside of our writing blog friends by sharing good books in real life, fb and twitter.
    I listened to a recent radio show with Neil Gaiman and he's been blogging forever and he does it because he enjoys it. I think that is the most important thing.

  4. Buffy, I understand that crunch for your time and attention. Time is my most valuable commodity. And when I'm in the grip of revisions or drafting, I have to let the blogging slide, too.

    As for whether blogging writers are only talking to each other -- what's wrong with that? I am happy to be part of a writing community, sharing stories and journeys, advice and ideas. I met all my beta readers through blogging.

    I suppose some people might see "selling books" as the major purpose of a blog. But I realized in my very first months of blogging -- when I talked only about my book and had about 5 followers, all relatives -- that was a faulty idea. Even I was bored.

  5. You sound so much like me! I'm just coming back today after a weeks-long hiatus. Regarding your question, yes, most of my commenters are other writers--which is lovely, because I derive enormous support and enjoyment from them. However, I know for a fact that several editors visited my blog when I was on submission, and on one phone call, the first thing the editor wanted to talk to me about was my blog. I think it's just part of the platform. Good luck with your juggling act! I sympathize!