When I first started blogging, I was somewhat late into it. I was cowriting then, but wrote most of the blogs then. Everything we saw online said “You have to be an expert” and “you have to have a platform.” I was a fiction writer. Exactly what was I supposed to do with it?
I could see how the advice related to a non-fiction book writer because they came with those parts as a function of what they were doing in their business. But fiction writing?
Ah ha! Writing!
* Sigh * Yeah, I fell into doing writing how-tos for a while. Surprisingly, it’s a rather boring subject. There just isn’t a lot of versatility in it. I’d write on them for about a year and then run out of topics.
Plus, all we got were other writers, not potential readers.
After I broke up with the cowriter, I moved the blog to where you’re reading it now. Still continued the how to posts, but it was often a struggle. I did the A to Z Challenge one year using writing as a topic. I tried to stay away from how-tos, but it was still hard to come up with enough topics, and I didn’t finish.
I took a blogging writing course that was for writers, thinking that would help. The emphasis of of the course was to find your own voice — but not do how-tos. The other writers eagerly flocked to everyone’s blog at first, posting comments and eagerly cheering people on.
Mine was the first one they dropped.
It took about two weeks.
At the time I was very frustrated. What was I doing wrong?
In hindsight, it was probably because I did stop doing the how-tos. Everyone else still did writing topics in addition to other topics.
But the one thing I did do was use it to figure out how to manage writing time. Even then, I wanted to write full time, so it would be training. I tend to write at the same time most days, so I picked a time when I normally wouldn’t do any writing to do posts.
It also cheered me on to writing fiction faster. I could put out a post almost as fast as I typed. Why was it so much harder on fiction? But writing posts helped reinforce in my head that I could write faster.
I also had an additional problem that was a bit of a challenge: My name. It’s kind of ordinary, and a lot of other people have it. At the time, there was another writer with my name who turned up on searches. But if I kept producing new posts, I would turn up higher in the search.
So I kept writing and trying to reinvent myself. But I kept writing the posts, kept them mostly to a schedule. The sheer act of doing the writing and trying to find other topics besides how-tos is how I found my blogging voice.
But the process to get there was really hard. I kept watching how low the numbers were for a long time and despaired at one point that maybe it wasn’t a good time investment. I debated giving up the blog several times. But I kept returning to the problem of my name and that a blog was probably the easiest way to keep my name showing up.
I think that’s a lot like writing fiction. A lot of writers expect to write one book and have it turn into a best seller so they can kick back and never work again. The more I’ve written, the more I can see what else I can write.
The most important thing is to write.
Inspired by a blog prompt from The Daily Prompt
What’s the most important (or interesting, or unexpected) thing about blogging you know today that you didn’t know a month ago?