Saturday, October 11, 2008

Writer Blogs

I enjoy blogging. As a writer, it's only natural that blogging would easily become one of my favorite pastimes. It's an opportunity to practice the art of creative writing – and in my opinion, all writing is creative – in a quick, digestible format for my blogger readers. But, is a blog necessary for a writer?

The viewpoints certainly vary. On the one camp, writers are encouraged to maintain a blog and build a reader base. The theory is that for each new book the writer authors, they will have an immediate fan base of people that will rush out to buy the new book. Sounds logical.

But what constitutes a "good" blog for a writer?

The blogs I most enjoy seem to have a theme, i.e. they are about something. Take for instance Supernatural Fairy Tales, the blog of Humble Fiction Café member Dorlana Vann. In her blog, Dorlana posts a monthly short story of a modernized fairy tale with an added supernatural element. She also posts articles about mythical creatures, such as elves, fairies and mermaids. In addition to her own stories and articles, Dorlana features guest bloggers. But in the end, everything relates back to fairy tales with a paranormal twist.

Another example of a writer blog with a clear topic is Eavesdrop Writer Blog. Read What I Hear. by Vivienne. This creative blog describes situations and conversations overheard by the author. They are entertaining observations of true life that spark the imagination.

Having a theme works especially well for non-fiction writers who typically have a specialty or particular subject matter about which they write. These authors' blogs capture readers with similar interests and enable the author to position themselves as experts.

For writers such as myself, who haven't quite yet found their writing niche, it isn't so easy. Many writers blog about writing. Interesting, yes, but the problem … and this leads to the opposing viewpoint of whether or not all writers should have blogs… is that there are so many. With hundreds, probably thousands, of writer blogs out there, what can you possibly do to make yours stand out?

A central idea is good, but equally important is that the blogger writes about what most interests him or her. This gives the blog a more personal feel. Regular updates are also vital, but daily are much too frequent. Once or twice a week seems to work well. Finally, unless it is a subject near and dear, and the author has done an outstanding job writing about it, I personally prefer shorter posts. Ones that don't take too much time to read.

My own blog contains book reviews, viewpoints of current events, and snippets of what's happening in my writer life. While I love my blog WordProverb, I'm not so sure it has mass appeal.

What's your opinion? For the blogs you frequent and read, do they have a theme? How often are they updated and what is it that draws you back?