It’s Time for (Many) Experienced Writers to Stop Blogging

Should writers blog?

Note from Jane: This provocative guest post is by L.L. Barkat (@llbarkat). If this topic interests you, I also recommend reading my older posts, Please Don’t Blog Your Book: 4 Reasons Why and Get Started Guide: Blogging for Writers, especially if you think blogging is the right choice for you. While my views don’t mirror Barkat’s (see the comments for my take), her perspective is refreshing and helps to dispel a few platform-building myths that are pervasive in the writing community. Blogging is neither a requirement nor the best marketing and promotion tool for a huge swath of writers, regardless of their experience or level of accomplishment.

I look forward to a lively debate—offer your view in the comments. You should also read this counterpoint from Dan Blank, 2 Strategic and Compelling Reasons to Keep Blogging—and When You Should Stop.


“Blogging is a waste of time.”

The panel burst into protestations. Jana Riess, Lauren Winner, Cindy Crosby, and Andy Crouch were at the Calvin Festival, discussing social media in 2006, before it was a foregone conclusion that if you were an author you should have a blog.

Andy Crouch was being a bit bald-faced in making his proclamation. After all, he wasn’t a blogger. He didn’t have much of a social media presence. Remember, these were the days before Twitter, super-charged Facebook, and LinkedIn. And forget about an author claiming to be the Mayor of the Library of Congress in a game of Foursquare. What’s more, nobody was going to pin Crouch’s statement on Pinterest or pheed it to Pheed.

Was Crouch right?

I decided to find out. Especially because I’d recently met the Director of Marketing and Promotion from Simon & Schuster, who’d told me flatly, “We ask all our authors to start blogs.”

So in 2006, I started blogging. Over six years, I wrote more than 1,300 blog posts, garnered over 250,000 page views, helped establish a large blogging network for which I later became the Managing Editor, test-marketed five books and wrote and sold them. I watched blogging colleagues get book contracts. I hired some of these  bloggers as editors for the network where I managed. I was a true believer in the blog world.

But on Saturday, November 10, 2012, I suddenly did the unthinkable. I myself stopped blogging.

I had finally decided that Andy Crouch was right. Six years later.

Last spring, an author approached me via Twitter to get my advice about blogging. How could she make it work for her? Was it worth it? Should she move to WordPress, get a new design? What did I think?

I told her to forget about blogging. And one week later, after a Skype conversation about writing and platform-building, I hired her as an Editor for Every Day Poems, a publication of the site where I currently serve as Managing Editor. “How many people are visiting your blog per month? One hundred?” I had joked gently. “Work with us and serve a much larger audience. This will be more worth your time.”

Does this mean I would recommend that everyone stop blogging? No. I encourage new bloggers, just the way I always have. It’s an excellent way to find expression, discipline, and experience. But if writers already have experience, and they are authors trying to promote themselves and their work, I tell them to steer clear. If they’ve already found themselves sucked into the blogging vortex, I suggest they might want to give it up and begin writing for larger platforms that don’t require reciprocity (an exhausting aspect to blogging and a big drain on the writer’s energy and time).

Someone will disagree with me and point to a case like best-selling author Ann Voskamp, and I will point them back to the facts. Yes, Voskamp made it big largely because of the power of her blogging platform, but she had the power of being first. Before blogging was a “thing,” Voskamp was already blogging quietly and steadily in 2003. Before blog networks came of age, she was writing for one of the few women’s sites that also had the power of being first. Time cannot be turned back. Few authors can make of themselves what Voskamp did—not for lack of talent but for lack of timing and sheer cyber-longevity.

If an author shouldn’t be blogging, what should an author be doing? This is up for discussion. It is a current trend to use Facebook as a writing venue. One of my top colleagues just got invited to write for 99U, as a result of her Facebook-writing activity. This same colleague connected with Lifehacker via Twitter and got a regular writing gig as a result. And she is not a writer with an otherwise large platform. As it turns out, intelligence can be expressed in strings of 140 characters, and big outlets will pay attention.

For myself, the same has been true. New writing assignments, some even international, have come primarily through Twitter. Likewise, I myself publish poets I meet on Twitter and Tumblr, while I am far less likely to do the same for bloggers. It’s not a bias. It’s a matter of simplicity. I can see at a glance how a writer expresses. Remember the old elevator pitch? It’s alive and well on Twitter and I depend on it. Apparently others do too.

Is blogging a waste of time? Crouch was ahead of his time in saying so. For the experienced writer, my answer is yes … in 2013.


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Posted in Guest Post, Marketing & Promotion, Social Media.

L.L. Barkat

L.L. Barkat is the author of six books, including Love, Etc: Poems of Love, Laughter, Longing & Loss; The Novelist: A Novella; and Rumors of Water: Thoughts on Creativity & Writing (twice named a Best Book of 2011). Her poems have appeared at Best American Poetry, VQR, NPR, and Every Day Poems. She is the founder of T.S. Poetry Press and Managing Editor of Tweetspeak Poetry.

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332 Comments on "It’s Time for (Many) Experienced Writers to Stop Blogging"

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jeffo
jeffo
3 years 2 months ago
I note that there are a lot of successful authors who DON’T blog. Of course, many were successful long before blogging became a thing, but certainly they are active in other areas. New authors need to approach blogging carefully. It can be a huge time sink–if you let it become one, but so can Twitter and all the others, if you’re not careful. It’s also not going to pave your road with gold and book deals and mega-advances. The problem is most new writers end up blogging about…writing, and that interests other people who are at the same stage in… Read more »
Carrie C
Carrie C
1 year 6 months ago

Exactly! It can be a huge time commitment, but if you’re dedicated and engaging with your audience it will be well worth the time! Interacting and communicating with your audience then they’re likely wanting to follow you and eventually read your books! On the Speaking of Wealth show we talk to several authors and they would gain real value from blogging, if they stick to it and develop that relationship with their audience.

Beth bates
Beth bates
3 years 2 months ago

Hallelujah, amen. I’m taking this post as gospel and going to finish my book now. Also, please define “experienced.”

Jane Friedman
3 years 2 months ago
As someone who has been blogging since 2008—and pulled back in summer 2012, for various reasons—here’s my perspective on what I see as a fairly multi-faceted issue. 1. There are a million blogs out there, and it’s tough to get attention. So I agree with Laura that people who get into the game today must contend with a very different dynamic than people who got into it 5 or 10 years ago. However, that’s not a reason not to do it. If it were, then why bother writing fiction or poetry or memoir or essay? Thousands upon thousands of writers… Read more »
Beth Bates
Beth Bates
3 years 2 months ago

I think I only blog when I want to write about something I don’t feel like going through the rigamarole of submitting to journals or pitching. But maybe I ought to.

virtualDavis
3 years 2 months ago

What a jolly (and timely) debate! Like most, there’s no tidy “right” answer. And with time tick, tick, ticking away, the answer is changing every day. So rather than wading into the fray I say, follow your passion. And — from time to time — change it up. Blog for a while. Stop blogging for a while. It’s a bit like scotch and bourbon. Or wanderlust and homelust… Thanks for a provocative post, Ms. Barkat. 🙂

Dina Santorelli
3 years 2 months ago

I love this comment. Agreed.

Amy Sue Nathan
3 years 2 months ago

I’ve been blogging since 2006. I can’t imagine not blogging. But I do suggest to new writer or author bloggers that they blog less about their book or writing and more about their interest, or what their writing is about. I don’t think that blogs that are just a book or even a personal life (unless it’s awful or awesome) will get through all the noise that is out there today. But a special interest blog—about gardening or toddlers or cupcakes just might. And there area always ways to also make it about the writing and/or the book.

Richard Mabry
3 years 2 months ago

I’ve addressed this before with those who read my tweets, Facebook posts and blog. Each audience had a different view, but apparently all of them agreed that they spent much more time on Facebook than either of the other two venues. I’m probably where most of my published-but-still-working-to-maintain-platform colleagues are: I’m afraid to stop what I’m doing. Thanks, LL and Jane, for triggering further discussion.

jswwrites
jswwrites
3 years 2 months ago

The whole “build a platform” thing is overrated – it mostly just takes time from writing. I blog and use Facebook and Twitter. That’s it. I blog because I enjoy it — I was blogging before I was publishing — not necessarily to build an audience for my books. If that happens, it’s great, but if not, that’s okay, too. I’m fairly new to the publishing world (less than a year) but I took some early advice to heart: only do the things you enjoy and forget the rest so you can focus on writing.

Anthony David Jacques
3 years 2 months ago
I find that blogging was good experience, and I even did a short story a week for an entire year on my blog back in 2010. But I realized not long after that blogging was the gateway drug to better writing and it was time to move on bigger things. I have been a contributor and editor on a couple online zones since then, have published a few short stories and am waiting to hear back from my editor on my first novel due out later this year. The time I saved no longer blogging made all this possible. But… Read more »
Kurt Brindley
3 years 2 months ago
If someone has a blogging niche, a speciality, a unique voice, then blog it. A problem I see is, many writers’s blogs, mine included, are all over the map, not focused nor are they regularly presented. On the other hand, there are way too many writers out there with “how to succeed as writers” blogs. I tend to expect highly established writers, the NBAs and Pulitzer Prize winners, etc., not to have a blog or much of a social presence. Call it a personal bias but to me blogging seems rather blue collar. Nothing wrong with that – life is… Read more »
Jane Friedman
3 years 2 months ago
There are many high-profile writers who have social-media presences, though many of them tend to be in the genres (young adult, romance, scifi, etc), such as John Green, Neil Gaiman, John Scalzi, etc. If you look at major literary-award winners, it’s true that they tend to be rather reserved/quiet/absent from online. I think this is a symptom of (1) this “ranking” thing—it’s beneath them as “literary” writers and (2) they made their careers before the online world became what you see today. HOWEVER: Just about every literary author I know writes for online venues at some point. But there’s a… Read more »
Porter Anderson
3 years 2 months ago
@be8d09308a2cfbf806c5cfdb9d6a93b4:disqus @janefriedman:disqus All good points. But I think literary writers also have a much harder row to hoe in social media — inclusive of blogging — because they, by definition, don’t “niche” easily. Some may be seen as holding themselves “above the fray” if they don’t get in there and sling the tweets with everybody else and blog their breakfasts and whatnot, but their hesitance may have to do with the difficulty of the “non-genre” nature of what they do. If they want to blog, it might HAVE to be breakfast they talk about because there’s a lot less chance… Read more »
Jane Friedman
3 years 2 months ago
Thanks for jumping in, Porter! Thought provoking. I’ve always loved the Julian Barnes quote, “Never read at a reading. They’d rather hear what you had for breakfast.” For writers we idolize, reading about the ephemera of their life isn’t so bad—we get a glimpse of their greatness, mystery, humanity, ordinariness. But addressing your point—that literary writers don’t have the temperament—one thinks that they must lack imagination if there’s not a single thing they can imagine themselves doing that’s tied to online media. I can understand lack of time, less so temperament, though I suppose there’s a segment of the writing… Read more »
Nina Amir
3 years 2 months ago

Agree.

Adelaide Shaw
1 year 9 months ago
I am one of those older writers (literary type I like to think since my work doesn’t fit any genre) who is not on facebook and who does not use twitter. I have two blogs, one for my previousely published haiku and other Japanese short fortm poetry and one for writing, I’ve had 27 years of experience writing short stories and have had over 50 published in print and on-line, have written three novels which have not found a publisher. I’ve earned next to nothing with my stories as most small literary journals don’t even send a contributor’s copy any… Read more »
Kurt Brindley
3 years 2 months ago
As with all good discussions and debates, this is one where there are really no wrong answers; only ones that are right according to one’s values and taste. I have no expectations that who I consider/value as a high-profile writer will align exactly with anyone else – maybe it will, maybe it won’t. Just because someone hits it big doesn’t automatically or even necessarily make him or her high-value writer in my book, so to speak. In fact, most of the authors I read are dead and the living ones, while award-worthy in my eyes, are, generally speaking, hardly making… Read more »
Nina Amir
3 years 2 months ago
I remember getting publicly slammed by a writing newsletter with 70,000 subscribers when I asked the editor/owner/writer to provide me with a free guest post for my Write Nonfiction in November event. She was appalled that I would be asking any writer to provide writing without pay. And she let everyone know. LOL. She wasn’t aware that most bloggers were providing free guest posts on a regular basis just for the promotional bio. Now we do so much of that online–everything from a 500 word blog post to much longer articles. But I can see how someone might see that… Read more »
moonduster
moonduster
3 years 2 months ago
When I was very young, I decided I wanted to be a writer, and somewhere along the way, I stopped writing and stopped believing. In 2008, I started working at losing weight and started to blog about it. (I lost 145+ lbs and went from morbidly obese to a healthy BMI.) I was approached by the editor of a magazine to begin writing regular articles for them and that lasted for over a year. In that time, I started blogging, on separate blogs, about other things that interested me, including writing. Through blogging, I found my voice again and remembered… Read more »
Dina Santorelli
3 years 2 months ago
I started blogging in 2010 as a way to fight my way out of a writer’s block. My theory was that writing something — anything — was the ticket to getting my novel completed, and it worked. Rather than sapping my energy, blogging invigorated me, connected me with other writers who were having similar problems or who had helpful advice. I completed my first novel about five months after I started my blog. So as I wrote my second novel (I’m editing it now), I figured the same technique would work — it didn’t. And hasn’t. Blogging didn’t seem as… Read more »
Ed Cyzewski
3 years 2 months ago
This is a really helpful post because I think it cuts to the real goal that many writers have with their blogs: reach a large number of readers. In many cases, guest posting for other websites with large readerships is the way to reach that goal. Having said that, if you can find a sustainable way to use a blog to reach your audience, that could still work. I think this post helps attack the assumption that a blog is where it’s at, when guest posting and writing for high traffic sites will bring a greater return for your time,… Read more »
Nina Amir
3 years 2 months ago
@Ed_Cyzewski:disqus, I agree that test marketing ideas on a blog is a super use of the medium. It’s one use of the blogging-a-book idea. And it’s a reason so many successful blogs have gotten book deals and boggers have ended up booking their blogs. I am currently blogging bits of my new book and carefully watching the stats (and my publisher gave me permission to do so). As for guest blogging, I’m a huge advocate. I went on two blog tours with my last book and this helped sales tremendously. I jump at every opportunity to guest post for other… Read more »
Valorie Grace Hallinan
Valorie Grace Hallinan
3 years 2 months ago
I’ve grown to love my blog and I don’t plan to give it up any time soon, whether or not I become extensively published. I like it because of the art form itself, the mode of expression, the sheer pleasure of creating something that is meaningful to people. I like it because I’m offering something readers who find me value – and I’m giving it away for free which, I have to say, isn’t what I wanted to do at first. But now I find that free giving satisfying and something important in my life. (Not that I would give… Read more »
Shirley Showalter
3 years 2 months ago
Laura, you have named what I have suspected in the last year or so. Many of my most admired blogger friends are ready to move on. How much of your own decision is due to your own development as a writer with an already-established platform who has more choices now and how much is due to new conditions in the blogosphere (too many other bloggers)? Also, after so many years, was burnout an issue? Your point about the expectation of reciprocity and (Kurt’s point in the comments) the tendency for blogs to build a community of other writers instead of… Read more »
Dan Blank
3 years 2 months ago
L.L., Thank you for the thoughtful post. I tend to agree with Jane’s comments here. To me, this topic is important because it asks a question of WHY? Why blog? Why write? Why use Twitter? When you don’t understand your goals, you can’t adequately make decisions about how to manage your writing life. I see far too many blog posts that try to remove thoughtfulness from the process of becoming a writer, and becoming a writer who gets READ. So much out there saying: YOU HAVE TO BLOG! YOU HAVE TO BE ON GOOGLE+! YOU HAVE TO WRITE MORE BOOK!… Read more »
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[…] If writers already have experience, and they are authors trying to promote themselves and their work, they should stop blogging.  […]

Tracy Staedter
Tracy Staedter
3 years 2 months ago

I started a blog last spring about writing. It was mostly a way to help me crystallize certain craft ideas. And perhaps readers got something out of it, too. By fall, I had to stop. It was taking up precious time that I needed to devote to actual writing. I still have the blog and I will return to it, I’m sure. But in the meantime, I’m devoting my time to writing writing writing writing.

Nelbot Timebomb PuddingTane
3 years 2 months ago
Well L.L. Barkat thinks many writers shouldn’t blog but I’m not sure I understand why she feels that way, I have seen nothing here that convinces me that– I’m not sure, does she feel it is detrimental somehow or just a waste of time? She really doesn’t explain why she stopped blogging and why she feels that others should as well. This article leaves me with more questions than answers. I followed some of the links here: don’t blog your book might be more appropriately titled don’t try to book your blog, or perhaps don’t think that one should automatically… Read more »
Shauntelle Hamlett
Shauntelle Hamlett
3 years 2 months ago
I don’t think it’s as simple as “it’s time for writers to stop blogging.” It seems to me it’s more that… it’s time for writers to stop jumping on bandwagons and thinking there’s a one-size fits all solution to marketing and connecting with their audiences. A blog with no clear purpose doesn’t attract readers and doesn’t build a platform… but the same can be said for any marketing tool. My hunch is that if you look at writers who have found success on any particular platform, it’s because they found their sweet spot… they knew what they wanted to communicate,… Read more »
Hart Johnson
3 years 2 months ago

Well said. I think each of us has different tendencies. I, for one, suspect a person needs to be on crack to follow Twitter–not my thing. But I like blogging and facebook a lot, so that is where I put the effort.

Paula Cappa
3 years 2 months ago
Most successful authors who don’t blog already have a readership and probably don’t need to keep exposing their work or skills to the reading public. Blogging is important for new and indie authors who need a vehicle to expose themselves as authors, thinkers, dedicated to writing and reading. I blog weekly because, yes, I have a book I’m promoting, but more to the point, I’m really having fun and learning with my blog because it’s related to my novel. I blog about the classic short stories written by the master writers (horror) and my book is horror (and I write… Read more »
Scott
Scott
3 years 2 months ago
As a reader, I think we are looking for ways to connect with authors. For me, blogs are the way to do so. It’s interactive, not with the story, but with the storyteller, and I’ve probably bought more books after getting into an author’s blog than from any other way. For example, I saw many comments by Laura Resnick on various blogs I read, and decided that I needed to read something by her, so when I saw her book on the shelves at B&N, I grabbed it. Had I not recognized her name from those many comments, I wouldn’t… Read more »
Farhan Mosavi
Farhan Mosavi
3 years 2 months ago

All you have said is:

Bloggers should stop blogging because six years ago someone said that and six years later you said the same to a Twitter fan. The end.

I thought I was about to read something which will contain strong arguments and well researched statistics. There’s really no content in the article except for your personal viewpoint.

JosephRatliff
3 years 2 months ago

Test it (blogging)… try it. If blogging doesn’t suit your purposes, stop doing it.

Even if you’re experienced, it’s worth testing. Steven Pressfield blogs, even someone else I follow (Jane Friedman) blogs… why stop?

But keep this in mind, if you stop blogging, were your objectives set correctly? Did you have the right goals for blogging in the first place?

There are many different reasons to blog, have you explored them all?

Experienced or not, it’s not necessarily time to stop blogging.

Elaine Lipson
3 years 2 months ago

On any given morning I can find an article that tells me to start blogging, stop blogging, get off Facebook, quit Twitter, use only Twitter, turn it all off, use social media differently, use Tumblr, self-publish, return to print, whatever. It’s exhausting. The truth is that nobody knows and the target is moving every day.

Jane Friedman
3 years 2 months ago

To reinforce Laura’s point, my analytics:

1. Google organic search
2. Twitter
3. Facebook
4. Mentions by other blogs

Important, though: If those are my key traffic sources, what are people looking at? For me, it’s overwhelmingly blog content (old and new).

Kari Neumeyer
3 years 2 months ago

I’ve been blogging since 2002, never as a means of getting anywhere as a writer, but because I enjoy it. Lately, I’ve been trying to attract more readers as a way to build a platform for my memoir. I still enjoy it, but feel less free to blog about whatever topic strikes my fancy.

I’m confused about the advice to use Facebook as a writing venue instead. What’s the difference, other than having less control over design?

Tina Barbour
Tina Barbour
3 years 2 months ago
A wonderfully thought-provoking post and discussion, and a wonderful illustration of what blogging can be! I started blogging in order to write about a subject near and dear to me that I didn’t get to write about in my day job (newspaper reporter). It’s “my own” writing. I have met many others who write about/read about/experience the same things, and the relationships I’ve made with them have made my life better. I feel like I’m making a contribution to the subject matter. I’ve become an advocate in my field, with a focus on helping and encouraging others. So blogging has… Read more »
Lorrie Porter
3 years 2 months ago
This is a very insteresting discussion. Thank you for bringing it to the fore. I agree writers can find a lot of their time consumed by blogging. I write a blog called: This Craft Called Writing, which I started to help my application for Arts Council funding (which was successful). It’s been running almost a year now and even though the funding period is almost over I think I’d like to continue with the blog, despite the time it takes. I suppose it boils down to what value a blog has for both the writer and the reader. As my… Read more »
Darrelyn Saloom
3 years 2 months ago

I enjoy blogging because of the conversations it can spark like this one today. But it is a time drain, so I only post once or twice a month. I think the problem is over-blogging. If you post every day (or even 3 times a week) you risk buring out, and buring out your readers.

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Nina Amir
3 years 2 months ago
Given that I’ve written a book about blogging, I had to get in on this discussion. LOL. I’m still a firm believer that a blog will help an aspiring or published author in a variety of ways, not the least of which is by building a platform. And the large publishers require a platform and indie publishers need one to succeed. A blog forms an effective foundation for connecting with social networks and provides an easily manageable and discoverable website for most writers. A blog will also help writers build a brand and expert status. These will help them succeed… Read more »
SimplyDarlene
SimplyDarlene
3 years 2 months ago

Oh miss L.L. – how I’ve missed you!

Recently I was told that I need to build a platform and spit-shine my SimplyDarlene blog, so I’ve been busy looking for nails, plywood, and collecting saliva in the creases of my cheeks… 😉

Can’t we just go back to smoke signals and telephone party lines? My old-fashioned, ‘n simple country heart would be fine with that.

Blessings.

Wendy Russ
3 years 2 months ago
I don’t blog as much as I used to because I’m more focused on writing for “production” (i.e. either a book or short stories/essays/poems that might improve my byline). I have found no value (yet) for blogging as a marketing tool. However, I have found it INVALUABLE for several reasons: Building my community: I have met other wonderful writers this way who have helped me improve as a writer, who have been champions for my writing passion. In turn I have done the same for them. Building my courage: I have posted pieces I wasn’t sure “worked” and have gotten… Read more »
Kelly McClymer
3 years 2 months ago

Interesting perspective!

I agree that blogging may not be for everyone (nothing is). But for fiction authors, it provides a chance to answer some reader questions with an archive of blog posts that can be accessed if and when the author comes across the curious reader’s radar. It also offers an opportunity to pass along hard-learned tips to other authors (although I agree that is best done on a larger format, but cross-posting couldn’t hurt).

Theresa Milstein
3 years 2 months ago
I must confess that I’ve been feeling blog fatigue. The reciprocity and frequency is what gets me. I like to promote other authors and to put up poems, and even still write the occasional essay-type post. And I have my faithful readers, but much needs to be done on my end to get other people to read my blog. And it’s a commitment to read other blogs. I feel bad to skim. It’s so much easier to keep in contact with people through Facebook and Twitter. While many of my favorite writer relationships began with blogging, we spend way more… Read more »
Brooke Warner
3 years 2 months ago

This is thought-provoking. I appreciate it, and I just post on my site once a month and call it a newsletter. So often I’ve felt like I “should” be blogging more, but the fact is I just don’t want to and I would rather save the content I have for social media. Smart stuff. Thanks, Jane! Pleasure to meet you at AWP.

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Tom Bentley
Tom Bentley
3 years 2 months ago
L.L., I think you make a good case that writers who have a thinly attended blog (thinly disguised me) should look to venues with higher readership for exposure and attention. But as well as writing fiction and journalistic pieces, I’m a copywriter too, who sometimes uses the blog to talk about copywriting (in the thinly veiled hope of attracting copywriting clients). But suffering from lack-of-blog-clarityitis, I also blog about all manner of writing topics, from how pruning trees is an editing metaphor to how writing in an Airstream rounds out your thoughts. Nine-headed Hydra blogs might not find anyone to… Read more »
Marcia Richards
Marcia Richards
3 years 2 months ago
I’ve been blogging since 2004. It has helped me develop my voice and writing. I began learning to write fiction 2 yrs ago and have finished a novella and half of another novel, though they are unpublished because, frankly, they stink. I’m currently writing a new novel. So, I’m not an experienced writer by your definition but, I am cutting back on my weekly blogging. My reason: While I have established my ‘brand’ through blogging and made wonderful connections I wouldn’t have made otherwise, I’m running on empty for topics. I suppose I’m just not enjoying it as much as… Read more »
Victoria Noe
3 years 2 months ago
I started my blog a little over two years ago. It was part of my author platform strategy – part of it. The purpose of my platform work was to build credibility and awareness of my topic (grieving the death of a friend). Sometimes it’s a burden, sometimes it’s not big deal. The awards are nice, but not something I seek. What’s important, I believe, is to put blogs into perspective. “I need to blog to build my platform” is only part of the answer. As I said about, I had two goals: credibility and awareness. I’ve achieved them. But… Read more »
Nina Amir
3 years 2 months ago

Great points, Viki. Market research is so important. You have to know where your readers are and what they like–tweets or posts or both. Of course, a link to a post makes a great tweet! Value is the main thing.

Hart Johnson
3 years 2 months ago
I am the rare bird who actually got my book contract through my blog. I began blogging about 4 years ago, have made a large group of friends that is ‘dense’–in that we have also become friends through Facebook, Twitter… the cross pollination is going. But one of my early friends recognized a cozy mystery voice in me–a genre I’d never tried… and then she referred me for an audition opportunity. That said, I see it’s function for NEW writers as 1) the best place to solidify VOICE (no better way to learn what YOU uniquely bring to the table… Read more »
Amy Shojai
Amy Shojai
3 years 2 months ago
The issue I see with publishers “demanding” an author blog is they offer no guidelines about WHAT to blog. So the poor author defaults into blogging about writing–which attracts other writers or wannabes (maybe), but few readers. If it’s true that readers want to know ABOUT the authors they read (and I believe that’s the case) but not be hit over the head with writing how-to-do-it, it’s a no brainer. Blog about what you love. Yes, it’s easier for nonfiction authors–but you can do it with fiction, too. If the PV continue the same as the past week, my blog… Read more »
Porter Anderson
3 years 2 months ago

Just came across an #AWP13 tweet that I think has some relevance here. 🙂 (And I’m not sure I’ve ever tried getting one to render in a comment, seems that it sort of works, lol, just not real well graphically.)

#awp13 there are way too many blogs about writing that aren’t good enough. – Priscilla Long— ann_oconnell (@ann_oconnell) March 7, 2013

Jane Friedman
3 years 2 months ago

Truth.

Cyd Madsen
3 years 2 months ago

Proof. LOL

Tom Johnson
Tom Johnson
3 years 2 months ago

Great post. It made me rethink using Twitter but I have a question. I cant really seem to wrap my head around Twitter. I would like to use it to have fun, joke around and express my opinions but I worry I will look “unprofessional” to potential clients because I’m a freelance copywriter as well as an unpublished fiction writer. I’m unsure of what to talk about. Should I be giving copy writing advice, spit balling story ideas or is it safe to just relax and be myself? Any input would be appreciated.

Jane Friedman
3 years 2 months ago

IMHO, there as many different ways to use Twitter as there are people. Probably some of the most popular Twitter feeds are those that offer witty commentary, so it’s unlikely you’d be found unprofessional as long as the Twitter bio more or less states your general purpose there (to have fun).

Highly recommend that you relax and be yourself.

Porter Anderson
3 years 2 months ago

@disqus_8HKOaUMMMo:disqus

Tom, I agree with Jane below, and I’d recommend a couple of folks to look at on Twitter for examples of primarily witty-commentary streams. One is a colleague, Chris Kubica ( @ChrisKubica ) and another is Will Hindmarch ( @wordwill ).

-p.

@Porter_Anderson

Joe Bunting
3 years 2 months ago

Interesting point, Laura. I’ve thought a lot about blogging and my place in it over the last year. Creative writers, fiction writers especially, have a hard time building traction with blogs, and so many of us end up starting writing blogs, which rarely convert to readers of our fiction. So you’ve nailed something here, I think. Still—and I’m hesitant to say this in such astute company but—the best tool to sell books online that I’ve found is email, and one of the best ways to build an email list is through a blog.

Shauntelle H.
3 years 2 months ago
I’m late joining in on this cause I take my weekends offline mostly… but I had to chime in and say HEAR, HEAR to you Joe! I adore that you understand your writing as a business and I LOVE that you also understand just how important having a list can be to selling your books and engaging with your readers (I’m extrapolating that bit because I feel pretty certain you get this.). I think this is a point that many writers with blogs don’t understand… Most of the fiction writers I know don’t think about adding email subscription options (or… Read more »
Joe Bunting
3 years 2 months ago

Thanks Shauntelle. You and I are on the same page. 🙂

Jordan Monson
3 years 2 months ago

Joe, I believe you’re right. Almost every blogger-turned-book-writer who is successful is writing in the non-fiction or inspirational or self-help genre. Your Jeff Goins/Michael Hyatt type of inspirational self promoting characters. For fiction writers, blogging doesn’t make much sense. I’m surprised I’ve read so little about this. Am I missing the articles? Does Jane cover this, or one of the other writerly or agent bloggers? Thanks for speaking a truth that many see but few talk about.

Joe Bunting
3 years 1 month ago

We’re experimenting with how to do this over at storycartel.com, Jordan. You should check it out.

trackback
3 years 2 months ago

[…] there’s L.L. Barkat’s (@llbarkat) assertion that It’s Time for (Many) Experienced Writers to Stop Blogging on Jane Friedman’s blog. They key word in the title is “experienced.” The post is not […]

Rodney Savary
Rodney Savary
3 years 2 months ago
“The power of being first” is what I connected with, because I have been aware of the phenomenon, but not the exact phrase. In many areas I have had to decide whether to commit to certain things because they were tried and true, or if I should devote time and effort into another direction because the wheel had already been invented and rolling it would only get me where others have already gone. I have to stand out if I am to be successful and continue to enjoy writing, and that won’t happen if I follow in another’s footsteps without… Read more »
trackback

[…] Barkat/Jane Friedman: It’s Time for (Many) Experienced Writers to Stop Blogging. Excerpt: “Today’s provocative guest post is by L.L. Barkat. While my (Jane’s) views […]

Katla Sieltjes
3 years 2 months ago

Something I didn’t see addressed in the article or comments – is your blog adding to your output? I write novels and short stories in the Amsterdam Assassin Series, but I find I’d like to write more about Amsterdam and Assassins than I can put in the novels and short stories, which is why I have a blog. More information on Katla’s Amsterdam gets articles on my blog, but it’s not ‘fit for publication’ in an ebook.

Jane Friedman
3 years 2 months ago

Wonderful point, Katla. A blog works well for that type of content. You might also consider putting that content in a periodic e-mail newsletter (if you don’t already) so fans can be sure they don’t miss any of the extras—plus you get a valuable and direct communication path to your most loyal fans.

Katla Sieltjes
3 years 2 months ago
I don’t put out newsletters or use mailchip etcetera, and my blog amsterdamassassin.wordpress.com doesn’t have much traffic, but I enjoy making articles on parts of Amsterdam that appear in the Amsterdam Assassin Series that would take up too much space or drag down the pace of the novels. Plus I add my own photos and Googlemaps to the articles, so people who enjoy my novels can study the locations from the book more ‘in-depth’. I also post samples from my WIP, so people who read the novels can anticipate on the next novel in the series. Martyn V. Halm, author… Read more »
Amanda Socci
3 years 2 months ago
This blog post is of timely consideration for me as I approach my one year mark of blogging consistently. I am extremely proud of everything I’ve accomplished in one year. I’m proud of saying that I’ve cut my teeth in blogging on my own blog. After attempting a blog for the first time 5 years ago and giving up after 2 blog posts, my 1-year accomplishment is pretty good. With that being said, I am starting to feel a strong calling towards getting back into regular full-time freelance writing, which is a far cry from the informality of blogging. If… Read more »
Helena Halme
3 years 2 months ago

But how, oh, how can one stop blogging? Is there a Bloggers AA ?

David Rupert
3 years 2 months ago

First, you have to admit you are powerless

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