Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Guest Blogger Nancy Wood Discusses Blogging

Keep blogging

There’s been a lot in the blogosphere lately about whether writers should maintain a blog. When I saw this headline, “It’s Time for (Many) Experienced Writers to Stop Blogging,” 

 I was all over it, like butter and sour cream on a baked potato. I have a blog

 which I started just about a year ago, when Due Date was published. I’ve kept it going all year, but it’s not easy for me.

It takes me a long time to figure out topics, even longer to write them. It’s much harder for me than writing fiction. Plus, it makes a huge dent in the hours I have available for writing. And, to top it off, the pay-off isn’t great: my blog gets maybe 100 page visits a month, in a good month!

So I dove headfirst into the article, hoping for justification to drop the blog. But the headline was a bit misleading. The gist of the article was that a blog isn’t for everyone. If your goal is purely to increase readership of your book, blogging probably won’t get you there. If you have an opportunity to write for a site that will get more traffic than your blog, hop on it.

But the comments on the article did come around in support of blogging. A blog can offer lots of other high-value qualities, including:

* Discipline: My unwritten goal is to do one blog post a week, 250-500 words in length. I probably manage 3 a month, so I’m almost there.

* Experimentation: I haven’t done much that’s non-traditional. I’ve run a series of articles on surrogacy, as the protagonist in Due Date is a surrogate mother. I’ve also blogged on setting, suspense, book marketing, backstory, characters, swearing, guns, clues, red herrings.

* Focus: My blog has given me focus, in that it makes me hyper-aware of my external presence in the world. I can’t just throw something out there. It has to be well-written, fresh, and have a crisp edge. Basically, it has to be worth the minute or two that it will take someone to read it. I also try to keep it focused on topics related to mysteries and thrillers, but often veer away if something catches my interest!

* Voice: Writing posts has also helped with voice. Nothing like taking an amorphous thought and distilling into a coherent, and short, package, all while writing in a friendly and welcoming tone.

Another benefit of a blog wasn’t mentioned in the article or in the comments: it’s all about connections. Through my blog and website, I’ve connected with so many people I would not have otherwise. In addition to my blog, I run a weekly author interview column, where I interview other authors writing in the mystery/thriller/suspense genre. That has been quite rewarding. Over the nine months I’ve been doing this, I’ve met dozens of authors and had the pleasure of reading many wonderful mysteries.

The one thing I still struggle with is the number of hours in the day. Dang those 24 hours! There’s not enough of them to write, blog, and tweet, let alone do things like work and hang out with family and friends! It’s all a process, though. Now, if I can just pay attention to my own “Keep writing” advice, I’ll be in the pink!

Surrogate mother Shelby McDougall just fell for the biggest con of all—a scam that risks her life and the lives of her unborn twins.
Twenty-three year-old Shelby McDougall is facing a mountain of student debt and a memory she’d just as soon forget. A Rolling Stone ad for a surrogate mother offers her a way to erase the loans and right her karmic place in the cosmos. Within a month, she's signed a contract, relocated to Santa Cruz, California, and started fertility treatments.
But intended parents Jackson and Diane Entwistle have their own secret agenda—one that has nothing to do with diapers and lullabies. With her due date looming, and the clues piling up, Shelby must save herself and her twins. As she uses her wits to survive, Shelby learns the real meaning of the word “family.”

1 comment:

  1. Nancy's post is full of good advice. Thanks for having her as a guest.