Hey Epic Dreamers! Welcome to the second post in our Grow as a Writer series. The last Thursday of every month we’ll be discussing ways to grow as writers. It’s all about how we can stretch ourselves and strengthen our writing skills.
Today we’ll be discussion how blogging can make you a better author.
Most of you Epic Dreamers already have a blog of your own…that’s how you came across Invisible World in the first place. So you’re probably thinking, “I already blog. Tell me something I don’t do. This isn’t the big writing secret that will give me a writing superpower.”
It may seem a bit anticlimactic since it’s something you’re already doing, but knowing why we are doing something keeps us motivated to continue doing it even when it gets repetitious or we run out of ideas.
It’s pretty obvious why writing a blog post would improve your writing skills.
1. You get use to putting your thoughts and ideas on paper.
2. You get better at wording things and making your sentences flow.
But that’s the boring stuff (well maybe not that boring…we writers are a bit nerdy). What we’re really looking for is how to be better authors. We want the skills that will make us better storytellers. If all we cared about was the technical side of writing, than we would spend our time creating a textbook on grammar. What about all that stuff that will help us pursue our dream, whether that’s finding an agent, self publishing, or gathering a following on Wattpad?
Posting on a blog may not have all the bells and whistles of story writing, but it will still strengthen the skills needed to be a writer.
There are two main reason why I’m glad that I started blogging before I started writing my book. And as I’m sure you guessed, I’m going to share them with you. 🙂
Discipline and Commitment
If you start a blog, you have to be committed to it. It can’t just be something you start one weekend because you’re bored and you’ve already read your copy of Me Before You five times and are tired of sobbing when you get to the end.
Starting a blog means committing to a certain number of posts each month. It means disciplining yourself to write even when you don’t feel like it.
Making yourself sit down to write regularly and building your skills at committing to a long-term project are exactly what you need to be an author, no matter the platform.
If you don’t have the discipline to write a 500-word post, how will you write a 100,000-page novel? If you aren’t committed enough to post regularly, will you have the dedication to put out new chapters for your Wattpad audience?
A blog gives you a place to practice discipline and commitment on a small scale so when you decide you want to give that 100,000-word novel a try, you already have the skills needed.
Gets you used to others reading your work
It’s a bit daunting for new writers to share their work. Writing isn’t like completing a math equation. You’ve put your heart and soul into it. You’ve created something that wasn’t there before. From somewhere deep inside, you’ve pulled out a whole new universe. You’re basically a magician.
But in spite of this incredible gift you have and all the effort you’ve put into your story, there’s still fear rising in the pit of your stomach at the thought of anyone actually reading it. What if they don’t like it? What if they think it’s boring? And what if they have *gasp* critiques?
This is your precious, perfect little baby and if anyone says anything negative about it, that would stab a knife through your heart.
That might seem a bit dramatic to any non-writers reading this, but anyone who’s written a story knows exactly what I’m talking about. You’re not just sharing a story. You’re sharing a piece of yourself that no one has seen. And that’s scary.
Instead of waiting until you have a whole novel before you let someone see that piece of you, try sharing snippets at a time.
A blog is a perfect platform for you to share short stories or scenes from longer works before throwing your 100,000-word baby at someone and hoping they don’t tear it to pieces.
I never experienced the deer-in-the-head-lights panic that so many authors talk about when I first shared my book with people, and I attribute that to this blog. I was so used to people reading what I wrote that it was like, “Yeah, that’s why I wrote this…so people can read it.”
Besides teaching you discipline and getting you used to sharing your work, it also gives you a place to experiment with what styles or genres work for you and gives you a place to meet other writers.
I highly recommend blogging to anyone even remotely interested in writing stories, even if you aren’t sure writing fiction is for you. Once you’ve blogged a few months, you’ll know. I started this blog as an experiment and now, four years later, I’m still doing it. And if that isn’t a writing superpower, I don’t know what is. 😉
So if you haven’t started a blog by now, what are you waiting for?!