First off, thank you to Marie E. Stump at Light a Fire Instead for nominating me. Her blog posts are an insightful and personal expression of her writing journey.
As part of this award, I’ll be explaining why/how I started blogging and offering some blogging advice.
Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
Write a post to show your award.
Give brief story of how your blog started.
Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
Select 15 other victims bloggers you want to give this award to.
Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated them and provide the link to the post you created.
How/Why I started blogging
While stories and storytelling have always been a passion for me, it hasn’t always been clear how I should pursue that passion.
For several years I tried to write a novel, but several authors advised that there were many things I could learn more easily by writing short stories. I also read a great deal, both books on writing and works of fiction, but some things can only be learned through active discussion.
Then I attended a panel where four authors gave me another piece of advice. They suggested that I put my writing to work. “Whatever you’re creating right now, adapt it into something that stands alone. If you can’t sell it, give it away.”
For years I’ve been taking notes on writing, and recently I’ve begun a consolidation project to organize all the information into a proper reference that I could use. I decided to turn it into blog posts. I’d share my ideas with others, and maybe learn a little bit along the way.
Honestly, it is so nice to connect with others. I can type in a phrase, or the title of a story, and see what others have to say. Reading reviews is almost like joining a book club, and there are plenty of writing blogs out there, each with their own answers to the questions we’re all asking. It’s really a wonderful community, not bound by geography or schedule.
Advice to new bloggers
Blogging is a communal activity.
When people like or comment on your blog, see if they have a site as well. If they do, wander around, see if there’s anything on their site that interests you. But it’s important to be honest in regards to which posts you like, and how you comment on them. If the subject of another person’s blog is not something that you honestly like, there’s no obligation to “like” it.
When you do visit someone’s site, don’t stop with a surface glance. Most blogs have a wealth of old blog posts that are easily overlooked.
Consider everything an opportunity to learn.
When visiting someone else’s site, consider the design choices they’ve made. How do they organize their blog posts? What categories do they use? What menus and links do they offer in their navigation?
How do they format their blog posts?
If they have a “Contact” page don’t be afraid to use it, but before you contact them make sure to look through their archives. They may have already addressed your question in an old blog post.
Think of your blog like a novel.
Each post is like a scene in the story. It stands alone, but it’s also part of a larger whole.
I like to plan out my posts as a series of arcs. I just finished a series of writing posts on genre. Next, I’m going to explore scenes.
I just finished reviewing the Ender Quartet, so next I’m going to review a few cyberpunk novels, which also feature space travel and interacting with other cultures.
But it’s also good to remain open to possibilities.
Sometimes inspiration strikes unexpectedly, and it’s important to take advantage of that, but it’s nice to have a plan for those times where inspiration may seem more elusive.
The following people are not only strong bloggers, but very generous people. I highly encourage people to visit their sites, not only to read their response to this post, but to take a thorough tour of what they offer. These are all people who have offered me guidance on my writing journey, all by example through their own sites, and some by generously answering my questions via email.