To Blog Or Not To

Hello dear writers, since we didn’t have our Yo Ho A Writer’s Life For Me discussion this Monday, I thought I would share what I found last last night.

Rachelle Gardner, a literary agent, who has a very helpful blog on writing and the industry, posted an article about Who Needs A Platform, which she says is almost everyone. Well, James Scott Bell, author of The Art of War for Writers, made a very thought provoking comment.

The good news now is that fiction writers finally have a platform-building program that makes sense: self-publishing. That’s because it makes actual readers. And that’s why trad publishers are all over their A list to write novellas and short stories prior to a major release. They know this is what a fiction platform building is all about.

So don’t pressure new fiction writers to be doing all those things that were fashionable in 2007. Especially starting a blog, which is the biggest time suck for the smallest return known to man.

Encourage them to work at their craft and publish.”

Wow. That is something to think about. There are some other awesome comments on the post, and it might get you thinking on what blogging or platform-building means for you. So, if you get a chance, click on over and share your own thoughts.

On the other side of the topic of blogging, we have Kristin Lamb, author of We Are Not Alone–The Writer’s Guide to Social Media and Are You There, Blog? It’s Me, Writer.  She has some great posts on this subject.

  • Sacred Cow Tipping: Writers shouldn’t exclusively blog about writing unless you’re wanting to be an expert on it.
  • More Sacred Cow Tipping: Common Blogging Misconceptions
  • Would Heminway Blog? She says YES!
  • Tons more of helpful articles on social media & platform, just type in “blog” or “platform” in her search engine, and you’ll find a treasure trove of useful articles.

So what say you? Agree or disagree?

And dear readers, stay tuned. I have the wonderful opportunity to participate in a cover reveal for one of my favorite authors. How cool is that? Please join us Friday for a sneak peek of Dragonwitch, book five of The Tales of Goldstone Wood, from author Anne Elisabeth Stengl.



12 thoughts on “To Blog Or Not To

  1. James Scott Bell has a weekly column over on the Kill Zone blog, and he reiterates that stance all the time. Write more books, he says. Write GOOD books. That’s what makes people read your books. Is having books. He’s also a big fan of self-publishing, but I don’t think that’s the way to go for a new writer, unless you have the training of editing under your belt.

    • J. L. Mbewe says:

      Hi Kessie! Thanks for stopping by and sharing! You make a good point. If our writing isn’t good and our storytelling ability is lacking, people won’t be interested. But writing, reading, and repeating is one of the best ways for us to become better writers. I think blogging does have its merits though. It helps us to explore our voice, connect with others, learn time management, just to name a few. I’ve visited the Kill Zone sporadically, good stuff there when I do happen to swing by. 🙂

  2. Aaron DeMott says:

    I think a blog can be a good marketing tool, but to blog everyday… yeah

    I like to think of it more as an interactive website where fans (I wish..) and I can talk. But yeah, I don’t want to drive them away with inane chatter.

    Then, if you’ve seen how rarely I post, perhaps Bell’s advice just makes me feel better… 😉

    • J. L. Mbewe says:

      Hi Aaron! Great to see you here. Thanks for stopping by! Blogs are a great way to connect and interact, especially since so much of what we do is alone. I think as fiction writers we need to think differently about social media than nonfiction writers. Bell’s advice makes sense but like Kessie said, we need the editing experience too. I really like how Kristen Lamb looks at blogging for writers, if you ever get a chance to read her stuff, let me know what you think.

  3. Rabia says:

    I think an author should blog only if they enjoy it. There are other ways of platform-building and you can choose what will play to your strengths and your likes. I’m in the happy middle between those two opinions. 😀

    • J. L. Mbewe says:

      Hi Rabia! Thanks for stopping by and sharing! You have a good point too. If a person doesn’t like or doesn’t have a vision for it, it will show in their blogging. Years ago, I wasn’t ready at all for blogging, but this year I had an idea and I went with it. It has been a great learning experience and love connecting with readers and writers alike. I totally agree that there are other ways of connecting with people and definitely play to your strengths and likes. Bell’s thoughts on blogging took me by surprise. His take on platform-building was definitely something to think on and discuss. 🙂 Thanks for joining in on the discussion!

  4. Yes I agree with both points of view (nothing like a fence sitter)! I blog and do find it a huge suck on my writing time. Originally I thought it would be a great way to connect to future fans – but until I’ve actually got a book ready (or almost ready) to go there isn’t really much based purely for future readers.

    Once I realised this though I was able to relax and enjoy the many writing friends I was making through the blog. The final version of my book might be a way off, but I feel connected, am learning a lot about my genre and the craft, and the blog also helps keep me committed to the process.

    It was great to connect on twitter – and I love your blog!

    • J. L. Mbewe says:

      Hi Raewyn! Thanks for stopping by and sharing! I agree blogging or tweeting, FB, etc can take away time from our writing, and that’s where we have to exercise boundaries. Ha! I’m learning the hard way on that one. 🙂 But we have to start somewhere, and when our books are ready to go, we’ll be ready. Plus it’s about connecting. and relationships take time to build, probably more so on the internet because we don’t have the face-to-face interaction.

      Very glad to have connected as well, looking forward to getting to know you more and more about what you write. 🙂

  5. C.L. Dyck says:

    Interesting to hear it put that way. Short story/novella is the classic route to long fiction. It’s just that the old print mags are dead or dying of market pressures, and digital self-pubbing has filled the gap.

    Yeah…I pretty much blog because I love it. It’s fun to share ideas and perspectives with friends.

    • J. L. Mbewe says:

      Hi C.L. Thanks for stopping by and sharing! Great to have you back 🙂

      “the classic route to long fiction”
      You know, it’s funny because I’ve heard that, read that, and it didn’t click. My brain used to freeze up when people starting talking about short stories, and then most of the time when it comes to magazines I’ve only thought about non-fiction stuff, but what you said is true and it is interesting how the changing dynamics of the industry and technology has affected our writing journeys. Interesting. This whole conversation, topic, etc feels like a puzzle piece fitting together in a gigantic puzzle of trying to figure out a writing career. We shall see what comes out of it.

      • C.L. Dyck says:

        It is a giant puzzle, enough so that I think we can only focus on what we’re passionate about, and follow that. The experienced professionals I spoke to at ACFW all echoed that theme, so that’s my lesson for this year: Think less complicated, Cat…

      • J. L. Mbewe says:

        I agree. We only have so much time, energy and resources, we have to do what we are really passionate about, keeping our priorities in check and the demands on our time balanced. Ha! Yes, less complicated! That helps, and I tend to over think and make things more complicated. Sigh. 🙂

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