1. DaveOlden
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    DaveOlden Member

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    Creating my own writing blog, but ....

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by DaveOlden, Jan 29, 2015.

    Not sure if this is the right forum for this. If it isn't, I'm open to suggestions where to move it.

    I've been prepping the blog at my website, today. I deleted the few stale posts that were just gathering dust (No loss -- only spambots have shown any interest). I put up a new banner image, perfect for the kind of book I'm doing. I chose a more writerly font for the title.

    It's like, with the old furniture gone, it feels empty. (Save for one single remaining post, it is).

    Now, with my novel under way, should I talk about my process? Or build awareness for the book as its release approaches? (I'll be publishing through the free services at Amazon's CreateSpace, but I don't see that realistically happening until at least summer, four to six months away).

    Would anyone here like to chime in? If you were to link to my site, from time to time, what would you like to see? Posts about my process? (I'm a new author, barely begun on his project, so what would you like me to write about, writer-to-writer?)

    I won't post actual manuscript content.

    Here's some coveralls, and the brushes and paint are right over there... beers and bottled water are in the fridge.

    Anyone have suggestions?

    -- Dave Olden
     
  2. stevesh
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    stevesh Banned Contributor

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    Blog sites are no different from other websites. Content is king. I don't see anything on your site that would lead me (or Google) to visit there.

    The Brits have an expression I've always liked: "too clever by half."

    "Here's some coveralls, and the brushes and paint are right over there... beers and bottled water are in the fridge." No idea what that means.
     
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  3. DaveOlden
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    DaveOlden Member

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    Absolutely agree that Content is king. In fact, I thought that, ahead of creating that content, I might talk to the kind of audience I'd likely be writing for, other writers. What would they'd like to see?

    As I said, this is ahead of content going in.

    Great quote, and it helps; clever can clog the space between writer and audience. Thank you.

    You know how, on moving day, one has friends over to help paint the walls?

    Like that. :)
     
  4. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    There are truckloads of writer blogs that discuss their writing process, their upcoming book(s), previously published book(s), etc. Nothing wrong with that, and nothing wrong with stepping into that arena.

    A primary thing you should determine is the purpose of your blog. That might guide your content, realizing that consistent activity is important to gaining readers. And consistent content of interest or readers will wander away. What's of interest? That's pretty subjective.

    Good luck as you move forward.
     
  5. DaveOlden
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    DaveOlden Member

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    Thanks, TWErvin2. :)

    What prompted me to ask here, was not a shortage of things -- but too many things I could write about my experience as a new writer.

    There's a book called The Paradox of Choice, it talks about how we freeze when facing too many choices. There's lots I can say about my process, even though it's still taking shape. I can write that, but how does a new author write with authority?

    Perhaps a better question, might be: "What is missing from writer's blogs? What isn't being written about?"

    Again, thank you for chiming in.

    -- Dave Olden
     
  6. stevesh
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    stevesh Banned Contributor

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    I don't follow any writers' blogs, but if I were looking for one to read, I might be mostly interested in inside information about the publishing process and interaction with agents, that sort of thing. Unfortunately, you probably wouldn't be able to offer that stuff until you're represented and published.

    Your musings about your writing habits or processes might interest me, but only after I had read your work. I guess what I'm saying is that there's plenty of input from other writer-wannabes in this and other forums. I have no reason to seek out another source.

    Nothing personal, but I doubt if anything you had to say about your non-writing life would interest me much. If you have an interest or hobby we share, that's another thing (and probably another blog).
     
  7. DaveOlden
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    DaveOlden Member

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    Yeah, soonest I can imagine I'm published and represented is maybe fall? Next year? If I'm not forgotten, that is.

    I don't see the value or relevance in online diaries. (Isn't that Facebook? I deleted my account a while ago). So non-writing life is gonna be private.

    So that reduces things to the set goal of "Novel by summer." And, to protect the work, I'll keep all of it offline, before publication. The website can be for building audience, talking about my process, maybe even keeping up the rhythm of my writing output.

    And if no one takes an interest in my process? If they don't care about my behind-the-scenes wordsmith-posts?

    Doesn't matter, I just keep on working on the novel. Because that's the only work that matters.

    Thank you very much for your comments, both yesterday's and today's. They're definitely helping.
     
  8. DaveOlden
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    DaveOlden Member

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    Site was upgraded today, and its inaugural post is up.

    I can't put a direct link here, so for anyone who's curious, it's at: my name dot com.

    Thanks everyone who gave input.

    - Dave Olden
     
  9. Ben414
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    Ben414 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Good luck on the blog. One way to start to build up an audience is to write guest posts for other writing blogs. If you can find other writing blogs that have consistent viewers, you could introduce yourself, say you're starting a writing blog, and offer to write an article within your area of expertise for them to post on their blog.
     
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  10. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Let's face it, almost nobody will be interested in your process and behind the scenes work. Why would I care how another writer's blundering along, necessarily? Check out the "Progress Journals" on this forum - that's exactly what it is, writers writing about their progress. I even started one recently myself. Seriously, not many are interested and a few will offer encouraging words, but to the point of following your blog for the sake of reading it? Dream on. Your process is not interesting unless and until you're traditionally published and very successful. Brandon Sanderson, a hugely famous fantasy author, gives a lot of advice on writing, podcasts, and even his processes with regards to how he writes his novels. Why would I read your process instead of his?

    Your second line is even more worrying - it "doesn't matter" if no one takes interest in your blog? Then why on earth are you even starting one? If you want a real following, you will need consistent, weekly content at the very least, if not daily content. And I mean quality content. That sort of thing doesn't come by without research, following and reading other quality blogs and twitter accounts, and, well, a lot lot lot of commitment to the work. It's a huge job all by itself. If even before you've got your blog started properly, you're telling yourself "Well it honestly doesn't matter if the blog takes off or not", then I am almost certain you wouldn't put in the work necessary to even make the blog interesting, let alone gain any kind of interest.

    In other words, it's a complete waste of time. I wouldn't bother unless you're actually committed to the blog. If the novel is the only thing you care about, then by all means focus on that, but don't pretend you're actually gonna do a blog, too.

    And if you're serious about the blog, ditch your line of "I don't care" right away. And I seriously wouldn't start with your process as an unpublished, unknown writer. That can be part of the blog, by all means, but I wouldn't fool myself into thinking even for a moment that that would interest anyone who didn't already know you. Personal writing processes like that are only interesting once people already know you and are interested in the work you're doing. In other words, you need something else to attract those people first.

    The sharing of solid writing and publishing advice is likely a good place to start - but again, as an unpublished, unrecognised aspiring writer, you won't have anything first-hand you can just go with right away. You're gonna need to dig for gold around the internet, which is time-consuming. Therein lies the real question: how committed are you to this blog?
     
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  11. DaveOlden
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    DaveOlden Member

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    Thank you, Stephen. That's a good idea.
     
  12. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't see how to find the blog--was the URL moderated out of the post? You could put it in the Home Page field in your profile.

    Edited to add: That said, when I read personal blogs, I like a focus on the personal. You don't have to provide a diary--wife, kids, job, dog, fears, blah--but I'm repelled by an excessively professional vibe.

    My blog certainly doesn't have a professional vibe. :) I talk about writing, perfume, sewing, gardening, food, whatever. I blog to communicate, rather than to promote any future work. That's the kind of blog that I tend to read, as well.
     
  13. DaveOlden
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    DaveOlden Member

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    Thank you so much for taking the time to comment.

    I learned long ago, that we cannot force someone to care, if they choose not to.

    If
    they choose to not care, or choose to not show interest in something we do, we cannot change that, nor should we even try.
    "Doesn't matter" and "don't care" are ways of releasing, letting go of what we don't need, and turning our attention to where it's needed.

    So again I say: if someone chooses to not show interest in something I've written, I will say 'doesn't matter' and that's the same as saying 'no worries.'

    Blog posts or tweets or comments on forums -- posting any writing online is publication (if you doubt me, ask any intellectual property lawyer). That having been said, I haven't been paid for my writing, I can accept "unpublished" writer in that sense.

    "Aspiring" is 'wants to but hasn't done it yet,' so we can drop that word. One either writes, or they don't.

    Blog is already started. I spent several hours on the phone yesterday with my web admin, upgrading my site. That was followed by time spent drafting and writing content, until I clicked <Publish>.

    'Pretend'?
     
  14. DaveOlden
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    DaveOlden Member

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    Yeah, the link was pulled. I'm told I'll be able to post links in my signature after I've grained higher "Member" status here.

    My name's dave olden. Just add 'com' after the period and you should be good to go. :)
     
  15. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    We all know what we mean here by "published" so don't try to get technical with the dictionary definition of things - are you gonna listen to me because I posted on a forum? Or are you gonna listen to a bestselling author tell you about how to make a publishable novel, because he/she wrote a book that was received well by readers at large? Yes, you are right, technically, they're both types of "publishing". If by posting on a forum and a blog no one follows, you wanna call yourself "published", by all means, go ahead - just know that that isn't going to affect how seriously someone actually takes your content, especially the moment they find out what material you've actually "published".

    If someone doesn't take an interest in what you write, you shouldn't try to change their minds? That's great marketing philosophy there. It also depends entirely what you mean by "someone". Sure, if what I write about writing doesn't interest a physicist, we can safely conclude it truly doesn't matter, because that's not my target audience. However, if your target audience is uninterested in what you have to say and write, and if you also want your blog to be successful, you do very much have to care - and you do very much have to try and change their minds. Find out why they're not interested and then change your content accordingly. It's just good business strategy.

    I understand your blog is already started. What I mean is, however, if you are not committed to finding and creating quality content on at least a weekly basis - beyond simply writing about your own writing process that nobody as yet cares about because nobody actually knows you yet - then starting a blog is waste of time because it will never take off.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2015
  16. DaveOlden
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    DaveOlden Member

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    Yes, absolutely right: it's called respect. It's also called freedom. It means so much more to me, that someone gives attention by choice, because they want to -- not because I made them.

    That makes the choice sincere.

    And if someone chooses to write 896-words worth of comments to something I've written, well, that's a choice, too.

    Because, agree or disagree, that shows interest!

    Isn't that why we chose to write?
     
  17. Poet of Gore
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    Poet of Gore Member

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    1) publish something even if it is a vanity press, er, um, i mean self publish createspace
    2) after this and only after this, do a writing blog--because you should be writing your fiction before taking time to write a blog
     
  18. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Hahaha did I really write 896 words?! (I assume you did a word count on my post) My apologies, I am prone to writing essays. Ah well, writers' forum, what can you do? It's true I love to write.

    As for your way of seeing freedom - sure. Forcing someone is different to changing tact so you engage your audience in a more effective manner, however. Yours just sound like bad business strategy. Feel free to prove me wrong by having a mega successful blog - and if you manage, then that's wonderful :)
     
  19. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    A comment on the blog: too much header. There shoud be at least a few lines to read without having to scroll, even on a small screen like an iPad.
     
  20. DaveOlden
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    1. You mean self-publishing other (shorter?) works ahead of the novel? So that the novel can be released as, "From Dave Olden, Author of..."? Like that? (btw, my CreateSpace account was set up last week). Hm. I like the idea, but my concern is spreading my effort too thin: novel and short stories and other works.

    2. I don't know that I agree with "only-after." Let's say, a likely publication date, for the novel, of late summer. Six or more months from now. I can use that time to establish a consistently updated blog. That makes sense to me. The novel-draft gets daily attention, and after a manuscript session, the blog is a refreshing and fun shift. ("Change is as good as a rest," as they say).
     
  21. DaveOlden
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    Moi? Check word-count? Yep, guilty as charged, (But it's so easy! Paste into a blank scene file, and boom: Scrivener's word-count function is quick!)

    The exchange was a little tense, since I couldn't dismiss it, yet had to address your comments.

    I got a lot of value from our back-and-forth today. My blood pressure should fall back down below 170 any time now... ;)

    (And with apologies to Dorothy Parker, I'm going to rewrite her famous quote, for today: "I hate arguing. I love having argued.")

    Listening to the audience? Sure. But during the creation of the work...? I am and never have believed that creation is a democratic process. (You know, "A camel is a horse, designed by committee." :) )

    The work has priority, but only if I have to choose between blog and novel.

    I believe that a well-crafted story will generate sales off its quality.

    Proof of this pudding, of course, is in the reading... ;)

    - Dave Olden
     
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  22. DaveOlden
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    DaveOlden Member

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    When we upgraded the other day, I had asked for a Wordpress theme that is far more mobile-friendly, and I think he provided that.

    I called my web guy today, about your header concern, and he's looking into it.

    I need to ask: By 'header' do you mean the space-image on top of the first post? If so, that's going to be an exception. Today's and most future posts will be primarily text.

    - Dave Olden
     
  23. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Ah, yes, most of it was the image. The image looked like a banner for the whole blog.

    I'm going to quibble about "the craft and experience of storytelling." That suggests that you're presenting yourself as an expert professional. Presenting yourself as someone who is learning, not teaching, would be both more accurate and, IMO, more appealing.
     
  24. DaveOlden
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    I've revised it. How's the new version?
     
  25. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I like it better, yep.
     
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