Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Blogging ~ Can It Really Fulfill The Writer’s Dictum: “Write Every Day!”?


I’ve been tracking our survey for this blog (you can take it here) and “Writing”, as a topic for me to focus on, has pulled even further ahead, with “Reading” and “Publishing” tied for a respectable second focus.

{ For those bothered by the punctuation in the title of this post, I admit to maverick grammar :-}

As far as that dictum to write every day, go ahead and put write+every+day into Google and you’ll find thousands of reasons.

Naturally, as with most things writerly (and with due attention paid to the incredible diversity of temperaments in the writing-fold) there are good reasons, in many cases, for not writing every day. However, laziness or fear or lack of self-esteem are not viable reasons. In fact, those are quite powerful reasons to kick oneself in the butt and make the effort to write every day…

Can blogging fulfill this potent habit?

Let’s say you’re a genre-writer and you’re quite focused on staying in the groove of your genre as you work on your writing. And, further, let’s say you’re having a devil of a time getting around to writing every day.

Let’s further assume you believe in the dictum of writing every day but various damn good reasons (like needing the extraordinarily important time to mull things over so your unconscious mind can give you fresh inspiration) are imposing restrictions on daily writing…

O.K.  So, could blogging be used to let you continue to write even though your blog may not be a “genre” blog?

Hmmm… As I finished writing that last sentence, I wondered about “genre blogs”–blogs that stay within the conventions of a genre–that convey bloggy-type info delivered in the style of the genre… Hmmm…

Even committed genre-writers have said it’s good to stretch one’s writing boundaries from time to time. So, when the genre-genii are busy with deep musing, why not post to a blog, even if, or especially if, you write like most bloggers do–topical or newsy or tip-filled or pontifical or inspirational posting?

Sure, if you want to use a blog as part of generating an author’s platform, you need to post at least three times a week. And, it’s absolutely true that blogging shouldn’t replace your writerly-writing, but…

Even if you only blog on the days your “normal” writer’s-mind is engaged in other activities, you can give yourself some wonderful writerly exercise. {o.k., I’ll stop using “writerly” now :-}

I started this blog to help me erect my author’s platform. I’ve done enough blogging in the past that I knew a committment to posting six times a week would be maximally beneficial.

The wonderful part is that the blog has become much more than a way to meet folks and let them form opinions of me, which might lead to them wanting to check out my books. It’s now my daily devotion–my exercise in wordsmithing–my easily accepted challenge to let my creativity flow, wide-open, full-out…

And, in spite of all my hullabaloo, I actually have a conflict (positive, energy-generating conflict) that my recent inclusion of writer-interviews on this blog has cut into the time I have to just be me on this blog. Truthfully, though, the days I only introduce another writer and turn the space over to them are creating lots more steam to power the days I get to hog the platform :-)

Have I given you enough to think about?

Are you in a position to start a blog?

Do you think it can help build your writing muscles?

If you’re already blogging, are you inspired to do a little more of it?

Has this post confused you?

Have I asked enough questions to encourage some of you shy folks to leave your comment?? :-)
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30 responses to “Blogging ~ Can It Really Fulfill The Writer’s Dictum: “Write Every Day!”?

  1. Sketching Girl February 15, 2011 at 6:54 pm

    Hi Alexander, you raised some interesting questions! I first started my writing blog because I wanted to take my writing more seriously and I wanted to post excerpts of my writing. I then thought no one would want to read just excerpts of my writing, so inspired by other writers blogs, I started posting about writing as well, hopefully more tips and how-to’s. As I will hopefully learn more about writing as I research and write about writing. I still intend to post my writing, as I think you can have a happy balance between the two, and gives variety and interest to your readers (I’m hoping!).

    As for daily writing on your blog helping you to improve your writing, I think it depends what kind of writing you are posting. If you are writing how-to articles and articles like you have put on here today, then I don’t think it will help your fiction writing skills. Although it would help your article writing skills, and would help if you’re wanting to write for magazines and get published that way. If you want to improve your fiction writing skills, then I think it would help to write short pieces of fiction, like the 100 word Drabbles, to improve your actual fiction writing skills. You could do that as part of a daily Writing Journal that you don’t necessarily have to put on your blog, the choice is yours. Though it’s nice to receive feedback, and see how well you’re doing with your writing, and where you might need to improve.

    That’s just my opinion!

    Like

    • Alexander M Zoltai February 15, 2011 at 7:15 pm

      And, that’s exactly what comments on a blog are all about, sharing opinions so our knowledge can grow :-)

      I think a balance of types of posts is absolutely cool. I’m, like I said in the post, alternating interviews with my own ramblings and I’ll soon host a Blog Tour stop-over. And, like you, I’ll eventually get around to posting some of my own stuff (though, folks can get it free here and here…)

      As far as blog-writing not fulfilling practice in fiction-writing, I must, in a general way, agree. But…

      On a more Meta-Writerly plane, any writing is writing-practice and exercising in a typical bloggy-way can, at a deep level, still aid wielding the fiction pen.

      But, to echo you: That’s just my opinion!

      Like

  2. Freedom, by the way February 15, 2011 at 7:18 pm

    I only started my blog six weeks ago. One of the reasons I began blogging was, as you put it, “to build my writing muscles.” The writing I get “paid” to do is marketing/copywriting and really, that’s just not enough sometimes–not enough to keep me writng all day–and not fulfilling when I can’t write about what I want to write about. One of the other reasons I wanted to blog is to learn more about the whole social media/blogging scene–learning by doing. What I’ve discovered is that blogging is not a chore–it’s really fun. (Though some days when I know I need to post, sorting through a topic can be a chore–other days my fingers fly!) I am reading more blogs that ever before, “meeting” other bloggers through their blogs and comments. And because of my “genre”, I’m on a lot more web sites–which is honing my research skills. All of this has helped my writing. Some blogs are extremely well-written, some not so much, but it’s fascinating to me that there are so many people with so much to say!

    Like

    • Alexander M Zoltai February 15, 2011 at 7:58 pm

      Freedom,

      It’s heartening to hear how much blogging is helping you :-)

      As far as that topic challenge, I’ve had readers give me ideas, which I dutifully put in my potential topics list; but, I usually just sit down at the computer and wait for my Muse to tell me what to write…

      Your comment is chock-full of reasons to blog :-)

      Like

  3. Gwen February 15, 2011 at 7:28 pm

    Too many obligations…real life gets in the way. If i didn’t have a full time job and a house full of people blogging daily would most likely be an option. For now, i blog when i can. :)

    Like

    • Alexander M Zoltai February 15, 2011 at 8:02 pm

      Gwen,

      From reading your magnificent blog, you obviously have the “writer’s touch”…
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      Hey, folks, click on Gwen’s name up at the top of her comment to go to her blog!
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      Blogging when you can is Way better than not blogging at all–IMHO…

      Like

  4. Karla Telega February 15, 2011 at 8:11 pm

    Since my first foray into fiction is a humorous mystery, my humor blogs are like money in the bank. My blog posts are inspiration expressed in words. I have a written body of work that I can draw on when needed. Even more, blogging let’s me hone my technique. I see such a huge improvement since a year ago when I started blogging. I take comfort in having that safety net as I breathe that same sparkle into my fiction.

    Like

    • Alexander M Zoltai February 15, 2011 at 8:21 pm

      Whoot!!

      So, is this an example of what I Hmmmed about in the post–a “genre-blog”?

      Whatever your blog is, it’s my daily infusion of smiles and giggles :-)

      Really great to see how you’re clearly benefiting from blogging!!
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      Hey folks, check out my interview with Karla–the post right below this one………

      Like

    • cmmarcum February 16, 2011 at 1:36 pm

      Karla Telega, that is a most excellent idea! One could even do that in reverse with a novel. In any novel there are unwritten backstories, minor characters, and events happening off stage. That may be the best way to promote a book. Of course, you’d have to introduce it as an aside to the novel.

      I’m pinning this note to my cork board. Home run, KT.

      Like

  5. Stacy Juba February 15, 2011 at 10:58 pm

    Thanks for visiting my blog, Alexander! I’ve just added you to my blog roll also.

    Like

  6. Catana February 15, 2011 at 11:25 pm

    I’ve been blogging, off and on, one place and another, for years. My blogging — topics and scheduling — is always fluid. I try to post five or six times a week, but if I don’t feel like it for a week or two, I won’t. It’s an adjunct to my regular writing. Sometimes it’s a spinoff, sometimes it’s inspiration. I’m not an advocate of the write-every-day meme, even for my novels. By most writers’ standards, I’m lazy. I could push myself harder, but I don’t work well under pressure, especially if you intend to write well.

    By the way, your mention of writer interviews made me think you should have included in your poll something like: what would you least like to read on this blog. For me, that would be writer interviews.

    Like

  7. Catana February 15, 2011 at 11:28 pm

    Ugh, bad editing. “…I don’t work well under pressure, especially if you intend to write well.” Should have been …under pressure. Most people don’t, especially if they intend to write well.

    Like

    • Alexander M Zoltai February 16, 2011 at 2:41 am

      Hey, I’m constantly on guard against editing faux-pas, but for some reason on a blog I slip up far too often… ‘Course, I don’t have an editor on this blog :-)

      I hope you noticed in the post that I left breathing space for writers like you??

      It’s always hard to say everybody should do whatever. Especially, with writers. I think “most” writers should probably try to write every day; except the ones who shouldn’t :-)

      As far as writer interviews, I will be having them roughly ever other day for a bit here. It won’t become anything like the norm–more like an occasional splurge. Sure hope you stick around and continue reading the other posts………

      Like

  8. Catana February 16, 2011 at 3:06 am

    “I think “most” writers should probably try to write every day; except the ones who shouldn’t :-)”

    Glad to see you take a firm stand. Can’t stand fence-straddlers. :-)

    Like

  9. HaleyWhitehall February 20, 2011 at 2:44 am

    Another great post, Alexander! I am a genre writer and I also have a genre-blog focusing on writing. However, talking about writing and my experiences writing makes me switch gears from the historical fiction mindset. Forcing myself to stick to the post a day challenge has improved my historical fiction writing. All writers, but in my opinion genre writers in particular, struggle with getting burnt out because they tend to stay in their rut for so long. Stretching my writing abilities has helped me avoid that disaster lately.

    Like

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  15. Selena January 23, 2013 at 1:23 pm

    Another great, thought-provoking article! and I’m looking forward to the interviews with both you and Haley.

    Like

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