Two years ago in July, two important things happened in my life. First, I set up this site and started this blog. And second, I had my third child. That baby boy is now a cute curly-headed fearless toddler, and this blog is now two years old.
As always happens around this time, I’ve been reassessing the blog; thinking about the content, the design, how best to inform/entertain my readers and if I’m having fun with it. The first thing to change was the look—the dull white margins have given way to a fresh and summery wallpaper (check it out if you haven’t seen it recently). Of course, the site says “loves flowers” instead of “writes fantasy” but you already knew about my botanical obsession (and you can blame my father’s genes for that!). Next up for change are the dreadfully staid fonts, once I figure out how to do that in the theme editor (code for: get David to figure it out and show me).
But content is more important to me than design (I’m a writer. Words matter more). This provocative post on Copyblogger that I discovered via Procrastinating Writers has gotten me thinking about what I put on here. You can go read it now. I’ll wait for you.
K, back? Gone through that list of 20 ways to tell if your blog content sucks? Yep, a lot of those items on that list apply to me. I definitely do not spend an hour on each post (geez, do you know how much of Quartz I could revise in that time?). I’m happy that I get comments at all (*hugs* to all you who do comment here. It makes me so very happy to be read :D). My blog is rather all over the place, pictures of kid art and flowers jostling elbows with posts on writing.
However, this article made me think about why I blog in the first place. Is it to connect with the writing community and all my writer friends? Is it a rather public repository of flower pictures, anecdotes, interesting links and personal rambles? Is it to inform or inspire other writers? Is it merely so that writer Rabia Gale has an online presence, a place where adoring fans can find information about upcoming releases, book tours and the like (*ahem* a bit of wishful thinking going on there?). Do I just like the instant gratification factor of blogging (as opposed to say, scribbling fiction in a dark closet for years and years)? Or do I aspire to be a professional blogger making a living off this (the type of person that Copyblogger post is addressing?).
Or is it a little bit of everything?
If you blog, why do you do it? And if you’re a regular reader of this blog, I’d love to hear what you like on here and what you don’t. I don’t guarantee that your preferences will be implemented (it’s my blog after all *grin*), but I like to know what keeps you reading.
Furthermore, stick around this month. I have some book and fiction giveaways planned that I’m very excited about and hope you will be, too.
Megs - Scattered Bits says
I like your blog just the way it is. My favorite part is getting a piece of you! Your family is fun, I LOVE the photo posts (whether I comment on them or not), links are always good, but of course, it’s the writing posts that make me check your blog obsessively multiple times a day. They inspire me. Don’t know why you and Kayla do, but every time I read about your progress, I want to go make some of my own.
This blog is kind of like a nice confab to me, instead of one of those “I go here to learn about writing” blogs. Those are nice and I read more than my fair share, but they’re not the intimate, personal loveliness I get reading here. (and I love the flowers. keep up with those.)
Well, that’s just me.
Congrats on anniversaries! I also like your blog just the way it is. It’s a happy mix of personal, writing, photos, and I like to think it helps me get to know you better, while at the same time, it inspires me to write more myself! It also gives me ideas on things to do with my nephew, so I appreciate the kids stuff! (And I love the flowers!)
Aw, thanks! I’m glad to see that my eclectic mix of kid art, pictures and writing-related entries is working for you. 😀
I are not making a living from my blog. If I was, I would be copywriting all the good points to click a button at the bottom of each page that sends readers off to purchase my latest book, whether non fiction or fiction.
I am establishing an internet presence to let readers and other writers link with me and travel with me through my journey to produce “good stories” as I learn how to improve my writing and storytelling skills.
I also created my blog because I was advised that publishers need to see my blog to show them I am serious about writing and my first accepted story is not a “one-off” story.
Not sure why you are blogging, but I love it the way it is. Some good info on writing, and lots of personal info about seasons, family, home schooling, etc. 🙂
Yes, it’s the Big Thing these days for writers to have an online presence, but what does that mean? Just a site? A blog? Twitter and Facebook? I enjoy blogging too much to give it up but I need to figure out how to balance thing’s so that my fiction gets the lion’s share of my energy. 🙂
I’m a little surprised that you were told that a website/blog would show a publisher that you were serious about writing. Wouldn’t the fact that you completed, revised and submitted a story (or several) show that more effectively?
A blog is where you discuss what you are writing now, and other things that happen in your life, writing and/or personal, and this is where you reach your fans. A site allows for copywriting and buttons to sell your ebooks (as do blog pages these days) and e-store.
I personally will not touch Twitter or Facebook. 🙂 but the blog is enough for me. I would rather spend my time writing another story to blogging every day., but do enjoy the contact with other writers through their blogs. 🙂
As for surprise at publisher request, I was a little more than surprised with most of the requests from publishers! including going through agents, who are not qualified to write novels or qualified as publishers but seem to be requried by both publishers and writers under the existing business plan.
Thankfully, we now have ebooks and can dump both agents and publishers and go it alone!
Well, I can understand the rationale for publishers requiring agents (cuts down on their slush pile!), but I hate that writers are now also *required* to be their own publicists and marketers.
That said, I’ve never seen it explicitly stated that a novelist should have a preexisting fan base before their work is accepted. I can see that a platform is more important for a non-fiction writer.
Yes, I am also very curious to see how the landscape of publishing is going to change over my lifetime. I’ve been following Konrath and others’ adventures in e-book publishing, but I have to say I love the tactile aspect of holding a book with a glossy cover and pristine pages in my hands!