To significantly up your writing game, you need to write. Constantly. No matter your outlet (journaling, songwriting, haikus in the margins of your chemistry notebook) you need to give your creativity constant attention. Like a pet, or a plant. You can’t leave it alone too long or you’ll end up with shredded furniture (or a dead plant).
When life gets busy, it can suddenly become harder to keep yourself in a constant creative mindset. Hosting a blog is one way you can continuously stimulate your brain, with added benefits you may never have considered until now.
Yesterday we showed you how to run a successful blog. Now we want to emphasize why blogging, for writers, is 100 percent worth the time and effort it takes to do it well.
Blogging gets a bad rep, especially bloggers who post “facts” without doing their research first. But when you’re trying to get a job or an agent or a byline or what have you, it’s a free and personalized way to bulk up your portfolio and solidify your credibility (please do your research. Please.)
Here are three reasons you should start a blog, if you haven’t already.
To Prove You Actually Write (a Lot)
There are aspiring writers out there who (obviously) aspire to write, but don’t take the most important action necessary to make their dreams come true: write. Well, and often. If you struggle with this, blogging is an effective turnaround.
Using the tips we covered yesterday, maintaining a steady flow of content can give you something to show off—in the professional sense. Any potential buyer of a product wants to see that product in use. If you eventually want to be able to promote yourself as a writer, give that some background. Put in the time and effort to show off your best work.
To Build Up Your Readership (from None to Some)
As an author, your readers are your biggest support system. In this age of social media saturation, they’re literally and figuratively your followers. When you’re not quite there yet (read: struggling to finish a book and constantly wondering if you ever will) it can start to feel like you don’t have much support, or readership, or hope.
A blog, regardless of the central theme, can help connect you with other bloggers and aspiring writers (in the professional world we call this “networking”). These folks might follow your posts, give suggestions and comments and keep up with your writing regularly. In a way, they’re your first real readers, and they’re going to support you if you end up publishing in bigger arenas, so to speak.
To Refine Your Voice
We address this a lot, this refining your voice business. We have yet to really explain it in detail. “Novelty Revisions” comes from the idea that every writer has a novelty (unique, original) voice to start with. No matter how hard you try, you can never write exactly like someone else.
The difference between an aspiring writer and an accomplished writer is their willingness to refine that voice—touch it up, practice it, polish it and make it pretty so it’s not just unique, but extraordinary. Hosting your own blog gives you free space to become more comfortable with that voice, and then, progressively, improve it.
No matter what you blog about, seriously consider keeping up with your own personal blog if you eventually want to write professionally.
True, anyone can blog, no matter their age, writing style, ability to fact-check their own content. But you can make your blog stand out by writing with a few end goals in mind: to produce quality content, build an audience and let that audience familiarize themselves with your work.
And of course, if you need a few tips to get started, we’re here for you. Always.
Image courtesy of Novelty Revisions.