Blogging

Author Blogs.

There has been some discussion of late amongst writers on what content to have within their blogs. This is an issue I have been grappling with myself for quite some time now.

As an unpublished author, I have the advantage of experimenting with my blog to find out what works and what doesn’t. When we start out we naturally blog about writing, however there are so many blogs on this topic that the humble beginner can get lost in the crowd. Published authors also blog about writing; they know what they’re talking about and are well informed about the industry. I have read both Get Known before the Book Deal by Christina Katz and We Are Not Alone by Kristen Lamb, and both recommend authors blog on topic. With this in mind, I decided to take a step back to see exactly what other authors were doing when it came to blogging.  Here’s what I discovered:-

  • Authors blog about writing and the writing process.
  • Authors blog about their books – new releases, book signings, television versions of their novels, etc.
  • Authors review books they like by other authors.
  • Authors talk about the inspiration behind their books.
  • Authors discuss how they became writers.
  • Authors blog about social issues that affect them.
  • Not all authors blog.

I was beginning to see a pattern emerging; when authors blog, they talk about books in one form or another; they also blog about topics that interest them and therefore can inspire their writing. When I read books by an author I enjoy reading, I look them up on the internet to find out more about their books.  If I’m lucky, I can also find out more about them as people.  These days, people want to find out more about the personal lives of celebrities.  Fortunately, authors don’t seem to have to put their lives under the microscope, but it is always fascinating to learn about how they became writers and what inspired them. There have been biographies written about authors such as Jane Austen, the Brontes and Charles Dickens for example, because as readers we are fascinated about them as writers.

By undertaking this research, I have discovered a number of things. As writers it is only natural that we need to talk about our books (and those of others) and our inspiration behind them. This not only informs the reader on what our books are actually about, but also lets them know a little bit about our own personalities and what we are passionate about. If we are passionate about certain topics this will come through in our writing for both our books and our blogs.  I have recently discovered something that I’m passionate about just by undertaking this research – it has allowed me to dig deeper.

So where do I go from here with my own blog? Yes, I’ve been guilty of blogging about writing (I think we all have from time to time), but it is one of my passions.  Here are some of the things I’ll be blogging about:-

  • Books.
  • The writing process.
  • Specific locations of where my stories are set.
  • Topics I’ve researched.
  • Time periods I’ve researched.
  • The inspiration behind my stories.

Blog what you are comfortable with; write about your passions. The main thing to remember about blogging is to have fun! I’m looking forward to blogging in the future – what about you? 😀

Have you undertaken your own research when it comes to author blogs? What have you discovered? What do you like to see in an author’s blog? What don’t you like to see? Do you think authors should blog at all?

Free image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Books · Writing

Reading – A Writer’s Dilemma.

This week, I’m going to talk about my reading addiction.  As I’ve mentioned before, with 2012 being the National Year of Reading in Australia, it’s a great incentive to encourage more to take it up. I’ve been encouraged to discover new authors, read books from authors I’ve wanted to try for some time and re-read old favourites until they begin to fall apart in my hands.  Being on Goodreads, I’ve taken up the challenge of reading fifty books this year alone.  Maybe a tad ambitious as I’m starting to get behind, but like any true addict, I just can’t help myself!

Now as a writer, we are told to read, study our genres and learn what’s out there.  It’s one of the ways we can help perfect our craft.  However, if you’re anything like me, one tends to out-weigh the other and therein lays the problem.

In her book, The Writer’s Workout, Christina Katz says to write more than you read.  Like everything else, balance is the key; be choosy about what you read.  That really hit home for me, because the trouble is there are so many books out there.  Admittedly not all of them are great and I prefer not to waste my time trudging through a book that doesn’t ‘do it’ for me.  As writers, it is best to know what genre/s we like and stick with them in order for us to write them well ourselves.  Writing our own stories should be our main priority if we want to make it in this business.  Perhaps reading should be seen as one of our rewards for a job well done.

I need to ease off on my reading addiction in order to make writing my No.1 priority.  Maybe then I can also reward myself with my other addiction – chocolate!

Are you addicted to reading? Do you read more than you write? Have you read any good books this year? Are you on Goodreads? How many books do you read a year? What is your favourite genre/s?

Free image by Anusorn P nachol courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Writing

Writing with Passion.

These past few weeks I’ve been doing a bit of ‘soul searching’.  Basically, after reading Get Known before the Book Deal, I’ve been concentrating on platform building.  This involves taking some time to work out my interests as a writer.

Years ago, I experimented with writing different genres.  One that I particularly remember was romance writing.  I read ‘how to’ books, listened to tapes, even joined the RWA.  I was foolish enough to believe that writing in this genre was easy, but I actually found it difficult.  Why?  I think it was because (pardon the pun) my heart wasn’t in it.  I wasn’t interested in the ‘girl meets boy, girl loses boy, girl wins boy’ scenario: in fact it bored me.  Personally, I don’t mind reading romance in a story as part of the sub-plot, but the main story has to grab my attention and pure romance wasn’t doing it for me.

I grew up reading and watching suspense, mystery, crime and horror.  History always fascinated me as well, so by combining all these elements I have now come full circle.  I have come to understand who I really am as a writer.  In order to be successful as a writer, one needs to write what they are passionate about.  Anything else and you’re not being authentic and true to yourself.

So this Valentines’ Day, listen to your heart when it comes to your writing.

Are you following your passion as a writer?