Bullet Wisdom

I am an Active Duty Officer in the US Army. I am a Husband, father, writer, hunter, gamer, and SOLDIER. This blog is a forum for my many hobbies as well as my random musings.

Friday, July 23, 2010

To Blog, or not to Blog?

Should unpublished writers blog?

That is the question. This week, a couple of influential bloggers, agent Mary Kole and writer Jodi Meadows, both weighed in on relatively opposite sides of the discussion. (I say relatively because since posting, their opinions are shown to be much closer than originally implied). After reading friend PJ Schnyder's post, I decided my own opinion was necessary. The

I say go for it. Whatever you want. Especially if you are a new and unpublished writer. Go wild.

Why? Because you ARE an unpublished writer. Use your blog and other social media networks to enjoy yourself and test your creative limits. Blogging daily or weekly encourages the development of good writing habits such as, say, the ability to meet a deadline (ignore the fact I failed to post last week) or

If you write something down, you're more likely to remember it later. If you see another writer or publishing professional put out some interesting factoid or advice, analyze it and blog about it. Do that and you're more likely to internalize it than if you simply saved a link somewhere in your bottomless collection of bookmarks.

Your blog doesn't have to be great. Shoot, it doesn't have to be good (although it would help). Hell, it doesn't even have to be amazingly average (think, blog devoted to cats, blech). It just needs to make you happy from week to week as you get out there and share your ideas. Look at it this way: It can only have a positive effect on your other writing efforts.

Now, on the flip side. If you're not enjoying it, if every day or week or month you look at the keyboard and say, "Damn, I have to do the freaking blog," then you should reconsider why your doing it in the first place. If it's not fun or enjoyable, then it's probably not worth doing. Although I usually say, 'if you can't do it right...', but that's a different discussion.

I also don't recommend 'bitch' blogs where you aim the rhetorical flamethrower at current or future employers, agents or corporate entities. If you're going to burn down the bridge, at least wait until your standing on it with a contract in hand.

Chances are, your blog and Facebook account are not going to help you get an agent and get published. Yes, there are exceptions, rare ones, but in the end you have to actually write material that is extremely interesting to achieve your breakthrough moment. It is at that point that you will be forced to reevaluate your position as you attempt to walk the fine line between image, publicity, and marketing. After all, when you're a successful writer, the big boys will have much $$$ invested. Don't be surprised if they not-so-subtly request you to make a change, or ten.

Make it big, delete your old blog, pretend it never happened, then hire a marketing firm and publicist to come up with the interesting material for you.

Again, not there yet? Go wild.


Falcata Times said...

Fun Post BW, the other thing I'd say is before you blog do your research. Will you have time to update it? What are other people in the same field as you writing about? Are your posts interesting?

Its a great way to help network as well as finding time to create something special for you that people who've enjoyed your writing can grip onto and help promote yourself.

Angela Addams said...

Good points all around...although I have to say...my agent thought it was very important that I was establishing a web-identity and creating a platform.

Pat Hollett said...

Thanks for sharing Ken. That was truly interesting. It was witty, funny, informative, and downright honest. I laughed at some of your comments, and innuendo's. I read it a second time just so I could laugh again! It was brilliant. Great blog!