Today I want to encourage authors to make use of their websites, by blogging occasionally.
For an author, the goal of a website is not to gain “fans” – it is to gain readers. Your website is a resource that offers readers a place to meet you and see what you are interested in. It is also your storefront, a place where readers can find and buy your books.
Writing three times a week for this blog has helped me grow more confident as a writer. I can write using the “stream of consciousness” method, or I can write it several days in advance. Usually, I put together a quick outline and do the research on whatever aspect of writing has been on my mind, and soon I have written 700 or more words.
I have made many friends through blogging, people all over the world whom I may never meet in person, but who I am fond of, nevertheless. Readers love to talk about what they are reading, and authors want to talk about what they’re writing. Both subjects are obsessions for me.
And I can’t tell you how much I enjoy discussing my little passion for 16th and 17th century Netherlandish art. When I write about a particular artist or picture, I find some new bit of creativity to admire, things that make me almost feel the artist is someone I might know.
I think the best bloggers are those who are passionate about something and who have the courage to write about it. Here are only some blogs I follow:
Lee French – Finding Family in Strange Places
Stephen Swartz’s Deconstruction of the Sekuatean Empire
Chris the Story Reading Ape’s Blog
These are the just the blogs I can think of off the top of my head – in reality I follow many, many more. In fact, if you are already a regular blogger, I am probably following you and reading your posts!
Real life can be a rolling disaster, as everyone knows. This is why I occasionally write about the difficulties of traveling and how hard it is for a vegan to find food on a long road trip. At times, I write about the challenges of having two adult children with epilepsy.
I’ve sometimes written about the dysfunctionality of growing up with a father suffering from battle-related PTSD.
I have also talked about growing up in a family of word-nerds, and the shock of discovering we weren’t “normal.”
Whatever I am thinking about, I post a short piece on it.
If I can do it, so can you.
If you are an author, having a blog on your website and updating it at least twice a month is a good way to connect with your readers on a human level. Readers will enjoy hearing what your writing goals are. They want to know where you will be signing books, or if you will be at a convention near them. Also, they love to know what you are reading.
I do recommend publishing short pieces occasionally. Bits of flash fiction are fun to write and readers enjoy them. These pieces can find their way into your larger work, as they are a great way to brainstorm ideas.
At the bottom of each flash-fiction piece, I post a disclaimer that it is copyrighted:
- Bleakbourne on Heath, by Connie J. Jasperson, © 2016 All Rights Reserved
I suppose I am a compulsive blogger. I sometimes think about slowing down, but then I suddenly have an idea that I need to write about. In no time flat, I will have written 500 words. In fact, this post is around 600- 700 words long.
Not a bad length and not too long to write.
Wikimedia Commons contributors, “File:Rembrandt – Rembrandt and Saskia in the Scene of the Prodigal Son – Google Art Project.jpg,” Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:Rembrandt_-_Rembrandt_and_Saskia_in_the_Scene_of_the_Prodigal_Son_-_Google_Art_Project.jpg&oldid=340120613 (accessed April 17, 2019).