Spring is finally coming to the Pacific Northwest. We’ve had two sunny days in a week! Woohoo! I hope wherever you are is getting even more sun than we are. I’ve been outside mixing up dirt and planting seeds when the rain and free time allows. Eventually, there will be flowers. And zucchini.
I’ve moved to a new writing schedule, which starts much earlier in the morning than I’d rather get up. But I discovered that if I have a fixed writing goal (like ‘finish this scene’) and I start right after I wake up, I work until I finish it– even if it takes me five hours or so. I do have to deal with interruptions and resist distractions, but I’m definitely making progress. Go me!
Today, I suppose I’ll be all meta, and blog about blogging.
I have another blog, a personal one. Long ago, I used it as a catch-all but eventually I decided that it wasn’t working very well as such, because there were a lot of things I didn’t post about because my audience was a mixture of everybody I knew and I thought some people would be bored no matter what topic I chose. So, for example, I didn’t write much about writing. Then Facebook and Twitter came along, and I started just using my other blog as a repository for status updates. I occasionally post something longer there, but so much of what I want to say to a general audience of friends and family fits so well within a tweet or two!
I’m kind of an introvert. I can be vocal and opinionated if I have something to say, but I’m really not very good at finding other people to talk to. But it’s the internet! Surely there must be people out there.
So, I started this blog. And I promised myself I’d write a post at least once a week. And I beat my fears that nobody would read it by not telling anybody about it! A stellar plan!
Actually, it worked pretty well. If I was confident nobody was reading it, I couldn’t waste time worrying about whether what I was writing would be interesting to anybody but me! Sometimes the posts are pretty short but at least they’re there.
In the spirit of a true confession, I’ll say more! One reason I wanted to develop a blog rather than, say, simply frequenting other blogs (although I try to do that too) is because I wanted to Build A Platform*. (I hear ominous music everytime I read that phrase.)
Dear reader, I want you in my life. I write, ultimately, to be read. But it turns out finding readers when you spend all your time sitting quietly at home reading by yourself is kind of hard! Who knew?
But let’s be honest. Bland blog posts, once a week, aren’t going to draw in the readers like bees to nectar. In order to lure in new readers, you need to have a spectacular blogging voice, be intrinsically interesting, or provide useful content.
Oh, or have giveaways.**
I don’t feel as if I have a spectacular blogging voice. And I think the only way I’m intrinsically interesting is the stories in my head. So that leaves me with ‘provide useful content’. (Or giveaways.)
I don’t know so much about useful content. If I weren’t spending so much time on the writing, I’m sure I could find some useful service to provide. I have a few skills. I like collecting and analyzing data, which is handy in so many arenas, This could, for example, be a kickass blog about playing clerics in a variety of MMOs!
But– I don’t think I can do that AND write stories. My personal life is not that open. Possibly I spend too much time analyzing data.
So I can’t provide useful content. But I can provide entertainment, I hope. I can provide the stories in my head. That’s why, eventually, I’m going to start posting my serial novel. Hopefully, it will find readers. In a way, these weekly posts, and the Follow Friday, are the soil I’m mixing up so that I can plant some seeds. And maybe eventually those seeds will sprout. There will be flowers! Tasty nectar! Great stories, and people to read them!
See, you thought that was just a tangent above, but it all tied together. Awww. I’m surprised, too.
* I don’t think I’m really building a platform. I think you need more for a platform than a couple of blog posts a week. ‘Making friends’ sounds much nicer, don’t you think? Although I don’t think you do that by blogging alone… Giveaways!
** I am, in fact, planning on a giveaway later in the summer. I just, er, need to figure out what to give away and what kind of theme to attach. Part of my introversion is a dislike of self-promotion, so I don’t think I can theme it as ‘Bribing People To Look At My Blog’ without dying of shame.