Joel Friedlander over at The Book Designer has an interesting post which raises the question Should Fiction Authors Be Bloggers. He opens by pointing out major benefits of blogging (creating communities of interest, interacting with readers, etc) and points out that the benefits are clear for writers of non-fiction and for established authors. But he questions whether or not these benefits apply to “unknown fiction authors, aspiring novelists, and first-timers.”
I have often wondered about this and struggled with whether or not I wanted to post more about my writing on this blog. Obviously, I’ve decided to forge ahead but that doesn’t mean I don’t have reservations. The main concern, which Friedlander nicely spells out, is that there are many things new and aspiring writers needs to focus on and blogging may not be the highest priority. Every minute I spend blogging is a minute I’m not spending on my creative works. I’m uncertain whether blogging is going to accomplish much in the way of short term goals, but I believe there are long term benefits:
- It is going to provide me with a history of my thoughts about my projects and about the process of publishing, some of which may provide insights for other writers.
- It is going to provide a landing place for anyone who does an Internet search on me when I do publish and create interest in me and my work.
- It is going to provide a growing community of people and friends. Even if only a fraction of those people take a serious interest in anything I produce, it will still be a handful more readers than I would otherwise have had.
- And, if I ever publish anything that inspires serious fans, they will have somewhere to go to learn more about me and read about how their favorite project developed.
Whether or not the benefits will outweigh the time invested remains to be seen but I can say for sure that NOT blogging about my writing has not provided me any of the benefits I listed above.
I agree whole-heartedly with Friedlander when his answer to his own question is “it depends.” If I were just starting out, I may want to focus solely on my creative works. But as someone who has a few projects well underway and who has some publications under his belt, I’m hoping that trying to create greater exposure will make all this effort worthwhile.