I was doing my usual surf from site to site while my brain is percolating my story (yes, really, I’m not avoiding it for once — it’s really brewing!) when I ran across two different author explanations for blogging. First, here’s Tess Gerritsen:
When I began the blog, I wasn’t really sure what I’d write about. As it turned out, I’ve never been at a loss for topics — my only problem has been finding the time to do it. I also wasn’t quite clear about why I should blog. Since then, I’ve realized that this blog isn’t about self-promotion. It’s not about selling more books or getting my name out there or making people like me.
It’s about catharsis.
The ever entertaining and informative JA Konrath has, naturally, a different take on blogging:
Think about why you blog, and what purpose it’s serving. Look at your last fifty entries. Will they be of any interest to someone in 2017? If not, why do you think they are of any interest to anyone now?
That’s why I don’t do memes. That’s why I don’t blog about personal stuff. That’s why I don’t push my own books constantly—no one ever seeks out ads. And that’s why, except on rare occassions, I don’t blog about events, peers, friends, family, or what I watched on TV last night.
Your blog is a tool. But too many people are using hammers to scratch their asses rather than drive nails. If you blog as a form of entertainment, that’s no problem–have fun. If you blog to increase your name recognition, you may be doing more harm than good.
Both writers make good points. Both are worth listening to. And yet there’s another lesson here too. The ultimate lesson, maybe: no definitive answer exists that is correct in every circumstance.
You can argue that Tess Gerritsen is so successful that it doesn’t matter what she blogs about because people will read her anyway. You could also argue that Joe Konrath is so entertaining and controversial (when he wants to be) that people would read him even if he did memes because he would no doubt make the meme entertaining and controversial.
Maybe it’s all about Voice. Joe’s blog Voice is businesslike and informative. Tess’s blog Voice is like your best friend/sister/trusted family doctor who knows a lot of interesting stuff and wants to tell you about it over a nice cup of tea. Same thing, and not the same thing.
If these two posts taught me anything, though, it’s not to worry too much about it. Yeah, you shouldn’t say things you’ll regret later (like dissing fellow writers or agents, editors, etc) or expose all the deep dark details of your personal life, but don’t sweat it otherwise. Write your blog in your Voice. Some will be interested, some won’t. Just like writing books, really.