See if you think this post is any different from my earlier ones. I just finished reading The Shy Writer Reborn by Hope Clark, and she’s changed the way I look at blogging. Creator of the website FundsforWriters.com, author of the Carolina Slade Mystery Series, and contributor to dozens of other publications, Clark offers a treasure trove of beneficial advice to writers who want to get their work “out there.”
In addition to writing about something that people might actually want to read, I’m going to include more visuals, ask more questions, insert polls when appropriate, incorporate bulleted items, and reference my books. I’m not going to do all of those things in this post, but I’m aiming for a couple.
For starters, I’m going to follow Clark’s suggestion to write something that I think people actually want to read. I’m fresh out of original ideas this morning, but I have a hunch that writers might like to know more of what Hope Clark has to say about blogging. For starters, she states that the basic requirement for a blog is to solve a problem or provide entertainment. I’m working on that.
According to Clark, a blog’s theme can be whatever the writer wants it to be, as “altruistic, broad, narrow, quirky or serious as you desire.” Each post should do one of the following, or it’s not worth writing:
- Draw a laugh
- Solve a problem
- Provide tips
- List references
- Show beauty
- Provide an AHA moment
- Provide an AAH moment.
My first blog, http://psychcentral.wordpress.com was created primarily as a forum for psychology students to read and write about psychological topics of interest. I was especially interested in getting less vocal students involved in class participation, and my plan worked. For about four years, the blog was active; now it’s about to die on the vine unless I get back on track.
With that encouraging success, I began a blog about subjects of personal interest, a hodgepodge of thoughts and opinions about topics ranging from grandchildren to politics and everything in-between. (www.marlajayne.wordpress.com) Someone in my writing group told me (in a delicate and gentle manner) that perhaps I needed to come up with an overall theme. A collection of “this and that” wouldn’t work for a serious writer.
Hmmm. I didn’t know how serious I was, but I took the hint/advice and started this blog. Ironically, this one is the toughest one to write on, probably because of self-doubt. Isn’t it a bit presumptuous to imagine that I have anything to offer about writing and reading? Am I being a shy writer?
Along the way, I’ve had blogs on women in the Bible and teaching. The former was turned into a book (http://tinyurl.com/lzxvquu) and the latter is going the same route as an eBook. As Clark says in The Shy Writer Reborn, eBooks are too easy to produce these days not to take advantage of the opportunity. What are you waiting for?
My word count is up. While word count is a matter of opinion, Clark’s suggestion is 500 words, and I agree with her. If I were inclined to read something longer, I’d go to another source. There are just too many too many good things to read to get mired down in one llooonnggg blog.
Are you sometime guilty of being a shy writer? Are there things you can do to improve your blog and your online presence? Are you thinking of turning a blog into an eBook? What are you waiting for?