By Karen Lange
To me, blogging is an adventure; there are ups, downs, and everything in between. Each portion of the endeavor offers valuable, hands on experience and helps stretch our skills. It adds wonderful dimension to a writer’s life. We gain new friends, connections, resources, info, and writing opportunities.
I’m thankful for all I’ve learned on my blogging journey. While I don’t claim to be an expert, I have discovered a few things that boost blog success.
1) Be authentic. The more I write, the more Oscar Wilde’s words ring true. He said, “Be yourself, everyone else is taken.” Many writers stress over developing their writing voice. While voice is an important element, I think that it’s been over emphasized and writers get stressed about it. It’s important to relax, be yourself, and write. In doing so, our genuine voice emerges.
2) Pay it forward. When I started my blog three years ago, one goal was to help other writers. I didn’t profess to know everything; I just wanted to share what I’d learned. I’ve been blessed with help from wonderful, supportive friends, and wanted to pass that encouragement along. I began by offering tips and links in hopes that someone could use them on their writing journey.
3) Don’t take unpleasant comments or loss of followers personally. Your blog won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, and that’s okay. In a recent interview, author Ann Gabhart said, “Rejection is not fatal.” She was referring to submissions, but this applies to blogging too. Step back, take a deep breath, and objectively select any constructive elements. Pruning, when appropriate, hurts, but is necessary for growth.
4) Confront challenges head on. Some think that the writer’s life is all roses and sunshine, but the reality is that it takes time and effort. Hours of thinking, reading, learning, research, writing, revising, and editing are the norm. It’s easy to get discouraged and quit. If we feel called to write, though, then we must press through the hard places. When I am stuck for ideas or a project isn’t flowing right, I pray. I also consult friends who help brainstorm, read drafts, or offer encouragement.
5) Interact with other writers. No man is a blog island. Writing friends, local and/or online, provide Inspiration, info, and encouragement. The writing life is solitary, so friends provide valuable feedback and help us keep a balanced perspective. Join a writer’s group or forum, visit and comment on other blogs, or take a writing class. Sometimes it is difficult for an introverted writer to reach out, but the people in the writing community are amazing, and a great source of support. It’s worth the effort!
What have you learned on your blogging adventure?
Karen Lange is a writer, blogger, and online writing instructor at the Coffeehouse for Writers. Her articles have appeared in parenting, educational, and writing publications. Visit her blog at karenelange.blogspot.com.
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