Friday, May 02, 2008

Why Do You Blog?

A post I did on whether or not you read author blogs had me thinking about why authors blog. If you’re a blogger it’s likely that, like me, you’re asked fairly frequently why you blog. When I’m asked I give my stock answer, “Because I’m not doing as many writers' conferences as I used to, the blog is a way for me to continue to share my knowledge of the publishing community without the travel.”

Which is true. One of the many reasons I started the blog is because I’m saying no to so many writers' conferences, but still do want to help writers understand the game of publishing. But let’s lay the cards on the table here. Why do I really blog?

If I had to dig deep down and acknowledge the true reasons I blog, continue to blog, and like to blog, sharing knowledge with the publishing community comes in second. The real reason I blog is because it allows me to share my many opinions with the world at large and it gives me some semblance of fame. And yes, this is almost embarrassing to admit. The truth, though, is that my reasons for blogging aren’t entirely altruistic. I mean, let’s face it, success in publishing is hugely about who you are. Authors talk all the time about their “dream agents” and dream agents often come about because they are the names most often repeated. I’m sometimes amazed by who the authors think are the “big agents,” because those agents aren’t always the ones with the biggest-name authors. They are just the agents with the biggest names.

My true reason for blogging is about marketing. Marketing myself and BookEnds. I want to become a household name in the publishing world, because the bigger my name the better the writers are who come knocking on my door, and it’s those writers who are going to build my reputation at publishing houses. But to become the name on everyone’s tongue at writers' conferences and critique groups it’s up to me and the blog is one of the best venues I’ve found so far to promote me.

So what about you? If you do blog, why? What are your real reasons? And if you aren’t a blogger and have chosen not to become one, what makes you stay away? Why do you choose not to blog?



Anonymous said...

I blog for a couple of reasons - getting my name out there is one, and actually it's the reason I started blogging. But the more I do it, the more enjoyable it becomes. So reason number two for me with blogging is fun. I also like 'talking' to other people this way. And finally, it's like any other workout, the more you do it, the stronger you become. I'm working my creative muscle by blogging. It's my warmup for the day. I get feedback, which I love, and most of all, I get new words on a page. :-)


Anonymous said...

I started blogging in 2006 for several reasons, but those reasons have changed and evolved since then. The initial reason I started blogging was because I kept hearing that agents and editors want web saavy authors in today's world, where so many people are using the internet to find what they want and need. But having a blog turned out to be a great way to network with other authors. I've gotten two of my crit partners from connections I've made from blogging. So that was another reason, and that continues to be my number one reason for blogging today.

I also blog because once I become a published author, I want to have a way to reach out to my readers. I used to always want to know more about my favorite authors and how they did what they did, but until the internet really exploded, there was no easy way for authors to communicate with their readers. Now that there is, I want to use that tool. I enjoy reading author blogs myself. Knowing more about the author creates a more loyal readership, I think, which is always good for sales.

Kimber Li said...

It's fun and it's my primary way of connecting with the rest of the world. I live in Alaska!

Lorra said...

I have a blog, but I rarely post to it. I guess it beats talking out loud to yourself though. Even in this day of bluetooth, people still look at you like you're kinda scary. Especially when your conversation is animated and you're not wearing a headset or carrying your cell.

Simple Living Blogger said...

Oh, me me me. I've been waiting for this very question! I tried for a jillion years to write I novel and I stank at it. Could never bring anything to fruition and I finally gave up on fiction all together. I've always written and published personal essays, and longed to have my own newspaper column, like Adair Lara. Unfortunately, newspaper jobs are scarce and if you're lucky, they pay you pennies a word. Enter the blog! It's a form that suits my writing style and writing goals perfectly.

I recently had an epiphany and changed my entire way of eating. It has impacted my life in ways I could not have anticipated. I started a blog to share my experiences with others. Turns out this form is ideal for the way I like to write. It's a great place to test drive my material and it's fun. It also works for me with my "day job" commitments. Once I gave up on the notion of writing a book, and trying to make money from it, the sky was the limit.

If anyone's interested, my blog is:


B.E. Sanderson said...

I started my blog to give myself a 'web presence'. After the first few weeks of talking to myself, people actually began to stop by and leave comments. Since then, it's been all about communicating with like-minded people. I've networked with published authors, made several online friends, and learned a great deal. Plus, like Kimber An said, it's my primary way of connecting with the world. (I don't live in Alaska, but middle of nowhere CO feels just as remote most days.)

Jessica Nelson said...

Same for me. Someday when I'm published, I hope to have built up some people who feel like they know me and want to buy my books. And it's true that the agent blogs I read are the ones I want to query.

Anonymous said...

I will blog, when I'm published, but I only dabble with it now.

I think it is a good marketing tool to help get your name out there and draw readers to your website. I do think it helps create and maintain a personal connection with fans, and consequently a loyal readership.

I plan to blog about my writing and my butterfly garden, which is my one big hobby. I think it's always good to have something to blog about instead of things that are too personal.

Oh, and BTW, I think your blog is working. You're certainly on the top of my list of agents, and it is mostly due to the fact that I have a clear idea of your business philosophy and personality from what I've seen here on the blog. I can't help but be suspicious of agents who have no web presence at all.

Heidi the Hick said...

I started for a couple of reasons.

-my husband bought me a little used MacBook
-he said he wanted me to start writing again
-I was going through a very bad depression and needed something to pick me up, get me out of my own head.
-reach out to people without having to leave my house.

It grew from there. I wrote about my life, gathered up a small but tight little group of readers and fellow bloggers, and eventually fessed up that I was working on writing a novel.

Now I blog partly because I feel like I don't want to let my readers down. Not that I'm egotistical, or obligated, but that I just want to communicate. I'm so thankful to have people want to read what I write!

It's a great creative outlet! It's really helped me define my identity now that I'm in my late 30s and out of the "Stay at home mother with small kids" phase of my life.

Also, if I blog about my goals in life, it makes me accountable. My statements are out there and it gives me incentive to work for it. I do hope that in the future a few people will remember me and consider reading that book of mine... and the ones to follow...

Heidi the Hick said...

One more thing I'd like to add:

I didn't think of it that blogging would sharpen my typing skills and my writing.

Now I use that as an excuse! "I blog because it's good practice for my fiction writing!"

Sally MacKenzie said...

Am I the lone voice in the wildness? Probably.

I don't blog, except for guest appearances when I have a book out. I don't even read many blogs--this is probably the only one I read regularly. I don't dislike the blogging concept--more power to those who can do it and do it well! And I can see it can serve some very good purposes. But I find blogging distracts me, taking time and mental energy away from my contracted writing. And it makes me feel a bit exposed. But that's me.

I was just at a writers' retreat where a large group of published authors discussed blogs and blogging. Some have blogs and really enjoy the blogging experience. But then there were a few others like me who are going to take a pass.

Anonymous said...

Okay, I might get slammed for this, but here goes...

I don't blog and have stopped reading writer's blogs -- even my favorite authors -- because it's time consuming and to be honest, quite tedious, to have to care about the minutia of other writer's lives. There is an element of "it's all about me" to a lot of the posts that I find is a turn-off. Publishing is a long and slow process and I understand the need to celebrate each step of the way -- but when all those "small" steps are blown out of proportion on blogs and analyzed to death it makes the writer seem smaller in my eyes.

I still take ten minutes a day or so to read industry blogs like BookEnds because they offer insight from the powers that be in the publishing world. But writer angst... ick... I've got my own, I don't need to read about others.


Liana Brooks said...

I keep two blogs and update both infrequently. One is my writing blog and to the best of my knowledge no one reads it but me. I like to go there to rant about unruly characters or review a book I've read. It's more of a personal online journal than a blog used for communicating with other people.

I have a second blog for my family. We don't live close to family so I put up tidbits about the kids and pictures of major events so the people we can't see regularly can check up on us.

When/if I get published I would like to be a little better about keeping a blog or website going so that I can interact with my readers. :o) Well, it's a nice daydream, but I have to polish and query before I get that far ahead of myself. One step at a time and all.

Gina Black said...

I blog because I like to. My first entry was from New Year's Eve 2003, so I've been going at it for a long while. (I'm on my 3rd and 4th blogs now.)

I think that for people like me, who have lots of opinions about things, it's very satisfying to have a place to display them. I probably should spend more time writing about writing, but since it's mostly an outlet, I generally blog about whatever's most on my mind (that won't come back and haunt me).

Chro said...

I originally started blogging in order to establish a web presence and get my name out there. Since then, it has developed into a useful networking tool, a place for me to recommend the sites and books I like, and a place for me to tell other writers about my mistakes so that they don't make them. My sidebar also functions as a useful collection of links for me to check all my favorite blogs in the morning. ;)

But above all, it's something that allows me to write more, which is the #1 way to get better at writing.

Christine Fletcher said...

I started blogging because my agent and editor recommended it when my first book was published. That was over two years ago, and I'm still blogging. I don't think of it as a marketing tool, although I know it's supposed to be one. It's fun, and also it's like leaving a door open and light on for whoever comes by: An invitation to come in, hang out for a while, and get to know me.

Maya Reynolds said...

I started blogging in the fall of 2005, about three months before I signed with BookEnds and a little less than a year before Jacky sold my first manuscript.

This is a great post because I think it helps if you're clear about why you're blogging and your goals. I wanted to get my name "out there" before I sold my first book.

I post every day, mostly about publishing, but periodically inserting a personal note about myself. It's interesting because those personal notes are the ones that get the most comments. {shrug} I don't pretend to have the answers.

Laura K. Curtis said...

I think the answer for me would be community. I started blogging because I had to for work--closing in on ten years ago, I think! Yikes! I left that job in 2002 and moved across the country and my blog became a way to keep in touch with friends and family.

Recently, I closed my personal blog and started a professional one with several other women who write because I had started sending out manuscripts and I figured the agents and editors who might Google me probably didn't want to know about my politics, my dog's cancer, or my opinions on the state of the world.

Not that those things don't creep into our blog occasionally, though we don't talk politics at all. I'm not even sure all of us would agree on anything we might choose to discuss! The blog *is* good for marketing, publicity, etc, but it also allows us to hear from other people, and to contribute in some small way to the community of writers out there in the world.

Anonymous said...

I started blogging after a move,to keep in touch with my now out-of-state friends. Years before I started doing something with my writing! So my blog is very much a mix of the personal and professional. Equal parts flash fiction and movie reviews,poetry and silly things my cats did that day.

Maria Zannini said...

I started blogging as a way of reaching my writing buddies all at once, but eventually that morphed into something bigger.

I'm in advertising. I know about designing promotional collateral. I also edit two writing newsletters and it's given me the opportunity to interview some notable names in the publishing industry.

Because of this, my blog has evolved into a warehouse of information for other writers. Mondays are generally for markets and agent news. And starting next Friday, I'll be doing a series of posts on promotional vehicles for authors.

My website, on the other hand, has gradually shifted toward the average reader in mind, especially since I do have a book coming out this month. But my blog will stay as a place for other writers to visit. It's a way of giving back to the writing community, and in turn it gives back to me by increasing my exposure.

It's one of my favorite 'jobs' and I always make time to blog at least three times a week. The networking benefits far outweigh the donated time and research.

bob said...

I blog for different reasons, one to network with other readers and writers and second because as I searched different blogs, I never found one that pertained to women's fiction and all the different aspects of it.

Ulysses said...

I started because I got tired of showing up in comment posts as either "Anonymous," or a name which anyone could co-opt, thus making their words come out of my mouth (it never happened. It probably never would. But I'm afraid the paranoids are after me). I obtained a google ID. Then, I figured if I had an ID, I might as well take advantage of it, so I set up a blog just to see how it worked. Then because an empty blog is a bit like a blank page, I had to put something on it.

Why do I do it? Vanity, I guess. It's my way of shouting, "Hey, this is me! Bask in my wit and brilliance." Of course, I'm somewhat ashamed of that motivation, so I compensate by not having much to say. It's also a way of making contact with others in the wide world. It's like starting a conversation at a party (something at which I'm utterly incompetent), without the necessity of enduring awkward stares when the conversation falls flat. In addition, I tell myself it's good advanced publicity for that day when I have something to be public about, and it's a chance to write with an immediate connection to an audience (a small audience. A tiny audience. Quite possibly a non-existent one).

Of course, I'm concerned that blogging will scratch the same itch that is scratched by writing fiction. So far, though, I'm still itchy.

Anonymous said...

I don't blog for one of the reasons you stated you do, to express your/my opinions. I want my writing to speak for me. If i start spouting off about my personal life and opinions there will be someone out there in cyberspace who will be offended. (Case in point, Tess Gerritsen has ended her interesting and very helpful blog because of a nasty response by some jerks who didn't agree with her opinions.)

It's like Mama said, "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all."

Kalynne Pudner said...

I blog because I can't help it! I NEED to blog!

(Oh,wait...where have I heard that line before?)

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

I started blogging to build my online audience. I was hearing that the problem with what I write is the occupation of the people I write about, not my writing. So I decided to show agents and editors that I'm a risk worth taking.

I've built my audience, although there's always room for more.

Something happened along the way, though. I began to have fun. I find blogging creatively fulfilling while at the same time, I find that it pushes me to new creative heights. I can't argue with any of that.

Merry Monteleone said...

First, I have to say that the blog is definitely working for you - I've been reading for over a year and if you represented my genre, you'd be at the top of my query list - because I can get a bit of a feel for your personality as well as the way you do business from your writing here.

I blog because it's a writing circle. The blogs I visit tend to be writers or publishing professionals, so it's a way for me to network with other writers without going out to a conference or real world writing group. I have it in mind that I want to blog for my readership, but I think that will have to be a separate blog - middle graders aren't going to be too interested in my posts and I enjoy the interaction too much to just switch gears there, so I think I'll have a separate one on an author's website for readers and updates.

Angie Fox said...

Thanks for your honest assessment, Jessica. That's one of the things I like about having you as an agent - you're so straightforward.

I blog because my first book is about to be released and I want there to actually be people visiting my site when I give away autographed cover flats or ARCs.

With all of the books out there these days, I want people who like paranormals to stumble on The Accidental Demon Slayer and I know as a reader that I can't try out a new author unless I know about the book. And even better, if a friend of mine has read it (or an ARC) and can tell me if it's worth my $6.99.

But, you know, blogging has had a secondary effect I never anticipated - I'm hearing from a lot of old high school and college friends. It's also been a great way to keep up with a friend of mine who is a diplomat assigned to Calcutta, India. She has kids, I have kids. We don't keep in touch as much as we should. But now she reads my blog posts, emails me about them and we've been having a lot of fun that way.

Unknown said...

I started a blog (which is semi private) about my family to keep my friends and relatives up to date on what we were doing. I was tired of answering the same questions over and over. Everyone could visit my blog and enjoy pictures, etc.

As I began writing more, my posts were always about what I was doing and taking up my whole family blog. So I started a writing blog that they could check if they cared to. It was mostly for me to document my journey, not for self-promotion or to state opinions.

Now it's kind of become a great little networking tool. I've met a few writers recently who have a lot in common with me and we've been cheering each other on. Great support group.

So for me it's still a way to keep in touch with my family. They all have blogs now too.

Anonymous said...

I started my blog about a month after I started my novel. I wanted to chronicle the process, and I thought blogging might help motivate me.

When I finished the first draft, I started a password-protected page for my test readers to share and discuss their thoughts. Really helpful!

In the beginning, my blog was private, but I recently made it publicly searchable and I'm enjoying seeing who turns up and how they got there.

Robena Grant said...

I have a blog page on my website with a link called News, but I don't enable the comments. I do have an email address. I write twice a month.
The reason I started one was primarily industry buzz about blogging but then I found it was a terrific way to keep down email chatter from friends and relatives overseas. They could get the latest update off the blog and my interruptions from writing became less. So I'd say mine was a mix of what I'm doing, comments on books read, and stuff in general.

One question I have though, in the beginning when I had my comments section enabled I'd go for long periods with one comment or no comments and to me that looked kind of sad. Like I was talking to myself. Heh. Do you think it's best to have the comment section available even if it sits empty?

Anonymous said...

I just love to write & that's mostly why I blog...
But the marketing aspect is in the background, too...

Anonymous said...

While the ego-factor may enter into it, I would consider blogging for one reason and one reason only:
MARKETING. Once I have an agent and a book sold to a publisher, that is the day I will start a blog. Not because I have some wonderful and insightful things to impart but because I would view it, (just as you, Jessica Faust super-agent--and may the agent gods smile upon you-- view your blogging as a way of advancing your agent career), as my way to build an audience for my book. From what I'm reading, a first time author's book has a lot of hoops to jump through to be deemed a success and in order to build a career and get the next book and the next one after that published, you have to establish a selling track record from the gitgo. A blog, I think, would be a vital element in a comprehensive marketing plan. So, that would be my incentive for blogging. But until I achieve A (agent) and B (book contract), C (blog) will not happen.

Anonymous said...

I don't blog now, but would be willing to do so to help with marketing when I get published.

Jessica, you are a household name to me. Your blog and a cup of coffee jump-start my mornings. The June edition of Writer's Digest includes their 101 Best Websites for Writers. I was disappointed that your blog was not among the seven agent blogs listed. I've occasionally read a few of them, but none measure up to what you offer. Guess someone will have to nominate your blog for next year's list.

Even though you blog primarily for marketing reasons, never doubt that your readers believe you are doing it for us. Thanks for your daily dose of insight and motivation.

Kim said...

I blog to keep my name out there - and because I can keep it up to date, unlike my website. I can update release information, show new covers, run contests, etc. It's been great for that.

I also do it just because I like having someplace to vent certain things and (hopefully) entertain someone at the same time. =)

Mark Terry said...

I started because all the book marketing gurus indicated that authors needed a blog. Although I've probably sold a few books because of my blog, it doesn't really justify it. I've considered opening another blog on some subject I have a particular expertise in--clinical laboratory business or healthcare policy--or a subject I would like to known more about--politics, for instance.

But instead I write about "This Writing Life" even when I'm not always sure I have anything to say. My most popular series was "Freelance Writing For A Living" which is in 11 sections and a number of people--several writers--have suggested I use it as a proposal for a nonfiction book and that's certainly a consideration.

I'm reminded of Keith Snyder's answer to "Why do you blog?"

"Because I like to write about myself."

I'm terribly afraid he was on to something there.

Elissa M said...

I don't blog because I don't have time. I rarely post comments for the same reason. My creative energies are best reserved for my WIP and my paintings. I envy those of you who can do both.

Anonymous said...

If you're blogging for name recognition, you might want to consider a few changes to your blog.

Adding multiple authors to your Blogger account would get your own name in the 'author' tag - right now all posts come from 'Bookends LLC' and not Jessica Faust or Kim Lionetti. (Even if you want to promote Bookends more than your own names, you might want to do this; there are two of you, and it's confusing.)

You don't have an 'about us' section in your right column linking to your Blogger profile, and it's not obvious that visitors should look in "Publishing Links" for the link to the Bookends web site where they can figure out who Jessica and Kim are. Chances are people will find your blog before they find your company web site, so it's important to highlight that link. An "about us" paragraph could also introduce the two blog authors and company.

Also on the Blogger profile you can list your occupation as "literary agent" which goes to a long list of Blogger agents (see, another way for your blog to be found by people and search engines.

Hope this is more helpful than annoying - best of luck to you!

Kristi26 said...

I blog because I love to write, and blogging is a great way to practice while sharing a bit of yourself at the same time.

Plus, I get to record snippits of my family's lives as they are now. It'll be great to read again down the road when the kids are older.

Anonymous said...

I love your blog but I do not see your last name anywhere on your blog so to me you are Jessica. I know it may take away the 'comfy' feeling of your blog but you might want to add your last name to your signature line after each entry.
PS If your last name is somewhere on this page then I am sorry I missed it but I only look at the day's entry and some of the comments and then move on to the next blog, or hopefully to my manuscript. Again, thanks for generosity.

Anonymous said...

I started blogging mostly for the company. I'm self-employed - when I work, I work alone and if I'm not working, I'm at home writing. Blogging doesn't solve all the lonliness issues, but it helps to have some online friends.

I keep blogging for some of the same reasons you listed: to voice my opinion, to talk about what's going on, to talk about writing and the shape of my learning curve.

It's also great marketing. I have a website for my business and what business I get, tends to come through that. So I know the internet can get your name out there. I have a blog for business that's separate from my writing blog, and life is busy keeping both of them current.

BookEnds, A Literary Agency said...

Thanks anon 1:29 and others for suggestions. We will take a look at those things. We had some of them on before and changed things with the design. We are always open to improvement suggestions and never offended. Many of the things we do on the blog or have on the blog now are because of suggestions from readers.


Kate Douglas said...

I don't have my own blog, beyond the one on MySpace that I forget to use and the one at that I only update with new releases, but I love to guest blog, and it's entirely a marketing decision. By guest blogging, I'm hitting an entirely new set of readers, get a chance to interact with people in a fun way, and don't have the pressure of coming up with something fresh all on my own on a regular basis. It's definitely a way to get your name out there among potential readers, but also a great way to interact with Internet friends. I had a great time blogging yesterday at and the turnout was terrific.

Unknown said...

I blog to connect and network with fellow authors. And to talk about craft, publishing, etc.

I was on an online crit group, but it didn't give me a chance to get all my ideas about writing and publishing off my chest. So I blog!

Anonymous said...

Your reasons for blogging are perfectly good ones, and I started mine for the same marketing reason.

I began Flogging the Quill in hopes of attracting freelance editing work. It took some time and thousands of words of advice and coaching to reach that goal, but many other benefits have arisen since then, and it's no longer the primary reason I do it.

One biggie is to help writers. Since January, I've critiqued novel openings for over 100 writers, and the list keeps growing.

I've also gotten good insight from my readers on my own writing, and they contribute to critiques of other writers, too, always helpful, always thoughtfully.

And, like you, there's a teensy bit of "fame." Some agents now recognize my name or the name of my blog, and that helps with querying. And I feel that I have many friends on the Internet who may help me when the time comes to get the word out about a novel that succeeds.

Like they say, you get what you give. I don't know how valuable the stuff I've given is, but the returns are rich indeed.

Ray (

David A. Todd said...

Why do I blog?

The very beginnings of platform building.

Diane said...

I began blogging for several reasons.

I enjoy reading agents and author blogs because of the all the information and advice they give.

Several agents have blogged about how they check blogs from authors who have submitted manuscripts to them. As an aspiring author, I thought, OMG, I gotta do that now!

Since I've started the blog, I've gotten more confident about myself, without worrying what people will think of me. Its also given me a creative niche where I can work on writing and grammar.

I like the idea of being able to share experiences with other aspiring authors and to have a place where, some day, my readers can come to get to know me and the world of writing.

Paty Jager said...

I blog to get my name out there, it's an easy way for my family and friends to keep up with what I'm doing, and I can promote my writer/author friends when they have good news.

I blog three days a week as a warm up to writing and the other days of the week I check out friend's blogs and comment- again as a warm up to sitting down and writing.

I've enjoyed your blog since discovering it. Thank you for insightful information about the publishing industry.

Kimberli said...

To share one passion (outdoor Carolinas) with another (writing).

Aimlesswriter said...

I originally started a blog because I wanted to post on other blogs and didn't want to do it anonymously. So I needed a name/blog.
And I love to write. Not just stories but also about other stuff. I have two blogs. One about writing (I call myself aimless because I write in several genres)and one about a health condition.
I do it to reach out, share with others and to learn.
I think agent blogs are the best thing that ever happened to writers. (thanks!)
I do visit author blogs when I read their books to tell them how much I like them. Or to find out more if they are recommended.

Aimlesswriter said...

Sometimes I wonder why Jackie Sachs doesn't blog?
Just curious.

Christie Craig said...

I just finished writing my blog for next week and popped over to see what BookEnds had blogged about. And hey...what cha's about blogging.

I probably wouldn't have started blogging if I had to do it everyday. I was invited to blog with five other Dorchester authors. Most of our posts reflect our fiction, which is humorous and sometimes sexy, and sometimes just a bit off the wall. Sort of like us.

Like Jessica, I do it for marketing and name recognition.

Do I think it’s worth it? I think so. Even though this week I’ve been up to my ying-yang in deadlines and suffered a bit of blog panic, I can still say I think the payoffs are worth the payins. I’ll be the first to admit that it takes a lot to keep up with the weekly blog and I can’t imagine doing it daily. (You need to give me your secret, Jessica.) But at Killer Fiction we get as many as 100 hits a day and I know I’ve picked up loyal readers through the blog. And who knows, maybe a loyal reader will tell another reader about my book.

I have gotten emails from editors from houses that I don’t even write for, telling me how they enjoyed my posts. We have gotten responses from Romantic Times magazine editors, in which they requested we submit articles (which basically equals free advertisement) and it’s all because of the blog.

So yup. I think it’s worth it.


Linnea said...

No, I don't blog. I tried it for awhile but found it took too much time away from writing on my current work in progress. My first novel is on high school reading programs so I have a website to field any questions students have for book reports. My website is fairly static unless someone comes up with a new question and then I add that to my Q&A page.

Unknown said...

I held off blogging until the very last day of 2006. Initially I used it as an accountability tool---if I said I would do X (like finish a WIP)publicly, then I had to do it. It's become a good outlet to comment on the random (i.e., bizarre)things I come across, and I've built online friendships. Along with my personal blog, I participate in two writers' group blogs, but am making a concerted effort to focus on the REAL writing and not just the blogging. In fact, that was the topic of my blog this week!

Picks by Pat said...

I blog because I like to share what I'm reading.

As a mystery writer, I read other mystery writers to see what works, to learn new techniques and hopefully become a better writer. If I really enjoy the book, I can't resist the urge to share my experience.

And, it's a great way to meet other people who love books and reading.

Karen said...

Like Jessica, I blog for marketing reasons. It's a long term plan for me, part of branding and ultimately selling my work.

With respect to agents who blog ... I strongly believe that as a marketing tool blogs work. BookEnds, LLC is high on my list of respectable/desirable agents right now, and it's all because of Jessica's blogging.

Julie Weathers said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Julie Weathers said...

I set up my writing blog and started posting old writing exercises and snippets of my work. I added my Martha and Tilley stories, two over-sexed old women, when I got too serious. I added my single woman adventures. Who would imagine meeting the African laundry warriors at a Laundromat?

People coming there for the answer to life as a writer are disappointed, but not many people come so that's ok.

Years ago a young "hippy" turned bullrider was getting his head buried in the ground repeatedly and taking a terrible beating. Then he started training his mind to think like a bullrider. He visualized what he wanted to be. Gary Leffew went on to become a bullriding legend and world champion because he conquered the mind game and believed in himself. He believed he was a champion long before he was one. Then he backed up the thoughts with action.

Setting myself in cyberspace was part of conquering the mind game for me. The blog is my declaration. I'm a writer.

I just never dreamed about gathering this circle of writing friends I have through it. Nice bonus.

Kathryn Lilley said...

Speaking of blogging, Jessica is our guest blogger today (Saturday) over at Killer Hobbies, to share some of her wisdom about cozy mysteries. Thank you, Jessica! I hope everyone has a chance to drop by for a visit.
Best, Kathryn

jjdebenedictis said...

A blogging buddy of mine, Josephine Damien, talked to agent Donald Maass once about blogging, and he made the comment, "I'm afraid it scratches the itch."

This struck a little too close to home, for me. I like blogging, but it does scratch the writing-itch. I can spend hours reading and commenting on blogs, or rattling off a new post on my own, and at the end of it I feel like I wrote something today.

Except I haven't.

Julie Weathers said...

A blogging buddy of mine, Josephine Damien, talked to agent Donald Maass once about blogging, and he made the comment, "I'm afraid it scratches the itch." ~

Agreed, which is why I have cut back on the blogging visits.

Write first, play later.

Anonymous said...

I write a snarky sports humor blog--nothing at all like the character-driven novel I'm writing. I write it because it's fun, it's a pleasure to write in a voice that differs from my novel, and it's a good networking tool.

Anonymous said...

P.S. Some networking chick I am: my blog can be found at

Jayne Jaudon Ferrer said...

I avoided blogging as long as I could; I didn't think the world needed yet another opinion on life's sundry affairs. I finally started because a fellow author wanted to launch a viral poetry showcase (which has yet to happen) and I thought that sounded like fun. I write a monthly newsletter for my website (, which is targeted primarily at my readers. While my blog also caters to that market to a certain degree, I feel I can be bolder and more whimsical on my blog, with both subject matter and observations. Many of my readers subscribe to my newsletter; only those who really want to know more about me and my attitudes/advice/opinions typically go on to read my blog ( They seem to like the camaraderie that's fostered there, and I do, too.

Sandra Cormier said...

It's true -- the agents who blog the most tend to be mentioned the most among aspiring writers. When an author manages to snag one of those helpful and insightful blogging agents, it's like they won the agent lottery.

It's as if an author who is taken under the wing of such an agent is guaranteed to benefit from generosity and encouragement that agent offers everyone without prejudice.

When I first blogged, I did it to promote my first book. However, since then it became a way to hone my skills. Not just in fiction, but in communication, in making friends, in boosting my confidence.

I also use my blog to promote my watercolour pet portraits, although it hasn't resulted in any sales yet.

Lastly, I blog because nobody in my house ever listens to me. Blogging at least gets a response!

T. M. Hunter said...

Most of my blog posts are reminders to myself (through a list of weekly goals) of what I should be doing instead of being online. :)

Anonymous said...

I’d like to add my two cents’ worth here and echo the earlier anonymous posters.

I don’t blog, either. I’m not published and I don’t have an agent. Until those things happen, I really don’t have anything to say.

Anonymous said...

I choose not to blog because it's time that I would ratgher spend writing my novels or marketing my novels.

Anonymous said...

Simple. I blog because every word I write makes me a better writer.

Every word I write for public consumption, even moreso.

Sorry, but the whole, "I'm too busy doing REAL writing to blog" thing doesn't ring true to me.

Writers write.

Mike Meyers workshops new characters in tiny NY clubs, refusing to put his real name on the marquis. He doesn't do it for money. He does it to improve his craft.

Ditto blogging.

BriteLady said...

I started blogging for very non-writer-ly reasons: to record and share my experiences as a mother and to show off my beautiful daughter. I'm kind of a late-comer to writing: I have heard all my life that a good writer writes all the time: diaries, notebooks, etc. But I just don't do pen and paper. And I never, until recently, considered myself a writer--I was always encouraged in my math/science/technology skills, not in English-y things.

We had computers in the house when I was young (elementary school in the mid-80's), and I have been hooked on keyboards ever since. But for some reason, writing anything on a computer that wasn't required for school or, later, work, just never occurred to me. I take that back. It occurred to me, and terrified me.

A couple of years ago, I saw the blog of someone I knew, doing much the same thing (sharing snippets of daily life and kids, etc), and tried my own. I'm hooked. I think it helps that I have an audience (albeit small, and mostly close friends and family), but it gives validation to my writing. After 3 years of writing on a regular basis, I decided that maybe some of the fictional plotlines I'm always thinking of might be worth writing down as well.

I am working on my first WIP, which is still being revised from it's NaNoWriMo state. Assuming I'm successful (with this or a different novel), then I would start a new blog as an author, and not just a mom.

Anonymous said...

Since the birth of my daughter nine months ago, I've been struggling to make the time to write. Even more of a struggle is breaking free of the routine I use with my daughter all day long to delve into my creative self. When I sit down at my computer during my daughter's nap time, I find it hard to transition right away into a writer. So I go to my blog and write a new post. This magically helps me to let my mind go and I begin writing!

Anonymous said...

I've gotta say it - I'm burned out on blogs. I'm tired of logging on to my writer's email loop and seeing that, once again, nearly every email is promo, or a "come to my blog" or "I'm guest-blogging at..." email. Does it seem to anyone else that the author blogging community is pretty incestuous? Authors who blog inviting other authors who blog to read their blog and comment on it? It becomes self-referential in the extreme, an echo chamber. Sorry for being a wet rag, maybe I've just been in the tech industry for too long and it's old hatm, but ... I'd rather read an author's book than their blog.

C.J. Redwine said...

I blog because

a) I wanted to build a web presence before I get published.

b) I like to entertain people.

c) I hope someone someday will take pity on my and send me a pair of Manolo's (leopard print, size 9!!) because they are moved by my plight as an unpubbed (and unpaid) author.

And yes, prospective agents, I just might be willing to work for shoes.

Anonymous said...

I guess I blog for the same reason a writer writes. Because I can't NOT blog. I don't really know why I started. Guess it was just another way to express myself. But I know why I blog now, and this is really embarrassing. I blog for my family, even though only a few family members read my blog, and everyone else can come along for the ride. The family members that do read my blog live very far away. Blogging helps me stay close to them. It's also a way I can stay close to writer friends and colleges. My posts are very personal. I don't know how to blog any other way. I post occasionally about my writing life. I have noticed that the writing on my blog is much better than when I started in 2005. My mom always told me that my life is a soap opera. I guess this is one way to process the drama. Great post.

Anonymous said...

Your are a household name with Sisters in Crime mystery writers. :-)

Anonymous said...

Your are a household name with Sisters in Crime mystery writers. :-)

Adrianna said...

I originally began blogging as a way of gaining a following for my work and to save money on travel expenses of going to conferences.

Travel is a problem as I work in a rural area of the country as an ICU nurse and its not easy to find nurses to work in small isn't there, so I choose to stay and help my community.

Writing is a way for me to journal, in a non-traditional manor, the many good and bad experiences of my life. By putting these experiences into my writing it allows for an escape from the stress of everyday life, children growing and leaving home, the chaos of seeing, daily, what lengths people will go to to distroy themselves. Lots of alcohol, drugs, mental illness and depression.

But the silver lining in all of this is that these experiences create a flouridity within my brain that contributes to my writing.

I also write articles on

Helps to keep me up on the latest and greatest in my field when doing the research for health related content and I get credit towards my nursing license for writing as well. Who knew that my nursing career would provide a bonus in my choice to write!

If any of your readers are interested in reading or writing...hubpages is a friendly writing forum and I have made many new friends and mentors.


These are articles that deal stricktly with fiction, but there are many interesting reads from unique writers on this page.

Perhaps you'll find your next star within those pages.

I admit that I spend more time on hubpages than I do my own blog. Still working the bugs out, lol.

Interested persons may go to for stictly romance, chat, and a place to talk romance. Perhaps critique each others work.

Interesting topic.

Would love a reply,