ACW

ACW

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Why blog?


 Authors are often advised to have a blog for readers to engage with. There are other reasons to blog. I know I am not the only ACW member who uses or has used blogging as a way of learning to write better. I joined ACW after I had been blogging for a couple of years.

A post on this blog about a writing day mentioned a member, who introduced herself as “Only a blogger.” Some ACW members, who are just beginning to write, might consider blogging as a way of developing a writing habit. By way of encouragement I decided to write about some of my blogging experience.

The amount I have learned through five and a half years of blogging amazes me. Sometimes there are unexpected technical challenges! Learning how to upload photos, provide links to other blogs or websites and coping with changes introduced by WordPress (not to mention the differences between WordPress and Blogger) all keep the little grey cells working.

Through blogging I have online friends in other countries. 

There are challenges which come round on a regular basis – daily, weekly, monthly or annually. 

The Blogging from A to Z in April Challenge is very friendly. I have taken part from 2013, when I was really a novice (rookie) blogger. One year I managed to complete the challenge on two blogs. Having a theme for A to Z posts is optional, but (for those choosing a theme) there is an additional bogging event – the Theme Reveal. This takes place in March, raises the profile of the challenge and allows people to find blogs they may wish to read. After the challenge is over there is a chance to continue visiting A to Z blogs on a so-called Road Trip. With over a thousand blogs involved it is impossible to read them all. Making one’s blog stand out from the crowd is a further challenge.

I aim to write and schedule my A to Z posts well in advance now. In fact I had an idea for this year’s challenge (which begins on Sunday 1 April, but skips the other four Sundays) at the same time as the idea for this blog post.

Sue's Trifles Bag
A bag from the 1st UK blog awards evening

There are writing prompts on WordPress and elsewhere. The post40bloggers have challenges and link to posts they have appreciated. Various bloggers set up a Linky whereby blogs on a theme (perhaps an inspirational one) may be added. Communities of like-minded people are formed through these initiatives. 

Blogging is said to have peaked in popularity some time ago, but there are still many new posts worth reading. The World Wide Web is a very big place!

I have had spells of blogging daily, but now I normally limit myself to one post a week on Sue’s Trifles and a maximum of two including the Photo Challenge from the Daily Post on Sue’s words and pictures. A spell using the Daily writing prompts from WordPress and later their Blogging U Introduction to poetry course has helped my writing. A balance between writing and the rest of life is required, however.

Are you a blogger? Are you considering blogging? Have you abandoned a blog? Have you done any blogging challenges?

11 comments:

  1. I have had a blog for some years, and use it for things usually unconnected with writing (except for notification of a new book launch, for example.) I only post when I have something of note to write about, and the posts are infrequent! I find the ACW blog very difficult indeed - what to say that's of use, relevant, not said many times before? I battle on with it for the discipline, but it's a monthly challenge!

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    1. I follow your blog and find it interesting, Sue.
      I only have to find 7 posts a year for this blog. They are read by far more people than the posts on my own blogs!
      You are a great encourager with your regular comments here.

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  2. A great introduction to the world of blogging Susan. The challenge I find is disciplining myself to write something. I found it a challenge enough setting up for the one of the blogging challenges with out even getting started. I did have one when I was at drama school but that didn't last very long. I do a blog for work though. It's called Pray Now http://bit.ly/2nw0Whd and it encourages people to pray for the work of Wycliffe Bible translation around the world. I don't so much write the material as edit it. But I have to do one every week so I'm learning to be disciplined in that respect and also learning how to locate good material. I'm going to check out your blogs now. :)

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    1. That's interesting, Martin. I shall have a look at Pray Now. Bible translation is a very important ministry.
      Thank you for your encouraging comment and checking out my blogs.

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  3. Hi Susan. I've been blogging for over a decade and there is no way I shall be stopping now! I love your idea of an A-Z blogging challenge. And it would be quite a challenge too, especially for the obscure letters. I shall definitely give it a go - perhaps in the summer when I have more time (ahem!).

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    1. Hi, Alice nice to hear from you. I remember watching you create your bag at the 1st UK Blog awards evening.
      There is more incentive to keep going with the A to Z challenge in the month of April with everyone else, but plenty of bloggers take the challenge at their own pace. I have started putting my posts together already. Then they'll be scheduled and ready to go, whatever else may happen!

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  4. I've only just caught up with this and it's really interesting and helpful! Thank you! I blog because I don't know what else or where else to write and I love some of the feedback you get... Although it's frustrating that you can see that 200 people have read it and only 4 commented! It's a great place to learn and experiment and a way of telling people things in writing, that you wouldn't get to chat to them about in person, generally (I'm thinking of my posts with Christian themes, read by colleagues, school mums, people from slimming world, etc.) It excites me that it gives them a nudge about something they may never otherwise consider! And yes, I'm grateful too for serial encouragers, such as yourself, Sue R and others in ACW! Sorry for the long comment!

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    1. Hi, Georgie. If 200 people are reading your posts, you are obviously doing something right! I think it is fair to say that only writers/bloggers (or is that the same thing?) would bother to comment. Comments are public after all.
      Have you found any of the Linky communities I mentioned? I don't seem to be able to post consistently to them, but Amy L does. Twitter is a good place to find Linky posts.
      I agree that social media is a way of connecting differently with people - both people, who would be unlikely to mix with us, and to pass on ideas, which would be more difficult in conversation.

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    2. Oops! Not Amy L but Joy L. I am confusing names. Sorry!

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  5. Thank you! One of my recent posts had over 1000 visits, which sent me giddy with excitement! I will definitely look those up. I am slowly getting to grips with twitter, thanks largely to your post a while ago in ACW! Not fully in the zone yet but definitely enjoying the wide ranging and interesting things that come up!

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