So Pot and I got into a discussion this morning about what we look for in writer’s blogs. She blogged about it herself before I had even fully caffeinated (wow, what do you know, I can actually spell that later in the day!). You can read about it on her blog Hunting High And Low (check the links section to the right). I have already previously blogged on the power of names–that thing that makes me actually check out a blog in the first place, but I thought she brought up a good point in asking what it is that actually gets a blog added to our daily (if we’re really procrastinating) or weekly (in the event we’re actually really writing a lot) reads list. The following quote indicates the seriousness with which she took this task of checking out new blogs: In most cases I scanned not only the most recent post, but everything on the first page and sometimes the next one back, just to give it a fair shot.
Yeah, Pot, you’re a lot nicer than I am. Unless I am just in serious procrastination mode, I don’t even bother reading blogs with names that don’t tweak my interest (for example, yesterday I clicked over to Hey, There’s A Dead Guy in the Living Room; props on a creative title!). And once I’m there, I scroll through, at most, three to five posts–and I skim. This is one of the few areas of my life where I don’t read word for word (some of my grad school texts were others…). But I’m a demanding audience. If you haven’t said something interesting or funny, you’re not going to hold my attention. Sad, but true. I actually do spend a bit longer checking out your links section. I’m mad for links. I’ve found all sorts of fabulous research tools or links to other blogs to check out through my blog browsing. So cool and/or useful stuff in your links is a major plus. Oh and quotes. I love good quotes.
So other than being funny or intellectually stimulating, what do I want to read in a writer’s blog? Well, I enjoy hearing from newly published writers who haven’t lost the feeling of what it was like to be on the hunt for a publisher or agent–and are eager to share their journey. I find it fascinating to hear what people have gone through to get published. I love reading little pearls of wisdom. Case in point, in Wednesday’s post on RWKF, the blogger passed on this jewel she recently overheard at a Sisters In Crime meeting: “It’s not rocket science. You’ve got to have the basics in place. You’ve got to have a bad guy. You’ve got to have a likable protagonist. That protagonist has to want something substantial. You’ve got to have someone keeping the protagonist from getting that something…” Sounds radically simple, but it’s something that often gets forgotten in all the technical crap. I also love hearing about your struggles with writing–how life interferes and how you get past it. Because it happens to all of us. I love hearing practical advice. Today’s Paperback Writer post was a fabulous entry about self-promotion that doesn’t suck. This hit a particular chord with me because I am distinctly not looking forward to self-promotion. I am of the naive belief that my job is to WRITE the books and that once they’re accepted for publication, it’s someone ELSE’S to sell them while I write more… I also like hearing about your writing process. How do you work? What’s your work space like? What are your writing habits? Are you a pantser or a plotter? Did you write today? Didn’t you? Why not? Does it squick you when you can’t write? Or do you sometimes get so burnt out that it’s not fun anymore? What inspires you? What’s your bad writing habit? Your best one? Do you have any writing rituals you have to follow? Do you listen to music as you write? If so, what? I like hearing your thoughts on character development or building suspense or some other part of the writing process.
I’m NOT such a big fan of unceasing self-promotion. Or of having posts solely devoted to “Today I will be HERE”. Make a calendar of appearances that we can click on if we’re interested. I mean if you’re getting a book published, that’s huge and great and absolutely tell us about it, but DO talk about other stuff as well. I’m also not a huge fan of lots of non-writing related personal stuff. That’s for a personal blog, not a writer’s blog. I’m not into contest ads. Unless you’re entering and you’re talking about the process, don’t bother telling me about it. I’m not all that into hearing about conferences either. All the who you talked with and who you met in the industry and reducing the story to a bunch of technical terminology that sucks the soul out…not for me. I mean it’s one thing if it’s something cool like “OMG I got to meet Nora! She’s so cool!” (because frankly if I ever get to meet her, that’s going to be me….the woman is a goddess in the industry), but if it’s just a who’s who of the publishing world, I’m not that interested. I’d rather be writing.
And as Pot so graciously pointed out in her blog, we’re not trying to tell anybody how to write their blogs. Just giving our opinions about what we like.