Friday, May 29, 2015

What They Don't Tell New Bloggers

I feel that I now have permission to write this post, since I've been blogging for over a year now.  However, I'd love hear what more veteran bloggers think, as well.  

I've been going through a blogging dry patch and, through it, I've had lots of thoughts about writing, particularly blogging.  This has corresponded with my reading this fabulous book, which I really loved.  The more I read and thought, the more I realized that this needed to be a blog post.  So, if you are starting out on this blogging journey, or have been blogging for far longer than I, here are my thoughts on what they don't tell bloggers just starting out.
The dining room!  The painting is done and, if I do say so myself, it
looks lovely.  Now all I have to do is put in a light fixture and
new light switch covers and clean up all the paint
that managed to avoid the drop cloth.  

1.) When you first start out, you will have about 8,000 post ideas a day.  You may have to work very hard to refrain from posting twice (or thrice) daily and you will dreamily imagine spending every morning in a coffee shop with your elegant, non-dented laptop, writing about the stack of beautiful books (all advance copies of course) sitting by your side.  Your loving readers will eagerly flock to hear your witty, sage advice and opinions on every topic under the sun.  
Note the mess on the table.  These pictures were taken 5 days ago and it's still not
cleaned up.  Sigh.

2.) But, somewhere along your blogging journey, you will encounter writers' block.  But this isn't the ordinary case of writers' block.  Oh no.  See, now you have people that are expecting blog posts.  You know because, you're expecting their blog posts in return.  You will frantically wrack your brains for post ideas and may resort to posting old pictures of winter scenery in spring (because you've also abandoned your camera).  This is also okay.  Everybody recovers from even the most virulent case of writers' block.  

3.) There will be months when you have only written 3 posts.  And that's okay.  It doesn't make you a bad writer (or person).  It happens to most of us.  

4.)  There really is unbloggable material.  Like that time I read a total of 15 cookbooks in a week, cover to cover (yes, I have a cookbook reading problem, frequently documented on this blog).  I knew nobody wanted to hear about 15 cookbooks over 5 days, so I let it go and had nothing to show for it.
The first of my roses is blooming!  Strangely enough, when it got exposed
to the ashes, part of it reverted back to its parent plant (it was a hybrid),
so now half is red and half is yellow.  They both smell lovely!

5.) (This piece of advice is strictly for book bloggers.)  Sometimes, you may not be reading very much. Gasp!  Maybe you have a good stack of magazines.  Or you're gone every night.  Or everybody in your house got stomach flu so bad you couldn't even imagine reading.  Or (double gasp) maybe you're just in the mood to watch Netflix. 

6.) Blogger is great.  It's a wonderful writing platform; it's free, and it has some amazing settings.  But don't for a second be surprised when it freezes up and loses a post for the 10,000 time in a week.

7.) Every time you click "publish" on a post, you are going to feel an incredible sense of satisfaction and pleasure knowing that you just created something entirely your own and shared it with an (albeit small) percentage of the world.  And when you read comments of kind strangers whom you have never spoken a word to, all the writers block and and computer glitches in the world seem worth it.

So, weigh in-What advice/tips would you give to a new (book or non-book) blogger?


  1. I agree with everything -- especially number 7! This would be a great post to link up in Armchair BEA; today's topic is Blogging Q&A:

    1. Oh, thanks for letting me know about this! I'll go link up right away.

  2. Wise words - in some ways I feel like I'm only a year or so in even though I've been doing it closer to four because it's only since last year that I got more systematic about my posting. I know exactly what you mean about the sense of satisfaction and also about the unbloggable material. Thank you so much for writing this post!

    1. Thanks! Yes, isn't it great how satisfying blogging is?

  3. I've set up two blogs over about five years, one a general one that I put on post, the other more specialist (Arthur Ransome) which I've yet to post anything. I thought of a good name (Held to Ransome) but have got no further. I suppose I worry that I wont have enough to say often enough!

  4. Add to that I should proof read! The first line should read
    ...that I put one post,

  5. I've been blogging for 12 years, I've had six blogs (3 abandoned, 3 active), and yup, those are all good tips.

    I'd also add that it's totally okay to take a blogging hiatus. Life happens, sometimes words dry up for a long time -- it's okay. Don't delete your blog until you're sure you will never return to it, though -- you may regret that. I'd say wait a year before deleting it. Your blog might lie fallow for a year, and then you feel the desire returning, the need to share your words with others. If you deleted your blog, you will have to start all over again. Most followers won't abandon a blog that's been inactive for a little while (if they're like me, it may take them months to notice because they follow 50+ blogs), but if you delete the blog, you'll have to find new blogging friends all over again if you decide to start again.

    1. That's a wonderful tip! Thank you so much. And excellent advice!

  6. Oh, I had to smile at this CGrace because I can really relate to that writer's block...I get it every couple of weeks and I always get a bit down in the dumps about it...then something inspires me and I get all on top of the world again!
    And yes! I have also had thooouuuussaaanndsss of ideas, and only a couple ever come to anything:)
    I have been blogging for six years now...and I am still learning lots - it is a great journey and I love it so much!
    Hugs to you!

    1. Blogging for six years! I am so impressed! It's always so lovely to hear from long-time bloggers like you. :)