The bounties of blogging

Last week Hazel Gaynor (Hot Cross Mum) and I featured in an article in the Irish Independent by Bernice Harrington on Mums and blogging. Here is the Facebook link to the article which was the cover story in the Mothers and Babies supplement (requires a further download)  I started blogging in April 2009 and as is mentioned in the article it’s had a tremendous impact on my development as a writer and becoming part of the general blogging, writing, and fiction (fabulous #fridayflash) communities. In November I was asked to blog for the national irish writing site www.writing.ie which has been a great experience. My blog, under Guest Blogs is called Random Acts of Optimism and covers writing, headspace and in particular short stories and flash fiction. Following on from some of my articles on writing.ie I’ve been interviewed on flash fiction as a literary medium for the Irish Times and will let you know when that comes out.

Blogging can be time consuming and it’s necessary to prioritize and schedule blogging activity so that it doesn’t take over. My main priority is to write literary fiction, at the moment that means finishing the first draft of a novel. However blogging has given me wonderful connections and opportunities. Without sounding too calculating (I hope) it can be a great way for writer’s of presenting yourself to the world, both your personality and competency as a writer and your interests and views on literature. It is a lovely way of connecting with and getting know others in your own locality and further afield. I’m preaching to the converted here I am sure but I just wanted to let you know a little bit of what blogging has brought me. What about others who blog, what is the greatest bounty blogging has given you?

In the manner of all things serendipitous, my twitter pal Derek Flynn has written this insightful post with brilliant quotes on What’s the Point of Blogging and on writing.ie the lovely Caren Kennedy gets to the heart of what blogging is with I’m blogging for blogs sake are you?

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6 comments

  1. It’s not too calculating to say that blogging is a good way of presenting yourself to the world. In today’s publishing environment it’s pretty much a necessity, particularly for debut authors seeking a contract. My editor said as much to a group of us just this weekend – it shows that you are willing to engage with others about your writing and while no-one wants authors to end up as part of the celebrity culture, the reality is that to sell books these days a few interviews, signings and so on will be needed.
    Aside from that, blogging for me has been a little bit like holding my thoughts about writing up to my peers and asking ‘is this normal?’. It’s great to engage with people and discuss our different experiences. For the same reading I love reading other writers’ blogs, although I don’t do it as much as I’d like. Oh for more hours in the day!
    I think over the next year or so my blog will transition in some way as I get closer to pub date. Although I don’t know as yet exactly how…

  2. I began blogging about a year before I published my novel CEL & ANNA. The greatest bounty blogging has given me is learning how to be part of the online community to which my novel also belongs. I also discovered the pleasure of writing about ordinary things and showing what is special about them.

    And I gave a few shoutouts to writers I like.

  3. Alison — yes, love ‘meeting people’ online. It’s sociable, interesting & reassuring.
    Claire — yes, a platform is useful especially in days of recession; it shows we support our work. Will you be doing a blog tour? Also, you’ll need events listings which can be on the blog or a static page. (Squee!)

    Back to blogging, yeah, and it’s FUN.

  4. Blogging has given me all you say (Alison, Claire, Martha, Lindsay), but mostly it has given me courage to put my stuff out there. I have blogged since August 2007 (!) and as someone who did not write or have community, ALL my connections/friends/opportunities have somehow emanated from my blog. I would not have known about #fridayflash without the folks I’ve met through blogging; I would not have participated in fictionaut had someone who knew me from my blog not invited me; without fictionaut I would not have participated in 52-250 or had many of the publishing opportunities offered my way. The list goes on… and on.

    I’m going in a new direction, beginning work towards an MA in Creative Writing. My blogging will lessen, as will my participation in other online communities. But I’ll still be there, trying to make sense of my writing, supporting my colleagues as they try to make sense of their’s, and putting my small voicce out there hoping someone hears — and responds. Peace…

  5. I agree, blogging has been a great eye-opener for me. I started it only last year, and now I’m writing on 3 blogs! My first was the WordPress one, then I started one specifically for me as a writer, and now I guest blog on http://www.writeandshre.co.uk

    I have met some lovely people, mainly fellow writers, and reading other people’s blogs really keeps me motivated for my own work. It is especially helpful now when I can’t devote as much time as I would like to actually writing.

    But, as Claire said, if only there were more hours in the day…!

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