Right. So at the beginning of the year, I set myself two goals:
1. Write more
2. Blog more.
Re Goal #1, I’ve been working steadily on WIP in between full-time work and life in general. I’m maybe about halfway through and
I wanna to tear my hair out / set the whole bloody thing on fire and never look it in the eye again it’s coming along swimmingly. My aim is to at least finish the first draft by year end, though that deadline might flutter by cheerfully seeing as it’s August already. But we won’t talk about that.
On Goal #2, however, I have failed. Spectacularly. Journalling has never been my strong suit – I much prefer to make stuff up as an outlet – so it’s a given I’d suck at blogging too. And while I like technology and reading blogs and following favourite authors etc, I’m terrible with social media. I am, to no surprise, a happy introvert. Hell, it’s why I love writing so much (hours on end of speaking your thoughts on paper, uninterrupted! Sign me up!)
But you know, it’s actually lovely to be writing something other than your WIP. It’s a helpful exercise in being concise, which is beneficial in cutting out the bullshit from your manuscript. It’s also nice to write in your own voice from time to time, rather than your characters’. And if you’ve come up against a plot block in your story, blogging is a great way of stepping back, re-gathering your thoughts and even getting helpful suggestions from other writers.
So as is often the case of late, I’ve concocted some mantras for the reluctant blogger such as myself:
1. Start small
You don’t have to be everywhere all at once, all in the beginning. Start with platforms that are familiar and/or easy. Privately, I’m most active on Facebook. Writing-wise, I like using Instagram to convey bursts of thoughts and inspiration, plus there are so many beautiful accounts to admire/waste time on.
Write about things that interest you. Of course. From 19th century female thugs to forensic pathology to the ergonomics of writing (more on that later *excitement*), whatever takes your fancy. Even if it’s never read or liked or commented upon.
3. Schedule it
Whether it be weekly, two-weekly, monthly etc. (I’m workin’ on this one)
4. Don’t beat yourself up about it
Social media platforms is only one aspect of engagement, albeit an important one, especially if you want to be published. But if you’d rather be writing than blogging, I say go for it. Stress less, write more.
5. Don’t fall down the rabbit hole
Paradoxically, social media and blogging is just easier, and sometimes more enjoyable, than wrangling that ‘recalcitrant manuscript‘. So self-discipline is the best super power to have here. That or Hermione’s Time-Turner.
If there’s anyone else out there with tips, tricks and laments for the beginner blogger, I’d love to know! Otherwise, it’s back to the writing desk I go. Ciao!