Robin Hobb is against blogging. In a witty and amusing screed she argues that blogging will suck away all your writing time:
For once a writer has entered that realm, there is no turning back. T’is true, so sadly true. Soon when your precious hour of free time arrives and you sit down to write, you will think to yourself, ‘oh, but I must do my blog first.’ And you will go there, and dutifully blog. At first, you will notice nothing amiss. It is pleasant to receive the daily dose of recognition from your readers, the gratifying feedback, and the responses that invite a response from you.
But my dear friends, it is NO COINCIDENCE that blog and blood begin with the same three letters!
I disagree. (Well, yes, they do begin with the same three letters but it’s DEFINITELY a coincidence!)
Blogging is no more pernicious than knitting or cooking or video games or any other hobby or procrastinatory activity a writer can undertake.
I love blogging. I do it pretty much every day. It makes me happy.
My blogging roughly co-incides with my pro writing career. Since I started blogging I’ve written a book a year. This year (so far) I’ve written a book and a long short story and the first ten thousand words of a new novel.
Blogging feeds into my writing. It’s a way of stretching the writing muscles that’s relaxing and fun. Without it I don’t write so good.
Lately, I’ve realised that part of my writing process is to procrastinate. I need to futz around blogging, reading blogs, cooking, reading books, watching tellie in order to get my brain to the point where it’s ready to write. When I just leap into writing gears grind on gears and it ain’t pretty. Blogging and other procratinatory activities are necessary brain lubricants.
Also blogging makes me feel like there are other folks out there writing and loving/hating it. Other people who are like me. It gives me daily access to several communities. When I blog cricket the cricket fans come out basketball ditto. I’m strongly and passionately in favour of blogging and the intramanets in general.
This doesn’t mean that blogging isn’t a disaster for some writers. If you’re blogging when you should be writing and thus not meeting your deadlines then you’ve got a problem. When the procrastination gets out of control and eats the work then it’s time to stop. But then Worlds of Warcraft is a disaster for some writers, so is sudoku.
I also come across writer’s blogs that seem to exist only because the writer has been told that blogging is great publicity for your books.
No, it isn’t. Not if you don’t enjoy blogging.
Cause if you don’t enjoy it you prolly aren’t any good at it and you’re writing the world’s most boring blog. Frankly, I am bored by announcements of award nominations/wins and other writerly achievements. I’m bored by my own. I don’t read other writers’ blogs to hear about that stuff. I read them to find out their opinions on American Gothic, politics, cats, mangosteens, their writing process and whatever else is on their mind. I read the blogs that are engaging, funny, whingy, moving, informative, mean, gossipy, snarky and fun.
When I started this blog I used to crap on about my various writing achievements way more than I do now cause I thought that’s what you were supposed to do. As I’ve gone on I’ve cut those kind of posts down both in number and in length. And I try to post something interesting quickly afterwards. Blogs that are just a boast-a-thon are dire. I’m definitely considering saving that stuff for the newsletter and the front of my website and leaving this blog skite free.
In short: Blogging rules! (But only if you like it and can get writing done as well!)