If you're an indie author, you've got to blog.
At least, that's what I've been told by, like, just about every "how to" blog post I've seen. Blogging increases your following. Blogging makes you more visible.
... It's also a major time-suckage.
Whether it is, or is not, necessary, I've gotten myself into it, and I'll be damned if I'm going to give up on it now (persistence ... it's one of my more unattractive qualities).
What Should I Blog About?
Lately I've fallen into a trap: I've spent several posts on writing tips. Why have I done this? Peer pressure, I guess. I've seen all those blog posts out there that say "five tips for ..." and "how to ..." and I thought, that's what people want to read.
But ... is that really what I want to blog about?
Don't get me wrong, as an author, I've learned a few things about creating a manuscript. I know a trick or two about how to craft a gripping plot. I even know what makes a good character.
But I'm not just about the craft of writing. And I don't pretend to be an expert on it.
So Again ... What Should I Blog About?
I've come to a realization: I'm a writer.
I'm a writer. And as a writer, I spend a lot of time brooding. Thinking. Musing. I outline stories in my head for the fun of it. I scope out character flaws while I'm on the treadmill. In short, I'm a deep, deep thinker.
Yes, I know a bit about the craft of writing. Sure, I can write "how to" posts and then send them out on twitter with the hashtag #writingtips. And every now and then I'll want to share some of the knowledge I've gleaned in the past ... well, X number of years.
But that's not the limit of my interests. And that doesn't have to be the niche I plunk myself into as a blogger.
My niche, I've decided, is the author-blogger, and I've only just been able to define what that means to me. It means that I've got to trust the voices in my head. Heck, they've never led me wrong in my books. It's time I let them have free reign on my blog posts.
Have I been musing over the merits of a clean-cut hero versus a rough-and-tumble one? Did I watch a movie that has influenced my latest project? What did I think of the latest book I've read?
The Author's Blog - Not Just A How-To
Writing endless how-to blog posts seems to be a popular thing to do. And if I wanted to, I could probably continue to follow the herd.
But I'm a writer. I'm about challenging myself. And finding things to blog about other than "five secrets to a great plot" or "how to write a loveable lead" is a challenge. It's also kind of scary, because it means I have to put myself out there. It means I have to expose my flaws, my self-doubts and my sometimes-lack-of-expertise.
Then again, writing and publishing my first novel was kind of scary. I had to do all those things then, too.
And you know? Somehow I came out better for it.