Do Writers Need to Blog? No.

A friend once said, "It's odd, the harder I work, the luckier I get." And it's true. But that work is perhaps better put into writing than blogging about writing.

I keep reading articles that say blogging is mandatory for writers nowadays. That agents and editors won’t take you on if you don’t already have a platform. This is hooey.

Let me repeat that. Hooey.

You do not need to have a blog. You do need to have a website that lists your publications and provides a way to contact you, so people can track you down if they want to. That’s it. The world is full of blogs with writing advice from people with only a few publications under their belt. Sometimes they give good advice, sometimes they don’t. It’s not ordained that you must contribute your quota of “avoid adverbs!” to the pool.

What else do you really need? You need to be writing steadily and sending stuff out.

Yes, if you have 50K Twitter followers, you may be more desirable in an editor’s eyes. But the time and effort you would need to spend growing that Twitter following from scratch would be better spent writing. You are not going to gain swarms of followers unless you are putting some effort into entertaining and informing them.

If blogging is going to be a chore for you, then don’t do it. Or engage in a very simple form of blogging: post a brief excerpt of what you wrote that day (or week, or whatever). You’ll find people are just as satisfied with an interesting story chunk as that preachy bit about not piling adjectives together. And, when the piece is published, that announcement gives you something else to put on the blog.

John Scalzi gets mentioned as a blogging success story. What doesn’t get mentioned is that he put an entire book up a bit at a time, and gained much of his following that way. Scalzi does have the sort of web presence that would make a publisher lick their chops. That sort of web presence doesn’t come easily.

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About Cat

Cat Rambo lives, writes, and teaches by the shores of an eagle-haunted lake in the Pacific Northwest. Her 200+ fiction publications include stories in Asimov's, Clarkesworld Magazine, and the magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. Her story, "Five Ways to Fall in Love on Planet Porcelain," from her collection Near + Far (Hydra House Books), was a 2012 Nebula nominee. Her editorship of Fantasy Magazine earned her a World Fantasy Award nomination in 2012. She is the current President of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA). She is currently working on Exiles of Tabat, the third book of the Tabat Quartet. A new story collection, Neither Here Nor There, appears from Hydra House this fall.
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