Following last week’s riposte to the can’t blog won’t blog fraternity, I thought I might as well add some meat to the bones of what blogging has done for me.
One clue is provided by this weeks Strictly Writing post by Susie Nott-Bower about how writers hate the silence of no response. All writers crave if not adulation, at least feedback. My blog posts may not be fiction, but I try to deploy some aspect of creativity. The medium satisfies that need to put stuff out there and through the wonders of the comment box, get something back in return – without putting real-time relationships at risk.
But as well as feeding the writing monster, blogging can bring more tangible rewards. Here are a few :
- nice surprises, especially in the form of unexpected contacts, like the reader who asked to buy my first novel (sadly still unpublished!) or the novelist I admire who was my contemporary at university but whom I had never met until she turned up to thank me for a review
- freebies, i.e. books won in free draws on other blogs, or supplied by publishers as review copies
- images and film clips to use or repurpose in exchange for nothing more than an acknowledgement
- friends in unexpected places – from Leicester to Lanzarote
- inspiration – like the recent comment that sparked an idea for a short story now winging its way to a number of competitions
Compared to a blog, Twitter is even more immediate and reactive, and so if you add it (or other microblogging sites like Facebook) into the mix, the return rate more than doubles. Since I’ve been using Twitter and the blog together, the rewards have shot up to include:
- more free books
- an invitation to join an indie publisher reading panel
- news of competitions, events and other outlets – several of which have come good.
- competition prizes – including one NT cream tea!)
- many more people reading my blog (i.e. aware of my writing)
- more useful blogs to follow (in a manageable way)
- a guest for my own blog with, I hope, more to come
So, if anyone was in any doubt, this is to demonstrate that time spent on social media is not just about warm feelings and moral support, but brings solid and quantifiable results.
Do I feel a series coming on? Stand by for more on the ‘how to’ rather than the ‘why’.