Experts to Authors: Blogging is a Waste of Time
Imagine my surprise. It was Sunday morning, I had a coffee in one hand and my phone in the other (because gods know I’d hate to miss something fun while I was working) and I was sitting down to write a blog post. I knew two things already – the first being that I had no idea what I was going to write about. However this, being a relatively common thing for me, wasn’t a problem. Because, as is also common for me, the second thing I knew was that I was going to use the handy-dandy Google search to help me out. I wasn’t going to steal someone else’s post of course, I was just going to feel around for ideas and go from there. After all, who knows better than Google what people want to read about, right?
This was not a good plan. And not just because I started my search a little too simply.
I asked for the “best blog posts” and immediately realised my error. There are a lot of blog posts out there. 10 Blog Posts that Made an Everlasting Impact on Me; 72 of the Best Blog Posts I’ve Ever Read; The New Yorker’s 15 Most-Read Blog Posts of 2015… there are blog posts on makeup, spiritual enlightenment, how to take a better selfie, and the things one must absolutely remember when sealing a deck. And then there are the seventy-five billion posts (possible exaggeration) on how to write the best blog post of all times.
So I backed it up, I typed “best author blog posts,” sat back in my chair, picked up my coffee, and as I read the first post suggestion that showed up on my screen, my eyebrows began to ascend as if they’d forgotten they were attached to my forehead. Second post on the list: It’s Time for Authors to Stop Blogging. Sixth post down: Please shut up: Why self-promotion as an author doesn’t work.
Like… hunh? But I thought this was a good thing? Reaching out to the readers, networking with other authors, blah, blah, blah – why does the ever-present “theys” that run the show keep changing the rules of the game and forgetting to send out memos to the players?!
I told myself to let it go, not to dwell on it, and to get back to work. I did have a blog post to write after all. I immediately followed that thought up by ignoring myself and up I go again to the search bar. Typing a bit harder with my right hand and pushing my eyebrows back into place with the other, I asked Google, “why authors should stop blogging.”
It’s Time for Authors to Stop Blogging showed up on top again. It was a persistent little post. So I kept scrolling to see what else would come up. Post three was titled Why You Should Stop Writing Blog Posts, post five stated it had, 3 Reasons for Writers to have a Blog, and 3 Reasons Not To, which was followed by Why You Stop Blogging & Regain Your Writing Soul (wow!), Why Writer’s Shouldn’t Blog, Should Authors Blog, and, hey, there was that Please Shut Up post again.
By that point I was just offended. I do two of these a month, for gosh sake! That’s a lot of time invested.
I reminded myself that people will blog about anything (case in point: this post) so I forced my wounded pride to hush up and settle down, and I decided to think this over for a while. Time is valuable and what not. There are a million other things I could be doing ranging from working on the newest novel to clipping my toenails. If these people think blogging is such a horrible idea then surely I shouldn’t waste—
That’s when it hit me. I had no idea what those people actually thought. All that I’d read was the title of their blog posts. Maybe it was just clickbait? All right, I say, let’s go deeper. Who needs to work, am I right? It’s not like this blog post is due in three days and this is Sunday afternoon (aka the last day I have to work on the post because of real-life work being a total pain in my ass right now) or anything.
It took me opening one post and reading two of the many points contained therein for my facial features to start shifting again, but this time it wasn’t my eyebrows being lifted. It was my upper lip. And it wasn’t in surprise, it was disgust.
There are no editors to check our work the post admonished. To which I asked my monitor: And?! Do our readers truly think we’re so far advanced that everything we write (right, rite, Wright) is going to be perfect? Do we, as authors, honestly believe that our readers are so petty? Am I the only one that chuckles when I see a typo on an author’s blog and thinks: nice to see they’re human too? Surely the readers, followers, friends, and supporters of our work want to believe we are people beyond the pages?
It demystifies the writer. I heard this in a breathy-soft, I’m-more-spiritual-than-thou voice, and I replied back, oh… well… just… actually, no. Please feel free to consider me demystified. We’re all standing on the same soil here, existing on the same plane, and breathing the same polluted, stinking air. And we’re all hoping to get the same thing from the written word—a sense of fulfillment and a break from reality. I beg of you all, whatever anyone chooses to do, please don’t mystify me for writing!
See, the thing is, I actually like connecting with people. I really super-duper like connecting with people that like the same things I do: writing, reading, romance, banter, not taking ourselves to seriously; a bit of smut, a bit of fluff, a glass of wine on Friday night and a vodka or four on Saturday; being intolerant of intolerance and remaining open to suggestion; and the idea that something bigger than ourselves exists out there even if it is nothing more than our own connection to one another. (And wow, how did this blog post end up here?!)
I can actually answer that question. It ended up here because that’s one thing writing blog posts does. It brings me together with people who think like I do. It only makes sense that they’re the kind of people who want to read what I’m writing. Which means it’s not a waste of time for me to write these silly little things up, and I’m not going to be convinced that it is. Connection is what writing has always meant for me, be it in novel or blog form, and I hope that’s what it always will mean.
The people writing these anti-blogging blog posts aren’t “my people.” (Wait… aren’t some of them authors? So, aren’t they literally speaking against what they themselves are doing at that moment? What even IS that? A bad attempt at irony?) I guess they have their own people and they do their own thing and their people respond to them for that, and so… cool for everybody; such is the flow that makes the world go ’round. Carry on.
But the rest of us will be over here doing our thing, and enjoying it. If you agree, please comment. I’d love to hear from you.
Until next time,
AF Henley <3
Henley was born with a full-blown passion for run-on sentences, a zealous indulgence in all words descriptive, and the
endearing tendency to overuse punctuation. Since the early years Henley has been an enthusiastic writer, from the first few I-love-my-dog stories to the current leap into erotica.
A self-professed Google genius, Henley lives for the hours spent digging through the Internet for ‘research purposes’ which, more often than not, lead seven thousand miles away from first intentions but bring Henley to new discoveries and ideas that, once seeded, tend to flourish.
Henley has been proudly working with LT3 since 2012, and is anxiously awaiting the newest addition to the Wolf series family, ‘Wolf, in League’ which is now available for preorder through Less Than Three Press at a discounted rate of 15% off.