The Trouble With Blogging

The trouble with blogging is, you need to have something to say. Ok, there are always things that can be said, but finding those things that need to be said, or have not been said by others ten times a day for the past few months is where the key to success lies.

Personally, I have spells. Periods where every idea I have seems to form some post or another, but then I have other periods; barren spells that leave me floating adrift of everything and everyone like a ship in the middle of the doldrums. Running low on supplies and with nothing but the concept to keep me company.

Blogging is a platform, for some a soapbox, from which they will preach their views and force us to either accept them or to comment in retaliation. I have grown kind of adept at spotting these blogs now. Yet I am constantly surprised at how many I find. Maybe I am just naive in the ways of the web.

People always say write what you know, and for me that applies to any form of writing. My problem is that when I boil it down, I don’t really know anything. Not to the extent whereupon I could write about it.

I am not educated or trained in any specific area, I do not read enough to be able to participate in discussions over literature. I may be able to hold my own in a discussion over Stephen King but that it about it.

I watch movies, but know I am to kind with my words to ever make a good reviewer, and am not the sort of person who can reel off a certain directors movies and trivia items with nothing more than a casual ‘did you know’.

 I could blog about my children, there I have endless stories to tell, but that doesn’t fit the theme I am trying to build with this blog, and certainly doesn’t mix with my writing in terms of subject or genre.

Once I have something to talk about I have plenty to say, it is just getting to that point which causes the trouble.

Maybe I could examine myself a bit more, but that would open up a can of insecure and neurotic worms that nobody needs to see.

I am not saying I will give up, or that I am even contemplating such an act, but rather this is something that I feel needed to be said.

I see other people blogging and guest posting, while I can barely keep up with a three times a week posting schedule on my own site. I saw one author whose blog tour was about to begin and had over 250 unique stops scheduled. I got scared just reading about it, let alone contemplating actually doing something of that size myself. Although maybe a blog tour and the posts that comprise it are possibly a different story than the regular posts one puts on their own site. What do you think?

So tell me everybody, what do you struggle with when it comes to your writing? Blogging or novels it doesn’t matter, all confessions are welcome.

Thanks for reading


27 thoughts on “The Trouble With Blogging

  1. Thanks, Alex, I can empathize with what you say. I don’t blog often and sometimes I delete what I’ve written or revise it. When my book is published I plan to blog once a week and as it will be related to writing I think I may be able to get something out there. But right now I’m not an active blogger. I don’t know what a blog tour is but it’s been suggested to me. Perhaps you could explain it. And you’d be welcome to guest blog on my blog certainly, if you wish. The link is below. I think you have a lot to say and are an honest man. I appreciate what you do say.

  2. Authors have to blog about what garners the best response, basically, what increases the traffic to their blog/web sites and results in book sales. Topics related to writing currently do well because most authors are following other authors on Twitter (where we publicize our blogs).

    I strongly believe, however, that authors need to think about a wider range topics in order to appeal to the broader audience of readers who do not write, but only read. Readers are interested in understanding an author as a personality and learning about this person’s lifestyle, but they could care less about writing tips…

    Frankly, Alex, I’d love to read blogs about your children and given that all readers were once children, themselves, may have children, or know children, it should be popular. Is it exactly on target in terms of marketing? Maybe not, but life does influence our writing, relating horror to raising children, from time to time, shouldn’t be that much of a stretch. Our fears are born in childhood, after all.

    1. Thanks Carrie. You make a very good point. Especially about relating child raising to horror. I have been toying with the idea of blogging and different topics for a while. I can think of a few things about my children that would make an interesting read. Particularly this recent Christmas. If only Coal could be given in retrospect. LOL.

  3. My problem with reading blogs is that not only do most bloggers have very little or nothing to say, they’re not very good writers, cannot punctuate or spell properly and cannot discern fact from opinion. So they compund the problem of saying nothing by saying nothing badly. Yet, if you try to point out these things to them, they get defensive.

    1. Thanks for dropping by Paul. I don’t think anybody likes to receive criticism, but we all accept that it is necessary. I think it also depends greatly on the way it is represented. Point out positives as well as the criticism and it is read different. A spoonful of sugar and all that. You visit and comments are always appreciated here. 🙂

  4. Hi Alex et al.

    I’m new to blogging as well and still cringe at the thought of foisting my ‘rants’ on the world at large but as Carrie said, most readers want to know about the person not the process so I’ve taken the decision to just write about the things that matter to me. The things I love or hate with a passion.

    Right at this moment I cannot imagine why anyone would care what I love or hate but you have to start a conversation somewhere and that’s what I’m hoping to do – have a conversation with kindred spirits [or even rabid opponents]. Perhaps my approach is a little too personal to be an effective marketing strategy but I cannot be something I’m not. So perhaps you have to find your own niche and then blog about that.

    As always you’ve raised some interesting ideas. Thanks Alex.
    p.s. kids and pets can be very funny and funny is always good 🙂

    1. Thanks for stopping by Andrea. I have posted a few rants in my time, and they were often greeted well. I think I will try to mix and match a bit. A writer’s post, a reader’s post and then one or two ‘life’ posts. If I can some short fiction on a friday and I’m good. My target is three posts a week and fiction on Friday. I have been going 10 months now and have seen an increase in visitors every month so I must be doing something right 🙂

  5. Hi Alex and fellow commenters,

    I happily admit this is the aspect of writing a book for publication that is terrifying me.

    For one thing, how do I find time to blog and guest blog and tend an attractive website and do the myriad of other self promotional things that are a basic expectation of all writers whether professionally published or self-published and still be producing the next book?

    Second is what you talk about here: what do I say? I feel like you, Alex. I know a lot about a lot of things, but I’m not expert at any of them. I hesitate to talk about myself and my life for fear of saying too much. Add to this I have had trouble in my life with saying things that come out poorly and getting people upset. NOT what you want to have happen on your website/blog that is supposed to be marketing you.

    When I first dove into the realm of writing to be published, I thought that the publishing houses, to a large extent, did the PR for you. I have since found out that was years ago but not the way it is now. Now even the publishers want you to already have a web-presence with a well developed website and blog and be active on several networking sites before they consider your book.

    I’ve not yet decided what I’m going to do. I’m still in the first draft stage of my book so I’m trying not to fret about it too much – I need the mental energy for actually writing the book ;-). I figure I’ll try to get this all worked out and going while I’m doing the final pre-submission revision so it hopefully won’t be too long a wait from when I start promoting the book to when it’s available.

    1. Indeed you are right Sandra, the added pressure on Authors is to make sure you are already forging a path for yourself in terms of self marketing and the like. I too seem to have a tendancy to put my foot in it more times than not. Especially as I have a rather strange sense of humor. I am also not religious and really upset a collegue a few weeks ago when discussing horror when I suggested Jesus was a zombie. Ooops there I went and did it again. Sorry to anybody who is religious, but lets be honest. He died and came back. Cut and paste zombie.

      See what I mean Sandra, maybe I shouldn’t be allowed to blog. I just cause trouble. 🙂

      Thank you very much for stopping by and leaving a comment.

  6. Very true post. I write historical, but I’m no historian. And blogs should be factual, right? Or should they be my interpretation of the so-called facts, to be endlessly argued upon by ‘proper’ historians?
    You can’t win. Maybe if they were argued upon, endlessly, I’d sell a few more books. Who knows?
    Keep on blogging!

    1. Thanks for stopping by. I too worry about saying things only to be corrected, but maybe I should just throw caution to the wind and as you say, take all the corrections in my stride, see the comments and page hits rise. 🙂

  7. Greetings,
    It is somewhat comforting that others share a degree of the discomfort that I have with “blogging”. In a recent exchange with the person who helped me re-construct my website we both decided that we weren’t sure anyone gave a donut hole about what we had to say or write on a daily, weekly or bi-weekly basis. Despite the fact that I have no children or family to write about and my few close friends live far away I am never out of ammunition with which to write; I’m just not certain anyone would be interested in my daily thoughts. In a bow to the pressures of modern day marketing and networking though, I have resorted to posting a monthly free short story for readers and I am preparing to do what I hope will become weekly podcasts using wit and humor to address things that seem to randomly enter and leave my brain.

    1. Thanks for dropping by Ethan. Random is definately good in my book. The thing I always try to think is about how a certain post could possibly help drive sales, or at least get people curious enough to come back and maybe one day click the link to my work. I do think that sometimes I – maybe we as a collective – overthink things. Maybe people do care about what we think, simply because it will stop them thinking about what is bothering them for a few moments.

  8. I, too, am a relative newbie and like Alex, read other blogs and all the ‘experts’ in everything from grammar to twitter. I have areas of expertise, however, none that connect to writing and writers other than my own books. I wonder sometimes, other than acknowledged experts, if everyone is the expert that their blog portrays. You know the saying, someone from out of town carrying a briefcase must be an expert. Just a thought.

    1. I had never heard that saying but I like it. You are true, maybe I assume some people know what they are talking about. Maybe giving my view on something is in some cases better than giving the facts and the facts alone. Maybe I can offer insights into myself. Not just what my kids did at school or the strange places they have thrown a tantrum, but actually into myself. I have certainly got more things to consider than I did when I woke this morning. Thanks for stopping by Nancy. You comment is very much appreciated.

  9. Hey Alex, I feel the same way about blogging, I try to keep the variety—I’m no expert on movies but I have seen a lot and according to my kids I have no sense of humor anyway. Blogging makes me a little skittish because of one I use to have, I suppose you could call it a Bio-blog; every day I did one about me, my family and work. The result was not very good, but it did have a lot of visitors. At this point my issue is finding something to blog about. But the key is never to stop and I have let long periods pass where no blog graced my pages. My next one may be about our most recent adventure they call Christmas morning.

    1. Oh yes, Christmas morning. It was certainly an adventure for us too. Well more like Christmas dinner time and night. I certainly have no plans to stop and will always keep plugging away with something. I have certain fallback posts that can always deliver a topic and a quick article for those times of crisis.
      Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  10. “There’s nothing new under the sun”

    There are precious few new topics, but there’s always something new to say about them.

    What I mean is, don’t worry about the subject itself being new and/or amazing/wonderful/unique. You probably won’t find that too often anyway. Just plunge ahead and write your own thoughts and insights about the topic and don’t let it intimidate you. You can write about the dumbest old cliche in the world, but if you put your own spin on it, that’s all that matters.

  11. lol – just came back to this post and the thing that hit me is that this is a successful post! You’ve got people talking, sharing ideas and generally reacting to what you have written. This is what blogging should be about methinks.

    cheers all!

  12. I seem to find lots of ideas for blogs, but then I never seem to find time to write them regularly. When I sit down at the computer I am usually a week too late for the topical post I had planned, or it just doesn’t seem relevant. So I try to post what I think people will find interesting and/or entertaining. And I try to blog at least once a week so they don’t forget about me. I have to say Alex, I think you do write a lot of interesting material, and I do enjoy reading your posts. Keep it up!

  13. I can identify with a lot of what you’ve said in this post. It’s kind of like me and my search for a job. After 35 years in management and being released on the job market I find that I don’t feel like I know anything or have any specialized trade or skill. Yikes! The idea of starting at the bottom again at my age is not something to relish.

    At least in blogging I’m my own boss –now if I can get a guaranteed paycheck and benefits to do it. I seem to never have a shortage of ideas and just hack out what seems somewhat interesting. If someone else already said it then that’s okay. I’ll just say it in my own way.

    I kind of see blogging as a class in writing or cranking out essays for high school English class. I’m practicing writing and the bonus is that I have a audience that I can gauge for reaction. My blog is my writing laboratory.

    If you write it relatively well with a different spin and let people know you’re there so they will come to read, then your blog posts are not a waste, but another useful tool in writing.

    Wrote By Rote

    1. Thank you for your comment Lee. I hope that you can find a job that is suitable for you and doesn’t place you at the bottom of a ladder somewhere. These are crappy times and certainly people should be learning to appreciate what they have rather than pine for the things they don’t.

      I agree with you, everybody’s view is different, and as long as ideas are expressed in the way you want them to be and not in a way that you think people want to read them, then you will be fine.

  14. I enjoyed your post….nicely written 🙂 some times you just keep on writing, even without thinking and you create something so good thats downright entertaining. It is sometimes not fair, as when you really schedule your time to write, you are dumbed down with nothing to write. may be I suffer from worse case of writers block. One has to enjoy while doing anything, and this helps in being consistent. I do have a blog, but I have to take time from my busy days to write even once a week, it is exhausting sometimes as though you want to write but you cant due to time constraint, and when you write, that magical flow of words have already flown by…..I think thats why many take a writing sabbatical, may be I need one too.

    1. I too sometimes have too much to do and cannot write a post. I will choose my novel over the blog if I have written nothing on a particular day, but that being said will ensure that I post at leaast once or twice a week. I think I average more than that, but they are my base levels. Thanks for dropping by and taking the time to comment.

  15. I hope this thread is still open? Just wanted to add that sometimes the blogging muse can pop up in the most unexpected of places.

    I was looking at a blog on wordpress this morning – about 10 small ways to become more eco-friendly in 2012. Those 10 ways included using vinegar and baking soda instead of harsh chemicals so you can see it was not a radical blog. About half way through the comments I came across one that completely floored me.

    In 25 words or less, this poster was saying that climate change was now unstoppable so we should just sit back and wait for the apocalypse. I’ve come across all sorts of reasons for doing nothing before but never anything quite so…wimpy.

    Anyway, to cut a long story short, because I’m passionate about doing something about climate change that post inspired my blog for the day.

    I realise that many people do not feel the way I do so I hope I have not offended anyone but I thought the sheer absurdity of the circumstances deserved a mention.

    cheers all

  16. I like this post and it hits on what many bloggers come up against – writers’ block (that is those who can actually write). Maybe posting less often would help – perhaps once or twice a week. Then you won’t have to come up with so many topics. However, a couple of things I’ve learned in my just over two-years of blogging. Make a list ahead of time about things you could blog about (not sealed in stone so you can toss the idea later if you decide you hate it) and once you start brainstorming for blog post ideas, they seem to just come at you. That happened to me this morning before I did my weekly post. And of course, the one you mentioned stick to your blog’s focus for your postings.


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