Thursday, June 9, 2011

Why Do I Blog?

I've been thinking about this question a lot lately - ever since an off-hand remark by a new acquaintance that "People who blog have too much time on their hands."

"But I'm a writer," I retorted. "That's what I do!"

Really, though? Is blogging one of the things that I "do" as a writer?

Now admittedly, I started this blog (as well as my website and my twitter account) to have an Online Presence. Why? Well, to get my name out there, of course. All authors, from would-be authors to struggling-to-be-published authors, to lightly published to very famous authors need to have a Web Presence, right?

Why? Well, so people can Google and find us. It's a given - in these electronic, internet-crazy, online times.

But a Blog, over time, morphs into so much else. Some blogs are fountains of information about books, or agents, or writing. Some are hilarious, some boring, and I have to admit that after keeping up a steady blog for close to two years, there are times when I wonder What in the World should I Talk About?

I mean, I know blogs should reflect your personality, which hopefully will translate into people actually feeling as if they know and like you well enough to buy your books. But it seems like everybody and his brother and sister has a blog these days, so does it really mean more book sales?

When I'm totally immersed in writing a new book - I often post about the writing process, or when reading a lot - books I've enjoyed recently. But I also sometimes get totally immersed in my New Puppy, or my New Donkeys, or Wildflowers, or Kittens or Migrating Birds. All of this stuff fascinates me, and I end up blogging about it because, well I guess because this blog has become a reflection of Who I Am.

One of the most interesting things for me is the Stats that Blogger provides. People read my blog in Australia, India, China, Europe, South Korea, Russia, as well as the United States and Canada. Who are all these people? And why do they read MY blog?

Here's a list of my most popular posts:

  1. Dogs that Guide the Blind (about my trip attending a Guide Dog graduation ceremony)

  2. Meet Ginny Rorby (author interview - and I have lots more on my blog)

  3. Setting, or a Sense of Place (Post about writing)

  4. The Tevis Cup, or Hanging in there for the Long Haul (about Endurance riding)

Interesting. I also get tons of hits when I post about swallows, and swainson's thrushes, and yes, even kittens.

Not always about writing or being an author, huh?

So I guess I'm coming to realize that for me, my blog has morphed from a measly attempt at establishing an online presence as an author (although hopefully it serves that purpose also) to something more. Perhaps a sharing of things that I find interesting and worthwhile in life. And it truly makes me happy if other people enjoy some of these things, also.

Do you blog? Has your blog changed over time?

And if you're a reader (which I truly appreciate) why do you read my blog? I am fascinated to know.


Sandy Williams said...

I ask myself this question ALL the time. When I first started blogging, I did it just for fun. Sure, I wrote about writing, because that's what I was doing, but I didn't set out to have a writer's blog. I just started finding people who had a similar interest to me, and those people happened to be other writers.

Fast forward a few years, and I decided that I was seriously going to do the writer thing. I was going to be published no matter what, so I needed a blog about writing. As soon as I started looking at blogging as a networking, self-promotion kind of thing, I started enjoying it less and doing it less. I kept it up, though, because everyone who's anyone says writers need a blog.

I blog very rarely now. I plan to blog more in the future, after my new website goes live, but I think I'm going to kind of take it back to the beginning. I may blog about writing; I may not. I'll blog about the things that interest me. Hopefully, some of the posts will interest as well. :-)

Reddunappy said...

Great topic Linda. I started my blog to write about all the horses I have had in my life. I got through that and kept on blogging.
I have "met" so many wonderful people through my blog, it is a whole other community!

Judi said...

I enjoy reading your blog...can't always get to them timely, but I do and I don't always have time to comment. About bloggers having too much spare time....ignore it. They might be jealous of your discipline and determination to get your words out of your brain. My words are still in my head. It is with great difficulty that I put words on paper.
I started "Patrick Ponderings", I ponder many things, but blogging doesn't get done.
lol :-)

Linda Benson said...

Thanks for commenting! Sandy - I feel your pain. It's a chore to constantly come up with useful and relevant writing stuff, without sounding like everyone else out there. And to be truthful, I love writing, but I love lots of other things, too. And for me, when I let my blog be more wide open and not concentrate on any one thing, it became a much more enjoyable process for me. But yes it takes dedication. I try to blog twice a week, but I don't always make it. Usually about every five days seems to be right for me. Everyone has to do what works for them, though, or it's easy to burn out.

Reddunappy (love that name)- it's funny how blogs change, huh? And yes, there are lots of wonderful people in the blogisphere, and that's part of the fun of it.

Judi - thanks for your kind words. Blogging is interesting, and I hope you get some more posts up eventually. It's a way to let your personality shine and say what's on your mind. And I think how you say it probably ends up showing a lot about who you are, too. I read a lot of blogs, but don't always comment, because it does take extra time to do so. Lots of times I intend to come back and comment, but it doesn't happen. But it is nice to connect with readers from time to time, and I know bloggers really appreciate it when people leave comments.

Dreaming said...

The easy question to answer is why I read your blog. I am intrigued by authors. I love reading and just can't imagine putting it all together to create a book. I guess I like seeing the 'behind the scenes' glimpse of your life. I also like how you invite responses. Even if I don't take the time to leave a response, I do think about your prompts.
The harder question is why I blog. Beats me! A friend of mine has a blog and I admire what she posts. I guess I thought it might be interesting to see what I could put out there. Or, maybe I write a blog because I no longer have an audience through work. Hmmm, interesting thought!,

Linda Benson said...

Thanks, Dreaming. Your blog is hilarious, by the way. It shows your sense of humor and is fun to read. We all have something to say, don't we? And yes, it's fun to actually have an Audience. Maybe that's a plenty good reason to blog!

Cynthia Chapman Willis said...

I started my blog to help promote my books and develop an online presence, but in doing so I've made many great cyber pals, learned lots, and shared much. Blogging has become more than just promoting and being out there.

storyqueen said...

Thought provoking post! I, too, started my blog to have some sort of online presence. I have really enjoyed connecting with other writers, which was a benefit I did not anticipate from blogging.


Linda Benson said...

Cynthia and Shelley - Yes, blogging has been a great way to meet and connect with people, and that's been a fun and unanticipated benefit. And I do learn so much from traipsing around other people's blogs. Thanks so much for stopping by to comment!