This is an informative post for any writer looking to use blogging to build an author platform. I have said this before (but hey, who am I?) that blogging consistently is possible without taking away from writing and publishing books.
Blogging is part of your branding; if you are confused about your branding, you will be confused about what to blog about. Think about it: if you knew exactly what you were going to write about each week, how much easier would that be? – Rachel Thompson
Even if you are not being paid to blog it is still helpful to helping you to find more readers (which helps you to get paid kind of indirectly). Readers and authors I’ve met through blogging are still among my biggest supporters.(Blogging consistently also helps you to…wait for it…grow your blog).
Below are three links. Two are from Rachel Thompson and the other is an older article I published to this blog three years ago on how blogging between books has been helpful to me. (read more articles on blogging from me on the Blog Tips page). Enjoy.
The best time to write is an hour or two after the sun has risen and the birds congregate on my windowsill with their songs. The sky is still a combination of yellows, orange, and reddish highlights, all tap-dancing on the clouds. I write best when the wind is still waking up and blowing lightly, just enough to sway the leaves. When the air smells like you just bought it from the store this morning. That first early morning wake-up, after morning prayer, and just when the creative juices are new and fresh. This is my ideal time of day to write.
Step #2: Coffee
Freshly brewed dark roasted Folders that grab my throat by its hinges and engulf my body before racing to the tips of my fingers. I arise to the occasion of the coffee cherry. After teaching and tutoring a few years back, I developed a love (addiction?) for coffee. Back when my daily routine consisted of chasing three and four-year-olds around the room and getting on my hands and knees to see which monopoly piece I would be. And now, the coffee bean must accompany me in the next phase of our adventure.
Step #3: Solitude
Give me neither food nor noise. Lock me away from society. I no longer live here. Put me inside a quiet place. Though I would much rather be somewhere in the country, swallowed up by trees and grassland, my home office will have to suffice. Where I shackle myself to solitude and feed from its delicacies. My fingers march to the beat of songs that can only be heard inside my head. I am not here in this office. I am in another place. That place where only writers go. I’m an introvert by nature, but writing is when I am the most adventurous. Let the rushing sound of my heart and the beating of keys be the only noise in the world worth paying attention to at this moment. Please, I beg of you, dare not shatter my concentration with the world and its worries, for I am not of the world.
A surge of consciousness spills over your thoughts like a stream of mighty waters. Waves of ideas that suddenly dance upon the mental workspace of your brain, a wide collection of inspiration collectively manipulating ideas, images, and symbols. Together they battle against one another to see which is fortunate enough to make it on the page. Will they splash onto the screen or get caught between blue lines? These are the concerns of words who dream of nothing but getting out of your head. Who, if any, of these ideas will transition from thought to word and from word to living persona? Your fingers are excited by the mere contemplation of it and proceed to structure the foundations of a blank page. That is until something happens. It is usually at this point that someone knocks on the door, the telephone rings, the children are awakened, or a question is asked. Sudden interruptions startle your words out of their skins and they run into hidden spaces and behind writer’s blocks. I don’t know what it is about writing, but it is so easy to be distracted from it. It takes so much concentration and focus that sometimes I find it hard to get back into the swing of things once interrupted. It is an art indeed, a pictorial inscription; a steady stream of carefully arranged thoughts that must glide from the mind to paper without interruption. Any break in this stream may cause the artist to abandon his work until a more appropriate moment. Sometimes I find it hard to even explain this to people! Some just cannot understand how easy it is to break into that mode of concentration. ESPECIALLY if we’re talking about poetry. I can be sitting at the computer immersed in a very pivotal moment and then someone starts talking and then its like, “OK, but can I finish this stanza first?“
“As long as you’re looking on the bright side of things you’ll be ignoring the not-so-good things in your life. What you give attention to grows, so if you’re focusing on what’s wrong in your life you’ll just get more of it to focus on. But if you focus on what’s right in your life, what makes you happy, what you’re grateful for, and why things are so fantastic for you, you’ll only get more of the same to be happy and grateful for. Some days are easier to face towards the sunshine than others, but it’s always there, you just have to try harder during hard times.” – BD