Friday, 2 July 2010

An End to Procrastination?

I've put off starting a blog for quite a while. It seemed like something I probably should do, but I didn't think it was 'my sort of thing'. Several of the people I know who write also have a blog and I wondered how they ever find time to write and blog and do all the other stuff they have to do to avoid starving to death or having their house repossessed.

So why the change of heart? Well, I've been taking my writing more seriously for the past year or so. I'm not particularly prolific, so I haven't written all that much, but I have at least been a bit more focused and have sent more stories out (either to competitions or printed or online markets). As I result, I've begun to have some success with what I formerly considered a pleasant but largely directionless hobby.

Achieving this moderate level of success made me take more notice of what other writers were doing. So I began to pay attention to those little potted author biographies that publishers tend to put at the end of people's stories. Nearly all of these seemed to end by telling us all that so-and-so blogs at so-and-so's-blog.com.

Ha! I thought, what self-indulgent fools. Who on earth is going to want to read the unedited mental outpourings of some over-opinionated amateur writer? What a waste of time. Admittedly, I did read a few of these blogs and they were pretty good. But still. It seemed more effort than it was worth.

Recently, I've clocked up a couple of what I humbly consider to be impressive results in a couple of competitions. Impressive enough for me to have got over one of those mental hurdles - the lack of confidence in what I do that used to make me want to keep the fact that I write a secret, as though it's some grubby habit you don't mention in polite society. And I started thinking about what it means to be a writer in today's web-centric world, and how best to present myself as a writer.

Suddenly, it clicked. I realised that the bloggers are not just spouting self-congratulatory garbage (well, not all of them) - they are tying together their stories, sharing tips and advice with other writers, spreading the word about competitions, building a readership.

So, here it is, my blog. It won't change the world. It won't show you how to be a better person. But it might help you track down my stories, and it'll give me something extra to put in my bio.

Thanks for stopping by.

2 comments:

Teresa Stenson said...

Love it. Want-to-blog-sort-of, but a bit worried. It is weird, Dan, I agree.

Bless me Carver for I have blogged; it has been a year since I started blogging.

I'd say, in the last year, I've written as much fiction or more than before I started my blog. It gives me a little focus, and often other writers' blogs point me towards useful writing stuff or competition details. I have a side bar where I list my 'Work being considered at...' and that helps with motivation.

So, yeah - welcome! Glad you're here.

Dan said...

Hi Teresa,

Thanks for visiting, and for the welcome. I'm sure I'll find a balance between this and 'actual' writing and I can see myself stealing your "work out there" idea. Although it might mean a bit of duplication from Gav's 5 Outstanding group.

The aim is to make this helpful for other writers and interesting for readers, without just copying what other people are doing.

Fat chance, I expect, but there's no harm in trying, is there?