I Gotcher Blog-Writin’ Advice Right Here

Oh, the greatest sin of them all:

Blogging about blogging, that bloated, bloviating serpent devouring its own tail. And yet, here I am, blogging about blogging because many of you asked me to commit this very trespass.

I DO IT FOR YOU, MY LOVES.

*kisses the back of your hand*

*your hand falls off and plops wetly onto the floor, because it’s not a hand but rather a can of excised Spam meat-glued to a broken mophandle*

*eats your Spamhand*

Ahem.

You want my blogging advice?

I give you my blogging advice.

Don’t Blog!

There it is. That’s my advice to you. Don’t blog. Don’t do it. Not worth it. You’re probably asking me as a writer, and as a writer to another writer I say: mmmnope, fuck it. Don’t blog.

The blogs of writers are often sad, sad things. They go largely unused, acting as empty, gutted monuments to the writer’s own lack of blogging productivity. You visit a writer’s blog and the last post is from June, 2012. Wind blows sand over a corpse. The comment sections are, two, maybe three people deep (and the author is one of those commenters). One of the most recent posts is a promise to post more posts, to blog more blogs, to blargh more blarghs, and that post was three years ago. Two rats chew on a third rat. The ground is salted and dead.

Here you’re saying, But an agent or a publisher says I have to blog. To which I respond, that agent or publisher is operating on bad information from five years ago. And it was bad information then. Blogging because you have to? What an execrable task. Who wants to read a blog that you feel is an obligation? I want to read something the author wants to write, not filler content meant to prop up a dead thing. This isn’t Weekend At Bernie’s. “HEY LOOK AT MY BLOG IT’S TOTALLY ALIVE.” *waggles dead blog’s sunglasses* *forces dead blog to messily eat carrots and dip*

Now you’re saying, But I need a blog to sell my books, to which I respond, ha ha, whoa, yeah, no. Blogs don’t sell books unless your books contain your blog, or rather, content similar to your blog. Okay, an effective blog may sell your book over time, but as I am wont to tell people: I have over 7,000 daily subscribers at this blog and over 10,000 additional daily readers. All of these people are not buying my books. Some of them are. And sometimes I get people who tell me, after three years here they finally decided to check out an actual book of mine. And certainly this blog focuses as outreach to get the word out about my books and sometimes your books, too. It’s taken a while to get here. It was not overnight. And even now, it still doesn’t magically push my book sales. Which is of course the fallacy that agents and publishers are operating on when they tell you to blog: they think you will built a “platform” and use it to “sell books,” but it doesn’t really work like that. What works to sell books is when a publisher is committed to selling your book. Your cover reveal at your blog doesn’t mean a whole hot cup of poopsquat if you get like, 30 readers. You and your blog should not be your publisher’s primary avenue of marketing and advertising.

And now you’re saying, quite correctly, But Chuck, you do it. Yes. Yeah. I know. I do it because I am a mouthy shitknuckle who wants to blog. I don’t blog because I think it’s essential to my brand or my career, I blog because I really, really like blogging. I like having a place where I can get up onto my rickety scaffolding made of digital bones and squawk fruitlessly into the void. This blog began as — and often continues to be — me yelling at me about me. And sometimes, I yell at you, too. I have thoughts and this is where I share them.

And finally you’re saying, But I wanna blog, too.

Well, okay, then.

Then it’s time for a different set of advisory points.

Fine, You’re Going To Blog Anyway

Welcome to Der Bloggerhaus. Here is your blog.

*hands you a lump of half-eaten Spam*

No? Okay, fine, that’s not your blog. YOU PASSED YOUR FIRST TEST.

You want advice on writing a blog, I will give you a shotgun spray of it. Ready?

• Conventional wisdom says not to write about writing at your blog. I say “conventional wisdom” is a very good way to be a bad blogger. I say write what you want to write about. Kids, food, writing, monkey taming, driveway construction, bondage, art history, books, movies, coffee, Muay Thai kickboxing, true crime, fake limbs, whatever. It’s your space. It’s free to visit. It is your topical playground. Run wild and go down the slide naked. Unless it’s one of those metal slides and it’s a hot day because ow cooked buttocks.

• Probably don’t blog about one thing. Unless you wanna be known as THAT [subject] BLOGGER. “HEY LOOK,” someone will yell on the streets probably never but let’s pretend. “IT’S THAT MONKEY TAMING BLOGGER. THAT GUY’S ALWAYS WRITING ABOUT MONKEY TAMING.” Even me writing so much about writing here sometimes gets this labeled as a “writing blog” rather than a “writer’s blog.” I have also been called “dad blogger” and “death blogger.”

• Don’t advertise on your blog. I mean, advertise your books, fine. You are a writer and it’s fair to expect that. But I don’t want to think your blog is compromised by the greed of getting clicks. Once in a while I get someone criticizing this space and calling it CLICKBAIT, but ha ha, fuckers, I don’t make any money off your clicks. Makes no difference to me whether my numbers are up or down. (In this case, “clickbait” is usually an insult that translates to, “he said something I don’t agree with and he said it in his own way and what a jerk but it’s easier for me to dismiss the link as clickbait rather than engaging on its merits or flaws.”)

• Own your blog or at least backup your content.

• I like to occasionally blog using ALL CAPS because ALL CAPS are cool.

• Blog regularly. Doesn’t mean every day, but make sure it’s not ONCE EVERY SEVEN YEARS DESPITE PROMISING OTHERWISE. Once a week is probably good.

• Conventional wisdom (that pesky goblin!) again says, long blog posts do not work. Write short posts, they say. Yeah, fuck that. I regularly write long blog posts. My most popular blog posts are also the longest ones. If you are afraid of long-form content on a blog, just go post cat pictures and amateur porn-fic on your Tumblr. No harm in that.

• Moderate your comments. The Internet is so often a giant sucking Sarlacc pit of shittiness because unlike almost everywhere else in reality, comment sections are treated like bastions of freedom. And when you get bastions of freedom, you invite angry human cankersores whose mothers did not love them enough and they spatter their opinionated mucus all over everybody’s monitors. The reason Gamer-Gate doesn’t exist in public is because public spaces are driven by actual decorum and even actual laws against being a public nuisance (read: shitbird). DON’T READ THE COMMENTS is the common warning because too few websites and bloggers are willing to actually take an aggressive hand when moderating their comments. You don’t have to be perfect, but get active. The shittiness in the comments is, in part, on you.

• Please make sure we can all read your blog without blistering eyestrain. Everybody has different blog preferences, but a dark background and light text is a good way to make people’s brains bleed actual bloog. Aim for: Big, clear font. Bright, but not too bright background. Don’t make me read text over some kind of grungy, gribbly texture or a picture of unicorns fucking or something. You’re a writer. Treat a blog post like the page of a book.

• I like WordPress. Installed on my end. You don’t have to. You do as you like.

• Have an opinion, but as always, don’t be horrible about it. Be the best version of yourself online. Some of you are probably making worried faces as you realize that this blog very likely represents the best version of myself. *sheepish grin* Sorry!

• You’re a writer, so the quality of your blog should be an exemplar of your work. We’ll forgive imperfections and typos. But if your blog is just some mumblemouthed manifesto, written with all the quality afforded to slogans painted on a bathroom stall wall in your own waste, that’s not ideal. No, your blog won’t sell your books 100%, but it can damn sure turn people off of them, too.

• A blog isn’t a good way to sell books, but it is a good way to meet new people — people who may eventually become your readers. People who may even become your friends. Like all of you. You’re all my friends. Come over to my pool. Let’s have a party! Caveat: I don’t have a pool and I don’t like parties and that address I gave you is actually to an abandoned factory outside of town where a cabal of forgotten clowns live. Say hi to Mister Squeakers and his gang!

• Link to your blog a few times a day over social media to make sure people across various timezones see it. But don’t make every tweet a link to it. That’s gross. Stop that.

• Your blog is you. It should echo your voice. It should demonstrate who you are and what you believe — a larger, more direct version of the voice people will get inside your books. This blog and my books do not sound exactly alike, nor should they. But both, hopefully, sound like me. And your blog and your books should sound like you.

Otherwise, my advice remains the same:

Don’t blog.

* * *

The Kick-Ass Writer: Out Now

The journey to become a successful writer is long, fraught with peril, and filled with difficult questions: How do I write dialogue? How do I build suspense? What should I know about query letters? How do I start? What the hell do I do?

The best way to answer these questions is to ditch your uncertainty and transform yourself into a Kick-Ass Writer. This new book from award-winning author Chuck Wendig combines the best of his eye-opening writing instruction — previously available in e-book form only — with all-new insights into writing and publishing. It’s an explosive broadside of gritty advice that will destroy your fears, clear the path, and help you find your voice, your story, and your audience.

Amazon

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Writer’s Digest

84 comments

  • Yes, yes, yes. I started out blogging because I felt like it would with students, would show them that I’m a serious teacher and writer. That it might even win me some readers for my tiny, quiet little stories.

    Definitely not a good enough reason to blog. Blogging is writing, people It takes time, it takes thought, it takes commitment.

    And you know what? I discovered that I love it. I get to write in my own voice, about whatever I want to write about. And I don’t have to care whether anybody’s reading me. (I mean, of course I care, writers WANT TO BE READ, is what I tell my students, so I might as well not lie here – I want to be read.) But really, what’s most important to me about my blog is that it’s teaching me something about my own writing. It’s teaching me how to get the stick out of my ass and free myself up. To not take myself so seriously. To think about what I really believe about some issues. To write about myself in a way I didn’t think possible.

    And now I’m gonna go write a post.

    • Well, and that’s the other thing I fail to mention:

      If you spend time blogging, you’re probably not spending time writing the things you actually need to write.

      — c.

      • Very true. Which is why my main writing time goes to fiction and my evening writing time (when I’ve got family obligations, dinner to cook, dogs to feed, kids to yell at) is spent blogging. Not that I don’t love it, but it takes less focus since I’m trying to to feel precious about blogging. I’m trying to just let something come out without sucking the life out of the posts by overthinking and overediting and in general over-stifling. Which I do A LOT with my fiction.

      • Yeah, this is my problem. Blogging is more fun than I thought, and I spend more time playing with the blog than writing stories…

        I need better discipline.

  • I have an autism and parenting Facebook page which turned into a blog which turned into a book.

    I never in my life wanted to have a Facebook page or a blog, but I’ve always wanted to write a book.

    So, that’s why that happened.

    I leave comments turned off on my blog (but I always link to my Facebook page at the end of each post for folks who truly want to engage in conversation) because I’m lazy. I don’t wanna moderate everywhere. Also, I’m an uncomfortable moderator– though I’m a conversation addict.

    Ummmmm…. you know, in case you wanted to know a bit about me.
    tee hee!

    (I meant to say “Thanks for the tips, Chuck!” I don’t know where all that other stuff came from. But, you know, thanks for the tips, Chuck!)

  • You work all week on your diet, eating the right foods and being good about portions and all that, and then you pick a day to just gorge yourself on Pop Tarts and Count Chocula soaked in bacon grease. That’s my blogging day. It’s my “free” day where I can crank out some words on whatever the hell I want simply because I enjoy blathering on like that sometimes. During the week it’s about my novels, but Sunday… oh baby, I love being able to just pick a topic or question or an experience I’ve had recently and write about it. Some of it is writing related (but not how-to or other bullshit like that) but some of it isn’t (just take a gander at it when we roll around to election time here in Canada). I do have some Google ads though. I should probably remove them.

  • March 31, 2015 at 2:19 PM // Reply

    This is The Master in full voice. Chuckworthy, off-kilter and amazing as usual. More proof of why this is the #1 writer’s blog on the net.

  • March 31, 2015 at 2:22 PM // Reply

    The more I write, the less I READ blogs. I used to read a ton of them. Now I follow those writers on twitter I find it easier for me. If they link a blog in a tweet and I see, I’ll visit. Every 6 months or so I cull my Blogger subscription list. I find SO MANY dead or on life support blogs; no posts for 6+ months I cut. The 5 or so blogs I really want to read I subscribe to.

    Though I do have a small community of YA writers who use our blogs to am keep up with each other, and I’m currently using my blog as the landing spot for my domain name before going full on website.

  • This is funny. I just came full circle. I signed up for a daily book deals list about three months ago, called Buck Books. The author goes by the name of Buck Flogging. He hates blogging. Read his name again. Yeah.

    One of those books was about writing. And in that book was a mention of one of Chuck’s blog posts, a “25 Things…”. I loved the post, and it just so happened around the same time Chuck was offering one of his books, 250 Things You Should Know About Writing, for $1 (was it a Buck Books deal, Chuck? Or Bookbub? I’m on both). So I read that, and fell in love with Chuck’s writing advise.

    Now I follow Chuck’s blogs, and I just read this one about not blogging. Cool how I went from a list by a person who hates blogging, to a blog post about not blogging.

  • “If you spend time blogging, you’re probably not spending time writing the things you actually need to write.”

    Its about time management. So much time for the blog, so much time for the reciprocal things you do for other writers because they do them for you, so much time allotted to the writing. But my kids are grown, have no husband now, so I can live the way I want.

    I’ve been blogging since 2007, and its helped one of my careers immensely.

    Oh, yes. I do more than one thing to earn money. This might be the reason I rarely sleep.

    But nope. Must blog.

    It’s probably a sickness.

  • Glad you’ve given permission to ignore you. I’ve been blogging for TEN EFFIN years, over 2K posts. Yes, a severe case of diarrhea of the fingertips. Now I’m faced with the task of weaning the faithful away from the old blog (textile art and drive by crime) and making the new one just as shiny, but with no pictures, Trouble is brewing. My blog self is not my writer self. And who am I to blog about writing? Nope.

    • Textile art and drive-by crime. That’s a hell of a combination. You sound like a very creative person

  • Cheers for the advice Chuck! I started up a blog for the wrong reasons – because I figured I needed it as part of the whole “online presence” bollocks, but after just the first post I realised that, despite why I came to it, I’m staying with it because I plain like it. It’s kinda like my outlet, spinning the old steam valve to let off some pressure, and it gives my wife’s ears a rest. That last one is reason enough, because otherwise she’d most likely snap after a while and just whack me over the head with a frying pan, and bury me in the back garden.

    Despite my blog effectively prolonging my life, I just like it, just like writing books. I do it because it’s fun and I enjoy it. That’s surely reason enough. Thanks again, Chuck :)

  • I love blogging as a record of my thoughts and impressions at any given time. Also, it comes in really handy as an archive for my life. I can’t count how many times I’ve gone to my blog to remember a piece of information or see what was going on for a specific day. Also, I just REALLY like talking about myself.

  • I was told four years ago by an editor that I had to blog to build a platform in order to sell books and so I began. Almost 400 posts later it is on the top of my list of endorphin rushes. I’m addicted to the thrill of publishing my ridiculous thoughts and love to interact with my readers. I don’t think I could ever give it up. It’s my crack cocaine.

  • A.MEN. Just had someone design an author site for me. NO BLOG. Been down that road before. It’s a huge time suck (for me.) I also advise people to avoid blogging if they’re on the fence.

    Blogging was ok before I was trying to write books. Now, it’s just another reason for me to waste time online. I’ve cut way back on the number of blogs I read.

  • Blogging, for me, is the 21st-century version of the fanzine publishing I did back when I rode dinosaurs to work. Without cranking all those pages thru the mimeograph, then collating them, addressing them to my mailing list, and having to pay postage on each copy.

    It gives me a public voice. Sometimes I even manage to be articulate.

    • March 31, 2015 at 5:00 PM // Reply

      I always talk on my Facebook about progress as far as word count goes, but never about the content. I always get worried that someone will steal my ideas.

    • There is a reasonably popular author blog that I follow, and the author posts chapters at a time, and whole books as well, in addition to new drafts as she finishes them.

  • “This isn’t Weekend At Bernie’s. “HEY LOOK AT MY BLOG IT’S TOTALLY ALIVE.” *waggles dead blog’s sunglasses* *forces dead blog to messily eat carrots and dip*”

    And that is the finest thing I’ve read on the internets this month. Thank you, sir, that was both an interesting and amusing article.

  • You are always a ball of sunshine! It’s refreshing. I blog about what I wanna blog about, but I tend to be formal – from years of administration work I suspect. Every now and then I cut loose though like when I ranted about lettuce. (We all have our crosses to bear).

  • i kinda just skimmed this because it is a really long blog entry…& i’m holding a squirming baby. i cannot take the all caps advice. in fact, i have trouble using any caps. which i sometimes wonder if that makes me a bad writer…. but whenever i try to use all caps, i’m worried that the person reading it will think i’m yelling at them. i’m worried they will be wondering, “why is she yelling at me?” so i shy away from caps. but in real life i do yell–a lot. so it’s kind of weird. but i am glad you enjoy all caps so much…that, and spam.

    also, i think i use too many ellipsis to be an effective blogger. but i do like to talk about stuff. mostly to myself as it turns out. which blogs are great for…in my experience.

  • This is so phenomenal! Thank you for all of this advice!

    I blog 3 times a week and not about writing. I actually feel bad when I write about my projects, because I feel like my regular readers check in for the mom stuff and not for the writing (I am not published yet, so no one is coming in having previously read my work) . I put up projects, but not on the main “blog” section. Do you ever feel tempted to “split” your blog: stuff for the folk who pop in for writing advice separated from stuff for the folk who popped in because they read and liked one of your books?

  • Squeeeeaaalllll! Chuck answered my question and now I’m blushing because I feel like teacher’s pet. Thank you! I have a Facebook page that is growing by leaps and bounds and we have a closed support group. I think that’s going to turn into a blog eventually. I’m doing it to help others with the debilitating anxiety that I overcame with natural means and not drugs, so it’s something that I really want to write and talk about.

  • Thanks for this. Funny Story: I found your page AND started blogging to encourage my ex. I thought he was an excellent writer, but he didn’t give a damn about writing apparently (or me subsequently) so now I’m enjoying your posts AND the blog! I will ignore your “best foot forward” advice because Its kind of a “work in progress” and “excepting failures” blog. It’s not really meant to gain an audience, though so its okay. Randomly, through my pursuit of just doing me I’ve had a few people say they really enjoyed it. Just gotta keep doing it-like you said.

  • Ha ha…I just BLOGGED on this same topic: Writing to be a Writer, Huh???? (And I will shamefully promote my blog: writerdeeva.com.) I love to write and share my thoughts, so blogging is good for me on days I am not into writing my novel…those lazy days where I read other blogs like yours…but should be writing. I know I have like four people who read it, but it makes me feel good that someone enjoys my writing!!!! Blogging is a lot of work, as is writing a novel and trying to query. The pressure to spread yourself thin in your attention span and writing time is overwhelming. But in the end, it is all about the need to write and express yourself through words. You, Chuck, are a master at that! But I would say if you don’t have anything to say…don’t say anything at all. In other words, don’t waste your time blogging. Put your skill, time and efforts into your work.

  • I blog fairly regularly; if I go two weeks without doing it, I play catchup. I am a versatile blogger, though I focus most on writing and gaming, but I can do all sorts. I sometimes share little scenes from what I’m working on. I’ve found it isn’t getting the attention I’d like it to, but whatever, it’s a place where I can write my thoughts down and people can interact with me. I’ve been doing it for about 6 years, consistently-ish. Only have a couple hundred readers though.

    I hate discovering someone-awesome’s blog and they have five posts over five years. What’s the point in bothering in that case? Especially when they have multiple blogs that they’ve given up on, it means they don’t take it seriously and aren’t willing to put the effort in.

  • Blogging is a dangerous game. I love writing and I love having people read what I wrote. I extra super duper love talking to people who had thoughts and feelings while reading what I wrote.

    I can either:

    a.) Work on my novel. This requires that I sit still for long periods of time without the reward of frequent feedback.

    or

    b.) Write a blog post. This requires just a blip of time out of my day and I can see (IN REAL TIME!) how many people have read my post and (HAPPY DANCE!) sometimes they even leave a comment! Gasp! Yes! The exclamation points are necessary!

    If writing a novel is some huge lumbering beast trudging through the forest on it’s way to dinner, then writing a blog post is the little Jack Russell Terrier darting between said lumbering beast’s legs, running circles around each massive foot as it strikes the earth.

    In the short term, there’s way more reward for the blog post. I hit ‘publish’ and next thing I know I’m leaning on my podium sobbing into a microphone: “You like me. You really, really like me.” (Ok, well maybe the podium is my kitchen counter and maybe the microphone is my cell phone, but hey. Don’t judge. What I do in my kitchen is what I do in my kitchen.)

    In the long term, my books are actually somewhat lucrative. Soooo…the long term payoff skews heavily towards using my writing time to focus on my novels. It’s just the tiny matter of not letting myself get too distracted by blogging.

    **For the record: My blog is relatively new. It’s one of those sad places Mr. Wendig mentioned with just a few splattering of comments on a post here and there, some of which are mine. **

  • I blog – max maybe 3/4 times a week, min once unless life really gets in the way – because for me, the blog’s an on-line diary. Yes, I write, but I’m not just a writer. I’m also a mum, an artist, a homemaker, a learner, a person of faith… I post when I have something exciting to say or interesting (according to me) to share, and I enjoy it.

    Yes, I do use it as a procrastination tool sometimes, but it’s not an unbreakable habit. No, it doesn’t get lots of hits – maybe 1500 hits a month? – but the people who read my blog like it and are pretty loyal. What more could I ask for?

    And Chuck – couldn’t agree more with you about ads; decided up front not to include them as there’s nothing more annoying than pop-up boxes when you’re trying to read. You don’t get ads in a printed or digital book (other than for more books)…so why bother on a blog if your aim is to get people reading?

    A blog should be a living, breathing thing – not a dried up, dusty, out-of-date husk.

  • Blog posts about how I should blog more often = me, a few years back. I had to break myself of that habit; it’s pretty stupid to be constantly apologising to an audience that doesn’t exist because you’re giving them no reason to come.

    I still don’t blog consistently, but I try not to go months without content. Maybe I’m not cut out for blogging – trouble I have is working out what I want to say. But hey, it’s mostly just to amuse myself.

  • My blog is an echo chamber of me rambling about random stuff. I figured if I put stuff on there, people might read it and I’d be encouraged to put more stuff on there. But no one reads it, so I don’t post stuff. Chicken – meet egg.

  • Your opening line is soooooo something Nadine would say. Probably ‘will’ say in the future given enough time on the planet. And my initial thought was “Who the hell are you Chuck Wendig? The frickin’ (no cusswords till Easter) the Blogging Police?” …pregnant pause. The resounding answer would be…Yes! Rave on.

  • It’s Das Bloggerhaus by the way. (I know I’m nitpicky…)

    Blogging needs a giant warning sign as TIMESUCK OF THE VOID!!
    It’s just as bad as “facebooking”, “tumblring” or “tweeting”. It just may have a better reputation but don’t ever underestimate the time a blog needs to be kept alive.

  • Aw, bless you Chuck, I feel so much better now!

    I got into The Blog Thing for exactly the reason you stated people do; ’cause somebody publisher/agent-y somewhere said that’s what authors must do if they want the universe to believe they are actually a Real Live Writer Honest Guv. Three years on, and if someone – ANYONE! – leaves a comment on it, I get that feeling like I imagine the guy who’s been hiding in the the nuclear bunker for ten years must feel when he finally sticks his head out and realises there are OTHERS out there who survived the Apocalypse…

    Having said that, I don’t blog just because I feel I ‘have’ to – if that was true I’d have given up long ago. I do one post a week (sometimes that slips to one every other week, depending on how deep I’m squirreling into my current sci-fi w-i-p, and whether I actually have something to SAY other than just waffling to fill a space.) I do it mainly so that I have something alternative to write in between working on my aforementioned w-i-p, so it’s a break from that without being something that could lure me away from it completely (like the siren call of The Other Novel would.)

    But I made peace with the idea long ago that I’ll be unlikely to get much traffic to it until AFTER I publish some novels and people have actually heard of me (said from the optimistic mindset that this could actually happen. WILL happen. Even if it takes a verrryyyyyy lllloooooonnnnnnggggg ttttiiiiiiimmmme…) I keep seeing all these adverts for people who apparently ‘make millions’ from writing their blogs – and I can only assume they must be crawling with pop-up adverts and clickies like maggots. HATE those things! I don’t and won’t have them on mine, and it’s also one of the (too many to list) things I love about your blog too, Chuck.

  • I actually ended up using my blog to post game reviews. I figure it’s WAY more interesting than droning on about how I love to write or worse, trying to pretend I know stuff I don’t.
    ;)

  • I’ve been toying with the idea of starting a blog the last few days, so this post is timely for me.
    Based on it, I’ll probably purchase a domain by tomorrow :)

    Also, quick note:
    Despite how uncommon this may be, I discovered you as a writer through your blog. I purchased all Miriam Black books as a bundle when Cormorant came out and you announced it here. I don’t actually remember HOW I found your blog in the first place (probably some evil Penmonkey Voodoo, caps required), but it was your blog that led me to your books, and your twitters, and every other social media outlet you’re on. Other people’s mileage may vary.

  • Thank you, thank you, thank you! I already posted my very first blog, on Monday. It’s a relief to hear it from you that I need to be myself, because that’s how it went. I always, always enjoy reading Terrible Minds. Your writings take me through all sorts of emotions, and give me new thoughts to carry around in my head, all day.

  • *Raises hand* OMG, so guilty!

    My problem is I am afraid to write about the stuff I like. I keep thinking I have to be all Jeff Goins about it and write on ONLY ONE TOPIC.

    I do not want to be a hope-seller on the internet. Other people do that better. I want to talk about the weird shit I find at garage sales.

    Okay, I’m doing that.

  • I mostly blog about wildlife management and rewilding, but the posts of poems are the ones that get the most traffic/interest, for some reason. I don’t have time to ready much poetry myself!

  • How ironic it is, dear Chuckie, that you inspired me to start my sad little blog! Although I am certainly no more than an amateur writer, not published. And I post probably twice a month. But I have fun.

  • April 1, 2015 at 7:19 PM // Reply

    You’re a funny guy! I’ve never followed any bloggers before, but somehow I ended up on your page, and you’re cracking me up. Soooo..lucky you. You have a new fan.

  • You’ve just overridden years of blog advice I’ve received, and since I like yours better I’m taking it. I love blogging, it’s like recess from novel writing, but I have NEVER understood how it would relate to book sales. With that expectation laid to rest in a smear of greasy Spam, I can at last stop trying to find FOCUS for my blog and verbiage there as God or the Muse intended. FREEDOM.

  • If I may suggest the Social plugin, I’m a big fan. It’s relatively useless having people like & comment on FB while your actual blog sits naked. This way, comments and tweets get imported and you actually look popular on your own site. Facebook & Twitter feeds come and go, but your blog is relatively permanent.

    ‘Course, I’m lagging a whole orders of magnitude. I’d be excited if 30 people saw my cover. 17,000/day? Mind boggles.

  • I’ve been blogging for… holy shit, almost six years now. In that time I’ve published 224 posts (and dropped 40). I’ve posted a tip on recovering Scrivener files that’s saved a few people’s asses, done a half-assed job advocating for local author Patrick McLaw when he (apparently) got suspended over a book he wrote, written a few movie dissections that got people reading, and whined a lot about how I’m not writing enough.

    Overall I’m happy I blog, but here’s a free piece of advice: DON’T JOURNAL.

    • Don’t journal? Are you kidding? I guess you mean journaling publicly, on your blog. In that I would agree. I make entries in my journal/diary nearly every day, though. Some of my best scene ideas come to me while I’m journaling, it helps me see how events from my real life might adapt to my characters’ lives. I think every author should have a journal

  • I think a lot of writer are writers first. But my writing grew out of blogging. Some people keep notebooks, some people write on scraps of paper, some have a permanently open word document. I have a blog. And perhaps because of that, I’ve always imagined fiction writing as a conversation, always unstable, always intertextual, always linked to other things.

    For people whose aim is commercial success as a writer, I think you have explained your stance well and made exceptionally good points. But if you have other aims, I think blogging is very fertile. It certainly has been for me.

  • I have two blogs, one for the more political and work related stuff and one for my writing – ironically or not my writing blog was fading away until I discovered Chuck’s prompt challenges. I blushed a lot reading this post; as I’ve committed nearly every sin in it at different times.

    I guess what I take away from it is that I can still blog – but when I finally (self) publish that book I’ll create a separate site for it, and won’t use that for blogging at all.

  • I started a personal blog even though I was writing for a living, full-time and then some. But there was some stuff I couldn’t say at MSN Money or Get Rich Slowly or any of the other sites that hired me. So I decided my blog would be my playground for words.
    That was May 2010. It’s still my playground, with headlines like “Dr. Demento and the desecrated turkey,” “Turning invisibility into stealth,” “Negotiating the Crappy Things Spectrum,” “The bottle blonde at the DMV” and “Who would Jesus strafe?” I write about smart use of money, earning a university degree at age 52 (better late than REALLY late), making Kool-Aid pickles, escaping a long-term abusive marriage, classism in the U.S., the healing power of mashed potatoes, personal finance lessons from grand opera, attending the Talkeetna Bachelors Auction and Wilderness Woman Competition, watching the aurora borealis from my back steps….
    Basically I write about whatever comes up that day.
    Does it make me money? Don’t make me laugh!
    But that’s not why I do it. I used to work at a newspaper and a colleague who chose wire articles for the inside pages had one rule. She said, “If it ain’t fun, it don’t run.” Nothing runs on my site that isn’t fun for me to write. Then again, I have an odd idea of fun.
    As for writing about writing: Guilty. I just started a writing-focused blog, to go with an online writing course I launched a couple of weeks ago. So sue me.
    Did I need to do it to sell my course, the way authors think they need blogs to sell their blogs? Nah. It’s more that I’d be happy to talk about writing all day long (invariably come home from conferences with Overused Larynx Syndrome) but I can’t do too many language-based articles at my personal website because it’s not a single-subject place.
    Plus now that I’m teaching writing (holy crap), I want users to have a place to share their thoughts. Will it work? Too soon to tell. In fact, today I found out that I’d accidentally locked out any commenters who weren’t site members. Ooops.
    But it doesn’t matter whether anyone comments or not. I’ll still be out there nattering away, as long as it’s still fun.
    P.S. I’ve found it to be true that you will meet new friends with your blog, or people you’d love to be friends with if they didn’t live 3,000 miles away.

  • Dear Chuck Wendig, owner of one of the very few writing-related blogs I still read:
    How in the name of all that is holy, unholy, or just plain crazy do you manage to write all your novels and whatnot, and produce a new blog post almost every single day? Oh yeah, and still have time to spend with your wife and kid (which you must do, in order to have all those hilarious stories about B-Dub)? But then again, you’re an imaginative guy, so maybe you spend 24 hours per day with butt-in-chair, and just make up stories about the fam so you seem almost human. Right. That got a bit out of hand. Anyway, the main question remains: how dost thou produce so many blog words, on top of all your bacon-bringing-home words? I see that your friends do indeed help you out fairly often—Delilah S. Dawson freaking rocks—but there’s still a huge amount of blogging that you do yourself.

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