When I started this blog four years and 586 posts ago, I wasn’t sure where to take it. I knew I wanted to connect with other writers so I used that as the theme. Now, thanks to the 430,000+ people who have visited, I know much more about the ‘why’. Yes, it’s about getting to know kindred souls, but there is so much more I’ve gotten from blogging. Like these:
Photo credit: Nemo
How to write
We bloggers divide ourselves into two categories: 1) those who write short, under-1000-word posts and 2) those who write in-depth, lengthy articles. I’ve chosen the former. I like pithy ideas that readers can consume in the time it takes to drink a cup of coffee. As a result, I’ve learned to be frugal with my words. I choose verbiage that conveys more than one-words-worth of information and I leave tangential issues for another post. Because I realize readers are consuming on the run, I make sure to be clear–no misplaced pronouns or fuzzy concepts like ‘thing’ or ‘something’.
Prove my point
This part of writing transcends what print journalists and novel writers must do. Yes, they do it, but my readers expect me to support ideas with links to sources. If I’m reviewing a book, I can easily link to the author’s website for deeper reading. That’s something that can’t happen in paper writing. Sure, they can provide the link, but to put the paper down, open the laptop, copy that link–I mean, who does that? In a blog, I get annoyed if someone cites research and doesn’t provide the link.
What my voice was
I write thrillers. To pen a good thriller, you have to do what James Frey suggested in his exemplary guideline for thriller writers, including:
- Have no bland, colorless characters
- Have a hook at the end of each chapter
- Be fresh in your writing
- Keep the clock ticking and the excitement mounting
For me, that means keep my writing relevant and engaging with hooks that make readers come back for more. Literary fiction writers do it differently. My blog approach matches my novels.