Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Wednesday's Wandering: Why Do You Blog?

Everyone talks about how having a blog and being on Facebook or Twitter are important for "building a social presence." It's important to have something about yourself "out there" for the roaming agent or editor to find.

Recently I've been researching agents, and I've come across a couple of interesting remarks from interviews with certain agents. I'm going to share them, and I hope you'll tell me what you think.

The first was a contradiction of much I've read. This agent said that she had never understood why writers put blogs up when they had nothing particularly interesting to say. (Wow, that's kinda a slap in the face, right?) She went on to say that most of the agents she knew were far too busy to go around "surfing" the Internet in the off chance they would find the blog, or Facebook/Twitter page, of a writer whom they would be interested in representing; she said that when she read a query that excited her enough to ask for a partial, she was far more interested in reading the partial, perhaps asking for a full, and then TALKING to the writer, than she was in wasting her time reading a blog. She claimed that most blogs were full of posts unrelated to writing, and that often they were simply full of the writer's life, her/his kids and their activities, etc., and she didn't care to waste her time on them.


The second interview was more enlightening. This agent said that she often went to a writer's blog, but that it was only after reading a query, she didn't have the time to "surf" for writers nor did she know of any agent who did have that kind of time. She said that when she read a query that interested her, even if she didn't ask for a partial, she would go to the writer's blog...but not Facebook or Twitter...just to see what the writer offered.

"Offered." That's when this interview became interesting. She asked, What does the writer offer on her blog? Does she post about different elements in writing, offering help or suggestions to other writers? Does she offer other blogs and websites which are specific to writers?  Does she do reviews of books written in her genre or in the genres of writers she knows?  What research resources does she post for the benefit of others, especially if she writes non-fiction? Or...does she blog just about the everyday happenings in her life?

She went on to say that she liked to see blogs that were open to comments, and that possibly had a page for a discussion about some particular post. What she didn't say, however, was what effect the blogs she looked at had on her in terms of offering representation, and I was disappointed in that. Did they change her mind about repping that particular writer, either in a positive or negative way? And if so, why? But she didn't go any further with her comments.

These two interviews were taken a couple of years ago, and I was also disappointed to find out from Query Tracker that the second agent had retired at the end of 2009.

My point today is to ask, what do you blog about, and why? Do you post a lot about your personal life and what you do, do you post about current events and ask for opinions or a discussion, or do you post different things that you hope will be beneficial to other writers? Or do you post something entirely different from the above?

There are many blogs, both of writers I know and those I don't, that I find interesting, entertaining, and of value. There are some I've read that are pretty boring, to be truthful. As a retired teacher, I guess I'm never really through with teaching, and I post a lot of things that I've learned throughout this writing journey that I hope will be of help and some value to those who read them. I'm not one for posting a lot about my personal life, although I've started an on-going "edition" ( or whatever you want to call it!) about my own writing journey. I truly hope that my posts...hmm, well, most of them anyway!...are not boring!

But YOU? Why do you blog? What do you blog about? Do you like posts about different elements of writing, and think you might  find a bit of a gem that you didn't know before, or do you prefer those blogs that are mostly personal in nature? How many different things do you usually post about, and do you have "themes" for your posts? Is there anything in particular you would like to see on this blog?

Let me know what you think.

Until next time,
That's a wrap.


  1. I think it depends on what you want to accomplish. I do not have a writer's blog, because I don't feel like I have anything to say. I like reading blogs that post on a regular basis, and offer relevant advice or resources.

    I think that to be a "successful" writer's blog, it either needs to "offer" something to writers, or to readers of the author's genre. For instance, a PB author could have a blog that offers coloring sheets or game suggestions for kids. Or short stories online for kids. That kind of thing.

    A writer's blog that just goes on about the writer's personal life isn't likely to garner any rave reviews, I guess. I would imagine that is what those agents were talking about, when it all boils down to it. And as far as the interviews being 2 years old, that says a lot. MUCH has changed as far as online presence goes in the last 2 years.

  2. Hi Mikki,

    As you know, I'm brand new to blogging so I can't offer much in the "what do you blog about department," but as far as what I look for in a blog, I guess it's a mixture of personal life mixed with writing journey. I like to get to know the blogger a little through what they share. I don't really want a mini lecture on some aspect of the craft. But I do enjoy if the blogger has had some sort of epiphany where life illuminates some aspect of writing and the "lesson" is made personal.
    I think you've got a nice balance here on your blog, Mikki. I'm enjoying it very much!

  3. I'm sort of like Luv. I like blogs that are a mixture of personal life mixed with writing, and blogs that offer author interviews, book reviews, and the like. That's the kind of blog I want to be.

  4. Well, ladies, I think you are all right...and wrong! Katie, you most certainly have something to say! You are a dedicated mother and writer,and I think your experiences with your daughter, dealing with her disease, and seeing the other children at St.Jude's, are all worth writing about, and I think a few very good PBs could come out of those experiences. And you've already got ideas for a blog...coloring sheets, short stories for young are a blog-in-the-making and don't know it!

    Luv, thanks for the compliment. You also are on the road to a good blog, and writing about what put you there is valuable to those of us who want to know you better.

    Cat, you've got a great blog...I don't comment too often, on any of the blogs I read, and that's a bad habit to get into. But yours is a fun as well as informative blog, so keep on doing!

  5. The one and ONLY reason I blog is for writing purposes. I stay away from saying hardly anything about my personal life unless it has something to do with my writing. It's really hard to keep a blog interesting and extremely hard for me to think of a subject every week. I am in awe of those people who can blog more than once a week!

    In truth, I don't really like to read blogs that are all about someone's personal life either. Maybe a little something here and there but I really only even READ blogs for writing purposes and to hopefully get some useful tips from other writers. I just don't have time to read blogs for any other reason. So that's what I try to offer on my own blog too. I do like to end each entry with a question or two for anyone who reads my blog. I think it makes it a lot more interesting for ME as well as people who read it. Sometimes I like to find a cute clipart to go along with my post just to make it a little more eye catching.

    I have no idea what a blog really does for us writers except to get the word out if we happen to get something published. I think it really helps in that aspect.