There’s been a lot of hubbub about writers blogging about writing lately (no worries, I’m not rehashing that), but it dawned on me after a recent comment that there’s another good reason for writers to blog about writing.
It can make us better writers.
A lot of writing is instinct. Things sound better, it feels like the right way, it just seems better and we don't always know why. I never really knew why I did certain things until I started this blog and began talking about writing and how to improve it. I kept my eyes open while I wrote to find tips and tricks and things to blog about. I paid more attention to why I did what I did. I constantly reminded myself what went into “good writing” and that kept me from slacking off.
Because of that, I’ve gained more control of my writing. I have a much better understanding of my own process and how to use the various writing techniques. When I want to tweak a scene, I know how and why. I’m not stumbling along blind hoping it’ll work better when I’m done.
If you’re a writer thinking about blogging about writing, I say go for it. Don’t do it to gain an audience or to sell books, do it because you enjoy it, and because it’s a great way to examine your own process and skills as a writer. Heck, blog about your writing journey and the things you’ve learned and struggled with. It’ll help you overcome those struggles.
Talking about writing forces you to examine your writing. It makes you think about POV, or structure, or goals or plots or any of the countless techniques that go into crafting a book. And just like asking why about a plot, asking why can help you get beyond the surface “that’s the way it’s done” to really understand why it’s done that way and how you can use that to achieve your writing goals.
I can’t tell you how many times someone has asked a question on this blog and while answering it, it made me realize something about my own work. Sometimes it’s just a matter of thinking “do I do that?” and double checking. But it makes me look, it keeps me learning and growing.
Explaining something to others so they can understand it takes knowing how to do it. You may not know why you do something until you sit down to type out 600 words on how it’s done. But once you do, you get it in a way you didn’t before.
Writers need to write. But just writing isn’t going to help if you don’t do anything to try to improve that writing. Studying other writers is a great way to learn, but so is studying your own writing. It’ll also help you develop objectivity about your work. It’s easier to cut or edit something when you know why it’s not helping your story.
Blog about writing if you want to. Roll up your sleeves and get into the nitty gritty. Not only is it fun, you just might learn something in the process.
Do you blog about writing? Has it made you more aware of your process and writing in general?
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