Writers and Blogging: a Love/Hate Relationship

The Uprising of Writers Who Hate Blogging

I have become increasingly aware of a proportion of writers who hate blogging. I must have been in a blogging bubble because it initially came as a surprise.

I recently found myself engaging in a thread in a Facebook writing group where a lot of writers were stating how much they hate blogging and how pointless it is. I felt like a lone voice in a snarly crowd when I stated that I love it and I think it’s a great writing extension for writers. Cue a rollercoaster of alternating tumbleweeds and vitriol. I felt like a traitor to the purely fiction writing cause.

Since then I’ve seen writers consistently stating how much they hate blogging. Each to their own but I’m baffled that these are people who actually have writing blogs!

Writers and blogging - woman smashing computerI know we are fed the line right from the moment of writer conception that we must be utilising enough social platforms to build that flipping stairway to Heaven, but we don’t have to jump on every bandwagon!

I confess I started blogging because I thought as a fledgling writer I had to. Thankfully I thrive on it. However, I can honestly say that if I had hated it I would not have continued. Why waste valuable writing time doing something that is cheating me and the people who are kind enough to read my posts?

I chose to be a writer because I love it. It’s what I am, even on days when I feel so far from being it. I feel the same way about blogging. I just do it because I have to and want to.

Blogging should be viewed the same as writing. Blog if you feel an absolute unswerving need to do it. You don’t have to do it if you don’t feel that passion. You can sell your writing wares on social media and still flog a fair few books out of it.

Blogging takes time, creativity and commitment. No one is judging you if you don’t want or have the time to give to it. You’re a grown adult.

The only people judging you are the idiots who set all those bloody impossible, ‘make you feel like crap for failing’ rules, and you.

However, that said, maybe you do want to blog but you just can’t figure out what is causing the blogging block? Let’s take a look at why you may be running away from the big bad blog that lurks in your computer.

Time Constraints

Time is not a writer’s friend. There is never enough of it, particularly if you’re holding down a full-time job, raising a family, doing all the household chores, and going out and saving the streets of Gotham by night. Look, if you’re doing all that, you’re a freaking superhero anyway.

So once you’ve done all the life stuff and then the writing business, where the hell do you get the time to write a blog post?

If you really want to blog there are ways around it:

  • Share writing pieces on your blog from when you were doing the writing stuff.
    Use your blog as a journal where you recount your writing day, feelings and thoughts. It’s great therapy for you, and potentially interesting to other writers.
  • Keep your blog posts short and sweet (unlike wordy old me). Don’t get too wrapped up in that SEO business. It’s not a writer’s blog’s friend. We are not trying to sell make-up or ‘How to be a better blogger’ programmes. Oh, the irony.
  • Blogging once a week is sufficient. That’s what I do. Do it less than that if that’s better. I haven’t got time to do more than once a week. I also prefer to pool decent content into one post rather than lots of substandard writing into daily posts. I’m not saying all daily blog posters are crap before you all start crashing my site with comments!

You Feel Coerced into It for Promotional Reasons

Writers and blogging - Man holding I Am Great signIf you are blogging for the sole reason of selling your books I guarantee that it will show. That’s not engaging with your readers. It’s also incredibly boring.

No one likes having advertising relentlessly shoved in their face. How often do you skip ads when you record programmes, flick past them in magazines or swipe them away on your phone?

Writers who only ever promote their books on social media and never engage with others aren’t very popular. They come across as automatons rather than genuine writers trying to catch a break with their beloved book.

It’s okay to want to promote the fruits of your labour. However, don’t forget that you’re not the only writer in the world.

If you are blogging with the sole intention of punting your book, you will be lost in a sea of fellow shouty ‘Buy my book’ writer bloggers.

By all means, occasionally mention your book in your blog, just make sure your posts aren’t always a means for selling it.

Help other writers out. Tell us about your writing processes, how you edit and revise, how you kept your sanity (or not), and how you published. That is useful to other writers. It will also be a good exercise for you in looking at what worked for you and what didn’t.

Make your blog a place for you and your followers. Make it personal. Don’t hand it over to an advertiser’s dream of the self-promotion treadmill. You’ll exhaust yourself with all that unnecessary exercise.

Lack of Blogging Ideas

I’m often in the place of ‘what on earth am I going to write about this week’? I can relate to your pain.

You, my friend, have an advantage over many other bloggers. You’re a writer therefore you should have something of a fertile imagination. Well, that’s the theory anyway.

If you have a writing blog, don’t try to come up with amazing subject ideas that are out of the box. Blog about what you know; that’s writing by the way.

Just like when you get an idea for a short story, a blog post idea starts off small and grows. Begin by writing a heading for what what you mainly want to focus upon. Bullet point ideas around that. Then start to fill it in. That’s what I do. Drafts are your friends, as ever.

Yes, it’s non-fiction but if you can have a conversation with someone about writing, you can cobble together a post about writing.

Write as you would speak to another writer. We are a chatty and opinionated bunch when it comes to this weird and wonderful world of writing.

If all else fails, write about Stephen King’s On Writing. It’s like a writer blogger’s rite of passage or something.

Other Bloggers Are Doing It Better Than You

Writers and bloggers - anything you can do I can do better
Now sing along… ‘Anything you can do I can do better.’

Maybe they are. Maybe they are working hard at it and have been building their blog for months or years. Maybe it’s taken them some time to find their blogging groove, so kudos to them.

Maybe they are a jammy writer blogger marvel who has thousands of followers in weeks and everyone is worshipping at their blogging altar. No one likes a smart arse but maybe we have to say ‘well done’ to them as well because blogging is clearly their thing.

We can all get blogging and writing envy. We smile sweetly and share memes about how we love our fellow writers and always have their backs but a little part of us dies inside when we see that someone has published a book that has the amazing plot idea you’ve been cultivating for a year.

We can give up because others are seemingly better at writing and blogging than us or we can keep on keeping on, doing it our way.

Learn from the bloggers you think are ‘better’ than you. Why do you think they are ‘better’? Then take tips from how they do it well. Learn from them rather than create effigies of them.

Oh and here’s a little secret I’ve picked up along the way… Those ‘better’ bloggers are usually feeling like frauds and freaking out too. They just manage to style it out better than some of us.

The cocky ones who have complete and utter self-belief are robots. Open up their chest and check out their tin hearts. This is not a directive to murder smarmy bloggers. If anyone asks, this paragraph did not happen.

You’d Rather Be Writing Your Novel

Of course you would. You would rather sit and immerse yourself in your fiction writing art… apart from when you’re binging on a box set, telling the world off on Twitter or stalking your ex on Facebook.

You have time to blog if you have time to procrastinate.

Blogging can be an extension of your novel writing. You can share extracts, detail your writing processes, share photos of setting inspirations, offer character profiles or even interview your characters. You can even bitch about writing. We all do it.

You know how sometimes something completely unrelated to your novel sparks off an amazing idea for it? Like when having a pee makes you think of the ultimate ending to end all endings? Or how washing up creates the best villain? Why should blogging about something not related to your novel do any less?

You can be blogging about how your kids are the spawn of the devil when they know you’re trying to write and then all of a sudden you have a main character who is fantasising about infanticide. Just kidding…

Blogging is much more useful for your novel than you may think.

Blogging Snobbery

I now tread in dangerous territory but if you are not this kind of person then I figure that you’re not going to be offended.

Some writers hate blogging because they are snobs.

Writing and blogging - snobby manSome writers see blogging as lesser than their everyday writing, even non-fiction writers strangely enough. I am not making an unsubstantiated point here. I’ve seen and heard it many times over from other writers.

Writers who state that blogging is beneath a writer really grind my gears.

Blogging takes no less commitment to providing great content than writing a short story, novel or textbook does.

I work bloody hard at writing my posts. I am not happy to just write any old crap and laugh at my readers as they soak it up.

I know and follow other writer bloggers who write with aplomb and talent. They educate, inform, entertain. and show their hard writing graft within their posts.

It’s true that anyone can start up a blog and post any old bobbins. We’ve all seen some shockers. Possibly they give blogging a bad press but for some writers it goes beyond that. They think that blogging isn’t true writing; that the only writing is the published kind. I put it to them that every time I hit publish on my posts I am putting my work out there for the world to see just like they do when they publish electronically. I may possibly even get more readers than them *tries to rein bitchiness in but is not a saint*.

Published blog posts are published pieces of writing. I am therefore a multiple published author. I am proud of that, as every writer blogger should be.

Blogging is not a lesser writing art. It is an extension of it. It takes dedication, skill, tenacity, and perseverance; everything a writer needs and then some.

So maybe those of you who are plugging away at this blogging gig should see yourselves for what you are; flipping marvellous, multi-tasking, writer-blogging superheroes.

Now go save Gotham or at least put your undercrackers on over your tights. Or possibly just go write that blog post, eh?

About Lisa Sell

Lisa Sell is a fiction writer. When she's not wrestling with words she can be found showing the love for chocolate, cheese, coffee, books, the cats, and the husband. Perhaps not in that order.

44 comments on “Writers and Blogging: a Love/Hate Relationship

    1. Congratulations on your one year of blogging! I read your post and think that you’ve summed up blogging for a writer perfectly. I hope you continue to enjoy blogging for many years to come! Thanks for sharing.

  1. I love this, Lisa! I have a problem blogging. I don’t hate it, I actually like it. I would like it better if I could read more and faster. I used to read at least one book per day. Of course, this was pre-vision problems and time constraints. I do not have kids that live at home, my only daughter is grown and has a family of her own. I am disabled so I don’t work outside the home. So, you would think that I have plenty of time. I have good and bad days both physically and mentally, and can’t always focus to write or to read. I have a review blog for indie authors and I have more reviews in my queue than I can handle, but not hardly any readers. I have followers, but no engagement. No one, well hardly anyone comments or actually reads it. A new review will get readers for a day or two, then nothing. I just can’t read enough to make a difference. I try to come up with other posts to supplement it, but it is hard for me as a newbie to come up with material. So, even though I have been blogging for a few years, I sometimes worry that I am spinning my wheels. I find that I go long periods of time without any new material, but I do reblog sometimes. Then I feel like a fraud. It is frustrating. Thanks for a venue to vent. Sorry for being so long-winded! 🙂

    1. No problem with venting here at all. I hope that my post has somehow helped you in thinking about where you might take your blogging.

      Keep it simple. If you love reading, write some posts about why you love reading. Fellow readers will engage. Write posts about your favourite genre and why you love it. Write about your favourite author. Whilst you’re trying to deal with a backlog of books to read and review, and I’ve heard it can be a nightmare,write small posts on what you already know and are passionate about.

      As for followers and engagement… It’s hard as a writer blogger. I’m not a book reviewer but I do know there are so many of them.

      Keep engaging in social media groups. Chat with other bloggers, readers, and writers. Get known for the person you are first rather than your blog. People will eventually want to support you.

      I hope this helps. I’m no expert!

      1. It’s also worth noting that readers =/= comments. My blog achieves several hundred views a day, and yet I get VERY few comments on it. But people read it, and they come back to it. I even post relatively infrequently at the moment. So just because people aren’t commenting, doesn’t mean they aren’t there.

        1. Absolutely agree. We can get lots of views but getting comments is a hard-won thing. We all read posts and then either forget to comment or think we’ll get round to it later. We may love a post but just don’t think to comment. However, your my husband, therefore the rules say you have to comment.

  2. I confess I probably used to have a bit of blogging snobbery in me, and I started a blog with a certain reluctance thinking it was something I needed to do. Then I discovered that blogging is awesome and rewarding on a much shorter time scale than writing a novel (I even wrote a post about it). Now I totally agree with you – if you hate blogging and dread writing every post, you can probably spend your time better elsewhere.

    1. Blogging certainly is faster than writing a novel! I like how you see it as something that’s satisfying in itself because of its quickness and immediacy. I hope you continue to enjoy it. Thanks for your comment.

  3. Great post as always! I started a blog because I thought I *had* to – kind of like being on twitter or FB. What I’ve since discovered is that even though it still feels like hard work at times, it’s worth it for all the lovely people that you meet. That’s a reward in itself, even without the sneaky wee ego boosts from comments and shares!

    1. Love your honesty! Of course we get a nice boost when people show their appreciation for our blog posts. It keeps us going whilst we spend years writing our novels! I love reading your blog posts and I think you offer a great mix of your fiction along with interesting pieces on the writing process and life.

      1. Aw, thank you so much! I wasn’t *actually* digging for compliments, but I’ll take them anyway 😉

        And I always find your blogs so well thought out and funny that it rather puts mine to shame, so it’s a double compliment to know you enjoy mine!

        1. I know that you’re far too humble to be looking for compliments. Credit where it’s due. You have a great blog. Thanks for the love you’ve consistently shown mine. Don’t ever compare yourself to me. You’re doing a fine job yourself. Mutual Appreciation Society in full force!

  4. Thanks for this Lisa. Certainly rings true!

    For me it’s spotting when I am genuinely blogging as an extension of my novel writing (working through ideas, reminding myself of tips, experimenting with techniques) – and blogging to procrastinate.

  5. ‘Keep your blog posts short and sweet (unlike wordy old me). Don’t get too wrapped up in that SEO business. It’s not a writer’s blog’s friend. We are not trying to sell make-up or ‘How to be a better blogger’ programmes. Oh, the irony.’

    I found that while working in marketing. A lot of it was self-marketing of how to market. Or blogging about blogging. Or content about creating content. But no actual marketing, blogging or content to speak of!

    Once a week is plenty!

    1. It does become a place of going round in circles so much that you find yourself creating a wormhole if you’re not careful.

      Once a week of my lovely blog posts should never be enough Joe, ha ha!

  6. Great post. When writers ask if they should start a blog, I ask if they really want to and if they are prepared to commit to updating it on some kind of regular schedule. There is nothing sadder than a neglected blog! If they don’t like the sound of that, then I advise them to have a static website instead, perhaps just with a news page for updates.

    I have loved blogs and blogging since I discovered them, oooh, ten years ago? I followed blogs for fitness, health, fashion, food etc. I even had a food blog for a few years. So it was pretty natural for me to start a writing blog and keep it going. I only wish I had more time to spend on it, but it does take second place to my novel writing.

    1. It is sad to see what could be a great blog being neglected. I’ve even heard writers moan about not getting any engagement on their blog when they only post twice a year. It has to have some kind of commitment but there’s no shame in not doing it if we don’t have the time or don’t want to do it.

      I also agree with you that my blog comes second to my fiction writing, it’s a close second though.

  7. This surprises me as I think blogging is a great way to showcase a writers ability without having to read their novel (especially is it’s not been written/published yet) I also imagine, as with anything, it’s nice to write something which is away from the main thing you are focusing on – just for the joy of writing.

    1. I really do think that I have the best of both worlds in writing both fiction and non-fiction. They balance each other out well and I don’t get fed up with one style of writing. Thanks for commenting Fiona.

  8. I really appreciate this piece. I started blogging to have a place to write. No one else wanted to publish my stuff (with good reason, it wasn’t worth publishing), so I decided I’d do it myself. Since then I have been published, but the blog I’ve created is my baby. I don’t do it for money and have yet to make a dime. I do it because it feeds my soul. It also takes up a lot of my time, but that’s okay. I’ve never felt like I really fit in anywhere in the blogging world, but I’m realizing that’s okay too.

    1. I love your approach. I feel pretty much the same. I don’t make money from it, I do it because I enjoy it, and I know I’m not setting the world on fire with it but I keep doing it. It is writing and every piece of writing counts in my opinion.

      I always feel like the black sheep of the blogging family whenever I am in blogging social media groups. Some of them really don’t like it if you’re not in a confirmed niche. I’ve never been one for labels anyway!

  9. What a wonderful pick-me-up. I’ve had a low motivational day, and it was nice to get some kudos for the weekly jaunts into writing land that I consistently send out. Thanks for sticking up for the craft called blogging:-) I do think it’s a great way to practice writing discipline, and shows that we care about our readers.

    1. I think writing sometimes gets a bad press. Yes, anyone can do it, but not everyone does it well or with passion. It is a writing discipline in itself, as you state, and should be more respected.

      I hope you continue to blog for a long time to come as I enjoy reading your posts.

  10. Love these points! All so true. I recently started my blog and worry about running out of ideas or having enough time to keep making posts. My biggest fear is ending up abandoning the whole thing altogether. Thanks for the post!

    1. I think that sometimes we – myself included – try so hard to come up with amazing, unique blog post ideas when the simple ones are often the best and most effective. I’m sure that if you keep it simple and write about what you’re passionate about, your blog will keep going. Thanks for commenting.

  11. Lisa,

    You have opened my to something I never knew existed. I never thought writers would hate blogging. I do know of bloggers who hate writing. It’s odd. Very interesting read.

  12. Thanks for this post. It’s nice to know that others share some of my thoughts. I started my blog as a private outlet, but have obviously expanded in hopes of boosting my own writing self. I have hopes and dreams for where it’s going to go, but it is slow going for me. I adore writing my blog and the few who follow. It just feels good to touch others while penning my own random (& not so random) thoughts. It has also helped me get noticed as a freelance writer, although I still have a way to go. OK…a loooong way.

    1. I think blogging is a great way of learning to write non-fiction particularly if we’re usually writing fiction.

      Well done on branching out to freelancing. I’m aiming to do that too. All the best with it Helene!

  13. I feel like I have a love/hate relationship with blogging too. There are times when I just have the worst writer’s block and sit there staring at a blank screen for ages. Mostly I love blogging as I love the feeling of writing about whatever you want and sharing it in a community, but sometimes I almost feel like I have to do it and that can be hard when you’re not feeling it!

    1. As with any writing, it’s not always easy. However, when it flows it’s so much fun and like you say, sharing it with others feels great too.

      Thanks for commenting Annie.

  14. I started blogging expecting to hate it but was told it’d help support my business skill… but turns out I love it!
    I have experienced a bit of the blogging snobbery because I sorta started it on a whim and am progressing my skills as I go… and the Facebook blogging groups can be a bit, snippy and demeaning but the amount of good people and friendly connections I’ve encountered, plus my enjoyment of it, makes me want to continue with it and be a better blogger.
    I think you hit the nail on the head with your reasoning in this post and it well written. 🙂

    1. I’m pleased that you enjoyed reading this post Christina. Like you, I didn’t think I’d like blogging and was surprised to find that I love it!

      There is unfortunately some snobbery in things like Facebook blogging groups where you feel like the outsider because your blog isn’t drawing in thousands every day and you’re not making much money, if any from it. Thankfully there are also similar bloggers out there who do understand and support us.

      I wish you the very best with your blogging for the future. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  15. The trouble with me Lisa is that I only blog when something really gets my goat and I’ve got to let somebody, anybody know. Although I think of myself as a writer I don’t think I know enough about how to be a writer to offer any advice. I don’t have any advice to give so I stay quiet.

    When I have posted my blogs I doubt if anybody has ever read them because some of them get sort of political. Not in a preachy left or (God forbid) a right wing way, just that they are meant to make the reader think, and that is off-putting to many people.

    I have been thinking that it was about time to write another one but inspiration hasn’t struck me yet. Maybe soon perhaps.

    1. I don’t offer advice on how to write either, Ian. I just write about how I’m working my way through the writing process. I know blogs that are full of ‘how to’ posts are popular but many writers also appreciate the ‘little people’ who are humble enough to say they’re working it out as they go along because they’re just like them.

      It depends what you want from blogging regarding what you post and how often. If you want it to be posts only when you feel you need to write about something that gets your goat, with respect, you need to tailor that towards an audience that will identify with your arguments and engage. This is all stated with absolute respect. If your posts are mainly political, maybe you need to rebrand your blog as one that is based on conversation about political issues and a place for people to debate openly in the comments?

      It’s just a thought and certainly not intended to be disparaging. Personally I don’t get political, religious, or tend to touch on anything too controversial from the news. This isn’t because I don’t have strong opinions but rather that I’ve identified my blog as a writer’s one and I focus on that – this is just me though. Again, this is not to say that there’s an issue with your blog, just to say that if you identify the purpose and audience of your blog you may find it a more easy and satisfying experience.

      Just some thoughts. I’m not a blogging guru. Hope some of it helps.

  16. Great post. I’ve been working on my blog for eight or so months now and I have to say that for the most part I have enjoyed doing so. My up and coming debut novel might just thank me for it. That’s the theory anyway. The thing is, I enjoy writing end of, but all too often the dreaded writers block descends like a bad headache. Thankfully, that’s where my blog comes into it’s own since I can vent my writers block frustrations and hopefully offer up some tips on how to overcome it.

    I think you’re post has successfully hit many nails on the head regarding the writing process and I agree that blogging has to be an enjoyable process. It’s only in the past few weeks that I’ve truly discovered the purpose of my blog. Yes, it exists in part to promote my novel but ultimately it is a place to help inspire fellow writers. Hopefully.

    I plan to continue blogging long after my book has been published, by which time I’ll probably be working on another story. Fingers crossed anyway.
    Thanks for the blog post. Keep them coming. Chris

    1. I’m pleased that my post resonated with you Chris. Like you, I find that blog posts are a more ‘free’ means of writing and come much more easily than fiction writing when the dreaded writer’s block appears.

      I’m glad that you’re enjoying blogging and can see the personal value in it. That’s what makes it worthwhile.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment.

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