I often think of blog posts as micro novels. They have a beginning, a middle, and an end. They have a message, and they have a style. And just like a ship sailing on the ocean, they take the reader on a journey from A to B.
Some people write very similar blog posts, with the same style, cadence, and then simply change up the topic. I like to write about different things, but also to apply different styles. One day I might like to use lots of pictures, and on another I might write about a particular topic that takes my fancy, and sometimes I try my hand at more technical ‘how to’ guides.
It doesn’t matter what your style of blog post writing is, there is as much diversity to blogging as there is to writing books.
The important thing about blogging is simply to write, but to do so with the proviso that it needs to get to its point in an interesting way using a relatively constrained number of words.
An aside: I recently read a number of articles that suggest the average article reader wants increasingly smaller bites of information and fewer words.
The interesting thing about writing blog posts is that they build writer discipline and train you in a rather sneaky, underhand sort of way. And that’s a good thing! You notice very quickly the sort of posts that get positive feedback.
While new bloggers don’t necessarily start by thinking about the feedback, fundamentally blogging is about making a connection, and this is done through feedback. Notice any similarity here to writing a book?
I am an introvert and not one for small talk or social gatherings, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to connect, and for me blogging is a way to connect with other people who share a common love of writing.
When I write a post that resonates with my readers, that makes me very happy. But when I write a post that my readers tell me makes them ‘think’ in a new or different way, that is far more profound.
And so to with writing anything…including writing a book.
Why not short stories?
Short-stories are an excellent writer feedback mechanism. However, I feel that even short stories require a level of editing and grammatical scrutiny prior to release that you don’t need to adhere to in an average blog post. Blog readers are generally more forgiving of the odd typo or misplaced word, and more interested in what you have to say than how you say it. Which means blogging allows you to get on with expressing yourself without the same level of nail-biting fear.
So, what have I learned from writing blog posts
- It connects you with others who share a common interest.
- It makes you think about (and practice) writing structure.
- It provides an outlet for your thoughts, feelings, and ideas.
- It delivers feedback in real-time.
- It is creative.
- It builds discipline: You have to get to the point in a quick and interesting way.
- It trains you: By constantly submitting articles and receiving feedback.
- It can clear the dreaded writer’s block by making you use your creativity in a fresh way.
For new and experienced writers, blogging remains a wonderful way to connect, share and belong to the writing community. And while there is nothing better than meeting other writers face-to-face in writer groups, blogging is a nice addition, or alternative for those who can’t.