This post assumes that the blogging you do will be serious writing. Although the blogosphere is a brand new kind of place and full of surprises, the old adage about getting out of something what you put into it applies here. Assuming that you are a real writer and are going to give blogging a fair chance, these happy changes are what you have to look forward to.
- You will find an audience. If your writing is good writing, there are people in the world who will read it. There are people in the world, lots of them, who enjoy good sentences and paragraphs. There are people in the world, lots of them, who are looking for new voices and fresh takes on life and the world around us. There are people around the world who are literally waiting on a newborn poem. Till now, writing has been a very discouraging business for many. Until now there was a rather narrow gateway that writers had to get through if they were to enjoy any success at all. There were certain corridors of power and certain arbiters of taste that one had to get past. This is no longer the case. You no longer have to be singing the same songs that “those guys” want to hear. There are countless stories now of writers – we should call them authors – who have never been accepted by either an agent or publisher and who have nonetheless garnered for themselves impressive readerships and, in some cases, made real money. By blogging and sending your work to, in some sense, everyone in the world, the chance of someone, lots of people, really, finding in your work the beauty or effect that you thought- you knew – you put there absolutely explodes.
- Your audience will surprise you. If you are a creative writer, you have probably at times felt like the only people who took time to read what you’d written were those people who wanted you to read what they’d written or who read your stuff as a personal favor to you. Blogging changes that. Once you find the right tags for your work, you will find that your readers – most of them, anyway – are asking nothing in return for their time. More than that, your readers will not be at all like you and not at all what you might have expected. I don’t think that many of the subscribers to my blog are even in the same time zone as me. I’d venture to say that most of my subscribers are living in countries other than the US (where I live). Outside of blogging, there was no imaginable way I could have reached these people, many of whom, I believe, to my surprise and delight, understand and appreciate my writing. It would never otherwise have crossed my mind to try to send my work into Singapore, or Austria, or New Zealand and yet now I am sure that there are people in those places who get me better than my next-door neighbor does.
- You will gain a new confidence in your writing. It does a writer a world of good to send a piece out into the world and gain immediate, positive feedback, particularly from someone, maybe several someones, whom you’ve never met and likely never will and who, therefore, have no stake in the matter and no undue bias. If you, like me, have not been able to give up the habit of writing, in spite of little encouragement from outside, you’ve probably allowed yourself to at times suspect that there was something in your writing that was unappreciated just because the sample size of your readership was so small. You probably were right. And blogging will get you to those people out there who will see it and convince you that, yes, what you thought was there really is there.
- You will write more. There is nothing more stimulating to a writer than knowing that there are people out there waiting to read what he writes next. More than that, it is realistic to believe that, as your audience grows, so do the chances that your work will find its way into the hands of others who might, again, multiply your success – movie producers, screenwriters, traditional publishers, critics. This is one big, exciting pipeline. Why not try to fill it up?
- Your writing will improve. Not every at-bat will produce a home run. Over time, you’ll start to see what it is in your writing that your audience loves. You’ll do more of that and less of the other.