Welcome to my blog - a collection of thoughts and musings on the world of writing, books and all those wordy type things.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Is There Anybody Out There? (and if not, am I wasting my time?)

I recently attended a webinar on blogging. It was free, and I'd never 'been' to one, so I thought, why not? I should point out now that I only actually caught half of it in the end, as it was being done from the States and with the time difference, ended up at tea time. And I have my priorities!

Something that I found quite interesting was that the chap running the webinar stated that if you don't have a lot of readers, then you're frankly, just wasting your time. His strategy was that you go and guest blog elsewhere on sites that have many thousands of readers, which when they read your superbly entertaining post, will then help entice them over to your blog too.

Now, I can see the logic there but I also have a couple of queries. One is how you get to be included as a guest on a very popular blog as there is probably already a large waiting list, and not all blogs want guest postings. The other is, just because you don't have many (or any?!) readers, does that automatically mean you're just wasting your time posting your thoughts, time after time?

I've been pondering over this question ever since the webinar, on and off, and have come to the conclusion that only you can answer that. Of course we all want plenty of people reading, and enjoying our blog, and doing little happy dances each time they see a new posting has been uploaded. But just because that might not be happening, does that mean that the whole exercise is just a waste of time? Not for me, no. And I would venture to say that goes for many people who blog. We do it to help improve our writing skills, to put into words the thoughts and questions that are tumbling about in our minds, and just for the enjoyment of creating something. Of course, should we be able to communicate with others, swap ideas and take part in discussions as a result, then that's fabulous! That's great! That's what we want! But it's not the be all and end all of blogging.

What do you think? Do you enjoy blogging for the process, and see readers as a bonus or is having people read and comment the absolute and only reason you put the words out there?

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Does Music Inspire Your Writing?

I had great plans to get on and do a whole bunch of writing today...and then the 'phone rang and it's now 3 o'clock. I did at least manage to get one article out and up for Suite 101 which you can see here. Ironically, it's about the best way to start your day off calm and relaxed. Which wasn't the way my morning progressed but there we are.

Apart from all that, what I wanted to talk about today was music. Do you find that music inspires your writing? Do you need music to write, or do you find it a distraction?

Photo Credit: MorgueFile

I have found that a certain song or type of music can have an influence on what I'm writing, and help get me 'in the mood' so to speak. The hero of my novel 'No Place Like Home', which is set mostly in Kansas, USA (and available from all good ebook retailers, including Amazon here) was a country music star, so it definitely helped to play some of that style of music when I wanted to get myself in the right frame of mind. For another novel I am writing, there's a particular Josh Groban song that resonates with me and my characters so I'll sometimes stick that on to play a couple of times before I start work on that project.

In an interview I read with Santa Montefiore, she said that she'll play the same song over and over again when she's working. That would drive me nuts but it does go to show how music can be linked to the whole creative process of writing for various people, at all stages of the success spectrum.

I certainly can't have music on when I am actually writing though, at least not any with words. I'm too tempted to sing along and that's kind of a distraction! Usually I just prefer it quiet or sometimes I'll pop on Classic FM. I can tune stuff out if I need to, in that I've written in cafe's and all the other cliched places us writers are supposed to work, and that's fine but there's something different about 'general' noise to pop tunes coming out of the speaker next to you I think. At least there is for me.

So what do you think? Are you able to work with music blaring? Do you need it blaring in order to be able to work productively? I'd love to know! Please leave me a comment below - and happy writing!

Monday, 7 May 2012

Is Blogging Writing?

One of the reasons I held off from taking up the blog I set up absolutely years ago was the worry that it would divert my concentration (something that can be quite easily done at times!) from 'real' writing. Of course, now I wish I had just got on with it, but there we are.

So, my question is, is blogging 'really' writing? Does writing something that doesn't come under a specific heading of a novel/article/non fiction, etc still count as writing? Am I helping to hone my craft by getting words onto a 'page', or am I just procrastinating and wasting time when I could be working on said novel/article/non fiction?

Photo courtesy of MorgueFile

Personally, I've come to the conclusion that blogging is writing. It keeps the fingers and brain in training for getting the words out and makes me think about other aspects of writing, not just the narrow focus of the particular piece I'm working on at the time.

I'd be interested to know what anyone else thinks about the subject! Feel free to leave me a comment below.