Should a writer abroad write a blog? Wow. Say that 10 times fast.
I was recently at a writing conference when someone asked if they should start a blog. The instructor said her agent required her to blog, but she didn’t really see a benefit.
But I disagree.
Especially for writers abroad—those of us who have yet to sell a bestseller, at least—a blog is a way of reaching out to the rest of the world, of doing something productive with an internet addiction that, if it’s anything like mine, goes something like this: Gmail. Hotmail. Friend Blog. Facebook. NYtimes. Guilt. Random site. Repeat.
I admit it. I am a broken record, the 21st century version. I know I have an addiction worthy of a Swiss rehab clinic, but I’m not going to do anything about it except, well, google “Internet addiction.”
Unlike most things in Switzerland, the virtual world is always open, and it’s much more comfortable than the real one—it doesn’t try to talk to me in a language I can’t understand, disguise mayonnaise in packages other than jars, or stop me from recycling bottles over the lunch hour.
So I blog.
At first, I just wrote One Big Yodel for my mom. But about a year into writing it, I realized I loved blogging. I was meeting people through my blog. I was feeling less isolated because of my blog. And later, I started getting writing jobs because of it.
Why write a blog if you’re a writer? The list goes on and on. My blog has led to radio interviews, emails from agents, a fantastic support network of other writers—one who has actively tried to help my career—and more.
The point is this: you never know where a blog will take you.
Hopefully, it’s out of your apartment.
Catherine Sanderson’s blog, for example, resulted in a six-figure book deal.
If you’re still not convinced, try writing a book proposal sometime. You’ll see why you need a blog when you get to the marketing section.
But. None of these reasons can be why you blog. You must love to blog. A blog is a lot of work. It’s time consuming. If you don’t like blogging, it’s not going to be rewarding.
What do you think? Should a writer keep a blog? If you have a blog, has it helped your writing career?