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Blogging As A Writing Practice

freelance writing practice and disciplineAlthough writing regularly won’t guarantee freelance writing success, if you don’t write regularly it’s highly unlikely you’ll be able to make a living writing. One of the advantages of having a blog is it creates an opportunity to write regularly.

Oh sure, lots and lots of people start and then abandon blogs. There’s no way of knowing, of course, but my hunch is most of those were started by people hoping for easy money or those who discovered along the way that they didn’t like writing that much after all. And if, in starting a blog you discover you don’t like writing, more power to you. There are plenty of other things to do in the world.

On the other hand, having a blog on a topic you’re passionate about can be an ideal way to write in a disciplined way.

Here’s why, I think, a blog can be an ideal way to establish the practice of writing:

  • It’s public – and as soon as you’ve got an audience of even half a dozen, you won’t want to disappoint your readers.
  • Writing in public as it were can be great encouragement.
  • You can get feedback from your readers through comments.
  • Keeping a blog you’re using as samples current is easier just because you’re using it as a way to show off your writing skills.
  • There’s something very satisfying about seeing your writing up there on the web – it looks professional which I find great encouragement.

Oh sure, there’s some initial setup to learn, although Blogger is dirt simple and WordPress, my favorite blog platform, will let you import your content when you decide you want more control.

Blogs provide their own sort of discipline which can mean great writing practice for writers.

Do you find blogging a good writing practice?

Shameless Self-Promotion: There are still a few discounted spaces available at the Secrets of a Money Making Blog webinar.

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{ 16 comments… add one }
  • I do think that Blogging can be a great writing practice, because it will provide you with ongoing ‘Writing Assignments’forcing you to constantly look for way’s you can communicate your thoughts and ideas. Especially when your Blogposts turn into actual – Conversations – with all kinds of Comments (and Replies on Comments) from your readers.

    It can also frequently become a Learning Method where you don’t only learn to communicate your own thoughts through writing, it can also be a great way to learn about thoughts and Insights from other people, and learn about what other people have to say about specific topics.

    Eventually it might even Inspire you to also write actual – Crispy Fresh –
    New Blogposts.
    HP van Duuren recently posted..What Do You Think About My Book Review?My Profile

  • I think a blog is a great writing practice. I look at my blog as my “morning coffee” with friends and colleagues, a place to keep track of my daily writing, a place to brainstorm, a place to share the ups and downs of the freelance life.

    I blog AFTER my first 1K of the day, and before I get into the other contracted writing for the day.

    I believe writing daily is vitally important to making a living at it, because that’s how you build the rhythm. You’ve got your own personal writing rhythm and layer it over the rhythm of the particular piece.

    What you have to remember about blog writing is:
    –care enough to proofread and fix errors. Slapping up stream of consciousness just isn’t that interesting. Show your readers you respect them enough to post clean copy.

    — do NOT post a WIP unless you don’t plan to publish it. Once something is under contract, you can publish excerpts for PR purposes, but if you publish an early draft, even on your blog, many publishers will consider it published and will pass on it, because you’ve blown your first publication rights. Besides, why would you put a draft out in public? Do you really want wandering professionals to see the work at less than its best? Share it with your critique partners and trusted readers, and post excerpts once you’ve landed the contract!

    As far as distractions, you have to be ruthless. Your writing time is sacred. I turn off the phone, I don’t answer the door, and no one who disturbs me is ever likely to do so a second time. Those who refuse to respect my writing time are excommunicated from my universe. This is how I make my living — not respecting my writing time means not respecting me, and I don’t have time for people like that, whether they’re related to me or not.

    If you want it badly enough, you find a way around the “distractions.”
    Devon Ellington recently posted..Friday- April 1- 2011My Profile

    • Anne

      Well said Devon… not surprised because you know your stuff.

  • I just started my blog, and it is difficult to know what to write about. I agree, practice makes you better. When I used to journal it was easy to write. Nobody was going to read it, but with a blog it is very public. However, no one is finding it yet, so I should write more.

    • Anne

      Yes, the public nature of a blog does change it doesn’t it.

  • Writing daily is a credo lots of writers (myself included lately) have a slight trouble with. Distractions tend to keep you away from letting ideas flow. How do you solve that problem?
    Bill Swan recently posted..Writing Should Never Be StressfulMy Profile

    • Anne

      Bill, it’s my theory that we need to write regularly which may be daily or it may be some other schedule. I write down the ideas so they are there when I need them. Eliminates the ‘I don’t know what to write’ excuse. And I’ve learned to minimize the distractions.

  • I think many new writers don’t appreciate how much they’ll improve simply by writing a lot. And how much they won’t grow as writers if they don’t do a LOT of writing!

    Short of getting a staff writer job that makes you file four stories a week — what I cut my teeth on — having a blog you plan to update regularly can be a terrific way to keep writing, getting feedback from an audience, and getting better.
    Carol Tice | Make a Living Writing recently posted..Free Teleclass- Why Your Blog Isn’t Making MoneyMy Profile

    • Anne

      Yeah, I cut my teeth on writing what we now know as an advertorial weekly plus two sets of classified ads weekly all under deadline and all tracked for effectiveness… taught me a whole bunch.

  • edj

    sorry–why did it post twice?
    edj recently posted..Culture CollisionMy Profile

    • Anne

      It did, I’ll take one off… no worries.

  • edj

    Yes, I do. Although my blog has never made me money, it’s been a great way to hone my writing skills. I love the feedback I get, and I’ve formed friendships online with some of my regular commenters. However, I always feel silly using my blog posts as writing samples, since I obviously didn’t get paid for them.

  • Agree! It’s great practice and nice to write about something you REALLY want to write about, e.g. an assignment.

    Unfortunately, it’s so hard to find the time. I blog every chance I get and I’m still lucky to get a couple of posts up each month (or is that each year now?)!
    Shane M. Liebler recently posted..Mix for My Unborn SonMy Profile

    • Anne

      It will only get worse when your son is born… unless you get super organized and, if possible, hire help.

      • Shane M. Liebler

        🙂

  • I do indeed find it to be good practice. Not necessarily practice in my genre (picture books, at this time) but practice in putting pen to paper — or pixel to screen — every single day.

    Great points all, Anne!
    Lisa @ Grandma’s Briefs recently posted..A Poppins among us- The next Grilled GrandmaMy Profile

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