In response to the occasional request for writing/blogging advice, this is part two in a series about how to improve at either. I’m numbering them sequentially from the start of the series. Part one is here.
3. Read other good writers. Sometimes I think that as many people as there are on the planet, there must be twice as many bloggers. And many of them are very very good. Look around out there and see how others shape their thoughts, form their sentences, structure their content, time their entries. It could help jumpstart some ideas of your own.
4. Practice with boundaries. I generally try to limit the length of my blog entries. I do this for a number of reasons. First, most people don’t read past 500 words and since I actually want people to read what I write, I swim with this current. Second, it forces me to condense my thoughts and really craft my words. I write different, better sentences and get to my point much faster and more effectively. Third, the limitation inspires creativity. Children stuck inside on a rainy day must find things to entertain themselves within their limitations. A boundary can be quite inspirational. Maybe you want to publish every Tuesday. Or pick a random topic and write so many words on it. Or write a post start to finish within a certain time frame. Maybe your boundaries are topical and not form-based – as in you want to write 10 posts on one theme. It doesn’t matter what you choose. But the choice can drive you to do things as a writer you never thought you could.
5. Take your time finding your readership. If your goal is to get lots of folks to read your work, you will probably be disappointed in the process. Oh sure, every writer wants others to connect with what they write. Some folks do phenomenally well at this. The reality however is that in our world we are bombarded with too much information. Most days there are too many words for us to take in. And honestly, most of us should probably spend more time outdoors or with friends anyway. That being said, there are many satisfying reasons to write and/or blog that transcend putting the definition of success in someone else’s hands. The joy of writing that perfect sentence that perfectly captures what you want to say. The value of finally articulating a thought, opinion, story or truth in a way that helps you really own something in your inner world. The comments that come in from readers who say how you touched them, impacted them, helped them realize something they didn’t before.
And if you regularly post, consistently write well about a topic others care about and if you follow a few tried and true strategies for gaining readers, they will eventually find you.