Contrary to “expert” advice, not everyone who writes also needs to blog. The reasons for blogging vary. It’s important to know your reasons. It’s also important to understand how blogging can help your writing in ways you might not have considered.
- Attain small writing goals on your way to bigger ones. Not everything that’s included in a book needs to filter through your blog, but you can certainly release some devotionals and articles that feed into your book. Especially if you find it difficult to set aside chunks of time to write sections of your book, processing a little at a time through short blog posts will help you achieve small goals on your way to bigger ones.
- Get clarifying direction as you express yourself. If you tend to get paralyzed by ideas or aren’t sure in which direction to go, try a blog post on the topic. Choose one point to explore or summarize several points. As you blog, you’ll likely get more excited about some ideas than others or realize one point needs to be expanded much more than others. Writing short pieces can reveal clarity for expanding future writing.
- Develop your writing skills and style. What if you complete your first book and find out major flaws in your writing ability? Or what if you find out your style doesn’t really match the readership you thought you’d target? Why wait and learn hard lessons somewhere down the road when you could learn them along the journey and grow along the way?
- Set yourself aside. It’s counter-intuitive to think that more blogging leads increases humility when so many experts tell us we need to blog for presence, branding, and marketing. If self-promotion is your goal, then, yes, blogging can build your platform. But what if you want to write to meet the needs of others? What if you want to share inspiration and tools and invite conversation? Practice with humble blogging. As you practice writing from your giftedness with consideration of how the reader will receive and experience it, your discipline for otherness-writing will grow.
- Put why you write to the test. Why do you write? How do you respond to affirmation and criticism when you blog? Are you discouraged when someone disagrees with you even though you say you don’t care who reads your writing? Do you easily dismiss criticism without considering whether or not the person has a valid perspective? Do you say you want to reach out and help others but only write from a narrow viewpoint without considering how to engage others in conversation? Whatever your stated reason for writing is, does your actual writing match up to it? Invite the reactions (or lack of them) to your blog to reveal the reality of any discrepancies between why you say you write and what you’re actually seeking through your writing. Then make the necessary adjustments you need to make.