Does a blog really help a short story writer?

I’ve seen forum discussions in which people wonder whether maintaining a blog does a new writer any good.

I think it can. Since I revamped this blog in November, I get better metrics about who visits, where they go and all that. Since that revamp, I’ve had about a hundred people click through on links to my stories or poems online. People visit, click the “My fiction” and “My poetry” tabs and then go on to a story.

I don’t know if they read the pieces once they get there, of course. But I know I’m at least getting a chance for my “hook” paragraphs to do their job.

For the curious: My story “Waiting to Pounce,” recently published as Every Day Fiction, has received the most clicks at 23. Number two is my poem “The Weight of Light,” recently published at Every Day Poets, with 15. Both of those were mentioned in their own posts here, with links, so that accounts for their lofty status. But even stories that haven’t been specifically mentioned in their own posts are getting clicked on.  So, whoever you are doing the clicking, thanks.

One other odd metric: One of the search terms used to lead someone to this blog was “science projects involving swords.” Now there’s some research I’d love to see …

— Steve

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5 thoughts on “Does a blog really help a short story writer?

  1. I don’t think having a blog is necessary, and alone it will not “make” someone’s career, unless that career is in blogging.
    If the blogging gets in the way of writing then it can be a very bad thing.
    For me it was a good thing.
    It pushed me to have better “seat time” habits. When I started my blog, I had an entry nearly every day.
    That has now translated to writing some fiction every single day.

    I feel I have neglected my own blog, and I have a short stack of magazines and books that I want to review. Right now, however, I feel that keeping up with my normal reading pace, and writing new fiction is what I should be doing with most of my “seat time”.

    Some of my old blog entries are getting a few hits each week and are above 380 hits in the year+ they have been published. My rant about VPN and broadband (posted mid Aug ’07) has even prompted me to write a story.

    Like everything else it life, it is all in how you use it!

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  2. “If the blogging gets in the way of writing then it can be a very bad thing …That has now translated to writing some fiction every single day.”

    For me, the opposite is true — which is why my blog is sitting dormant. Perhaps someday it will be an ignitor for my writing, but right now it’s just something to do instead of doing something much more difficult, i.e., write.

    The best thing for me now is to have you’all sell stories and win contests and such. In a sense, I guess, oneupmanship drives me. Don’t get me wrong, I celebrate each success and, I hope, won’t ever begrudge an honor or contract that someone has won through their toil and creativity.

    That said, I appreciate the “air” time (“screen time”?) that Steve and others have given me in their blogs, and the old saw about all publicity being good is more true than not … and I do update my Web site, but it’s admittedly rather static.

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  3. Deven: Totally true what you said about seat time. I’ve been using mine to work on the Calthus novel (slowly, but proceeding) and to write newspaper opinion pieces — hence the noticeable lack of blogging here from me. But you gotta do what you gotta do.

    TW: I can’t provide you much competition these days. “Love & Scorpions,” a story of mine that I think is really fun and ought to sell somewhere, just got rejected yet again. Argh.

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  4. If it’s (scant) consolation, “Love & Scorpions” is better than anything I have making the circuit right now.

    I believe in that story!

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