I am amazed at what I have gotten from blogging.
Over a year ago, my critique group and I started a group blog called Paper and Parchment. It was my first experience with dipping my toes in the Internet world. It wasn't until a few months ago I decided I should have a blog of my own. So I took the risk and did it.
But why have a blog?
A writing friend of mine asked me that a few weeks ago. As I sat and thought about it, a few thoughts came to my mind. Having a blog is a risk - a risk of putting yourself in front of the world, a risk for criticism and embarrassment. But having a blog also gives new opportunities and opens the world up to you. I would recommend blogging to any one who is interested in writing. Why? Because of a few things:
1. The people you meet. It doesn't come over night, but little by little I have met wonderful people over the Internet that have the same dreams, goals, and yes, even troubles that I do. I have read posts that have brought tears to my eyes, made me feel blessed for what I have, and made me spew milk from my nose (because they were so funny). The only reason I have some of my short stories published are from friends I have met through networking (btw I am so grateful for you guys believing in my work and helping me get published).
2. The networking. Which is almost like #1, but a bit different. There is no way I could drive to New York or CA to interact with agents and editors, but through blogging I have had opportunities to meet such people. Awesome people who have answered questions for me, helped me with queries, and shown me that a rejection is not the end of the world (remind me when I am querying my WIP). We are all in this together.
3. Getting my name out there. Agents and publishers alike have commented that in this day and age, you have to market yourself. One of these ways is by writing a blog. It can be a blog about your day to day life, the journey of writing, or just anything you are in the mood to write. Just get yourself out there. (Plus you get all those benefits from above.)
4. Blogging gives me the chance to take risks that I wouldn't have taken in the first place. I have learned about contests that help me further my career in writing one way or another. For example, I have won a critique from Angie which I will need before I pass on my MS (Thank you Angie! I owe you big). (BTW Check out Elana J's AWESOME contest she and Shelli are doing this week. *squeal with delight!* Can you imagine how cool it would be to get your work critiqued by agents? AWESOME! Take the risk!)
5. Last but not least, I have learned what WIP, MS, LOL, and ROFL all mean. And you guys have all helped me ROFL from time to time, which I totally appreciate. =)
So there you have it. This is what blogging has done for me and why I would recommend blogging to any writer who has the desire to get published. It will be well worth your time.