Do you want to write a book or even an article or essay, but feel stressed out and self-conscious when you think about the fact that your writing will be read by others? Does this reduce your creativity and leave you feeling blocked and unable to write? Try blogging.
“Wait,” I hear you protest. “Blogging is a public form of writing! Every post I write gets published for anyone and everyone to read. How can that help my creativity and productivity?”
Blogging provides a format that actually can reduce the amount of writer’s block produced by fear of exposing your work to the world. In the process, your productivity will increase. Let me explain.
Yes, when you blog you do show your work to the whole Internet community, but, in truth, for most newbie bloggers this really is not something to fear.
When you begin blogging—or even blogging a book, you typically don’t have any readers. If you don’t tell anyone about your blog, surely no one will find it right away. This allows you to get your cyberspace legs. You can test out your blog voice and your idea before anyone even shows up to read your first post in most cases. You can even delete the first posts if you don’t like them and start over and in many cases no one will have read them yet.
I know an author who is working on a book. He knows he is blogging that book and says that writing every day on his blog actually allows his creative juices to flow. While he doesn’t treat the blog like an online journal, simply allowing a free-flowing stream of consciousness to pour forth onto the page, he does allow himself the freedom to explore his topic in that same manner. In other words, he stays on topic and allows himself to write short (or long) essays each day. His mind wanders and his creativity flourishes. His readers then give him important feedback as to which tangents have been interesting to him and which topics have hit home. He can then make note of these and be sure to address them in more depth in his second draft. (Remember, the blog is actually just a first draft of your book.)
He doesn’t have that many readers to his blog yet, but he does have some. The more often you write and remain on topic, the more likely it is that someone will find you. Once you have one reader, you’ll discover that you have two, then three…and more! Don’t get frightened and blocked. Sit down and write more. Feel good about the fact that someone is writing what you’ve read. Feel exhilarate by the fact that no none is editing you; write what you like. Keep moving through your plan for your book…and even going off in new directions if your creativity and inspiration take you there.
If you choose to let your friends and family, or your mailing list or business associates or clients know about your blog, you’ll start to have visitors to your blog. If you broadcast to your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn friends and followers that you have a new blog, you will surely have readers. This should not deter you, though, or block your creativity. It should energize you. Let it make you even freer. Ask them to give you feedback and to encourage you on as you explore new topics.
In this way, blogging or blogging a book can be a huge support system for increasing your creativity—and your productivity as a writer. And remember why you began writing—to have your writing read. There’s no easier place to find readers than in the blogosphere. Blogging or blogging a book helps you move through fear (writer’s block), thus freeing up your creative flow so you can write more easily, produce a manuscript more quickly and get your work read at the same time.
(For more information on how to blog a book, click here. And watch for my new book, How to Blog a Book, which will be released by Writers Digest Books in March.)
Frank Bradley says
Great post and a very valid point. A great example of someone who uses a blog in this way is Seth Godin – http://sethgodin.typepad.com/
Many of his books are actually collections of blog posts that he has written in the recent past. He uses his blog to develop ideas and to see how his audience receives them, before going on to publish the content in his latest book.
Nina Amir says
You are right. Seth is a great example. Blogging offers a super way to test market all sorts of ideas before you put them out in a bigger way.
Thanks so much for reading my blog and commenting. I really appreciate it.
So true! I know someone who writes a magnificent blog and she says it helps her.