While writing fiction is something I have done since middle school, I even took creative writing as a senior in high school, far and aware the majority of the writing I have done as an adult has been blogging.
Obviously, I have this blog, which is on its third incarnation. Prior to this blog, I had a long-running blog about roleplaying games, People to Be. Its earliest version was on Blogspot which remains up, but with only a couple of recent updates. I owned the domain for a while and used both Jekyll and WordPress to host it at various times. I have raided both versions for this blog. There are some things I’d like to recover and add to the Blogspot version one day.
I have started other Blogspot and WordPress blogs, but none amounted to much, their ideas being folded into this one, such as my attempts to read the Saint John’s College reading list.
I think blogging has been important to my plan to become a self-sustaining indie author. There are a variety of obvious ways. The blog is the current entry point to my newsletter which is the indie’s author primary marketing tool 1. I use many of the tools I use in fiction writing to create the blog. I am writing this in emacs. When I was using Scrivener, I wrote the blog in it. I will use ProWriting Aid and Grammarly as editing tools. I am using it to write about learning to write fiction. All of these contribute to my writing career path.
There is another, more obvious in some ways, less obvious in others, contribution blogging makes. J. Daniel Sawyer, in the wonderful podcast The Everyday Novelist has noted more than once that writing is one of the professions 2. A profession is “any type of work that needs special training or a particular skill, often one that is respected because it involves a high level of education”.
The definition of that training varies. Many people get an MFA. Before you think that is limited to those interested in literary fiction, Seton Hill has an MFA program in popular writing. Stephen King phrased it as the first million words you write. Sawyer echoed King. He then added that non-fiction words are partially fungible.
Writing a blog twice a week on gaming taught me a lot about getting out of my way and letting the words flow. Writing blog posts about gaming and storytelling have helped me find my voice. I already reject style choices in ProWriting Aid and Grammarly because “that’s not how I say things.” How many words has blogging cut off that million? No more than a quarter of that total. On good days I think I did 10% of my fiction apprenticeship in blog form. Days where I am less confident I credit it with 5% at most.
So, B is for Blogging, a great apprenticeship for those wanting to learn to write or those unsure if they want to learn or not.
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- He also lists prostitution, at least the high end, as one of the professions. Take from that what you will