Blogging your way to a book
Whether you want to write a full-length life story, a family or local history or shorter works such as a memoir, travel stories, nostalgic memories, etc., adopting a piece-by-piece approach is far less daunting than sitting down to tackle a complete book. And, what could be a better way of adopting the piece-by-piece method than blogging your way to a book.
What is a blog?
A blog (or weblog) is a type of website where you can write (post) your own thoughts and ideas (a bit like a diary or journal). New posts are listed at the top so as visitors to your blog can easily see what’s new. Posts can include text and images and other media such as videos and they can also include links to your other posts or to anything else on the web. Blogs usually have a comment section where visitors can add their own comments and so this means that blogs are not only a great way of keeping in touch with family and friends but they are also a good way of meeting and communicating with other like-minded people wherever they are in the world.
Even though writing your own blogs may be something new to you, reading blogs (like this one) is something you probably do quite often and so you already have a pretty good idea about what makes a good blog post.
Blogging your way to a book – why do it?
If your goal is to write a full-length book, then breaking it down into manageable bite-sized pieces (i.e. blog posts) will not only make the job much easier but you will also have the satisfaction of seeing your story gradually evolve online. You may also get feedback from your readers and so you can refine and hone your story as you write it.
Can you blog a book?
There are many non-fiction writers who have started out with a humble blog and then turned their blogs into books, but this does not mean that anyone can blog a book. Even though blogs are a good way of turning the daunting prospect of writing a full-length book into something more manageable, blogging your way to a book successfully means that you must have a clear idea about the subject/topic for your book and a plan of what you want each blog post to include. Without a plan you may find it hard to reach your ultimate goal.
It’s great writing practice
Writing a regular blog post is an excellent way of practising and improving your writing. If you are a new or inexperienced writer it can be hard to get started and so by committing to writing regular blog posts (daily or at least weekly) you will soon gain confidence and find that writing becomes easier and more enjoyable.
You’ll meet new people
Whether you want to restrict your blog posts to family and friends or reach out to a wider audience, if you post regularly you will soon find that people will be reading and commenting on what you have written. A blog is a great way of connecting with others and learning and benefiting from their feedback and comments. The blogging community is generally encouraging and supportive and there will be new friends out there who eagerly await your next post. Listen to what they have to say and use their feedback and comments to help you develop your ideas and improve your writing.
Blogging is free
Blogging doesn’t have to cost you anything. If you are a beginner and want something simple and easy to use then your best option is a hosted blog. WordPress.com and Blogger.com offer free, basic-level hosted blogs which are ideal for the novice. If you want some additional features such as setting up your own domain name, you will have to pay a small amount each month but it is still a very cheap way of getting your story and name out there.