RSS

Does Blogging Help?

10 Mar

doesblogginghelp

If you’ve been on the blogosphere for a while, you’ve probably asked yourself this question. Heck, if you’re new, you’ve probably asked this question as well. More so if you’re a creative individual who’ve been told over and over again that blogging will help in your pursuits. And even more so if you’re a writer, as it’s been advised and advocated by writers everywhere.

Well today, I just want to tell you that blogging does help. This is my fifth year on WordPress and I wouldn’t have stuck around if it didn’t. So as a personal testimony (and hopefully as an encouragement for you to keep on blogging), I’ll share how blogging has helped me over the years.

*These lessons are what I learnt as a writer, but I’m sure they’re applicable to any form of creative work.

#1 Becoming A Serious Writer

You know what they say: if you want to be a serious writer, you gotta have a blog. Well, let’s just say I started blogging without this in mind. In fact, I started this blog for two reasons. One: to post the first chapter of my first novel, and two: to deal with my Post Potter Depression (PPD is real, guys).

If you’ve been here since the very beginning, you’ll know that all I wrote back then were Harry Potter fan fictions. It was my first time diving into the fanfic world and I was a complete newbie. But because I was upset Harry Potter was officially over, I needed to write to make myself feel better. And while I wrote, I was taught to take writing seriously.

Back in my fan fictions days, i had a habit of not capitalizing my ‘i’s’. It was me being a lazy writer and i was awakened by the fact through the comments i received on my stories. After the revelation, I began taking writing a little more seriously and started capitalizing. It wasn’t so hard holding down SHIFT, to be honest. But if it weren’t for those comments, i would still be typing like this.

Those early days of writing snapped me out of my delusion of being a good enough writer and forced me to see how naive and immature I was. Simply put, blogging forced me to grow up.

#2 Becoming A Better Writer

The desire to become better naturally came after deciding to take writing seriously. Blogging itself helped with the process.

The comments I received during my fan fiction days kickstarted this learning journey. With more people reading my stories and more comments pouring in, I knew I needed to improve. So I took every advice and polished my works as best as I could. When I ultimately transitioned to posting original works, I paid closer attention to my writing style and attempted different genres.

I wanted to be a better writer for myself and for you. And because of this blog and its readers, I’ll always endeavour to outdo myself and be the best writer I can be. Without this platform, I wouldn’t put much effort into writing. And without the much needed practice, I wouldn’t have improved over the years (or at least, I’d like to think I’ve improved. Haha!).

#3 Accepting Criticism

Oh, how we hate it when a stranger trashes our precious piece of work. What do they know, right? Sadly that’s reality, and it isn’t something we can escape.

I’ve had my fair share of criticisms – some harsh, some kind, some insulting, some gentle – and they all started on this blog. Though I must say, bloggers are generally nice. There is rarely any hate on the blogosphere, except for a tactless few. Dealing with different comments taught me to accept that there’s still room for improvement, that not everyone will like what I write, and that some people should be forgiven. It has taught me to embrace constructive and thoughtful criticism, and ignore those that leave nothing but heartache.

Unfortunately, this lesson has yet to end (and I doubt it ever will). There are times where I still struggle in facing harsh reviews on Goodreads, but my blog has prepped me in advance and for that I’m grateful.

#4 Believing In Myself

I won’t lie, I still doubt myself these days. But when I receive personal emails and read wonderful comments, I’m encouraged. Those words are like nitro to a car running dry. And without the faith of readers I’ve never met, I wouldn’t have shifted gears and started writing and posting original stories.

It it because of you that I braved myself and put up my own short stories and blog series’. It is because of you I stopped fearing being plagiarized (as though my writing was so awesome to begin with) and hit publish. It was because of you I stepped out of my comfort zone and attempted different genres.

The shift from fan fiction to original works was the biggest move I made on this blog. I was nervous because the readers then were mostly subscribed for my fan fictions. There was a probability that many would unsubscribe when I made the switch. Thankfully, no one did. And that itself made me believe in myself.

Yes, I still have doubtful days. Yes, I still question if I have what it takes. But your emails, comments, likes, and reblogs, have the power to turn those days around. Don’t think your comments are worthless. Your comments mean a lot to me and they make a big difference in this writing journey. So… would you like to leave a comment now? Oh, please do!

#5 Receiving Support

When I started the crowd-funding campaign for The Battle for Oz in October 2014 (wow, time really flies), I reached out to you on this platform. Though not everyone responded, some of you did. Now if you didn’t respond, please know I don’t hate you. I was a nobody… I still am. And I didn’t expect to receive an overwhelming support. But to the few that responded, supported the project, shared it with your family and friends, gave a shout out on your own blog, I am extremely grateful.

If it weren’t for this blog and the readers who were willing to back an unknown writer, The Battle for Oz wouldn’t be published. I’m hoping that one day, should I attempt another crowd-funding campaign, more of you would be onboard. Still, all the support I’ve received up to now has been a blessing. And I’m very thankful to have you as my reader.

Well, there you have it… my testimony of how blogging has helped me.

The biggest challenge for every blogger is the discipline to be consistent. It’s my challenge as well. Sometimes, I wish I could skip a week with a lame excuse. But knowing that blogging, even when I don’t feel like it, is helping me in my writing journey, I keep at it. So if you’ve lost the mood to blog or you’re growing tired of having to blog, I encourage you to keep going. Don’t give up so quickly. Blogging is the kind of activity that takes time before you see its fruits, so just be extra patient.

Now, for some quick shameless plugging: if you have no idea what to blog about, you can join my 3 Words 1 Story writing challenge. This once a month prompt should be able to help you produce at least one post a month. There are no rules and it’s fun. Go check it out! Okay, shameless plugging over.

I hope this post has been somewhat encouraging. I’m an advocate of blogging, not because it gives you a web presence, helps you reach out to fans, and all those things people say – which are true – to help you grow your business, but because blogging helps you polish your craft and gives you the courage to be better in it. You can do it for the business, but you should also do it for yourself.

As I like to say, always blog for YOU!

Advertisements
 
47 Comments

Posted by on March 10, 2016 in Writing Journey

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

47 responses to “Does Blogging Help?

  1. Jaclyn Penn

    March 10, 2016 at 12:22 pm

    Very encouraging words, Jeyna! It’s wonderful to hear your long-term insight into blogging and how it can benefit us.

    I’ve known blogging is a big help in many ways to become published, but until now the time was never right. In a way, I regret it because now there’s so many bloggers whose sole focus is earning money through contrived articles. First and foremost, I’m here to make my dream a reality. Business and money is just a plus.

     
    • Jeyna Grace

      March 10, 2016 at 12:39 pm

      I’m glad you’re encouraged!

      True, blogging helps and in unpredictable ways too. At least you’re here now! And I hope your blog leads you straight toward your dream, with extra bonuses along the way 🙂

       
  2. Victoria

    March 10, 2016 at 1:11 pm

    This is very relevant for me at the moment! I’m taking an advanced composition course at uni this semester, and we’re using blogging as our platform for writing. It’s taught me a lot about keeping language concise, and focusing on every word and sentence to make sure it’s relevant and important.

    This is important for short story writing too, especially, where every word and sentence matters! I think in general, the more writing and reading we do, regardless of platform, it helps us improve. Practice makes perfect after all 🙂

     
    • Jeyna Grace

      March 10, 2016 at 2:08 pm

      You’re right! The more writing and reading you do, the better you become. Writing is a non-stop learning journey – there isn’t an end to it. Blogging creates a great platform for you to put yourself out there, practice your craft, and grow 🙂

       
  3. lorigreer

    March 10, 2016 at 2:05 pm

    Excellent points…especially for new comers like myself. Thank you!

     
  4. Jay Dee

    March 10, 2016 at 5:21 pm

    My blog just passed its 4th anniversary, although I’ve been blogging on WordPress consistently since the summer of 2009, and inconsistently since 2007 before that.

    Blogging definitely does work. And the more I blog, the more my network and reach expands. As time passes, I’ve found I really enjoy blogging, and it hones my writing skills. I’ve met so many wonderful bloggers, many of which happen to be authors. They’ve encouraged me, I’ve encouraged them, and we help each other extend one another’s reach. This can only translate in better book sales, if you ask me.

     
    • Jeyna Grace

      March 10, 2016 at 5:30 pm

      Four years and going strong! The best of wishes for many more to come 🙂

      Oh so true. You grow your author portfolio, become better skilled, and possibly gain some fans too. The time invested is so worth it.

       
      • Jay Dee

        March 11, 2016 at 3:27 pm

        Definitely. I’ve spent so many hours (thousands, probably) on my blog, I hope it turns into a few thousand book sales.

         
  5. Pippin Corbet

    March 10, 2016 at 6:08 pm

    This is very timely and much needed advice for me at the moment. Thank you!

     
    • Jeyna Grace

      March 10, 2016 at 8:21 pm

      You’re welcome, Pippin! I’m happy my little sharing is of help 🙂

       
  6. Arpit

    March 11, 2016 at 3:40 am

    This post about your blogging experience is awesome. Since I’m new to this blogging community, posts like this encourage me to continue:-)

     
    • Jeyna Grace

      March 11, 2016 at 9:46 am

      Thank you! I’m glad you found this encouraging 🙂 Keep on blogging, Arpit!

       
  7. Anuradha Mukherjee

    March 11, 2016 at 11:22 pm

    Thank you so much for your encouraging words…lovely post Jeyna.

     
    • Jeyna Grace

      March 12, 2016 at 9:14 am

      You’re most welcome 🙂 And thank you for reading!

       
  8. vela june

    March 13, 2016 at 12:58 am

    I love this. I reached my 4th year some time last month. It hasn’t been consistent for me though. Regardless, blogging has been a big part of my life and my growth as a person. I’m glad that it has been a pleasant journey for you as well!

     
    • Jeyna Grace

      March 13, 2016 at 9:38 am

      Happy fourth year anniversary! A toast to many more years to come!
      I have a personal blog I’m not consistent with either, but it has helped me too 🙂 Just the act of blogging is beneficial in so many ways.

       
  9. Fern

    March 14, 2016 at 12:44 pm

    It’s so lovely to see so many people who have stuck with blogging for so long! As someone who just started out, the thing that scares me the most is the possibility that I’ll grow uninspired after a few months. You mention the importance of persevering through a blogging slump, but I was wondering if there are any tricks you’ve learned over the last 5 years for getting your creativity flowing when you’re stuck? Thanks!

     
    • Jeyna Grace

      March 14, 2016 at 2:11 pm

      I know that fear, and it’s not exclusive to new bloggers. We all get it on and off, and the only way to combat it is to persevere. Even when you’re dry on creative juice, persevere.

      To be honest, I don’t think there’s a trick to getting creativity flowing. When you’re stuck, you’re stuck. My own way of getting unclogged is to write anyway. Even if the piece is uncreative and boring, I write it. Sometimes I publish the uncreative piece, but sometimes I’ll get inspired to make edits and better it. The fact is: you’ll never end up stuck for long, but to make sure you don’t lose passion during those dry spells, you’ve got to write.

       
      • Fern

        March 15, 2016 at 12:40 pm

        Thank you! It’s nice to no there are really no “tricks of the trade” to writing/blogging, other than to just keep writing. I’ll have to keep that in mind when I hit the inevitable first slump. 🙂

         
  10. The Scorgie

    March 14, 2016 at 4:30 pm

    Happy Anniversary and thank you so much for sharing your blogging advice!! I genuinely feel that it’s appropriate advice to anyone that writes, no matter the situation of the writer or the type of posting that they’re doing!! There’s always hints and tips that you can discover along the way from people who have established themselves online and they’re not to be missed for us beginners – As I say in my first blog posting (http://wp.me/p7iRnJ-E) “Sharing is Caring!”.

    So Jeyna thank you so much for sharing your posts – More so however thank you for sharing your creative talents for me to make the most of in what I like to call “My Time” – I shall be blogging about “MY time” next so if you do decide to follow you’ll understand why things like your fiction are so important in MY life and why I absolutely adore coming across hidden gems (Your lonnnnng list of work) exactly when I need too!! 😀 I am leaving a very happy Scorgie!! 😀

     
    • Jeyna Grace

      March 14, 2016 at 5:50 pm

      I’m so glad you found this post useful! And you’re most welcome 🙂

      Also, I’m flattered you consider my works as hidden gems. Hehe! I hope they don’t disappoint. And thank you once again for coming over to my little blog. I really appreciate your readership!

       
      • The Scorgie

        March 14, 2016 at 8:55 pm

        You’re more than welcome!
        I like to give thanks to the people that help make my life a bit easier lol!
        I hope you don’t mind but I shared you out on Twitter, I have a very varied crowd that follows me so there maybe someone that finds an interest!

         
        • Jeyna Grace

          March 15, 2016 at 9:27 am

          You’re too sweet!

          Oh, of course not 🙂 Thank you so much for sharing!

           
          • The Scorgie

            March 15, 2016 at 9:37 am

            Not at all!! That’s my thanks for helping provide me with my “Head in another” world time span and hopefully another person’s escape route from reality for a little while or inspiration to put pen to paper themselves to escape that way in something they’re passionate about!! 🙂

             
          • Jeyna Grace

            March 15, 2016 at 9:43 am

            Still, very thankful 😀 I’m definitely looking forward to your thoughts and feedback!

             
          • The Scorgie

            March 15, 2016 at 9:47 am

            I can’t wait to get stuck into it all – have it all favourited up on my tablet for when my kindle book is finished haha!! My other half was gutted that I was stealing it back 😀

             
          • Jeyna Grace

            March 15, 2016 at 10:19 am

            I should apologize to your other half. Hahaha!

             
          • The Scorgie

            March 16, 2016 at 6:56 am

            Haha don’t worry – before long he’ll be enjoying the freedom of the television control and the ability to hear it too! You’ve done him a favour really!! 🙂

             
          • Jeyna Grace

            March 16, 2016 at 8:41 am

            Hahaha! Not too sure about that.

             
  11. turntoyoublog

    March 15, 2016 at 11:12 pm

    This is wonderful advice! Thanks for sharing it for all of us newbies!

     
    • Jeyna Grace

      March 16, 2016 at 8:40 am

      Glad you think so 🙂 And you’re most welcome!

       
  12. HiIMakeStuff

    March 16, 2016 at 11:21 am

    I think I really needed to read this tonight. Thank you.

     
    • Jeyna Grace

      March 16, 2016 at 12:04 pm

      You’re welcome! I’m happy it has helped 🙂

       
  13. Opener

    March 30, 2016 at 2:02 pm

    Great post! Very inspirational!

     
  14. MomontheRun

    April 2, 2016 at 12:18 pm

    Thank you for this post! I can’t wait to try your challenge as well!

     
    • Jeyna Grace

      April 2, 2016 at 4:24 pm

      Thank YOU for reading! Oh, I do hope you join 🙂

       
  15. foxingoodtime

    April 7, 2016 at 8:12 am

    loved this post, good things to think about as i start blogging

     
  16. SarahWazir

    April 7, 2016 at 2:22 pm

    This was a needed reassurance for newbies like me. 😄 Thanks.

     
    • Jeyna Grace

      April 7, 2016 at 2:23 pm

      You’re welcome! And thank you too, for reading 🙂

       
  17. Doodling Over Pages

    May 17, 2016 at 5:17 pm

    This is awesome! It’s like a must read for newbies here. Thankyou!

     
    • Jeyna Grace

      May 17, 2016 at 5:31 pm

      Thank you, and you’re welcome 🙂

       

Leave your thoughts

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: