Writing Journey

Does Blogging Help?

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!

Others

Happy Birthday, Jeyna!

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No, no, I’m not here to wish myself ‘happy birthday’. I know I kind of did, but that’s not what this post is about.

Firstly, The Clubhouse is taking a break this month. I need to ‘re-plot’ this series. Secondly, I have a special announcement to make. No, my birthday is not the special announcement. The special announcement is… *drumroll please*… my new book!


Yes, there’s going to be a new book! 

This book is titled The Slave Prince. It was written in January 2013 and for two years, I’ve been editing it… unsure on which platform I should publish it on. And then I thought, why not put it up on Inkshares? So I did. The project is now live and it’s part of the Sword & Laser Collection Contest!

So, what is the Sword & Laser Collection Contest? 

This contest runs on Inkshares from now till January 15th, 2016. The top 3 books with the most unique reader pre-orders will be published by Inkshares and will possibly be added to the Sword & Laser Collection. It is basically a race to get the most orders in a month’s time. I’ve worked with Inkshares before on The Battle for Oz, and I’m hoping for a chance to work with them again.

This means, I need your help.

You can read all about the book HERE, check out the prologue of the book, then consider pre-ordering an e-book copy (at $10) to help kickstart the project. I know I cannot succeed in this project without your help, but I don’t want to hustle for money either. The crowd-funded publishing industry is a tough platform to break into, but I believe it is a platform that gives hope to all authors – no matter who you are or where you come from. So please, please do consider sparing me your $10.

Succeeding a second time on a crowd-funded publishing platform would mean a lot to me. The first round itself was a Christmas miracle, and I’m praying for another Christmas miracle this year too 🙂 Would you help me make it happen? I really hope so.

*If I’m not mistaken, you get a $5 store credit upon signing up on Inkshares. That’s 50% off the e-book price of my book. Good deal, eh? Go check it out! 

**On a separate note, the cover above is a temporary cover. There’ll be a better one soon.

…..

Well, that’s my announcement! Thank you for giving it a read and thank you for being a part of my writing journey. I’ll have a year end update soon to share my blogging plans for 2016. For now, I’ll just leave you with this.

By the way, don’t you just love the snow that comes around every December on WordPress? I definitely love it. Ironically, it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Oddly, it gives me hope too. Wow, who knew digital snowflakes could leave such an impression.

P.S. Inkshares is having a Buy-1-Free-1 offer on The Battle for Oz. So if you have no idea what to get for a bookish friend this Christmas, do check it out!

Others

I’ll Throw A Party For You

i'llthrowaparty4u

4,400 subscribers! Can you believe I mistakenly wrote 3,400? Jeyna, you disappoint me. Rest assured, I will never again forget the number of people who are showing their support. That is just unacceptable.

So, to all 4,400+ subscribers, thank you so much for your subscription!

“But er, it’s no big deal. You don’t have to thank me,” you say.

You’re wrong. I have to thank you because you’ve read my stories and you’re hoping to come back! That deserves a thank you 🙂 In fact, if I can give you more than a thank you, I would. One day, when I get ‘there’ I’ll have a party just for my blog subscribers. You guys believed in me before anyone else did, and I appreciate that a lot. Thank you! And please make sure to demand an invitation to that party when that day comes 🙂

Now, since I don’t want to end the post right here, I’m going to write about two random things:

#1 Break The Silence
Today’s WordPress blog prompt: when was the last time you really wanted (or needed) to say something, but kept quiet? Write a post about what you should’ve said.

Well, my answer is simple. Someone spelled ‘wander’ as ‘wonder’ and I felt like I had to correct this person. But I did not do so, because I didn’t want to come off as a grammar Nazi. After all, this person was a stranger and new on the blogosphere. It would not be nice to point out a common mistake just because I felt like I had to.

However, I should’ve said, “There’s beauty in both wondering and wandering.” It’s not an obvious hint, but it sounds nice.

#2 Raindrops
My latest novella is free to download for 4 more days, so be sure to get your e-book copy now!

Ok, all random things covered? Great! I can end my post now.

Thank you all once again for your subscription and readership. Remember, there will be a party 🙂 But until then, have a great week!

P.S Only 5 more days till the release of The Battle For Oz: Exitium and I’m excited. I hope you are too 🙂

(*Current blog post schedule: A post every Thursday alternating between an original short story and a Harry Potter fan fic novel.)

Others

2012 Was An Awesome Year!

And it was an awesome year because of all of you 🙂

So, I got the  WordPress.com stats helper monkeys to prepare a 2012 annual report for this blog.

In it, contains the top 5 commenters and the top 3 countries. If you are one of them, or from one of the countries, give me a wave 🙂

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 19,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 4 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.