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Blogs or Books

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on May 17, 2011

Writers have many opportunities online to contribute blogs, interviews, and articles. This is great publicity, assuming you have the time to wade through these offers and filter which ones would be most worthwhile.

These offers weren’t around when I started out in this career. In those days, we wrote the book and then…we wrote the next book. We sent out press releases, via snail mail, and bookmarks and postcards. It was time consuming more than anything.

Today, writing blogs and articles and educational pieces can become a full-time occupation. So tell me, dear readers, would you rather read an author’s blog or her next book? Which is more important to you as a writer: spending time writing blogs, or being more prolific in terms of your new releases?

A choice has to be made. I can write books faster, or I can write blogs and articles. It’s crucial to avoid burnout, which can happen if you’re glued all day and all evening to the computer screen. Down time is essential. So how do we get it when there are so many demands on our creativity and time? By setting priorities, that’s how. Some of the most popular writers don’t do blogs. They don’t do articles. They just write their books in a steady flow.

When I’ve been somewhere interesting or have a tale I want to share, I write a blog. Otherwise, I’m often stumped for what to say. Shall I spend a few hours composing a piece on writing craft, for example, or should I get ahead a few pages on my next chapter instead? Does a blog really matter in terms of book sales? What does this blog do for you? Do you feel you get to know me better? Or are you more interested in useful information that you can apply to your own work?

Tell us how YOU balance writing blogs and articles versus writing the next book.


7 Responses to “Blogs or Books”

  1. Jeanne Meeks said

    I’m not published yet and have not yet begun a blog, but plan to. I find your blog very helpful…for news in the industry, for writing tips, and for a path to follow as you write your next book. The blogs keeps your name in front of me which will remind me to pick up your next book. Hopefully, your efforts with your blog will produce more sales; otherwise, write your next book.

  2. These are good questions, Nancy. My experience is similar to yours. When I started writing, I had just purchased my first computer. All I had to do was open a document and begin a story; so simple. My how times have changed. Sometimes I wish for the good old days, but I also realize that I have to change with the times, and that means balancing my promotional efforts (writing and reading blogs and social networking) and writing. In order to do this, I set daily goals. Writing comes first and then I spend time making connections. My publisher is a small press and I’ve had to learn to promote myself. I’m grateful for all of you who blog, offering advice and help, inviting guest bloggers, and writing reviews. After all, we’re all in this together.

  3. Thanks, Jeanne and Kathleen, for sharing your views. They are very helpful. One thing I particularly like about doing a blog is sharing my travel experiences. I know this has nothing to do with the craft of writing, but I’d been jotting down my notes on travels as long as I can remember. I have books of them, and I feel that’s how I learned description of setting. Now I share my journeys with you, including I suppose, the grand writing journey as well. Yes, Kathleen, we’re all in this together! Actually, like you, I do my writing quota in the morning before any other activities on the computer. I like to get up early and get it done before the world wakes up.

  4. Just coming up with endless ideas for blogs is difficult and takes creative time and energy. It sometimes seems like wasted time if no one reads your blog, or your blog following is low.

  5. That’s for sure, Margaret. My stats were higher when my blog was at Bravejournal, and I don’t understand why.

  6. Rebecca Greene said

    Hi Nancy,

    I’m not published (yet), nor do I have a blog, but balancing time is a problem for all of us!

    I enjoy your blog and appreciate your insight into the craft of writing. For beginners like me, it’s a lifeline! However, if you didn’t have an active blog, I probably wouldn’t have found you or your books. (If you didn’t write books, you probably wouldn’t need a blog either… Chicken vs. egg.)

    Your comment about travels made me wonder how your trips impacted your writing. How’s this for a blog topic (or series) – tells us about your travels and how you used those experiences or scenes in your books. And which books they’re in. Who knows, you might sell some of your earlier releases. 😉

  7. What a good idea, Rebecca. I will address that topic in another blog! And thanks so much for your feedback. It’s gratifying to know these posts are useful to people, plus your comments will inspire me to keep on blogging about the trials and tribulations of a writing career.

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