Thursday, February 03, 2011

The Value of Blogging

Right now I'm struggling with the value of keeping a blog as an author, whether published or unpublished. I know many agents and authors think building a web presence before being published is essential, but I'm not sure I've seen the light quite yet. Yes, I read author blogs, but I don't read the blogs of authors whose books I read. I read author blog to learn more about writing, but I don't want to know anything about my favorite authors. I want to believe their characters were conjured out of thin air and are really living and breathing somewhere. Not knowing too much about the author preserves that illusion.

My other reason for not reading certain author blogs is this - I'm afraid that if I read the blog of an author I like, they'll give me a reason not to like them anymore. I once was following a writer blog and found that I just wasn't liking her as a person. For me, her posts were often self-congratulatory or out and out bragging. After one particularly self-loving post I vowed never to return.

I also worry about how to strike the right tone in blog. Unless you write non-fiction, I don't know how a blog can reflect your work and I know firsthand that the wrong tone can turn off the reader. I followed a blog for awhile that used the most over-written language I'd seen since college. The author wrote in a way that seemed so self-consciously "writery" that I knew she had to write her novels the same way. If I'd never read her blog and seen her book in a store, I'd probably be inclined to pick it up. Now I'd go out of my way not to read her book.

So that's my dilemma - do I continue to blog in the hopes of networking while simultaneously opening myself up to the possibility of alienating future readers? Or do I accept that most readers wouldn't even think of visiting an author's blog?


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