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Blogging: Help or Hinderance in Building a Writing Career?

Many writing help sites suggest that starting a blog can launch your writing career. Others suggest that spending too much time tending a blog can stunt your literary growth in terms of productivity. So where do you draw the line? Is there a way to manage both or should a fledgling writer focus solely on writing the stories they want to write?

  • A big part of the question might come down to a matter of "why buy the cow when you get the milk for free?" For those who attempt to make their living as a writer, is it in their best interest to put time and effort into writing free online content with the hopes that it may prompt readers to buy their professionally published works? In the past, if professional [let's say, fiction] writers wanted to supplement their bodies of work with additional nonfiction, polemical, or personal writings, their only outlets to share them with the world were the same kinds of standard publishing channels - such as newspapers, magazines, periodicals, or to compile essays and articles into whole new books - to which they were still promised monetary compensation. Nowadays, with the internet acting as a Wild West of free content bombarding us from all directions, blogging has become a way for authors to share their nonfiction/polemical/personal content without any expectation of payment (at least when starting out). The consequences to this are two-fold: 1) the writer is no longer able to sustain herself financially from the total sum of her literary output, and 2) the free work produced may be somewhat de-legitimized in contrast to that which has entered the book market, possibly taking the author's good name down with it. At the end of the day, I think it's beneficial for writers to work on their craft beyond the occasional book she is able to produce, but incentivizing this work financially should be a priority if we wish to cultivate a future in which writers can devote themselves fully to their art without fearing that they may not be able to pay this month's rent. – ProtoCanon 4 years ago
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  • Everything is helpful... until it's not. There are myriad number of reasons for writing and the choices of mediums ever expanding. Digital literacies have brought about their own challenges. Let the suit be cut according to the cloth, as my dad always said. – Munjeera 4 years ago
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  • I agree with ProtoCanon that the internet has a Wild West atmosphere for fledgling writers and authors. There is potential for writers to share their work and connect with like-minded individuals. It might have the potential for fame like all the people who have found fame through YouTube and social media. At the same time, traditional means of publication through journals, online and print, shouldn't be discounted. You can build up a resume of sorts through these publications if you're ever looking for an agent. The internet is definitely changing the way things are done, so it'll be interesting to see what happens. – S.A. Takacs 4 years ago
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  • An interesting topic, yet one that needs to be considered on an individual basis. There are those who blog to get "discovered." Some sites encourage you to use their platform as a means to "launch your career as a writer." While others blog because they promised themselves that they would write, for at least a said amount of time, every day. Those looking for success or discovery will likely be disappointed. As for the disciplined writer who seeks to fine tune his or her craft, this act with be a help, not a hindrance to their art of writing. – danielle577 4 years ago
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