Recently I wrote about whether or not an unpublished writer should have a blog, and through interactions with readers I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s a good way to inspire you as well as building connections with other people, a good way to showcase your work. But then we arrive at the knotty problem of how do you find time in your busy schedule to write posts for the blog as well as writing?
This was one of my concerns about starting the blog in the first place. I was already struggling to find the time and energy for my WIP, so starting something new, which would tie up a chunk of my time, seemed like a stupid idea. But what I realised by looking at other people’s blogs, is that the key to keeping it going is planning. I like planning – as I’ve probably said before – and so before I decided to launch the blog, I started to build up a bank of ideas and pre-written posts which I could use if I failed to find time in a week to write something. I even have a memo saved on my Blackberry with notes for ideas and things I could write. So far, this stream has failed to run dry, although thanks to a brief hiatus from the blog (due to illness, sorry to my followers!) I’ve had more time to draft some new posts and get myself more ahead.
Choosing to post only once a week was conscious decision because I quickly realised if I was to keep to a schedule something was going to have to give. I wanted to set a manageable target and to make sure I could maintain quality content, posting about relevant topics and not just for the sake of it. I also know that, with the best will in the world, I don’t have a massive amount of time. My usual writing sessions take place during my morning commute, as it’s the only time I really have the energy – at the end of the working day would be a complete non-starter. In the hour I spend on the train I can usually complete 6-700 words, enough for about one scene on my WIP, but also more than enough for a blog post. This means if I use one of my weekly writing sessions – I’m planning to keep to three or four a week to avoid burnout – I can keep producing new, fresh blog content. Ok, the posts don’t arrive fully formed; they need typing up and editing before being uploaded, but at least I have a draft to work on. I’d been imagining that I’d have to cut time from my already scant leisure/relaxation time to fit in blogging but so far it’s actually helping to motivate my fiction rather than detracting from it.
What’s made the biggest difference is acquiring followers and getting comments, knowing that people are reading my work and enjoying it. It makes me want to give up my time to do this, makes me feel like the time I give to writing isn’t a waste even though my book still isn’t published. Instead I’m focusing on the fact I enjoy it and that’s all that really matters. After all, it’s all about the writing!
How do you make time for creating blog posts? Do you have a schedule or do you blog when you feel like it?