Making time for blogging as a writer

Recently I wrote about whether or not an unpublished writer should have a blog, and through interactions with readers I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s a good way to inspire you as well as building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?

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10 thoughts on “Making time for blogging as a writer

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  1. Hi LM

    I really enjoyed both this and your previous post ‘Should an Unpublished Writer Have a Blog?’ I started mine in September 2011 having heard that agents and publishers like to see new writers engaging with others online, and that it can help your chances if they like your submission, but now I find there are lots of other reasons I keep going. Like you I plan ahead a bit and aim to post once a week (it doesn’t always work that way) – a mix of book reviews, articles about fiction and anything that inspires me.

    I hope you will find as I have that blogging as an as-yet unpublished writer is a hugely positive experience – lots of good things have come my way as a result: I’ve made new connections and had ‘conversations’ with some interesting people, and I really enjoy spreading the word about other writers’ work which gives me a sense of contributing something. I love the freedom of writing something self-contained and short, after two very intense years writing a novel, and the excitement of knowing someone is actually reading what I’ve written (now averaging around 1000 hits a month!) One day a reader in Nevada had read my book review before I’d even logged out of WordPress!

    It’s a big commitment but if you want to do it, I’m sure your effort will pay off. Good luck!

    1. Hi Isabel, thanks for the comment. Getting the balance between writing and blogging is tricky, but I’m hoping that it will lead to making connections with people, like you have. It’s all good fun too!

  2. As a very busy working mum, every aspect of my life is organised and planned so as we all get to where we need to be on time and with the right equipment / bags / clothes. In my job as a project manager I’m equally planful as you’d expect, but when it comes to my blog I post as and when I can …. It’s not for the want or lack of ideas and articles, it’s the time to compose, compile, edit and publish that hinders me. Your article is a good prompt for the plan I have to do a little more regular scheduling of my posts, perhaps having particular days allocated to certain themes / types of posts. Actually, even just writing this down makes me feel a little clearer around my need to plan my blog!

    Helpful post, thank you!

    1. Hi, thanks for taking the time to read the blog and comment. For me, that’s where the organisation comes in – thinking of topics ahead of time and getting my ideas prepared.

  3. I don’t blog to any schedule. I do some book reviews (who doesn’t!) and updates on my writing. Sometimes I jut get some inspiration and a blog post presents itself. That works for me.

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