Thinking through topics, saying your thoughts out loud, and writing them down are all different ways of expression. And, each one should be approached differently.
Just the act of writing something can mold your mind. Some writers free write, some write short stories, and some blog.
If you’re like me, free writing feels pointless. I’ve got a wife and a toddler and family always wants us to do something. If it’s not family, it’s doctors. My health is far from the best and between family, doctor’s appointments, and just feeling like crap, any writing time I can sneak in has to work toward something.
So, that leaves short stories and blogging.
I write short stories. They help learn the craft and the technical aspects of writing. Ray Bradbury suggests writing a short story every week for beginners because, “It’s impossible to write fifty two bad short stories.” That’s good advice and I wish I had the free time to apply it.
But, I struggle through the same roadblocks in my mind with short stories as I have my many failed novel attempts. Here’s where blogging can come in.
It’s easier to write something honest than to make something up.
At its core, fiction is lying. They are entertaining lies and honest lies, the reader knows it’s not true. But, writers face the same psychological problems from writing fiction as we do from lying to people’s face.
When you write down an honest opinion, you don’t have to think. It’s like walking or chewing or breathing. Instead of thinking about what to say, you just say what you think. That’s what is so helpful about free writing. You get to just express what you’re feeling and not worry about turning it into a narrative.
So, why not just free write? Well, that’s a valid choice. You could spend an hour every day just writing the first thing that comes to mind. But, here’s what happens when I do that.
Just trying to wake up my brain. I have a lot of problems with that early in the morning. If I had woken up hours ago, I’d be plenty awake by now. I’d have had time to wake up then I would have gotten coffee and pushed myself even further awake and I’d be ready to write some on my story. But, that didn’t happen. The heavy metal isn’t working. Though they are playing far too much AC/DC this morning. I need a healthy supply of Ronnie James Dio to get creative. This isn’t even worthy of being a blog post. I don’t seem to have a point. I’m just rambling. I don’t think it’s even working. I don’t think today is going to be a good day. I’m so stupid. Shit shit shit. I have absolutely nothing to say. Everything is meaningless. I have nothing to offer. Fuck to you fucking hack.
Stupid. Rambling. Bullshit.
Then, I get negative and start telling myself how shitty I am at everything. That’s not helpful. That’s the opposite of helpful. And, I spend an hour doing this while my daughter is asleep just to have her wake up when I hit stride feeling sorry for myself and my wife thing’s I’m angry at her for the rest of the day because I’m in a bad mood.
So, instead, I do this. I’m writing a blog post right now. Well, not right now add you read this but now while I’m writing this post. It’s waking my brain up and putting something productive out there.
Yea, you heard me.
Promotions are another area that I’m not skilled in. I can’t figure out how to use Twitter or, Odin have mercy, instagram. Even my author page on Facebook isn’t as well defined add I’d like.
The simplest way to promote yourself as an author is to blog. I started reading K. M. Weiland’s blog, here’s the link helping writers become authors and it made me want to read her novel, Dreamlander. Lots of authors post links to their latest release on their page. And, It’s easier to tweet and instagram a link to your page than something thoughtful and witty everyday. Most days, I don’t feel very thoughtful or witty.
I have a busy schedule. Well, but so much of a schedule as just a constant barrage of chaos. I never know when I’ll have time to write so, if I find time, I try to work on a story. But, sometimes it just doesn’t come. So, I blog and hope promoting myself a bit will open up the floodgates of creativity.