I’ve just spent some serious time perusing various author blogs looking for things I might like to read regularly. In most cases I scanned not only the most recent post, but everything on the first page and sometimes the next one back, just to give it a fair shot. And I found just one blog to add to my Blogroll.
Not surprisingly, this led me to think about just what it was I was looking for and, also, what was turning me off. I may not be the target audience, but I thought I’d share anyway.
- I don’t want to read blogs that are nothing but self-promotion.
- I don’t want to see memes– unless they are in some way bookish, I guess. I see enough memes via the network on my personal blog.
- I don’t want to read a series of posts that say: today you can find me [insert link]. I rarely follow those.
- I do want to read about how your job’s going. Did you write today/this week? Did it go well? Were you happy? Did anything interesting or surprising come out of it for you?
- From experienced authors, I love tips and posts about stuff that, as an unpublished writer, I don’t know anything about…Like the publication process, the expectations on things like self-promotion, blah blah, you know.
- From unpublished writers, I’d like to read posts I can relate to. How you spent stupid time perfecting the dedication page for your first novel that is, as yet, an unfinished manuscript when you were supposed to be writing.
- I’d like posts about why you write. What or who inspires you.
- What interesting thing did you see/read/hear that made you think about writing or about a story today?
- I don’t want a lot of personal/family stuff that you don’t relate to writing in some way. I follow that kind of stuff through my personal blog and slice of life is not what I’m looking for in writer blogs. I don’t want to hear a detailed account of your last vacation with tons of pictures–unless it relates to your writing. I don’t mind an occasional post about your kids or your illness–in fact, I want to hear about your writing life within the context of your actual life– but if that’s all that’s on the page, I just move on to the next blog.
- I don’t want to read nothing but contests. If it’s barely more than ads and contests, it’s like listening to the damned radio.
- Helpful writer toolbox links. Random generators, a great site to learn about X or Y, a good reference book you found…
- Your thoughts on how-to. What makes a book work? What helps build tension or suspense? What makes a great character? How you work, when you work, why you can’t work.
- One last request: please make it easier for me to read you regularly. If you have the power, please syndicate and provide a link for your feed. (I’m not technically adept enough to know if I said that in a way that makes sense!)
Ok, seriously, enough. I’m not telling you how to write your blog– mine certainly isn’t up to snuff. I’m opinionated, but gawd, I’m not arrogant. I just thought you might like to know, you know?
Hey, p.s., if your blog fits this description, please comment!
P.P.S. I just read Kettle’s thoughts on the subject over at her blog. If you post on this subject, won’t you link me to it in the comments? (Even if you stumble across it months from now, rarely do things go out of date for me.)