Blogs. (Blogs!) What are they good for?

Absolutely nothing.

kidding, kidding. Actually, I’ve been pondering the subject of blogs lately. Particularly my blog. And, I’ve started to wonder what my blog is good for. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’ve made lots of WONDERFUL writer friends. And, I truly love you all like sisters (and brothers, for the occasional male reader.)

All in all though, I feel like I’ve reached a rocky place with my blog. I very rarely have the motivation to post. (Except for Photoshop Fridays.) And I feel like I have nothing all that original to add to the vast, vast number of writer blogs out there. So, I’ve really started to push the question to myself, “What is the point?

What do you think? Are writer blogs important to an unpublished, unagented writer? Or do they become important only when you actually have a book deal in your hot little hands?

(Note: I’m not fishing for compliments on my blog. I actually really want to know what you think about writer blogs in general.)

Anyway . . . In other news, look for a Photoshop Friday tomorrow featuring my new webcam. (Ooo, aaah) Here’s a teaser! (We were having a lot of fun. Can you tell?)


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19 Comments

  1. Natalie on March 12, 2009 at 4:11 pm

    Ren, I really think they’re the best for just that—making friends, connections. It’s not really about what you “contribute” to the “community,” but rather that you are just here!

    I will take any post I can get from you because you’re my FRIEND. I don’t care if it meaningless drivel (I mean, look at Kiersten’s blog:P So. Kidding.) I posted about my undying love for Google Earth…really, is that helpful? No. It’s just stupid.

    Adorable pics, btw. Your daughter has an incredible eyebrow arch.



  2. Kiersten on March 12, 2009 at 4:18 pm

    Oh. My. Gosh. Those pictures! Especially the first one, Amber, wow. You are SO in for it when she’s a teenager!

    She’s adorable!

    Also, you need to keep up this blog because apparently I’M NOT FRIENDS WITH NATALIE ANYMORE.

    I keep up my blog for several reasons.

    A) I like validation, and comments make me happy.

    B) I like connecting with people. Found you ; )

    C) My agent used it as a selling point. Apparently PEOPLE LOVE MEANINGLESS DRIVEL, because the number of hits I get every month shows that even on a personal blog I can generate interest.

    Really, though, it entertains me. That’s the only good reason, I think.

    And your photoshop Fridays ROCK.



  3. Natalie on March 12, 2009 at 4:23 pm

    See how great meaningless drivel is? Apparently it worked for Kiersten.



  4. Renee Collins on March 12, 2009 at 4:44 pm

    *sniff* *wipes tear* You guys are the best.

    Seriously, thanks for the kind words. I’m really not that down on my blog, I just wonder if it’s vital for me to maintain since I don’t have a book coming out soon, or even an agent.

    However, Kiersten, you make a good point, it could be a benefit when I DO get that agent. Of course, I have no idea how many hits I get a day. Maybe I should get one of those hit counters. (Any suggestions of where I find one?)

    And Natalie, you’re right. I guess no one really cares about contribution. I guess it’s more of a camaraderie thing.

    Also, my daughter, yeah . . . she’s a ham. AND a flirt! You guys didn’t even see the pictures where she was pulling her shirt down over her shoulders. She was like, “Mommy, take a picture of me like this.”

    Yes. I worry.



  5. candicekennington on March 12, 2009 at 4:47 pm

    Well you already know how I feel about this. There are definite pluses and minuses to blogging. For me the biggest advantage is what Natalie and Kiersten said, connecting with other writers. The biggest drawback, I think, is the time drain… oh, and the possibility that I’ll post something so stupid I’ll regret it for the rest of my life. :0 But that’s really only a risk for me. I think the rest of you are smart enough to avoid that one!

    Love the webcam shots! They’re so full of personality! And you and your daughter both look beautiful!



  6. Terri Tiffany on March 12, 2009 at 5:08 pm

    http://www.amazingcounters.com But be careful cause they are addicting!
    I love getting to know you. I love seeing what other writers are up against. I love to blog cause it keeps me writing and makes me –forces me — ot get my brain in gear and the support–awesome! Plus I have had tons of writing leads because of them! Enuf reasons????



  7. giddymomof6 on March 12, 2009 at 6:22 pm

    ok
    so little story. I wasn’t that into my blog and then when I got my agent in August… she was like, “So do you have a blog?” and I went, “Uh.. yeah… kind of.” She said, “Good. Cuz if you didn’t, I was going to tell you to get one. And if you’re not keeping up on it, then get out there and start doing it now. connect. The more friends and connections you have BEFORE we sell a book the better.” Then she said, “Get on facebook and myspace and anything else you can think of.” I was a myspace girl so that was in the bag. But facebook? FACEBOOK? Grr.. took some getting used to.

    Anyhoo, long story short, I’m so glad my agent made me start up my blog again, because this has been WAY cooler than anything I’d ever imagined. Plus, I’ve had the great Opportunity to meet some seriously cool people and help them with their MS’s and queries stuff. I look at us all as a big writing community that can all help each other.

    Anyway, I love your blog. I think you’re funny and fresh and smart with it. You post when you want to, about what you want to. and really, i think that’s the secret… to make yourself more personable to people and really show the other side of you, the part that you can’t tell just by a picture.

    PS love the pictures too! Too cute!
    Jenni



  8. sraasch on March 12, 2009 at 8:40 pm

    I love that every pic I’ve seen of your daughter, she’s had “war paint” on (though in these pics it might’ve been jewels…).

    I think blogs are all part of the whole networking thing. Sometimes they have hysterical posts, sometimes serious, sometimes rambling, sometimes hey-look-at-this-cool-thing-I-found, but they are ultimately an opportunity for writers to meet other writers and know they aren’t alone in their writing endeavors.



  9. Lady Glamis on March 12, 2009 at 9:07 pm

    Please don’t stop blogging! It’s a good selling point when you land an agent. If you’re able to network and gather interest, you obviously have a talent for selling yourself!

    I spend a lot of time blogging. Something in the back of my mind keeps telling me it’s really important and will pay off. Oh, heck, it ALREADY pays off. I get validation. I make friends. I can share my dumb thoughts and for some reason people respond and care. What’s not to love!?

    I like your blog. That’s why I follow it. The end. 🙂



  10. Diana on March 12, 2009 at 9:09 pm

    Ren,
    Come to your senses!!! Jk….I love to read your blog because it’s like that notebook all the girls used to write in during class in high school and pass to each other between classes! It ‘s a peek into the mind of a creative and witty writer….basically, its entertaining. Keep it up…or else!!!
    Now to more important things….I LOVE THOSE PICTURES!!!!!! Amber is a mini you and such a ham!!!! You need to post more pictures of those kids…maybe on your family blog (remember that old thing???? grrrrr)



  11. Miriam S.Forster on March 12, 2009 at 10:18 pm

    Well aside from voting that you keep the blog because I like it… 🙂

    One thing that helped me immensely was just picking a day or two and saying “I will ONLY blog on these days.” If the time drain gets too much you can just do Photoshop Fridays and something on Tuesdays. (In my humble opinion, regular is better than often.)

    Thanks for the great suggestion on my blog, btw!



  12. jessie on March 12, 2009 at 10:48 pm

    I like to blog because I’m still too embarrassed to tell all my in-the-flesh friends about my secret desire to author a book. And when you make electronic friends you don’t have to worry about the bathroom being dirty or about them knowing that you wear the same pair of jeans every day. But they are really cool jeans.



  13. Ang on March 13, 2009 at 1:31 am

    Hey Renee. I am new to your site…found it through Jenni J’s. I’m glad you posted this blog. I don’t keep my blog up like I did in the beginning and I feel guilty because of it. Right now my writing is slow as I am finishing an online writing course. I would like to post more of my writing but I tend to post a lot of my daily life. I am a myspace junky (I have 2 sites). My problem is trying to come up with a daily routine as most of my blogger buds do. I am new to the business so I feel that my advice on writing technique is not as strong or significant as others. However; I do enjoy reading other’s blogs and commenting on things I have learned from them or just general blogging.

    Love the pics.

    Happy Writing and Happy Bloggin’
    Ang (Ang’s Story Corner)



  14. Renee Collins on March 13, 2009 at 4:31 am

    Candice-lol, I always worry about writing something that will come back to haunt me years later. Good to know I’m not the only one. 🙂

    Terri-Yeah, I love the aspect of getting to see other writer’s lives too. Sometimes, just to hear that another person is going through the same thing I am is very comforting.

    Jenni-That’s a good thing to know, thanks for the story. I guess I never realized that agents actually want their clients to blog. Very interesting. 🙂

    Sara-Yes, those are jewels on my daughters head. From her press on nail kit. 🙂

    Glam-I kind of feel the same way! I’ve actually pondered stopping my blog several times before, but something always makes me stick with it.

    Diana-Thanks. 🙂 You’re too kind. Also, about my family blog, what? A post every six months isn’t good enough for you??? (Seriously though, I am going to get on that. . . next week.)

    Miriam-That is a great idea! I seriously think I might do that. Thanks!

    Jessie-I totally know the feeling of being embarrassed to talk to friends about writing. Whenever I do, they always ask, “What’s your book about?” And, I don’t know why, but even three books down the road, i am still so shy to talk about it.

    Also, they ARE really cool jeans! 🙂

    Ang-Hi! Welcome. 🙂 I think I’ve seen you on Joanne’s blog. You’re a twin, right? Me too 🙂

    And, yes, you’re definitely not alone in the blog neglecting camp!



  15. Kasie West on March 13, 2009 at 5:46 am

    Renee, less whining, more blogging. LOL Just kidding. Just think, if you didn’t blog, you wouldn’t have met all these awesome people, seriously. I mean really, hello? We’re awesome, right? Are you trying to give us a hint that you wish you would’ve met cooler people and that you’ve failed miserably. Oh my gosh, that’s what you’re saying isn’t it? You hate us, don’t you? I mean why don’t you just come out and say it, Renee? Maybe you should just start a photoshop blog, maybe photoshop nerds are more exciting than writing nerds. LOL We love you Renee, and I’ve totally been there. It’s right about the time where I’m going, “Uh, you mean I have to come up with another post when I really want to be writing?” grrrr.

    BTW, I second the adorable daughter comments.



  16. Ang on March 13, 2009 at 2:11 pm

    Yes…I’m an identical twin. Hello fellow duplicate. And I’m glad to hear I’m not alone with getting behind on bloggin’. I keep saying I will do better but life gets in the way.



  17. Joanne on March 13, 2009 at 2:22 pm

    I guess a lot of it boils down to what your intended purpose for the blog was/is? If you started it to network and be a part of a supportive community, that’s exactly what you’re doing! And we all enjoy stopping here for a chat. I agree completely with Miriam, too. Regular posts, rather than frequent posts, are more important. Maybe that would help?



  18. Renee Collins on March 13, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    Kasie-Well . . . Photoshop nerds are cooler, but they lack the charming neurotic tendencies of my writer friends. 🙂

    Ang-Yay! A fellow writing twin! 🙂

    Joanne-Thanks, Joanne. You’re right. I have gained what I hoped for by starting this blog. Better than I hoped, actually. And, I do think it would help to write on a schedule. It’s a great idea!



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