Blogging – is it worth doing?

Recently, Gary McMahon posed the question as to whether blogging was of any use or whether it was nothing more than ego-stroking. And, in all honesty, he has a very good point.

So, why do I blog? I see it as a useful tool in my quest to get people interested in my stories and publications,  looking at it as yet another adjunct to social and in-person networking –  I also view at it as a small chronicle of an aspiring writer’s attempt to become a ‘name’ on the scene. And yes, I admit that there are elements of vanity and a little chutzpah involved here – the very idea of having a virtual presence in the already grossly overpopulated spaces of the cyberworld is quite alluring in its own way, and then to think that anyone would be interested enough to want to read what this herbert has to say has more than an air of arrogance about it. And, as for regular readers, well…  Anybody who says otherwise about their bloggy motivations are lying to themselves.

I am no expert on this but what it all boils down to, I think, is what is it that one is looking to get out of blogging. For me, it’s been very, very useful: people are starting to know about me and what I do, and slowly, but surely, the name Simon Marshall-Jones is becoming more familar. If I become better-known then it might be that my blogging frequency will lessen – it will have served its primary purpose, as cold as that sounds. At this moment in time, my main objective is to get my material published and better-known. Then it would probably morph into more of a self-promotional tool.

When all’s said and done, blogging is an extremely flexible medium and can be moulded to whatever purpose you have in mind, whether it’s just to ramble about issues in general, to be instructive or to promote your latest book/CD/patented nose-picking device. Going back to the first paragraph above,  blogging can be characterised as a bit of both: a form of polishing the ego and also a means of self-promotion, which is an essential prerequisite in this age of ubiquitius technology. Some see it solely as a way of letting people know about stories/books they’ve had accepted/published, and nothing more. Then there are those like my sister-in-law, who also blogs, and she sees it as a possible way of earning a little extra money. There are yet others who feel the need to detail all the little minutiae of their day,  no matter how trivial or inane.  And then there are those who just like to rant – venting spleen anonymously in a very public place is enormously satisfying sometimes.

According to my statistics on here, I get an average of 28 hits per day which, while admittedly in the grand scheme of things is frighteningly low-sounding, is actually not bad going, considering that the blog itself has only been around for slightly less than two months. More than that, it has brought me into contact with many people I would otherwise never have met, and even if I never ‘make’ it as an author, many of those friendships are keepers. On top of that, I’ve gained quite a bit of knowledge, too, about writing and the publishing industry. And one of the unforeseen side-effects of me setting up the blog has been the little debates on the topics I write about. For me, that says it all, really….

(With many, many apologies to Gary McMahon.. :D… )

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5 Responses to “Blogging – is it worth doing?”

  1. Blogging is worth doing as long as it stays relevant to your goals and aims. I started one on the British Horror Novels forum last year, but I ended up getting sidetracked and posting random nonsense about my archery and work problems. Now I just try to focus on the writing side, listing any developments and/or disappointments on my writing career.

  2. Which is what I am attempting to do… to stay focused…. =)

  3. Blogging keeps me from shouting at passing cars. Is that valid?

  4. jschancellor Says:

    I’ve found blogging to be both necessary for my career and good for my soul. Though, I will concede that a great many blogs serve as nothing more than a personal, I hate my life and had Cheetos for lunch, kind of platform. Staying focused is good, but staying relevant is better. Personally, I think you’ve done a wonderful job here…I enjoy reading your posts and just so you know–when you consider how young your blog is, your number of hits per month is very good.

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