Why Blogging Is Important For Me
by Zoe Brooks
When I was younger I was a successful poet. I was one of the bright young things of British poetry, appearing in the seminal anthology Grandchildren of Albion. But then something happened – that something was life.
It’s very difficult to make a living from novels, let alone poetry, so I had to focus to on another way of making a living. My first job was as community theatre manager in London’s Covent Garden, my second was running the UK’s national centre for puppetry. Both were fascinating and demanding jobs and I threw myself into them. At the same time I got married and two years later my son was born. Caught somewhere between my work and my family, my writing suffered and after a while dried up completely. I am sure a lot of women will have experienced something similar.
Virginia Woolf said that every woman writer needs a room of her own. She was not just talking about a physical room but also a psychological one. About a dozen years ago I started visiting the Czech Republic regularly. It was a place where I could get away from the pressure of my work. Then about eight years ago I bought a derelict farmhouse there. One of the reasons for doing so was the hope that I could write there. At first nothing happened, so I decided I would start writing a blog about the Czech Republic. Adventures in the Czech Republic is still going and has won various awards. It was even featured in an exhibition by the Czech Centre in London. My experience with the blog massively increased my confidence and showed me that I could write prose as well as poetry. The act of blogging regularly was also very important. I really do think that if I had not started my Czech blog I probably would not be writing novels now.
Every author is encouraged to have a blog nowadays, but what you do to make your blog stand out among the thousands of others? I actually have two writing blogs. The first is my author’s blog, in which I talk about the inspiration behind my books, share poems, photos and anything else. It’s a bit of fun for people who are interested in me and my books and gives me a way to talk to them. I don’t see it as a way of marketing my writing to people who haven’t heard of me.
My second writing blog on the other hand is about reaching out to new readers. It is a book review blog, focusing on magic realism books. I am told I write magic realist books, because my books are realistic with an element of magic or fantasy. Every week I read and review a different magic realist book and share that experience on my blog. It’s a fascinating project. I have discovered lots of writers and books that I hadn’t heard of and I am learning so much about my craft from studying the works of others. I am now being approached by other magic realist writers asking me to review their books. Of course by having a specialist blog, my readers already have an interest in reading books in my genre, but I am not constantly pushing my books, which would be wrong and counter productive.
In addition, I have a weekly online newspaper pulling together in one place the best articles about fiction books by and for women. As with the magic realism blog, the newspaper works in all sorts of ways for me. It appeals to people who will also like my books, it makes me read widely about what is going on in women’s fiction, and as the newspaper also has a twitter feed, it has introduced me to lots of interesting people in my field.
It used to be that having a writer’s blog was enough. I don’t think this is the case any more. As writers we have to do more and gear our blogs to our markets. Most importantly we have to provide a service to visitors to our blogs, by providing information, reviews, news, or other material that will interest our readers. We miss much of the point of blogging if we only think of it as a way to market our books, it is a way to learn our craft.
If you are interested by blogs can be visited here:
Adventures in the Czech Republic: http://czechproperty.blogspot.com
Zoe Brooks, Books and More: http://zoebrooks.blogspot.com
Magic Realism Books: http://www.magic-realism.net
Women’s Fiction News: http://www.womens-fiction.net
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Fantasy / Women’s Fiction
Rating – R
More details about the book
Follow the Tour
6th August – Author Interview at Farm Girl Books
13th August – Book Review at Always JoArt
20th August – Guest post at Nobody Important
27th August – Book Feature at Reviews by Karen
3rd September – Twitter Blast with OB Book Tours