Keeping a schedule of blogging twice a week and focusing on writing as a subject has really helped me better understand what goes into writing. As a writer, yeah, I know how to write and what it takes to create a story. But blogging opened a door to a whole new understanding. For writers, I believe having and maintaining a blog is the most important thing you can do to better your craft for four solid reasons:
- Review. Coming up with a topic usually depends on what is happening in your writerly life. And by doing so, you have to review your current situation and what would be helpful to you and likely others as well.
- Decipher. Once a topic is chosen, you focus intently on the details of that piece. Whether its descriptions, characters, plot twists or outlining, when you have to hone in on what goes into these aspects of writing, you start to see the little pieces of them that combine into a whole and ultimately affect your writing style.
- Practice. Compiling your blog post is a great warm up to your day in the land of writing. But what’s even better is flash fiction sketches, guest posts or sample writing to get your creativity flowing for another project.
- Apply. When you’ve posted your blog and your internet windows are long closed and you pop open the document to your new project, you can apply all the skills you’ve learned and be mindful of them when writing.
With confidence, I would say the amount I have learned about writing from keeping a blog and reading other blogs is comparable to taking a professional writing class. The ideas I mull over or discover on someone else’s blog often spark new life into my writing and can even help clear up the problems you didn’t even know you had. The blog is an invaluable tool to writers and if you don’t have one yet, I seriously hope you consider starting one.
Rachel Horwitz is a recent graduate who weaves speculative tales for young adult and middle grade readers. Her current project is a young adult epic fantasy series that is being queried. She applies her love of blogging about the delights and challenges of writing at www.rachelhorwitz.com/blog.
You can find her on twitter @rachelhwrites