How to Write a Novel – 13 – Blogging and Other Things

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Since I’ve started writing this series, I’ve received many questions from aspiring writers, chief among them being: “How do you write this extensive series while writing a novel? Where do you find the time?” Today we’ll be talking about doing other things while writing a novel, because it is important to write a little more of your book every day, but it may be your time away from your book that helps you in the long run.

Why Blog?

Blogging may be the single most important thing for the emerging novelist today. In the time before the internet, writers of fiction always participated in reviewing the works of their peers, giving lectures on the craft, interviewing for their current work in progress…the list goes on. Since the internet’s inception, writer’s have been given an advantage. You can now do all this from anywhere in the world, at any time, and pretty much on anything you want.

If you do not yet have a personal web page or blog, I suggest you get one. For those of you who are not web savvy, there are plenty of ways of going about this that don’t involve much technical skill. However, I do recommend you learn a little HTML, CSS, and PHP (the basic code languages of most web pages). These languages are easy to pick up, and you can find most of the information on how to use them online. The more you use them, the easier it will be for you to remember them.

Just a friendly reminder

If you’ve been asking how I find the time, I only suggest spending a maximum of three hours a day working on your rough drafts. If you are a part time writer, that still leaves some time to write a short blog entry every day. I treat my writing as my fulltime job, because I love it so much. Writing is my passion, and I find time for expressing multiple genre’s every day, fiction and non-fiction both. So time is not really an issue. You just have to be willing to put in the time.

An Advantage to Getting Published

Keeping a blog and personal website this early in the game will only work to your advantage. Say you have a finished manuscript and you are starting to send it out to agents. An agent is going to receive your book, and right beside it is another book of similar quality and length. The only difference is, the author of the second book has a high traffic blog with a large audience ready and waiting for the novel before it’s even published. Who’s novel do you think is more likely to get picked up by the agent?

If you want to be a successful novelist in today’s writer’s market, you have to be open to things like blogging. I realize some of you don’t consider this a genuine form of writing, but I believe quite the opposite. Blogging can be therapeutic, relaxing, and enlightening. Not to mention the extra money you can make with it. With bloggers reporting upwards of $5,000 a month in earnings from ad placement alone, it’s hard to ignore the value of having a person blog as a novelist.

As you can see, it’s not difficult to find the time nor the motivation for me to keep up these articles, and you should think about doing something along the same lines if you want to make it in this business. Even if you don’t blog every day, there are still things you can do with a personal website that can get you going in the right direction. Give it a chance. You’ll be surprised how much writing on the online community will inspire you and make that time your are sitting writing your novel much more easy and infinitely more rewarding. Not only do you get to know your audience before they get your book, but they get a chance to know you. Everyone likes getting to know their favorite authors. Have fun with it, and until next time – write your brains out.

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