Oregon writer, Rain Trueax, and Oregon painter, Diane Widler Wenzel co-author Rainy Day Thought. Diane generally posts on Wednesdays and Rain on Saturdays. There may be extra days or changes as situations warrant. Comments are always welcome and appreciated as it turns an article into a discussion.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

when writing a blog

Yes, I like to write. It's what I do. It's what I've done most of my life-- but that doesn't mean it's always fun. It can be stressful whether it's trying to come up with a blog, comment somewhere, or write a book. Putting your words out leaves you vulnerable in a way that hiding them does not. Readers can show you what they think of your words when they boycott your blog. On the other hand, I write my truth here as I know it. I can't write just what others want to hear or what is the point of it?

Besides writing books (I wrote my first full-length manuscript when I was in my 20s), blog writing came into my life in 2004. I was whimsical back then, didn't write much, came back to it, stopped again and finally began writing fairly regularly in 2006. I had only a vague idea of what I'd do with a blog and only gradually firmed mine up into being about ideas. 

Through the years I've read quite a few other blogs, different sorts where some are journals, sometimes revealing way too much information. There are blogs that make a reader feel they know that writer. Of course, they know what the writer wants them to know. I used to read more blogs, but as my time for pleasure reading has narrowed, I only regularly go to a couple.

Currently, I have two of my own blogs where I regularly commit to posting something (Saturday and Wednesday for this one and the other on Tuesdays). I have two blogs for new books , which are updated only when a new book comes out. I have three video type blogs (music and image trailers and one for discussions. Then there is a blog for our grassfed beef and lamb (sadly neglected); one for the vacation rental in Tucson; and one for rants (political in nature) which gets something only the mood strikes. It takes little time to write since it is supposed to be a rant.

On the regular blogs, when the words aren't coming, I switch to photos or even make memes like this one, which has the advantage of being able to use them on Twitter or Facebook with the hope they'll prove uplifting to others.

With a long and particularly turbulent time, like our country has had with this election season (turbulence not remotely over) writing for this blog has been particularly difficult. I both wanted and did not want to write political posts. Finally, I wrote on some cultural and emotional issues knowing I'd doubtless lose readers over it.

I have read, and it makes sense, that a writer should never discuss politics or religion. Somebody, in such a divided time, is bound to disagree whatever you say. The hatred, fear, and rage after this election are being stirred to fever pitches. Being a writer, you do not need enemies more than your books already might make. On the other hand, I am a human first who lives in a certain culture and with grandchildren close to going out into the world, I can't ignore what I see as important-- lose readers over it or not.

When I come to the keyboard, with a date for a post looming, there are times I literally can't think of a thing to write. If I didn't write on a schedule, I wouldn't have that problem. On the other hand, if I didn't write on a schedule, the ideas might not come to me that often do once I start typing. Sometimes sitting in front of a keyboard is the impetus for an idea to emerge. 

Besides this blog, I have another where I post once a month, a community blog of other writers, Smart Girls Read Romance. That one can be more stressful than this one due to feeling I should not let others down by an inferior or boring post. A once a month post that is aimed at writers and readers definitely stretches me. I may not continue to do it but for now, I am. Then now and again, I do a guest post for someone else's blog. I try not to do many of those, though they are beneficial for reaching a different group. The thing is my brain only stretches so far and there are always the new books to be written. 

My Tuesday blog, Rain Trueax, does not demand original ideas. I decided to do an excerpt blog there where it gets a piece of one of my books. Because I don't keep track of from which books I've shared a scene, I try not to share from the same ones too often. The excerpt blog has the advantage of maybe showing a reader a book they might someday like to read, but also encouraging other writers for ideas I used that might inspire them. The only real problem there is forgetting to grab the piece and Tuesday about the time I am drinking my second cup of coffee, I realize I haven't yet done it.

Saturday I will have another blog on writing fiction and what that takes. Books have been written on that topic; so my blog will only lightly touch on it.  


Tabor said...

I have neither clients nor a boss to offend so I can be a warrior for truth in these dangerous times.

Rain Trueax said...

That helps-- of course, you have to always remember it's truth as you see it ;). People who have businesses probably have the toughest time if they opt to blog about controversial subjects. It also would be different for a writer who needed to make a living off their writing. A few like Stephen King can speak out because they have already made their fortune. Those lower on the rung of success would have to think harder about it-- although if they were hitting on a rage that many felt, it might even help them sell their fiction. I would imagine blog writers on one firm side of the partisan divide could even gain readers for saying what their readers wanted to hear. We all like our bubbles. The ones who range outside theirs are probably rare.