I don’t deny that I started blogging as a way to build a profile as a writer and thereby promote my work, although not in a “buy my book, buy my book” sense. I also hope that for those that read my blog it helps you as authors, or that you at least find it interesting and hopefully at times thought provoking. Then yes, maybe you’ll buy my books.
However, blogging has delivered a personal bonus I didn’t anticipate in the beginning. Why as an author I now love to blog is how it makes me think about issues that relate to my writing. Also, not just think but about them but write them down in a hopefully coherent and succinct way. It’s this that then often finds its way into my fiction.
Why am I blogging about this now? Because last week is a great case in point. My blog, “Science fiction and the human tribe”, looks at how as science fiction writers we tend to generalise future societies into “worlds” and even multi-world institutions. However, if you look at what is happening on the one planet we currently inhabit that would seem to be unlikely and a vast over simplification. I argue that as human beings we simply don’t feel comfortable in huge organisations or entities. We feel detached and the more we are taken in that direction by our politicians the more we distrust their motives.
So how did blogging help? As usual the idea started as a vague notion, this time while watching the news and the endless items (it seems) on UK Brexit negotiations / squabble / debacle (pick the most appropriate adjective for your point of view). Added to that there was the announcement that the Scottish parliament were once again pushing for an independence referendum. All this kicks sand in the face of any idea of a one world, global institution. Blogging took this notion and my irritation and made me work out what I really thought so I could describe it in a coherent fashion for others to read.
So what? Well, when it comes to writing that next book I have a better idea of the society in which to pitch my characters. They have many worlds to play in and therefore a much greater scope for varied and conflicting ideologies. As I think about it now, that idea, then worked into a blog, may form the basis for a story, or at least the background for one. How good is that? Other blogs have had a similar impact, providing ideas and helping with how I see and describe the world around me. All of which filter down into my work one way or another.
So, if you’re a writer and you’re not blogging, why not? I know time is an issue and I have cut back my blog from every week to every other week and occasionally a longer gap. However, on that basis I think it is time well spent. So give it a go. If you are a writer who is blogging then I’d be interested to know what you blog about and how you find it helps. If you’re not a writer at all I hope you find these blogs thought provoking. After all, although I may write science fiction my characters face the sort of issues we all face, OK, not in far flung parts of the galaxy / universe. However, I’m sure you get what I mean.
As always comments are welcomed.