Wednesday, 6 April 2011

What Makes a Good Writing Blog?

Blogging is tough. You sit there drinking your fifth gallon of strawberry Nesquik (or boozy liquid if you're pretending to be a grown-up) trying to commit words to posterity. You want to write something informative to show the world how immensely together you are as a writer. But you are writing into the void, writing for one or two people, so you must assume a future audience, a chance Googler who wants to know the one or two facts you can assert confidently. There are no perfect templates for the writers’ blog. All approaches are limned with flaws, such as using the word ‘limned,’ and the artless brain-splatter you write is to be applauded and cheered. Here’s why:

Blog Type #1: Informative & Wise

We hate these blogs because the people writing them come from business backgrounds and network their books into print with their luscious eyes and BBC tongues. They have their feet too firmly on terra firma and can’t possibly be decent writers. They don’t tip the keyboard upside down and eat the crumbs. They don’t yell at strangers for hours on end until they finally write the last 350 words of their stupid book proposal. They know what they are doing and they can help us become better writers, so we hate them.

BT #2: Read My Words Please

Contrary to the popular belief that writers are a friendly, encouraging community, writers are vicious rivals who will stop at nothing to get their story in Issue 5 of the Monkeypaste Annual. When a friend gets a book published they don’t respond to your emails as quickly, they start to sound more blasé to downplay their success (‘got this book deal thingie’), they start to offer patronising advice, they gradually acquire more powerful friends and leave you drowning a pool of your own urine. Their cute and funny blog is now updated semi-regularly with news about their awesome book Something To Do With the Occult and the subsequent tours and money and lovely love. You will never be friends with them again until your book Something To Do With the Occult But Done Differently gets into print, then you will become their Bestest Mate again.

BT #3: Hilarious Crazy Wackiness

Writers in the bizarro genre tend to be the sort of people who have to make the funniest remark, who demonstrate no warmth or care for other people’s comments, the sort who nod and wait for the moment they can make that semi-amusing observation that will make them the Wittiest Person in the World, Ever. So these blogs go to town on the exclamation marks and the insufferable goofiness and don’t really make it clear the author is a writer. They could be any number of loudmouth scene-stealers in a pub corner boring the assembled. As a consequence, these blogs are an exercise in vanity. (This blog has similar tendencies, but I am a love-starved child of the streets, so forgive me).

BT # 4: Apologetic

Maybe the person is attempting to become a writer but they’re finding it hard because they’ve just moved into a new house and they aren’t really sure what they’re doing I mean they like books and things, but they aren’t really sure, they might do something else, but in the meantime, here is four pages of their new novel.

So, there is no answer, except all writing blogs should be chaotic and reflect the splatter of the writer’s brain! Viva anarchy!


  1. Oh, dear. I think I am somewhere between 3 and 4. In fact, I think I am BT # 3 3/4: Not A Writer. Ack.

    I believe there is an abundance of BT # 2 around. Can we convince them to go up or down, to 1 or 3? I am not above bribery.

  2. There are probably other categories, but I ran out of steam towards the end. You're definitely not a wackycrazyloveme blogger, or a sorryisuckloveme one either. But we all have those lapses.

    Your piano has arrived. Sadly it was sent to Norway, so if you're in Japan, you'll have to play the spoons for the timebeing!

  3. Ha! I'm on Norway! So no spoons (chopsticks?). The piano looks nice and shiny, if still slightly cat-ish. Any way to stop it meowing? Or at the very least meow in the same key as I'm playing in?

  4. I told those stupid piano-makers to use the cat whiskers for the strings inside. They must've misread my instructions. Ah well. Feed it some Whiskas (or Norwegian brand catfood).

  5. ...which is why we love reading you...
    (and why we don't blog about writing unless it's a vague aside)
    xo B

  6. Go team informative wacky and chaotic!