Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Blogging Consistently is Hard

Big shout out to my Russian fans. The page-views data shows that y'all are my main audience. Glad to know that my unique brand of humorous fantasy stories are particularly Russian-friendly.


I thought I better write something here because although I haven't done any posts since October last year I still got about 100 page views last month, so I gotta keep this old blog fresh. Here's some random thoughts about how difficult it is to keep a blog updated:

1. It's Not Fiction

I write fiction because I love to write fiction. I write this blog because apparently you are not a serious writer if you don't have one. Never mind the 3 and 1/2 novels I've written (one published, one in the pipeline, one that will never see the light of day ever, one still being written, and one ring to rule them all), noooooo, those don't count for shit. Unless you have a blog and a mailing list (I'm still getting around to that second one) then you're not a serious writer. So here I am. Being all serious.

2. I've Got Stuff to Do

As well as being a penniless fiction writer, I'm also a very bloody busy lawyer. As well as all the other stuff I have going on in my life I haven't even got the time to do as much novel writing as I want, never mind writing posts on this blog.

3. I Don't Have That Much to Say

There's a kinda unspoken thing that goes on in the world of online writing blogs and websites. When you're a new writer you do internet searches for things like 'how to be a writer', 'how to write a novel', and 'how to make millions writing fiction'.

Do you know what you find? Thousands upon thousands of websites telling you (allegedly) how to do these things. More specifically: thousands upon thousands of websites telling you the exact same thing. Even more specifically: thousands upon thousands of websites telling you the exact same thing, written by writers you've NEVER FUCKING HEARD OF.

I alluded to this a few posts back with my 'top ten tips for writers' post, which was meant entirely as a joke. However, there are plenty of writers out there, who apparently do have books - I've never bought one from one of these sites so I can't verify if they're real or how good they are - and are peddling all sorts of advice from their websites. What I can confirm is that I have never clicked on a website titled 'become a millionaire writing fiction to make menopausal women horny' and found that the site's proprietor is J.K. Rowling, or Iain M Banks, or the late Sir Terry Pratchett. These writers are successful writers, so they spend their time and make their money writing novels that sell like crack in the ghetto. Is it therefore safe to assume that the 'writers' who have the kind of time to successfully curate a clickbait website are NOT successful writers? That they don't make any money from their books so they need a website?

I'm not saying that some writers out there don't have fantastic websites full of insight, JA Konrath springs to mind, especially when it comes to self-publishing, but the majority are drivel. And they're repetitious drivel.

Do yourself a favour and go buy On Writing by Stephen King. He might not be the best writer in the world, but he's one of the most famous, and his books sell shitloads. HE is someone qualified to give advice. Not these internet randoms.

(Note: I can take the above pot-shot at my fellow writers because although I'm not in any danger of being on any best-seller lists, I'm not lying that I'm a successful writer, nor am I claiming to have any insight into the industry, whilst simultaneously copying and pasting the same advice available on a thousand other sites. So there.)

4. It's Not Easy

It's a lot of effort to write interesting and engaging blog posts when right now I'm a literary nobody. Apart from the aforementioned Russian readers, no-one knows this blog exists. This could be the best blog ever (it's definitely top 5) but what does that matter if no-one ever sees it. I'm sure once I have a massive cult of devoted followers it will be easier to blog because I know people will be reading it. One way of getting a following of course is to blog until I'm blue in the face, but then wouldn't I be a famous blogger as opposed to a famous writer of fantasy? As long as I'm a millionaire I don't really care.

Anyway, I best stop rambling and be off to bed now.

Ta ta,