5 December 2012

Keeping up the momentum [IWSG]

Trevithick's Locomotive

I felt that this is an appropriate post given that Mithril Wisdom turned three years old yesterday. I also wanted to make it a sort of tribute to Graeme's Fantasy Book Review, who some of you may know decided to step down last week.

Graeme's was the very first blog I followed when I first typed in "fantasy book review blogs" into Google when just before I started Mithril Wisdom. His blog was an inspiration to me, and I had the honour of posting on his blog shortly before he decided to depart (I hope my post had nothing to do with his decision - eep!). His blog will be sorely missed, and I hope that he'll still hang around with us geeky booky types.

His bowing out made me think about how blogs naturally lose momentum and there comes a time where we as bloggers eventually declare "enough is enough". I hope that doesn't happen to me for a while.


Keeping momentum

So how we can we ensure that we keep going? How can we continue to write engaging and interesting topics without rehashing old tropes or relying exclusively on memes and blog hops? The ins and outs will vary between writers depending on your niche, but here are some things that'll help keep your content fresh:

  • Write what you know, and if you don't know it, become an expert
    I know that some writers want to keep their professional 'blogging' lives and their personal 'real' lives separate, but it doesn't hurt to write about your real life experiences. If anything, this'll add an extra level of personality to your writing that'll help you better engage with your readers.
  • Write from blog prompts
    You can ask your readers to suggestions for things you can write about e.g. "send me a random picture, and I'll write about it", or "give me three random words and I'll link them together". If you're still stuck for ideas, check out Laura Bambrey's 100 Blog Prompts for inspiration.
  • Don't be afraid to shift your focus
    Not long ago I decided that I would shift the focus of the blog from fantasy book reviews to fantasy reviews and geek culture, which would give me more scope to talk about the things that interested me and that I wanted to share with you. There's nothing wrong with this; it's just the natural progression and growth of the blog.
Also, don't be afraid to take a short hiatus from blogging while you find your muse, organize yourself and come back refreshed and ready to go.

How are you able to keep going with your writing, and what drives you on?

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Insecure Writer's Support Group
This post is part of the Insecure Writer's Support Group, a monthly blog hop set up by the Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh. It's a place where writers and bloggers can share their anxieties and insecurities with one another, offer advice and support one another. You can find full details and a list of participants on the Insecure Writer's Support Group page, and you can also follow it on Twitter at #IWSG.

[Image owned by Jamie Gibbs (that's me!)]


11 comments:

  1. My focus shifts easily :)

    I like the 100 prompt ideas, I'll check that out.

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  2. I'm just coming to the end of my first year of blogging, and I've learned so much - especially from fellow IWSGs. There's usually something going on in the world of writing, or authors to feature, or writing advice from my MA to pass on. What's helped me is the discipline of blogging - regular writing, no matter what about, really helps keep the creative juices flowing.

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  3. Excellent tips, Jamie. (And Laura's book is great.) Shifting one's focus can make a big difference. The Ninja News, highlighting the achievements of others, was one of the best things I introduced.
    Of course, the IWSG was THE best thing!

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  4. I found that as long as I was actively writing or editing I always had ideas about things to blog about. Once I fell into a funk where I am not doing any writing, the ideas have mostly dried up and my blog is stagnant. Part of it, too, is that I get tired of writing posts that I think are really neat only to have very few people read them.

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  5. Sometimes I feel like I'm getting into a funk. Usually I'll go to the bookstore and sit down with a bunch of writers magazines and fish around for ideas.

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  6. I think I'm able to keep going with my writing because it's just in my blood. Even if I never publish anything ever, I'll still be writing something somewhere at some time. Shifting focus is a great thing to do.

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  7. Great tips Jamie. Write what you know is a common, but important writing tip. Shifting focus really helps too.

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  8. Good tips. I remember Graeme's blog. His point was a good one--if you are not enjoying it anymore, you probably shouldn't keep a blog going. I hope by writing things I enjoy, I will keep my blog going for a while yet.

    Allison (Geek Banter)

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  9. Its pretty easy for me to focus as all my blog entries are about photography. Although there are people who are blog specific on bridges, barns, birds Etc. I like to share anything i can point a lens at. I find people like diversity.
    www.valleysshutterbug.com

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  10. I agree--I hope I don't feel like I've blogged enough in the near future!

    I try to post about what interests me, which helps keep me motivated to blog.

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  11. I've been wanting to shift the focus of my blog for some time now, but every time I start to think about it seriously, someone comes along and tells me how much they love my writing tips. Hmm, what to do...

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