A while ago, I blogged about trying to keep up with writing a blog AND a webpage. At the time, I was behind on my writing and sweating a deadline, AND my publisher had sent me pages to proof. I felt buried, but thanks to my awesome critique partners, I got everything done on time. And I started rethinking what I wanted to do and how I wanted to do it. And, once again, I decided I like both the blog and the webpage for different reasons. I’m not toting this as something any sane writer should do or even telling you that it will increase readers or boost sales. I’m just saying that I like it–for me.
When I write my blog, I think about the craft and business side of writing. When I first started working on the blog, I shared writing advice that worked for me. But let’s be honest. You can find writing how-to tips online from Chuck Wendig (http://terribleminds.com/ramble/blog/), K.M. Weiland (https://www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com/), and occasional articles by Stephen King (https://smartblogger.com/stephen-king/), so I feel a little out gunned. Now, I don’t even pretend to be an expert, I just share what’s happening with my writing–the good, the frustrating, and the ugly. I figure other writers can relate to most of it. At the moment, my third Mill Pond romance just came out, and I’m working on the sixth one in the series. My goal is to finish it, turn it in, and then squeeze in enough time to try to write a mystery. I have the mystery all plotted out, and I’d like to start working on it in January. I’m thinking snow will be on the ground, temperatures will be cold, and I’ll be in the mood to hibernate and pound on my keyboard. It sounds good on paper, doesn’t it? My worry? When I write a romance, I have at least 40 plot points (or chapter ideas) to move the story and come up with 70,000 words–if I’m lucky. For my mystery? I came up with 23 plot points, but they’re more involved, and I HAVE to have 70,000 words. Will that work? I sure as hell hope so.
When I go to my webpage, I switch gears. When I write my webpage, I think of readers, not writers. And it’s sort of my “spill” zone, where all the random, little ideas I have for characters or series that I can’t use in a book, spill out of my head. For instance, when I wrote Wolf’s Bane, I fell in love with Wedge and Bull, the two werewolves who help Reece and Damian protect Bay City. But they’re always supporting players, so I wanted to write short stories that featured each of them. But what would I do with those stories? Easy. I’d put them on my webpage. And sometimes, I put snippets from the novels I’m working on on it, too. I even posted my one and only YA witch novel–The Familiars–on my webpage, because–why not? Sometimes, I use my webpage as a place to experiment with writing techniques I’d never dare try in a full novel. For Perdita’s Story, I wanted to write a story where the protagonist made one bad decision after another until the end. I’d never do that for a book, but it was fun to play with for a short piece. For Mill Pond, I introduced characters that would never get a full novel of their own, but I liked them and wanted to give them a happy-ever-after, so I did–in a short story. Another thing I like to do on my webpage is introduce fellow writers whose work I like and think they might like, too. In my mind, when I go to my webpage, I think of readers more than writers.
As for marketing? Well, I do my best, but I’m no wizard, so I post any new news on my author Facebook page or twitter. It’s not the most efficient system, but it makes me concentrate on different areas of my writing: fellow writers, readers, and marketing. Marketing, right now, is probably my weakest. I still haven’t learned how to do rafflecoptors and give-aways, and I think I did better when I tried a blog tour and paid for advertising, but I’ve never had a publisher before, so I’m learning as I go. One step at a time, right? Hope you’ve found what works for you. Happy writing!
My webpage: http://www.judithpostswritingmusings.com/
My author Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/JudiLynnwrites/