HOW TO WRITE A BLOG
As with so much else in life, I know very little of this subject – effectively damn all. Not least because I write blogs so infrequently. When I started, I had in mind that blogging would be a platform from which to boost my reputation and the sales of my books. After a while – especially once I’d twigged that it might involve self-discipline and hard work – I decided in an informal way that my reputation could go hang and that for the future I would vote with the majority of humanity who don’t give a fig for my books. What can I say, guys and gals? You were right all along. I’m sorry.
Nevertheless my website has this facility for posting blogs and I experience moments of intermittent guilt or enthusiasm. In the present case, to my utter astonishment, I’ve discovered I have a reader who isn’t either me or one of a handful of friends. For other writers (those who actually have a reputation and do sell books) this may be a commonplace but for me it’s distinctly spooky. I feel like someone in a Pentecostal church who has been gabbling away, “speaking in tongues”, only to find that apparently all this nonsense may mean something. I never suspected.
So here is a lesson from the ignorant about writing blogs.
- Know who your readers are so that you can tailor both content and style to them – I didn’t know I had any readers, so I forgot this lesson.
- Have a consistent theme or voice so that your readers know what to expect and will come back for more of the same – Yeah…right. I think my voice is “whimsical”. I do it largely because it reduces the amount of actual work.
- Make it short and punchy. Unless you are among the Great and the Good, who talk about Weighty Things, your blog is just a piece of light entertainment someone might read over a cup of coffee – I am really strong on this point (not the Weighty Things but the coffee stuff).
- Be cautious about expressing strong opinions on controversial subjects – You are more ignorant that you think you are and may also be mad. These are secrets best kept to yourself.
- Remember that blogs are a permanent record and the impression they give is difficult to change – If you write whimsical blogs people may think you are an idiot. They may be right
- Listen to live music, go often to theatre, opera and ballet, and dance whenever possible with someone you love – This is a general lesson that probably won’t harm your blogs
- Be warm and humane – People like it, and it will make you feel better about yourself and the world and not care too much about whether anyone is reading your blog. Since most people will – quite rightly – not be too interested in your opinions, this is the most important lesson.