Friday, 12 March 2010

Why am I Blogging?

Why am I blogging?

Why does any individual blog?

Promote their product - if you only promote your product, it's really, really boring, especially if done in a pushy way. I do promote my readings and poetry Pamphlet (buy now, please - link on the sidebar) but the ROI seems minimal. How many sold from the blog? Guess. How many people come to a reading because it's been on my blog? If there are any, they don't comment or come and tell me. Other people's puff pieces - boring. Especially if they only blog the puff, not the failures.

Share the pain - if I ever do a post on failure, I get comments. If I do a post on success, I may get some too. I find it hard to write puff pieces on myself and feel like I'm courting for comfort with the failure ones. Maybe whinging online gets it off my chest. Though I do like to read about other people's failures (more than their successes, my guilty secret)

Write about writing - Chatacters, dialogue, plotting, etc. These posts rarely get any feedback. Are they interesting at all? Useful?

Other links - really I post these for myself. So I can find them again.

Events - There are more events than I can keep a handle on. I tend to post ones that I'm interested in, that I would go to if I could or that I will go to. I don't mind spreading the word, pushing PR for these. The odd time I've been thanked. I've even got a ticket or two. I'm totally jealous of blogs like English Mum who gets free stuff all the time to write about. Positively showered, she is.

Workshops - No thanks at all for posting about workshops run by other people. I only post ones I'd be interested in. Don't know why I bother. I can't afford to go on any.

Grants/Bursaries - This is a maze of in fighting, mutual back scratching, brown paper envelopes, spinning and closed-shopness. I write about these to try and light a fire or two. No idea if it makes any difference. Full disclosure: I received bursaries from South Dublin Co Co and the Arts Council. Small but helpful. Did this blog help? I do mention it in grant applications.

Competitions - again, I only mention competitions I'd recommend and enter if I had the right piece and the money. I never get anything from the organisers. Do they even know I exist. I personally find posting these useful as I can find them with the deadlines. Does anyone else? When I remember, and when I hear, I post the results.

Inspiration - these are rare. Just things that spark my interest. Youtube, photos, whatever. Why bother?

Writing - Occasionally I post some writing. Particularly TFE's Poetry Bus, a fabulous institution/vehicle. The problem Is that once on the the web, it's published. So either it's unpublishable in print (in which case, why read it?) or I take it down later.

Markets - Magazines, publishers etc. For my use again.

Other stuff - what other stuff is there? Book reviews? Contentious stuff about writing and writers and the whole industry? I don't want to blog about ex-boyfriends, bad dates, cooking, funny things my kids said, overheard on bus, celebrity gossip/speciulation or how I will fix Ireland when they make me the benevolent dictator.

So comments, opinions, fluff pieces, freebies, begging. Why should I continue?

This post triggered by not being shortlisted for the bloggers awards. (And some other frankly boring, puffy, whingey, infrequent, badly written and not thought out blogs being on the list.) I'll get over it.


Uiscebot said...

One thing I always wanted more of from your blog was a bit more personality. But everybody I know reads Emerging writer for the comprehensive cover of 'the scene' so that's clearly not wanted by everybody. I'm shocked your so miffed. The blog awards are relatively meaningless, as is blogging itself, and most comps, bar a select few. Sour grapes does nobody any good. The rising tide lifts all boats remember?

Dublin Dave said...

For what it's worth yours is the Irish Arts blog I find the most interesting and informative and I think you have got the balance right. Only sorry I don't comment more but I am a bit lazy!

Fin Keegan said...

Don't know if it helps at all, Kate, but your blog is really good.

Once blogging doesn't keep you from producing poetry please keep it up!

(But I know I'm being selfish: you give a lot and all I/we can give back is the occasional note of appreciation).

Niamh B said...

Hey, your blog is how I started bloggin - I was a religious follower until one day I wanted to get in touch to nab the spare ticket you had for the Farmleigh reading... so I had to set up the blog to get in touch.
Anyway - the blog is good for "networking" etc... and I do know alot of writers read your blog as the great resource that it is, so join me in saying - awards schmawards...

n said...

hi, only you can answer the why... but it's a fantastic blog, am glad you post it.- the best source of information on competitions and opportunites for emerging writers- please keep up the good work!niamh

Emerging Writer said...

Thanks for your comments. I'm not looking to court pats on the head.
I think I'm just doing a psycho-analysis post as to why I'm so pissed off and why I'm blogging in the first place.

Titus said...

I like it here and I'm not even an Irish writer.

Ann said...

I'm surprised you didn't make it onto the blog award list. I presumed you did. As an Irish ex pat who only comes home for the summer months, I am delighted I found your blog. So when I am home I have you as a resource. Having information on readings and writing events I would never have otherwise known about.
Thank you!

Totalfeckineejit said...

Keep doing the do Kate.I think I'd rather be Hennessy shortlisted etc (see your credits) than blog award shortlisted.(Unless the blog award people are here in which case the reverse is true)But I'd be lying if at this stage ,despite all logic/ rationality, I didn't win and then said I wasn't disappointed, so I do understand. Also Your blog is quite selfless in that it provides lots of tips and info for us.

Karen said...

Your blog is fabulous and informative but information doesn't always invite a comment whereas the personal stuff does - I guess readers like to identify with other bloggers.

Your blog is so classy though :o)

Peter Goulding said...

I read your blog all the time but don't often comment, usually because I don't have anything interesting to add.
I too am left head scratching at the shortlisted Blogs. As Uiscebot says, the awards are pretty meaningless, though I don't agree with him about blogging being meaningless. Your timely reminders of deadline dates are invaluable!

Jayne said...

I'm not sure quite how I found your blog but the reason I stayed is because of your tag line. Love it to pieces.

The struggles of an emerging writer to get published. What exactly is it that I'm emerging from? Some kind of primeval literary goo?

So I stay as I hope you will post more of your thoughts and writing / poetry, as that tag has voice, personality, humour - everything I like about writing. I also find the grants/bursaries posts interesting, and wish I lived in Ireland to go along to some of the workshops/readings. You highlight a sample of what's out there in the world for creative folk, and it's nice to read that these things do happen. :)

Emerging Writer said...

Thanks everyone for your thoughts. I think Karen has a point that information doesn't always provoke comment whereas personal stuff may. I may make some changes nevertheless. Watch (keep watching) this space.

English Mum said...

I've always found your blog really inspiring. And listen, I'm with the others - the blog awards aren't a reflection of how good your blog is - we are! Your happy readers that return again and again.

Oh, and yes, I do get a few freebies - last week I got offered free 'intimate lube'. Now you're really jealous...

Emerging Writer said...

Thanks English Mum, my jealousy increases ...!