At least, if you’re a writer at heart. If you’re an entrepreneur first and foremost, then blogging becomes a strategy, a means toward another end than simply writing something others will read.
But if you’re nothing other than a writer – and I say that with the greatest of empathy, because being a writer is definitely something – blogging can save your life.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with blogging in support of an entrepreneurial agenda. I do it myself, I have ebooks to sell and a brand to build in the market as an author and storytelling guru.
But that’s not really why I started blogging. Nor is it why I find myself waking up at four o’clock every morning with an unquenchable desire to pound the keyboard.
Blogging has resurrected the writing muse in me. And if I never sell another ebook in the process, that alone makes it worthwhile.
The Hide and Go-Seek of Writing
Many writers tend to hide when things get tough. After publishing four critically-acclaimed novels, one a bonafide best seller and another a book that made a bunch of year-end “best of” lists, my publisher threw me under the bus.
It actually happened between the third and fourth book, based on declining sales. Because you see, reviews don’t always translate into sales, that’s more a function of the promotional budget, which in my case sank faster that Obama’s approval ratings.
The publisher notified me of their intention to severe ties before they published that fourth book, which meant their promotional budget commitment couldn’t fund lunch at Taco Bell.
So when that fourth book went to the moon critically and tanked in the sales rankings, my life became a dance with irony. Best book yet, no contract for another.
In the space between my pink slip and the appearance of that ironic fourth book, I’d written yet another novel. But because of the crappy sales of the aforementioned critically-acclaimed home run – at least, that’s what I told myself – nobody bought it, either.
That’s when my agent of sixteen years dumped me.
For a writer with ambitions, this was the stuff of substance abuse, divorce and the contemplation of a swan-dive off a bridge.
Thankfully, none of that happened. I just stopped writing. I holed up beneath that bus and disappeared into a creative coma.
And then I discovered blogging.
The Gift at the Heart of the Blogging Experience
Being new to blogging, I soaked up everything I could find on the topic. Which, if you printed it all out, would fill up a hockey arena and then some.
I quickly gleaned a consistent theme – successful blogging is all about the delivery of value, about content. Even if you were selling something. Content sells. Because content leads to credibility which, in turn, leads to trust. And trust is the magic ingredient of selling anything to anybody.
And so I became a content-meister in the field of storytelling. After two decades of teaching this stuff at workshops I had much to offer. So I put it all on the page – the WordPress page – and very quickly my life began to change.
And with that change came a realization that has resurrected my writing mojo. Where before I was writing for me, now I’m writing for you. With no expectation of a return whatsoever.
Hope, yes. But with a no-strings commitment to delivering value in each and every post.
Glory, Glory Halleluiah
Well, a funny thing happened on my way out from under the writing bus. People began to respond. In three months I’d earned over 600 subscriptions. On pace for close to 2000 by year-end, after seven months.
They tell me that’s pretty good. Which makes me happy, but not nearly as happy as the experience has made me feel about being a writer.
That novel I’d written just after being told to go away? Just sold it. That ebook I’d written and am pimping on my site? Flying off the Clickbank page. I’m doing a keynote at a major writing conference this Saturday, I have a new agent and an impending paperback deal on that same ebook, with another right around the corner.
Did I mention I’m well into another novel, too?
And so, as I write this at 4:16 am, I celebrate blogging and all that it teaches.
It’s brought me back to the land of the living writer. And if the blog itself never makes me a dime, it will have been worth this journey.
In the meantime, that ebook on storytelling tips is available on my site. I’m just sayin’.