One strange and unexpected side effect of turning my creative writing blog’s backlog into a writer’s handbook is that somehow, I’m finding it harder and harder to find subjects to write blog posts about.
Looking back on a post I wrote giving advice about how to convert your blog into a book, you’ll notice one suggestion is to make sure you have some new content.
New content is really important in a book that gets its start as a blog. First, you need to give people an incentive to buy your book. On top of that, I feel responsible to provide something new–something people can’t find for free here on the blog–if I’m going to ask them to pay for the book. That’s just honest business and basic integrity.
Sure, lots of the material can come from previously published posts that you rework and expand upon and combine in new and thought-provoking ways, but you also want a good amount of new content: stuff that doesn’t appear on your blog.
So now it seems that every time I come up with an idea for a new post on point of view, or dialogue, or say, how to make use of Goodreads as an author–what have you–I decide I should put that material in “Writing for You: A Novelist’s Guide to the Craft of Fiction” rather than write a blog post about it. After all, it’s not easy to come up with new content for the book either, not after blogging for a year on these subjects.
It’s become a fun challenge–and that’s how I’m looking at it. It’s forcing me to get creative in new and exciting ways, both where the book and the blog are concerned. Maybe I should have expected this difficulty when I started compiling my blog posts, but I didn’t. I’m kind of glad I didn’t.
Some strategies I’ve devised:
- blogging a bit ABOUT the process of turning my blog into a book. That’s material that could be of use to fellow bloggers as well as raise awareness about my upcoming non-fiction release. It’s also material outside the scope of my book.
- blogging about what I’ve learned about blogging
- splitting an idea for a post into parts, or separate related points. I can blog about ONE OR TWO of those points only, and then write about the ENTIRE idea in the book. For example: Goodreads. I’ve never blogged about Goodreads, and I want to. It’s an interesting (and terrifying) domain for authors. There’s a lot I could say about Goodreads, so I can blog about some of that material while still withholding some insights for the social media chapter of my book.
I just wanted to touch on this in case any fellow bloggers out there end up turning their blogs into a book. The sudden difficulty of coming up with new ideas is something you should expect, and not something to freak out over; it’s a logical and natural consequence of the (worthy) enterprise you’re undertaking.
And really, the challenge isn’t so bad when all is said and done. I’d have to think that anyone with the drive and creativity to start and grow a blog loves a mental challenge!