We’ve talked about the importance of a platform before but to summarize: a platform is how a writer argues for their manuscript to be accepted by an agent and eventually published. Blogging is one way to build a platform (which is a whole different blog post) but there are many other gains to blogging.
Improve Your Skills
Writers have to writer every day. Blogging counts! Even the simple act of recounting your day helps improve your skill. You’ll learn new words trying to describe the epic fight that broke out when that asshole Mike from accounting ate the last piece of cake. Your grammar will get better when you start using commas more regularly. Writing is skill – it needs to be practiced and honed habitually. Typing 300 words every two days is a habit all writers should incorporate.
The same can be said of artists sharing their work online. You’ll need to draw/paint/create new pieces at least once a week to maintain a blog. Doing your craft is the only way to get better.
Confession time: everything I’ve written deserves a Nobel Prize. At least, that’s how I feel the second after I’ve finished it. I’m proud of my writing and while that’s an important aspect to writing, sometimes I let that pride cloud my judgement.
By putting something online, you invite strangers to see it and respond to it. And while there are mean people who say mean things just to be hurtful, there’s a difference between rude comments and constructive criticism. Make sure you know the distinction and can incorporate critiques in future projects. Maybe you overuse a phrase? Maybe your line-art is sloppy?
No one is a master at their craft their first day – experimenting with the advice strangers online give you is one way to develop your style more fully.
It takes a lot of guts to post something online. Creators tend to think of their work as their “babies” and the idea of putting your baby somewhere a stranger can hate it and then tell you how much it sucks.
But having work online is also a great way to receive compliments. Developing a community of supporters allows for creators to try new things. When you know someone will take the time to view your work and respond with honest reactions, artists are more willing to take risks – including submitting work to magazines and galleries.
Use your blog as a crutch until you can send pieces out into the world.