To Blog or Not to Blog

June 15th, 2011 · 7 Comments »

I recently undertook an intensive class on using Social Media. The course was aimed at organisations and individuals wishing to use things like Facebook, blogs and Twitter as marketing tools.

The best thing I took away from the course is the concept of using social media as a storytelling medium. The big question any blogger should ask is WHY? Why are you blogging? What’s your story? You the blogger are the central character is a story with no fixed end point. Thinking of yourself as a character might lead to therapy and a tendency to embellish or adapt the truth, but if you retain authenticity, the idea of you being a character helps you focus the story you are telling.

Who am I? A Character Description:

Nathan Luff is a super smart, sexy and sophisticated man. He is normally 6 foot tall, but often wears his short legs so as not to intimidate others (and because tall people often hit their heads on things). Nathan likes to create and share in stories through books, films, theatre, interpretive dance, charades … and now blogs!!

What is my story? What is this blog about?

This blog is about the world of storytelling for young audiences. I grew up in an isolated environment so my experience with stories is only as a consumer. I’m learning all about how to create and sell stories, and that is what I hope to share with the kids/parents/teachers/literate monkeys who read my blog. Disclaimer: People often think I know what I am doing or talking about, but most of it is bluff – it’s no surprise the word bluff contains my surname.

Some General Thoughts on Blogging

Many bloggers and non bloggers (who secretly wish to be bloggers) suffer from self-doubt. Why would anyone want to read what I have to say? Isn’t it egotistical to think that what I have to say is interesting? What a rubbish way of thinking. What you write might not be interesting to everyone or even anyone. Who cares? You’re not forcing anyone to read it. There is a small island in the Pacific (part of the Fictitious Archipelago) where they inflict bad blogs on criminals instead of prison sentences – they tie them down, and force their eyes open like in A Clockwork Orange. But apart from that, a bad blog does no harm. It is only a coincidence that every time a blog goes unread another Dan Brown novel is sold.

For those who love to write, blogging is a great outlet, like an online diary but without the juicy bits. They are a form of expression, which is healthy. Just think, if Shakespeare’s Hamlet had been a blogger, he could have soliloquised about his woes online and he could have received helpful comments like: Dude, get some counselling. Or: How about those slings and arrows of outrageous fortune! LOL.

Some tips to a good blog:

(Another disclaimer: as a rule I make it my mission in life rarely to practice what I preach)

1.     Brevity!! A long blog is a like the weird biscuit in an assorted pack – you’ll only read it if you get to the end and there’s nothing else left.

2.     Try to be focused. Pick one story or topic to write about and choose a good title that sums it up.

3.     Try to include a monkey somewhere in your blog at least once. Monkeys are cute.

4.     When no one comments on your blog, don’t cry, it just means you have said everything there was to say about the subject. It doesn’t mean no one read it and that you’re a loser with no friends and that you’re wasting your time when you should be finishing a new book, or dealing with that massive pile of dirty washing that you are instead using as a cushion to dive into when no one is watching.

So there you go, my thoughts on blogs as a storytelling medium … what’s your story?

Categories: Writing
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7 Responses to “To Blog or Not to Blog”

  • I’ve been writing a personal blog for many years and it mostly was to keep friends up to date, however int he last couple of years it has developed in to much more of a character based epic as you describe. I had a series of blog posts about dating as I spent 3.5 years in Sydney as a single 20something looking for love – certainly got a lot of reads I didn’t expect. I’m currently writing more about life modelling and other adventures in my life. It’s certainly still mainly for my friends however they are avid readers and are almost like fans waiting for my next installment.

  • And what a great blog it is KT!!

  • Monkeys are indeed cute. I’ll have to make more use of them on my site Nathan.

    I like the storytelling approach to blogging. It’s pleasant to feel like you’ve experienced a cohesive unit by the end of a post.

  • Nobody reads blogs. I haven’t even read this one. Who are you, anyway? Hmm? The only reason to write a blog is that, if your ego gets too puffed up (that hardly ever happens with me), you can check the stats on your blog, and discover that not one person in the whole wide world has read it.

    Another reason for not blogging is that if you’re a good writer, you should be getting paid for it. When you write for free, you make someone else rich (as Huffington Post contributors discovered).

  • Chenoa – thanks for the comment. I hope to see more monkeys hanging around your blog …

    Mr Empson (if indeed that is your real name), what an intriguing comment and may I thank you for not reading the blog above and for failing to remember who I am – I’m your favourite author in the whole wide world, remember?! Ahh, yes, I knew it would come back to you.

    Anyway, I was fortunate that I was born without an ego (I have an extra appendix where my ego should be) so I also need never fear about its inflammation. I blog as my civic duty to help the rich stay rich – did you know that by the time you have finished reading this comment, another rich person will have fallen below the middle-to-upper class line. It’s sobering statistics like that that keep me out there spurting forth wisdom, dibble and everything in-between.

    And unrelated may I say I do enjoy your mercifully short reviews, despite certain judgments on a number of films starring Natalie Portman.

  • I apologise for my great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather not remembering who you are, but he is 260 years old and his memory isn’t what it was. He did actually buy a copy of your novel, believing it to be a recipe book, before realising that C. Stu was in fact the author. Is Stu a Chinese surname? Neither of us can understand why you called the book ‘Nathan Luff’, though. We thought it might be a sailing term, but boats don’t feature in it at all.

  • [...] Nathan’s advice and provide a link to your Monkey post in the comment section below. Every Friday (by midnight [...]

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