Jackie Hosking Networking Column 6To Blog or Not to Blog

by Jackie Hosking


What's a BLOG? Do you have one? And if you don't -- should you?
Very simply, a BLOG is an online diary, a space on the Web for you to express yourself. All sorts of people BLOG for all sorts of reasons. I've done some research and here's what a few writers have to say.

Simon Haynes:

I talk about writing. Originally it was more general, but someone left a comment asking me to detail the publication process for my book.

Simon's BLOG is packed full of great information and well worth a visit.


Heidi Kneale:

BLOGS can be used to share your thoughts. They can be a useful professional tool too if employed properly. I have a pseudoblog. I host it from my web page and update it sporadically.

Here's the link:


Dale Harcombe:

Mostly mine is about writing and books. I find that it is a good way to write something to kick start and to connect with others.

Dale's BLOG can be found at:



I have just started a BLOG too, mostly as a way of exercising my writing skills, and also hopefully as a way of creating a resume. It's early days yet, but I am already enjoying the chance the express myself even if no one else is reading it!

Andrew's link is:


Sherryl Clark

I've had one for a year. Originally I started it to put up my "diary" from my New York stay and the workshop at Chatauqua. Although it was "public" I knew not many people looked at it so I didn't add to it on a regular basis. Now it's listed in quite a few places (mainly writers' sites and
discussion boards) so I try to add to it at least weekly, more often if I can. I talk about my own writing, how I'm going, problems etc. Discuss good and bad books I've read, and sometimes issues with teaching or new ideas or good things that happen.

Sherryl's blog is at www.sherrylclark.blogspot.com /


I'm a little torn on the subject, inasmuch as I rarely read anyone else's blog, and don't much care whether or not they read mine. Yet I do find it interesting to scroll back through from time to time to see what events and random thoughts in my life inspired me to 'blog' them and, as a writer, it's probably an excellent supplement to all the notepads and scraps of paper with ideas and themes.

Here's Dave's BLOG:



Bren MacDibble:

I began a BLOG during my 2004 Clarion stay that will be of most interest to future Australian Clarion goers. Unlike Sherryl, I stopped when I returned and find that I prefer to update my Latest News page on my website instead.

Bren's BLOG can be found at:




I have just started a blog and I am trying to use it as a writing journal but also keep the flavour of where I live foremost. I am still working through the technicalities.

Frances' BLOG at:




I started my personal weblog in February 2003 and also have a blog through which I share information about an eye condition called retinitis pigmentosa (RP).

If you would like to visit Dee's blogs you can find them at http://inattentive.blogspot.com / and http://retgen.blogspot.com/ .

So -- should you get one? Before I answer, let's have a look at the pros and cons as expressed by our blogging writers.

The Pros:

• Blogs are free, professional-looking web pages that give an online presence or profile.

• They offer an opportunity for free publicity. A way to promote your business, your writing, your career or your cause.

• They enable you to keep in touch with those who are interested in what you are doing, to share your thoughts and connect with others.

• They can also be a useful professional tool.

• Blogs are a good way to kick start your writing.

• They are good for making you focus on what you are writing; your own personal sounding board.

• They allow you to communicate with your audience in a unique way.

• Blogs encourage you to be creative, to offer opinions and ideas, and to learn from others.

• The blogging community is a diverse group of people who enjoy writing, commentary, discussion and ideas.

• Blogs can be a way to record your own progress, re-reading to see how your opinions, interests and writing have changed and developed.

• They offer a chance to show a sample of your writing and show that you can write consistently over time.

• Making your personal thoughts public is exhilarating.

The Cons:

• You can never be sure of your audience. Blogs are available for everyone to read.

• If you choose to reveal your identity, you may be judged on what you have written and your personal details may be available to anyone.

• Finding the time to add to it regularly without letting it distract you from your other writing commitments.

• Understanding that publishing your writing in a blog is publishing your writing (usually) for free.

• Reading other people's blogs (essential if you expect to be read by other bloggers) will take time and possibly cut into your regular reading/writing time.

• You may find yourself open to unwanted correspondence.

• Being original is often difficult and again, time consuming.

• The informal and often anonymous nature of blogging encourages people to write about personal aspects of their own and others lives.

• Making your personal thoughts public is scary.

Okay, so back to the question -- to blog or not to blog? Well, I'm not going to tell you. You've got all the facts, so I'll let you make your own decision!

Here's your homework for this month. Visit my blog! www.jackiehoskingpio.wordpress.com you'll find it there.

Now BLOG off and have fun.

Your writing buddy,



The Busy Writer's One-Hour Plot

The Busy Writer's One-Hour Character

Book of Checklists

The Busy Writer's Self-Editing Toolbox

The Busy Writer's KickStart Program

Write a Book Fast