Question of the day: Why did you decide to start a blog (which I enjoy very much!)?
Whew! To answer this, I have to really think back to nearly two and a half years ago! I cannot believe that I've had this blog for so long. Wow.
But I started the blog for several reasons. The first - and most altruistic - is that I was tired of reading Ms. Snark (or was it Miss Snark) who anonymously offered advice that I sometimes thought was mean and also sometimes thought was wrong. I thought, "Hey, I've been in the trenches of publishing for long enough that I might be able to offer some advice of my own." Only I wanted to do it with, well, less snarking, and with accountability. If you disagree with me or want to take me to task, at least you know where to reach me, what my background is, and whether or not my experience is relevant to yours. As far as the snarking goes, I'm all for snarking. Some would say that in my real life, I'm maybe even a tad too snarky. But this business is tough, and I've never seen the need to be snide to newcomers or fellow writers...there are plenty of other people in the industry who will do that all on their own.
The second, less altruistic reason that I started the blog is that I'd just sold my first book, and I knew that a blog was a great way to self-promote. And this has been proven true. Not because I cram my books down your throats (at least, I hope I don't!), but because I've made countless friends in the blogosphere who are always more than happy to help me spread a word when I need it spread. In this sense, the blog has been invaluable.
So, to make your question a more universal question: if you're thinking of starting a blog, consider why you're doing so in the first place. Try to make yours unique in that it actually offers something to readers rather than just posting about your belly-button lint or what not. A blog requires a lot of upkeep, and I'll admit that lately, when I've been really, really busy, writing a blog post has been the last thing that I've felt like doing. So be sure that you like your topic: I've found, for example, that once I tackle a new question for a reader, I forget about the fact that I was dreading carving out some time in my day to do so. I'm sure that other frequent bloggers out there know what of what I'm speaking.
So readers, tell me: why did YOU start a blog and what do you think you've gotten out of it.