Friday, October 28, 2011

Some thoughts on group blogging

"If you've ever been around a group of actors, you've noticed, no doubt, that they can talk of nothing else under the sun but acting. It's exactly the same way with baseball players. Your heart must be in your work." ~~Christy Mathewson (One of the first players admitted to the National Baseball Hall of Fame)
And so with writers... We can talk writing, study writing, write about writing until our faces are blue or our fingers grow numb. And in many different venues. Like blogs. Like group blogs.

Everyone and their family pet seems to have a blog. I'll admit to a couple myself. Okay, more than a couple. I'll post some pretty pictures or inane comments, a recipe, some chatty talk or the week's school lunch menu. The kind of things you really wonder if anyone does ever look at.

That brings me to the idea of group blogs. Hmm, what could be better than a crowd of fairly like-minded people getting together to share thoughts, ideas, joys and sorrows with others?
Group Blogs: Friend or Foe

I've thought a lot about this topic over the past couple of weeks, finding myself leaning too much into the Foe category. So let's talk about Friend first. A group blog is my friend--not food. (sorry, the fish staring at me reminded me of something else). Because there are others committed to regular posting, I don't have to come up with all the ideas myself. (A definite benefit when I'm trying a **100 blog challenge all by my lonesome.) Some days that's a great thing-either the idea well is pretty dry or the swirl and noise of too many ideas leaves nothing on the page.

Friend--An interesting blog might lead beyond new ideas to a new way of looking at your work in progress, or a new avenue of research, make you think or simply bring a smile to your face.

Friend--A group blog is simply a congenial place to be, a haven for expression and creativity.

That brings us to the Group Blog Foe. I believe most authors have a dynamic, forceful internal voice (be it editor, competitor or self). That voice loves to compare. Well, maybe not compare--perhaps it's more of a contrast. That contrast being... everyone else is so eloquent, their thoughts make so much sense. The wording is perfect and gets their ideas to the reader easily.

And what you write is pure dreck. (or whatever word your internal nag uses.) And the voice goes on. Who would ever want to read your thoughts. With so many clear thinkers out there, why would your rambles make anyone sit up and take notice. Nope, they'll just move on to a better blogger and never return. And on... why did you think you could keep up with anyone else in a group blog. See that great blog? Didn't you think about blogging about the same thing? Too late now, kiddo.

You know, being really prominent in my head right now, this voice is much too easy to write. So let me counter with a Friend thought or two...after I stow the nag in a locked box in the closet!

So, someone else blogged about a topic I'm interested in. Bet my take on it will be different. Maybe not hugely different, but worthy of consideration none-the-less. And no, maybe my topic isn't interesting to everyone... but as long as one person takes away a tiny thought or has a smile when they click their next favorites button--I'm happy. I write the way I write...which whether for good or bad, is kinda how I think. I can sit down and wax theoretical on a subject, appear learned and educated. But I don't wanna. I like to chat. And a group blog is a great place to do just that!

"That process by which you become a writer is a pretty lonely one. We don't have a group apprenticeship like a violinist might training for an orchestra." Anne Rice

Perhaps we don't have a true apprenticeship, but there is a place to practice and discuss our craft ... the friendly group blog. Like this one right here!


  1. The publishers in their webinars (where they hype social media and websites etc) encourage group blogs as the hottest thing going.

  2. Group blogs bring more ideas and voices to the table (or screen in this case). Everyone has experienced different things and developed a unique perspective, so group blogs tend to be less boring, therefore more enlightening.

  3. I see group blogs as the wave of the future. (It's just fun to say that.) I will keep a private blog on my website for people interested in seeing a glimpse into my life. (which should take about three seconds.) But I've joined at least 2 group blogs already, and plan one or two more.

    Excellent post!!